Instead of spending lots of money on unnecessary ‘things’, the muggle and I decided to forego extravagant Christmas presents and instead book a weekend away somewhere in January. We were pretty open about where we’d go, but it had to be somewhere neither of us had been before. We bagged a pretty good deal on flights to Copenhagen (København), so our first trip to Denmark was soon in the planning, complete with must-see tourist hot spots and, of course, some specific geocaching targets.
I was completely oblivious to the delights that the Hovestaden region of Denmark had to offer the Jasmer hunter until I sat down and properly started planning the trip. As I always do, I made several lists: must-see locations and the geocaches close by, caches with high favourite points, EarthCaches, virtuals and webcams and, of course, caches that will fill gaps in my Jasmer grid. Let’s just say that this trip scored high on all geocaching fronts. Here’s how we spent our 48 hours in Copenhagen.
We landed in Denmark after dark on Saturday so our options were limited on what to do. There was a little snow on the ground but nothing too drastic so we decided to take a walk from our hotel near the central station to Nyhavn. The once busy commercial port is lined with beautifully preserved, colourful buildings housing various restaurants and bars, and aside from The Little Mermaid, the pretty harbour is synonymous with Copenhagen.
The fact it was dark didn’t put me off finding my first Danish caches and we managed to nab two. The popular cache at Nyhavn should have been easier to find with not many people about in the cold, but the darkness definitely upped the difficulty.
Nyhaavn T&L #14, GCKKNT
A government building as well as a palace, Christiansborg is the seat of the Danish Parliament, the Prime Minister and the Supreme Court. The palace is actually situated on a tiny island, called Slotsholmen, but you can walk and drive there easily over various bridges.
If we had more time, I would definitely have spent a few hours exploring the interior, where you can visit the royal reception rooms and the royal stables, to name just two.
Gammel Strand (The Old Beach), GC3C8WC
Copenhagen City Hall
At 105.6 metres, the City Hall is one of the tallest buildings in Copenhagen. You might recognise it as a filming location for popular Danish TV show, The Killing. It’s located close to the famous Tivoli Gardens, which was unfortunately closed for the winter season when we visited.
Local Landmarks #4: The Pedestrian street, GC3A5M7 – we didn’t get to do this one as it’s only available at very specific hours, it is highly favourited so worth doing if the timing is right!
SideTracked – Copenhagen Central station (KBH), GC3VH3G
Den lille Havfrue – The Little Mermaid
Just as the Statue of Liberty has become a world famous symbol of New York City, so is den lille Havfrue the definitive symbol of the Danish capital. I had done a bit of reading before we set off, so I was prepared for what I would find when we arrived to the spot where crowds were gathered around a few rocks sitting just offshore. She’s quite small – 4 foot 1 to be exact and I think it’s important to be aware of that before arriving there to risk being considerably underwhelmed. Anyone who has been to see the Mona Lisa in Paris will know what I’m talking about.
An advantage to visiting in January was that the number of tourists surrounding the statue was markedly smaller than I imagine it would be in the height of summer. The rocks were pretty much frozen over and what I considered to be too slippery to risk getting closer, although some
stupid brave souls did go for it. We saw a few stumbles but nothing worthy of filming and sticking on YouTube.
A short walk from the statue and we were at the heavily favourited cache, Local Landmarks #1: The little Mermaid (Havfruen), a well-concealed hide with room for swag and a few trackables. In another few hundred metres, we were at the first EarthCache of the trip, Flint på St Alban’s Kirke, an interesting church with a firestone facade.
Local Landmarks #1: The little Mermaid (Havfruen), GCR5F6
Flint på St Alban’s Kirke, GC56FR4
There are so many geocaches in Copenhagen, it can a bit overwhelming looking at the map and choosing where to go, especially when time is limited. Luckily, I got a recommendation from fellow geocacher Bohstom to visit ‘a submarine you can stand underneath’. It sounded like quite a unique experience so we hopped on the harbour bus and headed straight there after visiting the mermaid. Make sure to pick up a CityPass ticket for public transport – this gives you either 24 or 48 hour access to zones 1-4 (basically the city centre) by bus, train, metro or harbour bus. Instead of forking out for a tour of the harbour, get on the water bus and stay on for all stops!
HDMS Sælen (‘the seal’) was originally HNoMS Uthaug, having been built in Germany in the 1960s for the Royal Norwegian Navy. The submarine was later bought by the Danish Navy in 1990 and subsequently renamed. The sub last served in the 2003 Iraq invasion, after which she was decommissioned.
There was nobody around when we visited, even though it’s just a quick hop across on a water bus from The Little Mermaid, but this could be partly due to the fact that the submarine is only opened during Danish school holidays. It was indeed a one-of-a-kind experience to walk underneath the 500 ton submarine.
A visit here in summer would be decidedly different I imagine, with tourists swarming around all the naval ships, which are open to visitors during peak season. As it was, we were able to search for the caches without any worries of muggles – an unusual experience for urban geocaching!
Torpedobåden Sehested, GC2NRCC
29 august 1943 – Flådens sænkning II, GC4VGCY
Galleonsfigurerne på Holmen, GC2N8Q3
*These are the three we found, but there are lots more in this area!
The home of the Danish royal family, Amalienborg consists of four royal palaces facing a central statue of King Frederick V. It is worth a visit to experience how ‘open’ it feels. Sure, there are Royal Guards marching up and down, but you get the feeling that you can quite easily peer in the windows. I couldn’t believe that the royal family really lived there!
If you do visit, try to go at noon, when the changing of the guard ceremony takes place, because who doesn’t love to see groups of men in silly bearskin hats walking in perfect step?!
Johan Peter Emilius Hartmann, GC3C8WD
Dobbeltmordet #19 – Amalienborg, GC6992T
The Marble Church
A stone’s throw from Amalienborg, the impressive copper green dome of Frederiks Kirke towers above most other buildings in the area and can be seen from quite a distance away (you can see it as you stand beside the submarine at Holmen). The marble church is a truly beautiful building, with the imposing statues, intricate facade and magnificent dome reminiscent of the most beautiful churches in Rome.
The church is open daily and it would be a shame not to take five minutes to go inside and look up to the magnificent dome interior.
Marmorkirken rundt, GCVZ8E
The castle was originally built as a summerhouse and has only been occupied by the Danish royals twice since the mid eighteenth century: once when Christiansborg Palace burnt down in 1794 and again during a British attack on Copenhagen in 1801.
Rosenborg Castle sits in ‘the King’s Garden’, a popular spot for locals to spend time in the summer and is surrounded by a moat, which was completely frozen when we visited. The interior is open year round to visitors, but opening hours vary depending on the season, with limited hours in the winter.
On the main road at the back of Rosenborg castle, is the virtual cache 1807. If you have time, make sure to visit this one: it’s really good. I can’t say more than that as I don’t want to give anything away, but I think you will be glad you went!
Så skal vi ud og se på damer…(Looking for women), GCYP3Q
It was the EarthCache, Agpalilik, with over 300 favourite points that brought us to the University of Copenhagen Geological Museum. If you love EarthCaching, you will love this museum.
It costs just 40 DKK per adult to visit the museum and while it’s small, it has quite an array of geological samples, including a whole room dedicated to meteorites. Unfortunately, some of the exhibitions do not have English translations but you can always take it as a chance to test out your geology knowledge!
The EC is based on the 20 ton piece of meteorite that sits in the yard outside the museum – a definite must-see! You don’t have to pay to visit the EarthCache site, although it sits in the yard and may not be accessible if the gates are locked.
A Hop Over Øresund Bridge
Being so close to Sweden, it would almost be a sin not to hop over the engineering marvel that is the Øresund Bridge and nab a cache. We picked up a rental car near Copenhagen Central Station in the morning of our last day and headed straight to the bridge. Note that it costs €50 to cross the bridge. Yes, FIFTY. Now, we knew this but we were strapped for time and couldn’t go for the much cheaper train option so decided to just go for it. Life is short and all that.
Unfortunately for us, it was very misty the morning that we drove over so visibility was very low, as you can see in the photo above. Still, it was very cool to be driving to Sweden on this amazing bridge, and I was very happy to earn a new souvenir!
We had breakfast in Malmo (at IKEA of course, because, Sweden) and then took a quick spin around the misty city before finding the minimum one cache and then heading back to Denmark. There is an EarthCache located at the border between Sweden and Denmark, so of course, we did that too, although visibility was pretty poor.
Peberholm (Drogden shelf), GC1X4NV
Plingan’s Vagn 3, GC4Y7DX
Denmark’s First Geocache
There were two main targets for the day and the most important was Kippers in the Jungle* – Denmark’s first geocache. Placed on 30th September 2000, the ammo can sits in a wood just outside Copenhagen. En route, we passed by Herring in the Bog, a cache from October 2003 so, of course, we found that one too.
Some (read: many) people may think I’m a bit mad, but there’s just something about finding such a historical geocache that is really special. Special enough to warrant a selfie in fact!
* Park at N55°45.329 E12°26.282 for Kippers in the Jungle. The cache is just a few hundred metres from here, along forest paths and a well-worn trail. Thanks to tmsr for this tip!
Herring in the Bog, GCH2E4
Kippers in the Jungle (Denmark’s first), GC6A
Denmark’s Second Geocache
After a successful jaunt to Kippers in the Jungle, we headed further north to High Tension in the Bog, Denmark’s second geocache. Another quiet place, it’s located on private land with the landowner’s permission and there is another well-worn geotrail that leads to the cache.
Another Jasmer month ticked off from 2000, I now only need two more geocaches from that year to fill the precious 2000 line. It’s getting more difficult! The cache was another nice big ammo can and an easy find.
High Tension in the Bog, GC103
Just one more geocache…
With the main targets in the bag, we had a limited amount of time before darkness fell so I convinced the muggle to try to nab an April 2001 cache. We headed to The First in Hareskov* and found Hareskovbanen en route to keep us in the right direction.
The walk in the woods really brought it home how different a trip can be if you’re a geocacher. How many people visits forests in the suburbs if they go on a city break? It definitely enhanced the experience for me and is a big part of how I will remember my visit to Copenhagen.
One more stop before we had to drop the car back, to take a webcam photo in the dark! Well, it was relatively close to the airport and would be positively rude not to! Can you tell it’s me from the photo??
*We parked at N 55° 46.348 E 12° 23.177 and walked the few hundred metres to the cache.
The First in Hareskov, GC6F2
SWC – Gade, GCMAC9
We really enjoyed our short trip to Denmark and Sweden, and it proved very fruitful in terms of geocaching with three Jasmer spots filled in on my grid, bringing me down to just five missing months. I don’t believe I will complete the grid in 2017 but I’m quite happy to have ticked three off in the first month of the year!
Have you been caching in Copenhagen or Malmö? Do you have any other tips? Let me know in the comments!
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