Tivoli, Tivoli, Tivoli...

Dec 1, 2006 • Karen

On Wednesday night, my and a few other Danish classes went on an outing to Tivoli Gardens, the famous Copenhagen amusement park/cultural artifact. Nearly everyone at DIS had already gone to Tivoli (some even had season passes!) but I hadn't gotten around to it yet so I was glad for the excuse!

Jul i Tivoli is very cute. The place is filled with real Christmas trees so the whole park smells of pine. Every so often there are pans of hot coals set up so you can stand nearby, pretend you are a hobo, and warm up! The Christmas lights are beautiful. One of the trees has a bunch of heart-shaped lights. When you get closer, you can see the bundles of mistletoe hanging from the wary when passing underneath!

We first went as a group to a Viking-themed place called Valhal with huge hunks of fake meat hanging from the ceiling and giant weapons on the wall. We had a very traditional (and delicious) Danish winter snack: gløgge and aebleskiver. Gløgge is a Danish mulled wine, served warm, with raisins, almonds, spices, and rum. "Aebleskiver" literally means "apple slices," but the little spherical fluffy pastry things no longer have any apples in them, for some reason. Nevertheless, they are delicious, especially when they're warm with powdered sugar and you dip them in this special jam (I think it was lingonberry, but we weren't sure). Mmm...

I think I may have to find some recipes and make them for my family's Christmas Eve. They are a Cultural Experience!

After we hyggede os at the restaurant, we wandered around for this scavenger hunt assignment thing and then met up again at the bridge over the pond. (In the pond they have a thing where you can drive this tiny boat around...and there are some fake icebergs floating for you to hit! SO CUTE!) After turning in the scavenger hunt sheet, we watched a laser light show on the pond with music and fountains. Very elegant, moreso than American laser shows that I've seen. Less of creating drawings in the air and more of two-dimensional planes of various kinds, intersecting the water like parabola definitions in a math textbook. Or lighting up the trees, or exploring the textures in the fog. When the fountains went at full blast, the green laser made them look like Christmas trees, which was cool. My only complaint was that the show ended really abruptly; there was no climax or any way to tell that it was over for several seconds. But still--very cool.

Dan by this point had purchased some roasted almonds, which of course meant that the rest of the night was full of increasingly terrible nut jokes. However, several of us were hungry for a real dinner so we stopped by one of the stands. I had been warned that food in Tivoli was extremely expensive (the most expensive restaurant in Copenhagen is located there) but the stands didn't seem all that bad, compared with the rest of the city. Definitely not as price-gouge-y as American amusement parks. Anyway, it was here that I *finally* tried some frikadeller (similar in concept to Swedish meatballs, only smaller and fried). Not bad, but I like Grandma's meatballs better.

We wandered around various other parts of the park, admired the Orientalist decor, and went in the tent with all the ancient animatronic elves and bears. We listened to people screaming on the roller coasters, but we didn't go on any rides. That's the cool thing about Tivoli--if you packed a lunch, you really wouldn't have to spend any money outside the entrance fee in order to have a good time. Give the kitschy awesomeness of the rest of the place, the rides seem almost superfluous.

Review: A++ WOULD GO AGAIN :)