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Review in English: New excellent English-language, pocket-size guide to 100 green things to do and wiew when in COPENHAGEN

By Flemming André Philip Ravn, Denmark

Published on September 21, 2014.

© Copyright: Quotes require correct source reference.

  • Susanne Sayers and Poul Arnedal: "Copenhagen Green - The Guide: 100 green things to see and do in Copenhagen"
  • 223 pages. POCKET-SIZE. Price (paperback): 89-95 DKK.

    DENMARK/TOURISM: What to do and see when in Copenhagen? This question is an archetypal question a tourist may pose themselves when in the Danish capital, regardless of where they come from and how long they stay. Two Danish writers have written a handy guide with 100 exciting things to do and see. Read this webzine's editor, Flemming André Philip Ravn's positive review of Susanne Sayers & Poul Arnedal's book.

    THIS NEW COPENHAGEN guide book opens up with the promise that in few places of the world you can go from a bustling city centre to a veritable wilderness in under 15 minutes - but in Copenhagen you can. The new guide emphasises green activities to undertake as a visitor. The two authors have selected 100 places they find are among the most exciting places to visit and explore - with a preference for the city's green and sustainable places that represent a diversity of green life in and around Copenhagen.

    The two authors, Susanne Sayers and Poul Arnedal, recommend magnificent natural spectacles on the outskirts of the capital, and the good news is that you can easily get there and in a short period of time.

    The book provides an abundant 100 pieces of good advice, and each selected place is briefly decribed with directions and a photo showing the destination in question. Actually, the book is not only for tourists but may also appeal to expats living in Denmark, just as it may be an eye-opener to hardcore Danish downtown Copenhageners.

    * * *

    THE GUIDE BOOK is composed by several chapters whereof 10 refer directly to the following Copenhagen neighbourhoods:
    • Inner City
    • Christianshavn
    • Østerbro
    • Nørrebro
    • Vesterbro
    • Frederiksberg
    • Amager
    • Greater Copenhagen North
    • Greater Copenhagen West
    • Greater Copenhagen South
    Among other things, when in the Inner City, the guide suggests to its readers to visit The Botanical Garden where it is possible to experience "peace and contemplation amid a profusion of flowers". Furthermore, the area is weelchair-friendly. The authors explain:
    Away from the hustle and bustle of other large parkes in central Copenhagen, the Botanical Garden was designed for peace, tranquility and contemplation. Its rich and diverse flora and many shady trees create a pleasant atmosphere in which to relax and enjoy the wonders of the plant kingdom (p. 6).
    Likewise you may enjoy visiting the urban honey bees at the City Hall Square (Dan. Rådhuspladsen), having a picnic in the Royal Library garden or strolling along the cheerful Havnegade promenade at the harbour.

    Like a phoenix, Israel Square has risen from the "concrete desert" as Copenhagen's brand-new urban space. In Israel Square, the municipalities have provided the city-dwellers and tourists with new kinds of urban space, including basketball courts and arcades with shops, cafés and restaurants (Dan. Torvehallerne). The guide book explains why it may be interesting to pay this area a visit, how you get here and what you can do there ("activities"). It also provides some background data such as the area's history and accessibility for disabled people. As to Israel Square, the authors confirm that there is wheelchair access to many parts of the square.

    Another recommandation of a must-visit area, namely The King's Garden (Dan. Kongens Have), is also given. Why stay indoors when there are so many nice things to view? Outside Copenhagen's city center, the Bellevue Beach Park and Charlottenlund Fort are also recommened in the richer northen part of the capital. Moreover, nice areas like the Frederiksberg Gardens; the BaNanna Park of Nørrebro; Amager Beach Park; the Amager Nature Park (where the book's coverphoto of the cow has been shot; see below); Sorgenfri Palace Garden; Bispebjerg Cemetary and the Albertslund Bikeway are also recommended. As to the latter, the authors write this:
    The Albertslund Bikeway is Copenhagen's first bicycle superhighway for commuters. But it is also a green trail that explores the city from suburban gardens to dense urban districts. The route begins in idyllic fashion in a valley near a golf course. 17.5 kilometres later, you arrive, a little out of breath, at Vesterport Station, in the heart of the capital (...)

    The landscape varies greatly along the route, which crosses the Green Path in Frederiksberg, Damhus Lake, Grøndal Park and the West Forrest (...) The route is suitable fro wheelchairs (p. 198).
    As mentioned earlier, the book recommend 100 places to visit. There is no mention of museums or public institutions per se. Rather, the guide book concentrates on lush and green areas - and thus mostly outdoor areas.

    ALTOGHER THE COPENHAGEN GUIDE is well-written and the authors' choices of 100 areas to visit are well-picked. The book's design and layout are nice and reader-friendly. Furthermore, the book is illustrated with many lovely colour photos. The guide book comes in really handy because it is highly useful and you cannot wait to explore the various areas you read about. The only downside to the book is that it doesn't contain 200 areas to visit instead of 100. This said, however, one has enough excitement for several days even with 100 green recommandations.

    Copenhagen Green - The Guide is easy to read and is written in a nice and eloquent language. First and foremost the book is an indispensible tool when visiting or staying in the Danish capital, and the reader will get a lot of useful inspiration from reading it. It is light-weight, pocket-size and thus easy to bring along on excursions in and around Copenhagen.

    This easy-to-use guide book has been formidably translated into English from the Danish by Tam McTurk, Grace Fairley and Matt Evans.

    In addition to the handy pocket-size guide book, the authors encourage their readers to visit their online guide at this URL: www.copenhagengreen.dk (in English as well as in Danish).