Sunday, June 27, 2010

Item From the Past: Tivoli, København

Lørd. 18. juni 1983

Tivoli has a lot of what you'd expect at an amusement park, such as junk food and baubles for sale at high prices, but also has features Six Flags (say) lacks, such as slot machines and roulette wheels. At first I wandered around, enjoying the crowd and the lake and the flowers. I rode the roller coaster and some other rides, not bad but not the adrenaline rush North American amusement-park rides try to be, and also visited the hall of mirrors. Then I went into the odd Louis Tussard's Wax Museum -- founded by a descendant of Mme Tussard, it seems -- at the Hans Christian Andersen Castle. [Owned by Ripley Entertainment, and since closed. Believe it or not.]

Odd as in an odd mix of historic figures in wax and current celebrities in wax. Wax Hitler and Wax Einstein were seated at the same table, facing each other over a chess set. They were playing chess, in fact. Except that they weren't: the pieces seemed to be on the board randomly. Nearby, Wax John Travolta was dressed for the 2001 Odyssey.

Enjoyed the Hall of Danish Kings & Queens, though I realize how little I know about this particular monarchy. Best dressed: Christian IV, who had the sartorial advantage of living in the 17th century.

After the wax museum, I caught a clown-and-elephant act on an open-air stage, and then joined Rich and Steve for dinner. Fine roast pork for me, at a more reasonable price than I expected from an amusement park. Afterwards the three of us saw some aerial acrobatics by two men in tights and two women in white-sequin bikinis, then settled in for a concert by the Tivoli Symphony Orchestra, also known as the Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra. [I like the Danish name: Sjællands Symfoniorkester.]

I didn't recognize everything they played (one piece was by Beethoven; other selections were from Pictures at an Exhibition) but they played wonderfully, especially the guest violinist, one Cho-Liang Lin, originally from Taiwan, I believe. The conductor, a Korean named Myung-Whun Chung, had a lively set of moves.

The ballet afterward was less compelling, and I had to stretch my legs anyway, so I wandered over to the slot machines. Fun for a few minutes -- and a quick way to lose 30 kroner, which I did. Rich did, too. At exactly 11:45, the fireworks started, pretty much straight up from where we were standing, in among a large crowd. Colors lit up the sky, then ashes rained down on us.

2010 Update. I don't know if I'll ever make it back to Denmark, but here's a reason to go: Exact Replica Of Graceland Under Construction In Denmark. Full story here.

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