The Little Mermaid

The Little Mermaid
The Little Mermaid

The first post on my trip to Copenhagen has to be on The Little Mermaid statue because anyone who has never been to Copenhagen and has heard of only the most well known sites there would expect a first post on Copenhagen to be on the Little Mermaid. You wouldn’t want to disappoint them, would you? (Tivoli Gardens is another post people will expect out of a Copenhagen visit. They’ll get it, but I’ll save it for later. Because I’m still on vacation, I don’t know how quickly I’ll pump these out. Screw ‘em if they can’t wait.)

First, the dry facts. The bronze statue was sculpted by Edvard Eriksen and installed in 1913. It has been decapitated a couple of times, but restored. Damn, there are some really sick people in the world aren’t there? I’m referring to the decapitators, not the restorers, of course. I don’t know if the restorers are also sick, but if they are at least they compensate by doing some good work too.

Eriksen sculpted The Little Mermaid in tribute to the famous fairy tale of the same name by Hans Christian Andersen. Hans Christian Anderson was Danish so it makes sense that the statue of The Little Mermaid is in Copenhagen rather than in, say, Cairo.

Now for my colourful description. It’s a statue. Of a mermaid. It’s is a dark green colour. It’s sitting on a rock by the sea.

I had read that, upon seeing it for the first time, tourists are often surprised by how small The Little Mermaid statue is. I’m a tourist. I was seeing it for the first time. However, because I had the foresight to read about it before going to see it, I was prepared. I was prepared to see a tiny sculpture that would require a magnifying device to see it.

It’s not that small. That’s a good thing because I forgot to bring a magnifying device.

I would say that it would be about life-size if mermaids were real. Of course, this one was based on a fictional mermaid because to see a real mermaid you’d have to travel to another world or possibly a parallel universe. Traveling to other worlds and parallel universes is horrendously expensive, so I wouldn’t recommend it.

Well, this turned out to be a rather short post, didn’t it? You’re probably thinking that you’re not getting your money’s worth. Alright, alright. I’ll also describe some of the sites you’ll see along the way if you walk along the promenade leading from the center of the city to The Little Mermaid.

Noah's Ark Museum
Noah’s Ark Museum

Do you see the picture on this page of a strange-looking boat? Does it remind you of Noah’s Ark? If not, the owners will be very disappointed. It’s supposed to. It’s a Noah’s Ark museum. I didn’t go inside because the signage on the outside was only in Danish, so I was afraid that everything inside would be in Danish as well and I don’t speak a word and I didn’t want to pay the admission charge for that experience. Besides, I wasn’t in the mood for a museum about a fictional story.

The only reason I can think of for this existing is the people who build it wanted to prove that the Noah’s Ark story was false. I think it was supposed to be built to scale. There’s no way Noah would have coaxed a couple of elephants, let alone a two of each of the other species on the planet, on to that boat and convince them to stay through 40 days and 40 nights of rain, plus drying time, without committing suicide due to claustrophobia. Oh, wait, I get it. The owners were following The Little Mermaid theme of stuff based on fiction.

The David in Copenhagen
The David in Copenhagen

I was also surprised to find a replica of Michelangelo’s statue of David on the promenade. One expects to see that in Florence, not Copenhagen. This version was cast in metal, not stone, and it had aged to be coated with a green patina. Or maybe it started with a green patina. How the hell would I know?

One other thing of note along the way was a replica of a Viking ship. Signs hung on both sides of the gangway to the ship. One one side, the sign was exclusively in English and said, “Sail as as Viking.” The sign on the other side was in Danish. I assume it said the same thing in that language. But, again, how the hell would I know?

Sail as a Viking
Sail as a Viking

Sail as a Viking? What the hell does that mean? You go out sailing, attack a town and proceed to rape and pillage? I don’t know Danish law, but I suspect that’s frowned upon these days. And, if I were The Little Mermaid I’d seek police protection with these guys around.

So, do you think you’ve got your money’s worth from this post now? Hey, wait a minute. You didn’t pay anything to read this. Damn right you got your money’s worth, I’d say.

Been there? Done that? Do tell.