TIVOLI GARDENS : a national treasure and an international attraction

 

Tivoli Gardens is a charming amusement park and pleasure garden situated in the heart of Copenhagen. It opened in 1843 which makes it the second oldest amusement park in the world, attracting over 4 million visitors a year. Rumour has it that after visiting the park, Walt Disney was deeply inspired by it and tried to emulate Tivoli’s fun, laid-back and inviting atmosphere during his creation of Disneyland.

As soon as you walk through the gates you’re greeted with the Moorish-inspired vision of Nimb, a lavish hotel with an out-door eating area, the perfect place for lunch and people watching. Needless to say it wasn’t within my budget, but that didn’t stop me gawping at it in the way I do when I’m wistfully looking at restaurant menus that are too expensive for me.

Admittedly, amusement parks are never usually my thing, but I was utterly charmed by Tivoli. Immediately falling in love with its vintage, old movie like appearance – being beautifully maintained and feeling as if you were stepping back in time. It doesn’t have that modern day, gimmicky atmosphere that many amusements parks have; you won’t see people dressed up in costumes or be subjected to loud, thumping dance music. Instead you’ll hear the sound of people laughing and chatting and experiencing a landscape that could easily have been found in a Hans Christian Andersen fairytale. It’s not surprise this place inspired Mr Disney.

I visited Tivoli once during the day and rode the ‘Daemon’ roller coaster which twirls and swirls whilst going upside-down at a terrifying speed. The ride doesn’t last very long which pleased me, because any longer and I might have lost my voice box from screaming so much! There are lots of gentler rides too, and a wide variety to suit all tastes and thresholds of fear! Something to note is that rides aren’t free once you pay your admission, instead you pay for them individually. There are three different pricing brackets which range from approximately £4.50 to a rather pricey £8.50 per ride.

One of the great things about Tivoli is that being located in the city centre it means you can leave and re-enter the park as often as you like. I therefore decided to visit at night too to see how it differed from the daytime. Luckily I was there on a Saturday night when they hold a spectacular fireworks display at 11:45pm, I know this is quite late for families with young kids but it’s worth letting them staying up for! Before the firework display all the rides are still in full swing and are lit up really elegantly, and there’s also a concert area with a brass band.

There’s a really romantic vibe during the late evening as couples hold hands on the rides, and the smell of food drifts out from the restaurants and lingers in the air. There are also quiet and dimly lit pockets to the garden and lakeside areas which attract fewer people. The lake looks stunning at night because it captures the reflection of nearby rides which light up in colours of gold, red, purple and blue. It’s also funny to see the hundreds of coy fish swimming and bobbing up their heads with open mouths at this time of night.


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The Top 5 Captivating Cities To Visit In Europe

1. Zagreb, Croatia

Travelers to Croatia tend to make a beeline for the Adriatic delights of the country’s extensive coastline, but its flourishing inland capital shouldn’t be overlooked. Zagreb is at once cosmopolitan and edgy, with its heady mix of Brutalist architecture and sun-splashed Austro-Hungarian squares brimming with coffee drinkers.

Urban regeneration is making the city over. Street art, particularly the striking works of local artist Lonac, adorn Zagreb’s outdoor canvasses and new galleries and creative spaces, including a recently reopened WWII bomb shelter under the Upper Town, are opening at an ambitious pace. To top it all off, the city is home to a blossoming food and craft beer scene, and with the opening of Zagreb’s long-awaited airport terminal, along with a host of new flight routes, it’s never been easier or cheaper to reach the Croatian capital.

2. Galicia, Spain

Hundreds of thousands of people stride across Galicia’s rolling green countryside every year, bound for Santiago de Compostela on the world-famous Camino de Santiago. But few are aware that this northwestern corner of Spain is a unique scenic-gastronomic-cultural cocktail that is a dream to explore beyond the Camino.

Almost a country unto itself, Galicia has its own language and history, its own (bagpipe-focused) music, a superb heritage of centuries-old stone architecture and wonderfully welcoming people. Over 1000km of coast snakes around long inlets, plunging cliffs, pretty fishing villages and hundreds of beaches. It yields some of the tastiest seafood you’ll ever savour, to which characterful Galician wines provide the perfect accompaniment. And 2017 is a special year to enjoy Galician wine and food, with Cambados celebrating the year as European City of Wine.

3. Northern Montenegro

If the cruise ships queueing by Kotor’s bay are anything to go by, the cat is definitely out of the bag for Montenegro’s stunning Adriatic coastline. Fortunately, overlooked Northern Montenegro is brimming with off-the-beaten-track adventures – without the crowds. What’s more, the country’s compact size and good roads make this remote region more ripe for exploration than you might have thought.

Adventure hunters can raft through Europe’s deepest canyon at Tara, or cycle through lunar landscapes around the Durmitor ring. Foodies are catered for in highland towns where you can savour Montenegro’s growing slow food scene with mountain cheeses and hearty beef stews; while history buffs can take a pilgrimage to stunning monasteries etched into cliff faces at Ostrog or nestled in breathtaking valleys at Morača.

4. Northern Germany

Travellers to Germany tend to be tempted by edgy Berlin or quaint Bavaria, but those keen on exploring a part of the country rarely experienced by international visitors should head north. The opening of Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie concert hall may be the big news in 2017, but beyond its architectural and acoustic glow awaits a windswept land tailor-made for those seeking an elemental exposure to nature.

This is big-sky country with a pristine coast hemmed in by shimmering beaches and buttressed by pint-sized islands. In between lie charismatic cities like Lübeck and Bremen that flaunt a medieval pedigree and are only a train ride away from such places as Lutherstadt Wittenberg and Eisenach, both of which played key roles in the Reformation launched 500 years ago this year.

5. Le Havre, France

One of the best places to be this summer is the Norman city of Le Havre, which will celebrate its 500th anniversary with a five-month-long, art- and music-filled fête. The harbour town will host concerts, outdoor art installations, avant-garde street parades, costumed dance parties and spectacular fireworks. Highlights include performances by the mechanized giants of Royal de Luxe and a floating Zen temple complete with underwater observation deck.

Despite Le Havre’s years, the city is a showcase of eye-catching modern architecture – including designs by the likes of Auguste Perret, Othello Zavaroni and Oscar Niemeyer – having been completely rebuilt after WWII. Le Havre is also a great base for exploring other parts of Normandy, from the famed D-Day beaches to the picturesque cliffs of Étretat.


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From a Ugly Bunker to a Hipster Paradise

Forget “poor but sexy.” The quote that best describes Berlin is from German cultural critic Karl Scheffler, who called it a city “condemned always to be becoming but never to be”. Many Berliners would see this as a blessing: the German capital is constantly reinventing itself, and when you’re here, you can too. Generations have come to escape the crushing weight of conventional life, to join an off-kilter milieu of artists and misfits, scholars and anarchists. But the city’s buildings, many still empty today, also hold the promise of reinvention.

Art collectors Christian and Karen Boros heard their call around 15 years ago, as they sought a home for their 700-piece contemporary collection. “We looked at old factories, schools, hospitals, swimming pools – everything empty. Places crying out, ‘Help! Give me a new use!’” In 2002, when they came upon what Boros calls “surely the ugliest building in Berlin” – a World War Two bunker in Mitte, at the time not yet Berlin’s hipster centre – it was love at first sight. To the city’s artists and art lovers, the Boros Collection has been an open secret ever since, the bunker’s hulking façade and spray-painted interior walls a handy metaphor for Berlin’s layered history.

The bunker has been re-purposed as Berlin’s coolest art space

The couple weren’t just looking for a way to reinvent the concept of a gallery, though. They wanted to rethink modern living as well. The improbable result was a penthouse atop the bunker, designed by the same architect. Their home isn’t part of the tour, but just knowing they’re up there is strangely compelling. It’s easy to imagine yourself into their lives; no doubt part of the charm of visiting any private art collection. “It’s not like I go down in my bathrobe every day and look at the art with a glass of red wine,” says Boros with characteristic wryness. “But the feeling of sitting on an accumulation – that I could go down at any time and look – is very nice.”

That feeling of richness – of being surrounded by culture – is familiar to all who spend time in Berlin. Indeed, it is one of the capital’s greatest strengths. The Boros Collection may not be a secret anymore, but in this city of constant reinvention, there are plenty of places now getting a second or even third lease of life. When asked about the fast pace of change in Berlin today, Boros is hopeful: “As long as so much is still being created here, this city will live on, not repeating itself, but reinventing itself.”


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Grand staircases spiraling into decay across Europe beautifully captured

Mesmerising images by a staircase-obsessed explorer reveal the wonderfully designed staircases spiralling into decay across Europe. Other eerie pictures from these undisclosed and supposedly secured buildings show different grand staircases with some covered completely dust and paint peeling off, whilst others feature hypnotic spiral designs.

A staircase photographed in France. Image by Romanelli Alessandro/Mediadrumworld.com

Urban explorer, Romanelli Alessandro (45), captured the images on a tour of Italy, France, Germany, Poland and Czech Republic.

A wonderful image of a staircase in Italy. Image by Romanelli Alessandro /Mediadrumworld.com

“Most of the buildings that have these staircases are closed to the public for being unsafe and to prevent vandalism or other types of intrusion.  What you see in these pictures is the absence of man. The one who creates and then forgets,” Romanelli said.

A wonderfully designed staircase in Italy.  Image by Romanelli Alessandro/Mediadrumworld.com

“People always build new things forgetting to preserve the beautiful and forgotten architectural wonders like the buildings with these staircases. I like the excitement of entering a place where life lives no more. I’m very jealous of what I find and take photographs of them.” Despite the buildings being abandoned, urban explorer Romanelli faced various dangers from the police, dogs, and security guards as all the sites are closed to the public. Many people appreciate what they see; a beautiful staircase photographed symmetrically,” the photographer explained.

An eerie picture from Poland. Image by Romanelli Alessandro/Mediadrumworld.com

“On some occasions, people do not comprehend the actual abandonment of a place and many are astonished by what they see.”


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Hundreds of buildings will be publicly accessible during Open House London in September 2017

If you are like us, you’re a tad noisy and love to have a little look around other people’s properties, Open House London may be the perfect event for you. This annual celebration of London’s architecture and design gives the public access for free to over 800 … Continue reading Hundreds of buildings will be publicly accessible during Open House London in September 2017