Wednesday 5th June 2019 ko 17.00
2nd Division Group 2 Promotion- Denmark
BRØNSHØJ BK 0
VANLØSE 2 (AK Jensen 61 JC Jensen 90)
Entry 80 DKK (Approx £9.61)
Programme 20 DKK
With the Swedish Hop’s 13th edition being based once again in Trelleborg, and fiancee Robyn being a fan of all things Hans Christian Andersen it was remarkable that we hadn’t visited Copenhagen previously. Then there was the Danish concept of Hygge roughly translated as cosiness to consider too. The Danish are considered to be the world’s happiest nation, so as the plane touched down at Kastrup and I limped through customs I wanted to see if I could tap into the concept.
Once again Robyn and I were joined by Sim, best man for next year and his brother Adrian. We make, I think, a good team and it was good to relax for a while at our hotel in the suburb of Tårnby close to the railway station. We got rather used to the trains being every 20 minutes..
Normally our approach to getting around is the same buying a mass transit pass, at a stroke making travel easy to budget. Here we took a twist on that idea, and bought 72 hour “Copenhagen Cards” which covered entry to over 100 attractions and included our normal mass transit passes. I’d encountered the idea of a tourist card in other capital cities, and always took the view that you’d need visit too much to make the card pay for itself to relax on your holiday! This version seemed to break even at roughly two attractions a day so we all took the plunge! The alternative if you don’t go down our route is to buy either the “Big” or “Small” travelcard, the small version covers just the main part of Copenhagen, while the big version covers the entire Copenhagen area, and its this that is included in the Copenhagen card.
A boat trip was also included and both a good way to relax after our flight and to help orientate ourselves, and did have the bonus of a meeting with the smallest and greatest icon of Copenhagen, the Little Mermaid. Yes I did very quietly despair of the tourist who moaned that “She isn’t very big!” Isn’t the clue in the name?
Our first full day in Copenhagen turned out to be both a public holiday, “Constitution Day” and a General Election too. The latter proved to be impossible to avoid, everywhere you looked there were signboards with the name, party and photo of someone you felt they really ought to be elected. The oddity, and I assume its a legal requirement, that no poster actually had any proposed policy on it. I suppose you had to look up their party affiliation!
We made full use of those Copenhagen Cards, and in particular the inclusive travel. That included an hour-long train trip north to Helsingør situated on the narrowest part of the Øresund Strait between Denmark and Helsingborg on the Swedish side. Because Danish laws on alcohol purchase are more lax than in Sweden the first shops you see by the ferry port are off licences…
But alcohol is the last reason why Helsingør is famous. Kronborg castle is a UNESCO World Heritage site being one of the finest examples of a Renaissance style castle. It should be seen in a sense as being part of twin castles, I visited Kärnan also built by the Danes 7 years ago, and yes I did go and watch Helsingborg afterwards! But as wonderful as the castle is, its the Shakespearean connection that really gives it it’s fame.
Styled “Elsinore” the castle is the setting for William Shakespeare’s play “Hamlet” and scenes from the play were being acted out as we walked round. It was rather eerie seeing “Poor Yorick’s” skull! For as much as we enjoyed the sightseeing there was a game to be watched, although with the public holiday having the kick-off time pulled forward to 5pm did mean we left Helsingør earlier than was ideal.
Our thanks go to locally based hopper Michael Petersen whose help and advice was invaluable, in finding what was available to see and advice on how best to get there. As is usually the case it meant retracing our steps back to the capital’s main railway station, Copenhagen Central, then taking local trains and buses north to Tingbjerg.
The suburbs of Tingbjerg and Brønshøj are villages which slowly became absorbed into greater Copenhagen. The areas have strong military connections, but were extensively rebuilt in the 1950’s by architect Steen Eiler Rasmussen. The result is a preponderance of concrete high-rise buildings that have often been used to house immigrants making a new home in Denmark.
Perhaps then it’s no surprise that Brønshøj BK’s ultras are very much modelled on the anti-fascist model adopted by the likes of St Pauli and Clapton. They certainly made for a noisy and colourful evening!
Danish club football has the national Superliga at its pinnacle with the 1st Division (also national) below it. Brønshøj play in the 3rd tier 2nd Division which is regionalised into 3 groups. Below Division 2 there is the Denmark Series with its 4 regional groups, with the local Copenhagen, Funen, Zealand and Jutland FA’s providing their own series below that. Unlike Sweden just over the Øresund Bridge, and the rest of Scandanavia football in Denmark is a winter sport so this game was part of a “post-split” playoff series, and boy had Michael had found us an interesting tie!
I only really picked up it when I called in at the press box for a teamsheet, and I was quickly asked whether I was with Vanløse? If Brønshøj’s history includes a stint in the Danish top flight, then near near neighbours Vanløse have Michael Laudrup as a famous ex-player. It didn’t seem a particularly nasty rivalry, there was no segregation and the stewarding was relaxed.
But you could tell what it meant and I certainly sensed Brønshøj’s pain at defeat, even if their players still had the good grace to thank their fans afterwards. We caught the sauna-cum-2B bus back to Copenhagen Central at ended up at a funny little pizzeria back at Tårnby with a whole heap of stories to tell. I can’t say we found any sense of hygge during those 36 hours or so, perhaps we moved too quickly for that! But those beers back at the hotel did hit the spot!