After having a solid 6 hours or so of sleep on the plane we arrived in Copenhagen at 8:30 in the morning feeling ready to start exploring the city. We were impressed with the airport and how fast it was to get a driver to our hotel. After quickly checking in, we headed towards the center of the city, which just happens to be the shopping district. We stopped half way at an indoor/outdoor market. The market had a great selection of fresh fruit, vegetables, cheese, take away, food kiosks and of course beautiful Smørrebrød (hard to say, but easy to eat) which are fancy open face sandwiches.
We saw the food truck of “Hija de Sanchez” a Mexican place highlighted on a tv show – we vowed to come back when we had more of an appetite. We enjoyed walking along the streets and were impressed with how many people commute by bicycle (approx. 75% of workers) We checked out Illum Bolighus department store and the Royal Copenhagen China store/museum; it is always interesting to see other countries’ fashion and home accessories.
We took a quick nap and then had our first meal at “Host” – we were seated in a room that they called the “sweathearts’ garden”. We noticed our table had a flag of Denmark on it, as well as one other table. Our waitress told us that it is customary to put a flag on the table of people who were there celebrating an anniversary or birthday. (Happy 18th Anniversary to Us! Bevan deserves a medal.)
We had a wonderful meal – a great introduction to Nordic cuisine – our favorite course being ‘blue mussel soup with celiarac root’ – wish I was able to describle the taste because it was one of the most scrumptious soups I have ever tried – and like nothing I have experienced before.
Being in the center of cycling we thought it only fit to do a bike tour, and opted for the 4 hour neighbourhood tour offered by “Be Copenhagen”. We were lucky to have our guide almost to ourselves – there was one other couple from Victoria with us. Seeing the different neighbourhoods was very interesting and it was an experience to bike on the busiest commuting cycling street in the world during rush hour. Many of the locals have bikes with carts in the front that hold their children, groceries, dogs, etc.
The following day we decided to put Bevan’s newly achieved “personal watercraft operator’s license” to good use and rent a boat. We spent two hours on the open waters of the Baltic Sea / canals of Copenhagen. Seeing the buildings and monuments from the perspective of the water was completely different. We were lucky to have had sun as the forecast was for rain.
The black building in the photo montage above is a new library called “the Black Diamond” because when the sun is shining the side of the building sparkles from the reflection of the water.
The food here has been amazing – our most memorable meal was at a place called Marv & Ben – some of the most creative and tasty food that we have enjoyed in years. There was an older lady at the table across from me and it was apparent that she was enjoying herself as much as we were. She was dancing in her chair, drank the leftover sauce from the halibut dish, and even licked one of the plates. She giggled like a child when she realized we had caught her. Her enthusiasm definitely added to the joy of our evening, and we were lucky to be blown a kiss as we left. Again, photos don’t do justice —- but you can appreciate the creativity.
We didn’t do much else in Copenhagen – our last day was rainy – so we seeked shelter in the stores…..enjoyed more food, wine, snacks, and appreciated the beauty of Copenhagen. True to ourselves, we didn’t visit any museums or castles…..but did walk through the King’s garden.
The people of Copenhagen outshone the food, architecture and weather! Everyone we encountered were very friendly and positive. When we asked sales people, hotel staff, etc how they were, they replied, “Great – I am here at work”. We hope to bring some of their positive attitudes home with us.
What I learned:
1) Danish people are very happy and positive people. Their smiles go a long way to make you feel very welcomed.
2) I can cycle on a busy street without causing too much chaos. (I almost had a head on collision with another lady but her experience with tourists and her cat-like reflexes on her bike were to both of our advantage).
3) I still enjoy being in a place where I don’t understand the language.
4) The Danish design is a little bit (too) spartan. A well placed hook or shelf could really improve a room’s functionality.
5) I learned that I really like bread!!! The pumpernickel, brown and even white bread here is very flavorful- and the butter rivals the French.