After an adventurous, usually noisy, and often-surprising 5 months in Asia, it was time to head west for quieter, more expensive pastures. Copenhagen it is! I am half Danish by blood, and Cory is half Danish by marriage (as if you didn't already know...the Danes are such a fiercely proud national people I can't imagine meeting a Dane and not knowing it!). I spent quite a bit of summer time in my childhood in Denmark, and it was time to take a few weeks to take Cory on a walk down the memory lane of my childhood. As that lane was paved with pastries, beer and blond women, he was quick to oblige :)
|Cycling like a Dane
Most of our days went as follows: wake up, start tea kettle, enjoy the schoolyard full of little blond children outside while tea boils, put out breakfast of fresh bakery bread, butter, cheese, marmalade and yogurt (and tea, of course!). See San Diegan friends on facebook hanging out at the beach, bundle up for the very brisk mid-september weather, and head out for the day. Fetch our rented bicycles from the yard and join the hordes of Danes bicycling off to their respective destinations. See one of the below spots, then stop for lunch (either at a polse stand, kebab shop, or find a spot to eat our homemade sandwiches). It's just way too expensive to eat out at night, or even have more than one beer in a bar, so evenings were either early in for dinner sandwiches and cheap wine, or strolling the city (until I felt like a little half Danish icicle, that is!). And somewhere along the day was at least one stop for pastries, of course.
|Our first Danish grocery trip!
|Cory's first polse
Eating pastries in Denmark is truly an art form. You know how in the US a pastry is called a "danish?" Yeah, there's a really good reason for that. Imagine a really really good "danish" with icing, custardy filling and fluffy, buttery crust. Now multiply the goodness by 1,000 and you have the entire category of danish pastries called Wienebrod (translates to Vienna bread): flaky, buttery, lightly sweet, and unbearably delicious! We of course took it upon ourselves to taste test various wienerbrod across the country, easily done by simply walking down the street and looking for a Kringle sign (the traditional wienerbrod shape), the sign that hangs outside every worthwhile Danish bakery.
Our favorite destinations in Copenhagen:
- Carlsberg factory tour: this is a tour I used to do with my brothers when we were little, as our grandparent's apartment was across the street from the factory (nothing like sending your kids to the beer factory for free babysitting!). Good self guided tour, with 2 free beers and if you're me, a super long time in the Clydesdale stables!
- Tivoli Gardens: an expensive outing (thanks for sponsoring our visit, Mama!), but quite fabulous. Reasonably priced entry to just go in an stroll the gardens, stop in cafes for tea and cake with Copenhagen's elderly crowd, and attend the free concerts. Add the more expensive ride ticket for a thrill seeking day of roller coasters, carousel rides, trips to the fun house, Europe's oldest still running coaster, competitive bumper cars (I smoked cory!), and a nap-inducing but very lovely ride through Hans Christian Andersen's stories. And if you stay in the park until nightfall, the lights are just gorgeous!
|Cory the Viking
- Round Tower: built in 1642, with a wide enough ramp that the king could go up in his carriage, the Round Tower gives you great views over Copenhagen, as well as a little exercise making your way up the round ramp to the top (presuming you walk and leave your horse-drawn carriage outside).
|Round Tower Ramp
Overall Costs for Copenhagen: Total spent: $918 for 5 days (average of $184 per day)
Housing: $108 per night for an apartment close to the center of town
Transit: $10.62 per day (including a 3 day bicycle rental)
Food: $41 per day
Other: $18 per day
More photos from our adventures in Copenhagen: