I just got back from a glorious trip with my family and husband to Denmark. The trip was about coming together as a family and celebrating my Dad’s 70th birthday (which is technically in October.) My Dad is 100% Danish and so off we went (zillions of suitcases later) to see lots of relatives and embrace the Danish culture for ten days. As a family we collectively took over 1700 photos and as much as I would love to post all, I have selected some favorites to enjoy. I learned so much about the culture and will share little snippits of information along this entry…as we step back in time a bit.
We landed and were surprised at the Copenhagen airport by my cousin Mie (doctor, mother of two, and all around amazing young woman!) and her two precious children, Maise and Storm. Little Storm was so excited to see our family and waived the Danish flag proudly. It was an emotional moment for all.
We stayed in the heart of Copenhagen at a wonderful hotel right on the harbor. The breakfasts were incredibly indulgent (countless fruits, excellent fresh breads, yogurts, dried fruits, wienerbrød , eggs of all sorts, cold and hot meats, fiske (fish), creamy cheeses of all varieties, salads, and pipping hot coffee in nice thermoses at each table in the restaurant). I am a herring (marinated fiske) addict so I actually enjoyed this at breakfast (amongst everything else of course).
Part of the breakfast selection each morning…
Walking around town with cousin Mie, Storm, and my little sister Ashley
Biking is a huge part of Copenhagen life. Hundreds of commuters line the streets in Copenhagen each day cycling through town to get to their respective destinations. The streets are marked very well and cyclists have designated lanes that are very clear and make biking seamless, easy, and a functional part of life. Notice the gorgeous church behind us (right near the royal families home.)
My Dad channeling his days having worked at a famous Danish beer factory “Tuborg” when he was very young (legal drinking age in DK is 18!)
This is what happens when you drink too much Tuborg…I snapped this pic of these Danish guys near our hotel…sun was out…nice way to ease the pain I suppose.
Or I suppose this is what happens…hazing witnessed from my sister who snapped these pics of “Vikings” in the center part of the city. Not to worry, it was red paint on his face.
Gorgeous boats everywhere along the harbor in Copenhagen
Selling fresh fruits along the infamous Nyhavn (a 17th century waterfront and canal district in Copenhagen)
Furry new friends along the streets of Copenhagen. I was amazed at how incredibly accommodating all the Danes were allowing me to not only take pics of their precious pooches but more so wait till I captured the perfect photo. The Danes are notoriously kind, gentle, and even-keeled people..friendly and very happy people.
One furry older pooch carrying its owners tissues down the street. I couldn’t resist…
I love this photo of a stately older man and his dog in a basket. In fact many Danes push their large and small dogs around in baby prams.
Lunch always consisted of traditional smørrebrød (utterly perfect open face sandwiches on rye breads)
Garden lunch at my Dad’s cousin Henrik’s home
Lunch was served on slate plates. Very chic and minimalist
Henrik serving lunch al fresco
We spent an afternoon and evening at Tivoli Gardens (the park opened on August 15, 1843 and is the second oldest amusement park in the world)
My Mom and I on a ride having too much fun!
Ashley and Storm on a children’s ride
Baby Maise and her papa Rune at Tivoli
Baby Maise and I at Tivoli….she is the best little girl ever. So happy and with the appetite of a lion!
Many go to Tivoli at night as the lights are so spectacular. This is a hotel at Tivoli…will run you 1K a night. Sleep tight!
On Rutschebanen, or as some people call it, Bjergbanen (the Mountain Coaster), built in 1914. It is one of world’s oldest wooden roller coasters that is still operating today. An operator controls the ride by braking down the hills so it won’t gain too much speed.
This ride lasted 2 minutes and 12 seconds flipping around. I absolutely hated it and called it the “ride from hell”. My eyes were closed the entire time as I screamed non-stop. And us upside down. Yuck. Never again! Can you spot the cousins in a row together with “thumbs up?”
Happy Birthday Dad (Dad is “Far” in Danish) Lights at Tivoli…so pretty! The towns outside of Copenhagen are so very charming. Buildings date back to the 1600s in many cases and streets are all lined with cobblestones. This is the town my Dad grew up in called Helsingør. It was so special taking my husband to see this little town where I have many fond memories as a child visiting my Farmor (English for Father’s Mother…grandma as we would call it). Look at how crooked this building is. It is hundreds of years old…my Dad’s tutor lived here I believe.
Many of the homes in Denmark are simply spectacular! This one was along the sea. If you can afford a home along the sea you are “penalized” with an extra tax which is essentially a water tax for the wealthy.
Some grand building in Copenhagen that was next to our hotel.
Windmills on a coast drive
Changing of the guards at the main Royal Palace in Copenhagen (Amalienborg).
Kronborg castle in the town of Helsingør. Immortalized as Elsinore in William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, Kronborg is one of the most important Renaissance castles in Northern Europe. The castle’s story dates back to a stronghold, Krogen, built by King Eric VII in the 1420s. Walking through it is a must-see experience. You can only begin to imagine how freezing it was for the prisoners (yes it was used as a prison from 1739 to the 1900s, soliders, and the royals. No boat could pass the strait near the castle without paying massive fees (the captain of every ship sailing through had to state the value of ship’s cargo.) Money that had to be paid to the King of Denmark was then calculated depending on the value of the cargo. Denmark became very wealthy as a result!
My grandma’s old apartment looked straight out to Kronborg…pretty amazing view!
Couldn’t resist this shot of a woman taking a brief moment of pause from her job at a restaurant. Red on red.
Have you ever seen a smaller car? I believe these were very popular some time ago in Europe
Antiques market in Copenhagen….we bought a few small items from him…
I am a Viking!
Early one morning we biked throughout Copenhagen and witnessed this little girl in her PJs getting wienerbrød (pastries) with her friend. The bakeries smell so divine- even from down the street!
Frederiksborg Palace or Frederiksborg Castle is a palace in Hillerød. It was built as a royal residence for King Christian IV and is now a museum of national history.
The most impressive champagne “boat” on display in the palace made of solid gold and large enough to hold 10 plus bottles.
A bed in display in the palace. A heart shield in front of the bed (beds were much smaller and shorter back then)
500 years of Danish history, illustrated by portraits, history paintings, furniture and decorative art are in the palace. Here you encounter people and events that have shaped Danish history from the Middle Ages to the 21st century.
Christian V was the first king to be anointed, and he established the Chapel of the Orders, where shields depicting the coats-of-arms of knights were hung. I cannot even express how many hundreds of gorgeous shields were everywhere in the Chapel of the Orders and the spiral stairwell going up to the chapel.
Hot or Not? Ladies…comes on…he is tall and manly…no? I don’t want to hear you complain about height again if I match you to him!
Amazing gold ballroom. Imagine the grand parties that were once thrown here at the palace. Now visitors can walk through and enjoy the incredible art on display.
Exquisite piano with the finest painted scenes
There was something about this portrait. If I lived back then, I would have wanted him as my match.
My match in front of the palace!
Plaster-like casts of animals of all kinds adorn the walls in one room at the palace. Real animal horns add a three-dimensional element.
We visited my Dad’s cousin one evening for a lovely meal. She made the most perfect hazelnut meringue with fresh whipped cream and perfectly ripe berries on top.
Per, Kirsten, and Dad
This is a photo taken outside of a very popular new chocolate shop that is sprouting up all over Copenhagen called Summerbird. They feature
miniflødeboller and flødebollen (these are chocolate dome-like creations filled with passion fruit, whipped cream, marshmallow, marzipan, etc). Divine!
It wouldn’t be right if I didn’t mention the kartoffel- Danish for potato. Looks like a chocolate potato but filled with fresh whipped cream and covered in thin marzipan and chocolate dust. It ended up being my husbands favorite dessert in Denmark. All bakeries carry these naughty desserts.
We had a wonderful evening at cousin Mie’s home for dinner. Spiderman made a guest appearance!
Mie and rune brought in sushi for our dinner. Sushi has become very popular in Denmark.
We enjoyed a lovely home cooked meal and visit at our relatives home. Christian and his wife Trine were the most gracious hosts ever.
If you like shrimp, you would have been very happy at this dinner at Christian and Trine’s home. These fresh shrimp are only available in Denmark. Christian shows us how to remove the head of the shrimp. Christian prepared potatoes in their bed…an ancient method of cooking. They were delicious! Kids do not attempt this at home without supervision.
Generations of cousins….Christoffer and Sebastian- both incredible soccer players!
Mie was so sweet to take us to a very hip and low key bar one night completely off the beaten path. Interestingly, the locals knew my sister, husband, and myself were Americans. I asked the bartender and a few locals why? They said were were “extra happy” and “had an aura” about us. I thought with the blond hair we would have fit in…guess not. 😉 We met some locals from a startup that is like the Yelp of Scandinavia. We had lots of laughs and a great evening! The guy on the right of my sister commutes daily from Sweden to Denmark for work. He is the “big boss” of the company who was taking out his colleagues for a fun night of dinner and drinks.
A tree with private messages of all kinds at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. Louisiana art museum is located directly on the shore of the Øresund Sound in Humlebæk and is the most visited art museum in Denmark with an extensive permanent collection of modern and contemporary art.
More to come….Linx visits Sweden!