Our Trip to Denmark: Part 1

At the end of October, my family traveled to Denmark for two weeks.  It was such an unforgettable trip!  We combined my husband’s work-related travel to Copenhagen with a bit of sight-seeing and reconnecting with our family roots.  Jerod’s mother’s cousin (follow that?) Marlene lives about 30 minutes north of Copenhagen in Nivå, so after spending a little over a week in Copenhagen in conjunction with Jerod’s visit with DIS for his job, we headed up for some time with our extended family.  It happened that one of Jerod’s mom’s other cousins was also visiting at the same time, which was absolutely wonderful!  It was a joy to meet them, learn about their family, and connect over our shared ancestry.  Marlene planned a little “family ancestry tour” around the Danish countryside, which was truly the trip of a lifetime for us.  When else are we going to get a personalized road trip around Denmark during the peak of fall, complete with relevant personalized commentary?  Never!  It was such a treat.  We enjoyed wonderful company, beautiful sights, and delicious Scandinavian food.  I couldn’t have asked for a better fall adventure!

I have tons and TONS of photos from the trip, so it feels impossible to choose my favorites or the very best.  I’ve narrowed it down some, but there’s still too many.  So….I’m sharing this in two parts, that way you don’t all get sick of my travel photos!  The photos in my next post are more significant to me personally than artistically, particularly some of the places related to our families.  I don’t want to forget any of the fun facts and places we saw.  From the birth place of my great grandfather, to the field where an old tileworks (brickworks) used to be where Jerod’s great grandmother lived for a bit.  There are endless little stories I could tell about each photo – why we visited there, what the location is, and why it’s significant.  But for this post, it’s all the photos from the first part of our trip to Copenhagen!

 

This was our street in Copenhagen, and actually that’s our door to our Air BnB apartment we had for the week.  We were about one block from Strøget, which is a popular pedestrian shopping area and close to central Copenhagen.  The location of our apartment was fabulous, and it was really quite cute and quaint.  However, we ended up getting a lot of slack from the neighbors when our 10 month old had two rough nights of sleep, which was slightly annoying.

 

Christiansborg Castle.

Nyhavn on a rainy gray Saturday.  It was pretty quiet!  We ended up deciding to go for a harbor tour on a whim, and it was lots of fun!

The view from our harbor tour boat.  I highly recommend doing the tour – it was a fun way to see Copenhagen, and you learn lots of little historical facts.

We actually didn’t finish the harbor tour because Soren was getting incredibly tired and fussy.  Thankfully, it’s a hop-on hop-off kind of tour, so we just jumped off near our flat.  Within minutes of putting Soren in the stroller, he fell asleep.  Lol!  We had hoped to go back to our flat for lunch, but that seemed silly now that Soren was sleeping – we might as well go do something, right?  So…

We went to Tivoli Gardens!  This was easily one of the most fun experiences I’ve ever had.  I’ve been to quite a few amusement parks, and I tend to love them, but there was something magical and fun about Tivoli.  Maybe it was the festive fall and Halloween decorations, or maybe it was because it was our first time taking our kids someplace like this, but we had SO much fun!  We spent about 3 hours there and could have easily spent more time. We even debated coming back after dinner to see all the lights at night, but by that point, we were all pretty tired from such a long day!

In my opinion, the decorations, themes, and just playful nature of Tivoli far surpassed any other amusement park I’ve ever been to.  Disney World comes close, but Tivoli was so much more charming.  I really loved it!

We got one small pack of ride tickets and took turns going on a few rides with Gus.  He loved the vintage cars, but I think his absolute favorite was the “big” rollercoaster.  I was a bit nervous he would be scared since it went into a dark mountain and was quite a bit more adventurous than anything we’d ever done with him, but he LOVED it!  My little daredevil, lol!

The Halloween decorations were everywhere – it was amazing how much they did!

We had originally planned this trip back in June, and one thing that neither of us really thought about was the fact that it would be fall.  It seems like such a simple thing, but when there feels like there’s no seasonal change in Barcelona (the leaves do fall, but not all of them) it’s easy to forget that there’s all these gorgeous colors.  So it was kind of a nice pleasant “surprise” to experience a beautiful Danish fall.  The colors were beautiful!  A lot of Denmark reminded me of New England, actually – similar colors, climate, and even just personality of the people.

About five minutes after I took these next few photos, it started to rain.  We had a LOT of rain while we were in Copenhagen, but we tried not to let it keep us from having a good time.  Thankfully, this burst of moisture only lasted a few minutes.  Long enough for us to take a quick snack break and get back to having fun.

I may have to frame this one and put it up in our house – I love it!

The next day, Jerod was officially starting his workshop time at DIS, so I was mostly on my own with the boys.  Because of our central location in Copenhagen, we could walk nearly everywhere.  And that’s basically what we did!  We saw castles, parks, museums, waterways, pretty much everything we could.  Probably our top favorites other than Tivoli were the National Museum of Denmark (they have a FABULOUS children’s area that we could have spent all day at), Rosenborg Castle, Round Tower, Papier Island (this is where the massive food market is, but apparently they are tearing it down soon!), and the Lego store 🙂

Gus received a balloon sword one day on our walk….and Soren got a puppy.  Neither lasted very long!

Nyhavn on a sunny day – so beautiful!

The Strøget.

He wanted some of big brother’s croissant :-p

We had one evening that I decided we go for a walk over to Christiansborg Slot so we could go up to the tower for a view of the city.  It was a gorgeous evening!

We had to take Soren to visit Soren Kierkegaard 🙂

The Round Tower with some more views of Copenhagen.  It was a cool thing to do, though I think the views from the castle are better (and free!)

Kings garden’s at Rosenborg Castle.  The fall colors were stunning!

Rosenborg Castle

Towards the end of our week in Copenhagen, we had seen most of the popular sites and were ready to do something different.  After a bit of research the night before, I decided we would attempt taking the train to Malmo, Sweden.  I figured that we were already very close, so why not?  It ended up being a bit of a production to make it happen, but I’m glad we went, even if it was just for 2 hours.  Lol!


Walking around in Sweden – it was beautiful!

Back in Copenhagen by city hall.  The train to Malmo takes about an hour since you have to switch trains at the airport.  I’m still not sure why I thought it would be easy to do with both boys by myself, but we managed!

Our last day in Copenhagen, we took the bus and then walked over to see the Little Mermaid.  It’s probably the most overrated tourist attraction I’ve ever been to, but it seemed criminal not to do it.  I actually enjoyed walking through the gardens a lot more than the actual statue!

Our last morning in Copenhagen, with a few photos on some of the historic streets near where we stayed.

One thing I don’t think I mentioned yet was food.  We ate out a few times, but restaurants in Copenhagen are definitely expensive.  And while generally speaking, Europeans are much more kid-friendly than Americans, it wasn’t always easy to find restaurants that seemed kid-appropriate.  Many places seemed far too fancy for a messy 10 month old and rambunctious 3.5 year old!  We actually ended up eating dinner at an Irish pub one night and had our own little dance party in the corner, which worked great!  The music was loud and crazy, just like our little family 🙂  We did enjoy the food in Denmark quite a bit, I just wish it was easier to eat out with two little kids.  It’s a reality we’ve learned to get used to, but it means we won’t be enjoying many finer eating establishments for a little while at least.  That just means we enjoyed some Danish street food and bakeries a lot more, which was fine by me!  We learned to love the hot dog stands (they are GOOD!) and found some delicious almond bars and other delightful Danish baked goods.  Yum!

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