Fall and Family in Copenhagen, Denmark

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We found a cheap flight from Malaga to Copehagen and decided to take advantage of it, and the nice fall weather to take a trip to Denmark.  Immediately after arriving in Copenhagen, we took the train for a quick weekend trip to Gothenburg, Sweden.  On Sunday, we took the 3 1/2 hour train ride back down to Copenhagen, where we spent the next few days enjoying this lovely city.

Here are some of our highlights:

Tivoli Gardens

One of our highlights of our trip (and one of A’s highlights of his year, according to his own blog post he is currently working on) was our day at Tivoli Gardens, the second-oldest amusement park in the world, located right in the middle of Copenhagen, dating back to the mid-1800s.IMG_8968 (2).JPGAs everything in Denmark, it was quite expensive, both for entry and for the rides, but the boys had an absolute blast!  Since N is a bit nervous about rides, we opted for the quite expensive unlimited rides passes for the two big kids and C, and N and I just bought tickets for a few rides as we went.  IMG_8991 (2)

IMG_9003 (2)The park was decorated in a fall/Halloween theme, which was fun to experience coming from Southern Spain and its distinct lack of falling and changing-color leaves.IMG_9010 (2)With their unlimited ride passes, the big boys outlasted us, and stayed at the park until dark, enjoying one nice hot chocolate and the holiday lights before leaving.IMG_0050 (2)

Cycling around Copenhagen

Bikes are everywhere in Copenhagen.  Rush hour seemed to be primarily by bike instead of car, there were bike lanes on every road, bridge, sidewalk…wherever! Cyclists all seem to understand and follow the very strict rules and customs around the bikes, and there were huge parking lots of bikes everywhere.  I absolutely loved to see this, and was scheming about how I could move to Copenhagen and get a job, just so I could commute to work on my bike!  IMG_8964 (2).JPGSo, when in Copenhagen….

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The guys at the bike rental shop said this cargo bike is booked every single day in the summer, so we were lucky to be there in the fall when this was available!

One morning, we rented bikes from beCopenhagen.  They were really helpful, getting us situated with our bikes and giving us a detailed route to follow.  We got an adult bike for me, a minivan-type cargo bike for C and two of the boys (usually N and L, but A swapped in there for a little while too) and a kids bike.  We had so much fun touring around the city on the bikes. IMG_9039 (2)

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I don’t know what this building is, but it was SO cool. I think it was some sort of church.

We even gave the boys in the cargo bike one of the phones so they could take pictures en route.IMG_0052 (2).JPG

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Riding bikes through Copenhagen was slightly daunting (the Danish are serious about their biking norms and don’t tolerate much deviation), but also SUPER fun.  it was such a nice way to see a big chunk of the city and feel a bit like a local.

Walking through the city

Copenhagen is a great city to walk (or bike) around.  We took their very easy and convenient bus system for longer distances around the city, but we also explored the central areas on foot or on bike.  Some of the things we saw walking and cycling through the city include:

Nyhavn

IMG_9021 (3)This harbor area of Copenhagen is possibly the most photographed spot in the city.  It is truly adorable, with bright colored buildings lining the waterway.  We didn’t stop here and sit at one of the many cafes because we had just started our bike ride through the city, but enjoyed the ride past, and a quick stop for a few pictures.IMG_9022 (3).JPG

Christiansborg Palace

IMG_8844 (2).JPGThe Christiansborg Palace, is home to the Danish Parliament and Prime Minister’s office.  We were there on a Monday and it was closed to visit, so we didn’t get inside, and instead we enjoyed walking around the outside, watching horses from the Royal Stable prancing around, and catching a changing of the guard.IMG_8851 (2).JPG

Rundetaarn (Round Tower)

IMG_8924 (2).JPGWe walked through one of the main shopping areas, on Strøget street to the Rundetaarn, or Round Tower. IMG_8928The Rundetaarn is a 17th century tower and observatory.  The tower offers a great view from the top, but the best part was, believe it or not, the climb up to the top. Instead of a cramped and steep winding staircase in some corner of the tower (of which we have climbed a few!), the entire center of the round tower was a large, gently inclining spiral walkway. IMG_8929 (2).JPGAt the bottom of the walkway, we picked up a free scavenger hunt game, where we answered questions found on the windows as we climbed.  It was a great distraction to the climb.  IMG_8933 (2)Once we answered all the questions on the scavenger hunt, we arrived at a short stairway that led to the top and outside, where we had a nice 360-degree view of Copenhagen.IMG_8943 (2).JPG

Rosenborg Castle & Gardens

IMG_9106 (2).JPGOn a sunny fall afternoon, we walked to the Rosenborg Castle, to see the stunning castle and its gardens, alive with fall colors.  Rosenborg Castle was built in the 1700s, and though we chose to not walk through the inside, I was amazed by the beauty of its exterior.IMG_9120 (2)

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Børsen building

IMG_8888 (2)This was just a very cool building near the main shopping area and Christiansborg Palace, which used to be the city’s stock exchange building in the 17th century.

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Eating

Though we found food to be very expensive in Denmark, we did have a few really tasty meals.

First and foremost, I have to mention the classic danish food – the cinnamon roll! (okay maybe these are Swedish, or maybe I just think of them as Swedish because they serve them at Ikea. In any case, they are definitely very prevalent in Denmark).  Our first morning, we found a great bakery to get our daily cinnamon roll. Yum!

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In the main shopping area, we stopped one day for a delicious but quite expensive (though a fairly average price in Copenhagen) lunch at Royal Smushi Cafe.  The restaurant specializes in the typically Danish open-faced sandwich, the Smørrebrød, along with great desserts.

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Some of our smushies, the open faced sandwiches. We ordered 6 for the 4 of us (N wasn’t interested

Another food worth mentioning is hot dogs – we ate our year’s quota of hot dogs in Demark, since it was a readily available and cheap lunch option in a country without a lot of affordable options.

Overall, we would rate Copenhagen a big thumbs up. What a fun town to explore – on foot and on bicycle!

 

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