Denmark! Our second-to-last destination!
I know a ton of you have already been here.. right? You ALREADY KNOW this is the Land of the World’s Happiest People… Bike Swarms… Hygge… Hamlet… Niels Bohr… LEGO… Sausage Wagons… Smørrebrod… Trunk-rides for Princess and the Pea… Vikings… The Egg… and the Christiania “Greenlight District”. Coolness!
Oh you haven’t? Not sure what those all are? I gotcha.
Walking and Canal’ing Copenhagen
With Copenhagen’s free walking tours getting super-high ratings on TripAdvisor, we were sold! The tour guides were terrific and we learned a bunch about the city and the Danish people (eg. no security guards protecting the entrance to the palace… a 200% tax on buying a car! No wonder there’s so many bikes). On the tour we met some nice new people and spent an afternoon exploring further afield with a new friend, Martin, from Germany.
One really interesting find for us: the district of Freetown Christiania – with its NO PHOTOS signs and paintings EVERYWHERE. Christiania is the “autonomous neighborhood” of Copenhagen, where you have to apply and get the approval of the current residents to move in. Filled with unusual houses and absent ANY commercial signage (there’s no Starbucks, no McDonald’s…) it’s also home to the “Greenlight District” where face-mask covered pushers (they refer to themselves that way) are selling hash on tables in the street. It was a thoroughly interesting place!
Most of our 3.5 days in Denmark were in Copenhagen, walking the streets, riding through the canals, and eating Danish delicacies from hot dogs (yes, really good hot dogs!) to Smørrebrod. Oh .. and the twins were excited to get a birthday gift at the flagship LEGO store!
One day we left Copenhagen and headed to Roskilde, a port city where the Danes had recovered 5 ancient Viking Ships and fully refurbished them. Here at “Viking Central”, you can climb aboard the modern replicas of these ships, see the woodworking techniques used by the Vikings a thousand years ago… and even participate in some Viking-attack role playing!
We had a fun time and some delicious fish in Roskilde.
And, of course, we couldn’t visit Copenhagen without hitting Tivoli, one of the world’s oldest amusement parks. Literally smack in the middle of the city, Tivoli still manages to transport you out of the urban center and into a delightful garden.
At night the lighting brings old-world charm to the place.. and in the daylight you can see just how thrilling some of the rides are. Of course, our favorite was a tie between the Hans Christian Andersen “trunk ride”, where you fly through scenes from his best-known stories, and the oldest roller coaster in Europe which STILL has a “ride operator” on the train with you — to apply the brakes manually!
Our last day day in Copenhagen was a bit sad– after visiting Tivoli we headed to the airport for the first-leg of our flight home. HOME!!! YOWZA! We’re taking advantage of Icelandair’s “free stopover” offer for five days of fun and sightseeing in the northernmost place we’ve ever been….