This past week, the kids and I tagged along on a work trip taking place in Denmark. We drove most of the way to Copenhagen (a nine-hour trip) on Wednesday evening and then finished the trek Thursday morning. At that point, the kids and I ventured onto the train into the heart of Copenhagen.
Our first stop was the city hall square where we saw both the city hall building and a statue honoring what might be the most world-famous former resident of Denmark, Hans Christian Andersen.
After that, we strolled over to the Agnete and the Merman statue which is located under the water of a canal running through the city.
Next, we moved on to Christiansborg Palace and the old stock exchange building in the area.
Finally, we made our way to our final destination for the afternoon, Tivoli, an amusement park and entertainment venue. We rode a lot of rides, went in a funhouse and an aquarium and had a tasty Danish lunch of smorrebrod (an open face sandwich with various toppings; the two we chose being roast beef and meatball) and frikadeller (Danish meatball).
After many hours at Tivoli, we went to dinner where we had a Danish specialty of Stegtflaesk (a crispy fried pork belly) as well as another version of the open face sandwich, this time with fish and tiny shrimp. Of course, the meal wouldn’t be complete without some local beer (this time Royal Beer Classic) and some dessert (Rodgrod med Flode) which is stewed red berries with cream.
The next day, the kids and I headed to Rosenborg Palace. As we arrived, there was a military display occurring on the lawn next to the palace. What appeared to be military and royal guards were lined up on the yard. The band played, people marched around and awhile later the Queen of Denmark came out to inspect the troops.
The palace itself housed the royal family’s most valued treasures from throughout the centuries including some of the crown jewels.
After this, we walked through the area known as Nyhaven which is the harbor area.
Then it was on to Amalienborg Palace to view the changing of the guard.
After all of these palaces, we decided to walk along the river on our way to see the famous Langelinie, Little Mermaid statue, located in a park along the river.
After all this walking, we decided it was time to treat ourselves to lunch. So we found a hot dog stand and had the famous rod polse.
We meandered back toward the train station checking out different buildings and side streets along the way before finding ourselves on the famous shopping street, Stroget. So we checked out a few stores like Royal Danish (pottery) and the Lego Store.
And as if this day wasn’t already filled with a ton of sightseeing and walking, after meeting back up with the rest of our party at the train station, we headed over to Malmo, Sweden.
In Sweden, we wandered around the main historic area, checking out St. Peter’s Church, Lilla Torg (square in the historic area with tons of restaurants) and other historic buildings before finding a spot for dinner.
Dinner consisted of fish stew, Swedish meatballs and a hash made of shredded potatoes and bread crumbs in a sauce served with a thin hard bread and a hard cheese.
After dinner, we walked to Malmo castle and drove by the Turning Torso before heading back to Denmark,
The next morning we all headed to Roskilde to the west of Copenhagen, but not before snagging some breakfast of assorted Wienerbrod (Danish pastry).
In Roskilde, we checked out the Viking Ship Museum where they have five original ships excavated from their fjord as well as many replicas, artifacts and activities for kids.
After the museum, we wandered around the town stopping by a small Protestant church (where a casket was to the right of the door and a woman was playing an organ to the left of the door) and stopping in at the Roskilde Cathedral, which houses the tombs of 29 kings and queens.
Then we stopped for lunch in the town square and here’s where things got interesting. All week, we had been seeing people walking around wearing sailor’s caps. Apparently, these are graduates and this is what they do to celebrate. Beginning on Friday, we began seeing what we dubbed “party busses” all over town. These were essentially open-bed trucks that were decorated, playing music, honking and carrying tons of graduates hanging out of the sides blowing whistles and yelling.
While we were eating lunch, a “party bus” drove up to the square and about 25 graduates spilled out, ran to the fountain in the square and began singing, blowing whistles and, in the case of several young men, getting completely naked and climbing into the fountain. The fountain party went on for about five minutes before they began redressing and heading on. An interesting lunch with your kids to say the least!
After lunch, we drove to Kronborg castle which was the setting that Shakespeare used in Hamlet. It is right on the sea, so we walked around the outside of the castle and had a rhubarb cake before heading back into Copenhagen for our final dinner at Det Lille Apotek, the oldest restaurant in Copenhagen that used to be a pharmacy until the mid 1700s when it became a restaurant. The decor hasn’t been changed since the mid 1800s when Hans Christian Andersen used to dine there.
Dinner consisted of roasted pork and a potato and meat hash. The hash had chunks of pork and potato in a gravy topped with fried eggs and served with a side of pickled cucumbers and beets and some rugbrod (Danish rye bread). The restaurant also brewed their own beer, so of course, we had to try that-very good!
Our trip ended with a stroll through a park in the city and a long drive home the next day. Copenhagen was a great city and we had a lot of fun! Two countries, historic landmarks, museums, an amusement park, royal guards, naked graduates and a queen. Not bad for a quick trip!