A Travellerspoint blog

Denmark

I touched outer space!

(sort-of) Mom and I got up and went out for breakfast at an adorable little bakery close to the hotel because it looked like they had delicious pastries. However, once we got inside, it appeared that they didn't have a whole ton of selection and really the only one that looked super-fabulous was the one in the window. Apparently, it is a called a half-moon cake, because it's literally a cake sliced in half. It is famous for being what Danish cops are known for eating. So, I had half a cake for breakfast. At least it had rhubarb in it so it had some nutrition, in theory. It was drizzling, but we did a little souvenir shopping anyway on our way to the National Museum. When we got to the National Museum, we were in for a great surprise- they had some sort of Ren-Faire craft festival thing going on. There were a whole bunch of tents set up and in each there were reenactors dressed in old-timey clothes. They were all craftspersons selling crafts, and in some cases making them right on the museum grounds. One guy even had a mini-bellows and was making tools of some sort.

Inside the museum, they had all sorts of displays on Danish history. The collection of flint and bronze weapons was extensive. They had a very cool display of old horns. I was impressed by the way that they displayed the remains that had been dug up from the bogs. I was also impressed that all of the signage was in both Danish and English, so I could follow along. The history continued from the ancient times through medieval times, renaissance, reformation, and modern times, including Beatles and Elvis. Overall, it was a nice (free) stop for a rainy day. If you're into history, you'd probably enjoy it more. I have to admit that I thought the reenactors outside were the best part, but I don't believe that they're usually there. We headed back to the hotel to check out and get dad, and then went to the subway. Based on our experiences the yesterday, we knew we needed change, so we tried the 7-11 at the station, but it had a sign on the door and was closed. We tried the hotdog man in front of the station, but he didn't have change. So, we walked to the 7-11 across the street. Yes, there are 7-11s across from 7-11s here the way Starbucks is in the US, but worse. It was only one stop to the market I had been to on my foodie tour and the museum we wanted, but our feet were very tired. I think my dad's blisters were getting blisters. At the foodie market, we walked around a bit. I eventually got a mezze lunch from a Middle-Eastern place with good artichokes, pepper-wrapped cheese, and dolmas. Mom got a slushee of some sort, and we all were happy.

The Geological Museum is now part of the Botanical Gardens, although it has it's own separate entrance fee- totally worth it! (At least for a science geek like me.) Out front, they had a big chunk of meteor that you can actually touch! I have now officially touched something that was in outer space- how cool! Inside, all of the old displays were in Danish only, but the new ones were in English as well. They had an interesting display on how Denmark and Greenland were formed, but it was Danish only, so I only learned a little from the pictures. They had an awesome display on meteors and space chunks, including a "guess if this rock is a meteor piece or not" game and a video about how the Antarctic explorers find the meteors. Upstairs, they had a non-permanent display on botanical drawings that was interesting, probably more so if you're into plants. They also had a funky collection from one of the first Danes to have a museum. He collected all sorts of bizarre things and put them on display, and now they're here. This included a kayak and pickled animals. Also, they had a very large minerals and gems display. The lady at the reception desk said that they had basically all of them, and I just assumed she was exaggerating before I went upstairs. They don't have large quantities of anything (like they do at the Natural History Museum in DC), but they do have rooms and rooms of tiny little samples of probably everything, so they probably have more different types than the Natural History Museum in DC. I wouldn't be surprised if she actually wasn't exaggerating when she said they have ALL of the minerals.

From there, we hopped the metro back to the hotel to get our luggage. We grabbed a taxi from the hotel to the ferry dock, checked in, and boarded. We were taking the DFDS Seaways ferry from Copenhagen to Oslo. The ship is a reasonably typical cruise ship in that it has some bars, restaurants, a casino, and shopping aboard. It is also a ferry though, in that cars can board.Our cabin reminded me of the cabin I had on the Alaska cruise- 4 bunk beds (the top ones able to close up), a window, and a tiny bathroom. It was clean and simple. This room also had a small luggage storage place and a little desk. We took the advice of the tour guide who recommended that we check out the restaurants and get reservations first thing so that we were able to get a good time. In general, the menus are very limited. The steakhouse obviously had steaks. The cafe had about 5 things on the menu. So, we decided on the buffet as we figured it would have more options. Since we had boarded early, we had time for a quick nap before the boat departed. The departure had a nice view of the city, but also of the windmills and the bridge to Sweden. It was worth being up on deck in the crowd. Later, we went back to the deck to see Kronborg Castle (the Hamlet castle we went to yesterday) from the sea. Dinner here was not cheap, but I'm still glad we got the buffet instead of the cafe. There was a very wide variety of food- tons of seafood, meat, cheeses, a few veggie dishes, and dessert. None of it was super-exciting and none of it was fabulously tasty, but it was all reasonable and there were a lot of different things to have a little of. According to the manual in the room, tips are already included, and the service reflected this. Still, I think the buffet was the way to go.

Horns at the National Museum

Horns at the National Museum


Smith reenactor

Smith reenactor


Meteor at Geologic Museum

Meteor at Geologic Museum


Bizarre collection from the "first museum" guy

Bizarre collection from the "first museum" guy


View from the ferry

View from the ferry

Posted by spsadventures 16:00 Archived in Denmark Comments (0)

Hamlet's Castle

This morning, I foraged for breakfast and ended up getting it from the same fabulous bakery as yesterday. As usual, I asked the person behind the counter what his/her favorite was and then ordered that. That meant that I ended up with a rhubarb pastry 2 days in a row, but I can see why it is the favorite of 2 different people. Since everybody here keeps talking about the brown bread, I also got a brown bread covered in pumpkin seeds (fabulous), brown bread with chocolate (interesting, but I probably wouldn't get it again), and brown bread chips (salty and good). After breakfast, we went to Town Hall to meet our bus for the bus tour. We got seats on the top (better view) and the left side. While we didn't get good views of some of the stuff in town or the water, we did get good views of all of the houses and buildings the guide pointed out to us on the way to the first castle. Also, the bus windows were sparkling clean, so pictures through the window turned out well. I was very pleased with the company for that. I was also very pleased with the guide. The guide was excellent and had amazing energy. In town, he told us about all of the things we were passing and knew tons of interesting facts. For example, there is a law in Copenhagen to preserve the skyline that doesn't allow buildings to be more than 5 stories tall. However, the Radisson Blu got special permission to be taller. Throughout the whole drive, he never seemed to stop. He had all sorts of things to say about Danish history, culture, sport, architecture, and lifestyle. It was fascinating! He pointed out the thatched roof houses (yes, people have modern houses with thatched roofs). He pointed out a Danish cemetery, which actually looks more like a shrubbery maze. He pointed out that all of the Danes who went to Tour de France lost their titles due to doping. (I promise this was relevant to what was out the bus window at the time.) He had a lot of insight and I learned a whole lot just on the bus ride.

We got to our first stop, Kornborg Castle, which is the castle from Hamlet. (He kept pronouncing it like Cornwall- I was so confused.) Again, he was great at explaining life in the castle. He pointed out where the grain would be and why they would turn it (to keep it from burning). He also pointed out that they used the grain to make beer because the boiling and the alcohol killed all the dangerous germs in the water. While the beer was super-light, it kept people alive in a way that water wouldn't. He had great stories about why the display table was set with lemons (expensive, to show off), how they would use the table cloth to wipe their hands, and how their knives were not only for eating, but for showing off wealth. He had stories about the great ballroom and how Shakespeare's players visited it, and reported back very accurately. (Of course, they didn't report everything accurately- they thought that Helsingor was the capital of Denmark because it was a big nearby city, but it wasn't.) One thing he kept pointing out is what in the building was original, restored, accurate, and incomplete. This is because the castle (like pretty much everything in Denmark, I'm learning) burned down. It was restored, although there are still original pieces. One of the people important in the history of the castle is Christian the 4th, king of Denmark. Apparently, he started his reign with full coffers. During his reign, he sponsored the arts, architecture, women, and other expensive things. At the end, the monarchy was close to broke. However, his legacy lives on through vast public works, such as the restoration of the castle. You can tell which other ones he sponsored because the all have his symbol (a 4 inside a C) all over them. He's worse than the graffiti artists who want their name everywhere. We skipped a lot of the castle in order to see the dungeons instead as we didn't have infinite time. The pre-dungeons were actually very nice and well-lit by the natural light. They contained a statue that would supposedly come to life and protect Denmark if it ever was in trouble. The actual dungeons though, were very dark. They were dimly lit with candles, but I agree with the guy I overheard who pointed out that this would never exist in the US because people would sue. It was dark, easy to get lost, and a touch slippery in places. Of course, that's how dungeons are supposed to be. The next stop on the tour was Fredensborg Palace, the Queen's summer residence. Of course, since she's living there (in theory) we only got to see the outside, and not the inside.

The last stop started with lunch. We were pretty starving, so instead of waiting in the long line with the rest of the bus, we ventured into the town a bit and found a nice cafe to eat lunch at. We were a bit rushed, but the food was good and we got to sit down. Frederiksborg castle, like the others, burned and was restored. Also, at various points it was sacked but the Swedes, so many of the items that were originally there are in Sweden currently, or were stolen and melted down. We started in the church, which was amazing. Unlike other Protestant churches of the time that were built as stark as possible so you could only think of God, this one was where the Danish kings were crowned, so it was gilded up the wazoo. Everything is covered in paintings, gold, ivory, or other decorations. To show off, the king purchased what was (at the time) the world's largest portable organ. It was so large, you couldn't move it. Also, this is where the shield awards are kept. Apparently there is a Danish Order of the Elephant where the Queen can give out special awards (or maybe knighthood?) to people who do special things. All of the shields are located in this church and they are quite a sight to see. Next, we headed to the palace itself. The palace was a "show off palace" where the king could bring guests to impress them with his wealth. The whole thing was decorated with tapestries, leather wall paper, fancy carvings, and paintings. Here, we got a great look at the opulence of the time. Again, the guide had a bunch of interesting stories. When in the king's bedchambers, he pointed out that the bed was short because it was fashionable to sleep sitting up in those days. It was believed that if you slept laying down, evil mares might come in the night, sit on your chest, and smother you to death (night mares). He explained that there were people paid to be "bedders." They just sat in the bed all day and kept it warm until the king needed it. He also explained why the spice chest was in the kings' bedchambers- spices were worth their weight in gold, so he needed to keep tight control of them. On the way back from the castle, we took the highway, which wasn't as scenic as the coastal road we took out. However, everybody was tired, so it wasn't a big deal. The guide didn't say much on the way back either, but he did come around to see if anybody had any questions about anything on the tour. He was a great guide, and it was a great tour.

Upon arrival back in Copenhagen, we decided to go see the Little Mermaid, Kastellet, and Gefion Fountain. Since it wasn't close and I had woken up with sore feet, we decided to take the S train, even though it was only 2 stops. What a pain! First, the machine wouldn't take bills, so we had to go get coins. Then, it didn't want our coins. Since we were struggling, we decided to let somebody else go in front of us before we used a credit card. Lucky for us, the machine gave her credit card problems and so we learned not to use it. We tried to pay, but it wouldn't let us, so we just got on the train. Fortunately, the machine on the way back let us pay properly. I have to admit that I'm a little disappointed at how unsigned the tourist attractions are. There are no signs telling you where things are, even when you're right on top of them and everybody wants to see them. You just have to know where these things are by following the crowds. We did find the Little Mermaid and the fountain though, as well as several other interesting statues worth going to see. The fountain was very impressive. Legend has it that Denmark and Sweden were split from each other by a lady (maybe a godess) driving oxen down the middle. This scene is captured in the fountain. Next, were determined to have pizza for dinner since it was Friday. The Italian restaurant in one of the hotels near us had pizza, pasta, and salads. None of it was impressive, but it was all ok.

Pictures soon!

King's bed

King's bed


Little Mermaid

Little Mermaid


Fredericksborg Castle

Fredericksborg Castle


Gefion Fountain

Gefion Fountain


Danish Cemetery

Danish Cemetery


Hamlet Ballroom

Hamlet Ballroom


Kronborg Castle

Kronborg Castle


Castle Dungeons

Castle Dungeons


Amalienborg Palace

Amalienborg Palace


Fredericksborg Castle

Fredericksborg Castle


Fountain at Fredericksborg Castle

Fountain at Fredericksborg Castle


Armor and leather wallpaper

Armor and leather wallpaper


Church in Fredericksborg Castle

Church in Fredericksborg Castle


Eisenhower's Order of the Elephant Shield

Eisenhower's Order of the Elephant Shield


Inside the palace

Inside the palace

Posted by spsadventures 16:00 Archived in Denmark Comments (0)

Mom and Dad join

In the morning, I schlepped across town to meet my parents at the new hotel we were staying at, the Best Western Mercure. I guess it's a good thing that I don't have luggage yet because it was easier to drag all my stuff. On the way, I stopped off at what is supposedly one of the best bakeries in all of Denmark- Lagkagehuset. I asked the person behind the counter waht her favorite pastry was, and got her top 2- a cinnamon roll and a rhubarb pastry, as well as a sandwich. The sandwich was ok. The rhubarb pastry was delicious! The cinnamon roll was very different from cinnamon buns in the states- it was more of a potato roll filled with cinnamon, but it was actually more delicious in some ways than Cinnabon. We left our luggage at the hotel as it was way too early for check-in and we headed out to sightsee. Since it was still early and not a whole lot was open, we started out by crossing the bridge into Christianshaven. This is a little island neighborhood across the canal from the rest of Copenhagen. It was originally a swampy, wet area, but one of the kings was inspired by Amsterdam and had it filled in. Due to the tax incentives, it was once a merchant area. One of the main sights is a large and beautiful church with an external staircase that goes to the top for one of the best views of Copenhagen. Supposedly, you can also see Sweden from there. We didn't climb it- I don't even think it was open. We continued on to Christiania. At one point in time, part of this island was a military area, but then they abandoned it. During the 70s housing crisis, locals were upset about all this great land being empty, and they just sort of moved in. Today, it is still a hippie community full of artistic types. It also has a "green light district" where pot is openly sold in stores. Everything was shut down when we walked through, but we did get a feel for how artsy it was as all of the buildings were painted with bright, funky murals.

As things were starting to open, we headed back through the shopping district so that I could get shoes. My sneakers were still soaking wet from yesterday and were unusable. I think my mom's feet hurt just looking at me walk around town in my flip-flops, even though they're actually quite comfortable. Really, I think it's the cobblestones that end up killing your feet, regardless of the shoes. Fortunately, there are some flat strips that are maybe made for bikes. If you walk on those instead of the cobblestones, your feet don't hurt nearly as much.

In any case, we made a quick stop at Foot Locker to grab some sneakers. We also stopped at a bakery for a snack, and they had GLITTER CUPCAKES! Yes, the cupcakes were covered in edible glitter, so I had to get one. The next real sight we saw was Rosenborg Castle. We only saw the outside, but this is where the crown jewels are kept. The castle is very cool, and it is situated in a very nice park, where a lot of people were strolling or relaxing. Also, we got lucky and got to hear a bunch of the guards playing music. I'm not sure why, but it was a nice touch. Next, we headed over to the canal street as it was on the way to Amelienborg Palace, where the guards are changed daily at noon. It was a very cool experience- basically like a mini parade. The guard band comes parading in, playing fun music. Then, the guards put on a show of moving around. I thought it was hilarious that some of them had swords, some had guns, and some had both. However, it was the regular police who were keeping the crowd out of the way of the show. At this point, we figured the hotel might have our room ready for check in, and since my parents didn't sleep so much on the plane, naptime was the goal. Unfortunately, it started raining on our way home, so we were diverted into a sandwich shop where I got an unremarkable lunch. When we did get to the hotel, we had to wait a little and then were able to get into the room for a nap.

Rested, we hiked back over to the nearest canal area and got on one of the canal boat tours. The tour guide showed us lots of sights and told us all about them, quickly, in 3 languages. Perhaps because she was rushed or because she does this all day/every day she was pretty unemotional and dry. A recording could have done as well. We did need her to remind us to sit several times as we went under bridges. There's no way this ride would be allowed in the US as people would be intentionally bumping their heads and suing up the wazoo. Fortunately, we weren't in the US, so we got to go on a cool tour that involved going under some very short bridges. In addition to the various bridges, we saw various famous buildings and some of the areas of town we hadn't been to, including the (back of the) Little Mermaid. Overall, it was a relaxing and informative tour- a good activity to follow up an almost-sleepless flight and a day of extensive walking.

We took Stroget (the shopping street area) back, and got to see the last few seconds of a fire juggling show. Yesterday, I had seen a guy playing really good music on bottles. I think there are a lot of good street performers in that area and it just depends on how lucky you are as to who you get. All over town, there are these little hot dog stands selling all sorts of interesting Danish hotdogs. Luckily, I found an organic hotdog stand in the Stroget area and tried a veggie dog, "Danish style." The bun was not the standard potato roll. It was fluffy on the inside, but a bit crispy on the outside. Also it had seeds in it. On top of the dog went ketchup, mustard, crispy fried/dried onions, raw onions, and bread & butter pickles. In addition to being the first time I've had ketchup since I was a kid, this hot dog was definitely something speacial. There was a lot on it, but it tasted very clean and crisp. It may have been the best hotdog I've had and I will definitely try to recreate it at home. I'm glad I had the hotdog as the cafe we had dinner at served very small portions and I would have gone away hungry if I hadn't. Of course, maybe then I would have gotten something to eat at Tivoli, but I don't think it would have been as good as the hotdog. Tivoli is the second-oldest amusement park. It was modeled after some gardens in Italy, and they do a very good job of having pretty flowers all over the place. They also have the things you would expect at an amusement park- a few rides (although we didn't go on any), games that are impossible to win (although we did see some people walking around with 2-foot by 1-foot candy bar prizes, and overpriced food. However, in addition to the standard overpriced food, there are apparently some of the best restaurants in town within the park. People come here for fine dining, which is definitely not what I usually associate with an amusement park. I guess I don't usually associate going on a beautiful walk with an amusement park either, but Tivoli is a very nice and beautiful place to go for a walk. I'm not sure about the amusements though. When we first walked in, there was a large crowd (of adults, mostly) watching a show involving a clown and a bear (a person in a bear suit) wearing a tutu. It looked a little odd. The rides seemed like county-fair type rides as opposed to amusement park rides. Perhaps that's what people here enjoy.

What I'm enjoying is that my luggage arrived and so now I have all my stuff, plus my new stuff, plus the stuff my parents brought me, and no room in my luggage for any of it.

Church in Christianhaven

Church in Christianhaven


Christiania

Christiania


Guards in King's Park

Guards in King's Park


Rosenborg Castle

Rosenborg Castle


Changing of the guards

Changing of the guards


Sand castle competition

Sand castle competition


hot dog

hot dog


Tivoli Gardens

Tivoli Gardens


Tivoli Gardens

Tivoli Gardens

Posted by spsadventures 16:00 Archived in Denmark Comments (0)

Copenhagen-1. Feet-0.

I didn't set an alarm because I'm on vacation and I don't have anywhere to be in the morning. Despite being up well after midnight, I awoke at 7 something in the morning. I had met 2 of my roommates last night, and 2 came in shortly after we went to bed. One showed up well after I awoke and had clearly just done the walk of shame. I didn't think 7am was that early, but based on him, I'm guessing that I'm just old. After a shower, I changed back into basically the same clothes as yesterday. I was smart enough to bring shorts in my bag, so I didn't have to sleep in jeans, and I had spare socks, so my feet were good. Also, I had the t-shirt they gave me in the kit. However, I wanted to get some other clothes. After a quick call to the airline to inform them of the hotel change, I headed out to shop. For breakfast, I stopped at a little bagel place across the main road from the hostel. The sun-dried tomato bagel with pesto cream cheese was excellent. I'll probably get breakfast from there tomorrow as well. The hot chocolate could have used some sugar, though. Most of the shopping area (Strotget) was completely dead. It was nice to see the stores without all of the crowds, however, I really just needed one open place. I wandered around a lot. When it started raining a bit, I ducked for cover, apparently into a palace. There were a whole bunch of other folks who had ducked in there for cover as well. The little entrance we were in wasn't much, but it was cool to see. The rain only lasted a couple of minutes, and then I went back to my store-hunt. Fortunately, I caught one souvenir shop that was just opening. Double-fortunately, they had souvenir Denmark women's underwear and socks. While finding the glittery batman women's undies at Target comes close, I have to admit that I've never been so excited about buying underwear in my life. I headed back to the hostel firstly to change into my new purchase, but also because there is a free walking tour that leaves from the hostel daily. Actually, it leaves from Town Hall at a later time than when it leaves from the hostel, and the guide basically just walks you from the hostel to there. However, if you didn't know where town hall was, this got you there.

Town Hall is basically at the other end of where I walked in the morning, so I really didn't get to see anything new on the walk there. The Town Hall itself is neat, though. You can go inside and see the architecture and a few displays, which I did while we were waiting for other people to join the tour. I have no idea why they were there, but at one point, some people dressed in Chilean-flag garb and carrying a flag started singing and banging on drums. It was an odd display, but very cute and very unique. When everybody was gathered, the tour took off. My guide was a Brit who had been living in Copenhagen for a few years. She was very knowledgeable, although some of her stories fell flat at the end. I recommend the tour, even if they start charging and don't keep it free. The tour started at the home of the founder of Carlsberg (the beer company). We heard the story of how he had a fight with his son, so the company split into two, but when he died, since his son inherited the father's half, the company reunited. We saw a bunch of buildings that had been rebuilt several times as apparently Copenhagen has been historically plagued by fires. Considering how close the houses are, I'm surprised that a fire in one would only burn down some buildings and not the whole town. We heard about the warrior bishop who is celebrated in statues all over town. He was a childhood friend of the king's, so he got promoted when the prince became king. He ended up invading the lands to the north and chopping down the statues of their idols. When their gods didn't seek retribution on him, the people of those lands decided that his god was more powerful than theirs, surrendered, and converted. We heard a lot about Hans Christian Anderson. It's a little weird to think of a famous children's writer as a young boy trying to make it in theater or as a man who enjoyed living in the red light district, but it gives him some dimension. At one point in the tour, we took a break, which I thought was odd, but I'm guessing that they're getting a commission from the cafe they take you to. I was hungry and wanted a snack, but I wasn't really impressed with any of the cafe food. The tour continued over in the red light district. This street is the iconic canal street on many post cards. It's more interesting than just fun-colored buildings and a shady past though. Apparently, in an effort to become less shady and draw people in, they lifted a bridge and got a whole bunch of wooden boats to come into the canal for display. At the end of the scheduled display, the bridge wouldn't move. Eventually, they liked the ships so much, they convinced the owners to leave the ships there. Now, there are wooden ships to come look at. Also, this is not the red light district any more. The streets are lined with trendy restaurants instead. The tour headed north some more so that we could look across the water and see the opera house and the island Christiania is on. At this point, it was after 1pm. I had been told the tour was about 2 hours, and hadn't planned on still being on the tour at this point. Also, it had been raining on and off, but it was more "on" at the moment. When the guide said that there were a few more stops, I just had to leave because I didn't want to be later for the tour I paid for. Also, I was starving. While I know it's not a good idea to stuff yourself before a food tour, I really needed something substantial to eat. I ended up grabbing some take out from Thai Asien Take Away, which is just off of the colorful canal street. I was in the restaurant when it poured, but the rain let up so I took off. A short while later, it started coming down strong again, so I ducked into a covered archway and scarfed my food while I waited for the rain to let up.

When the rain let up, I headed towards the Town Hall Square, which is where my tour started. Except it didn't. I had printed the "ticket" from the confirmation. At the address on the ticket, there is a bakery, which happens to be one of the best bakeries in town. In my mind, that's a reasonable place to start a food tour. However, when I asked the guy at the bakery, he confirmed that this was the right address, but he said he had never heard of the tour before. I waited outside until about 5 minutes before the tour was supposed to start and realized that there's no way that even the guide isn't there. I obviously was in the wrong place. One of the employees of one of the other businesses at that address was also confused, but she lent me her cell phone to call the number on the ticket. The lady at the other end was so nice and described where I needed to be, which was at a metro station across town from where I was. The phone owner said that it's so far and I should take a bus, but I didn't have time. Plus, Copenhagen is so small that nothing is far away. I was booking it, but it was less than a 10 minute walk, even with my feet dead cold and wet from the morning's tour. Of course, when I got to the metro station, I then couldn't find the tour either. Again I borrowed a phone from a local and connected with the operator. She came out and found me. That's good service! Props to Copenhagen Food Tours. As it turns out, there's a subtle difference in the spelling of the street that nobody picked up on. At the beginning of the tour, I met the other person on the tour. She was a Rick Steves tour guide who was spending her off-time sightseeing. I tried to keep the idol-worship to a minimum, but I just had to ask about him and working for him and her job and her life. For those who don't know, that's like being a huge Usher fan and meeting one of his backup singers, or being a huge Bryan Voltaggio fan and meeting one of the chefs who work at his restaurant. It was very cool. Anyway, the tour started in the "meat" building of KBH, an interesting local market. The market itself consists of two buildings that are basically year-round farmer's markets. The stands all sell locally-made items ranging from chocolates to beer and everything in between. I did also see an Asian-style grocery stand, but I think that was the one exception. The buildings are in theory separated into "meat" and "veggies" as you might not want the smell of raw fish when you're sampling veggies. However, I didn't find any of the odors overpowering. Of course, the "meat" building also had cheeses, vegetables, breads, and other foods. One of the stands that we sampled had items all from a Danish island that had better food because the weather is better and the soil is different than the rest of Denmark. One stand had flour that is ground in so small of a business that they hand-write on the bags. One stand had award-winning licorice. All of the stands and samples were excellent. The two that stood out, though, were the Havgus cheese and the rhubarb juice (the sweeter of the two that I sampled). There is a good chance that I will stop back at the market on my way home and pick some up. Next, the tour went by the Botanical Gardens. The gardens were pretty, but the buildings were closed, which showed a bit of poor planning. Also, I'm not sure how they were relevant to a food tour. The only thing we sampled there was some wine, but it didn't relate to the gardens as far as I know. At this point, the rain was picking back up, and all of the streets were wet. My feet were sloshing and aching, but I was too excited for the tour to complain. We continued walking to other stops. One was a candy store where they hand-make the candy. Again, there was a bit of poor planning as they weren't actually making it when we were there. It would have been so cool to see, but at least we saw the equipment they used. Ultimately, we ended at the "vegetable" building next to the one we started in. Again, we had some fabulous samples. The most memorable one was the chocolates at the end. Overall, the tour was fun, despite the rain and sore feet. The customer service was excellent. However, this is clearly still a young company with a few kinks to work out. Also, I really would have liked some more history of traditional Danish foods and other general food knowledge. (To be fair, I've heard that the only "traditional" Danish food is their pastry, and I'm not sure that's enough to talk about.) Of the questions we asked the guide about the foods and restaurants she was talking about, there were two that she didn't know and couldn't find on google, one of which was the name of a restaurant she brought up. Overall conclusion: if you're a foodie, this is worth it. If you're not, wait until they get everything worked out or add some behind-the-scenes stops where you can see some food-making in action. At this point, my feet were dead. The cobblestone streets really killed me. I barely made it back to the hostel and collapsed in bed for a nap. After my nap, the rain had let up, but the streets were still a bit wet. Worse, my shoes were drenched. So, I ventured out into the city in my flip-flops. It wasn't even 7 yet, and all the stores were closed. To me, this indicates that they are all just for tourists. There's no way that locals could shop there if they get off of work at 5 or 6 as they couldn't even make it to the stores before they closed. Fortunately, I had checked earlier in the day and I knew that the department store, Magasin, was open until 8. I hate shopping, but I can't remember the last time I've had such a pleasant experience. I walked in, walked right up to a clerk, and told her what I was looking for and what my US size was. She immediately sent me to the right section and knew my correct size right off the top of her head. When I got to that section, I asked the clerk for that section for the cheapest one, she pointed them out, I made sure they fit, and bought. Done. In and out in just a few minutes, exactly how I want it. Also, she informed me that if I didn't live in Denmark, Of course, I struggled with pants as while some of the sport pants came in longs, the store didn't carry them. I got capris, but at least I had all new clothes for tomorrow and I would not only be wearing clean clothes, but not all of them would say Denmark on them. Afterwards, I went in search of dinner. I didn't want take out since I couldn't bring it back to the hostel, but most of the sit-down places were pretty expensive. I settled on Cafe Dan Turrell and got a veggie burger with wedges. I'm glad I did. Their veggie burger didn't even pretend to be meat or a meat substitute like most veggie burgers do. It was bright red and looked like it was made of mashed up veggies, had the texture of mashed of veggies, it tasted like mashed up veggies and was pretty friggin awesome. The last veggie burger I had like this was at a friend's bar mitzvah when I was 14, and it was one of the foods that inspired me to learn to cook and ultimately led to me becoming a foodie. By the end of the meal, I was debating whether to drag my parents here and get the same thing again. However, the service afterwards kind of sucked. I asked for another water and the bill and sat for a long time without more water (but that's ok since they charge for tap water) and without a bill before a different waiter came and told me that I had to pay up front. From there, I headed back to the hostel and just chilled. I was still upset that I was luggage-less, my feet were killing me, and I wasn't really in the mood to socialize with anybody other than my roommates.

Statue

Statue


Cool architecture

Cool architecture


Lego Yoda in shopping area

Lego Yoda in shopping area


Warrior Bishop

Warrior Bishop


Inside Town Hall

Inside Town Hall


Colorful Canal Street

Colorful Canal Street


Botanical Gardens

Botanical Gardens


Cheeses in Market

Cheeses in Market


Cobblestone streets

Cobblestone streets

Posted by spsadventures 16:00 Archived in Denmark Comments (0)

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