Sunday, June 23, 2013

Scandinavia Part One: Copenhagen, Denmark

If there's something that runs deep in my veins, it's the love of travel. I got the travel bug from my Dad. He worked for United Airlines and gave me my first wings. When I was a kid, my parents used our fill-in-the-blank standby tickets (best tabula rasa ever!) to travel all over the states, and they always brought me along. Every time. Travel was a family affair. 
And I learned so much.
 I'm a firm believer that travel expands our spirits, allows us to glimpse more broadly into the way other people live and view life, and provokes us to question our own assumptions, beliefs, and habits--to deconstruct our small worlds and embrace that which lies beyond ourselves. 
I think Mark Twain said it well: "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness."
And I think Cesare Pavese said it best of all: "Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. (YES!!) Nothing is yours except the essential things--air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky--all things tending toward the eternal or what we imagine of it."
Each new place, as it becomes a part of our journey, becomes a part of us.
So when Mark was asked to speak in Stockholm, it was decided straight away: I was tagging along, and we were taking our kids.

 Yep, they were just a wee bit excited about it.
It's not like I'd been talking it up for the past six months or anything...
 The Power Rangers arrived in Stockholm!
 We immediately took a train to Copenhagen, Denmark, where our journey began. We only spent a night here and part of two days, so this was just a short stop on our journey, and I'm glad.
We saw some beautiful buildings, like this famous art museum:

 But for as "green" as this city is famed to be (and I've got to hand it to them on those bikes--you should see how many people ride bikes here--way more than cars, especially during rush hour, and such accommodating bike lanes!), it had the stale smell of cigarette smoke (even the bikers lit up) and was tainted in litter. I'm not usually a fan of big cities, and this one ranked lowest on our trip.
 However, we adored Tivoli Gardens, which inspired Walt Disney to create his unequaled empire of theme parks. What a great way to spend the evening with kids after a long plane/train journey!

 We dined on the pirate ship. Of course.

 Gryffy was stoked about all the pictures. Clearly.
 This is the "It's a Small World"-ish ride of Tivoli, based on Hans Christian Andersen's world of fairytales.
 Loved this ride. Here's The Little Mermaid. We read other of his fairytales while we were in Denmark.
 We traveled the way Scandinavians do and stayed at the largest hostel in the world, a convenient and clean skyscraper of rooms called Danhostel. While the kids were cozy and fast asleep, I took a walk through the city.

 Here's the royal palace.
 What Danes think of cars...
 And beautiful Nyhavn in the slumbering city.
 Now this is the stuff of postcards.

 The city is topped off with beautiful spires, and I especially loved this one of dragons intertwined.
I didn't make it to the hippy Christiania district, which is supposed to be artsy and independent, but we had places to go... an island was calling us away from the big city (music to my ears!), and we were excited to see rural Denmark looming on the horizon.
To be continued in Scandinavia, Part Two...

1 comment:

  1. Wow- love the row of houses!! Postcard worthy for sure! What a fantastic trip! Thanks for sharing!