Tuesday, October 26, 2010

day 4 in CPH

I'm going to rattle of a list of things that I have taken note of while in the Danish capital before I forget. Here goes:

1.  Danes obey street signs.  They are not big jay walkers and they always wait for the green pedestrian light before crossing.

2. Danes are very family oriented.  You see lots of children in restaurants, both fine dining, pubs etc.  I noticed lots of clothing stores and restaurants have toys for children.  It is expected that they are always out in all public places.

3.  Customer service sucks here.  It's very nice that everyone speaks English, but they really don't place priority on being customer focused.  You often have to seat yourself, ask to order, ask for your drinks, ask for the bill etc.

4.  In a Danish hotel a double bed consist of 2 beds put together and you always get 2 single duvets.  It's rather curious, don't you think?  No sharing blankets over here!

5.  Danes are not very friendly.  They won't be outright rude, but they are generally closed off.  I was warned about this and yes, it's true.  Don't expect a lot (read: any) idle chit chat from them on the bus, at the coffee shop etc.  They keep to themselves.

6.  They tend to be a little more advanced in the environmental sustainability department.  Although after saying that, I notice no recycling bins in our hotel room or lobby.  I also haven't noticed any recycling bins on the street.  But, big picture - they seem to have a handle on electricity rationing, green transportation etc.  I don't know enough about their actual local business practices, but Europe in general is further ahead in embracing 'social responsibility'.

7.  Lastly (at least for today), is that the stereotype is true - 'Danes love their design.'  And my god are they good at making everything (form an apple corer to architecture) look stylish.  Case in point - from the great Danish store "Illums Bolghus":

I finally had my first good sleep last night.  Poor Jenna, she limping like an old lady with all the aches and pains of pregnancy.  It's very cool to think that there are 3 of us on this trip.  I wonder who the wee little Leibury is?  So exciting!!

Ok - time to get dressed and hit the road.  Till tomorrow.

Love to my loved ones!!


Sunday, October 24, 2010

reunited and it feels so good

The moment I walked into the hotel where I was to meet Jenna, there she was at the front desk.  We didn't know what time her flight would get in etc., so this was what they call kismet.  It was the last night of the amusement park Tivoli to be open for Halloween (apparently they close for the week leading up to Halloween - something about school holidays this week.)  Anyway, we hopped over to the park to grab some dinner.  I had already been there for a couple of hours wandering the amazing grounds.  It was such a beautiful and magical place.  There were twinkling lights, pumpkins, candy apples, rides, costumes, lanterns and a glowy, fuzzy light permeated the whole park at dusk.  So magical!  I missed my girls even more watching all the children on the carousels and rides.  I even went on the circle swing.  Why not?!?  I did feel quite silly trying to take a photo of myself while flying through the air.

my goofy face as I ride the big swing

the big swing!

Jenn and I found a restaurant located in this building:

We had an odd, typically Danish meal, that was very yummy.  After our fine dining we followed up with some deep fried waffles and chocolate sauce.  

Stores were closed today so I spent the morning wandering around town and did a canal cruise in the afternoon, followed by my trip to Tivoli.

It was another dreamy day.  Jenna is fast asleep and I hope to join her soon.  I hardly slept at all last night.  Grrrr.  I'm hoping for better success tonight.

Sweet dreams.


Saturday, October 23, 2010

goddag hej!

Well, here I am in Copenhagen.  It is so surreal to be here - in Europe - in Denmark - in Copenhagen - by MYSELF!!  WTF!  I am currently sitting in my pj's, posting pics to flickr, drinking red wine (that I got from 7-11) and listening to CBC.  Yes, it always goes back to CBC.  Thank god for web radio.    The voice of Jian is never very far away:)

Where to start?  First off, the flight to Frankfurt.  I used to HATE flying.  I mean, it was my top 1 or 2 things that produced great amounts of anxiety and fear.  Well, I gotta say that things have changed.  In the last few years I've mainly flown with my children and let's be honest - that is just not fun.  Not fear inducing, but just a pain in the ass, really.  A shitty diaper just after take-off?  C'mon!  Anyway, the 9 hour flight seemed to go by very quickly.  I don't know if had anything to do with the fact that I haven't been alone for 9 hours in a very long time, or the glass of vodka and "chill pill" I took.  I even watched an Adam Sandler movie?!  Hmmmm, all I know is that I woke up for breakie and we were landing in Frankfurt.  From there I transferred and flew to CPH.  I got in and took a cab to my hotel.  What a great little hotel.  It's brand stinking new so it feels fresh and squeaky clean.  I got upgraded to a double room upon arrival.  It took quite some time to figure out how to use the bath faucets.  Damn sleek Danish designs!  There is a bus shuttle that takes me right from hotel to the main square in the heart of the city.  It runs every 15 min, so it's a handy way to get to the action.

Today I walked from Tivoli :

by the old shipping docks of Nyhavn:

with a quick trip through the King's Gardens and then on to my final destination of Nørrebro:

This once blue collar neighbourhood has now been gentrified and is a hub for artsy folks and funky boutiques.  I loved wandering the streets, meandering my way through the cobble stone paths.  This city is very easy to navigate and I never got lost once or felt in danger.  Easy breezy.  I did see many interesting boutiques and stopped for a delicious cuppa, only to ask a local about why most of the stores were closed.  Apparently they close at 3pm on Saturdays.  Huh?  Saturdays??  Isn't that the working woman's day to get shit done?  Very odd, in my North American eyes.  Nonetheless, I took the opportunity to window shop (cheaper) and take pics of the beautiful city.

I made my way back to the centre of town, the soundtrack of my steps was a combination of Ray LaMontagne, Angus and Julia Stone, Dixie Chicks, Patty Griffin and Vitamin String Quartet, just to name a few. Lovely.
I stopped for dinner at Cafe Europa.  It was a lovely, authentically Danish cafe.  I feasted on the:

Shrimps from the island of Rømø & crispy bread, Ceviche of sea bass, spiced herring from Christiansø with potatoes, smoked salmon with spinach & Hollandaise sauce, tuna mousse with lime.
Bread & butter.

Yum.  I stopped at 7-11 for my bottle of vin (class-ay) and headed back to catch my hotel shuttle.  Oh, I forgot to add that I did do a wee bit of shopping.  I picked up the oddest little things.  Drew - you would think it is so typically Cherry.  Odds and sods - cupcake liners, tights, cute Band-Aids etc.  It's that damn Danish design that makes everything look good - even mundane objects.  What can I say?  I'm a sucker for that.

I'm now waiting for my family to get home so I can Skype with them and see their beautiful faces.  I love traveling.  It reminds me of who I am, what I love and most importantly, who I love.  xoxoxox to Bobes, Annie Bannannie and Lilooshka.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

more CBC loving

Just got us tickets yesterday for Stuart McLean's Vinyl Cafe Christmas.  See, CBC dorks!