Saturday, May 18, 2013

first impressions

Our trip to Denmark was at least three years in the making. Maybe four. I've lost track. I DO know that we have been anticipating, planning for, excited about, and looking forward to this trip for a long time. My in laws announced several years ago that for their 50th wedding anniversary, they were going to take the whole adult family to their ancestors' homeland: Denmark; and more specifically, the island of Bornholm. 
(Bonus: My own great great grandfather immigrated to America from Denmark. He met and married my great great grandmother in Utah. She was a Swedish immigrant, from Malmo, which we also visited.)
Our trip began with some panic and tears at the airport. United airlines had us erroneously booked on a later-than-planned flight to Chicago, which would not arrive in time to connect with our flight to Copenhagen. No one noticed the mistake until Mark glanced at the boarding passes ten minutes before the flight was to leave. We had itineraries and confirmations that proved we were scheduled to be on that flight, but the airline would not budge. We made lots of frantic phone calls to Priceline, then to SAS Airlines (the companion airline). They both confirmed our planned itineraries. But it was too late. The flight was full, and more importantly, the flight was gone.
Seeing our distress, the softening gate agent, chased us down at baggage claim, and said she had re-routed us through San Francisco, where there was a connecting flight to Denmark. We would arrive in Copenhagen only 2 hours later than planned. It was such a relief! We thanked her over and over again. I cannot tell you how grateful we were to be back on track.
We didn't really sleep on the plane, so we were tired, for sure. But the excitement set in and we were surprisingly awake and alert when we landed in Copenhagen. We took the train and met up with some family at our beautiful hotel (this was our view from the room), then headed out for a local boat tour in picturesque Nyhaven.
Copenhagen is, indeed, wonderful! On our first day, I was so impressed with

a) the beautiful architecture - old and new
b) the colorful buildings
c) the gorgeous, thin, healthy-looking, viking-esque Danes
d) the local friendliness
e) the perfectly sunny, chilly weather
f) the bikes - on the train, on the bus, on the bike paths, parked en masse everywhere!
g) the ease of communicating - everyone spoke perfect English
h) Danish pride - flags everywhere
i) the delicious hot dogs
j) the fabulous waffles with ice cream (We ate lots of ice cream throughout our trip, but the place we found the very first day, was our favorite. We made sure to go back.)
k) the black licorice
Just look at this place! The locals lined the canal shores and made the atmosphere so fun. (That's a hot dog truck planted right in the middle of it all.)
For dinner we had savory crepes from a vendor on Stroget, the world's longest pedestrian street, full of shops and food. Then we explored beautiful Tivoli Gardens with Peter and Darin. It is the second oldest amusement park in the world and it was oozing charm. (The next night we would ride a fast and loopy roller-coaster which my kids would have LOVED. It was thrilling and fun and I screamed the whole time, while Mark cackled in delight next to me.)
If I remember right, jet-lag got the best of me that night, as it did most nights - so not much sleep. But who needs sleep on vacation?


Jennifer said...

This looks incredible! Gorgeous, inspiring. But two main things stand out: 1. I love and want that pink purse, and 2. I clearly remember cackling Mark on scary rides. He was smug and unaffected while the rest of us panicked. I'm getting the vibe that that's how he lives his life? :) Thanks for sharing the photos--hope to see more!

Sarah said...

The bag is from Target. I loved it when I bought it before the trip (on clearance), but quickly realized I stood out as a tourist with the neon pink. The Danes were dressed in much more subdued, classic colors.

And yes, Mark enjoys scary rides: Cackling and mocking the rest of us who are scared out of our pants.