We checked the first country off our ‘wish list’ this weekend: Denmark! We were lucky enough to take a long weekend so with our extra day (Friday) we rented a car from the airport as soon as we landed and drove south. We stopped along the way for hiking snacks and to admire a beautiful church along the water right before we crossed over the bridge to Møn, an island along the Baltic Sea. Situated at a far point east on the island, we explored Møns Klint, a long stretch of chalk cliffs rising dramatically 600 feet high over the sea. We were able to walk along the cliff’s edge and see the stunning blue & green water below contrasted against the white chalk of the cliffs underneath us. We set down to have our lunch (Danish bread with cheese and salami) and spotted a few Peregrine Falcons up above -they were too quick for us to snap a picture though. After lunch, we braved the 400 steep wooden steps down to the rocky beach below. Walking along the baseball sized rocks was like walking in really deep sand at the beach, not easy! But it was cool to touch the chalk of the cliffs, even though it got everywhere. We were almost sad when it was time to give back the car we rented (aka Bob) but we liked it so much we’re thinking about buying one 🙂
After we dropped off Bob (I certainly hope whoever rented him afterwards is enjoying my Tory sunglasses..grr), we headed to Copenhagen and wandered around until we found someplace delicious looking for dinner. We ended up trying a few different dishes (mussels, different meats on rye bread and a cheese selection) and drinking chai tea lattes by the canal front. Beautiful!
Saturday was our touristy day, and we hit as many attractions in Copenhagen as possible! Started the morning with a nice walk to the powerful Gefion fountain, then we tried to beat the tour buses to the Little Mermaid statue (no luck). The highlight of the morning was walking through Kastellet, a star-shaped military fortress with beautiful red buildings, a windmill and historical cannons. We were also incredibly impressed by the Marble Church, first by the sheer size of the marble dome on the outside then by the absolutely breathtaking inside. Any picture taken inside would not have done it justice. Just imagine a Sistine Chapel-esque dome ceiling with each apostle represented, the organ surrounded by marble cherubs and angels and an altar piece within its own little blue encrusted dome. We made it back to canal-side Nyhavn just in time to hop on a canal cruise to see all the sights of the city from the water. The canal cruise took us under a number of incredibly low bridges (see pic! – we could touch the ceiling of most of them) to show us the best sights: the famous Little Mermaid statue, the unique Stock Exchange, the Opera House, a few palaces and more. Our favorite view was of the Church of Our Savior in Christianhavn, so we went to check it out closer after the tour was finished. Christianhavn is on a neighboring island accessible from the main city from a bridge originally intended as a merchant’s town. Today it functions as an extension of the city with its own charm. Church of our Savior is even more amazing close up with its incredibly high helix spiral colored blue and gold. Braving the endless wooden stairs that bring you up to the outdoor staircase seen from the pictures, we climbed….and climbed….and climbed. We climbed past huge bronze bells that chime a different hymn every hour until we reached the outdoor platform. Meaning a few narrow wood planks on a tilted ledge…Feeling safer on the outdoor stairs we climbed the spiral until nearly the top. It was too crowded to go all the way up but we feel the view was probably the same. It was a terrifying yet exhilarating feeling looking over the whole landscape of the city perched on the side of the church.
Dinner was eaten outside at one of the many canal-side restaurants boasting fresh fish and Danish-brewed beer. Dessert was a Waffle stick covered in warm chocolate and sprinkles (give me another one!) from one of the many ice cream shops on our way to Tivoli. Tivoli was like a small Disneyland or large Canobie Lake Park. It had roller coasters, restaurants, a live swing band and fireworks set to techno music. It was a great end to our busy day of exploring!
On Sunday we hit the last of our tourist spots in Copenhagen. We visited Botanisk Have (the city’s botanical garden), where it seemed like they had every plant/flower in the world. Trees from Japan, flowers from Brazil, bushes from Australia, a Palmhouse with all sorts of tropical plants and a very neat hill of alpine vegetation. After much debate about whether or not to leave the camera in a rickety locker, we decided to tour Rosenborg Castle, built in the early 1600’s with some original rooms from the four generations of Kings who lived there. We made the right decision as there was much to see in the castle including a massive marble hall with a narwhal tusk throne for the King and a silver throne of the Queen guarded by 3 silver lions. In the basement was a trove of treasures including the intricate King’s crown.
Our visit to Denmark coming to a close we spent our last hours drinking tea & coffee at a café while people watching: very European of us!