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Höstlov in Copenhagen!
A couple of weeks ago we spent our Höstlov (fall) break in Copenhagen. This trip has been on our list for a while. Mrs. Cinnamon Bun lived there for several years as a child. We were hoping her Danish would resurface. Her parents swear she was conversant when she was a kid. But no such luck. We remain Nordic language illiterate.
I was talking with a friend of mine recently. I mentioned all the trials of living in Stockholm, and she mentioned this blog. She said it appeared like our life was so wonderful! Our life is wonderful - we are extremely lucky to have this international experience. But our day-to-day life has plenty of challenges! I just assume that people don’t want to hear about that stuff, and would rather see cute pictures of the kids… Anyway, the first part of our trip is a pretty typical (bad) travel experience.
Our trip started dubiously. We took the train. Usually, this is a much more civilized way to travel. The city center station in Stockholm is a 5-minute taxi ride from our house or 15 minutes on the tunnelbana. We booked a direct train to Copenhagen where our hotel was 15 minutes walk from the station. Very simple. But the train was cursed (it was Halloween). After about 30 minutes of our 5-hour journey, our train stopped. There was a ‘technical problem’. Some latch wouldn’t stay engaged. After about 30 minutes of working on it, they announced that we would limp to the next station and get a replacement train. It ended up taking about 2 hours to all get sorted out. Then we were on our way again - but everything in the dining car was free now! Despite the repeated announcements that we were headed to Copenhagen, about 15 minutes from Malmö they announced that the train wouldn’t go to Copenhagen and we would need to switch in Malmö to a local train. Not being familiar with the station made me very nervous. But we were successful; we found the correct train, along with 200 of our fellow passengers. The local train was packed, but we manage to break into the first-class section and pile in. No sooner did we head out, than our train stopped in a pitch-black tunnel. Now I am a little claustrophobic, so I didn’t love this part of our trip. I was handling it pretty well until our oldest Cinnamon Stick asked, ‘How do we get out if we need to leave the train?’ Suddenly I realized I was in a packed compartment, in a dark tunnel. I took very deep breaths for the next 5 minutes and eventually we started to move. The view over the bridge to Copenhagen was lovely and by the time we arrived my blood pressure had returned to normal. Here we are before we knew what we were getting into:
We stayed at a lovely hotel called the Tivoli Hotel. It is a business hotel that hosts conferences, of which there were several during our stay. But it was perfect for our purposes as it had a great breakfast every day and a lovely indoor pool and sauna, which we made great use of. After scouting the hotel, we went on our first and greatest adventure - Tivoli! This permanent amusement park and carnival is magnificent. We spent one ‘warm-up’ evening and a whole day at the park. It was Halloween and the decorations were phenomenal:
The next day was occasionally rainy, but everything was open so we made the most of our marathon day in the park. It just meant lots of Varm Choklad!
And rides. Lots of rides:
Tivoli is a very special place. In European fashion, the food is very good. The decorations are nice and very well done. There is not a lot of the cheesy, overly touristy feel that you get at a lot of US amusement parks. Disney excluded, of course, because Disney Parks are their own thing entirely. We thoroughly enjoyed our time there and can’t wait to go back.
After a day and a half of hot chocolate and rides, we needed some culture so we headed to the Louisiana Museum outside of downtown Copenhagen. The first thing you should know if you go there with kids is that they have a 3 story kids’ wing! The kids could have easily spent the whole day there. Each floor is dedicated to a different type of art - drawing, collage, sculpture, or painting. And there are activities for the kids in each of those mediums. It was really engaging.
And there is a great cafe there too. Plus Art! Lots of cool art:
There is also a Yayoi Kusama exhibit tucked away that you just have to see. I won’t attempt to describe it, I will just show you, although pictures don’t do it justice:
It is a fantastic museum and our whole family enjoyed it!
On our last day, we spent swimming and shopping. I thought Stockholm had great design, furniture, and home goods. But Denmark is even better! We found that some of the best items in Stockholm are actually from Denmark. My brother and sister-in-law suggested two shops which we highly recommend. The Illum Home Store and Hay House:
And of course, we can’t get away without a little tasty delight. It is called 300 Cinnamon Buns after all:
It was a wonderful trip and we can’t wait to go back!
To be continued…