After a 14 hour over night train ride, I (Amy) finally arrived in Copenhagen. Having left Thomas in Amsterdam, I arrived anxiously hoping that he had gotten the message to my mom and that someone was waiting for me, which they were. Having heard stories all my life of the family my mom lived with while doing an exchange for University in Denmark, words couldn't describe the excitement I was feeling. My mom and her Danish "sisters" Lisbet and Birte have stayed in contact all these 30 plus years, but Lisbet and my mom have always been closest. They've seen each other a few times since, and Lisbet's daughter Line has come to stay with my family in the US twice in recent years. Shannon and my mom had been in Denmark for a few days and using a 'Copenhagen Card' giving you access to basically everything-museums, trains, buses, canal rides, castles etc. So we got one for me and ducked right into the Hans Christian Anderson Museum. The museum for the 'Father of Fairytales' was entertaining with moving characters depicting some of his most famous stories like, The Ugly Duckling and The Little Mermaid. We soon made our way over to Tivoli Gardens, where we met up with Line and her one year old son Carl and had a delicious, but expensive, Danish lunch.
|Birte, Lisbet, Shannon, Amy and Diane|
Using our Copenhagen Cards, we popped quickly into the Royal Stables at the Christianborg Palace and saw just that, the royal horses and carriages. While waiting for a canal cruise I spotted what was probably the most fascinating and strange thing in all of Copenhagen, the underwater statute of the Merman and his Seven Sons. After trying to figure out if these underwater people should actually be there, was some form of artwork or just a mistake of some sort, we made our way to a canal ride. Besides having to duck every time the boat went under a bridge, due to the only 2 inch gap, and besides still being in the clothes I wore nearly 24 hours earlier before the grueling train ride, it was a perfect and beautiful afternoon with my family.
The day I arrived in Denmark was also my sister Shannon's birthday along with my mom's just a day earlier. So that night we took the train out to Birte's house where she was hosing a Danish Birthday dinner for us. We learned that on someone's birthday, you put out Danish flags, and they had them everywhere, even on the tablecloth! We dined with her husband Stig and her two daughters Rikke and Mathilde. They never allowed our glass to get near empty, and the traditional Danish food was out of this world. The most memorable thing of the evening and of all of Denmark for me was the surprise Danish birthday song they all sang for my sister and the two cakes they brought out. It was such a shame that Thomas couldn't be there.
|Amy in the center square of Kronborg Castle|
The next day we planned to head out to Kronborg Castle for the day, which was also the inspiration for Hamlet's Castle in Shakespear's play. We caught the tour around the castle, learned some of the history of the rooms, and the excessive parties that were thrown there, saw where the King forced his army to sleep in the dungeons in order keep hidden in case of an invasion from Sweden, and saw Holger, the Sleeping Viking statue, there to awaken if needed to defend Denmark. This castle is situated on the Northernmost point of the island of Zealand, the narrowest gap between Sweden and Denmark and it was amazing to be able to see Sweden across the sound. We quickly had lunch in the adorable nearby town of Helsingor and then rushed back to the city to try and meet up with Thomas at the train station. Unfortunately we were both waiting under different clocks, and it took 2 hours and a bit of frantic running around to find each other. Then straight back for Carlsberg beer and a traditional smørrebrød at Lisbet's house!
|Thomas, Lisbet, Shannon and Diane|
We spent the entire next day trying to show Thomas as much of Copenhagen as possible. We took Shannon's Copenhagen Card so that the two of us could go into all the attractions together. We saw the crown jewels at the Frederiksborg Castle, the changing of the guards at the Amalienborg Palace, climbed to the top of the circular Rundetaarn and saw the view of the city, saw the gorgeous and really funky tapestries made in the year 2000 for the royal family at the Christiansborg Palace, walked through Tivoli gardens, went up the "Walking Street" and sat in the square and ate a Danish hotdog and hamburger from a street vendor. We walked down the absolutely gorgeous street of Nyhavn, before it got too crowded with tourists, and finished the day by catching our ferry and starting our journey to Norway!
|Nyhavn (New Harbor)|