Finally the day had arrived and we began our 3 month journey of Scandinavia and Europe. Lucas and Allanah were super excited to be traveling with their “besties” the Haralabidis’. It kept the parents happy as well. This was one of the easiest 14 hour flights we’ve ever taken.The journey from Melbourne to Europe is never easy and we have learnt over the years that a stop over mid way is always worthwhile if we’re to hit the ground running when we arrive at our destination. We parted ways at Dubai Airport, they continued in and we opted for an overnight horizontal sleep in Dubai helped to relieve a bit of the jet lag before we arrived in Denmark.
(Following blog written by Thomas Higgs) In Denmark the first thing Mum did when a voice played over the loudspeaker at the airport was try to imitate the accent, she started talking about saunas and a whole heap of other stereotypical Scandinavian things (still using the accent). We got on the train and left the airport, one of the first things I remember thinking is how much worse the trains are in Melbourne compared to Copenhagen. Once we actually got outside and saw Copenhagen one of the things I took an immediate liking to was the copper roofing which had turned a light green colour with age.
After we had settled into our rooms we went to go get something to eat as we were still adjusting to the time zones and were starving (I refused to eat the aeroplane food after tasting my meal and thinking something along the lines of ‘my fish doesn’t taste like fish’). We ventured out and decided to try out a traditional Danish restaurant. Schnitzel, calf’s liver, and for Lucas a Danish hamburger (not our version of a hamburger). Delicious food but the schnitzels were larger than my face!!
Copenhagen itself is a relatively small city. A mix of old and new. A population of only 1.2 million. The Danes are big on sustainability so there a more bikes than cars, they even have their own wide bike path on each road and pedestrians need to beware as they are just as dangerous as cars.
We were located in Vesterebro, a former working class district now turned hip! Copenhagen is an easy city to navigate by foot or like the locals by bike. From our chosen spot we easily made our way to the many different neighbourhoods, there were bars, restaurants and shops to explore right at our doorstep. We managed to consume a numerous amount of pickled herring, pickled cucumber (my new favourite) and the local sandwich called smorrebrod.
Nyhavn would be the prettiest with the canal and coloured terrace houses. Now a very hip area to live but was once the haunt of sailors and prostitutes and was very unsafe to venture into at night. Many artists and writes lived in the terrace houses along the canal, the most famous being Hans Christian Anderson writing the fairytale “The princess and the pea”.
A visit to Copenhagen with kids would not be complete without time spent at the Tivoli Gardens. An amusement park in the heart of the city. There is something here for everyone, the architecture is amazing, dating back to the 1800’s, the food is exquisite, one of our best meals in Copenhagen was at the “Nimb Terrace” situated within the Tivoli Gardens, and the amusement rides fun for adults and children. The gardens are truly beautiful and there are many spots for rest and relaxation. A great family day for all!!
On our final day in Copenhagen we gave ourselves the royal treatment… visiting Amalienborg Palace, the winter residence of the Danish Royal family. It was originally built as four manor houses for noble families but Christianborg Palace suffered fire damage in 1794 so the royals moved in! The palace is located centrally in the Frederiksstaden district. The Danish Royal Life Guard march from Rosenborg Castle every morning through the streets of Copenhagen, and execute the famous changing of the guard in front of Amalienborg Palace at noon. We were hoping for a chance to see our local Aussie Princess Mary but she was nowhere to be seen. Apparently the Danish Royals are a relaxed lot. Prince Frederik is seen on many occasions doing the daily school drop off run on his bike with the royal tots in their kids cart.
We had a great time in Copenhagen, not too much jet lag, relaxed people, ate lots of Danish meatballs and schnitzel, got motion sickness on the rides at Tivoli, and learnt about Danish history .. Oh, we mustn’t forget that the Danes are the Lego Inventors, so of course Lucas got to spent a long time at the Lego store!