For someone who is so much of a homebody, I seem to have been all over the place just recently. Derbyshire, Paris and then two weekends ago, Copenhagen. The beginning wasn't easy, waking up at 3:30am with my body and mind resistant to the need to get up in the middle of the night. For the first time in ages I drank tea staring out into the darkness while so many thoughts raced through my mind pumping with adrenaline. I checked and double checked that I had everything, knowing that I would forget something (but remembering what Abbie told me, that if you forget something small, it means you have the most important things - this time, my sunglasses) before closing the door behind me and walking through deserted streets where I feared the sound of my suitcase wheels on the cobbles would wake everyone.
Flying over the sea where the golden disc I had noticed at the airport cast its first rays over the blue opaque mass below, I could hardly contain my excitement at the thought that I was going to Scandinavia for the first time. The airport suddenly seemed deserted as we made our way though its long passageways, snacking on the muesli bars I had made for us the previous day and laughing as an airline employee passed and wished us "Velbekomme", literally, "May it do you good". What can I say about Copenhagen? From the very first glimpse it charmed me with its coloured buildings reflected in the canals, elegant houses lining narrow streets and squares, the bakeries displaying the most delicious cakes on every corner, the supermarkets which sell cartons of thick, delicious yoghurt you can drink. It was wonderful hearing the language which I've come to love from watching the Killing, Borgen and now the Bridge and from learning it every day. This is a city where bicycles rule the streets, where everything is so organised but it still feels so relaxed and even as you bask in the evening sun on the terrace of a café, no-one raises their voice as they talk. It's not a big city but I had the feeling of so much space and the gulls flying overhead reminded me that the sea is so close. We visited the Rundetårn, climbing up its slope without stairs to enjoy the view of the rooftops and palaces all around us with the Øresund bridge in the distance. We discovered the fabulous Lagkasehuset bakeries and lunched on delicious sandwiches filled with hummus and sun dried tomatoes before dividing a selection of cakes into three (our clear favourite was the strawberry rhubarb yoghurt slice). We walked until our feet ached up to the see the Little Mermaid perched on her rock before a group of students, celebrating their exam success and dressed in evening wear, descended from a bus clutching cans of Carlsberg to have their picture taken.
|The round tower|
|The view from the top|
|The English church|
|Celebrating in style|
The forecast had promised rain but sunshine pierced through the clouds as we left Copenhagen behind for a few hours and took the train across the bridge to Malmö in Sweden. A wedding party was gathering outside the Town Hall and a brass band marched by but even on Saturday, there was still a calmness which I haven't experienced in any other city on a main shopping day.
|My hotel room|
|On the way to Sweden|
|Shopping for kitchenware at Lagerhus|
|Pasta salad at Barista coffee in Malmö|
|Back in Copenhagen|
|Hans Christian Andersen|
On the final day, we followed in the footsteps of Sarah Lund and I wore my patterned jumper as we traced the locations used in the series. We stopped at Holberg no 19 where the owner, an American actor sat having coffee and telling anecdotes about his time in New York as we savoured some amazing coffee and truly delicious cheesecake served in a glass consisting of a layer of crumbled biscuits, then philadelphia and cream and topped with fruit. The weather was a little unkind to us that afternoon though and a cold drizzle descended, chilling us to the bone and forcing us to take shelter in Café Oscar where we jealously watched everyone around us devouring the delicious Smørrebrød (Danish open sandwiches) and crepes filled with smoked salmon before ordering them ourselves. We stayed there for a long time in the flickering light of the candles, wishing the rain would stop and regretting that we felt too full to try the amazing cakes from the bakery we had discovered on Store Kongensgade called Taste (if you go there, will you try it for me?)
The sun made its reappearance as we wheeled our cases a short distance from the hotel to the train station and I took a final glance at the city, feeling I could have stayed there forever. Yet somehow I wasn't sad becuase I know there will be other times, that there is so much to go back for, that I left a part of myself there. I love you Copenhagen.
|Following Sarah Lund - the police station|
|Holberg no 19|
|The best cheesecake|
|I love Danish bakeries!|
|The guards at Amalienborg Slot|
|Inside the Marmor church|
|Taking shelter at Café Oscar for the best lunch|
Taste Deli - Store Kongensgade 80
Café Oscar - Bredgade 58
Lagkagehuset - various locations
Holberg no 19 - Holbergsgade 19
Meyers Deli - Gl. Kongevej 107, 1850 Fredreiksberg
Barista Coffee - Södergatan 22, Malmö
Lagerhus - Södergatan 16, Malmö