Sunday, January 13, 2013

Travel Log #8 Velkommen to Denmark!

When the next day dawned, we were feeling better and ready for the next leg of our adventure. We caught the train without mishap and spent the morning watching the sunny countryside sweep by. We got an unexpected adventure when the train went inside the ferry to Denmark. We were told to get off the train, which was an interesting ordeal, but we came up the stairs to find ourselves on a floating mall. There were stores, a food court and even a play area for the kids, which we all greatly appreciated. We scored three surprisingly healthy kids meals for lunch and boarded back onto the train when we reached Denmark. 

I spent the rest of the ride with my face plastered to the window since we didn’t have time to stop in the small towns my ancestors are from. We had planned to take the bus out there and search the graveyards and churches for any records, or at least say we had walked through the towns, but the logistics of doing that with three kids and all that luggage just couldn’t be overcome. This was as close as I came - the train stop for Maribo where my ancestors lived for generations:

When we finally landed in Copenhagen, we made a blissfully short walk to our hotel and vegged out for a couple of hours. Our two full days in the city had been whittled down to a day and a few hours thanks to our detour in Germany, so we tried to make the best of the night by taking a walk through the main square (Radhuspladsen) and Europe’s longest pedestrian street called the Stroget. The boys enjoyed playing “Red Light/Green Light” in the square and we enjoyed watching the hordes of bikes roll by.

View from our room

I was determined to eat some good Danish smorrebrod (an open face sandwich that has been turned into an art in Denmark), so we searched the side streets for a good restaurant. We had been warned that Copenhagen was insanely expensive, so we finally bit the bullet and picked what seemed like a reasonable restaurant. I didn’t end up getting the smorrebrod I wanted, but we all had a good meal and didn’t cry (too hard) when we saw the bill with 25% tax. I could tell by the conversation the waitress was having with the tourists behind us that they had not been forewarned. I did think it was strange that Robbie kept pushing the kids to drink their water, but after we left he pointed out that a glass of tap water costs about $2 a glass.


 On the way back to the hotel, Robbie decided to go searching for some contact solution, so I took the boys with me. (Incidentally, he found about twenty 7-Elevens within a block of each other, but no contact solution. Danish people really love their 7-Elevens), Our hotel is only a couple blocks from all the main sights, so not a dodgy area at all. But there were a couple of strip clubs a few doors down, and now that it was dark out, they had big posters of half-naked women on the sidewalk and music blaring from speakers. As we walked by, the boys decided this was a good time to stop and boogie down to the music. Seeing my 4 and 6-year-olds dance in front of a strip club was not exactly what I expected when I read that Copenhagen was kid-friendly.

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