Thursday, August 29, 2013

21+22 August: Sightseeing in Copenhagen

Wednesday August 21, 2013

What a delight to lay down and sleep. I definitely missed out on that during the previous night when I was in the night train from the Netherlands to Denmark. We took the bikes towards the city centre after a slow but cozy breakfast. Our sightseeing started off at a covered food market. Everything looked so clean and tasty. There was a smell of rosemary and happiness in the air with a hint of liquorice. Quality isn't cheap though. I was kind of shocked to see a small package of liquorice being sold for around 13 euro's. Still, I tried this kind in Kaunas once and I must say it's worth it.

I didn't really know what to expect when travelling to Copenhagen. In my mind it looked clean, brightened up with Scandinavian colors and with a fair amount of decorative details on the buildings' facades. The city turned out to be a little less decorated than on first hand expected which makes it less overwhelming in comparison with for example Riga. The building style used in Copenhagen is very simplistic, yet not boring. It has a right balance and still makes the atmosphere cozy and warm.

In the main shopping street I found my new favorite store. Illums Bolighus it's called. It's packed with wonderful Scandinavian designer products, from accessories to kitchen utensils, furniture and even clothes. Once I have a proper job I definitely have to go back here and buy some long lasting products for my apartment (or house or whatever place I may live). All products just looked so attractive and far from being kitsch. Loved it.

We had a lunch break in the city centre and I ordered a delicious sandwich with chicken on a bread which had this typical Northern cardamom taste. Back home the food happiness only continued with some wraps and 'chocolate coated marshmallows' (negerzoenen in Dutch) as dessert. Also some chocolate 'skildpadder' (frogs with heavenly filling) disappeared that evening while watching some Kaunas pictures and hilarious Youtube video's.

Thursday August 22, 2013

Off to Frederiksberg! What a nice castle to be found there. The park surrounding this building was also worth taking a look at. I even spotted some elephants from the zoo. Everywhere in the park there were little canals. On a sunny day like this it was just a delight to take a walk here. When our dosis of nature was sufficient we cycled off to Vesterbro, a rather alternative district but with many fancy, hip restaurants. We furthermore had a look at 'Lithuania square'. It looked a bit messy, but the most characteristic element of contemporary Lithuanian culture could be found there: a basketball court. The square was surrounded by Latvia Street and Estonia Street. The Latvia part looked slightly Sovietic, with old fashioned bricks as a kind of artwork attached to the building. The opposite, Estonia street, looked a bit more colorful.

One of Astrid's friends is a guide on a boat. We decided to join her on one of the rides. The sky looked rather dark but as far as we had seen there was no rain predicted for that day. That was a mistake. When being in between a cruise boat, an army vessel and a 1700s-like looking ship a heavy shower struck the no roof having boat filled with tourists. Many people were covering their heads with a tourist map in order to stay dry. After just a few minutes it rained that hard that the maps fell into hundreds of pieces, covering the tourists' heads. We were soaking wet. I somehow had my winter hat in my backpack so at least when the rain stopped I managed to keep myself warm by wearing my happy red hat. We decided to head back home in order to change out clothes, but after having cycled for 20 minutes we were basically dry again. A hot tea and some more Danish chocolate treats were however still very welcome.

An afternoon stroll at the sea side made me realize how clear the water in Copenhagen actually is. The reflection of the sun on the calm water gave us the more seldom becoming chance to get a slight tan this year. The air in Denmark is so clean, so pure. Yes, I really enjoy being here. The apartment blocks on the sea side looked so attractive, yet so expensive. Also the offices in this area had a proper allure. Close to the harbor housing pricy yachts a little beach was to be found with happy children splashing around in the sea. Our walk continued with a short tour through Hellerup where a lot of little shops offering quality goods can be found. I was told that the shops assistants over there are incredibly friendly, which didn't come as a surprise. In one of the supermarkets we bought some pasta carbonara and wine for that evenings' diner. During our food shopping session I just kept on walking around with my little Danish Crown to Euro converter paper. I was still as shocked about the high prices as the first day I arrived in Denmark.

We concluded the day with the documentary 'Oma and Bella', a piece from Astrid's impressive DVD collection. It is about two Jewish ladies living in Berlin, one originating from Poland, the other from Lithuania. In this simplistically filmed docu the granddaughter of one of the ladies shows an insight of the thoughts of these sweet grannies while cooking Jewish meals. Another lovely day had come to an end...

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