Many offices are closed on Thursday, Friday, and Monday surrounding Easter Sunday here in Denmark. LEGO happens to be one of them (yay!), so we packed up our station wagon and headed to Copenhagen on that Thursday morning. It was windy and cold, but the sun was shining. We were eager to get there and begin exploring.
It’s about a 3 hour drive from Billund , so we stopped halfway to have a picnic in a roadside park. The parks (and restrooms) are all very clean and well-maintained, but it was so cold out! We huddled at a park table in a stand of trees and had a basic lunch of salami and cheeses and crackers. You don’t find tons of roadside fast food and cafes in Denmark like you do in the US – it’s all rural and open here, which is refreshing.
We stayed at a Scandic hotel (same chain we stayed at in Hamburg), but this one was 30 min outside the city center because that one was booked. Hotel was nice and modern, though it was clearly for business travelers because it was fairly empty and there wasn’t a lot nearby to walk to (far as shops, restaurants, etc). The kids liked playing miniature golf on the course out back (we did it 4x and each time it was freezing out!), and there was a good breakfast buffet.
After checking in and dropping our bags off in the room, we took a quick walk to the train stop and boarded the next train into the city. Love the architecture in Copenhagen – so classically European, and so different than a typically metropolitan downtown. There were probably denser areas and more traffic somewhere in the city, but we didn’t find it. Closest thing to a traffic jam was a cluster of bikes all collapsed on the sidewalk!
Next, we walked to the Nyhavn canal area, Copenhagen’s picturesque and postcard-famous harbor area, where we bought tickets for a boat ride through the canals surrounding the city. It’s a fantastic way to see many buildings in a short amount of time, particularly with young kids. The boys loved the boat ride in the fresh air after being in the car and on a train. We sat out in the cold wind for better views, but you can also sit inside a glassed-in dome area to stay cozy.
We got just enough information on each of the sights to hold the kids’ interest and… we were on a boat… there were a couple of tight turns and low bridges involved too, so they found that rather entertaining as well. Highlights included the contemporary Opera House (where Red Bull has been hosting a World Series diving contest off of the roof!), the strikingly futuristic Royal Library or “Black Diamond,” and the peculiar helix-spire Church of Our Savior, which towers above quiet Christianshavn. Also enjoyed all of the boats parked along the sides of the narrower canals, each with their own names and character. It was cold out that day, but the boys loved sitting out in the wind and whooping as we passed below the arches of the many stone bridges that span the canals.
Afterwards, we made plans to meet some of our friends at a restaurant (an American-style burger restaurant, no less) called Mad, about a 20 minutes’ walk away from Nyhavn. Poor E was ready to stop walking already (this after spending an hour sitting on the boat). Luckily, Daddies are good for carrying small angry people, so we hustled through the city towards the busier shopping area just outside Tivoli, where we’d return the next night.
Good food, great beer – one of the best IPAs I’ve had since moving to Denmark. Bellies full, we decided to call it a night and headed back to the hotel early. It was just too cold out and starting to rain, and the drive and tour was enough for one day.
Next entry: castles and coasters!