On Sunday of our trip, Michael and I woke bright and early and went to a local Emmerys, which is a café I always love to visit when it comes to practicing my Danish. I swear that everyone who works there is always so nice and eager to speak Danish with you but don’t worry, they speak English as well. That’s the great thing about Denmark as a tourist, I don’t think you could run into a single Dane that didn’t speak at least a little English.
After our lovely breakfast of coffee and pastries, and a little Pokemon Go, we ran around to do some sightseeing while my mother and stepfather woke up. We followed Strøget, the walking street until it led us over to the Round Tower. This is a must see, maybe even my top five for Denmark. The king and his carriage used to ride up the winding tower, but today us common folk aren’t so lucky. There’s a museum about halfway up the tower, and then a little further up they have an old toilet you can look. It dumps right onto the street below, of course, it isn’t in use anymore, but it gives you a cringe-worthy look at the past and their sanitation standards. The Round Tower is a lot of fun because of all the nooks and crannies, which make great places to take photos of the winding path up the tower. Definitely make sure to bring your good walking shoes, not only for the tower but for walking the streets of Denmark, because there are cobblestones everywhere! At the top of the Round Tower you can see everything, so make sure to bring your good camera and get ready for some stunning sights of the city below.
Once we were done with the Round Tower, we met up with mom and Rich and took a train all the way up to Helsingør to see Kronborg Slot where Michael proposed about 2-4 years ago! Can’t believe how much time has passed – so much, that I can’t remember how many years have passed! He picked the best place to propose because this castle is my favorite out of every single one in Denmark. A train ticket up there and back costs a fair bit but we think it is worth the trip, and if you have time you can explore the little town to your heart’s content.
After we got off the train, we walked across the street to a small place called Café Kringlen, and they had a great deal – 3 smørrebrød and a drink for the cheapest we ever saw while in Denmark. It was delicious. We shared a meatball smørrebrød, a fried fish smørrebrød, and another that I can’t remember. So, if you go up there and are looking for a quick bite, drop in here because you won’t be disappointed with the deal and the food you get.
From the station or the restaurant, it is a short walk over to the castle and as you approach you get the grandiose view of the castle and my preferred way of seeing it. You can also look over the ocean to see Sweden if it isn’t too foggy. As you walk to the castle, you’ll pass a bench with a bronze coffee cup glued to it, and it makes an ideal place for a funny photo opportunity. Soon, we will post a photo on here of Michael and the cup! Then if you turn south of the castle, you will find some beautiful buildings that would make another excellent photo opportunity, and there is even a church nearby that you could explore. I will say this, Denmark has some of the most beautiful churches.
Once you’re done with all the opportunities for photos, you’ll pass a library and a maritime museum. Each can be seen on your trip as well, but we decided against it since the castle was our goal. I love all the moats. You’ll pass over one bridge and as you enter you’ll hear speakers adding some sounds that draw you into the past. Then as you cross the second bridge, you’ll get some more awesome photo opportunities, and you might even see some of the swans they have. It’ll also be the exact spot where Michael proposed to me. As you enter the castle gates, you’ll go straight, then take a left and there’s a little building where they sell tickets - grab a brochure and happy exploring! There’s all sorts of art and history stored inside the castle, but before you leave, you’ll want to take a stop by the dungeon where the giant, Holger, lives. It’s said that he will come to life and help Denmark when it is in distress – pretty impressive! The castle was also made famous when Shakespeare based his story, Hamlet, at the castle. I’d say the castle must be impressive if it can inspire Shakespeare.
That night Michael and I went to an awesome place for dinner called Skipper Kroen off of Nyhavn. We sat inside since the night air was a bit too cold, but if you visit on a warmer night, you should get a table outside. It’s fun to people watch as you eat, and it also gives a little more atmosphere to the whole Denmark experience. We had a lovely dinner of mussels in a white wine fennel sauce. They had to be the best mussels Michael and I have ever tasted. We only got one or two with a tiny bit of grit out of about 30! No matter where and how much we pay in the US, we’ve never found such yummy morsels. And then we shared their profiterole dessert – yum! We recommend a visit!
On Monday, we once more walked over to Emmerys. What can we say? They had what we wanted like tebirkes and decent prices, and they almost always had plenty of room for us.
And then we went to take the metro to a train station and noticed that the trains weren’t running. Say what? We found out that the Danes were having a train strike and no trains would be running that day! Of course, they had to choose that week, but thankfully there are plenty of good ways to get around Copenhagen, and we had plenty to do in Copenhagen, otherwise, that would have been sad news for us. Once we finally got to the train central train station, we got some advice from the DSB agents on how to purchase the cheapest tickets. When we went, they had Orange Fri tickets, which were the most affordable, and if you bought the ticket at least a day ahead, the price was even cheaper, and it was also less expensive if you bought it online using their app. Michael and I eventually did end up buying phone plans for $10 a day from Verizon, so we just downloaded their app. It really is the easiest way, especially when the machines in the central train station are finicky.
In the end, we ended up tooting around the city on a bus for a while and then wound up near Strøget, the walking street. It was about lunch, so we grabbed a pølse (sausage) from one of the many sausage stands that dot Copenhagen – yum! When you go to Copenhagen, you have to order one of these sausages – it's like a right of passage – or “when in Rome do as the Romans do”. Once we had those ordered, we found a place near Nyhavn to have a seat and watch the people while we ate our sausages. Hopefully, we looked just like Danes!
Once we were done, we strolled down along the harbor of Nyhavn until we found a place where we could have a beer. Well, I had a beer and Michael had a cup of tea. I’ve always wanted to have a beer on Nyhavn because I feel like it is the ultimate Danish treat and needs to be done. It’s one easy way of experiencing a day in the life of a Dane – sit outside near the water with a cold beer on a somewhat warm day enjoying the sun – because the Danes enjoy the sun every single moment they can.
After that, we just walked around a little and then walked over to a Netto, which is a grocery store, which I have found to be one of the cheapest. We picked up some koldskål and some cookies to go with it. This is usually something the Danes enjoy during the summer or warmer months, but I couldn’t resist! Once we got back to the VRBO, I shared the treat with Michael. I’ve never seen it anywhere else, and I was amazed to find that Michael liked it! Koldskål is kind of like a lemony/sour eggnog but not as rich or thick, and Michael doesn’t like eggnog, so it was interesting to see his reaction to it. He even had seconds.
After that, we had dinner over at Skipper Kroen again and had mussels again! When you find a good restaurant, it can be hard to venture out, and Michael and I were positive that we would never get such great mussels ever again.
After that, we had churros a few restaurants over because they are all over Copenhagen, and Michael and I just had to have some fried dough. They did not taste like the churros I know of, but it was still fried and delicious, so it wasn’t like I was about to complain. There also seems to be a trend over there to serve triangle shaped waffles on a stick. No idea where that came from, but again, I’m not protesting the trend.
The next post will be about our adventure over to Jutland, the part of Denmark that’s attached to Germany.