The “holy days” of Easter — Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday are national holidays in much of Europe including Denmark. I had Good Friday and Easter Monday as holidays, which gave me a four day weekend. Since a small percentage of Danes attend church services (estimate of 10%), this holiday period is observed as family time. Most retail shops are closed, but museum, entertainment venues and many restaurants remain open.
It’s another short plane ride to Copenhagen (1.5 hrs) and this time the best flight deal was out of Brussels (we have 7 airport options within a two hour radius). We left Thursday after work and arrived around 8pm. We stayed at an economy hotel in Vesterbro, which was a great location close to the train station and an easy walk into the heart of the city.
It was cold all weekend with temps in the low 30s, but Friday was sunny and a good day to be outside. We took the high speed train across the Oresundbron bridge to Malmo, Sweden in the morning and spent a few hours there. We explored two nice squares, St. Peter’s Church and Malmo Castle. The castle is not very pretty on the outside, but the museum inside had some interesting exhibits. One of the exhibits was a private perfume collection on loan. We found lunch at a funky cafe that was also a music store.
When we got back to Copenhagen, our plan to visit the Botanical Garden struck out because it was closed. We hit a couple of other sites on our list instead. I had scored a half-off dinner at a restaurant via TripAdvisor/The Fork and we had a really nice meal there. Copenhagen is a pricey city and we tried to make our euros stretch!
On Saturday morning we picked up Copenhagen Cards that would pay our way into all the attractions we would visit and also cover public transport cost for 48 hrs. First up was a canal tour. It was 0/32 degrees, but thankfully the boat was covered and heated. Well, I was thankful. Dick decided to sit outside for “a better view”. The windows were kinda dirty, so maybe he was right. Like Amsterdam, the canal tour was a great way to see a lot of Copenhagen. I love how the old and new architecture blend in this city.
Saturday was the only day that the shops were open, so I insisted on some shopping! Dick was less than thrilled. One of my must stops was A.C. Perch’s tea shop. I waited in line for about a half hour to get in (while Dick wandered around). The shop is tiny and quaint! It was worth the wait. After that, we climbed the Round Tower and got some good views of the city. I was hoping for smorrebrod for lunch, but the restaurant I selected was closed. We settled for a Danish hotdog from a street vendor. We caught an English tour of the Queen’s reception rooms at Christianborg in the afternoon and had time to browse through the royal stables there as well. My work colleagues recommended a southwestern restaurant called Llama and that’s where we had dinner. I was a little annoyed that we had to sit at the bar, but the food was really good.
We went to an Easter service at St. Albans Church. It’s an English Anglican Church that was built with the patronage of the Prince and Princess of Wales (the Prince was the future King Edward VII of England). Princess Alexandra was the daughter of King Christian IX. The church is pretty and looks like it belongs in an English countryside. The service was a little too high for my taste, but I guess it was a cultural experience.
The Danish Design museum was a short walk from St. Albans, but then we had to wait 40 min outside to get in. May I remind you that it was cold! This was a pretty cool museum and there was a whole room dedicated to Danish chairs. I noticed that they served smorrebrod at the cafe and that took care of our mid-afternoon hunger. We went to Amalienborg, the royal residence, after that and did the “Easter” tour. There really wasn’t much about Easter in the tour, but it was a good overview of the royal family and how they ended up living at this castle. We had enough time left to take a look at Frederiks church, which is Lutheran and the Queen’s church. After a break at our hotel and some dinner, we went to Tivoli. It’s an old amusement park and garden right in the city. I guess it has a certain charm, but we found it to be overpriced and not that interesting — and it was a little too cold to do any rides.
So we really liked Copenhagen and maybe we’ll go back sometime when the weather is warm and we can explore more of Denmark. It wasn’t an entirely peaceful trip, however. I think there were some underlying stuff that didn’t allow us to completely relax and go with the flow. Dick and I have a different pace and way of experiencing things, which it requires patience and understanding in the best of circumstances. We had a lot on our minds this time. Dick’s father was very ill in the hospital and this was worrying us (he’s much better now and back home). It’s also been difficult to be in the moment when can’t help but think about what’s ahead. I’ve been applying for jobs, nailing down temporary housing and keeping tabs on the real estate market. We’ve been thinking A LOT about everything that needs to get done in the next two months. Our next period will be hosting family and we’re really looking forward to that!