May 26, 2016

 

“Life itself is the most wonderful fairytale” – H.C. Andersen

 

I had the most amazing time on my recent mini-tour of Denmark and Sweden! My only regret is that I did not have longer to explore these two stops, and that I did not get a chance to squeeze in Norway. However, if this trip taught me anything it is that my love for Scandinavian culture runs deep, and that I will surely be back to do more traveling!

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Kronborg castle, at the edge of the Baltic Sea, with a view of Sweden.

 

The people I met were so welcoming and eager to tell me all about their culture and their everyday life, which I found at times so very different from my own, and there was something new at every turn. My senses were on overload with the sights, sounds, tastes and smells that I experienced in the capitol cities of Copenhagen and Stockholm, and with a trip to the Danish countryside it’s safe to say I forelskede sig i landet (fell in love with the country)…both countries, actually.

 

There is far too much to tell for just one post, so in the coming months my hope is to introduce you to all of it over many posts. I will tell you about (finally!) meeting cousin Annelise in Copenhagen, the “authentic Denmark shops” in the Old City she took me to, and the areas of København she said I simply could not miss. You’ll join me as we have classic tea at Perch’s Tea Room, a 181 year-old beloved establishment in København, take a canal tour around Copenhagen, try my first akvavit at Tivoli Gardens, and enjoy en hyggelig aften (a cozy evening) in Nyhavn finally understanding the meaning of hygge.

 

photo courtesy of IVY Marketing Group

Pippi Langstrømpe (Pippi Longstocking) plays at the Tivoli Gardens stage in Copenhagen.

 

You will be with me as I revisit Kongens Have (The King’s Garden at Rosenborg) and meet Hans Christian Andersen (one of many times!). I will then tell you about the Danish countryside and my visits to Frederiksborg Slot (castle) and UNESCO World Heritage sites Kronborg Castle and Roskilde Cathedral.  In addition, we’ll travel to the Vikingeskibs Museet (The Viking Ship Museum) in Roskilde and, of course, meet Den Lille Havfrue (The Little Mermaid).

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H.C. Andersen statue at Rosenborg Castle Gardens

 

Then, it is on to Sweden, which was so very different from Denmark. With its’ castles, canals, islands, and history (yes, and more Vikings!), I thought the two would not differ much, but I could not have been more wrong. From the walks around Gamlastan, Sødermalm and Östermalm, visiting the great Vasa Museum, dancing to ABBA tunes, enjoying amazing culinary feats and perfecting the art of fika (the ultimate kaffe break) with new friends, it was a cultural explosion!

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The Vasa Ship, a 17th century ship that sank moments after its first voyage and lay for 333 years in Stockholm Harbor.

 

One thing I learned for sure, Scandinavia is more than just the land of pickled herring, blondes and meatballs. There is so, so much more, and I cannot wait to share it all with you! Tune in next week for my first ‘official’ installment!

 

If you are inspired from what you have read here, first off, plan to read next week’s post (and subsequent posts!), but also plan to attend The Danish Home’s annual Summerfest next month. This yearly festival celebrates Danish culture and heritage with traditional smørrebrød (open face sandwiches), a Danish Bageri (bakery) Booth featuring brød og kager (breads and cakes) and søde ting (sweet things), entertainment, and more. Stay tuned for more info to come!

 

 

All photos courtesy of IVY Marketing Group.