Learning To Be At Home In The World

We landed in Berlin a few hours ago, but as I’m sitting here in our hostel cafe I can’t stop thinking about the time we just spent in Copenhagen. If you’re looking for a super busy, tourist attraction-filled trip, then I must warn you that Denmark isn’t for you — but the lack of hustle and bustle is exactly why I adored this stop on our trip. Sure, we found ourselves on a few tours, learning about some of Denmark’s military history and their royal family, but the majority of our time was just spent hanging out. We stayed in a pretty Airbnb in Frederiksburg (a 30 minute walk from the city center) and met up with Emily and some of her friends who were in town as well, making up our trip itinerary as we went along. I wish I could bottle up the feeling of complete peace I felt there and share it with you all — it truly felt like a little piece of home in an entirely different corner of the word.

Our Airbnb was so bright, clean, and cheerful — it made the perfect home base to relax a bit and get some much needed rest. The first night there, I made a quick trip to the local grocery store and bought some healthy food to keep in the fridge (because as it turns out, vegetables are a necessary part of keeping myself happy and functioning on long trips). I slept in the living room, which had a cute balcony with a great view of the neighborhood and windows that let soft light in as soon as the sun came up. My happiest moments in the last few weeks were spent in a hammock on that balcony, sipping espresso and listening to the birds early in the morning or watching a little Netflix as the sun set before bed. Thank you to Frederikke, Nikolaj, and Wilma for lending us your apartment for a few days — we didn’t get the chance to meet but your home made our visit so much better.

To me food is a huge component of culture, and experiencing foreign tastes are one of the biggest appeals of travel. Copenhagen’s food scene did not disappoint — although the foods they consume aren’t all that different from home, the Danes take great pride in sourcing the best ingredients and creating healthy, delicious dishes to enjoy with friends. My favorite meals were a Spanish omelet with homemade rye bread for brunch on our first day, risotto (and a lot of wine ;)) from a fancy restaurant called Madklubben, and smorrebrod (open faced sandwiches traditionally made on rye bread) that we had on a food tasting tour. Denmark is also famous for their hot dogs, which I thought was strange, but they’re actually much better than the ones we eat in the U.S. Safe to say my belly was full and happy for our entire stay!

Along that same vein, Torvehallerne was one of my favorite places we visited — I ended up there three separate times, in fact. Torvehallerne is somewhat of a permanent street market, with two separate halls serving up amazing produce, street food, alcohol, desserts, and flowers. It reminded me a lot of Pike Place Market, but smaller. Here I tried some Vietnamese banh mi for lunch, a yummy ginger-y juice, a traditional Danish fish cake with curry remoulade, and a marshmallow chocolate dessert. To say I had to be dragged out of here was an understatement.

One of the few touristy areas we visited was Nyhavn, and despite the crowds and lines I absolutely loved it here. The little port neighborhood is known for its colorful buildings, wooden boat collection, and many photo opps which didn’t disappoint. We boarded a harbor tour from Nyhavn, and also enjoyed some ice cream as an afternoon pick me up. Not everything in Copenhagen has to be healthy, ok? The only downside is that, as a tourist attraction, everything in Nyhavn was super expensive so we didn’t spend a ton of time there. I’m thankful we got to visit for a few hours though!

A few extra pictures for your enjoyment — bikes EVERYWHERE (I’m serious, everyone in Denmark owns one and rides it religiously), the famous Little Mermaid state and nearby harbor, the oldest street in Copenhagen (named Magstraede, or “toilet street” — I’ll let you guess why), and Rob being a general goofball.

All I can say is that my heart is full going into these four days in Berlin. I’m not sure what this leg of the trip holds, but I envision a lot of beer, food, WWII history, and Birkenstock shopping in my future. Wish me luck!