Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Fortieth weekend

We finally made it to Copenhagen! Our trip was cancelled last fall at the last minute when I got sick, and the kids have been asking ever since, "when are we going to Copenhagen? I want to ride the train!" So finally this May, we got there. And what a fun time it was!

We left in the morning on Friday so that we'd arrive at the long bridge to Sjaelland around lunchtime. There's a great park on either side of the bridge, so we packed a picnic and ate by the water.

There was also a fun little playground, so the kids burned off a little energy half-way through our 3-hour tour.
I was shocked that Svea could climb these by herself! We stood close, since the distance between the slippery bars was half as tall as she is, and she only slipped once.

Anders loves having his picture taken high up on top of climbing structures!

The beginning of the second longest bridge in the world. It took us a full ten minutes to cross. It's something like 19km, including the causeway on one end.
I thought it funny that there was a field of cows sort of in the middle of the bridge causeway. I guess you just eat wherever there's good eating!
I've always thought bridges look kind of cool from inside, where you can see all the structures looming high overhead.
After we got over the bridge, we had to stop for a restroom. This public one outside of a stripmall made us laugh. Essentially, the one on the left is for men and women, and the one on the right, only men.
When we arrived in town, we stopped by the school that does a student exchange with Macomb High School back home. The teacher Thomas who we have met several times at our home when he was in Illinois with his students met us and we went down to the harbour to look at the boats and have an ice cream. It was a gorgeous day! And so fun to see all these boats. We were also impressed with this painting that was in progress on the dock; an artist (who we never saw) was painting the picture of the harbour.
My pictures got a bit out of order here, and I can't seem to move them around once they're in this page, so I'll just go with it. This here is the three kids sitting on the train on our way into Copenhagen for our "tourist day" with Signe and Alex and their girls. It was the kids' first trip on a train, and they all enjoyed it immensely! They liked being big kids and getting to sit on the bench seats for the half-hour trip from the suburbs into the city. We also took the metro for one stop to get to where we went for lunch. 

We climbed a tower where you can see all of Copenhagen. Most of the way up was a cobblestone road, originally designed for a horse and buggy; this was designed as a star-gazing tower. Now you walk up the very steep road, and then climb up 40 steps, followed by about 20 really narrow winding steps, and arrive at some amazing views of the city. There's a 360-degree balcony up there.
It was fun to watch the kids be amazed at what we could see from up there.

We also decided to do one of the canal tours on a boat. That was glorious fun as well, though a bit chilly in some parts where the wind was quick!
We took several pictures of this, the most recognized street of Nyhavn. It's often what people think of when they think of Copenhagen.

Svea was switching seats throughout the boat trip, wanting to sit with Torben and then with me, and then with Jeff, and back and forth. I loved this picture of them giving each other a big hug. It's so fun how much the kids love each other.
Our next day in Copenhagen, we went to lunch at Bakken, the oldest amusement park in the world. I ordered a club sandwich; I received some sort of club tower. It was huge!
These photos are now back to our trip of the harbour at our arrival into our Copenhagen weekend. The yellow fields are so abundant and beautiful. They are Raps -in English, rapeseed- which they use to make oil. It's delicious on bread.

We don't often get pictures with all five of us in them, so we took advantage of having a friend along to get a family picture. Way in the background behind us is the coast of Sweden. Though we were so close, we did not cross the bridge to Sweden. Someday we will have to make a special trip to see the land of my ancestors.
Jeff and I both love the serenity of big tanker boats floating on the water.
Back to our tourist day downtown in Copenhagen. Here is me, walking to see the changing of the guard at the castle. The Queen was not in residence, so it wasn't a big fanfare that day, but was fun to see nonetheless.

The kids all enjoyed watching the guards marching in lines and taking up their places in front of the castles.

While we were there, one of the Princes came home, and within five minutes of his arrival, the flag went up over his residence. You can always tell when they are at home, because the flag waves overhead.

Jeff and the boys on the balcony overlooking all of Copenhagen.
And again we took advantage of having friends with us to get a family picture. This time Rosa decided to join us!
We put money into the telescope so all the kids could have a chance to see the city up close.

H.C. Andersen.
This is quite hilarious. The bridge across the canal here was built from each side, toward the middle. Somehow, someone's measurements were off, and they cannot actually figure out how to make the two pieces meet. So, there a huge gap.
Svea and mommy on the canal boat. She loved being a big girl and sitting here too.
Another climbing tower. This one is 400-some steps, up the outside of the building. We admired it from afar. It is cool looking, though!

The boys liked this tower; it is four dragons with their tails intertwined.
This is another cool building; boats can sail right into the center of it. I believe it's converted into expensive apartments now.

Of course, no tourist day in Copenhagen would be complete without seeing The Little Mermaid. We only saw her from behind, while on the canal boat, but it was necessary to take a picture just the same.

While we were at Bakken, we also took a walk in the woods around the park. It's such a neat place. There's no admission fee to go to the park itself, you pay for rides individually instead. So you can just wander and see the sites. Lunch was pretty big, so we had a nice walk before going to any rides.
We're still not entirely sure what animals these are. They look sort of like deer, but have very different horn structures.
The boys really had a fun time with Kamma and Rosa.

Signe and Kamma having fun on the kangaroo ride. I think Rosa is in the one in front of them, just about to jump out of the picture.
All four of them went on the log ride.
Jeff and Torben had fun on the log ride also, and got quite soaked!

Anders and Torben and I rode the small train that took a tour of the park.
There didn't seem to be an exact science to the sizing of the cotton candy. Kamma's was about as big as she is.
Rosa's was twice as big as her head.
Anders opted for a strawberry lollipop instead.
And Jeff shared some of Torben's.
We had so much fun staying with Signe and Alex and their girls. And one night we went into the city and into Fredriksburg to see Louise and Thomas and their boys for dinner. All the kids had such a fun time playing together! We stayed until almost 11pm, even though all the kids go to bed before 8. And they all did amazingly well. 

Thankfully all the kids slept in a bit on Monday morning, and we ate a leisurely breakfast and then headed back home. It was such a fun weekend! 

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