København // Copenhagen

Never in my life did I think that I would be plucked out of good ol’ Grand Rapids and dropped into the {nearly} unreal city of Copenhagen. However, when we found that I had won this trip, Copenhagen was one of the first cities to pop into my head of “I’ve got to get myself there” places. Ethan’s cousin, Amanda, moved to Denmark over six and a half years ago and I can see why she has stayed. A beautiful city with equally beautiful people, Copenhagen was downright dreamy.

Amanda and Ethan

We crashed with Amanda for three nights, which was an incredible opportunity to not only visit with someone we rarely are able to see {terribly sad…}, but to also avoid the madness of tourism and soak in the daily Danish life. Although we were practically robbed blind by the cost of red wine, Danish beer and local eats {let’s just say that the Danish Krone is doing slightly better than the U.S. Dollar}, it was worth every penny. This city is chock full of corner pubs, cafés and restaurants that made me dream of quitting life here in the U.S., selling the little we own and opening a beer and sandwich dive. But, for now, we’ll save that for my second life.

The resemblance was far too strong.

Aside from spectacular eats and drinks, Copenhagen is an active person’s dreamland. I’ve dreamt and pondered over cities where bikes truly are king {and queen!}, and this place made my wildest dreams come true. In walking and riding through the various neighborhoods, men in suits and women in mini skirts and four inch heels flooded the bike lanes. So much that, in a city with an urban population of 1,213,822 {shout out to Wikipedia!}, bikes often outnumbered the amount of cars on the streets. With a bike rental/repair shop on almost every block, we had no problem getting around the city. Rain, shine, wind, whatever – the Danes know how to get it done on a bike.. and efficiently, too. Wide streets allow for wide, two-lane bike lanes and the inclusion of the bike on streetlights aids in the fight against bike collisions. If only we could catch on to the ease of bike transport here in West Michigan… sigh. Innovative and forward thinkers, unite!

Image courtesy of Flickr.

Naturally, we couldn’t visit the city without partaking in some sort of touristy sightseeing. When arriving in the city, we marched straight for Nyhavn – one of the most busy and tourist-filled areas of the city. I didn’t care – I had to see the picturesque, colorful buildings that line the canal. And I’m so glad we spent some time there – this piece of the city is straight out of a picture book and totally worth the crowds and expensive dining {not so sure Amanda would agree, but hey..}.

The second attraction we chose to visit was Rosenborg Slot (Castle). Originally built as a summer home {ha!}, Rosenborg is a castle that sits near the center of the city, surrounded by majestic gardens and the greenest of lawns. One helluva summer home if you ask me; Christian IV – what a charmer you are. Ethan and I spent hours wandering not only the property’s halls and rooms but also its charming gardens.. making every attempt not to anger the castle’s easily-tempered guards {yikes..}.

One of my most favorite aspects of Copenhagen was the fact that nearly every park or piece of public property, for that matter, was often full of picnic-goers. Added bonus? These picnics often included bottles of wine and/or beer. The only thing that beats a picnic is a picnic that includes the tinking of wine glasses – you can’t deny that. So, picnic we did! Amanda met us with an incredible spread of Danish delights and a bottle of Rosé. Truly one of those “can we stop time here?” moments, we soaked in the sun, the scenery and the goodness that is Copenhagen.

I can easily say that this beautiful place in Denmark truly has my heart. Amanda, you are a spectacular and lovely person {and hostess!}; we are so lucky to call you not only family, but friend. We hope to visit you again, wherever life may take you. Until then, I will ride my bike with a helmet and smuggle wine into nearby parks via brown paper bags!

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