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Scandinavia Trip in Progress: Copenhagen, Stockholm, Oslo and the Western Fijords

Scandinavia Trip in Progress: Copenhagen, Stockholm, Oslo and the Western Fijords

Old May 13th, 2022, 01:33 PM
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Scandinavia Trip in Progress: Copenhagen, Stockholm, Oslo and the Western Fijords

We are a few days into our first trip to Scandinavia, so I thought I’d try to post a few notes and pics of the trip in progress, similar to what I did in Portugal and Croatia last year. Our itinerary will be as follows:

Copenhagen 4 nights

Stockholm 4 nights

Oslo 3 nights

Bergen 2 nights

Norway’s western fjords between Bergen and Ålesund 6 nights

Our arrival into Copenhagen was uneventful, and the weather has been wonderful, brisk but clear, with highs of around 60°F/15°C.

Our AirBnB is in a perfect location, a 2 minute walk to Christiansborg Palace, 2 minutes to Strøget, the main shopping street, 5 minutes to touristy but charming Nyhavn, and 8-10 minutes in different directions to Tivoli Gardens and the Round tower, and just a bit further to Amelienborg Palace.

The apartment is quirky, located in a 4th floor (American) walk-up in the attic of the building, in which every room has at least one low slanted ceiling, upon which we have both bonked our heads at least once. In addition, there is a two-inch high threshold in the doorways between every single room, which puts you in the challenging position of having to pay attention to both your head and your feet at the same time.

It also has an unusual “U”-shaped floor plan, which wraps 3/4 the way around an internal courtyard, with the bedroom at one end and the bathroom on the other, requiring the guest to thread a very narrow pathway between the kitchen counter on one side and the slanted ceiling on the other. (This is especially fun during a 3am mid-sleep bathroom run). Even in day time, if someone is cooking or washing dishes, then you definitely have to duck down in order to get by. (And if the dishwasher door is open then all bets are off!)

Dealing with serious jet lag the day after our arrival, we stuck pretty close to home, doing a self-guided tour of the Christiansborg Palace in the morning, followed by lunch at a very charming little restaurant on our street called 26 Admiralgade (which also happens to be the address).

After lunch we just wandered around the historic center, from the city hall to very busy Nyhavn, where I discovered an abondance of restaurants serving authentic Danish pizza, burgers, and churros 😉. On our way back we made a quick detour back to the Royal Stables at Christiansborg, which are only open in the afternoon.

That evening we had an excellent dinner of modern Nordic cuisine in a warm, homey setting at Marv and Ben, on a quiet cobble stoned street near our apartment. A wonderful way to finish our first full day.


Our quirky 3 sided apartment

Our tricky kitchen

Looking at Sam in the bathroom window across the courtyard from the bedroom window.

Christiansborg

Christiansborg

Royal Palace Apartments

Royal Palace Apartments

Royal Palace Apartments

Royal Palace Apartments

Royal Palace Apartments

Royal Palace Apartments

Royal Palace Apartments



Nikolaj, Copenhagen Contemporary Art Center

Royal stables

Nyhavn
Børsen, former stock exchange

Opera House

Covered gallery




Last edited by russ_in_LA; May 13th, 2022 at 01:47 PM.
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Old May 13th, 2022, 01:43 PM
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Oh I'm excited for this! I read your Portugal and Croatia TRs and really enjoyed them!
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Old May 13th, 2022, 02:56 PM
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Me, too!
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Old May 13th, 2022, 03:58 PM
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We rented bikes in both Copenhagen and Stockholm and really enjoyed it. Dedicated separate bike lanes made driving bikes all over both cities feel very safe. Love both places. One of my favorite shows ever is Borgen set in modern day Copenhagen. In the 60’s my parents picked out and bought wonderful mid century modern furniture for our living room and dining room from Illums Bolighus and had it all shipped back to Los Angeles. I still have most of the furniture and had a great time going back there on our visit to Copenhagen in 2015. Looking forward to the rest of your trip report!
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Old May 13th, 2022, 04:13 PM
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Wonderful to see more trip reports once again, but particularly great that it is from one of my favorite photographers. Beautiful interiors! Too bad you're not in Helsinki: "A wonderful way to finish our first full day." Finnish..get it?! 😁
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Old May 13th, 2022, 05:23 PM
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Copenhagen! It's one of my favorite European cities. The Design Museum is well worth a look. If you like what you see, there are so many worthwhile furniture shops in the city. And do sample the bakeries in the city - even better than Paris I must say.

Good one, TDudette!
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Old May 13th, 2022, 10:45 PM
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Going to Copenhagen, Stockholm and Bergen/fjords in June so look forward to your reports!
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Old May 14th, 2022, 06:00 AM
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Thanks everyone for your encouragement!!

@macdogmom I really wish we had done a bike tour, or at least rented a couple. We’ve done that in many other cities and loved it.

@tripplanner The design museum is closed until June! 😩 My biggest disappointment of the trip!!

@TDudette I almost didn’t Dane to reply as I really can’t Cope(enhagen) with puns*. 😆

*Ugh! I should be banned for that one.
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Old May 14th, 2022, 06:53 AM
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Thrilled to see that you have posted another trip report and to places that we loved visiting!
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Old May 14th, 2022, 11:08 AM
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Day two started with a walk to the Amalienborg Palace, where we arrived just in time to see the changing of the guards. It’s really quite a lengthy affair, as the palace complex is composed of four nearly identical buildings set symmetrically around a central square, with guards posted in front of each one. As a result, the four new replacement guards march around the entire square where they systematically replace each of the old guards, one at a time.

Having done a tour through the royal apartments, as well as nearby Frederik’s Church, we wandered through the surrounding neighborhood, popping into home interior stores filled with impossibly sleek high-end furniture, which seemed to be the embodiment of elegant simplicity itself.



Amalienborg


Amalienborg

Super cute coffee truck

Old guard

New guards

Frederik’s Church

Frederik’s Church interior


After a lunch of open-faced sandwiches, we spent the afternoon at Tivoli Gardens, where 60,000 tulip bulbs are planted each year. We were very fortunate to hit the bloom at its peak, and the variety of shapes and colors was amazing. There were tulips with scalloped petals and tulips with smooth, rounded petals and pointy ones, with colors ranging from pastels to bright primary colors, and even a purple so dark it almost looked black. The floral displays confirmed our decision to have taken this trip in May.




















On our way back, we passed the city hall and stopped at the Round Tower, a 17th century structure built as an observatory. Instead of stairs, it has a spiral equestrian ramp, which makes the ascent much easier, and the view of the historic center of Copenhagen from the top is impressive.


Rådhus, or city hall

Creatures of the Rådhus

Round house

Going round and round up to the top of the Round House


The next day we made the 30 minute journey by train to the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, situated along the seaside north of Copenhagen. It has an amazing collection of 20th century art, featuring luminaries such as Giocometti, Calder, Dubuffet and Miró, as well as lessor known (to me at least) Danish artists. The highlight for me is the sculpture garden which meanders through the complex. There are also special temporary exhibits, currently featuring Ukrainian-born French artist Sonia Delaunay, as well as American photographer Diane Arbus.


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That evening, we had a real splurge dinner to celebrate my 59th birthday, at the fabulous Kadeau restaurant on Christianshavn island, across the water from our apartment. We waited for our table in a light filled, glass-walled solarium, which looked out onto their garden, after which we were shown to a beautifully simple dining room with dried flowers hung from the walls along the perimeter. The restaurant is described as New Nordic cuisine, inspired by specialties from Bornholm island, where the owner was born, and the 20 or so small courses of one to four bites each were bursting with unique flavors which really reflected the produce of the local area.







So that concludes our first visit to Copenhagen. The people we encountered were friendly, the weather mostly behaved, and we loved seeing how many people bicycle to work every day. My only regrets are that we didn’t make it to Christiana Free Town, or to any of the outlying areas, such as Østerbro, to visit some less touristy shops and restaurants. I’m super disappointed that the Design museum was closed, and that we didn’t make time to do a bike tour, but that’s what next time is for!




Last edited by russ_in_LA; May 14th, 2022 at 11:19 AM.
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Old May 14th, 2022, 12:30 PM
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Lovely pictures, interesting art and the food sounds wonderful. We wandered through Christiana on our visit and it had great late 60/70’s SF vibes. I think the new Noma restaurant is located there.
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Old May 14th, 2022, 01:06 PM
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Happy Birthday Russ! Glad you are able to do it experiencing interesting places. Sorry about the design museum, but hope you had a taste from the furniture stores. Love the tulips.
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Old May 14th, 2022, 01:41 PM
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Happy birthday! Super photos - Copenhagen was my least favorite of the Scandinavian capitals, but you make it look great. Not a fan of modern art, but love the owl.
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Old May 14th, 2022, 02:49 PM
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Always love your reports, Russ, and happy birthday!
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Old May 14th, 2022, 04:11 PM
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That single statue against the wall of windows truly called out. Excellent shots.

Your puns are forgiven!
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Old May 14th, 2022, 05:11 PM
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Happy birthday and many thanks for sharing. Those flowers are stunning. Signing up for the rest of the trip.
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Old May 15th, 2022, 05:57 AM
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A few random parting thoughts on Denmark:
  1. Rhubarb is “in” in a big way. I had rhubarb sodas twice and it was a component in a couple dishes and juices at Kadeau as well. We’ve enjoyed rhubarb crumbles for dessert a couple times, and they were delicious. When we asked a waiter if rhubarb is a normally a commonly used ingredient here, he said that it used to be, then it fell out of favor, but now it’s become very trendy again.
  2. Fika is sacred. What is Fika? Well, it’s coffee, but not only coffee. According to a BBC article I found, “Fika roughly translates from Swedish as drinking coffee, munching sweet treats and chatting. Most Swedes have fika several times a day, whether it’s at the weekend or during the week. It’s about spending time with people, eating lovely homemade baked goods and drinking great coffee. It’s like going to the pub in other countries.” Do I like Fika? Fik yeah!
  3. The people are friendly, at least the ones we have met. I had heard that Scandinavians could be cool and aloof, but at least in shops and restaurants they have been very nice and helpful. Even people on the streets have been happy to help with questions about directions, etc.
  4. They really are taller on average. In Japan I like to think that I’m towering Gulliver. In Denmark, I’m just a tiny Lilliputian.

Last edited by russ_in_LA; May 15th, 2022 at 06:02 AM.
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Old May 15th, 2022, 11:29 AM
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Russ, I really enjoyed your TR on Portugal and now am looking forward to hearing and seeing more of this trip. Later this summer we’ll be in Copenhagen - and now we are definitely going to the Louisiana Art MuseumI It somewhat reminds me the the Foundation Maeght in St. Paul de Vence. Thanks for the wonderful photos.

Laughed at the picture of your husband in the other side of the apartment...
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Old May 15th, 2022, 11:52 AM
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How timely - just last night I told my spouse I want to visit Denmark.

Those flowers! WOW!
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Old May 15th, 2022, 12:27 PM
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Russ,
You're an amazing photographer AND a trip planner! Your current trip is the one I've been dreaming about for several years, and if it ever comes to pass, I'm just going to follow/copy your great itinerary!
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