A Travellerspoint blog

Denmark

Next Stop... Copenhagen

Reporting from the Crown Seaways Ferry

sunny 27 °C
View Midnight Sun Run on aboo10's travel map.

On the way to Copenhagen, we managed to spend an amazing afternoon catching up with old friends from Shanghai. They have a summer house in Hojby, on the coast of Zealand. We got there about 2pm, and had a traditional and yummy late lunch... although the kids preferred to just graze on choc chip muffins....

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We then wandered down to the beach, a dreamy 5 min walk down the road. We caught up about each family's changes since leaving Shanghai. They are in the process of relocating to the Hague - so we'll probably see a bit more of them in the near future!

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We were a bit late getting to Copenhagen, but settled into our next AirBNB apartment, ready to explore Copenhagen the next day. It did not disappoint... we went to Rosenborg - an old Royal Castle built in 1606. We saw the crown jewels and marvelled at the amazing rooms in the castle.

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And then we headed over to see the Little Mermaid, sitting on her rock in Copenhagen Harbour. We had seen her at the Shanghai Expo in 2010, in the Denmark Pavillion, so we knew she was little! But the crowds visiting her, proved her popularity. It was hot, and a long walk, and we found refuge from the heat in the Marmorkirken church, which was beautiful! Didi found it a bit far, and actually fell asleep during a piggy back ride on Mike's back! Although he perked up once we got there and he climbed around on the rocks.

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We continued our walk (wish we'd been wearing a pedometer!) and had dinner in Ny Havn - a fabulous outdoor eating area right on the canal, in front of traditional Danish buildings, all brightly coloured. Loved it! I had a herring platter - delicious!! So good we went again the next night!!
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Something we are still working out how to manage is that it is light until about 10.30pm, although the sun sets just before 10pm, and it makes it tricky for the kids to agree to go to bed! This has resulted in a build up of tiredness, and so after a lazy morning, we headed into town to visit Amalienborg - the palace where Princess Mary lives! It is a large gracious square with 4 (matching) palaces on each corner. One is Queen Margarethe's home, another is a museum (the one we went into) and one is for hosting State Events. The museum showed reconstructed rooms from each palace which were stunning, and as well there was information on the current royal family.

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On our last full day we again headed into the city, this time to visit the HC Andersen Museum. Unfortunately it was part of the usual tourist attraction of Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum, although we didn’t have to go into both, but it was a bit more tinny and tacky than I had anticipated. That being said there was a good history of Hans Christian Andersen, and scenes from many of his stories.
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After the HC Andersen Museum, we went to Tivoli. A-may-zing! It’s the most beautiful garden with concert halls and amusement parks altogether. It was lovely to stroll through the gardens, and the day was divine… a bit cooler than our other days, but still sunny and blue. There were surprises at each turn, from the Pirate Ship Frigate to an elaborate Chinese Pagoda, the rides were spectacular - frightening upside down roller coasters and quaint old merry-go-rounds. We didn’t go on any rides, but enjoyed the carnival atmosphere. And we let the kids have a fairy floss EACH!

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Today we had a quiet one, packing up the AirBNB place. We then went to the supermarket to buy lunch, which we had as a picnic in a local park, watching a soccer camp practise. Then we headed to the Ferry Terminal - because tonight we are sleeping on the ferry to Oslo. We have a tiny sea front cabin for four with two bunk beds and a mini bathroom. It’s minimalist to the extreme! The boat is huge. Our car is parked on the decks below and there are about 6 decks of cabins and entertainment… I feel like I might be on a mini-cruise - it’s quite fun! We pre-booked a table for a buffet dinner, and I’m planning on only eating salmon. Maybe a smoked salmon starter and a baked salmon main!

Posted by aboo10 10:51 Archived in Denmark Tagged buildings children flowers norway ferry denmark family_travel Comments (1)

So what's in Billund?

Reporting from Copenhagen

sunny 27 °C
View Midnight Sun Run on aboo10's travel map.

THIS:
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After we crossed the Danish Border, we were heading to Billund, and then as we approached Legoland we explained to the kids that we would be visiting Legoland the next day, and then suddenly it dawned on them, just as we were getting closer and closer, ARE WE STAYING AT THE LEGOLAND HOTEL??? Well, as a matter of fact kids, WE ARE! In a themed room. A Lego Friends themed room...

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The details were amazing... the carpet was printed, all the way along 'Friends Street' the hallway of the hotel we were staying on, there were full scale Lego hairdryers, decorations on the walls and decals that apart from being enlarged, looked like they came straight out of a Lego kit... like paw prints, butterflies and paraphernalia!

Around the hotel, and in all the restaurants, were massive pits of Lego or Duplo - it was definitely a hands on experience. Rooms screening various Lego films, big walls to make your own contribution to the art installations using Lego bricks. At dinner, there were people in fancy costumes circulating, making balloon figures for the kids. Child-centric hotel, that's for sure. Although how old is that child??

The next day we went to the Theme Park. It was great. Because it is not yet school holidays all across Europe, the queues for rides weren't too long. And because we were there from the minute it opened at 10am, until all the rides shut and we had dinner, we were in the park for nearly 12 hours! No, we didn't head back to our Lego Friends Hotel Room for a midday siesta! One of the clever ideas, was to have a Lego Pit in the centre of the way the queue would snake around, which meant that kids could play with Lego while parents queued, and then jump back into the queue when they got close to the end - no moaning children.
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The rides were varied, from rollercoasters to boat rides through a Small Lego World or Pirates Den, there was lots of splashing. The great thing, was that both kids met almost all the height restrictions. They were mostly required to be accompanied by an adult, but there were only 3 rides that Didi was too short for, even accompanied... so we skipped them!
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I loved the attention to detail in all the buildings, we roamed through Miniland - which is a huge village built out of Lego, and the buildings stood at about a metre tall, houses, airports and even an oil rig. It also had moving trains, boats and some road traffic. Very clever and super impressive. Also the model of Heartlake City, which is of course the home of the "Lego Friends".
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Jie Jie decided that she would like to try the Lego Seat Driving School. We had to book in and pay extra for this. It was promoting safe driving from an early age including respect on the road. She was booked in for a 40 minute session, which started with 15 minutes of driving theory. And then they got out in the cars. They needed to get 'petrol' (after getting a low fuel warning), interpret and make the right action at traffic lights and signs, indicate and stay on the correct side of the road (the right hand side!). Then after driving around the little town, the children aged between 7 and 13 were issued with a driving licence. I was amazed that the coordinator of the Driving School, who had a microphone, remembered which language to speak to each car. Jie Jie and Car #2 were in English, then the rest were in Danish, Swedish or German.
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There is also a water play area, and the kids loved cooling off in that at the end of a long day. We were all exhausted when we finally got back to our hotel room. It doesn't get dark here until about 10.30pm, so it's hard to say "it's time to go to bed!"

Posted by aboo10 00:38 Archived in Denmark Tagged children adventure family_travel theme_park midnightsunrun Comments (1)

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