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The Rambling Family

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Denmark

Copenhagen Day 2!

We slept really well last night in the Hotel Nebo.  Avi only woke and grunted around a couple times; nursed him once.  He, did, however wake up bright and early at 7am.  yuck.  oh well.  I put him on the floor to wander around for  a bit and that woke up Bethany and Zoe.  We were hungry so I went out to pop into the 7-11 for some breakfast, but it was closed.  A walk around the block saw almost all the stores closed but for a little bakery.  So, I grabbed 3 interesting looking items from there and some juice.  Two out of three were great!  One was a pretty gross little fruitcake I thought looked like an egg and bacon kind of muffin. 

After having a restful morning at the hotel we packed up and checked out.  Left our overnight bags in their bag room again, and then wandered downtown.  By 10 the rest of the town was waking up, so it was a nice stroll in the crisp sunny morning air.  Shops were opening and vendors were setting up at the market.  The town has a lot of cobblestone to rumble over, so Avi fell asleep for a morning nap.  Our first goal for the day was climbing to the top of the Round Tower at the Trinitatis church.  We were so surprised, and Zoe was super excited, that there weren’t stairs but a long steep spiral ramp!  cool! Zoe basically ran up the ramp the whole way.  She kept stopping in these tiny alcolves saying, “I win”.  which gave Bethany and I (pushing the stroller) the chance to catch up.  At the top there was a small steep set of spiral steps to the viewing area, so we parked the stroller and headed up!  The view was gorgeous!!  The whole city and the waterways and all.  Such a beautiful clear day.  On the way back down there were a few displays and an art exhibit.  We were heading for the art exhibit and Zoe ran right in to the clear glass door – HARD.  She wailed.  I grabbed her and we sat and snuggled for a while; it really hurt.  This is the second one of these she’s hit on this trip, by the way.  Needless to say we skipped the art and headed back down the tower.  Zoe rode piggy back this time since she was still hurting.

Our next goal was the Rosenborg castle., On the way we got to see the changing of the guard parade from a distance.  Zoe was excited about that!  Still, we needed to find a place to grab some picnic lunch on the way.  There are 7-11’s on almost every intersection in Copenhagen except when you need to find one.  Seriously.  I started taking pictures of all of them; they are everywhere!!  But, not between the tower and the castle.  So we wandered off track a bit and found one near the Norreport train station – stocked up on some hot bun hotdog-type dealy-o’s, chips, and fruit.  Then, it was back to the castle. 

Rosenborg castle was King Christian IV’s home-made design and it’s still decked out in period furniture.  We had to stash all our junk except cameras into lockers and then toured the castle.  Bethany and I thought it was great!  We even paid an extra fee to take pictures.  The kids were not as impressed.  Zoe was tired and hungry, and Avi wanted to crawl around.  The highlight, though, was the Danish crown jewels in the basement.  Zoe perked up at the idea of crowns and jewelry and loved it!  The jewels were impressive, but the funniest thing was hearing Zoe yell, “I want one like that” as if she was just shopping.  Avi really started to fuss at this point, so I took him out while Bethany and Zoe spent time ogleing the tiara’s.  Bethany said Zoe wanted her to take a picture of one crown, “for her birthday list”.  awesome. 

Attached to Rosenborg castle is a lovely city park.  The whole place was hopping with people out enjoying the sun.  I really think this is the first nice spring weekend they’ve had and all the locals were thawing.  We stayed in the park for a long time eating our packed lunch and just relaxing.  It’s a lot of work walking all over the place with the two kids.  We have the stroller and buggy board, so they are both rolling, but it’s exhausting on all the cobblestone and through crowds.  Zoe had fun at the park playing with some ladybug friends and Avi crawled all over the grass and played standing up against the stroller.  So nice.  We also tried a quick visit to the playground.  It was odd, however, and kind of just a big sandpit.  Then Zoe had to use the bathroom so we exited.

Avi fell asleep in the stroller and Zoe rode though she was sleepy and grumpy at that point.  we walked through a cool part of town that used to be naval housing and on to the Katellet – the castille.  It was a neat old star-shaped fort with a double moat and huge ramparts.  Zoe was super sleepy, so we switched her to the stroller and Bethany held Avi in the carrier.  Just before we walked through the gates they were both sleeping.  yippee!  It was nice to have a leisurely tour without getting snacks or drinks out or reminding Zoe to leave the flowers.  The interior of the castille is half city park and half working military place.  The matching buildings were neat and there was an especially cool windmill that we trucked up the ramparts to see.  Our last stop for the day was the adjacent Anglican church and Gefion fountain.  This is supposed to be the most impressive fountain in Copenhagen.  Well, it wasn’t on. And the church was under construction.  In fact, the whole city seems to be under construction.  Seems like they are undergoing some kind of crazy sewer update because roads everywhere are just ripped up with drainpipes piled all up. 

By the time we were done walking through the castille and seeing that fountain Bethany and I were tired.  We took the train back to the hotel, picked up our bags, and visited the all-you-can-eat-pizza deal place by the hotel.  Copenhagen is crazy expensive so we saved money by eating from grocery or food we bought, so by tonight we were pretty starved and it was close.  The kids woke up and also had some food.  Avi hasn’t been eating solid food very well this trip.  I’m used to him eating a ton, but he’s been super picky.  Don’t know if it’s because he had a runny nose when we got here – it’s gone now thanks to German herbal remedies – or if he just doesn’t like the taste of jarred food.  I also think maybe he’s just too distracted with new things. 

After gorging ourselves we headed into the main train station and took the train to the airport.  We were well ahead of our flight, so after check i we played in the family area for over an hour.  The flight went great.  Avi fell asleep before takeoff and then woke just in time for snacks.  He then fell back asleep.  Zoe, however, was awake the whole time and fell asleep just before landing.  The pilot had to do a go-around for cross winds so it took longer than the promised 1 hour flight.  We then waited for the crew to get our stroller and loaded up the kids.  The stroller has seen better days.  One back wheel is now broken – it kind of just flops along with it’s twin that is now wonky.  It runs, but I’m not sure how much longer the wheels will last – they’ve been stiff and won’t rotate for a while now (even before we headed to Europe) – I might be in the market for a new one soon.  Anyway, we only had carry-ons so we made our way down to the train platform where the train was waiting.  Unfortunately it continued to wait for a while before departing.  That put us in Nuess just after midnight when all the public transpo seems to stop running out of the bahnhof.  So we hoofed it.  It’s only about a mile and the cool air felt good after being in hot airports all evening.  The kids were still just passed out.  Bethany limped along the stroller with Zoe in it, while I carried Avi.    We kept the lights low when we got to Bethany’s place, and though the kids briefly woke it wasn’t a struggle to get them back to sleep in bed.  whew!

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Copenhagen!

Last night Bethany and I packed up some warm clothes and took the tram into Dusseldorf. After a nice gnocci dinner outside we wandered around the Altstadt and then took the subway to the Hauptbahnhof. We were waiting on platform 16 for the CityNightLiner to Copenhagen!!!! Bethany booked it ahead of our trip, so we got a great fare that is both transport and hotel rolled into one!

It arrived and – of course – our car was on the opposite end of the platform, so we ran and ran and ran and made it just to have the train leave as we walked on. whew. Seats 31,33,35 were in a triple room. Beds were down, with comfy duvets, bottled water and the heat cranked. It wasn’t hard to figure out who slept where. Kat (and Avi) were up in the attic. Yep, the third bunk up in the domed roof. Zoe was next down – her bunk laid just about eye level. Then Bethany was at the bottom with the big window. Zoe and I had netted fences keeping us safe from falling off, and Zoe could lay and look out the top of the window. I couldn’t see the window but all the extra storage was up there with me and Avi. I rolled up Bethany and my coats into bumpers for him and we did great. The room also had a little closet that opened into a washbasin with water, towel, soap, and a mirror. Shower and toilet were down the hall. It was super fancy and nice – second class is great!

The train left the station at 10:02pm. After about an hour of arranging and exploring our tiny room, we crashed out. Zoe fell asleep quickly while we were still arranging. Avi nursed and slept, too. easy and fun. Sleeping on the train was great. The kids both slept all night. Avi scrootched around once, so I nursed him simply to avoid leaking. I woke a few times when the train stopped. At some point in the night our car switched to a different train and drove in the opposite direction. Anyway, we woke this morning around 7 and took our time getting around. Our boxed breakfast was brought to us by the super nice attendent, who loved Avi and spoke pretty good English. We got three boxes with a brochen, a croissant, cheese spread, jelly, orange juice and tea. It was nice. We also ate some leftover pizza from the night before. After putting the bottom two beds away, the seats folded up so it felt more roomy. We took a walk to check out the other cars – saw the dining car and the couchette cars.

It was a relaxing morning and fun to watch Denmark go by. The train stopped at Copenhagen train station at 10am and we were off! Our hotel is the Hotel Nebo Mission Hotel and is just around the corner from the station. We popped in and put our bags in their storage room, got a map, and info from the visitor center. Our first stop: the NationalMuseet where we learned all about Danish prehistory, Vikings, Middle Ages, and history. There was a great collection, but the best part of the museum was the kids area. There was an old schoolhouse with real slates and chalk, a puppet show, Viking boat and clothes and swords, plus an old kitchen and a spot to build with bricks. All of it was really well done and made to look real at kids sizes. Lots of try on clothes and things to touch. Bethany and I loved it just as much as Zoe. She was sooooo excited when she saw the Viking boat!! Avi liked the imitation chicken from the kids and carried a leg around for a while. We brought some snacks for lunch and ate in the cafeteria room when the kids fell asleep. Luckily the museum has really nice strollers to use that lay all the way back, so bethany and I pushed around two sleepy kids through the rest of middle ages, beginning of Cristendom, up into modern times – so about and hour. There was also a cool dollhouse exhibit that let you see the inside and outside. The kids woke just as we were finishing up.

The weather today was amazing. It is super sunny and maybe 60 out in the sun. So all the locals are hanging out at streetside cafes or in sunlit parks getting some warmth. We walked along the canal to a boat landing and hopped an hour long boat canal tour of the city. It was a nice overview of the city and gave us some ideas of what to do and see….plus it went past the famous little mermaid statue. Zoe thought that was cool, but then commented that it didn’t look like Ariel. The boat trip was fun just the same. We decided to head toward the Nyhavn section of town, but ended up on the Stroget which was super busy, chaotic and full of expensive stores and restaurants – not what we needed. We grabbed a hotdog each and plopped down in a city park for a break, snack and to nurse Avi. Zoe promptely dropped her hotdog, which I picked up and brushed off since the thing cost about $5, and then she dropped it again. Whatever. She eventually ate the thing so she couldn’t drop it again. While we were there we were entertained by the green guys; two guys wearing head (and face) to toe bright green bodysuits. Odd, physical art I guess. dunno. it was funny.

After our break we continued toward Nyhavn which was very cool. Lots of people out at outdoor cafes, lots of neat old buildings and cool sailboats. It was busy! We then walked along the waterfront to the Amelieborg palace, past the royal yacht – well thats what we think it was. The palace was neat. It’s a circular group of four buildings and you can walked right through the center. Of course Zoe had to pee, so we rushed to some garden just near the water and discreetly had her use the ‘outside potty’. Back to the palace where doggy was almost lost on the road; thank goodness Zoe spotted him. We watched the guards walk around and held up some traffic while ogleing the palace and taking pictures – two cars that then pulled into the palace garage itself! awesome.

The sun was getting lower, so we decided to make our way back to the hotel via a cool old Russian Orthodox church an along the less traffic-ed streets of town. It was a nice scenic walk. Stopped at a grocery store to round out our cup o noodle dinner plans with some cucumber and tuna…oh, and a Carlsberg, of course. Avi was asleep for most of the afternoon in the stroller. The rumbing along the cobblestones really keeps him out. Zoe walked sometime and then rode the buggy board, too. It was so nice arrive at our hotel and find our room to be super nice. We have 4 single beds – 2 each pushed together as a double – the room is on the top, 5th, floor, of the hotel and faces the nice quiet street out front. It’s great! beds seem comfy . The bathroom and shower down the hall are nice. We all had a nice hot shower while our noodle cups heated and have been hanging out watching some dino train since that gastronomic treat. Off to bed soon. I’m tired! Avi is, of course, really awake. He should sleep when the rest of us go to bed.

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