There are different reasons why the Copenhagen trip is here (despite it being 7 months ago). The main one is that I have always wanted to go to Copenhagen and we finally did it. Copenhagen – tick. So what happens when you put a girl who cannot help taking pictures of everything, in a city she has been dreaming about for a (very) long time. Looking at my pictures, apparently something very different from what I expected. I visualised pictures full of Danish designs, interiors and in fact I think the pictures will show you a City that is easy to fit in and enjoy, especially if you are short on time like we were. This trip was different on so many levels. Marc and I had not been abroad (France does not count when you are French, even when living in the UK) together since our trip to Montenegro when I was 30 week pregnant with Luc, so that’s nearly 6 years now. Writing it is quite shocking. I am not even sure what happened, I do of course, but it does not feel like a good enough reason. To be clear though we did go abroad, separately (mainly for work). In fact, Marc was to stay on to go to a work do over in Sweden.
So my theme for this trip was quite clear – green more green, and healthy. Although this is not what attracted me to go to Copenhagen, I was reading at the time of the organisation of the trip Sarah Britton’s blog My New Roots. If you are familiar with her story, her journey really took off in Copenhagen working for a restaurant in Christiana (that was closed the day we were there). I wanted to include some real time off from our daily routine and catch up with each other, and not be interrupted by the kids.
We started by going to Copenhagen’s botanical gardens which are amazing. It did remind me of Kew Gardens to a certain extent (on a much smaller scale), or even the Jardins des Plantes in Paris. We were lucky to have amazing weather and the colours really came through, also people were all out and felt so chilled.
I prefer eating plant-based, as I feel better, until depression affects me, and I have to go back to fish and meat at home. In Copenhagen without the kids, and less stress in general, I thought it was an opportunity to have a reset for the both of us and explore the vegan scene. I was really surprised at the number of options opened to us. But I supposed being a vegan is not such a novelty anymore. Our first dinner was at SimplyRAW which has a real cool vibe to it (and does not too alternative), and convinced Marc that this reset could be feasible afterwards (he had no idea). I personally was fine, he got quite hungry later that evening. It is quite expensive compared to a normal restaurant, or that might be just Copenhagen.
We strolled towards Nyhavn, which is clearly where everyone meet up (including all the tourists!). Originally, Nyhavn was a busy commercial port where ships from all over the world would dock. The area was packed with sailors, ladies of pleasure, pubs and alehouses. The famous Danish fairytale writer, Hans Christian Andersen, used to live in no. 20. This is where he wrote the fairy-tales ‘The Tinderbox’, ‘Little Claus and Big Claus’, and ‘The Princess and the Pea’. He also lived twenty years in no. 67 and two years in no. 18.
We got over the bridge to find an even cooler place, a whole area dedicated to street food at the Bridge Street Market.
The following day was a more creative day – and there is a separate post about us doing a lino printing workshop together, but not before a brunch at 42Raw – Copenhagen’s first raw food bar opened in 2009, the restaurant has since developed and offers more than just raw food. It was delicious, not sure it was the healthiest vegan brunch, Simply Raw was much healthier in my mind – but I suppose these were my choices, I am sure there were healthier options to choose from.
After the workshop, we took a long walk and ended up in a bar. Let’s face it I feel totally weird to go to a bar with my husband. It think we are over this phase. So I was delighted when I found a bar where we could play board games together, and drink beer (Marc) and chai latte (me). We went for easy going board games, Jenga, only because Marc refuses to play Cluedo with me.
I was really excited about our last day, it was time to go to Christiana. Although most people stroll down the main street and turn around, Christiania is the most beautiful area for walking in the whole city, literally a forest in the middle of the City. It takes some exploring and an adventurous spirit. And for avid watchers of Grand Designs, we were amazed by all the homes all along the lake – most are built out of recycled materials, are completely off-grid and some even have living roofs!
For other Grand Designs fans, you might also be interested in the Nyboder Houses that were commissioned by King Christian IV to house the nation’s seafaring men and their families. The most outstanding features of these terraced houses are their yellow colour and infinite repetitions.
Right from the start, this was a privileged area to live in. Nyboder had a private hospital, private schools, and a police force of its own. In return for these privileges, all male residents were obliged to perform military duty for a period of up to 20 years. The Nyboder Houses are unique in the sense that houses built for ordinary people do not usually last for centuries.
And for Borgen fans (what you have not watched Borgen yet), well I had to see the Parliament, the corridors of power, where all the interesting conversations were happening. It is amazing how you can walk through it, very unlike the Parliament in the UK or even in France in fact.
And after seeing most of the milestones I wanted to see, it was time to go back home, and plan the next trip. My own next trip was one at Annabel’s retreat (you will be able to read here). But after writing this post it is clear to me, that 1/ I am so more inspired when I am less stressed by my daily routine and healthier food and 2/ Marc and I need some adventures together too again. So I am off to book my Mum to get amazing baby-sitting services and then decide where we do. Where shall we go next