Sunday, 18 November 2018

Notes from a Travel Journal: Copenhagen


Waaaay back at the tail end of last year, my lovely colleague Wendy and I were having the sort of afternoon at school where you sort of wish it was the holidays. And somehow before we knew it, we had hopped on line, found some cheap flights and booked a weekend in Copenhagen for January. Fly in Saturday morning, fly out Sunday evening. So today I'm going to be sharing the story from my travel journal of our first day exploring in this magic city.


We landed, caught a very speedy train from the airport to the centre, and piled out into the chilly January air. Within a couple of minutes, we had reached Nyhavn. Nyhavn is arguably the most recognisable spot in Copenhagen and in wandering along to find our hotel and ditch our luggage, we came across this picture perfect view.

Newly motivated to get out exploring, we checked in, dumped the bags, grabbed cameras and hurried back. Actually, we are both a bit camera obsessed which made Wendy the perfect person to spend a manic weekend with, when you want to squeeze as much as you can out of a short time, but still document everything.


The pastel coloured houses line the water front and boats are moored alongside, presenting a peaceful, harmonious and gloriously technicolour facade. No wonder this is an Instagrammer’s dream. It truly was beautiful.  And so of course, we spent every moment we could composing a new shot, framing the colours and getting the all-important perfect jump shot! I love Copenhagen!


The weather was perfect; cold but crystal clear with a pale winter sun. Everything we could want to wrap up warm and wander round a new destination. Before long, it was time to recharge: we refused to let the lack of sleep get to us. Arriving at the water’s edge, bridges spanned the islands before us, sleek and inviting, beckoning adventure and new experiences. But first we got beverages to ward off the winter nip. 



We found a cheery cart with a little flutter of bunting and ordered a hot chocolate and a chai latte, and strolled over the bridge, sipping and selfie-ing and laughing with the whole weekend waiting.

We had been looking forward to lunch as we had booked ourselves into a fancy Michelin star Italian place for a tasting menu. And it was incredible: we ended up with a super fancy table with a top which was a giant slice through the rings of a massive tree, and it was framed by an enormous golden gong.



With our tasting feast ordered, we nibbled on warm ciabatta, waiting impatiently. 

The food did not disappoint; it was a triumph! The starter was amazing: delicate little bites including deconstructed lasagne, all beautifully presented. We had a lovely prawn dish and then some fantastic ravioli which I could not get enough of, which included bone marrow croquettes and ox cheek which I thought I wouldn’t love but were incredible. The duck course was my favourite, with flavoursome breast and dark meat presented in different dainty ways with rich, complex sauces and a tiny salad. And we finished with a divine and beautiful chocolate dessert. Foodie heaven.




It was so lovely to treat ourselves to something so lavish and go from mooching along the street, backpacker style with tired feet, getting changed on a park bench, so we could enter a palace of incredible food and really indulge. I love the contrast of this weekend and it was lovely to have a companion in Wendy who was willing to go for it!


We spent the rest of the day exploring different districts, roaming on foot, cameras out, drinking everything in, from picturesque canals and waterways, to street art at ground level to panoramic views over the rooftops at dusk.



By the end of our first day in Copenhagen, we were pretty weary. We had careered around the city entirely on foot, cramming in as many experiences as possible and absorbing the sights. But we had also been up since about 3:00am so when 8:00pm rolled around, it felt more like midnight. We searched for a cafe for a bite to eat but everywhere was wrong: too fancy, too formal, only doing full meals, too expensive... right until we ended up outside a waffle place which was had spotted in the morning.

And the waffle place had a special offer if you bought two waffles and two hot drinks. Cold, hungry and weary, this was clearly our waffly destiny and we crammed inside, tucking into a cosy table into the corner and attaching out waffles, ice cream and sauce with gusto.


Appetite sated, we decided to plan our next move more carefully as “wandering around until we spot somewhere” hadn’t worked terribly well for dinner. So we looked up various wine bars in the area, eventually choosing one not too far away.

But we were both reluctant to leave, being finally full and cosy and relaxed. In the end Wendy called it: why not get a bottle of wine from the 7-11 and some snacks and go back to the hotel and drink it in bed?

So that’s exactly what we did. And it was perfect.

Kisses xxx

P.S. This blog post is part of my November travel series; I'm spending the month documenting some of the trips I've taken this year, sharing extracts from my travel journal and my photos. My aim is to do this for each day in November as a personal challenge, to get photos and words put together and record some of my favourite experiences from the year. As the weather turns chilly, it's a lovely feeling to curl up in doors and reminisce about travels past, and plot travels for the future.

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