Nov 16, 2007

Wonderful Copenhagen



Q. Is it possible to get up at 4 am with a smile on your face?

A. Yes, it is...

...if you're going to Copenhagen, Denmark for a 2 day pre-Christmas shopping trip without boys. Which is exactly what my mother and I did on Wednesday morning. We caught the 7 am flight, and 1.5 hours later we were checking into our hotel in Copenhagen's city centre.

Ah, the life of a European jet setter! Here's the view from our hotel room as the sun was rising:



We quickly deposited our bags and caught the metro to Strøget, the shopping district in Copenhagen. Strøget is actually a collection of streets, all cobblestoned pedestrian walkways, anchored by Kongen's Nytorv (King's New Square) in one end. This lovely old square dates back to the 1600s and houses the Royal Danish Theatre and some of the city's high end hotels. At the other end, Strøget connects with Rådhuspladsen (City Hall Square), which sports a large statue of Hans Christian Andersen and also the main entrance to Tivoli Gardens, the oldest amusement park in Europe, if not the world.

But it's what's in between these two squares that counts - a veritable shopping mecca of everything from good old H&M, Top Shop and EB Games to high end boutiques such as Louis Vuitton, D&G, Bottega Veneta and Chanel, as well as the illustrious upscale Danish shopping centre of Magasin du Nord.

As we arrived on Wednesday morning, building facades everywhere were getting a make-over in time for the holidays. Lovely, large balsam fir trees were being hoisted, while display windows were framed with fir garlands. Here's a shot of another up-market Danish shopping centre - Illums Boligvarehus - all decked out in time for the Ho-Ho-Ho...



I am a huge fan of modern, minimalist Danish design (think Arne Jacobsen) and could have bought everything in sight, but airport baggage limitations and strict security measures limited our spree to essentials, such as fabulous Christmas decorations [Mike secretly thanks the powers-that-be for said luggage restrictions]. Thus, we spent a fair chunk of our time in the beautifully decorated Georg Jensen store, and were able to check off several items on our Christmas lists.

"Where there's a will, there's a way," mother said:



Along Strøget are hidden little courtyards exuding peace and quiet, some with high fashion ateliers and artisan shoppes, and others with cosy cafes where cups of hot chocolate and freshly baked crepes beckon to tired shoppers needing an escape from the shopping frenzy:





Needless to say, we didn't need to be asked twice.

The food in Copenhagen deserves a blog posting of its own, but suffice to say that it was outstanding. We had a delicious lunch platter of open-faced sandwiches at a lovingly restored restaurant in a cellar off Strøget, with Danish staples such as herring, gravlax, shrimp, pates and roast meat. To take advantage of Copenhagen's decidedly international flavour, we also managed a bit of hot spice courtesy of a superb Indian meal, complete with raita and naan.

Burnt Almonds - The Preferred Snack of Christmas Shoppers:



Another stop was to pick up delicious Danish pastries, all flaky and decadently chocolate-y. Believe me, the 'Danish' pastry in North America doesn't hold a candle to these babies.

Two days in Copenhagen just wasn't enough, which is why Mike and I are hoping to squeeze in another trip in the spring. I may allow the boys to join in the fun this time, providing we survive the much anticipated cruise to Kiel this coming Monday!

48 comments:

Misty said...

I am so completely green with envy. My. God. Have you ever seen any place so lovely? The pictures are exqusite!

And Chocolate! And Shopping! And the colors! Oh, so desperately jealous.

You have just added yet another place to go before I die to my list.

Badness Jones said...

I'm. So. Jealous. My sister did her anthropology thesis in Copenhagen....she's 13 years older than I am but I still remember the box full of wonderful treaties and ornaments and gifts she sent. Lucky old you!

Suzanne said...

Wow. I am so jealous. I think with that kind of shopping trip, even I would enjoy the shopping!

Valarie said...

Ditto the previous comments! I am sooo jealous! This sounds amazing. And to think I was excited because I got to go to the mall for a few hours yesterday!
Send some of those danish my way.

Julie Pippert said...

Oh wow how AWESOME!

I want to come shopping with you. :)

Julie
Using My Words

Cyn said...

How exciting! It sounds wonderful!

ewe are here said...

Lucky you!

I love Copenhagen, and a trip without the wee ones? Glorious!

The Lady Who Doesn't Lunch: said...

I KNEW you were traveling!

How beautiful is that city? I've always wanted to go.
As usual your photos are gorgeous and so is your mommy!

The Hotfessional said...

Aw man. I loved the times I was in Holland, and I so want to see more of Europe. Envy.

Nadine said...

I love the photos! It looks SO gorgeous there. That is a part of Europe we've never visited, but definitely will, somewhere in the future. I need to get started on Christmas shopping too.

painted maypole said...

oh, how fun!

Candy said...

I was wondering where you slipped off to! What a great trip. Now I want to go to Copenhagen!

Who She She said...

Would your mother take me shopping, too? I've never been to Copenhagen. It looks like a beautiful place to be this time of year. Have a wonderful cruise. I'm looking forward to seeing some great pictures when you get back!

Chantal said...

Wow that sounds amazing. Yay for you. Glad you had such a great time.

Jennifer (Jen on the Edge) said...

Envy. I am envious. The green-eyed monster of jealousy has visited me. What an amazing, wonderful, spectacular adventure!

Karen MEG said...

Oh, fun!!!! What an amazing time, and with your Mom. So special.
Okay, so now a cruise... sigh.
Heidi, so glad you're taking full advantage of being there. If I weren't your friend I'd be so green with envy... wait, I'm turning green anyway :)

Mrs. G. said...

You. Are. Shopping. Without. Children. What? Have fun being footloose and fancy free.

Kristen said...

Sounds utterly perfect! I am feeling a bit green myself;)
I adore the photos, thank you so much for sharing them.
Oh, and I hope you have an amazing trip next week as well.

Kellan said...

I. Want. To. Go. Shopping. In. Copenhagen. With. You. And. Your. Mom!!!!!! Wow - are you a lucky girl - was that fantastic!! You are quite the jet-setter! Hot chocolate and crepes - *sigh* Thanks for sharing all of your trip - it was simply magicical imagining you there on cobblestone streets with your mom, shopping and having so much fun!

And, thanks for coming over and leaving the nice anniversary wish. Have a great weekend - see you soon. Kellan

sandy shoes said...

What a trip! I didn't know anything about Copenhagen before, and now I really want to go. Like, tomorrow.

Lisa said...

Am so envious of your travels. How exciting and amazing. You lucky duck!

Rimarama said...

That sounds like an absolutely perfect mini mother daughter vacation! I've always been intrigued by Copenhagen.

Amy Y said...

I can't believe it's time for holiday shopping...
But that trip would make me smile at 4am! Glad you had a good time!! Thanks for sharing the lovely pics...

Kathryn said...

Okay, that settles it. I must add Copenhagen to the list of "places I must visit before I die". It looks incredible. Thanks for the amazing photos.
What a great trip to be able to take with your mum!

familymclean said...

Oh, my gosh! I want to go shopping wiht you!

Gina said...

Jet setter indeed!

How lovely though, for you and your mom to get to hang out together like that!

Have fun getting ready for that cruise!

Stie: My Favorite Things said...

My husband lived in Denmark for two years befor we were married. I am just wild with jealousy. I am DYING, I tell you, DYING to travel to Scandinavia. I will have to live vicariously through you, I suppose. Gorgeous pictures.

Shan said...

Wow! What a great trip.

Stomper Girl said...

Here in Australia we are so far away from other countries that it makes me VERY JEALOUS of you being able to pop over for some international shopping. I see I'm not your only commenter with green eyes though! You made Denmark sound so wonderful.

slouching mom said...

I'm desperately jealous right now. I must get there sometime. What a lovely, magical place it looks to be.

I'm so glad you enjoyed it -- how could you not?

chichimama said...

Oh, how fun!!! That is one place I wish I had seen when I was living in Europe. Looks like you had wonderful weather.

the dragonfly said...

This is actually a place I'd like to go...how do you think an English-only speaker would do there?

Mountain Dweller said...

Lucky you! Shops and pastries in an exotic looking city. Sounds wonderful. Sigh.

odd facts said...

I am jealous!

Aliki2006 said...

Now that sounds like MY kind of shopping trip!

suburbancorrespondent said...

Wow - that sure beats heading for the local Michael's for my holiday shopping.

Kelly Malloy said...

I would love to visit there! It looks spectacular!

Cathy said...

What a wonderful getaway! Great photos.

BirdieRoark said...

I hate you. Ok, really I'm just jealous. Really, really jealous.

Nothing like mother-daughter bonding over shopping. It's always been my favorite thing to do with my mom.

Caffienated Cowgirl said...

I have always wanted to go there...and your post is feeding my desire to get up and do it!

Alpha DogMa said...

There is something so refined and tasteful and powerful about the European traditions of Christmas. I stood in the grocery store yesterday contemplating buying a bottle of pickled herring. I decided rather than sate my cravings with an inferior product, I'd just revel in the memory of really good herring. From the North Sea. Caught within the last decade.

Jennifer said...

How wonderful!

Lisa@Take90West said...

That looks like a beautiful city.
You are leading a charmed life, girl.
I was wondering where you were! Glad you were having FUN!

My Ice Cream Diary said...

This beats going to WalMart or the mall anyday. This might actually make me enjoy shopping. Thanks for sharing your lovely trip.

Just Seeking said...

I am greeeeeen!

Just Seeking said...

I am greeeeeen!

carrie said...

I'm drooling over your photos and descriptions of Copenhagen!

We have family there - my husband's Aunt and Uncle. They visited us this summer and we are always fascinated by their stories of "home".

Looks like it's our turn to go see them!

SoccerMomofTwo said...

I'm behind in my reading! Looks like a GREAT visit. I'm jealous!