Copenhangen, Denmark

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A few days ago, I was talking to an American public school teacher and he asked me where we went on our trip to Europe. I replied, “Sweden and Denmark.” He asked me, “And is Denmark in Germany?”

Father and children in restaurant

Waiting for our dinner in a Nyhavn restaurant

Stunned but trying hard not to show it, I said, “Denmark is a country north of Germany. It has a peninsula and about 400 islands of its own, one of them being Greenland.” He smiled and we moved on with our conversation. Continue reading »

I don’t want to be too hard on anybody when it comes to geography. I am still learning where Burma is, for instance. Oh, I know Burma is in Asia, but where exactly I could not tell you. However. When it comes to the Western hemisphere, I would expect that Westerners know their countries. That is not the case, apparently. Moving right along…

Nyhavn or restaurant row, Copenhagen

Nyhavn or restaurant row, Copenhagen

When we went to Legoland, Billund in September, we had to go through Copenhagen, the capital city of Denmark. We found an amazing AirBnB location, about two minutes (I am not exaggerating) from the royal residences at Amalienborg.

Amalienborg

Walking through Amalienborg was shockingly easy, as security was minimal.

We had about 36 hours to spend in Copenhagen, so no time for museums. We just walked around some of the most famous landmarks, took pictures, and called it a visit.

The kids learned a lot because we interacted with the host in the beginning. Then, with the waiters in different restaurants. We went grocery shopping and the carts were super cute and small – another experience which shows them there are many ways to skin a cat, if you will.

The Little Mermaid

My husband taking pictures of The Little Mermaid, Copenhagen’s most famous landmark.

Everybody speaks impeccable English and everybody is impeccably dressed. Compared to Sweden, Denmark is more chic, more elegant, and more expensive. They also manage to be patriotic while not dogging on America or any other country for that matter. The Danes are an interesting people, let’s leave it at that.

The weather was bad. It rained on and off for the two days we were there. Sometimes it rained so hard, we had to change clothes when we got home. We were drenched despite our rain boots and jackets. It was about 55F but it felt much colder due to the wind and the rain. But, we endured it all in the name of geography and tourism. And we survived to tell the story.


Scandinavian Field Trip

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The magic homeschool airbus took us to Stockholm, Sweden this week. I know. It’s a bit cheesy to call an airplane the magic homeschool airbus, but I just could not resist altering the magic school bus into our own version. If you know me a bit, you know I have lived in Sweden before immigrating to the US. I still have friends there and when one of them invited me to her home, it was very hard to resist.

Changing of the guards at the Royal Palace in Stockholm, Sweden

Changing of the guards at the Royal Palace in Stockholm, Sweden

We poked around at the idea and when things started falling into place we realized it was meant to be. The idea is to give the children a taste of some of the places that have meaning to their mom, introduce them to some of the friends who have touched my life along the way, but also expose them to the gorgeous city of Stockholm – one of the most beautiful capitals of the world.

We will go to other places as well, chasing the northern lights in Kiruna, for instance, or playing at the original Legoland in Billund, Denmark and even check out Copenhagen for a day. But Stockholm is our base.

Storkyrkan, Stockholm - where royal weddings and christenings take place

Storkyrkan, Stockholm – where royal weddings and christenings take place

We spent Day 1 walking around Gamla Stan, The Old City. Think cobblestone streets, the Nobel Museum, changing of the guards at the Royal Palace, Storkyrkan (the Royal Chapel where Crown Princess Victoria got married), and old buildings dating back to the Middle Ages. It is from this area that the city of Stockholm grew. If you want to be really specific, it all started in Stortorget – the Great/Big Square.

Nobel Museum

At the Nobel Museum

Today, you can have icecream from a street vendor or a wonderful meal in one of the many restaurants with terraces around the Great Square or visit the Nobel Museum. But many centuries ago, this was the trading post which started the city of Stockholm. It all grew from this square where people met to buy and sell goods.

We ended the evening with a walk around the island where we are staying. Stockholm is an archipelago in Lake Malaren and many call this beautiful city the Venice of the North. It was fun to dust off my Swedish vocabulary and interact with the locals in their native tongue, although most Swedes are fluent in English. The kids can already say hello and bye in Swedish.