Hope to see you again Denmark!

Trip Start Apr 28, 2009
Trip End Aug 20, 2009

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Flag of Denmark  , Region South Denmark,
Sunday, August 2, 2009

Our stay in Denmark has unfortunately come to an end! Denmark has surpassed our expectations, not that we ever truly know what to expect! We had heard that the Danish can be quite reserved but we found the opposite to be true. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming. So much so, that we don't want to leave! We feel like we’ve been able to really experience the Danish culture and loved our time in the community we stayed in.

We also had a great time in Copenhagen. We did a tour of the city and visited the Little Mermaid statue   and the Gerion fountain. We were really impressed by how clean Copenhagen is. Not too many cities can say that their harbour is clean enough to have pools in it for people to swim in. They were really neat to see and maybe next time the weather will co-operate and we’ll be able to use them! Something else we thought was interesting is that there are over 200 places in Copenhagen where you can use a free bike to travel around the city. You just put in a 20 Krone deposit which you get back when you return it to any of the cities bike racks. Over 35% of the population of Copenhagen use their bike as their main transportation. That’s a lot of bikes on the road!

We are embarrassed to admit our children experienced some bad parenting during our visit to Copenhagen. Bruce and I could not resist visiting the Ice Hotel’s "Ice Bar" and dragged the boys along with us. We were worried they might get "carded" at the door but they charmed their way past the bouncer. They were actually welcome to visit and enjoyed a cocktail of pineapple juice while grooving to the dance music inside. For those of you that haven’t patronized an ice bar it’s just as it sounds, a bar made of ice in sub zero temperatures. Everything is made of ice from the walls, to the chairs, to the glass your drink comes in. Everyone wears matching snow coats that are provided with your admission. They even had some for children, I guess we’re not the only bad parents in Copenhagen! We got a few looks from some of the other patrons but the boys had a blast and can now say they’ve been to their first (and hopefully their last!) bar.

We also visited a theme park called Bakken on the outskirts of Copenhagen. It has a carnival atmosphere with lots of rides, games, and restaurants. Anytime you find bumper cars the boys are happy and you guessed it, we’re happy too.

We were very glad that the Christiansen’s offered us a visit with their brother and sister-in-law who live in Sdr. Felding. The Kristensen’s were wonderful and invited us to stay at their cottage in Skarrild only 10 min. away from them and close to Legoland. We were thrilled to have the opportunity to spend time with them and get to see how they go about daily life in Denmark. On the way to the cottage we stopped at the Madsby Lege Park in Frederica for a picnic lunch and some time at another amazing playground. We thought it was really neat how a very smart parent started the tradition of helping children to get rid of their soothers by taking them to the park and tying them to a tree. The tradition must be quite popular as the tree was overflowing with soothers.

When we arrived the Kristensen’s showed us around the cottage and lake. We’re guessing they must have been reading the blog as we were greeted with lots of delicious treats from their local bakery! After dinner we had a fun evening of fishing.  No fish were caught but we had lots of laughs and no one got a hook in any part of their body! Always a good thing!

The next day we were excited to receive a "day in the life" tour with the Kristensen’s. We visited the world’s largest pig (in our minds, but it was 300kg!) at their grandparents farm and went to their daughter’s schools. Next on the tour was Jan’s construction site where the boys had lots of fun climbing on the "big diggers and dumpers" (as they call them). Anna’s candle making factory was next where the boys were able to make some candles that they were so excited to be able to take home with them. We also enjoyed a great home cooked meal together. It was really nice that the girls were the same age as our boys, and even though they spoke two different languages they had lots of fun playing together. We were very happy that they joined us at Legoland the next day.  They were a lot of fun and also knew exactly where to go first thing in the morning to beat the lineups before it got too busy. Legoland was fantastic! It is a great theme park for children with lots of rides geared towards them. The lego sculptures were amazing! We had a really fun day and hated to say good-bye to the Kristensen’s.  They were so kind to entertain us for 3 days and we were so glad to get to know them!

We took a day trip to Faborg where the Svannige Natural Park is located just outside the city. The boys had fun on the playground made completely of items from nature. We went on a hike and the boys tried to catch some butterflies and fish in their new nets. Faborg was a nice town and after a picnic lunch we visited some of their shops. On the return trip home we traveled through Svenborg because "one of us" had read "something interesting" about the town but couldn’t remember what it was when we got there. It still turned out to be a nice drive though and we, of course, hit some more cherry stands! The cherries always seem to taste good no matter where you buy them in Denmark.

Another day we returned to Kerteminde to go on a porpoise watching trip. The 3 hour boat ride took us out to a spot where the whales seemed to hang out. We all had fun using the boys binoculars to try and watch them play. They had a marine biologist on board that was great at answering our questions.

Once back on land we visited the Fjord and Baelt aquarium where you can hold a variety of sea life including crabs and starfish. Some of us were more nervous then others to pick up the crabs but we all felt them! We also watched some seals and porpoises being trained and were able to learn more about them.

Aside from all our travels we also took some time off and had some quiet days at home.  We spent some time playing with the neighbors horses, roasting marshmallows in the backyard, and one of the boys favorites was sleeping in the tent on the trampoline for the night. We had a fantastic time in Denmark and hope to come back someday! We’ve certainly made some great friends here that we hope to meet again soon! Bruce’s ears are perked up as the "boulangeries" are calling. Off to the French Riviera to end our trip. We can’t quite imagine going home in 3 weeks and returning to our "normal" life! It will be great to see family and friends again soon!
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