10/16/12 - 10/20/12 52 °F
A quick, wonderful week of Don, tranquil seaside town of Dragor and two long, bustling days in Copenhagen. Having Don top with is was wonderful. Many tears were shed after we said goofed bye at the bus stop today. As a parting gesture, Don graciously renamed this great land Donmark.
It was fun to have someone try to decipher the language, to read the map, to be in charge! It was really nice to hand over the reins to Don but it was also strange not to be making every decision of the day. While it was nice to share parenting duties, it was also just nice to be with Don. Easy and fun and funny. Love him so.
We enjoyed Copenhagen. We took a bus, about 5 minutes from our house, to Copenhagen on Tuesday. The trip takes about 35 minutes, half pretty rural and then through some suburbs and quickly into the city. Our first stop was the queen's palace. It's actually four identical palaces facing each other on an octagon, the queen living in one of them and her son and his family living in a another. We went mostly to see the changing of the guard, soldiers in tall black fluffy hats marching etc. There was a small crowd and some cameras gathered at one of the palace's doors. Someone told us that two new cabinet ministers were being formally, ceremonially approved by the queen inside. Before we knew it, the prime minister (I kept meaning to google her name...) came out, about 50 feet from us, making a statement to the press.
We happened upon the absolute best local man, who stalked to us for maybe 20 minutes about the cabinet ministers and then, mostly, about the royal family. Turns out the guy is an expert on royal Danish jewelry and had dinner with the queen a few weeks ago on her yacht! He was great and told us about the four palaces, the royals, the prime minister, the cabinet member changes, and even the Lego factory a few hours outside of Copenhagen. We did then see the changing of the guard, which was indeed very neat.
Henry had a nasty cough by mid-morning, one of those horrible seal-esque, dry coughs. Miracle of miracles, he made it through the Lego store. We walked to find a knight / medieval event but turned out to be some renaissance marketplace. In no mood to shop, we walked to a neighborhood made "free" by squatters in the 1970s. So, they make their own rules there and we wanted to check it out. Turns out it was more Hamsterdam than freedomville and my tolerance level for groups of 20 year old guys walking around drunk, stoned, or aiming to be so, was at negative 10. So, we left. I know Don wanted to see more but I just wasn't up for it.
We went to the grocery store for juice for Henry and took the bus home, all tired, Henry sick and me not sure what Copenhagen was really about.
Wednesday was a school day but Henry was dragging. We did some but ended up mostly lounging. In the afternoon Don borrowed a bike from the tourist hut and he, Coco and Henry rode around town and to the south of town, to an area where all the once ubiquitous town geese were pushed several years ago.
With Don caught up on sleep some and Henry on the uptick, we returned to Copenhagen on Thursday and had a wonderful day. The weather was gorgeous. We went by Tivoli gardens (we didn't go in... It's an amusement park and we didn't want to devote half of a day to it). We went to the "Round Tower," which is a really cool ... Round tower! Whats so cool about it is that you climb up but the spiral has no stairs, just a wide path. And, it's the oldest working observatory in Europe. Such a clear day, there were great views. And, it is not that high up. Since there aren't very tall buildings in Copenhagen, you don't need to go high to have a sweeping view of the city! Sweet.
At lunch, Henry spilled broth all over his pants. I share this because it was pretty comical to dry his pants off in the dyson air drier while he waited in the woman's stall. He emerged warm and smelling good!
We went on a journey to find the little mermaid statue. The book was written by Hans Christian Andersen, who, along with Soren Kierkegaard, is one of Copenhagen's darling sons. The statue is way out in a park. Turns out it is a beautiful park and I'm glad Don led us through it. We were up high on the old ramparts when the canons from local military areas struck at 6pm and the flags were lowered. Made us jump! We took the public boat (!) back to downtown for a late dinner. We sat outside and put the fleece blankets the restaurants provided on our laps. Cozy!
Friday was a Dagor day. Another beautiful day. Not much at all going on in this town, especially in October. Lots of boats, docks, marinas. The sunset last night, looking from the end of a pier back to the town, was gorgeous. We were on a self-timing photo mission. Don's self-timing set up was about 6 paces too far and he ran at least a hard dozen times, back and forth, trying to get in the picture after pushing the shutter button. His 10 second sprints involved jumping down onto a rocky pier and jumping back up to us at the other end. each time, so close!
We had the traditional Danish dinner of pizza and sushi last night. The pizza was mediocre (I'm being generous here) but the sushi was good. We had a small jelly roll so Don could say happy 9th birthday to Henry. We got little Danish flags at the grocery store and surprised Henry with a candle and song. He was so happy to be surprised! very sweet.
After we said good bye to Don today, what's left of us sat in the little park near the bus stop and cried for a bit. Let it out!, my philosophy in such tearful events. We then repeated our methodical walk around this tiny town, ending at the water to watch the ducks and seagulls have it out over breadcrumbs. We want to the Dragor Museum, where we learned more about the thousand year old history of this pretty town.
We leave for Berlin tomorrow morning. I am glad we came to Denmark. Everyone has been more than friendly. The language is way out there, I think maybe it's a bit difficult for Danes themselves to speak it! The language has definitely been part of the adventure. The money is
pretty (no Euros here, Danish krone) - kids collected the coins with the holes in them. The public transportation top notch. Great week.