A Danish Thanksgiving

This week I became a Copenhagen tour guide as I had two visitors for the week/weekend-my friend Olivia from home, and Madeline from school!


Tuesday, November 21st

I had one class this morning, but met up afterward with Liv, who had gotten in early that morning. We ate at Paper Island, walked around Nyhavn, and jumped on some trampolines! I then showed her around my school area and walked down Storget, the popular shopping street, which is decorated for the holiday season. We then went to my apartment so I could show her around Amager and my apartment. We decided on thai food for dinner, which took a bit of time finding considering I had only gone once before, but it was found, and it was good!

We talked a lot this day, because obviously a ton of things to catch up on, so by the time we parted ways and I got home my voice was gone. I struggled with a bit of a soar throat this whole week, so my voice was always an interesting progression.


Wednesday, November 22nd

I met Liv at Kongens Nytorv metro station (near her hostel) where we headed to do my favorite Wednesday activity: cinnamon roles! As we arrived, a whole lot of people walked out telling us that the oven was BROKEN so no snails :/ Honestly a huge disappointment, but luckily there are about a thousand other coffee shops, so we headed to the Donut Shop which has a student discount and yummy donuts!!

We then walked to the Botanical Garden which is always so beautiful, and the inside has a bunch of beautiful plants and greenery-though I definitley couldn’t tell you what any of them were, they still were fun to look at!

From here we headed across the street to Rosenborg Castle which houses the crowned jewels!! This castle is really great, and I actually enjoyed it better than the one I saw in London. Each room had its own theme that the family decorated or filled it with, and of course the crowns were incredible to look at.

We took the metro to Christianshavn to climb the tower, but it was closed because of weather (I firmly believe Liv is bad luck and this trip definitley solidified it). But not to worry, we headed to the free town, Christiania so she could experience this interesting area. Since it was rainy the area was quite sparse and quiet which was the first time I went and it was like this which was interesting to see.

We then headed back to Norreport area for lunch and then walked to a museum, Nikolaj Kunsthal, nearby that was free because it was Wednesday! We then went back to my apartment to decide on our plan for Thursday aka Thanksgiving. Originally I was set on biking to Sweden, but that was just not in the cards with the windy/rainy weather, the amount of daylight, and also my health (though this is something I plan to do at some point in my life!!).

We headed to the beach, but it was dark so we made a plan to meet there again in the morning. From the beach we headed to Desserthuset which I went once before with my friend Alexa, and of course it didn’t disappoint!


Thursday, November 23rd

I rode my bike to the beach where I met Liv at the metro station (she really got the hang of the metro system!). We saw the beach in daytime and then of course I had her ride my bike so she could say she rode a bike in Copenhagen!

I then rode back home to lock up my bike and we met up again at Norreport to go to the glass market for breakfast. We then went to Copenhagen Central Station to take the train to Malmo, Sweden! The train took about 40min and when we arrived we walked around the city for a bit looking in stores and churches and what not.

I thought it would be fun to go near the coast and maybe rent bikes, so we headed that direction but first stopped at what seemed like a castle but instead for 3USD there was an aquarium and a ton of exhibits and it was all really strange just how much stuff was in there, but all in all super cool to see. For example, there was a frog there that if you licked it you would hallucinate, and it is found in Australia, where Liv will be studying in the spring, so that’s good.

Afterwards, we headed more towards the beach and had a great view of the bridge that leads to Denmark that I see all the time from the beach on the other side so that was just awesome to see.

We walked some more and found a beach diner nearby and we were starving at this point so we hopped on in. So for this Thanksgiving I indulged in a burger, fries, and a HUGE milkshake. I’ll say it-it was up there with mashed potatoes.

We then walked back to the Malmo Central Station in hopes of finding the Christmas Market we saw when we first arrived, but alas it was closed up, but we did find it again which was impressive in its own right. So, we headed back to the station and boarded a train to what we thought was going to the Copenhagen airport, but when the conductor came around and checked our tickets he said NOPE this is the wrong train and wrong direction. We had to get off at the next stop and then switch trains and get off at another stop and then board a train that would take us to the airport-sure easy enough.

So this first train left us off in a very weird part of Sweden where there was no one around, we were outside in the elements, and a large amount of graffiti adorned a majority of the stop. It felt very much like that episode of spongebob where he is at rock bottom-you know which one.

After many loud and fast trains speeded past us, a train finally came and we got on, told our story to the conductor who totally understood our dilemma, and we got off at the first stop and were able to get on the right train this time back to where we came from!


Friday, November 24th

Liv met me at my apartment before heading to Mad & Kaffe for some yummy breakfast! We then went home and waited for my SJU roommate Madeline’s flight to land and we met her at the metro before she dropped off her stuff in my apartment.

We all headed on the bus to Nørrebro to see the park and get Madeline some food at Grod, and then check out all of the cool shops there! From here we went to the Christmas Markets before heading to Tivoli, a huge and popular amusement park in Copenhagen that Walt Disney was inspired by before building Disney Land!

This was my first time going and it was absolutely incredible, a winter wonderland! The whole area was decorated so great and the light show on the water was awesome to watch-definitley got me in the Christmas spirit! For sure the highlight was the hot chocolate I got that was clementine flavored-just WOW. Also, something cool was that if you saved the cup the hot chocolate came in you could return it at different machines around the park and you would receive 5 kroner back! I thought this was so cool, but I of course started telling a story and my mind was side tracked so I threw out my cup and the minute I did I was so sad, BUT Madeline and Liv were able to return theirs!

After Tivoli we headed out of this Christmas land and walked to the meatpacking district to go to Jolene, a very authentic and hole in the wall kind of bar. We got some cider, were able to get out of the cold, and chat away!


Saturday, November 25th 

We all went to Democratic Coffee for some croissant goodies which of course did not disappoint! As we walked out we heard music and a parade and saw a bunch of people in uniform marching along the street so we followed them all the way to Amelianborg for the changing of the guard ceremony. It was really grand and there were a ton of people watching the spectacle-walking with the parade made me feel like we were apart of something real big!

Afterwards we headed to Next Door Cafe for some chai teas that we took with us on our walk to Christania to climb the tower once more! But, once more this tower was closed because of the fog :/ So, instead we headed to the Royal Danish Library, or the Black Diamond, so they could see that lovely place. Then we headed home as we waited to be picked up by my visiting host family for a night of Danish traditions at their home!

Ole and Lene live about an hour Northwest of Copenhagen, so we were all able to see a bit of the Danish countryside instead of the busy city center. We toured their cozy home before starting our evening! We had pancake balls which we topped with powered sugar and a strawberry and ginger jam which was actually amazing and I could have ate twenty. We also had some glogg, which is mulled red wine served hot and this one was from Sweden (this was a bit strong, but when mixed with tea actually really good!). Then, Lene showed us some typical Danish Christmas crafts that she does every year and we all made some stars and hearts that were actually quite hard to master even though Danish school children do these. She had so much crafting things that she kept bringing out and we kept on using as we made a ton of Christmas cards which was so incredibly fun and relaxing as we crafted and chatted away.

For dinner we ate duck with mushrooms that they had picked at their home in Sweden, potato wedges and caramelized potatoes, and a salad with cabbage, grapefruit, apples, pomegranate, and walnuts which was all SO GOOD. For dessert we had a strawberry jam of sorts that you put in a bowl and then pour milk over-very Danish, and actually very yummy.

Afterwards we made marzipan into all types of shapes with nougat. I made shapes such as round balls and squares, where as Lene made a cat and a mouse and all types of fun shapes!

The whole evening we just enjoyed each others company, as Lene and Ole said as we sat making crafts, ‘This is hygge!’ Good food, good drinks, and better people!


Sunday, November 26th

We all slept over at Ole and Lene’s home, so the next morning Lene had breakfast for us before Ole took us all to the airport to drop off Olivia for her flight- so crazy how fast her week went here! He then dropped Madeline and I off at my apartment where we packed up her stuff before heading out for the rest of her day in Cope before her flight!

We went to the glass market to walk around and see that and then walked around the park near there. We then headed to Paper Island to have the meal we had when Madeline first was in Denmark-my first week here and her en route to Florence! Really came full circle which was fun as both of our semesters abroad come to a close.

We then went to the Botanical Garden so she could see that and more greenery since she doesn’t see much in Italy!

We then found ourselves in Norreport area again where we went through more Christmas Markets and different stores before it was time for us to catch the metro for Madeline to head to the airport and myself back home.


All in all, it was such a great Thanksgiving break! It was very different than home, and I still very much wish I could have been at the Run for the diamonds, but being with friends from home and school, enjoying Danish traditions, and experiencing all the hygge in this country is something I will never forget!

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