We set out Wednesday morning and discovered this little hole-in-the-wall cafe, Lillian’s, that sells traditional Danish smørrebrød – basically an open-faced sandwich on a dense dark bread with various toppings. These little bites of goodness were incredible – we had one with chicken salad and pea greens, another with beet hummus and avocado, one with pork tenderloin and pork skin crisps. Delicious!
We then ventured through the city streets, including the Strøget (the main pedestrian shopping street that runs through much of the city), taking in the sights and sounds as we went.
Later, we stumbled upon Lagekagehuset Bakery, which turned out to be the best Danish pastry shop in town (at least by our standards and clearly by many other locals from the looks of the lines out the door). We grabbed several pastries to go, including a Rabarberhorn – probably the best pastry we’ve ever tasted. Rhubarb and marzipan inside a delicate and fluffy pastry. So delicious!!
We made our way to the harbor and enjoyed a two-hour harbor cruise with Cam, our tour guide, aboard the Hey Captain boat. He gave us a great overview of the life and history along Copenhagen’s harbor. We stopped and docked at the Trekroner Fort, a sea fort dating back to the early 1700s at the entrance to Copenhagen Harbor. From its bastions, you could see all the way to Sweden and take in a beautiful view of Copenhagen’s skyline. This fort was taken over by the Nazis and served as their occupation headquarters in Denmark during WWII.
We took a moment to record a happy birthday video to send to Hannah (and Cam sent her a Danish birthday greeting)!
Back on the boat, we covered the entire harbor area and saw the Operaen (opera house) built by Danish shipping magnate Maersk.
We also toured alongside the banks of Christiania – an old military base that turned into a total hippy commune in the 70s and remains one today. This alternative lifestyle commune is self-governed with all kinds of odd rules. For example, you can’t run in Christiania (for fear of causing panic to the weed dealers that a drug bust is occurring), and photos are not allowed for obvious reasons!
We returned to the docks, said our goodbyes to Cam, and made our way slowly back to the hotel, taking in more sights of this lovely city. The architecture here is amazing – both traditional Danish and Scandinavian styles mixed in with more elaborate Baroque-style buildings. We were also struck by how clean the city is – it’s very well maintained.
There are also bikes galore! Everyone bikes in this city, regardless of the weather. And whatever you do, be mindful of walking on the bike path! Similar to the attitude in Amsterdam, bicyclists will not think twice about running into you if you are in their way!
Our day culminated with an evening out with David’s business colleagues and friends, Brian and Nezha. We started out with drinks at Axel and then walked to a nearby restaurant that Mark had researched and identified, Sanchez. Little did he know that this restaurant was located in the former “red light” district of Copenhagen. Let’s just say the shop windows provided some entertainment and humor as we walked along!
The restaurant’s head chef once worked at the world-renowned Noma in Copenhagen. It offered traditional Mexican cuisine with a Nordic flair (pure, simple, minimalist ingredients). A very interesting meal to say the least! We trusted Mark and chose the chef’s five-course tasting menu. There were favorites and highlights for sure, and crazy oddities that raised a few eyebrows – like the white asparagus on almond purée with micro greens and fried crickets!
All in all, a great ending to a great second day in Copenhagen!