Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen

Despite never having lived in the country, Geekydaddy is Danish, courtesy of his Danish mother, and of the queen of Denmark who granted his citizenship plea when he turned 18. His mum and dad have a cottage on the coast, an hour or so from Copenhagen, and that is where we spent a week of our vacation.

Rural Denmark must be the greenest place on earth. The grass, when examined closely, proves to be interlaced so thickly with leafy chartreuse moss that it is more moss than lawn. Mushrooms sprout in the shadows. It is a damp country. For the week that we were there though, it was glorious. The white sandy beach with its shallow gentle water a veritable Danish riviera. Every day the kids frolicked in the sand and water. "The sand is as soft as snow" Geekyboy exclaimed on his first trip down to the sea.

We consumed our annual supply of omega 3 fatty acids with a daily herring lunch. As I posted on Facebook, you know you are in Denmark when lunch consists of pickled herring, smoked herring, herring salad with some smoked mackerel to add variety. The children didn't touch the herring, I hasten to add. In fact they universally turned their noses up at lovingly prepared food on both sides of the North Sea. Thank goodness jarred pesto sauce and dried pasta are internationally consistent products, otherwise they may have starved. They did relish their "frigadella" (Danish meatballs) and British sausages, at least.

A trip to Denmark wouldn't be complete without an outing to Tivoli, the wonderful old theme park right in the center of Copenhagen.
Geekydaddy turned into a child as soon as we walked through the gates. This was a paradise from his own childhood, and he couldn't wait to share it with the kids.

Our kids hadn't even been to a theme park before. We haven't made the trek to Disney or lego-land. We may have to now, because they loved Tivoli. Even Geekyboy, usually cautious, wanted to go on the rides. Our favourite was a peculiarly Danish ride "the magic Suitcases". Riders sit in a car shaped like an open suitcase and are carried through animated scenes from Hans Christian Andersen stories, some rather strange and sinister, others very beautiful and charming. I noted that the lovely "little mermaid" scene consisted of several stylized topless mermaid statues complete with round perky boobs with bright red nipples. Can you imagine such a thing in Disneyland in a ride intended for preschoolers?! I do love the Scandanavian attitude to the human body. We had planned a sensible early exit from the park, but Geekydaddy begged and pleaded to keep the kids up too late and to stay for longer, so we fed the kids some more sugar to keep them going long past their bedtime.

This trip is probably the first that Geekygirl will really remember well. She was only three the last time we traveled with her, and she has some flashes of recollection but not many.  At five, this trip will be written into the mystery that is permanent memory. Holiday memories burn brighter than others, I think. Maybe because they are more photographed and talked about. Maybe because we pack so much experience into those few weeks away from our usual routines. I have vivid and happy memories from my childhood holidays. This trip is the beginning of a holiday memory collection Geekygirl will carry with her forever. I'm glad it was such a good one.