Colors of Copenhagen

Everyone had told me Copenhagen was beautiful, but it still surprised me. What a classy city. The Danes are a people dedicated to beautiful design.

We were lucky enough to have gorgeous weather, and the blue sky just heightened all the colors.

I highly recommend taking a canal tour. It’s a great way to hit all the highlights and besides is just fun, too. The kids enjoyed it but got a little restlesss toward the end of the hour.

This beauty is hanging out under a bridge or overpass-type thing:

No trip to Copenhagen would be complete without a stop at Tivoli Gardens, the 19th century amusement park right in the center of downtown Copenhagen.

An inspired Tivoli treat: churros with custardy softserve. Mmmmm….

If you enjoyed this post, you may want to check out my other posts about Denmark here and here.

Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark

Just north of Copenhagen, overlooking the Baltic sea, lies the stunning Louisiana Museum of Modern Art.

With its strong collection, amazing view, and inviting layout, the Louisiana instantly made my top three list of favorite museums ever. The only ones I’ve visited that even compare in awesomeness are the Apartheid Museum in Capetown and the Metropolitan in New York. I felt a little like pulling a Claudia Kincaid (in From the Mixed Up Files)—-maybe I’ll go back and move into one of the exhibits. There was this super-cool fort/treehouse type installation. I think that would work.

It’s called  My Home My House My Stilt House by artist Arne Quinze.

Here’s the view from the museum:

I’d been told that in general, Danish museums are very family-friendly. The Louisiana definitely is, with lots of space to run around, outdoor exhibits, and an entire wing devoted to children, where they can make their own stuff. Like this:

My favorite exhibit was a collection of iPads and iPhones displaying David Hockney’s recent digital work. It’s called Me Draw on iPad, and it really blew my mind.

I admire anyone who’s always worked with traditional materials but is willing to try something new. It had never occured to me to try to sketch on my iPhone. He started by sketching sunrises on his phone because he felt the phone’s luminosity made it the perfect medium for the subject matter.

He’s been sketching daily on iThings for a few years now and shares his drawings with friends.

I’m drawn to sketches because I love to see the artist’s hand, which you’d think might feel missing from digital work. Not here. In fact, the most mesmerizing thing about the artwork, besides the fact that it glows, is that you can watch it in progress over and over: the drawings come together in motion as they were drawn, color by color, line by line.

The exhibit also includes a video of Hockney sitting in the museum cafe, drawing the view on his iPad. I could’ve watched it for hours. He says he doesn’t know how to sell any of the pieces and feels they belong on the screen, not on paper, but I would totally have bought prints or even a DVD.

In the exhibit literature, there’s a scan code where you can download one of the drawings onto your smartphone. Check out some of Hockney’s drawings here.

More on Copenhagen soon.

Eat Me I’m a Danish


Funny fact: the food most of us know as the “Danish” is called “Viennese bread” (wienerbrød) in Danish. Supposedly an 18th Danish baker went down to Austria and learned to make the flaky pastries there.

I was never much one for Danishes, but after our trip to Denmark, I’m a convert. The real McCoy tastes like a smashed croissant with jam and shaved almonds on top. This one was still warm from the oven.

It was really lucky our hotel wasn’t serving breakfast on our last morning, or we never would’ve discovered this bakery. It had so many exotic, amazing-looking treats we were flummoxed over what to order. The bakery line was long, though, so there was no time to spend drooling over each delicacy.

The food in general in Denmark was…..interesting. I understand there are some world-renowned restaurants in Copenhagen. These we didn’t get to and probably didn’t get a very broad experience of Danish food. We did have a nice cafe lunch with traditional open-faced sandwiches called smørrebrød. Don’t you love the slashed Ø’s? I do.

We also had some truly stellar burgers at a little cafe near the beach. Then there was the meal at the Greek/ Spanish/ Italian restaurant that also offered an Asian buffet. I know! I know! We should’ve known better, right? But there were very few restaurants in the area, and it had been recommended by a local. Sure enough, it was quite busy with locals. Let’s just say we were really bummed we hadn’t gone for a second burger instead.

However, we ended on a high note with these breakfast treats.

I’m thinking this is where Cinnabon must’ve gotten the idea. Like, let’s recreate this, but on steroids. 

I managed to learn about three words/ phrases in Danish, but every attempt to use them was met with amused smiles. Not the “you poor tone-deaf idiot” smile but the “why on earth would you bother learning that?” smile. Everyone  seemed equally amused when we asked if they spoke English. Of course! came the reply.

It was interesting, though, to try to figure connections between Danish and  German and English. I could make out a few.

And I’ll take smiles for my three words of Danish, thanks very much. So far anyway, it’s never hurt to try.

More on our trip to come, and soon, a guest post from my friend and fellow children’s author, Joyce Moyer Hostetter.