I am always surprised how grateful I am to return home to Germany after a long trip. I have only lived here 11 months, but in those 11 months I've become kind of a German snob. Every time we drive out of Germany, I am shocked at how badly the rest of Europe drives. How slow they are, how they don't get out of the left lane, how they don't use their turn signals. Denmark was no different. After sitting behind a Danish driver who was going s-l-o-w in the left, or passing lane, we finally went around him on the right. As we passed him we got the extended middle finger. I can only imagine that flipping someone off means the same thing in Denmark as it does in America. I only shook my head and tsked. That would never happen in Germany.
Our trip was to drive from Heidelberg to Copenhagen and then leave on a cruise out of Denmark. Our cruise was on the boat the Costa Fortuna which left out of Copenhagen. We drove up early enough so that we could spend some time exploring before the boat left.
We started with the Rosenborg Castle in downtown Copenhagen. It was built in 1606 and it houses some of the Danish crown jewels.
While we sat here and enjoyed the roses, my kids kept remarking that it smelled like Grammy's (my mom) back yard. She has a rose garden that the kids would love to run up and stick their noses in since they were tiny. And ever since we have moved to Germany, every time they smell a rose garden anywhere in Europe they are reminded of their grandma who lives over 8,000 miles away at the base of a mountain.
We had had a long day of driving (thanks to those slow Danish drivers) and I was tired. Matt asked me several times if I wanted to stay and take more pictures. The sun was out and the weather was beautiful. I was sure it would hold until the next day. I was wrong.
We woke the next day to clouds and wind. But you know us. Clouds and wind won't keep us in! We soldiered on. Intent on our quest to see Copenhagen.
This is the Nyhavn waterfront. One of the most photographed and visited spots in Copenhagen. We parked our car and got out for a quick photo.
Click, click. Okay, good enough. It's cold.
Here is Christiansborg Palace. A castle or palace has been on this land since 1167. Copenhagen can trace its beginnings to the building of a castle on this very spot. The palace holds all of Denmark's supreme powers. Executive, legislative, and judicial. It is the only building in the world to hold all three of a country's branches of government.
This is the Børsen. Its spire stands out as four dragon tails wind themselves together. My kids were really excited to go and see what this was. We were all a little disappointed to learn it was a stock exchange. The Børsen is boring.
This is St. Nicholas church. Copenhagen is known as the "City of Spires" due to all the towering spires that peek out above the skyline.
The highlight of Alexander's trip to Denmark was seeing a 7-Eleven. 7-Eleven was one of our favorite haunts near our old house back in the States. It was always good for a double chocolate donut. Or a Slurpee in the summer, or a whipped hot chocolate in the winter. We raced inside looking for a Slurpee machine, but were left wanting. We tried asking the clerk if he knew of any 7-Elevens that had a Slurpee machine. You should have seen his face when he tried to figure out the word "Slurpee." 7-Eleven may cross the international lines from America to Denmark, but alas, it would seem that Slurpees do not.
More of the Christianborg palace grounds.
Me and my two oldest kids. Just chillin' in Denmark and thinking it's so cool here (despite the fact that they have Slurpeeless 7-Elevens. I mean really, what is the point of a 7-Eleven if they don't have Slurpees? Even Canadian 7-Elevens have Slurpees. Come on Denmark, get with the program!)
Here is the Church Of Our Savior in Copenhagen, known for its twisty spire. You are able to climb to the top. So we did.
The winds at the top were merciless and we could barely breathe, let alone talk to each other up there. Even though the winds threatened to blow us off the tower, we enjoyed the view of Copenhagen we were given. This is the Marble Church.
The sun started to slip out from behind the clouds and we were rewarded with glimpses of brightly colored buildings and squares.
Looking out in the distance towards the Baltic Sea.
After acquiring some serious wind burns from hanging out at the top of the spire of the Church of Our Savior, it was time for us to embark the ship. We climbed up the gang plank and settled into our rooms.