On Day 7 we were very busy too, since it was our (sniff!) last day in Denmark. Don’t last days make you think about every little detail more?
We got up, had coffee and breakfast, making sure to savor our bread and cheese. Then we all headed to Kronborg Slot, better known as Hamlet’s castle, where we had such fun touring the grounds.
From there we went to Louisiana, the museum of Modern Art. We ate lunch at their buffet, which was really delicious. Then we toured the exhibits until we were too tired to stay any longer.
Back at the house, we went down to the beach to put the last touches on our sand castle. I think it’s pretty awesome. Then after some iPad time, we took some Champagne down to the sea–ever since my dad passed away in 2009, I always take a pinch of his ashes with me on my travels. Dad met Kathryn and Ole in Phoenix, so they wanted to be part of the ceremony. We toasted to Ed Murphy in the windy, chilly Danish evening.
What an amazing trip. Kathryn, Ole, Emma, and Esben, thanks for making Denmark so special for us. It was hard to leave you and head to Sweden!
Kronborg Slot! Look at the size of that moat.
Ready to tour the castle.
But first, face painting!
Emma loved this dollhouse-sized model of the castle.
Can you believe Hamlet had a Lego room?
John was impressed with the castle.
Outside Kronborg Slot.
Lunch at Louisiana.
One of my favorite paintings at Louisiana by Danish painter Asger Jorn.
The grounds were full of art too.
I think our sand castle is pretty grand.
Some Champagne to toast Ed Murphy.
Spreading some of Dad’s ashes in the Kattegat sea.
Thanks for such a lovely time.
Our 7th Danish Sundowner.
We had our quiet day. So that makes it time to live it up. On Day 6 in Denmark, that’s just what we did. First we drove to the nearest Fjord and hopped a ferry. This was a big thrill, and we got to watch lots of sailboats pass by. The weather was perfect and the sky was clear. From there we drove to Ole’s mom’s house where she served us a traditional Danish lunch. After lunch the kids played at Grandma’s house while the grown-ups headed to town and visited a wonderful art co-op in the town where Ole went to high school. John and I bought a print there and are very happy to have it in our home. From there we drove to the king’s marker–used to designate the king’s hunting ground. We took some pics THEN picked some fresh cherries off the tree. Next we headed to the farm where Ole grew up. It was such a treat to see his childhood home and to tour the modern facilities, where they package the fresh vegetables for restaurant use and sale in stores. We got to walk out into the fields and pick some carrots. From there, the Sorensen’s went to Ole’s sister’s house, while John and I went to Dragsholm Slot for a gourmet meal. First we toured the grounds and the castle. It’s a gorgeous structure that would make a great place for a small gathering (Kathryn suggested our wedding!?!). The meal was delicious and so much fun. After we ate we drove back to the house in time to watch our 6th Danish Sunset.
We started off the day by driving to Hundested to catch the ferry at
We had fun watching ships sail by.
Then we went to Ole’s Mom’s house.
And had a traditional Danish lunch.
We stopped off at a marker for the King’s hunting ground.
Love this pic of the family!
And passed a cherry tree on the way back to the car.
Our next stop was the farm where Ole grew up.
It now produces potatoes and carrots and other yummy veg.
The carrots in this region are famous in Denmark.
So we went into the fields to pick some.
Everybody gets to pick a carrot!
I was in carrot heaven!
Next, John and I drove to Dragsholm Slot to have their famous dinner.
First we toured the castle.
Then we started our 5 course dinner. This is our Amuse Bouche. It was delicious!.
Here’s the bread plate with 3 types of butter: sea salet, leek, and Jerusulem artichoke.
Cheese and veal tartare with honey and apples.
Pork belly with baby cabbage, asparagus, and charred onion..
Roasted potatoes with potato tagliettele..
White chocolate mouse with toasted hemp and strawberry sorbet.
Our 6th Danish Sundowner. I don’t want to ever leave!
We decided that a quiet day would be nice, so first we started off by heading down the road to Gillileje to buy some fish for dinner. Then we came back to the cabin, and after some great beach time (while we worked on a killer castle I will reveal later) we had a relaxing lunch of Smørrebrød. After lunch we did some shopping in town. And then we all met back at the cabin for a delicious fisk dinner. Ole’s friends came up from Copenhagen and kept us laughing all night!
I just love this view from the house onto the porch.
Heading to buy some fisk!
Look at all the fisk!
Boats in the Gillileje harbor.
Enjoying a delicious lunch of Smørrebrød.
Back in town, we spotted this cute doggie.
John and the town tour.
Touring about town.
Look who we found! Cuties!
Love this table on the porch. We ate it it for almost every meal.
Okay family, can you say cabin at Cross Lake?
Ole’s friends drove up from Copenhagen for a visit.
There’s Louis the Canadian stoking the fire!
OMG our 5th Danish sundowner. I might be addicted!
After a delicious breakfast on the porch, John and I drove about 40 minutes in to Copenhagen for the day. We started at the National Museum then headed to the New Harbor for lunch at Restaurant Heering. From there we strolled along the Strøget, and finally made our way to Mikkeler brewery for an IPA.
That night, we had a special visit from Kathryn’s Swedish high school friend Alsa and her Canadian boyfriend Louis. We had a delicious dinner and watched the sun go down.
Starting the morning with breakfast on the porch.
I loved the view from inside.
More national museum.
Enjoying the New Harbor.
Copenhagen New Harbor.
Out and about in Copenhagen
A delicious lunch at Restaurant Heering.
Having a walk-about near the Strøget.
John and statue.
Having a Danish IPA at Mikeller.
Back at the cabin for dinner.
The Candian makes a fire! Thanks Louis.
Kathryn’s high school friend Alsa.
Our 4th Danish sundowner. A girl could get used to that!
The next morning we woke and had a delicious breakfast of Danish bread with jam and cheese, and then we said goodbye to Ole’s family before hopping in the car to head to the Viking Museum.
This was a fun interactive museum where we learned how the vikings made pots, dyed wool, carved boats, and cooked over an open fire. The museum also had a killer raspberry patch!
From there we headed to Fredensborg in North Zealand to visit the Queen’s summer residence. We had lots of fun touring the grounds.
From there we headed north to Smidstrup where we saw the beach rental for the first time. I was smitten! It became perfectly clear why so many Scandinavians ended up in Minnesota. The house reminded me of being on Cross Lake.
Ole’s Sister Ulsa and her boyfriend Kai.
Ole’s mother Elsie and her boyfriend Eric.
Ole’s whole family! It was hard to say goodbye.
Arriving to the interactive Viking Museum.
Chopping plants to make yellow dye for yarn.
Making clay pots.
Grinding corn for cakes.
Shooting arrows just like the Vikings!
Paddling in a log boat.
Raspberry bushes! I am not kidding!
Let’s stop for ice cream.
The Queen’s Summer residence.
Touring the grounds of the Queen’s house.
The cottage by the sea.
It reminded me so much of the house on Cross Lake.
Beach House life.
Swimming in the water.
Our third Danish Sundowner!
On our second day in Denmark, we woke and had some delicious Danish bread with jam and cheese. Then we decided to head into town to see the sights. We drove to Maribo and toured the cathedral and then stopped for some snacks in the square.
From there we drove to Fuglsang Kunstmuseum to look at some pretty amazing Danish art. The museum is built with one room that is all glass and looks out onto the countryside so that it almost seems like a floor to ceiling painting. I really enjoyed several pieces in this collection and I’m so glad we stopped in.
From there we were searching for a good swimming beach for the twins, Esben and Emma. We found a gorgeous one and enjoyed quite a romp! Then it was back to our base camp in Lolland where we watched our second Danish sunset.
We are back from Denmark and Sweden, where we had a very busy 15 day trip. I did not get a chance to blog while we were there so I’ll be back-dating my posts.
On our first day in Denmark we arrived to Copenhagen and got our rental car and drove down to the island of Lolland, the site of the big birthday party for Ole and his sister. We were so excited to meet all of Ole’s family and to celebrate his 50th birthday and his sister’s 60th birthday. Check out the pics and see how much fun we all had!
John and I are so excited to be celebrating our 15th consecutive year of visiting a new country together. We spent all weekend making our last-minute preparations and packing up the suitcases. It’s going to be a little cold in Denmark and Sweden–we’re looking at 60/70 in Copenhagen and 50/70 in Stockholm. So we made sure to pack pants, socks, long sleeves, and jackets.
How did we decide on Denmark and Sweden? Well, coming off the high of hiking Kilimanjaro last year, we had started to research details on climbing Mt. Elbrus and had corresponded with a guide and were looking at flights and dates. But then I got this FB message from our friend Kathryn:
I know it’s a long shot, but please think about joining us in Denmark next July because we will be celebrating Ole’s 50th birthday at some weird Scandinavian Long House/Compound on a remote Danish island (Lolland). Nothing but a cold ocean, 40 of your closest drunk Danish friends, pickled herring, and…well, not much else. Could be interesting…think about it! You can stay for free but the plane ticket is a bitch!
Now really. How does one turn down an offer like that! I’ve been wanting to go to Denmark with Kathryn and Ole, well, since I met them about 15 years ago. And I haven’t been to Copenhagen since 1991 but I loved it so much I’ve always wanted to go back and do it properly. I think Kathryn might have been a bit surprised when I wrote back 30 minutes after she sent her message and told her we were a go.
Since I’ve already been to Denmark, we needed to add the “new” country so we decided to spend a week in Stockholm, where John’s going to run an Ultra Marathon. I am going to run a few laps of it with him. We’ll also visit the Vasa museum, do an archipelago tour, and take a day trip to Uppsala. We’re really looking forward to the trip.
Cindy and Larry are not just our neighbors, they are our family. We’ve spent countless Thanksgivings and Christmases together, we’ve traveled together, we’ve wiped tears over lost parents and pets. And now they are moving from within view of our kitchen window to a beautiful home with a view in Bend, Oregon. I feel like I’m losing a limb. I wish I knew a special term for the grief that comes from this–not a permanent loss, but a loss I know will affect me every day. John and I have been in our house for 10 years and I can’t imagine our lives here without Cindy and Larry.
Part of my love for them comes from the many tales they have told of their lives in Alaska, before they moved to Phoenix. I always beg for their stories. About famous hikes or bike rides, sea kayak trips or teaching in a remote village. I’ve never lived in a place that was anything more than emotionally hard. I’ve had my physical needs met at all times. So the stories of bear at the tent or moose in the yard, or gas lamps or water rationing always made me aware I was dealing with two major bad-asses. It took a trip to Alaska with them to understand exactly how much respect I should have. Alaska is not for the weak, and I–it turns out–am very weak.
Larry planned a tour that hit all the high points–he put great care into the itinerary so that we could see so many of the places we had heard about. We started with the Mayor’s Marathon (for John) and Half (for me and Larry), and the trip just kept getting more exciting from there. We got to spend time with their friends and family, and eat at their favorite restaurants. We weren’t on the internet at all times, which made regular blogging hard. But I hope you’ll enjoy these pictures with a narrative of how my bad-ass friends showed us how it’s done in the 49th state.
We started the trip with this blast from the past, Larry climbing Denali.
At Skinny Raven Sports the day before the race.
This race was my 73rd, my 11th Half Marathon.
The start was sunny and chilly.
After the race we went back to the house and dipped toes in the water.
A family of geese shared the property with us.
A boat got loose so Larry went and saved it.
View of the house from Jewel Lake.
The view of Jewel Lake from the house.
There’s nothing I love more than dock sitting.
The next day we went for a hike in Larry & Cindy’s “backyard.”
It was a beautiful valley.
Larry did some boot skiing.
Larry fording the cold river.
Our highest point in the hike.
Larry and Paul.
Such a beautiful hike.
Larry and John in the Highlander, driving to Whittier to catch the ferry.
Once we got to Whittier we unloaded gear to board the ferry to Cordova.
Ready to sail!
Heading out of Whittier.
Beautiful views from the ferry.
Our dear friends!
They told us about lots of their adventures in this part of the Sound.
View of Whittier from the ferry.
John on the Ferry.
About halfway from Whittier to Valdez the clouds disappeared.
The ferry ride was a highlight of our trip.
Enjoying the view.
Watch out for icebergs!
Our man Larry.
Our man John.
Picture perfect views.
In the park at Valdez.
Pretty in the sun.
The view off the front of the ferry.
Heading in to Cordova dock.
Cindy’s friend Ron left his car for us.
So we drove on over to Orca Lodge.
Getting ready to spend a lot of time in these things.
We had a lovely dinner that night. The next morning it was time to pack up the kayaks.
Boat outside of the lodge.
The views from downtown Cordova.
John testing the rudder.
Heading out in gorgeous weather.
John behind me (took this shot over my head).
Larry and Cindy paddling away.
We saw LOTS of bald eagles.
This is an immature eagle, and he gets really mad when you call him that.
Sea Kayak Selfie.
Larry and Cindy paddling away.
John parking the rig.
Our first rest stop on day 1.
Our second stop on day 1.
Best photo of the trip. Otter Bomb!
Our camp spot.
View? Yes please.
We found this fun spot for meals.
It came with a built-in refrigerator.
Enjoying a rest.
Finishing anyone? They got skunked though.
The next morning we got some visitors.
I think it was all the bugs in the world.
We were covered in bugs.
We started out for a long, long paddle.
The next day we took the ferry back to Valdez where Paul met us with the Highlander. We saw Bridal Falls.
And Thompson Peak.
I had to ask what these were. They are so you know where the road is when it is covered in snow.
Headed to the viewpoint.
I was surprised that there were a lot of folks hiking on the sensitive bits.
Johnnie and glacier.
This dog liked it.
We toured around this happening town.
I didn’t try the spinach bread but it sounded yummy.
Larry and Cindy!
Fresh Halibut and Salmon!
And luckily we saw a moose.