I have been thinking about what it would feel like to be back in Denmark for nearly four months, ever since we decided to take the plunge and return to the land of Vikings, bike paths and buttery pastries. I anticipated a mostly joyous reunion, but even my high expectations couldn’t fully prepare me for our lovely first day back in the country. We arrived mid-afternoon, following a smooth and easy flight via Reykjavik, and settled into our temporary home. For the next few months, we will be living in a sunny apartment on a broad street located just minutes from the heart of downtown Copenhagen in an area called Østerbro. We lived a few blocks away back in 2011 and loved it.
The Danes have Thursday, Friday and Monday off during the week of Easter, so the city was full of people out enjoying the bright, breezy weather. Rather than give into our initial impulse to collapse into bed for a nap, we decided to join the holidaying Copenhagen crowd, so we headed off in search of shawarma for lunch (for those who aren’t familiar, this is basically the Levantine equivalent of a gyro and it’s delicious!) and a good spot to pass the afternoon. We found both! We took our lunch over to Fælledparken, where I was reminded of the fact that nobody does playgrounds better than the Danes. With replicas of famous Copenhagen towers, mega swings, trampolines and more, the kids were in complete heaven. It was the perfect way to reintroduce them to Denmark.
As we strolled home many hours later, past picturesque churches and charming sherbet-colored row houses, I couldn’t help but feel a profound sense of gratitude to have another chance to live in this beautiful place. No need to worry, I am not completely naive and haven’t forgotten that life in Denmark comes with its own set of frustrations and headaches. But for now, I mainly feel lucky to be back and excited for what lies ahead.