After two-and-a-half years where I rarely had time to take my children to a park during the day — and I also had a large garden that made it easy to play outside at home — I now find myself in an entirely new situation. For the next few months, at least, we’re living in an an apartment in downtown Copenhagen where I can’t just send the kids out back to get a dose of fresh air and open space. I also have far more flexibility in my schedule (and far less stress in my life, but more about that later). So outings to the playground, or legeplads in Danish, have become almost a daily occurrence around these parts. Our leisurely tour of Copenhagen’s parks and playgrounds have rekindled my great love affair with the Danish legeplads, and here’s why: Continue reading
I have never been particularly enthralled by royalty (though I did have the requisite Prince Will crush as a teenager), but I’ll admit that I find the Danish royal family appealing, as monarchs go. Denmark has the oldest continuous monarchy in Europe, and the fourth oldest in the world, dating back more than 1,000 years to the time of the distinctively named Harald Bluetooth. The current Queen Margrethe II is only the second female monarch of Denmark, the first being Margrete I who ruled from 1375-1412. The Kingdom of Denmark – its quaint official title – is a constitutional monarchy, which of course means that the royals are primarily ceremonial figures. But I have to say that the Queen and her family bear their ceremonial duties well. Sure, they live in palaces and are absurdly wealthy. But they’re also known for doing very “ordinary people” things and mingling with their subjects everywhere from the city’s bike paths to Lego expos.
Thus, perhaps we shouldn’t have been shocked when the kids and I happened to have an up-close-and-personal encounter with the Queen just last week, while we were visiting the National Museum. Continue reading
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.