If you’ve been reading my blog, then you know my husband is an Air Force attaché and we’re currently living in Copenghagen, Denmark, while on a diplomatic assignment from the U.S. Every year there’s an organized trip for the attachés in Denmark where they visit military installations (i.e. Danish army bases, Danish air force bases). This year, the attachés from the various embassies in Copenhagen embarked on the 4-day program, which was held in Copenhagen, Bornholm, and Christiansø. While the attachés were doing their own thing (getting briefings and military tours), the spouses got their own guided tour of various places of interest. Lucky me!
Today I’m sharing highlights from the trip. It all started on a Sunday evening at this lovely restaurant in Copenhagen called Spisehuset 56°.
This structure was formerly a military building used to hold ammunition until 1970 when the army evacuated. Situated in what used to be a naval dockyard, it’s now it’s a rustic, cozy restaurant. Here’s a view if you’re standing near the restaurant and looking across the street. You can see the Marble Church in the background.
Spisehuset 56° serves traditional Nordic cuisine, focusing on seasonal, quality ingredients, some of which are even grown on the premises. Fascinated by the garden, I wandered off when they were serving a welcome drink outside. Check out this garden!
Then I really I closed in on all of these fresh herbs! Someone from the staff saw me and came over to talk to me about the herbs and let me taste some. YUM! (In a cocktail dress….munching on fresh herbs.)
I rejoined my Skat and the group after gnawing on some fresh herbs.
Take a look at the inside of this place.
Making it even cozier is the fact that they play music on a record player, piped in through speakers. It had that old-school, slightly “static” noise. Charming! I loved it. See this guy changing the record…
If you ever visit Copenhagen, I highly suggest this place. The food is fantastic. They even accommodated all of my food allergies (which are many – see the About Section of my blog), using a list provided to them ahead of time. I ate everything so quickly that the only thing I snapped a photo of was my appetizer and dessert. My appetizer was a white fish with fresh asparagus, radishes, and herbs from the garden. The beige stuff was fresh mayo, which I skipped. Danes are big on mayo. Sulten Skat is not. (unless I make it fresh myself and use a teeny bit at a time) When I use mayo, I don’t like to taste it AT ALL. I use it more for the moisture. I sound crazy. But that’s what I think about mayo.
Dessert for the group was something else, but mine was cooked down rhubarb in some sort of natural fruit juices with those purple-looking leaves. All I can tell you is that I cleared that plate. C L E A R E D.
The next morning, the first day of the attaché tour started in Copenhagen at Kastellet, a citadel founded in 1626 by King Christian IV. Here’s the very narrow entrance to get in….
Kastellet is currently used as military barracks and offices.
It’s also a historic sight, used as a public park and has a church with a windmill. Check out this church.
After meeting at Kastellet, we headed over to Holmens church (Holmens “Kirke”), the biggest piece of Renaissance architecture in Copenhagen. Built in 1563 as a foundry where they made anchors for ships, King Christian IV turned it into a navy church in 1619. Again with King Christian IV! Busy guy.
There’s a burial chapel inside. Among the buried are two famous naval war heros: Niels Jule, and Peter Wessel Tordenskjold.
While in the burial chapel, you can look out one of these windows and can see the canal with a nice view of what used to be the 17th century stock exchange (Børsen). The top is designed as the tail of 4 dragons twisted together. It’s a cool view.
After visiting the church, we hopped into a boat for a canal tour. I’ve been living here for a year and still had not been on a canal tour, so I was really excited to do this. We passed the opera house….
Next to that is a place called “street food”, filled with food vendors. This picture might not look like much, but this is a place that is very near and dear to my heart. It’s where my husband proposed to me. We were on a walk and I was wearing jeans and no makeup. He bent down on one knee and proposed right outside of this building before we had lunch. There was a canal boat off in the near distance. By the time the boat reached where we were standing, those on the boat tour had watched the proposal from afar. I had said “YES!” and the boat full of people went by and applauded and cheered for us. It was very sweet! Then we went inside and had some delicious pumpkin soup. Getting engaged to my Skat + pumpkin soup = The best afternoon ever.
This is one of Copenhagen’s most popular tourist attractions. It’s the Little Mermaid. (And not the Disney one). This mermaid depicts a character from one of Hans Christian Andersen’s books. Every time I see this statue, there are swarms of people around it. I took this picture from the canal boat, so you are seeing the backside!
Here we had a stunning view of Amalienborg Palace where the Queen lives. The round structure in the background is the Marble Church.
Our next stop was Rosenborg Castle. There sure are a lot of castles here in Denmark. King Christian IV built this one. He lived there all his life and died there. This is a side view.
Wait until you see what’s inside!
And some more crown jewels!
Something for the ladies…
The next day we spent some more time around Copenghagen in the area of Valby where we visited Nordisk Film Studio. Established in 1906, it’s the oldest continuously active film company in the world! That’s the closest I have been to a real set, other than being an extra in a Cameron Diaz movie and playing a Mom in a Connecticut Tourism commercial (where I had to wear the ugliest white capri pants I’d ever seen!)
Later that day, a lunch was arranged for us inside Frederiksberg Castle. This castle was a summer home for the royal family until the mid-19th century. It’s also where I got married – there’s a chapel inside! Currently it’s the home to the Royal Danish Military Academy. Fancy!
On our third day, we took at ferry to Bornholm, a lovely Danish island in the Baltic Sea, located off the coast of Sweden. Bornholm is known for its beaches, chalky cliffs, forests, medieval fortresses, and smoked fish. Its main industries include fishing, dairy farming, and arts and crafts (glass, ceramics, pottery, and jewelry).
Our first stop was a glass blowing shop called “Pernille Bülow”.
They had some lovely pieces. That’s one funky looking chandelier! (bottom left)
We got to watch them work—they make it look so easy. The day we were there, they were making these little apple-shaped tea light candle holders. (It’s the green apple above.)
We visited “Svaneke Chokoladeri” chocolate shop. I had to refrain from buying things. I did get to taste some dairy-free chocolate. YUM!
Even though I can’t eat dairy, I enjoyed watching the cows graze on another part of Bornholm…
and dance. Do your thing, moo cow!
Here’s some of the forest that Bornholm is known for having.
Switching gears…. This is Hammershus, Scandinavia’s largest medieval fortress. Check out these ruins.
Before heading back to Copenhagen on our last day, we took a small ferry to a small island called Christiansø, a small island about 11 miles from Bornholm. When we arrived, there was no mistaking that we were still in Denmark. Can you find all 3 Danish flags in this picture? (Hint: look closely in the trees.)
The population of the island is 95, but they even have a post office!
Whoever is living in this house has a nice view.
Here is a church on Christianø. The windows face north/south, unlike most churches that have windows facing east/west. This is because it had been originally built as a blacksmith shop.
I had such a nice time and am happy to share a little piece of my experience with you.
Coming up soon…I’ll share a bit more about the food we had while traveling along with some tips on how to deal with food allergies when eating out at restaurants.