Friday, March 28, 2014

Eat, Drink and Be Merry! (Part 2)

Sunday turned out to be another foodie day. Sunday was the day we decided to try out Smorrebrod. Smorrebrod are the famous open faced sandwiches that the Dane's eat a lot. In fact they have those pretty much at lunch everyday where Cam is working. A co-worker of his recommended Aamans. At Aamans you can eat on the deli side which is cheaper than the restaurant side. Since everything is expensive in Denmark including the 'cheap side' we ate on the deli side.

First Etta had to get ready. I decided to try out some of the 12 month outfits that I had brought. I found out she already fits them!! They were my 'big' outfits so that she could grow into them by the end of the trip. That would decrease the amount of clothes for her I would need to buy here. I brought these outfits because two weeks ago they were huge on her!

After a good 30 minute train and then 30 minute walk we arrive at Aaman's.

The Smorrebrod. We got 4 smorrebrod and shared each one because we wanted to know what each one tasted like. We got a herring, halibut, pork and beef one. My favourite was the beef and Cam's favourite was the halibut. Seeing as about 4 years ago Cam did not even like fish he has come full circle!

This is right before Etta spilled the rubhard juice that we got to share :) The server asked it we wanted another one. We politely declined as it was $9!!!!

In a nice park that we walked through to go home from Aarman's. I loved how all the buildings had different colours and this tree was in the perfect place!

Etta and I having a mother/daughter moment enjoying the epic scenery because in front of me was actually..... A CASTLE!

BAM!!! Walking home from the smorrebrod through this park we come across a.... CASTLE!!! No big deal... just a regular day! In this castle are all the crown jewels in Denmark. For our next weekend in Denmark we have now found another activity. Tour the castle! I have to say that Castles are one of my favourite things to visit.

The way into the castle across the bridge!

Concluding our day exploring Denmark with a Danish in a square in Stroget! There was a street perfomer that we did not stay to watch. Etta was napping and it was time to go home.

I was very excited to have nachos that evening. I was missing home and friends. So cam and I decided to create out own evening out with special nachos!

Unfortunately I burnt them :( But we did manage to have a few!

I feel like I cannot leave Etta out of our food weekend. Besides milk, Etta is now scarfing down mild curried lentils and rice. It honestly tastes so good that I keep stealing spoonful's of her meal.... 

Ending the weekend with a veggie stir fry and wine. Wine is the cheapest thing in Copenhagen. Since being here we have had 3 bottles of wine. This bottle was delicious and only $6.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Eat, Drink and Be Merry! (Part 1)

"Drinking a beer is no simple task for your brain. Tasting a beer challenges and activates all your senses" author unknown

This weekend we decided to stay and explore Copenhagen. It turned out to be a series of food and drink tastings as we experimented with the culture of Copenhagen.

About 4 nights ago we went out for one of our regular family walks for a Nature Bath*. As we were exiting a beautiful park about 10 minutes walk from our place we saw a big sign that read Carlsberg. That got us thinking.... Were we 10 minutes walk from the Carlsberg Brewery? Yes we were! At that moment Saturday's plans came into fruition.

The day started with breakfast. Actually today was when we taught Etta about breakfast in bed! We told her that this is when we all just eat and hang out nicely in bed. Take out the nicely and she did pretty good with breakfast in bed. For breakfast we had a combination of two random oat packages with yogurt. One random oats with nuts and banana and the other with chocolate oats with white and dark chocolate. Then we had eggs with veggies on top of salad. I had a cup of coffee and Cam had a chai.
Muesli. The contents are unknown but we have noticed
oats, chocolate, dried banana and a variety of nuts. 

Breakfast in bed, in the living room. Our two single beds pushed together are in the living room!
Following breakfast we hung out, had a little dance party and then Etta went down for a nap. At 11:00 am we got ready and headed out the door for a nice 10 minute walk to the Carlsberg Brewery. It was pretty amazing as far as brewery's go and having happy hour at 11:00 am and 12:00 pm was also fantastic. I will let the pictures tell the story of our Carlsberg Brewery tour.

A cart they used to transport the beer by horses. They still keep the magnificent horses in the stables. Cam thought he captured a perfect picture of Etta touching the horses.... This picture is not where to be found. However families with kids can come and just visit the horses for free whenever they want. We will have to save the horse picture for another day.

They had the largest collection of unopened beers. 22,250 total. Guiness world record.

Etta not as interested because the bottles did not contain milk :)

So many beers.... Different kinds and in different languages.

Here is a bust of J.C. Jacobsen and his son Carl. Father J.C. Jacobsen started Carlsberg. He named the company after his son Carl and mountain which is Berg in the Danish language. Down the road his son started a collection under the Carlsberg name and named it after his father J.C. Jacobsen. Skål!

Etta and I are working in the laboratory trying to come up with the perfect beer. The Carlsberg laboratory worked under the idea that anything discovered in the lab was meant to be shared with everyone including rival companies. Apparently through his research in the Carlsberg Laboratory J.C. Jacobsen found the a perfect method for creating beer. This was a revolutionary discovery for beer. He shared this method with anyone who wanted to learn as he did not believe in keeping great beer making a secret. This method is still used in a lot of beers that are made today.

J.C. Jacobsen was a huge fan of the Arts. He has donated tons of money to preserve buildings in Denmark. He also loved the story of the lil mermaid. He commissioned the sculpture, the little mermaid, in Copenhagen (featured in another blog post). This one is a copy that he had made for his brewery and is situated in the sculpture/garden area of the brewery.

This is a copy of the old entrance to the brewery. I recently came across the actual entry.

Having the rest of our beer tasting in the restaurant area. Etta is a little impressed as we told her that we were going to a milkhouse instead of a brewhouse. She realized now that we tricked her so that we could enjoy the brew tour.
Anyways, jokes aside. Before tasting the beer you go to the aroma room. Here you smell different types of beers. Some smell of chocolate and caramel while others smelled of sulfur and made me gag they were so disgusting. Actually another guest was smelling it first and he gagged so of course I thought I should smell it as well.

After the Carlsberg Brewery tour we walked home for Etta`s second nap of the day. During her nap Cam researched a place to go for afternoon tea. We were looking for a place to go for dessert as Danes are big on dessert. Apparently the Dane`s consider most desserts here Danishes. At Cam's work they have had some pretty in depth conversations on what a real Danish is. Apparently the ones back home are NOT Danishes.

Anyways.. Usually I am the meticulous one about good food and drink places but Cam had the task of finding a place. I am pretty sure Cam was nervous to pick the place and that`s why he got me to approve the place before going. All I can say about the place is that Cam nailed it. It was AMAZING! It can even have Amangzing status! The place is called `La Glace`. It might be more french than danish but it has been there since 1870 which is only 3 years younger than Canada! It turned out to be a historical learning opportunity about decadent dessert. Once again I`ll let the pictures tell our tale but don't please don't read on if your on a diet...

Right when we got to La Glace there was a huge line. That's how we knew it was good. I waited in line and Cam took Etta for a walk. We were a little worried because Etta was starting to get a little fussy.

The display case with all the different cakes. Each cake is based on one of their original cakes that they made. We had two and they blew my mind. We had the 'HC Hat' which is a caramelmousse, lemon-caramel ganache with chocolate layers. We also had 'Luck You' which was meringue with caramelised and salted pumpkin seeds. Chocolate mousse, raspberry, mascarpone cheese and chocolate ganache.
Inside it was like we were in the late 1800's having afternoon tea and cake.

`Cake and Art and Love each Day Make all Troubles fade away' La Glace.
Although it was past Etta's nap she enjoyed charming
 the other customers and staff. This kept her happy till we left the café.
Just long enough for everyone to think she is an angel!

After a long day touring Copenhagen we have decided that we like it here. ALOT! Etta is enjoying the sights and the people but is starting to find us a little boring. I guess it just means I need to go out more often between naps.

*A Nature bath has nothing to do with a water. It is when you go outside to enjoy the great outdoors with all your senses. The idea is that it engaging with the outdoors and you will feel healed physically, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually. Ideally you would want to be surrounded by completely natural surroundings. However if one opens there eyes they will see nature as soon as you open the door to your house. I always call it a Nature Bath and Cam gets annoyed because there is an initiative in Japan where they call it Forest Bathing. Unfortunately that would mean that you are unable to get the benefits of the outdoors if you were say just by the ocean for example and there was no forest around.

Monday, March 17, 2014

"Look at this stuff, Isn't it neat..." and "To be or Not to be......"

Two great stories and two great adventures on our first complete Saturday and Sunday in Copenhagen. This past weekend we got the opportunity to check out the famous little mermaid statue in Copenhagen and the castle featured in Hamlet in Helsingor.
One thing we have learned through our adventures travelling before Copenhagen was that travelling teaches you to 'role with the punches' and be easy going. There are many times where you miss a train, go the wrong way and get tired from forgetting to eat or walking all day. Recently, having a baby also teaches you the same things. You really have to go with the flow and work with your baby to do things. You have a lack of sleep, forget to eat and things don't always work out. Now add in travel and a baby and you get this double incredible life lesson on how to go with the flow, be easy going and roll with the punches. That in a nutshell explains our Saturday.

 Saturday we packed our bags and decided that today we were going to check out the famous little mermaid statue and a walking shopping street called Strogut which are both in Copenhagen, Denmark. I still needed a coffee because we have not yet gotten a coffee maker and there was a Tuk Tuk car (which reminded me of the cars we would see in Nepal) selling coffee out the back of it right by the mermaid statue. It was right about Etta's nap so we figured she would nap in the stroller as we walked along the harbour in the sun (and wind... it was VERY windy). However... today was the day that Etta decided to only take 15 min naps at a time only 3 times during the day. This made our Saturday very interesting.

Hiding out of the wind drinking a chai while we calm Etta down. Apparently she hates the wind just like her mom!

Calming her down and trying to come up with a solution so that we can go and take a picture of the little mermaid.

After an hour of sorting out our lil babe we got a picture of the Den lille havfrue (The little mermaid)!!!
The "Den Lille Hayfrue" story is written by Hans Christian Andersen of Denmark. Also in the Disney version when Ariel is on the rock longing for her prince she apparently is sitting the same way as the statue.

After walking around the harbour we went to a restaurant outside of the wind with our lil babe.
Etta sleeping in the stroller at the train station!

Now is it worth it travelling with a baby? Definitely. Especially on the days where everything works out. Perfectly. Sunday was a much different day. We left the house around 11:00 am. Etta again had a very short nap so we were worried that we would have another day similar to the other day. Cam looked at me and said "I don't know if we should even go." Cam is not usually the one to say that so it was my turn to step up to the plate. So... I said "Etta's a baby and some days will be really great and some days not. Maybe today will be an easy day." Sunday, Etta was an allstar. She slept in the stroller (after we rigged up a wind proof/sun proof/distraction proof environment) on 2 separate occasions during the day which made for a happy baby when she was awake!!

Hanging out on the 50 minute train ride from Norreport train station.

On Sunday we took the train up to Helsingor which is home to the famous castle Kronborg. Kronborg is said to be the castle that Shakespeare used in Hamlet.

 Everything about the castle was incredible. It was HUGE and the grounds surrounding the castle were beautiful as it sat on the ocean! Inside they call it a museum but I would call it exploring the castle while learning some very cool history as you go from room to room in the castle.
After you check out the different rooms in the castle you can explore the dungeons. This was very dark and there were lots of tunnels.

Kronborg castle. Perfect for exploration especially for kids. It was so cool, very engaging and lots of places to explore.

Etta's first castle!

On the other side of the water from the castle! Kronborg is the gateway to the Baltic sea.

This was taken in the dungeons where there is also the original statue of the sleeping Danish 'Holger the Dane'. Legend has it that he will wake up if Denmark should ever come into trouble.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


After having lived in 3 different prairie provinces I am now beginning to think that Copenhagen is taking a little bit of each place and making me feel at home by giving me a taste of all my different homes in Canada. Let's start off with Saskatchewan. Just like Saskatchewan, Copenhagen is flat. There is something so beautiful about flat country, the ability to see a beautiful sky and the ease it is to walk/bike around.
Reminds me of the Saskatoon river valley! about 200 people were sitting on the bridge behind us, hanging out with friends and drinking beer or wine. Cam and I are looking forward to a Saturday of drinking beer in the open!
Then I move into Alberta. Alberta is beef country. Copenhagen is very simliar in that they are a meat and potatoes kind of place. However, just like Alberta I see little organic food restaurants, and yoga studios pop up if I open my eyes to the shadows.
Hot dogs are oh so popular in Copenhagen. And only 8$. Which seems expensive but for Copenhagen that's cheap! 

Then we roll past the Rocky Mountains into B.C. and more specifically Vancouver. Just like Vancouver we are right by the beautiful ocean!!
 Behind Etta and I are saunas.
People go nude swimming, especially during the winter and then hang out in the saunas.
There are men and women only swim areas and co-ed swim areas. 

Amagar Beach Park.
Also just like Vancouver there are bikers and this reminds me of the friends back home in Van that are avid bikers and bike makers. Unlike Vancouver, Copenhagen is Flat with no mountains or hills. This makes Copenhagen the ideal spot for commuting throughout the city because the hills in Van can make you sweat. ALOT. 
One of the many bike trailer designs

 A friend back home, Jared, has been telling us everytime we would see him about the biking in Copenhagen. I honestly did not understand properly when he said that biking is very popular in Copenhagen. Well now I understand especially after getting stuck in a bike lane trying to cross the street. Everyone bikes. Young people, old people, babies in back carriers, multiple children in front bucket seats, babies in chariots. Its incredible seeing hundreds of people bike by you in a matter of 5 minutes. It is also incredible seeing well designed bike lanes and a system where people on bikes actually follow the rules of the road and signal properly. It just works and it works REALLY well! 
Across the street you can see a flow of bikers in the bike lane. This is constant.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Flight of the Canadians.....

We have arrived!!! Copenhagen is dark. By dark I mean it is nighttime in Copenhagen. We currently are working on 3 hours of sleep in the last 48 hours. To keep this short and sweet the last 48 hours went like this.
7:00 am Wake up-- clean apartment... with Etta in between cleaning...

...put all our stuff in her bedroom to be stored till we return. This takes about from 7:00 am-5:30 pm (Things are delayed when you have a 7 month old)
5:30 pm Leave for airport- 
Our awesome friend Kate Brown drives us to the airport again.... THANKS KATE!
8:45 pm:  Take off..
11:45 pm: Airline finally shuts out lights and Etta goes to sleep in the cot on the plane after being awake 8 hours. Yikes!
12:45 am: Cam and I sleep for our 3 hours.
3:45 am: Airline decides to turn light on. Etta stays asleep for a good 15 more minutes and then BING! Play time!
4:45 am (1145 am London time): Arrive in London Heathrow. Eat our sandwiches and walk around with Etta's head covered so she has a power nap.
4:10 pm(London time): Depart for Copenhagen.
6:45 pm : Arrive in Copenhagen. Our car seat does not make the trip so we head to are place via taxi without a car seat.
8:30 pm: Arrive at our place!!! Lisbeth, the lab coordinator at the lab Cam is working at, greets us with her daughter Marie. She lets us into our place and has some groceries for us including chocolate!!
10:00 pm-3:00 am: play with Etta, bedtime routine, Etta sleeps for 30 minutes and then we repeat till she stays asleep for the night.
4:00 am (7:00 pm Vancouver time. Her home bedtime): Etta goes asleep for 7 hours.
11:00 am: Wake up and explore!
Our apartment. We are at the ground floor. 
Much needed latte at a really cute hipster cafe near our place.
You can order a hipster latte, geek latte, macho latte, fashion latte, funky latte and green latte.
These are all the same drink which is a double shot latte.
 You just order the one your feeling.