Europe 2015 Diary Entry V – Copenhagen

One year later, I’m finally finding the time to document my memories of our trip. I’m calling them diary entries, because they’re mostly thought dumps to recall as many details as possible – mostly for memory sake. I’m already forgetting little details about our trip, which is sad as it was really a once in a lifetime experience that I want to remember for the rest of my life. So these posts will be long and full of pictures. Consider yourself warned. 🙂

I LOVED Copenhagen! And we visited during the winter, which means it would be 10x better in the summer with the extended day light, right??? 🙂 It’s going to be hard to condense this post down, but bear with me.

Our train arrived in Copenhagen just after noon. By this point, we had decided to look for international SIM cards to get since we were going to be staying there for 5 days. I’ve always found it annoying how far behind Canada is in terms of allowing one to get a temporary cell phone number. It’s either ridiculously expensive, or you have to sign up for a long-term contract with a credit card in order to get a SIM card. In Europe (and Hong Kong), you can buy a SIM card off the street and have a phone number within minutes.

As soon as we got our cell phones working, we contacted our AirBnb host and she met us at the train station. Our host was lovely, but our AirBnb was not. 🙁 As they were in the process of selling it or something, it was almost completely empty and didn’t look at all like it did in the photos. She did warn us before we arrived so there was no false advertising, but I guess I didn’t realize the extent that it would be empty. On top of that, the bathroom was emitting a horrible smell and we bought numerous candles to try to help cope, but it was impossible. By the 2nd day, we both felt nauseous and used the washroom as minimally as possible. We did eventually get in touch with our host, and she was apologetic, but she wasn’t able to get someone to come in to fix it until after we had left. The kitchen was lovely, though, and we managed to eat breakfast and lunch there every day.

We had a long run scheduled for the day we arrived in Copenhagen and we had decided to complete it there instead of in Malmo earlier that morning. So as soon as we dropped off our stuff, we changed and began our run before we could change our minds.

This was the first run we were going to do separately since arriving in Europe. That was another motivation for buying SIM cards – so that we could stay in touch in case either of us (me) got into trouble.

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The only challenge was attempting to run on the cobblestones when they were covered in snow. The views made up for it, though, and luckily, the cobblestones didn’t last throughout the run.

This run flew by for me because there were so many different things to see!

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This was much more lively than Malmo, so it was really fun to run around the streets and observe the different neighbourhoods and people. I enjoyed this run quite a bit!

The only downside of our run was that  we weren’t anticipating how quickly our phone’s battery would get drained with our mapping app and data roaming both turned on. Mike had mapped out a route for me, so he would always have an idea of where I’d be – and I had my phone screen on the entire time so that I could follow the route. I didn’t realize until about 10km into my 25km long run that my phone was on the verge of dying. Fortunately, Mike had run into the same problem and had already found a cafe (Cafe Munk) that was willing to lend him an iPhone charger. He messaged me the address and he was leaving just as I came in. We were both so grateful that the staff let us charge our phones and ended up going back there for dinner that evening since the food actually looked pretty delicious. Having access to cell service so we could always contact each other when we were apart was a non-negotiable requirement for us.

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This is the cafe we stopped at to charge our phones. The owner had relatives living in Toronto!

The Running

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I might hate doing speedwork a little less if I had this view.

I think we ran almost every day we were in Copenhagen. It’s a very runnable city with lots of places to explore, and a few flat sections that were perfect for speedwork. We did learn the hard way, though, that doing speedwork must be done well before the morning bike lane rush hour (we started at 7am).

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Be forewarned, if you run through here, you must share it with bikes… many, many bikes…
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So many bikes. They even had dedicated bike highways that cars weren’t allowed on. It was pretty amazing, actually.
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A bike highway!!! No cars allowed.

The Food

We ate so well in Copenhagen! After spending time in Oslo and Stockholm, we weren’t too phased by the prices here. It’s expensive, but we only spent money on coffees/treats at cafes and when we went out for dinner. The first place we went out to was Café Munk to thank the staff for saving us during our long run earlier that day.

We probably ate a little too much there, but we were more than happy to support the business (and fill up their delicious food)!

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Very satisfying burger and fries/hot chips/potato goodness.
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Yummy samosa that came with a little side salad.
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And of course, Leffe, our wedding beer. :)
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Nice little post-run snack – toasted dark ry bread with hard boiled egg slices and a mountain of fresh chives.

Our host also recommended that we visit one of the best bakeries, Brød. This place was AMAZING! If I had the talent and discipline to start up a bread baking business, I would want it to look and feel exactly like this. I wanted to try everything!!!

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We went here almost every day to get fresh bread. Needless to say, lunch time at our AirBnb was often our favourite meal. :)

I just love staring into bakery window displays. <3

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Obviously I had to ask about everything they sold.

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When our host mentioned that we had to check out “hands down the best burger in Copenhagen, we immediately made plans to check it out. Juicy Burger was a little hard to find, so you’d definitely have to go out of your way to visit it, but it was well worth it. They were still fairly new when we visited, so maybe things have changed, but they basically had one burger on the menu. You could either have one patty or two, and add up to three toppings (pickles, cheese, housemade hot sauce) in addition to the standard (lettuce onion, and mayo). They also offered potatoes on the side. The bun was some type of sourdough which held up really well and didn’t get soggy despite the fact that the patty was incredibly (sorry, no other way to describe this) juicy. IT WAS SO GOOD!!! Mike and I both agreed that this was one of the top 3 burgers that we ate in Europe.

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Location of Juicy Burgers (unless they’ve since moved).
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Really nice, open kitchen. And the owners / staff were very friendly.
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AMAZING burgers!!! The potatoes were less amazing; I probably wouldn’t order them again.

Breakfast would always be a bowl of museli with oat milk (still obsessed!) and lunch would be bread with cheese and a side salads. I could have eaten this every day.

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It rained a lot while we were there (it was winter after all), so we went to a movie one night just for an excuse to leave our stinky apartment but still be indoors. I thought it was hilarious that you put on plastic gloves to choose your candy. I might have been the only one laughing… By the way, we saw Taken 3 with Liam Neeson (my choice hehe).

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Screw little plastic shovels and tweezers, Copenhagen!

The Atmosphere

The atmosphere of Copenhagen was what made it one of my favourite Scandinavian cities that we visited on this trip. And to think that we were here during the most depressing winter months, when daylight and sunshine were minimal. I think if we had come back during the summer, when the city really comes to life, we wouldn’t be able to leave.

I really loved how every cafe/restaurant we went to had giant candles lit on the tables. It was probably a fire hazard, but it made me feel really cosy and warm.

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No tiny tea light candles from Ikea on the tables, here…
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This would be even nicer in the summer with the trees in bloom.

The coffee culture is pretty solid here, too. I don’t think we had a single bad coffee while we were here, and believe me, we sampled A LOT! IMG_0430

Everything is a nice mix of old and new. You can tell the buildings are really old, but they still made sure everything was clean – especially important things like customer bathrooms and kitchens. IMG_0431

Love this open pizza kitchen. Their pizzas were pretty tasty (but still not as good as our favourite pizza restaurant in Toronto, if you can believe it).

IMG_0433Some of the streets were so wide, that they could fit things like play structures for children, or large seating areas and parks.

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I really liked seeing the street art as well. I didn’t really see walls filled with fluorescent graffiti signatures. Instead, I saw some really cool things, like this creepy wall of eyes staring at you. I liked it, anyway.
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If you made it to the bottom of this post, congratulations! I know it was long, but there was so much I wanted to remember! I suspected I would like Copenhagen before we went, but I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did. In a way, I thought it might be slightly more liveable than my beloved Switzerland, because it seemed a little more lively and multicultural. I briefly looked into the work scene there, and it did seem like it would be hard for foreigners like his who didn’t speak Danish to get a job. Admittedly, we didn’t try, but it was in the back of my mind to consider going back.

alison

Europe 2015 Diary Entry IV – Malmo

One year later, I’m finally finding the time to document my memories of our trip. I’m calling them diary entries, because they’re mostly thought dumps to recall as many details as possible – mostly for memory sake. I’m already forgetting little details about our trip, which is sad as it was really a once in a lifetime experience that I want to remember for the rest of my life. So these posts will be long and full of pictures. Consider yourself warned. 🙂

Malmo was almost a blip in my memory of our Europe trip. Since it was nicely situated between Stockholm and Copenhagen, Mike thought it would be nice for us to stop over for a couple nights to break up the train ride and take a quick peek at the city. Since Mike still had to get his phone fixed, that was the first thing we set off to do as soon as we checked into our AirBnb.

The Apple store in Malmo was in a giant mall and since it was late, we decided to grab some groceries for dinner as well. The AirBnb that we stayed in had a pretty sweet kitchen, so we were more than happy to just have a few nights in after eating out for every meal in Sweden.

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Even Costco doesn’t sell blocks of cheese this big…

I love exploring grocery stores to see what they sell and get a glimpse of “normal” life for people who live in the city. Being a baker means I always, always peruse the baking section. Can you believe these gorgeous looking flakey croissants are from a grocery store!?

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Actually, this apartment was really cosy. Mike arranged this one and despite a few difficulties (the shower was  NOT intuitive at all and we couldn’t find the laundry room despite the owner’s repeated attempts to help us find it), it was pretty nice.

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I wouldn’t mind having a kitchen that looked like this. 🙂 IMG_1325 IMG_1326

The doors to the left of the microwave and stove were covering the fridge and freezer.

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It was kind of a bachelor, but set up in a really charming way. I loved the way the owner used curtains to break up the room a little.

IMG_1328 So yeah, we spent two nights and cooked dinner at home. We attempted to log in and catch up with family, but the internet wasn’t working, either. That was more annoying than anything, but we survived. 🙂

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Don’t be too jealous of our dinner…

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Not all meals are glamourous. But since I took a photo, now the internet will remember it forever.

Although we only had a few hours the next day before heading off to our next destination, Mike and I managed to fit in a quick run exploration.

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Clear, flat, and free of obstruction. That’s my kind of running route. ;)

This city is incredibly bike friendly and overall, everyone seems extremely fit.

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Look at these gorgeous bike paths. A car could fit on this…

It didn’t take long for us to find this long, flat paved pathway that was full of runners, cyclists, and skiers????

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I can safely say that I’ve never seen anyone ski on pavement before. I really loved the variety of outdoors activities that everyone took part in here.

Mike got really excited when he saw this improvised start line. It was cute. 🙂

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Unlike StockhoIm and Gothenburg, Mike and I agreed that we couldn’t imagine living in Malmo. Maybe we would have a different opinion if we had spent more time in Malmo, or in a different area.

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I have a thing for windmills.

We finished our run at Solde Kaffebar, a cafe that Mike had found on yelp. Because we weren’t particularly in love with Malmo in the short time we had spent there, the last thing we were expecting was to be blown away by a cafe. But this place had some of the best coffee that we had on our whole trip. I was really happy that we stumbled across it. Yet another reason why travelling, running, and coffee exploration is AMAZING!

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I’m pretty sure we each had two cappuccinos. Had to load up since it was to be our one and only trip to this cafe.

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And then with a quick shower and suitcase packing, we were off to our next destination: Copenhagen. Even the local intercity train stations, by the way, were really fancy looking.

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I am less fancy looking.

I love the simplicity of Swedish design. Even in something as simple as a train station.
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I was getting pretty tired of travelling with so many bags… we were maybe 1-1.5 weeks into our trip? 😉IMG_0399

Overall, we weren’t dazzled by Malmo.  I’m glad we checked the city out and discovered that awesome cafe and running space, but I wouldn’t rush to go back. Now, Copenhagen is another story. That was definitely one of my favourite cities that we visited on our trip!

alison

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