Our second morning in Copenhagen started at dawn – the sun was up early, and despite dark curtains, Abby noticed and decided to start the day in boisterous fashion. I was less enthused, since her bed was a mere meter from my head. So I told her to lay back down and go to sleep. And then, more specifically, to close her eyes. So for half an hour all I heard from her side of the room was “Close eyes, eyes close”…over and over and over again. Cute, but made it impossible to sleep.
After a great breakfast of bacon and eggs, Abby promptly (at 9:30 local time) walked into the bedroom, sidled up to her bed, and announced “nap.” It didn’t take much convincing on my end, and we both slept for almost 3 hours.
The impromptu nap impeded our ability to accomplish much before church (at 1:00), so we lazed around Tim’s apartment, biking to church in beautiful sunlight. Abby wooed the congregation behind us during the opening, and then went to the nursery for the service. When we picked her up she looked equally serious (perhaps better translated as scared) and grown up (sitting in a chair with a cup of juice, which she had of course crushed to smithereens). While Tim took a highchair back to his apartment, John and I headed out to Assistens Kirkegård – a famous cemetery near Tim’s church. Built to hold the overflow of lower-class citizens, it became more increasingly vogue to have your final resting place in this spot, and famous “residents” include author Hans Christian Anderson, philosopher Søren Kierkegaard and physicist Niels Bohr.
On our way to meet Tim we snapped this picture of a city bike. These are accessible across the city, and allow tourists (locals of course all have their own bikes) to hop on and hop off while touring the area. Each bike comes equipped with a map on the front handlebars (pinpointing the main tourist spots). A deposit of 20 kroner unlocks the bike, which you get back upon return.
Our destination was Christiania – or freetown – an alternative community on the fringes of downtown Copenhagen. Originally a military zone, squatters took over the land about thirty years ago. Although drugs are sold openly on the premises, we never felt concerned for our safety, and it is one of the top tourist destinations in Copenhagen today.
The sunshine in this last photo doesn’t do justice to what was to follow – torrential rain, right after we had finished a picnic lunch on the banks of a lake within Christiania. It was time to head back to the apartment to finish supper (we had company coming over), and there really wasn’t any suitable place to take cover. So we ventured out into the downpour…and were soaked within seconds. The rain came down in sheets, and I had to pull off to the side of the road once because I just couldn’t see. Within ten minutes the rain calmed down to a drizzle, but it was too late. We were all wet and miserable, and Abby was very vocal in her disapproval of the situation. Neither her mood, nor my own, was improved when a car drove by and added insult to injury by completely drenching us once again.
A hot shower later, we were all in a better state of mind. And after feeding and sending Abby to bed, we enjoyed a relaxing supper (with some amazing beef bourguignon plus fixings, and homemade chocolate mousse all prepared by Tim). His friend Johanne joined us for the meal, and was a spectacular proponent for Copenhagen telling us all the “must-see” gems of the city. She also taught us about the concept hygge – a Danish cultural ideal of quality time spent with friends/loved ones, generally involving wine, candlelight, and good food. For the rest of our visit we joked each time we lit candles for supper (how very European) that we were establishing some hygge! A fantastic ending to a soggy day.
When we headed to bed, Abby was awake standing up in her pack-and-play. “Daddy, daddy. Up, up, please, please. Poop. Done.” Her first “sentence.” And whatcha know, she was done. After a quick diaper change it was off to bed.