Denmark is the home of many castles and smørrebrøds (open faced sandwiches which normally contain herring, thinly-sliced cheeses and boiled potatoes); sunny days filled with lots of intermittent rain showers; the Tivoli Gardens and the little, Little Mermaid; very tall, very good-looking, very blond locals (who are very friendly); a great many great museums, extremely clean streets, and real cool Danish modern furniture.
Kokkedal is a small suburb of Copenhagen where I have been calling home since I arrived the day after The Wedding. Here I have enjoyed my first 'house/pet sit'. It has been especially great because I have been sitting for a friend and neighbor from our Minnesota days. Rick was the middle of three brothers, all of whom were my boy's babysitters!
He and his lovely wife are teachers at the International Schools. They have lived and taught in locations as varied as Guam and Ecuador; Mozambique and Bulgaria. They have been in Denmark for 2 years and plan to remain here until their oldest of two beautiful daughters graduates from high school.
Rick found my resume listed on TrustedHousesitters.com and asked if I would be interested in sitting for them while his wife and girls were in the States and he and his best friend from college did some traveling around Europe. Of course I said yes!
I've thoroughly enjoyed my time taking care of Tego - a very adorable, obstinate, white terrier who shares my bed, feeding the koi every morning, watering the pumpkins and the tomatoes in the greenhouse each evening, and eating from the bountiful garden Rick has planted! He has six different types of lettuces, beets, kohlrabi, sweet peas, kale, and lots of fresh raspberries, plus cherry and heirloom tomatoes. It's veggie heaven!
My first day here I saw a working windmill and toured Fredricksborg Castle and National History Museum,. They were having a special exhibit of Queen Margrethe II's wardrobe throughout her many years of reign.
I took a free, 3-hour walking tour of downtown Copenhagen This is a wonderful option which is offered in most of the big cities in Europe with locals as your tour guides. I loved the cancel boat tour and had a couple of delicious meals (fresh mussels!) in Nyhaven, the area of downtown Copenhagen that was constructed to look just like Amsterdam. I also saw an interesting 'male fashion statement' and got one of palace guards to almost smile!
I spent a day in Helsingør, where Denmark and Sweden almost touch. It is here that Shakespeare set the fictitional location of Hamlet's castle, Elsinor. In reality, it's Kronberg Castle, built by King Frederik in 1509 and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The town boasts a 'pedistrian only' area of large and smaller winding streets, some adored with really great works of art. Even the train stations are old and imposing.
|You can see Sweden just across the water|
My second-to-last full day here I spent wandering through Tivoli Gardens, an amazing amusement park located in the heart of downtown Copenhagen. They have live concerts all summer long - unfortunately I just missed Snoop Dog! He went from here to Sweden and immediately got arrested for procession of illegal drugs!
I don't ride rides, but if I did, this place would have been so much fun. The lines were very short even though there were lots of people in the park. It was fun to see the big smiles on the children's faces and enjoy the beautiful flower gardens that intertwined with the rides and numerous restaurants. I followed the sounds of a practicing orchestra and sat outside an open widow in a glorious garden bursting with flowers and fragrance listening to an overture of Broadway show-stoppers. How perfect was that?!
|Can you guess what this is? It's a robotic lawn mower!|
Tomorrow I will help Rick welcome home his family from their 4 weeks in the States visitng family and friends. We've cleaned and scrubbed and filled with fridge with good things to eat. Time now for me to pack-up and fly off to the UK where I will spend the next three months. I will be house/petsitting and sightseeing throughout England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. And as my friend Peter says, maybe learning to speak 'proper posh English!' Doubt it - but I'll keep you posted.
Until next time....