We did not wake up to Swedish saffron buns this morning as we are a house where everyone has a cold. But we did the next best thing; we feasted on buttery toast, hot tea and the candles were lit.
I have long been in love with this special feast day of St. Lucy. I have spoken about it a few times here in the past, usually in a Halloween related post. But, I was a very lucky girl one Christmas and Santa brought me Kirsten, the Swedish American Girl doll. I loved her so.
One year for Halloween I dressed up just like her St. Lucia outfit. My Mom braided my hair and put it up in loops held in place with red satin ribbons. She pulled out one of her Christmas wreaths and tied red satin bows in it and nestled battery operated candles in the branches. I wore a long white tunic with a huge red satin sash tied in a big bow. Only I would dress up as something Christmas related for Halloween.
Identically dressed, Kirsten and I went trick-or-treating together that year. My next door neighbour who was Swedish, got the biggest surprise when he opened his door to us. He was delighted! I will never forget the look on his face and the memories that that brought back for him. G. was a great story teller.
I hope someone brightens your path today and brings happiness and light to it on this wonderful feast day of St. Lucia. ♥
Day 3 started out with fresh coffee and those gorgeous chocolate cinnamon rolls for our anniversary breakfast and then we walked to the train station. it was a short metro journey to the station we needed to be at and we bought our tickets at a machine and headed down to wait for the train to Malmo. We were heading to Sweden for the day.
I snapped the image of the palm trees while waiting for the train. The station projected this film along the walls and it appeared as if you were sitting in a moving train with the projected film as the scenery outside your window.
The very thought of going from one country to another across a body of water was incredibly exciting, especially since we were going over the Oresund Bridge. The cars travel above and the train goes underneath. We could look out and see the water, the ships and sailboats gliding along. It was magical. Once we arrived in Sweden we had two things we wanted to do for sure and that was to visit the Sankt Petri Church and the Modern Art Museum.
We went to the church first, it was built in 1319 in the Gothic style. They were holding a Confirmation ceremony and we got to go in and watch, it was so beautiful. There was one section of the church, a side chapel that still contained the Medieval painting that the church would have originally been decorated with. The rest of the church was filled with the most ornately carved sculptures and the colors were incredible.
Next, we went to the Modern Art Museum and had something to drink in their cafe before heading inside. Only there was no inside. We went to buy our tickets and the lady said they were closed as they were refurbishing, but we could sit on a couch over there, as she pointed behind her and watch a film for free. We just smiled, I tried really hard not to laugh, as trying to see museums was turning into a bit of a joke. There was no information stating any of this on their website. But, that just gives us a good excuse to go back.
After watching a few minutes of the film, we regrouped and deiced to visit the castle museum instead as that was something we didn’t think we would be able to get to while there and took a lovely stroll through the city gardens. We happened upon a flower show being set up. It was like their own version of the Chelsea Flower Show, where people were building different styled gardens in their allotted spaces and as we walked back towards the river, we came upon a gorgeous windmill, that was straight out of a storybook.
Finally, we arrived at Malmohus Castle and… you guessed it: The art museum and aquarium were closed for renovations, but we could at least look around the castle for free. So we toured through, they had a very sweet children’s toy museum and a quite creepy area in the bowels of the castle that told tales of the souls who had been jailed there and the fate that awaited them. It was an interesting building and Scandinavia’s oldest surviving Renaissance castle.
We headed back to the station after this as it had been a full day and took the train back to Copenhagen. We had our anniversary dinner at a very cute Italian restaurant and then strolled home for dessert.
Our last full day was another trip out of the city. This time to a museum that was open in it’s entirety, The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. Our train journey was delightful as we headed through the countryside to the Danish coast.
The figure to the right is from the Niels Wessel Bagge Collection. It consists of more than 450 items, primarily from North, Central and South America before they had any European influence upon their culture. He reminded me of Max from “Where the Wilds Things Are”.
There was a short walk to the museum and it was well worth the trip. The artwork they held within those walls was amazing. I finally got to see Yayoi Kusama’s, Infinity Mirrored Room. Mr. Michie said if he worked here, he would just come and lie on the floor on his lunch breaks in that room. It was serene.
Their art collection was extremely impressive. Having always been a Hockney fan, Mr. Michie was extremely delighted to see A Closer Grand Canyon on display. We strolled through the sculpture gardens and sat on the hill, watching the boats sail by in the ocean. It was a clear day and we could look over and see Sweden staring back at us. We ate the most delicious lunch at the gallery, I should have photographed it, but we were so hungry and it was so lovely! I could have spent a whole day here, but we had one more stop to make, a very special stop.
I have long been a fan of Karen Blixen and since I know that I won’t be able to see her home in Africa any time soon, her home in Denmark was the closest I could get. We walked back to the train station and had a short journey back down the tracks to Rungsted. I knew there was about a 20 min walk to her home, but when we came to the crossroads we made a mistake and kept going straight instead of turning right. We walked through a neighbourhood for about 15 minutes and just as we were thinking we might need to turn around we spotted a grocery store. Mr. Michie went inside to ask for directions and spoke to a very kind lady.
We learned at that point, that we should have made a right at the intersection. We laughed, because what else can you do and we headed back in the direction we came. It wasn’t long before we heard someone honking their car behind us and pull up beside us. It was the lady that Mr. Michie had spoken with. She said it was too hot a day to walk there from here and we wouldn’t have a lot of time left to see the museum as it was, so she wanted to drive us there. The kindness of strangers!
We made it to the museum in time for the last entry into the main house. We went upstairs first to what was once the carriage house, now turned into an exhibition space. I stared at her typewriter, looking at the keys her fingers once touched, there were cans of coffee beans from her plantation. The gramophone given to her by Denys Finch Hatton rested beneath a glass case. Her record collection still in existence. My throat tightened and I caught my breath, I couldn’t believe that I was looking at her things. Now, I know that this sounds silly, but I have a lot of respect for this woman, she was an adventurer and an excellent storyteller, she was her own woman and I like to think that we would have been friends.
We moved back outside and waited in the gardens to be called in to the main house. Once inside, we were given linen shoe covers and had a chance to walk through the downstairs floor. Her home was as she left it, the furniture displayed where she kept it. She always kept fresh flowers in her house and the museum does the same. There was a small gallery of her paintings, she was a wonderful artist and the images she painted of the Africans she knew held a beauty all of their own. I looked her her grandfather clock, at the trunk that Farah Aden, gave to her, her desk, surrounded by family photographs. I was moved. At any moment, I expected her to walk through and greet us.
After leaving the house we walked through her gardens and down a path to where she is buried under a ginormous tree. It was a simple grave marker, it was a simple place. Yet it was eloquent. Her home overlooked the ocean and we walked along the waterfront before heading back to the station. It was on this walk that we discovered a path that led you through the woods, past her grave and to the house. But it was the walk we were not meant to have, we saw the house as we were meant to have seen it. I have only a few photos of the outside of her home that I took on my Diana camera. You were not allowed to photograph inside her house and out of respect for this women, I wouldn’t have, even if I was could have.
We headed back in to the city and went for one last hotdog at Andersen’s. I was really after the mandelhorn. We got one each this time. I wasn’t sharing dessert. Now, here is my old lady part of the trip, our apartment had everything and so when we got back that evening, we just chilled out and watched some TV, while I did all of our laundry, which made my life very easy when we got back home.
Early the next morning, I packed and straightened everything up, while Mr. Michie got us coffee and of course chocolate cinnamon rolls from Emmery’s! We ate, cleaned-up, gave our home away from home, one last goodbye and then headed out to the metro station to make our way to the airport.
Copenhagen’s airport is dazzling. I have never been in and through security so efficiently. We checked in by ourselves. The machine prints out everything, even your luggage tag, we put that on, walked over to luggage belt, put our bag on, scanned the tag and off our luggage zoomed. They even gave you a time estimate of how long you would be waiting in security, at that point it was 8 minutes. In less than 20 minutes, I’m going to write that again, in less than 20 minutes, we had checked-in and gone through security. AMAZING!
Our flight home was full of sunshine and back to reality we went. I’m telling you, I am normally a bit down for a few days when I get back from seeing my family, but when we travel other places I miss it, but am okay with being home. Not this time. Copenhagen was special, I have been sad to not be there, the people were so kind, they were calm, there was no pushing to get on the train, to get your groceries, to walk down the street. They enjoyed life.
That is something that we don’t quite have right here. The work/life balance is a bit skewed and everyone needs to work on their manners. I know that the grass is always greener, but I don’t think that is the case here. I just appreciated what they had and I wished that my day to day could be more like that, especially where traveling in London is concerned, no one is patient and I am, which normally makes me invisible and the one who gets pushed and smushed.
Visiting this city was a true treat and I hope we get to return. Copenhagen, wait for me, I’m coming back.