Sunday, August 14, 2016

Off to Denmark

I have been planning to get back to regular blogging for a while now.  (I think I say that at the start of every post.)  We take a lot of fun day trips that I always intend to share and then I get so busy, it's just easier to post a few pictures on Facebook.

But alas, something is not working on my phone and I can't post to Facebook anymore. I guess that is just the impetus I needed to actually tend to my blog.  

So,  what better way to start this new commitment to chronicling, than with a week-long family trip to Denmark?

This trip has been a long time in the making. J, our lego-obsessed 10 year old, has been asking to visit Denmark for many years. By late June we still hadn't planned a summer holiday for this year and were not sure there would be a lot of  reasonable options.

With the very initial suggestion of a holiday,  J jumped right in with a vote for Denmark. A quick search for flights revealed they were actually quite reasonable but only a few left, so we decided to go with it.  Done. Ryanair, we are there.

Then I started looking for accommodation. This was not quite looking so reasonable. Oops. Oh well! Using a combination of, and however, I set us up for 7 Nights,  at the best prices I could find,  in various spots across Denmark.

Our plan was to spend the first half of the trip in Billund,  front-loading the activities that the kids would be most excited for: Legoland, naturally, as well as Lalandia and Aqua zone (Scandinavia's biggest Waterpark.)

Then after three days in Billund,  we would head to Copenhagen for the activities that I am most interested in. Can you imagine if I tried to do Copenhagen first? I don't think I would get a moments peace.

On the suggestion of a good friend who just visited Copenhagen, I downloaded a copy of The Year of Living Danishly in preparation for travel. I really enjoyed this account of an English couple relocating to Denmark for work and sharing their subsequent cultural observations.

Unfortunately last weekend, I tore a muscle in my calf (the medial head of my gastrocnemius to be exact.) Aside from derailing my recent foray back into a regular pilates practice,  I was very worried this would completely derail our holiday.

On the suggestion of my same resourceful friend,  I was encouraged to contact Ryanair about reduced mobility service and I must say that was by far the best customer service I have experienced since moving to Ireland! I quickly had a wheelchair lined up for transport through the airport,  so I'm hoping that my week of rest and a less arduous airport experience will allow me more mobility later on. 

My Ryanair customer service worked perfectly on the Dublin end of the trip,  but not quite so good on arrival in Copenhagen. Nonetheless, I navigated the airport by crutch and we got to our rental car.

Our destination for the first night of our trip: a town called Kolding. It is a 2 hour drive from Copenhagen and a half hour to Legoland. On the drive I got to admire the beautiful Danish landscape.

We arrive to a lovely family room,  on the top floor,  in the eaves of the Saxildhus hotel,  smack dab in the center of town. 

We forgo the hotel's dinner buffet in favor of a family friendly restaurant,  called Budapest, recommended by a lovely girl in  our hotel. 

Dinner was good, reasonably priced (which I did not expect in Denmark) and the service was fabulous. Also,  when you order a beer in Denmark,  its REALLY big!

We followed dinner up with a nice stroll around the town. We were very surprised by how quiet it was,  considering it's a Saturday night,  mid summer. This was certainly not Temple Bar!!!

Though the light was low and the town was sleepy,  I enjoyed snapping a few pics in the dark.

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