I am back after a busy Summer of moving to a new state and a new house. In the middle of everything I did get the chance to make a short trip to Copenhagen and even stay in the city for a few days. My, how things have changed since I lived there ten years ago – but a lot is still the same as well. Enough to make me feel right at home again and back to the past. In the following weeks I will post a series with tips on what you can do in Copenhagen in the Summer or Fall.
First off, rent a bicycle! You can find a Rent a Bike store on almost every street corner in inner city, or just rent a city bike via a mobile phone app. However you choose, a bike it is the best way to see the city. Walking a whole day makes everyone tired whereas on a bicycle you move fast and experience everything so much more vividly than behind a car or a bus window. After one day of walking I was done! And the day I rented a bike was the highlight of the trip.
I rented a bicycle at my hotel but got the helmet from the “Rent a Bike” store in Nyhavn (Rent a Bike) and they were so nice and helpful that I can definitely recommend going there.
Old-fashioned, new 40s style bicycles are all over Copenhagen now. They will give you comfort, exercise and hygge on your city trips.
Old-fashinoned “hygge” bicycles (also called “grandma bicycles”) line the streets all over Copenhagen. In my opinion you see everything better when you sit upright on an old-fashioned bicycle than you do on a more sporty bicycle. Plus, they give you that comfortable “hygge” feeling on your trip. But even though there are bicycle lanes everywhere I recommend wearing a helmet since, like in any city, there is a lot going on in the streets.
You will definitely need a bicycle to get to the new Reffen dining area, which is a fifteen or twenty minute bike ride from inner city. Or you can take the harbor bus there but then you depend on a schedule. On the tip of Reffen you can buy exciting food and enjoy it with the sea breeze in your hair. I will give you a little taste of it in my next blog post. You can also look forward to read about a cafe with free access to a lot of magazines, refill coffee and the best croissants. I will tell you about a healthy juice and sandwich cafe safely tucked away in the inner city. You can look forward to read about the many new outdoor bars and restaurants that have popped up on the other side of the harbor after the new bicycle bridge has been built. Among these is a fun and experimental new Nordic restaurant and bar with an impressive selection of tap beer. I cannot wait to share all these and more exciting places in Copenhagen with you in the upcoming posts!
This is how much the Danes use their bicycles: This little girl even has a doll seat on her bicycle!
My family and I are currently going through a big move out of state. This has made good parenting feel at least double as hard as usual and my “Danish Way of Parenting” methods seem to go right out the window in one stressful situation after another. Unfortunately, I can see that this has its effects on my children. Understandably so, their safety net is being pulled away under them and my husband and I are trying to keep the ground from breaking below them. But this is so much easier said than done while we are navigating transfer of school and medical records, buying and selling a house, saying goodbye to our town and friends etc. This has turned me into a different kind of mom, a stressed out mom, a mom who is constantly watching the mess they make because some potential buyer could show up and look at the house in less than one hour.
What is interesting though is that this stressful situation shows how much our usually pretty calm, engaging and patient parenting means. Children thrive in a calm, safe and happy home with parents who have time for them, who are there for them. A stressed out parent who is constantly looking for perfection – who for example constantly fights little fingerprints and mess so that the house can sell – is not what they need.
My son in total zen making a messy picture with finger paint. Kids need mess it seems!
It is almost impossible though to not get stressed during a move with children so all you can do is to be good to yourself – which I believe would be the case in most stressful situations. Try to get the stress levels down. Have breaks to restore your energy physically and mentally because only by being good to yourself can you find the patience and energy needed to be there for kids. I think this self-care is such an important part of “The Danish Way of Parenting” – instead of blaming yourself for not being a perfect parent and failing yet another time, embrace yourself and your unmet needs from the past. There is a reason why we sometimes scream at our children. If you empathize with yourself and take good care of yourself, you can get the emotional space to empathize with your children – and others. On August 28, Iben Sandahl and Sarah Zobel have a new book coming out on this topic called “Det goer Ondt i Maven, Mor!” or “My Stomach Hurts, Mom!”. It is about embracing your own past and pain so you can feel better and thereby be a better parent every day.
So here is my call out to other parents who are stressed for whatever reasons (aren’t most of us?): It is more or less impossible to meet your children’s need for love and attention if you do not take care of your own needs! So go ahead and be good to yourself. When you make yourself happy and relaxed – by replacing some of the “shoulds” with some of your own needs wishes – you will be able to be there for someone else and live up to their wishes.
Oh, and plus your mood rubs right off on them! -What a great excuse to give yourself some happiness 🙂 After this realization I know I am going to enjoy that cupcake with wine, meditate and try to chill out – at least a little more 😉
“Royal Wedding” cupcake from “Holly’s Homemade” at The Mount Airy Farmers’ Market, MD. Such a treat! This elderberry and lemon cupcake was the perfect match for a glass of white wine.
I just want to send some Danish hygge atmosphere out there on this National Day of Hygge with these photos from Denmark!
Walking with a looming storm behind you and arriving at a summerhouse just in time for the storm to break out and some Danish pastry awaiting you… That would be a great hygge experience to think of on this National Day of Hygge. Have some great hygge today – and don’t forget it is all about relaxing and enjoying!
A good excuse for having a good, relaxing and hyggelig time 😉 And why not celebrate both days…
A favorite cup of tea and a book – one of my favorite ways of relaxing!