What a city Copenhagen was! We arrived on Tuesday at about noon, and made our way to "Chicken's Private Pension," a 400 year old house that rents out rooms. We had the largest room on our trip, access to the fridge, and two bathrooms to share with the other 4 rooms, which never turned out to be a problem. When we checked out this morning, the caretaker complimented us on the boys' behavior, noting that she was a bit scared when we checked in with three young boys. Luckily, their behavior redeemed them!!!
We were amazed how many bikes there are in Copenhagen! Again, they have separate bike lanes, but they also have traffic signals for the bikes. It was very organized, and it seems like most people bike to work. They even ride in the rain, in special rain gear. You should see the cool baby carriers they have - many of them attach to the front of the bike! They have free bikes you can use throughout the town, but Jonathan isn't big enough, so we didn't use them, despite the older boys' protests.
There was so much in Copenhagen we didn't even seem to scratch the surface. We toured an old castle that was neat - they decorated each room in a different king's style to suit that time period. It showed us how little Danish history we know, that's for sure. We also went to an art museum and the Danish National Museum, which had a great kids' place. That evening, we discovered an indoor swim complex, and spent over 2 hours swimming in their four pools. It was open until 11PM, but we left at 9PM, while it was still light out.
Yesterday, we began by taking the bus to the Little Mermaid statue, which is the most famous landmark in Copenhagen. It's not that impressive, which didn't surprise me. Next, we walked to Parken, which is the city's football (soccer) stadium. There we took a guided tour that was done in Danish and then translated into English for us - we basically got our own private tour since we were the only ones who spoke English. Luckily, practically everyone in Denmark and Sweden speak English, so the only time language has been a barrier is when we are trying to read signs (which can be very frustrating!!)
After our tour, we bought hot dogs for lunch (AGAIN) and walked to the local park. I think this park was the highlight of Copenhagen for all three boys. There was a playground, which they never touched, because they had manual go-karts (for free!!) for the kids to ride around mock roads. These roads were complete with working traffic signals, bike lanes (of course), shrubbery, and a "gas station." We were there for at least an hour and a half. We tried to relax and just run on kid time, but by 2:30, we decided it was time to move on and we pried them away, with cries of "can we come back tonight??"
Next we walked through the park to the zoological museum, which is run by Copenhagen Universtiy. This was a small, but informative museum. Benjamin and Jonathan go through places like this quickly, looking at everything. Alexander, however, goes slowly, looking at all the detail. He got caught up for 10 minutes at the live ant hill display. His powers of observation are greater than mine, that's for sure.
For our last stop, we went from dead animals to live animals, and went to the zoo. We spent about 2 hours there, because it started to rain and it is mostly outdoors. By this time, it was 7PM anyway, so we were ready to pack and rest.
This morning we awoke to POURING rain. Luckily for us, it slowed down by the time we had to catch the bus to central station. We then took a 5 hour train to Stockholm, which is where we are now. We're staying in an apartment hotel, which has a kitchenette and is about 10 minutes outside the city. Tonight we took a 40 minute boat tour around the city (covered by our stockholm card -yea!) just to get an overview of the city. There is free internet and laundry here, so right now I am doing both.
There is even more to see here than Copenhagen, so we'll try to do what we can. It should be a full three days. Stay tuned for updates...