Monday, July 7, 2008

Today we had quite a pleasant surprise. We had planned to take a walking tour of the city, followed by the Hans Christian Andersen House, and then the Odense museum. Rain was predicted, so we figured the house and the museum would be a good bet.

When we awoke, it was sunny and pleasant. After a hearty breakfast at the hotel (bread, meat, cheese, eggs, fruit, cereal, and yogurt, we began our walk. Unfortunately, the map the city gave us was terrible. After finding only one of the sights, we went back to the Hans Christian Andersen House. Kids are free, which is a definite plus. As we bought our tickets, they asked us if we also wanted to go to the children's cultural center, which is NOT free for kids. After some hemming and hawing, we grudgingly decided to pony up the extra money. It's a good thing we did, because it's the best museum we've been to on this trip. Here is the link:

First, we explored the free museum. It had just about every piece of memorablia you could imagine, along with displays written in both Danish and English. They had sound recordings of some of his fairy tales. All in all, however, the kids only needed about 20 minutes. By then, it was time for the free outside performance of some of his fairy tales - very cute, and "Hans" did some of the descriptions in English.

Then we went to the Tinderbox. When you walk in, everyone (adults included) choose a cloak to wear, along with items to put in its pockets. You then walk through a wooded tunnel and enter fairy tale land. It was amazing. The kids created their own swords (which we purchased on the way out), ran through the forest, making up their own fairy tales, rode wooden horses, and watched a kids' comedy show. Upstairs was an incredible art room with every kind of medium you can imagine. Next to it was a dress up room where we tried on king and queen clothing. Benjamin and Alexander got their faces painted. There was also a woodworking shop, and tons of old-fashioned toys everywhere. It was a dream come true for kids who know how to pretend.

We left for lunch, then returned for the rest of the day. I'd say they spent a little over 4 hours there altogether, which definitely made it worth the money! Dinner was once again in our room, and they are all trying to fall asleep while I write this.

They are starting to get a bit grumpy, and I think we may have stretched this trip out just a little too long. Last summer, after our 6 week trek, I made a note that four weeks is long enough. We've been gone since June 12th, and they are ready to come home. We decided to push it so they could experience as much as possible, but next time I think we'll try to stay closer to four weeks.

Tomorrow, Copenhagen, and then Friday we're on to Stockholm. From everything we hear, they are both amazing cities, so hopefully it will distract them from bickering and complaining. Right now they are just excited for the two hour train ride because that is the only time they are allowed to play thier Nintendos!!!

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