BOSTON to COPENHAGEN, DENMARK• I left work in early on the day of my evening flight to Copenhagen. I’m glad I did since having some extra time to organize myself eased my stress about the trip.
When it comes to Boston traffic, I never know if taking the seven-mile drive from my house to the airport will take 20 minutes or 50. It can be so unpredictable.
I arrived at the airport, checked my bag, and exhaled a solid two and a half hours before my flight was to depart. Needless to say, it was a fast traffic kind of day. I had a bunch of foreign money in a plastic bag. I’ve had this stuff forever. In fact, I’m not even sure where it came from. Some Swiss Francs, some Swedish krona, and some Euros. I went to a currency counter hoping to get rid of a lot of weight by giving her the coins and requesting Danish krone, “We don’t take coins” she informed me, followed by “and you have to get Danish krone when you’re in Denmark”
Makes sense. So glad I brought 3 pounds of coins with me.
Whenever I fly I like to walk around until the very last minute before boarding, so today I walked around in the arrivals gate, and came across the kinetic sculpture which has been there since I was a child. I have vivid memories of looking up at it, all huge and strange, and watching the balls move through the tracks, fall through funnels, drop on a drum, climb up the gears and so on. Today, it sat alone in an area where little foot traffic passed (was it in that same spot when I was little?). Only a pulley or two was moving, and the balls had all fallen to the floor and sat collecting dust. A once-fascinating machine that I associated with the arrival of loved ones from other countries lay dormant.
It was slightly depressing.
Except I’m on vacation so I didn’t dwell.
I went through security, which is easy at least since I invested in TSA PreCheck (best $100 I ever spent).
And then my glucose sensor died. When the signal to my pump didn’t pick it back up within ten or fifteen minutes I went online to the Medtronic support page on Facebook for advice. Someone quickly reminded me that there may be interference with all the people in the airport and their devices and that I should just be patient and leave it alone. Without the sensor sending the signal, I couldn’t see on my pump what my sugar/glucose number was. After years of not knowing where my sugars were from one second to the next, I’ve gotten very dependent on knowing with this new technology, and it’s unnerving to not know.
I was on the plane for at least a half-hour when I had to accept defeat, go to the airplane bathroom and carefully disconnect the sensor from the transmitter and start the reconnect all over. But it did reconnect! And I never had another issue. It was the strangest thing and to be honest one of the most stressful things that could happen to me while traveling.
Once I landed in Copenhagen, long-time friend and adventure buddy Libby, new travel friend Lauren, who I met through Libby, and I found each other easily, got our bags, and hailed a cab to go to our AirBnb in downtown Copenhagen.
We were all tired, but by perfect coincidence, we were staying right near Copenhagen’s most famous bakery, according to Kenneth our AirBnB host. So we perched out front with a coffee and a chocolate croissant. A perfect start to a great trip. And honestly, probably the best croissant I’ve ever eaten. Kenneth boasted that they do only organic, but actually, I learned later that most everything is organic in Denmark. It’s a thing there. Like kindness and bicycles and fur on chairs.
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One of my favorite things about traveling is figuring out the faucets and the toilets. How does it flush? There are two buttons, what does each do? Is this faucet automatic or should I be pushing a button that only the Danes know about? Toilet/faucet discovery is a metaphor for one fo the most fun things about traveling – figuring stuff out! I love it!
We later went to a beautiful outdoor food market for dinner where we tried some fish cakes with a remoulade – a mayo with curry kind of dressing/condiment which is used quite a bit in Denmark. The one we got had pickles and cauliflower in it. We also had some sliders which we realized too late were not beef at all but likely bean. Copenhagen is very vegan-friendly, we soon learned. I am not a fan of bean sliders.
Next up was Tivoli Park and Gardens. The oldest amusement park in Europe. I was enchanted by it and looking back on my trip, my one regret was not being more patient to get the perfect shot of the swing ride way high up in the sky during magic hour while we were there.
We learned the next day during our walking tour that Walt Disney had come to Tivoli for “inspiration” but let’s be real – I think we can all agree he ripped it off.
We didn’t know what to expect when we entered Tivoli but it did not disappoint. Where US amusement parks are fun but generally tacky and brand and character-driven, Tivoli was charming. There wasn’t an overabundance of trademarked characters, but rather, animals. The rides were interesting (and typical), but the atmosphere was so different than what you’d find in the US parks. It what a far…classier feel? And didn’t appear to cater only to kids.
Licorice is big in Denmark. The salty kind. I don’t care for the salty kind but it was really fun to try licorice soft serve ice cream with licorice sauce and licorice “sand”.
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