New Year 2015 in Denmark – FILIPOKIE
New Year 2015 in Denmark

New Year 2015 in Denmark

We spent the majority of our trip in Denmark and learned the ways of the vikings. We arrived in Copenhagen early in the morning and the first thing we ate was a Steff Houlberg hot dog. I think I ate about 30 of those things while we were in Denmark – they were everywhere! I usually got a bacon wrapped hot dog with remoulade, onions, onion crunchies, and sweet pickles but there are all different kinds. We took the train for 45 minutes to Humlebæk, then took the bus to the house we stayed at during this leg of the journey. The 23rd is “Small Little Christmas” so we celebrated by having traditional Danish drinks and treats around a fire. Christmas through New Year’s is a big deal so it’s like a holiday everyday.

On the morning of Christmas Eve I went running at Fredensborg Castle. The park around the castle was beautiful – there was a huge forest with tree limbs hanging over the trail, creating a tunnel. It began to rain and it was a peaceful and tranquil experience, but we ran back to the house. That was a good 6 mile run. Daylight only lasted about 4 hours so night fell quickly. We had a huge Christmas Eve feast of pork and other delicious Danish foods. Dessert is not only almond pudding, but it’s also a game – there is only one whole almond in the pudding and whoever has it, wins and gets a prize. After dinner we sang Danish songs and danced around the Christmas tree and opened gifts. They gave me a traditional glass set for candles, which are elegant and intricate.

This year was the first time I had a white Christmas- snow was falling early in the morning. Christmas Day came and we went to a Danish smorgasbord “lunch.” This was no ordinary lunch; it started at 2 PM and we didn’t leave until almost 1 AM and we had about 20 courses. It started out with different types of bread and lard. I thought it was butter at first, but at a closer glance it was white with clear edges. There were courses of herring, pork, fish, and other delectables. Everyone would cheers every five minutes to anything and we would take a shot (I cheated and took 1/3 shots to survive). We played games and sang around the table and had a great time.

The next day we woke up late after a long night and walked down to Fredensborg Castle to show the other guys. It was a brisk walk and the sun was already setting but we explored the park and ate pastries from the SuperBrugsen (supermarket). I had my first Turkish kabob (durum), which was delicious and packed with meat and fresh vegetables wrapped in a tortilla-like bread.

We went down to Helsingør to Krønborg Castle, otherwise known as Hamlet’s Castle, where the Shakespearean story is based. We watched ducks ice skate on the ice covering the moat and toured around. Across the sea you could see Sweden, which was only a 15 minute ferry ride. We went to a bar to have licorice shots, ate more hot dogs, then headed back to the house. Since it was Saturday night we decided to take the train down to Copenhagen to party. We went to a few bars and met some locals who wanted to show us some of the more local bars rather than touristy ones. It was fun that you can drink out in public and bars don’t close until 6 (same with those hot dog stands), so we didn’t get home until almost 7 AM.

Since we didn’t get home until 7 AM, we slept ALL DAY. I don’t think I’ve ever done that before but we woke up at about 3:30 PM and since it was dark out already we thought it was still early morning and went back to sleep. We woke up at 5 and realized the day just went. Oops.

We went into Copenhagen today to see the rest of the sights. We went into Christiania, which is a “free zone” where all drugs are legal. The only rule there is that you can’t run or take pictures. It was a little sketchy, but interesting at the same time. People just had tents set up everywhere selling whatever and hobo looking people would stand around oil drums with bonfires lit warming their hands, watching you. For some reason I couldn’t pronounce “Christiania” so I decided to call it “Chris Jamie-a” (which is the name of one of our friends back home). We also walked along Nyhavn Canal and ate ice cream as it snowed and the locals looked at us like we were insane.

Guess what we did today? ANOTHER CASTLE- Frederiksborg Castle. Not that I don’t love castles, I just feel like I’ve seen a lot of them at this point in the vacation. Well we went to Hillerød not just for the castle but to get fireworks for New Year’s. The fireworks plan fell through so we looked around the town and the castle and had a really nice dinner at the Rib House. I forgot to mention earlier, but Danes love bread. For breakfast, they have a slice of bread with butter, jam, and chocolate. They don’t really eat lunch but if they’re hungry they have a slice of bread with salami and cheese. So we were tired of eating bread all day and being Americans, we need our meat and protein so we dropped $60 for this meal. Worth it.

New Year’s Eve is hugely celebrated here like I’ve never seen. We woke up early before the fireworks store closed to pick out a funny hat (requirement for the New Year’s party we were going to) and fireworks that are normally illegal in California. We walked down to the woods before the party to drink and found a park where people can work out. At 5 PM we had to meet to go to Fredensborg Castle because the Queen of Denmark was giving a speech for the New Year. It was pretty cool, there was a lot of news press and I got on TV but I didn’t know a lick of Danish so all I said was “skål,” which means “cheers.” We went over to a New Year’s party and had another feast – a lot of food, songs, dancing, drinking – the usual. One of the games we played was pass the cucumber and you couldn’t use your hands. That got awkward since I was sitting next to two older men that I didn’t know. At midnight every single home on the street was lighting off huge fireworks. It was like a grand finale back home in every direction for 2 hours straight. It was probably one of the coolest things I experienced on the trip.

On our last full day in Denmark, New Year’s Day, we didn’t do much except rest and eat hot dogs and kabobs and pastries. The next day on the 2nd we left and headed to our next stop: Amsterdam.


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