Tuesday, May 11, 2010

EUROTRIP: Denmark

Where: Train from Berlin to Prague
Listening to: Revolution by Miranda Lambert

On Friday May 7th, I awoke to find everything had changed. I was alone at Senora Vicki’s. Tricia and Laura had left at 5 a.m. I remembered faintly Haley leaving at 8 a.m. Just me, three suitcases and a cranky Spanish woman. I spent the morning trying to fall back asleep. That obviously wasn’t going to work thanks to Vicki already cleaning the house. I kind of got the message I needed to leave ASAP.

And so begins the Eurotrip. Rachel and I are traveling through Europe for 10 days together.

I took the 12:45 train to Madrid. Once I arrived in Madrid, I needed to take a total of three separate Metros to get from the train station to the airport. This wouldn’t have been a problem, except I had a purse, backpack and three suitcases. At this point, I would like to thank the people of Madrid for their help and lack of frustration in dealing with me and my bags. It was pretty amusing for them to watch.

Once I met my best friend, Rachel, at the airport, we boarded the plane to fly to my homeland—Denmark!! We stayed with my aunt, Faster Anne. We arrived Friday night at midnight so we just went straight to bed.

On Saturday morning, we woke up, had breakfast with Faster Anne and her boyfriend Johnny. I surprised my cousins, Claus and Karin, with a call from Faster Anne’s phone. They did not expect to hear my voice on the phone! It was pretty entertaining. Rachel and I went in to Copenhagen to meet with my cousin Birgitte to see the Crown Prince Frederick and his family’s newly remodeled palace at Amalienborg.

The Danish Royal Family recently remodeled one of the four palaces at Amalienborg, the home of the Royal Danes. The renovations are to the palace where the current Queen grew up. They used modern art from Danish painters to decorate the palace to give it a contemporary flair. It was quite interesting to see the mix of classical palace d├ęcor with abstract art. In their dining room, for example, a huge abstract piece was painted directly onto the wall, right next to the white crown molding with gold accent. None of the modern pieces were framed or anything that looked like it was placed later. Everything looked as if it had just appeared there. I couldn’t decide if I liked it or not. I love the classic molding and decorative ceilings, but at the end I decided it was a good idea. I think it is very reflective of what a contemporary palace should be like. It was get so boring to constantly see the same type of decoration for your whole life. It incorporates the 21st century with an endless legacy that all rulers today have.

My favorite was the new staircase they added. I didn’t like the staircase itself—it was brushed wood and reminded me of Ikea—but I loved the idea of it. The stair way was supposed to look like you were in the ocean surrounded by bubbles floating up to the surface. Each bubble was actually a circular light fixture with half of it on the wall, facing a round mirror. They went all the way up four floors. At the very top on the ceiling, there was a wavy mirror that looked like you were looking up at the ocean’s surface. It was so interesting and really did feel like what the designer had wanted!!

Afterwards Birgitte walked us around Stoya and downtown Copenhagen. We went into The Royal Danish Playhouse which was absolutely beautiful inside. We grabbed a small lunch in Nyhaven. Birgitte was very excited to get some cake! We passed Tivoli and the Town Hall, where my grandparents got married. There was a legalize marijuana protest in front of it. How picturesque. We went back to Taastrup then to my cousins’ house in Sengelose for dinner. They got us traditional Danish open faced sandwiches!! My favorite!!! Luckily Rachel was able to have some and she actually liked it! We stayed there for the night, talking and catching up. Rachel and I went back to Faster Anne’s and went to bed.

That was by far the shortest trip I have ever had to Denmark. However, it still was a good trip. I got to see my family and catch up with them, which is always nice. It is so lovely to know that I have family across the world that can help me and look out for me if I need them. All of their help meant so much to us. It was a lovely trip.

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