The Dangers of A Copenhagen, Denmark Vacation

Well, can’t believe that I’ve been here for six days in Copenhagen, Denmark.

It’s been the best trip ever!

Sure, go ahead and be jealous. I would be jealous of me too, if I wasn’t me. :]

As you may have noticed there was no Tuesday night post or Wednesday night post and here it is, the end of Friday for me. (that’s when I began this post.)

The break has been great but I have missed my blog and missed you guys and writing. And no worries. This time I’ve taken a zillion photos. In fact, so many that it’s difficult to know where to begin.


How about at the beginning? :]


Wait, Laurel? What dangers? What happened?


I said that there are dangers, I didn’t say that anything bad happened, but I will be getting to that in a bit.

Many of us arrived a day early to acclimate ourselves and get some rest before the trip officially began last Tuesday.

True to form, I didn’t sleep a wink on my journey here and arrived in Copenhagen completely trashed. It’s such a horrible feeling. And, I’m always afraid that I’m going to sound like someone the customs people would rather not have in their country.

Alas, they allowed me in and I was reunited with my suitcase in record time. I found the taxi stand fairly quickly and a very nice driver took me to my hotel.

lobby hotel sp 34 CopenhagenThe Lobby of our hotel named SP 34. It is a chic, modern hotel that was created about four years ago inside the shell of a centuries old building. You’ll see in a sec.


I learned that it is in one of the oldest sections of Copenhagen and only 500 meters from Tivoli Gardens. But, Tivoli was closed, so we could not see it.


Hotel SP 34 - Copenhagen Denmark

However, all is not lost and believe me, I saw an incredible amount of beauty which I am about to share with you.

This handsome young man checked me in. (while I was checking him out–hehe) ;] He told me that he used to be a travel blogger!

my room hotel sp 34 - Copenhagen DenmarkMy room. Love the drapes which included these sexy, dark sheers with an opaque dark gray curtain on a simple hospital track.

Danish design is spare. But the reverence for the old is keen. I love that dichotomy and it makes for an incredibly beautiful, old, yet modern city.

Courtyard Hotel SP 34 Copenhagen Denmark
This is a courtyard view out of those windows! While the windows are new, this 18th century-style window is commonplace throughout the city. Remember when we saw those windows when we were discussing transom windows?

My bathroom hotel sp 34 Copenhagen Denmark
I very much enjoyed the same window in my sleek, modern bathroom. This view features a yellow courtyard as the hotel is comprised of more than one building.

Can’t tell you how happy, I was to see my room and once settled in
I had to take a nap. But then, after a meal and then a real night’s sleep, I awoke feeling surprisingly refreshed.

EVERYONE in Copenhagen is unbelievably nice and EVERYONE speaks perfect English. Well, at least everyone I have met. In fact, there are many times that I forget that I’m in a foreign country.


However, the city is not without its dangers.

Bicycles. Thousands of them and they whiz past you in a blur of wheels and helmet-less albeit svelte riders. After my son’s very serious bicycle accident in 2013, I can safely say that riding a bike without a helmet is a phenomenally risky occupation; that is, if one wishes to keep on living.

Apparently, many Copenhagenites (is that the word?) don’t care much one way or the other. Of course, that is their business; it’s just not something I can understand. So be it.


After breakfast, that first bonus day, a few of us went exploring the neighborhood we are in.


Donna, Jennifer, Susie - strolling amongst bicycles - Copenhagen Denmark

Donna, Jennifer and Susie, three of my delightful trip mates– AND the bicycles!


And that is what I am focusing on today.


Susie and Donna knew some places that we needed to see and I was quite happy to let them lead me around.


The first place of note that we came across is Christiansborg Palace.  This is the working office of the Royal family, the Danish prime minister and where the Danish parliament holds their meetings. In fact, much of the palace is off-limits. Interestingly, although it looks quite old, the current palace was built in 1928. Twice before, the palace burned down. I learned that most of the old city was lost to fires and then rebuilt.


Christiansborg Palace, Copenhagen Denmark- the tower
We headed straight for the famous tower.

View from - the tower -Christiansborg Palace, Copenhagen DenmarkHere’s why.

Way in the distance is the water and beyond that is Sweden!

Christiansborg Palace, Copenhagen Denmark Grand entranceBack down on earth but still in the palace, I snapped this neo-classical classic.

More evidence of the classic nature of the color gray!

Although, I am not sure what the wrought iron railing is, design-wise. I would not call it neo-classical, however.

Christiansborg Palace, Copenhagen Denmark- entrance

Further down the hall.

Me, outside Christiansborg Palace - Copenhagen Design Retreat -DesigntrailCPH

Just outside Christiansborg Palace, I found this hollowed out rocket? And, couldn’t resist posing for my friends. Just as I was about to step out, they insisted on snapping a pic while simultaneously reassuring me that I did not look like an idiot. Maybe the guard ducks into here if it’s raining?


Parliament building -Copenhagen DenmarkOnce outside the building, we continued our stroll. I don’t know what this is, but I thought it was pretty cool with all of the columns.

Next we headed for a museum that Susie Feia from Wisconsin wanted to see.


Fredericksholms Canal Copenhagen DenmarkOn our way, we passed this wonderful canal with the palace on the left. Later in the trip, we took a boat ride, but you’ll have to wait to see those images.

Can I tell you how wonderful it is to be lead around and not have to make decisions?


Below is the information about this wonderful Glyptotek museum in Copenhagen.


Glyptoteket Museum -New Carlsberg Museum - Copenhagen Denmark


Glyptoteket Museum -New Carlsberg Museum - Copenhagen Denmark- statue

We walked in and were greeted by this jaw dropping statue. This woman had a litter of babies, it appears!

Glyptoteket Museum -New Carlsberg Museum

But, then we were surrounded with the most beautiful atrium filled with gorgeous architectural features and palm trees.

Atrium - Glyptoteket Museum - Copenhagen DenmarkAt the bottom of this image is the statue of the mother with her litter of babies.

I took a lot of photos of this area. It reminded me a lot of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.


This isn’t a huge museum, but it has a superb collection of statues




ALL of Degas’ bronzes, including the famous Little Dancer.

Degas Ballerina - Little Dancer and me- Copenhagen Vacation

Can I tell you how long I’ve dreamed of posing next to her?

I had no idea that this is where she lived! AND, she IS very little. I would say, no more than 30 inches tall. (apparently, there are numerous authorized copies in various museums.)

Bzees Kiss Sandal Available Here.
My shoes? The Bzees Kiss sandal. I’m on my third pair. Love them! You can purchase them online here. They run true to size. My size is an 8.5 medium.

Here are some of the other statues I enjoyed, plus incredibly beautiful rooms, colors and ceilings! This is only a sampling of what we saw.

Glyptoteket Museum - Copenhagen Denmark


Glyptoteket Museum -New Carlsberg Museum-Statues- Copenhagen DenmarkYes, the blue really is that vivid and check out this ceiling!

Glyptoteket Museum -New Carlsberg Museum- Copenhagen Denmark
Well, it’s now very early Sunday morning here and I am leaving in the late morning.

I wanted to get this out because there was no wifi on either British Airways jet coming over. Yuck. And there might not be any going back. And I will only be back late tomorrow night.

Oh MY! I almost forgot.

Thank you all so much. Because so many of you took the time to vote for me, I made the Amara Blogger Awards Shortlist! They announce the winners on October 25th.

In any case, I am very honored and grateful to have come this far. There are a few blogs that I am quite surprised that did not advance.



62 Responses

  1. Oooh! Now you made my day, Laurel, I absolutely adore the Zoffany wallpaper , it makes the room such a summery and cheerful place to gather. Thank you for your response, it made me happy!

  2. Dear Laurel,
    I don’t know if you have any idea, but you have a fan from Scandinavistan ( as I jokingly call my dear Norwegian homeland and it’s neighbours). I’ve been following your blog for a couple of years, and what I love is that you made me think critically about what I REALLY like. I started to separate striking from what really struck home. FF to our househunt..after nearly ten years of moving, and a child and pooch in haul, we began hunting for our forever home. The stakes were high..knowing we were looking for the one house that would dismiss the rest.

    One day it finally popped up in my search, a house reminiscent of the Moomin tales my mother read to me as a child. Yes, the original art nouveau windows have been removed. Yes, absolutely every room was so ugly it made my eyes shrink into a raisins. But the potential was there!

    My husband was summoned back from uni( yep, student husband, and wife in maternity leave makes for a slim budget). However I threatened to buy the house no matter what, so the poor dear man heeded my call.

    At the open house, there was only one other family present, even though it’s a lovely property in a lovely neighbourhood. I believe people shunned the house due to the horrid decor. For me, this was the perfect fixer-upper. We snapped it up below asking price.

    I have put blood, sweat and tears into this house, following a lot of your advice.

    Should you be interested in how it’s panning out I’m on insta as @boswellauen, but I don’t expect you to have the time, just wanted to give you an idea of the impact you have with your blog, even here in the cold North  🙂

    1. Oh wow! Talk about making my day! What a wonderful comment. Truly. And your English is perfect! It’s that Scandinavian “extra gene” mentioned earlier. Of course, I had to check out your home– immediately.

      I love everything you’re doing! You did the Zoffany Wallpaper and it looks amazing! I just posted on instagram, coincidentally. I think it’ll make you chuckle. And BTW, you and your hubby are a darling couple!

  3. Laurel, great post and you captured the spirit of this place of contrasts, juxtaposed so very well. It was an absolute delight to have some q-time with you and I hope it’s not too long before we can meet again. You’re always welcome to visit me on LI!

    1. Hi Susan,

      I’m so glad that we had a chance to chat at dinner the other night! Be careful what you wish for. haha! And… if you see this, I am just warming up. This post is only the appetizer. Tonight is (I hope) a delectable main course and then there will be a sweet satisfying dessert after that this weekend. The difficult part is editing. xoxo

  4. Hi Laurel! Wow!!! You are too good in photography. Just Wow! Could you share some tips with us on how exactly you edited. It’s crazy! Oh my. And you look amazing! 😍

    1. Hi Elie,

      That is something I’ve mulled around in my head and I would like to do that, but it will probably be next year. I’ve heard for years that designers MUST invest in professional photos. Well, if you’re as poor as I was, that is not an option. My wasband is a good photographer. I have him to thank for sharing his knowledge of that and also for teaching me how to speak English. lol One of the best tips he ever gave me was to hold the camera still. haha

  5. Your photography skills are excellent. The shots are framed well and the colors!
    i phone?
    BTW, I never miss a post. Your rearrangement of the beach house with the oversized fireplace was brilliant.
    Good luck on the Amari awards.

    1. Thanks so much Loretta! Yes, I use an I-phone 7 but I also edit the photos. Crop, straighten, brighten, color correct. Whatever they need. Some of the images I was practically running while taking them to keep up with the group. So, that was an extra challenge.

  6. Laurel, such fun reading! Would you share what brand shoes you are wearing in the photo of you with the dancer? They look so stylish as well as comfortable – a never-ending pursuit of mine for footwear!

    1. Hi Susan,

      I hear you. As someone who has foot pain even when I’m off my feet, I struggle mightily with shoes. But these are as comfortable as they come. I added an image and a link/info in the post.

  7. Loved the photos and the armchair travel. Now I want to go to Copenhagen. However, that mother with the litter, made me want to cover my eyes! I had a visceral response! All my nightmares involve me in charge of a huge bunch of babies! Weird…

  8. Laurel, the quality of your photographs is AMAZING! Beautiful!

    And that lady with all the babies statue, is cute and creepy at the same time. 😉

    1. Hi Lorri,

      Thanks so much. And all with an eye-phone 7S. I’ve been told that I have an “eye.” But really it’s just that I take a lot of photos and strive to make them straight. The rest is editing and cropping. Much more to come!

  9. Laurel the best pic is the one of you posing Ala ballet you look great and I’m so glad you loved Kobenhavn. I am very well acquainted with all things Scandinavian. Such an inspiration in a different way than the rest of Europe.

  10. I really enjoyed following along with you on your tour of Copenhagen. My mother’s side of the family is 100% Danish and this blog has convinced me I need to visit my ancestral homeland!

  11. Laurel,

    Loved your vacation pix

    And hands clapping for the shortlist

    If you are missing Denmark, try Borgen on either Netflix or Prime, I think.

    How was the food?

  12. Laurel, when I saw the photo with the columns I immediately thought of the word colonnade. You said you didn’t know “what this is,” so I searched for a colonnade in Denmark. I found a matching photo identifying this one as the colonnade outside the Danish National Museum. Like you, I’d be leery of those bicycles. I fear that Austin, Texas, may eventually be just as dangerous from bicyclists. Right now, it’s other vehicles that are killing us off at an alarming (to me) rate.

  13. Congratulations on making the first round cut!

    I’m so glad you enjoyed your trip to Denmark! Yes, the Scandinavians do love their bikes and they can be a hazard if one doesn’t note the bike lane traffic.

    I can’t wait to see what else you saw during your trip. I think the Scandinavians are very creative (the best really) in juxtaposing modern design with the very old architectural style. They’re also quite talented at home accessorizing and have interesting handicrafts. I had the good fortune to live in the Netherlands and visited Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and even Iceland. Scandinavians usually speak at least 4 languages and can understand each others languages as well as they are similar (except Finnish). They seem to have an extra language gene developed over centuries of being the epicenter of trade in Europe.

    1. Thanks so much Susan and I would go along with the extra language gene. Americans (one the whole) are decidedly deficient in that area. And I suppose it’s because we expect everyone to understand US. Funny. US and U.S.

  14. Laurel, your posts always make me grin! The perfect combination of conversational prose and information presented in a memorable way. Would that college professors were as engaging as you. I had been missing your posts and remembered that you were in Denmark so probably too busy to write as usual.

    Flipping out over the Danish vacation! Those first few picture startled me by how Danish Modern they look, LOL. I thought that style only existed on Pinterest and coffee table books but apparently it is really real. Moody lighting and everything. And then the sculptures–! Probably my favorite form of art to view in museums and there never seems to be very much of it compared to paintings. I’d love to go stare at the forms in that museum.

    Very much looking forward to further installments of this series. I lived in Australia for a year in my early 20’s and worked in a cafe with mostly Scandinavian girls. The Danish girl bought a bike within weeks of getting to Aus and wondered aloud why everyone else didn’t too. (Personally I had the time to waste walking to and from work and enjoyed the margin/slowing down it allowed me.) And I’ve read that the Danes came out as the happiest people in the world due to their low expectations of life… I’m guessing that’s part of what contributes to their shrugs about helmet safety.

    1. Hi Julie,

      Yes, there is much more Danish design to come. And, the color palettes are gorgeous! Alas, there would’ve been a mid-week post had there been WIFI on the plane, but I didn’t have any substantial chunks of time and the hour or two that I had, I devoted to photo editing and then putting the Sunday post together.

  15. Laurel!
    Beautiful images. You look great!
    Amazing blue walls, and really challenging! (At least for me…)
    You will win the award!!!! You are far away from the others on the shortlist!

    Thank you!

    1. I checked out her competition as well, and totally agree with you! In addition to dazzling us, amusing us, and educating us in each post, she has (much like the mother sculpture with the litter of offspring), engendered curiosity, confidence, and inspiration in a COMMUNITY OF READERS!

  16. What an amazing trip. I’m looking forward to more details & pictures.
    Thankfully you weren’t hurt by one of the crazy bike riders.

  17. Loved your pictures on Instagram Laurel. Copenhagen truly is a magical city. I recollect all the beautiful sculptures everywhere – turn your head and you would see another sculpture. Did you get to see any of the lovely courtyards in private homes. Because it’s so windy there all the time, they tend not to have front gardens but rather courtyards and within them you will often find many little whimsical gnomes hiding in the garden beds. Quite delightful and distinguishing Denmark’s sense of humour.

  18. Welcome home My’Lady,
    Beautiful city, Beautiful photos…more,more
    Loving the cobalt walls of the museum, it really sets off the sculptures.
    The Water Mother is interesting with her babes. I read the one on her arm is supposed to represent Venus holding an apple.
    Loving this armchair travel
    Your fan girl

  19. Laurel,

    Thank you for your writings. I enjoy them so much I just had to tell you. Welcome home!
    Austin, Tx

  20. Good Morning Laurel,

    Your post was a great way to start my Sunday morning. What a beautiful city–it makes me want to add it to my list of places to see. I would love to see the way the Danes mix their modern design esthetic with the old. I absolutely loved the shot of the marble stairway with the wrought iron. And of course your pose with the little dancer was adorable!

    I will be looking forward to your next post, after you get some good rest at home, of course! Thanks so much for taking the time to post this one.

    Welcome home, and congrats on making the short list!

  21. Hi Laurel,
    That blue at the Museum is wonderful. It really sings with saturated colour. It is more subtle than Yves Klein Blue. I wonder if this colour was mixed especially or is available commercially. In a dark grey winter, it would cheer one up no end.

    1. Hi Carole,

      You know, I’m not sure if it’s even just a painted wall. It positively glowed, so maybe some lighting involved and/or other materials. I’m curious as well, now that you mention it.

  22. What a fabulous trip! I can’t wait to see more. Have a safe journey home. Good luck with the Amara Awards. You deserve to win!

  23. Oh my gosh, Laurel, a litter of babies! I almost spit out my tea reading your blog today!
    And your picture with the Little Dancer is perfect!
    Have a safe trip home–as you know from your previous award, and now making the Amara Blogger shortlist, we all love your work!

  24. Lauren, silly girl, you could practically walk on over to see another of Degas’s dancers. There is one at the Met!

  25. I’m sure I won’t be the only one to tell you that the original Little Dancer sculpture (which is in wax and clay) is at the National Gallery in Washington, DC. There are 28 cast bronze copies which were made after Degas’ death and authorized by his family. They feared that the clay and wax sculptures would deteriorate and be lost.

  26. Laurel, I just have to comment about the bicycling: one of our daughter’s college roommates did an internship there, and although she loved it so much, she was seriously injured by a hit-and-run bicyclist! When we first heard about it, we assumed she was also riding a bike and they collided, but no, she was a pedestrian, and a guy just ran into her and took off, leaving her badly hurt and needing surgery. Yikes!

    1. Oh my! How horrible! I hope that she’s okay now. But I am not at all surprised. They also go very fast. There doesn’t seem to be a speed limit. I imagine that there are serious accidents happening every day.

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