Denmark: Hagen, Hot Dogs and Haribos

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I’m finally back after a long hiatus, and what better time to travel blog than your honeymoon! 

That’s right, me and my girlfriend of three years tied the knot in July and chose to celebrate our newly formed union in the birthplace of democracy and home of the best and most delicious olive products, Greece. 

Now, before I dive into how the southern European country is about more than fat weddings and feta cheese, I need to fill you in on my layover destination where I was able prep myself for loads of picture taking, eating and figuring out the ins and outs of foreign economies. 

Nyhavn Harbour in Copenhagen, Denmark

After leaving New York on a Sunday evening, we landed in the middle of the morning in Copenhagen, Denmark where we had about 6 hours to go sight-seeing and grab a meal. The plane ride was roughly seven hours and I desperately needed to wash the disgusting taste of a pepper that was part of an inflight meal that only “premium” customers received out of my mouth.

When my wife and I touched down, we immediately started looking for the metro which we easily found, bought a ticket for, and boarded. Being from New York, my first European metro ride blew me away due to the cleanliness of the train and tracks. Even the tunnels looked like you could eat off the floors, but that might be a bit of an exaggeration. Either way, we took a beautiful ride to Nyhavn Harbour, a popular tourist attraction where you can ride on the city’s canal and look at some of the most beautiful row houses in the world. 

Magasin Du Nord AKA “The Mall”

When we exited the Metro we entered into a tourist shopping mall which carried all types of goodies and products such as high-end headphones and loads of gummy candy. The shopping complex’s entrance was decorated with Pride signs which immediately let me know the social climate. But what stood out most was a spinning rack loaded with Haribo treats, most that I had never even seen before. We picked up a bag of candy that had some mysterious additions to the typical gummy bears and twin cherries before heading out. (I’d later pay for this.)

The mall reminded me of some of the shopping/eating areas in New York like Eataly where you can get a taste of the culture and pick up a few cookbooks along the way. It was classy, but very expensive. We then headed to the street and started walking towards Nyhavn which took us about 5 minutes to get to from the station. The area was unsurprisingly flooded with tourists, many of them being from asian countries. The strip next to the large canal which had boat tours was packed with restaurants and cafes. We were hungry, but we figured we should avoid these places being that most of them were probably tourist traps. 

A sign outside this place said this was the most beautiful courtyard in Copenhagen.

We snapped a few pictures in front of the canal and eventually journeyed off the strip where we found a little cafe where what seemed like some locals were relaxing, smoking and enjoying a nice cup of coffee. It had been at least 20 years since I had seen anyone smoking in a restaurant so this was somewhat of a novelty for me. We ordered a slice of apple cake and a croissant. The cake was the perfect remedy for the disgusting pepper after-taste that I had been struggling with since exiting the flight. We washed our treats down with iced coffee and hit the streets for some more sightseeing. 

In four hours time we were able to do a good amount of walking around the city and I noticed a few key things. For one, everyone bikes in Copenhagen and it also looks like they aren’t worried about theft because none of them are locked up when left at a location. I also saw more than one 7-11 which is probably the greatest convenient store in the world so Denmark definitely scored points with me for that. The weather was also a bit chilly in August which I liked after surviving half of the scorching hot New York summer at that point. The cooler summer air was a great indicator for a harsh winter which I would love to experience there at some point in the future. There were lots of great basement pubs where you could get lost in some quality beer on a cold winter day. It seemed like an ideal after-skiing destination. 

No one is afraid of bike-theft here. It isn’t NY in the 90s. But Athens might be.

Since we were strapped for time, we strolled around, looked at a few well-architectured government buildings, snapped some pictures and took a stroll down Strøget, the city’s touristy 5th Avenue-like shopping area. 

Strøget

After all the walking we knew we needed some of kind sustenance for the three hour plane ride to Santorini, Greece. We noticed some large-lines of people buying these long hot dogs. We knew we had to try one before leaving. The dogs were being slung out of what they call a pølsevogn (translated sausage wagon) and were being served with crunchy onions, pickles and other delicious toppings. We kept it simple and got a long dog in a pocket bun with mustard. The pocket bun was basically like a long roll with a hole in it made specially for the sausage. It’s great for pouring the toppings into since it holds the mustard without making a mess. The dog tasted like a cross between kielbasa and an American hot dog. We quickly scarfed it down and started heading back to the airport. 

We got a little hungry again and bought another sausage at the airport. Turns out they sell these quality dogs all over, even in their 7-11s so I’ve heard. I strongly recommend trying one of these if you get to Denmark.

Now that our bellies were full, it was time to head to our first real destination, Fira, in Santorini, Greece. 

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