So technically, we didn't go to Iceland. Technically, we went for a weekend to Copenhagen and had a 7-day layover in Iceland. We chose Copenhagen cause there was a really good seat sale and we got the tickets for next to nothing.
And I'm so glad we did. It was a great couple of days in a beautiful city.
We arrived very early on Friday morning and after dropping bags off at our hotel, we found a coffee shop for some breakfast (and I may have had a little snooze) before heading up to Copenhagen's Torvehallerne market for our food tour. The tour was great - we stopped in a number of places, trying cheeses and juices and wines and beers and sandwiches and hot dogs and chocolates and candies and caramels. Our guide was a Montreal native but has been in Copenhagen since the late 80's and was full of really interesting stories about the city. It was a great way to tour around the city, we've become big fans of the food tour and this one didn't disappoint.
From there, we went to Rosenborg, one of the many castles in the city and the home of the crown jewels. The castle was modest compared to some we've seen so it didn't take long to tour through it. The throne room was beautiful. Hilariously, the king's throne is made of narwal tusks but he told everyone that it was made from unicorn horns. And they didn't have Google back then so they just took his word for it. There are also these three amazing silver lions that are in front of the thrones to guard the monarchs. Also hilariously, 12 were ordered but they were so expensive, they could only get three. Both of these hilarious stories were told to us by the security person in the room, who was so delightful to talk to. Then it was down to see the crown jewels. The crowns of the King and Queen were impressive but the Queen's jewels were really, really impressive. Only the Queen is allowed to wear them and she can only wear them in Denmark so they don't get out much.
After that, we went back to Torvehallerne and picked up some crackers and cheese and meat and wine and dessert for a little smorgasbord dinner of our own creation, which was delicious.
Our Saturday was jam-packed. We were going to take in the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale house until we realized it was a Ripley's museum with a light show, not a preservation of a home he lived in. So we walked down one of the pedestrian streets over to Nyhavn, where the most famous views of Copenhagen are and caught a canal tour instead. The canal tour was a great way to see a lot of the city in a short amount of time, seeing the old stock exchange, parliament, the opera house, and the Little Mermaid's back side, among other things. Once back on land, we walked down to see the Little Mermaid's front side, which was one of the things I was most excited for.
Then, it was on to Paper Island, an old paper warehouse that has been converted into a street food market. Think food trucks but inside and a bunch of them. It was crazy busy and nearly impossible to find anywhere to sit down once you had something to eat. We ended up stuffing ourselves with duck-fat fries, falafel, carbonara, fresh juice, creme brûlée donuts (they brûléed the donuts!) and a traditional apple cake. SO DELICIOUS. Good thing the next thing on our list was a walk through Christiania, the anarchist community of Copenhagen. They've proclaimed themselves as autonomous from the city and the EU. It's a very popular tourist destination now, though they frown on photographs, probably because they are pretty open about cannabis in the neighbourhood.
Then, it was back to the hotel before one last dinner (delicious! Seriously, the food in Copenhagen is amazing) and a short sleep before a very early flight back to Toronto. It was just long enough in Copenhagen to whet my Scandinavian appetite and now I'm really eager to go back to Denmark for a longer visit :)