One thing about Scandinavia: it is not a cheap place to travel. It makes places like Paris seem downright affordable, and New York...let me tell you about how much lunch you can get for $10 in that city. More than peanuts. Which is what it will buy you once you hit that magical Nordic border.
But you know, the benefits outweigh this added burden. It's a beautiful place, and the cities and the people are just so nice.
The other thing: summer is really the time to go. The long days, the bit of warm sun. Even in May, Denmark was not the slightly toasty warm-earth place I was hoping. The sun was out, yes. The temperature was about 50f degrees during the day, and in the 30s at night, and the wind....oh the wind! It blew quite a bit. I was red with wind-burn almost instantly.
But alas, we had a lovely time. Walking around, exploring the city of Copenhagen. The parks were beautiful and just starting to turn the startling pea-green of spring, and the cherry blossom were newly showing their pink, and the chorus of birdsong was deafening as it only can be in desperately short warmish-weather places. I'm all about experiencing the miracle of spring again and again and again this year.
It was an adventure of sorts. We booked this trip months ago as we had bought a single ticket to a beer festival there (it wasn't for me, that ticket) and suddenly, lo, the magic long weekend was upon us. Except there was an issue with a forgot passport not remembered until the terminal was under our feet (it wasn't me). Alas, the Nordic countries are part of the Schengen, which means once you are in, you can travel freely without one. Even as an American! So just a common ID was sufficient to let us breeze right through. Travel Disaster adverted!
Anyway. Copenhagen. It's clean, it's filled with more bicycles than pedestrians, Little Mermaid tchotchkes abound.
Also, I'm very fond of cities with Swans.
I headed to the Assistens Cemetery. In Danmark, they use their cemeteries respectfully as parks, with people sprawled out on the lawns next to the simple memorials, picnicking and drinking Carlsburg.
Paris is full of grand memorials to imortalize the dead, but the cemeteries here were much more demure and natural-looking.
I was there to say my peace to an old friend- the great tenor player Ben Webster.
Born in Kansas City, he died in Amsterdam, buried in his adopted home of Copenhagen. Many jazz musicians flocked to Europe as jazz was still popular there while rock took over the audiences in the USA. It seemed...lonely.
He was in good company though, as he was in a little section of other jazz musicians.
We did have a fantastic dinner at Manfred's. I can not recommend it enough.
We got a chef's tasting menu and had several really interesting dishes with creative uses of root vegetables.
And off to Mikkeler for a nightcap...