More biking, a canal tour, changing of the guard (who knew?), The Standard, Danish Design Museum, Baest – Copenhagen


Searching for Noma. (Never did find…not that we were going to eat there…..)

We are really sad to give up our bikes tomorrow. Today, we rode much more confidently, comfortably and competently, with one day of experience under our belts. I read in a guide book today that the bridge road we ride to get to Nørrebro is the most heavily traveled bike road in the world. I believe it. We road directly to Nyhavn in about 12 minutes (much faster than expected) and hoped on a one hour guided canal tour (We took the cheaper one that starts with an “n” — it was good.) The tour especially was helpful  since we rode our bikes past many impressive buildings and statues we were wondering about. We found out what several of them are.

Herring for lunch…in honor of dad!

We also realized that there was a posh neighborhood to explore east of Nyhavn canal so we rode up and down various long straight streets with imposing stone mansions. We also rode into the royal palace square just in time for the changing of the guard. — much more accessible than the one at Buckingham Palace. We also rode along Gammel Stan, a pretty, narrow street lining a canal (unfortunately under construction) and in the narrow cobblestone streets with smaller very old houses (dodging a tour group or two).

Chairs from my childhood (Danish modern!) at the Danish Design Museum

Chairs from our kids childhood!

The weather was sunny again and hotter than yesterday– unusually hot (it got up to 79) we are told and the city is talking about being too dry (meanwhile we heard there is rain and flooding back home in Iowa). Both dirck and I didn’t think to use sunscreen and are looking a bit tomato-ish.

We ate well again but had some customer service issues, which was a change from yesterday when the servers were so on top of things and personable at Pate, Pate. At the fashionable Almanak, in the cool green painted Art Deco building called the Standard, near Nyhavn, we had slow and confused service…so confused that we were half way through our meal when we realized it wasn’t what we ordered. It was the order of the table next to us . We ended up getting our original order as well — basically two entrees each and the guys next to us appeared to be investment bankers on an expense account who ordered the most expensive entrees. Thank you very much.

The rose shrimp in particular was the most flavorful cold boiled shrimp I have ever tasted. The shrimp were big with the heads on and the guts, I gotta say, were delicious (akin to the creamy stuff in lobster). It came served simply with a couple dabs of mayonaise and two beautifully toasted small crispy bread chunks. The  entree I ordered was far more modest but also good — an open faced sandwich with tiny little shrimp and hard boiled eggs with rich yellow yokes.

In my dad’s honor we tried herring (my mom noted in her 1972 travelogue about her Copenhagen trip that “Allen loves the herring.”) Still not my thing but better than the yucky pickled herring in white cream sauce that dad loves. We got to try it two ways, thanks to the order mixup and the fried kind was my favorite (not exactly sure what the other herring was…)

We loved the Danish Design Museum despite the persnickety staff and their rules. Our favorite part was toward the end of the loop we all had to follow — with all the Danish modern furniture and especially the Danish chairs, several of which I grew up with in my ancestral home in Huntington Woods. It was really interesting to see the roots of some of those designs in earlier furniture and chairs. I also liked the temporary exhibit we were required to visit first — showing the confluence of Japanese and Danish modern design, which was new to me. And the clothing design exhibit was fun. But I would have preferred to visit the permanent exhibit first, when I had the most energy and before I started to get thirsty (from all that herring and shrimp.) By the time we got to the museum’s cafe, I was so thirsty but for the first time we encountered flat out rude servers. We waited for awhile at the counter, only to be finally acknowledged and told we needed to sit at a table and be served. Which we did for way too long, watching the one server nearby clean table after table instead of acknowledging the few of us sitting and waiting in the sun. We finally gave up and I drank some warm water out of the bathroom faucet. Grrr.

We had a much better experience at Emmery, a little bakery around the corner from our Airbnb where a sweet young woman not only swiftly served us an incredibly delicious Danish version of a cinnamon roll (with gobs of chocolate in the hollow Center) but added a piece of a chocolate rum ball — another Danish speciality she said we needed to try. (But not called “a Danish” and not really resembling the American one.)

Dinner at Baest , a two minute bike ride from our Airbnb in Nørrebro (as fate would have it) was an adventure. The casual (but pricey) restaurant prides itself in making/raising almost everything it serves. On its farm outside town….the cheeses, charcuterie, greens, vegetables. Everything tasted vividly fresh and full of flavor. Our  pizza was a little strange…looked more like a salad, with fresh greens, herbs and uncooked mushrooms atop a burrata type cheese (stratatella?) and perfect chewy crust. We had a strange dessert we were told is very Danish and translates into”cold bowl.”It looked more like breakfast, i.e. Breakfast cereal. It was sliced fresh strawberries and bits of biscuit in a soupy yoghurt-like liquid. “You helped us decide what to do on that,” one of the two young British guys sitting next to us joked. They passed.

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