Darling Denmark: Zoos, family and bubbles

After a quiet night in, especially with both the girls in bedrooms, the next morning we had news that my cousin, Berit who we were to see that afternoon was in hospital. So we had to rethink our day plans. After a quick maps search we found the zoo was 40mins walk away so off we went. There were plenty of coffee shops and cafes on the way but it seemed that although here they have loads of alternative milk options they don’t do decaffeinated coffee much. Sigh.

Luckily for me the cafe kiosk at the zoo did so after we’d got our tickets, I got a Coffee! First stop at the zoo was the polar bear and arctic animals area. We used to have a polar bear IN Auckland zoo when I was a child but not any longer! Here, not only were there two polar bears, there was also a cub. We were especially entertained when the polar bear came and sat on the viewing tunnel roof so everyone could admire his backside.

Although the zoo was relatively expensive ( just under $90NZD) it was super child friendly and worth it. Everywhere you looked there were innovative play spaces for kids and the zoo layout was fantastic for prams. Thea really enjoyed playing and seeing the animals. Her favourite part was when a chimpanzee decided to play hide and seek with her. The rest of the onlookers were laughing along with Thea as the monkey continued to appear and disappear much to Thea’s delight.

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It was obviously spring here despite the cold weather with many of the animals having wee babies. It was a long day and we had pretty sore feet by the time we reached home but we really enjoyed it.

The next morning we had news that Berit was home and we rearranged to see her on Thursday afternoon at their home outside Copenhagen. With that in mind we decided to head for another kid friendly attraction known as the experimentation. It was cold and drizzly so an indoor place seemed like a good idea.

It was a great idea. The experimentarium is located slightly outside the city next to the waterfront mall. It is a science experiences museum with 18 interactive and highly engaging exhibits. Some of our favourite parts was the 1 to 5 year old dedicated area, the bubble arena and the construction tracks. Thea got encased in a bubble, Evie wondered at the bubbles floating above her and Craig tried to pressurise a suitcase.

Needless to say, I would highly recommend visiting if you are in Copenhagen with kids. We didn’t try their cafe there as for once I had been organised enough to bring lunch with us. After a busy morning running around the museum, the avocado and tomato sandwiches were virtually inhaled by my family.

After a great afternoon there, we headed home for dinner. Craig and I spent much of the evening repacking our bags ready to depart in the morning for Nakskov where we were going to visit my cousins, Lillian and Flemming. It had been a fun time in Copenhagen and we were all looking forward to returning on Wednesday night.

The next morning we quickly packed up our car and got on the road nice and early. I’d arranged to meet my cousins at their flat at 1pm for lunch. Of course as is always the way with small children we were delayed by Evie, who was teething. A quick nap and wander around a town about an hour’s into our car ride cured it and we managed to make it to Nakskov by 1.30pm.

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This was my third time in Nakskov as I had previously stayed with Lillian and Flemming for Christmas in 2010 and again in 2012 with Craig after we were engaged in Florence. It was a little bit like coming home as warm hugs were exchanged and open sandwiches eaten for lunch. Flemming was out for the day at a day programme, so Lillian spent the afternoon with us taking us to see where their new flat was going to be and much to Thea’s delight playing on a local playground nearby.

At 4pm Flemming came home and not long after that, their son Søren and his wife Lene arrived to have dinner with us. We had a lovely evening catching up and chatting, eating more delicious food.

But we were a little late getting to the room that Lillian had booked for us in Nakskov. It was another studio, but thankfully had a separate bathroom and kitchen that was shared with the other guest room. So at least we could wind down by watching a little Netflix.

The next morning we packed our car again and headed back to Lillian and Flemming’s for the morning. We had a lovely time drinking coffee and eating delicious food before we took another walk to the playground as Evie had her midday nap. It was sad to say goodbye after only such a short visit with them, but it was awesome to be able to get down to see them anyway!

I’m also pleased to report that we managed to drive to Copenhagen in one go meaning that for the first time in a long time we were actually on time for our host meeting us at our Airbnb. This time we were staying in Valby, a super cute suburb in Copenhagen. Our apartment turned out to be only a 5 minute walk from the local mall and main street. It also had a playground right across the road which Thea got into straight away.

Thursday was our final full day in Denmark, Craig was pretty wiped by this point in the holiday so he opted for a sleep in after Evie’s first nap while I took the girls across to the mall. It doesn’t sound like a very exciting last day, but I enjoyed the opportunity just to wander around and do something more normal. We met up for a coffee there once Craig was awake, the price tag was a bit steep at $9NZD but it was worth it!

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I’d also heard that my best friend in NZ had had a baby girl so a few little goodies were purchased for her!

That afternoon we got back in the car for another drive, this time out to Vallerup to visit my cousins Berit and John. We met them at their lovely home at 2pm, and enjoyed catching up. Their holiday house is near the coast, and enjoys many different birds and even deer which come into their back garden.

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Thea was very taken by the Nisse door which my cousins had up. Nisse are little gnomes that the Danes believe live in their homes, they are especially important around Christmas time when the children can leave them little treats near the doors, or can open them to find clues to find treats for themselves.  It was such a sweet tradition and Berit had a Nisse door for Thea to take back and put up in our house in Auckland.

Once again it was only such a short visit but it was lovely to see Berit and John. We headed back to Copenhagen and once again managed to make it the whole way without stopping!

Tomorrow we were up for another epic travel day of two flights connecting through Frankfurt before arriving in London for our final stop in Europe ! Gosh doesn’t time fly?

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