Travel diary: Copenhagen, spending Christmas and New year’s abroad

For the first time we have decided to leave the UK for Christmas and experience it in another country. Luckily Samira has family in Copenhagen, Denmark who we are going to spend the next two week’s with. Exciting!

We are leaving from Gatwick airport in the early hours of Christmas eve, luckily all the flights are running on time and not packed at all. We was a bit nervous because the previous few days the airport grinded to a halt because of drone activity on the runway. So we are very happy that it stopped just in time. It’s also my first time at Gatwick airport and it’s actually a really good airport from the inside and we are grateful for two things, at 3:am in the morning, Pret a manger is open (I love their coconut hot chocolate) and a children play area which Lucas loved and kept him occupied as it’s quite boring for a kid to be waiting around for a flight. We now know our gate number and it’s about 15 min walk to boarding, which shows how big this airport is and when we get there the waiting area is way better than the previous two we have been too and it has a sit down area in a cue format which is good for Samira who’s 24 weeks pregnant at this point.

We are through and we walk straight onto the plane, I have to fight Lucas for the window seat but he always wins. We are strapped in and take off, which is the most exciting part of the whole journey and the best thing is we get to see the sunrise. It was glorious and I wish I could share it but Lucas and Samira are both conked out either side of me. Now I normally get a bit of ear trouble on the flights, I usually have chewing gum, try to yawn and swallow my spit but on the decent it just doesn’t work. Then behind me a dad and two kids who was quite annoying for Samira because they love to kick the chair when they move. But I’m grateful because 1 of the children told his dad his ears hurt and he told him to close your mouth, hand on nose and breath out without opening and letting go. I gave it a go. YES, YES, YES it worked my ears where pain free and I could here again. Something so simple I probably should have known but I am definitely grateful for those wise words. On the whole as well the Easy jet experience was far greater than our previous shorthall airline Ryanair, this time not and endless amount of selling on the intercom in two languages, this time they said just look at your manual in front of you which was way better on the ears. Also the colours of orange and white was more vibrant than cold blue and white, I can see why they are rated best British company at the moment.

We are now flying in, blue sky’s and the fluthiest white clouds I’ve seen. We are now descending past the coastline and we have landed safely, off the plane we enter the airport and it’s all open plan so the light really gets in and we wait to go through. Lucas has just woken and is a bit of a grump and now he needs to the toilet, luckily there’s one right behind me and we return back into the cue. Going through we experienced the happiest and friendliest passport checkers I’ve saw, maybe because in Denmark today on the 24th December is their Christmas day.

Its another long walk out of the airport but on the ground it does tell you how longs left to go in minutes then seconds which bring peace of mind to know where your going. We finally are out and need to get public transport to the city centre, we are recommended the train so we pay 70 kronner for two tickets. In my head it’s just seems like a lot of money but it’s only like £8. We walk down to the platform and it’s so clean, so well kept and light. A couple then asked advice if this is the train to Kobenhaen, luckily that was the only place I new, so I could sound like I new what I was talking about. They was grateful. We jumped on the train and as we came out of the tunnel there is snow on the ground, now normally an Englishmen does not see snow on Xmas day so that’s definitely a bucket list ticked for me, there’s bigger ones, I promise. We now arrive in the city of Copenhagen, I’m excited.

Samira has been here many times before and I ask her to show me a little snippet of the place before we visit her sister. Compared to where we just came from London, it’s clearly not as big and you can see the horizon a lot more here. Now we are onto the bus, looking around I can now see the buildings and a vibe of Copenhagen, everything is so clean and it has a vibe of Scotland about it. We also see a supermarket called Netto which I haven’t seen since I was a kid in England. We have arrived at our stop and now we are off the bus and Lucas knows exactly where to go and leads the way. The place is situated by a park, pond and yes two goal nets for football. How great is that if you was a kid, I’m excited now as an adult. We are welcomed by Samiras sister Sofia with a warmly embrace and she is a star as he she has set out brunch, pancakes, eggs, waffles, fruit, etc, my taste buds are tingling. We are unpacked and settled. The experience starts now.

Xmas day
Christmas day in Denmark is on the 24th of December which was a big surprise as I always presumed everyone in Europe had it on the 25th. Traditionally all families get together in the evening for a meal. As part of the Red cross, family’s who are single parents can meet up with another family who can host the Christmas meal which I thought was a great idea as no one should be alone at this time of the year. Now Sophia wasn’t alone as we was here but she wanted to give us a proper Danish Christmas. Looking our best we took a short trip to the hosts apartment and was warmly greeted by Anders and his partner Arya, a couple both divorced with their children spending time with their respected families so not to be alone organised this experience.

We all sat down and got to know each other with drinks, Lucas is a real ice breaker with his exuberant confident self making us proud. Now naturally I’m more of a listener unless I have to be, luckily for me Samira loves talking and is a great communicator which I love in new surroundings. The host are great and have made us feel super comfortable and their apartment looks amazing, small, quaint but modern with a book shelf I want.

My favourite time has approached, CHRISTMAS DINNER. I’m intrigued to see if there’s any similarities. In Denmark they have Duck as their centre piece, it was surrounded by sweet potatoes, boiled potatoes but tasted so different somehow. They had stuffing which wasn’t in a ball and different ingredients but was really tasty.
It was all amazing, I had 3 portions, Samira loved hers and Lucas being a 5 year old was very picky. Now we are really bonding about different topics and the differences between our two respected countries, we have a lot in common truth be told.

Belly’s starting to settle, it’s now pudding time, he made a kind of rice pudding which was soooo tasty. A tradition for the children is to put a nut within the rice pudding and when they find it they get a treat which is a tradition I’m going to continue. Lucas face lit up when he found it and got a chocolate treat. He was later treated again when the host got him a present, a Lego set which he was more than happy with. A while later we didn’t want to intrude to much so we decided to leave and say our goodbyes. What an experience, I wasn’t too sure if it would work as we have never met but it was natural, they was amazing people and would be happy to return the favour back in England. The Red cross in Denmark have created a great idea to bring people together.

On the way home, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and was grabbing Samira to look. Every house we are driving past had families around the table eating their Christmas meal at 22.00pm. You can tell being here a short while that families matter in Denmark. They also dance around the Christmas tree together, sadly I didn’t get a chance to experience that, next time for sure. Resting now awaiting for our English Christmas day and Lucas is excited for round 2. Me too.

Tivoli gardens
The second day kicks off with a bang, having Christmas morning with Lucas is always exciting and we wished family and friends a Merry Christmas except 1 person my nan as I want to do a video call. The reason why is because we are going to the number 1 place on trip advisor, Tivoli. It’s a theme park in the heart of the city and seasonally they decorate the place. Lucas last came here when it was Halloween and enjoyed it a lot. From the outside it doesn’t look that big but it’s huge and has a few different entrances. There’s a huge queue to get in when we arrived, so it must be good we was thinking. After a 15 minute wait we’re in and it has the WOW factor and there’s so much to look at. I see this amazing Xmas tree and this is the time to call my nan and she was impressed and very jealous at not being there. We ventured in a bit more and we are surrounded by loads of different rides, Lucas favourite was a old style car going round on tracks. He just loves anything cars. Overall it’s a great place to take your kids as there is so much to do, it took us under 2 hours to explore the whole gardens.

We also found out Tivoli opened its doors for the first time way back in 1843, placing it among the world’s oldest amusement parks. I don’t like roller-coasters but there was a huge ride which was old looking which looked spectacular, we heard a lot of screaming voices. This place is the apitamy of Christmas with lights and Christmas trees everywhere it felt like I was in a film, I’ve never saw anything like it and I read even the great Walt Disney thought it was amazing. Then to top it off there was an amazing firework show. It was perfect! When we left, we couldn’t wait to go back. There’s so much to do that you need to go back to experience it all again. This is a must for anyone and definitely a tick off the bucket list.

New year’s eve
This is the first time spending new years abroad, and I’m excited for a fireworks display. Me and Samira start the day by reviewing 2018 which started slow but the second half we really built some solid foundations and then set our goals for 2019. When Samira sets her mind to something, it’s going to get done.

Of course we had a new years meal which was fantastic, Sophia is officially my favourite cook, I haven’t had a bad meal yet. Towards the evening Sophia friends came over and we did a countdown till midnight. We decided not to go into town as we feel it’s inappropriate to take Lucas into the city around drunken people. To tick down the time we played games, I got really competitive at the game heads up. Lucas was sipping on his non-alcoholic wine thinking it’s real was a highlight, he always wants to be an aldult. Whist Samira was singing and dancing the night away.

Then it’s time! (In a Bruce Buffer voice) 10 minutes to go. Fireworks have been going off for an hour now, so we venture outside to plant our fireworks. The countdown begins, Lucas has his sparkler in his hand a really good one as it happens. Then boom it’s now 2019 and Lucas first fully new years awake. I have to say the fireworks was amazing and the surrounding area due to the low lying buildings you could see fireworks 360 degrees. We even went back into the apartment and on the balcony you could see fireworks from the city centre. We all loved the fireworks and would highly recommend experiencing new years in Copenhagen, world class.

Of course with the festivities over now it’s time to sightsee around Copenhagen. Me and Samira love to tour everywhere we go. It’s not Lucas favourite, but he should be grateful for the experience. Hopefully when his older he can appreciate it.

Review of Copenhagen
Of course when you visit a place, you can only guess what it’s like but what everyone says about Copenhagen is true and more. The people are nice and a respectful people. It has everything you want in the city and even more on the outskirts. You feel your in a city but not a city in a really good way. This is definitely a place to come if your a traveller, a couple or a family, it’s for everyone. But most of all for me, this is somewhere I could see my family living and that’s a bold thing to say as I do love England. If you haven’t visited yet, make it your next trip, if you have been before, make sure you go again. The Smiths love Copenhagen and will see you soon!

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