So we have moved to Gothenburg. The big step was taken! I have taken a LOA from work, pulled Noor from her school, and boarded a flight to Gothenburg. My initial impressions of Gothenburg were mixed. Lovely greenery, some interesting architecture, a laid back vibe, and yet somehow not exactly what I expected. The first weekend, we took a trip to Copenhagen to see how the other half lived. We boarded a bus to Varber ( no direct trains because of construction) and from there, a train to Copenhagen. The journey was fairly short and we reached Copenhagen in cloudy conditions with intermittent rain. We had rented from @airbnb and found ourselves in a rather quirky, but lovely apartment. It was clearly owned by creatives.
After a brief respite, we set out to discover the city..and what a city! We walked to the waterfront via Nyhavn canal. The place was plastered with tourists. It is funny how we complain about tourists when we ourselves are one. But, we prefer to call ourselves travelers! Our host had been kind enough to leave us a list of adult food places that were kid friendly. So we found ourselves headed to Copenhagen Eats. It is a lovely location on the waterfront. Industrial space that has been converted to a food court of sorts. One finds food from all over the world there. I headed straight to the tacos while Nayyar had a shawarma! Noor had a Nutella crepe followed by a falafel sandwich. I have told Nayyar that he can have his own blog about all the places where he has found and eaten Shawarma. During lunch, there was a family sitting across from us. They were visiting from South Africa and were being regaled by stories by a young friend who had moved to Copenhagen a few months ago. We listened in. It was quite entertaining.
After lunch, we sauntered over to Stroget, which is a pedestrian only shopping street. It was packed with tourists. It rained intermittently, so we kept on ducking under awnings. We were umbrella-less as always. At least I had a rain jacket with a hood. We observed the locals sautering in the rain- unconcerned. We walked into Hays, which offers one of the classic views over Stroget with its central Stork fountain. We bought a ruler for Noor. I think I was more excited than she was. Everything was impeccably designed. I felt like buying up half the store. What is it with travel and shopping?
After puttering around some shops, we walked into a bakery, grabbed some bread for next day and had a coffee before heading home. We wanted to go to a Vietnamese place called Tonkin, which came highly recommended by our host , but it was closed. We ended up getting some really good Indian take-out from Cave.
The next morning, we had breakfast at home. The bread was the densest, nuttiest bread I had ever eaten. It was quite good. Now I know how they make the open-face sandwiches. The bread is so dense, it holds all that stuff with ease. The weather was lovely; bright and crisp. But as we left the house, it started to drizzle. Thankfully it was very short lived.
We walked around and slowly made our way for lunch at Cafe Norden in Stroget. The cafe is in a lovely space and filled to capacity. It was recommended on a blog. We ordered a The smørrebrød which was quite good. We had ordered pasta for Noor, but she ended up getting a "kids lunch" which was quite bogus ( fruit, yogurt smoothies, and fries).
After lunch, we headed to the Rundetaarn. It is a 17th century tower located inside central Copenhagen. The spiral walkway is quite interesting for walking up. The light from the windows was just lovely-a photographers dream. The views were not bad either. Once you make your way to the top, you have to walk up a narrow flight of stairs to the viewing balcony. It was worth the squeeze-past to see the views from the top. It also gives one an idea of how compact the city center is. Noor, of course, climbed the boundary fence at the top.
Afterwards we stopped for ice cream and just mulled around listening to street musicians. We went back home for a short break before heading back out to Copenhagen Eats for dinner. Noor was starving and cranky and wanted plain spaghetti for dinner. Thank God, we found a place at Copenhagen Eats for Noor's pasta. Th woman who prepared the pasta measured it out with her bare hands. I wonder how that would fly in the US. Nayyar has a Thai something something which he said was just okay. We walked back afterwards, admiring the late evening view over the water and the Nyvahn canal. I think the canal was not as charming as I had expected because of all the tourists and their associated kitschiness ( notwithstanding the fact that we are also tourists).
The next day we had a train back to Gothenburg at 4 pm. We decided to make a day of it at Tivoli, which is right across the train station. We took a cab to the station, stored our bags- which process took 20 minutes to understand- and headed across the road to Tivoli. There is an entrance fee. You have to pay separately for the rides. Noor was all excited about her first ever roller coaster ride. We walked in and of course it started raining. We waited for the shower to pass and then headed to the roller coaster, which was of the vintage variety. It took us another 20 minutes to figure out how to pay for the rides (one has to buy tickets at kiosks that are scattered all over the garden). Noor and I got on. I think I had more fun than Noor , who was a little frightened to see her mother screaming SO loudly. We went a couple of other saner rides ( balloon ferris wheel which was meant for younger kids, and a kids version of the the Golden Tower, called Panda). Noor had a ball on the Panda and went twice. We had lunch at Tivoli ( the best shawarma in a while). We went back for seconds. Afterwards we lounged in the sunchairs in a post-prandial stupor. Before we knew it, it was time for our train back to Gothenburg. Copenhagen, we will be back!