I’m 40 this year! Expect me to bang on about this in many posts ALL year, as a little reminder to friends and family of all the presents and cake I’ll be expecting, heheh.
Well lovely Simon asked me what I wanted to do to celebrate this occassion, and I basically advised him I wanted to spend the whole year celebrating with various trips and outings with friends and family. But the biggest thing I wanted, and quite frankly needed desperately, was a whole weekend away somewhere abroad with just him. Like many parents out there we haven’t spent much time as an actual couple for some time. It’s not exactly easy to get away when Arthur has such particular needs anyway and finding someone that isn’t scared of being left alone with him for more than a few hours is almost impossible. In fact my mum is the only one that will. He’s not in the least bit scary by the way, he just has lots of medication and has very specific needs and ways of helping him which most don’t feel comfortable with.
So while I was ill Simon took control. He knew we both needed this badly, a long weekend away together to get some respite. He organised everything with my mum and she would have them for FOUR WHOLE DAYS! I’m the sort of girl who likes city breaks. I’m not very good with lots of heat and lying on a beach, I just don’t know what to do with myself. I want to see things, experience different cultures, and explore. I’m not a big traveller, I’m great around Europe but haven’t really ventured further afield. So I’m sort of a lazy explorer.
I considered the options and felt that I needed to see Copenhagen. I’d never been but just knew it had everything that I needed at this point in my life. So the gorgeous man booked it, we packed and then….well you know what follows.
My birthday is actually in August but April was the only time we could fit it in everyones diaries so a few weeks ago I was walking down beautiful, peaceful, and colourful streets of the most incredible Danish city.
After looking through many travel guides, one of my favourite things about trips abroad, I knew that Tivoli Gardens was a must on my list. It looked so magical and fairy tale like. Like living in a snow globe, my ultimate life long goal. Snow globes are just too cool, fact.
We emerged out of the Central Station to the first sights of the city, a stunning wooden vaulted building with stained glass windows, now come on – why don’t they make all train stations like this!?! I knew this was going to be very ‘me’. Our lovely little boutique hotel was a very short walk away in Vestebro. A great part of the city stuffed full of independent shops, concept stores, cafes and craft breweries. And best of all about a five minute walk from Tivoli.
We arrived as afternoon was merging into evening and Tivoli was our first port of call to enjoy an evening concert, get some food, enjoy some people watching and relax into our stay together. We entered the gates and were immediately hit with twinkly lights, magical music and a buzz of excitement that Friday nights in the city bring. We found our spot outside a lovely restaurant right next to the main stage and got our selves comfy under the blankets that all cafes seem to have out there folded over the chairs. In typical Lunt fashion we were unseasonably dressed so a good snuggle blanket and hot chocolate with lots of whipped cream kept us warm while watching the sun go down and seeing the magic that Tivoli has to offer – water fountains, elaborate architecture, smiling faces and the hum of gossip and laughter. We experienced Danish pop at it’s best, apparently, not for us, but we still just loved seeing tourists and locals altogether enjoying a wonderful night of dancing and noise.
Day one was about the shopping, exploring and drinking lots of coffee while seeing some of the main sights to get that touristy thing out of the way before we started adventuring around our particular area where we were staying. So first stop was heading up towards the lovely harbour of Hyhavn. I managed to stop off on the way to find myself a snow globe (you may know of my snow globe obsession by this point, I have to collect one from every place I go, I even have many lovely friends and customers hunting them down for me now).
The weather was crazy, again we followed our Lunt tradition of not having appropriate clothing on for first, snow! then bright sunshine, and then rain. Hahah but it didn’t dampen our spirits, we’re British you know!! (And Northern so are very used to the bitter winds up here)
I enjoyed a spot of drawing and photo taking whilst Simon thoroughly sampled the local beverages by the harbour and learning about ace historical stuff like, you see that boat in the photo below? That was a refugee boat used to evacuate people out of East Germany. And Hans Christian Anderson lived in three different houses down this street at various times. We hopped ourselves on a boat trip to save ourselves a walk and learnt more cool stuff about the naval bases, secret hideouts and new ‘illegal’ communities around the city, a few palaces and then the obligatory Little Mermaid sculpture gifted to the city in honour of the beautiful fairy tale written by Hans Christian Anderson.
Then back to Tivoli to find yet another concert or two bookending our dinner. One a ballet on the Peacock stage, then a fab Big Band with everyone swing dancing around the stage. I managed a small wiggle before needing more hot chocolate and then bed, ready for new adventures in the morning.
Day Two. This was about finding a record shop for Mr Marna. Nothing brings him more glee than to find a small local record shop with knowledgable owners that just want to talk music and get excited about vinyl. We found an ace one, I enjoyed a latte in the bright sunshine whilst he had an ‘indie geek off’ the owner of Kaffe Vinyl buying some Danish vinyl that is certainly an aquired taste.
Then we walked, walked and walked a bit more, stopping by cafes, in parks, discovering gorgeous shops with owners that just wanted to tell you all about what they wanted to make, do, sell and why they loved their methods and style so much.
It was inspirational discovering these people with true passion for their subjects and infectious excitement about plans and inspiration and a thirst for knowledge about you and your reasons for visiting. Such a wonderful culture. I found myself falling in love with Copenhagen in a different way from any other stunning European city I have been too. Maybe it’s my age, I’ve slowed down more now and have time to listen and experience places on a level that I couldn’t when I was young and too eager to rush to the next place, seeing the next gallery, ticking the next sight off the list.
Copenhagen has so much to offer on so many levels and I was inspired not just creatively but I found myself healing somehow. The anxiety was still deep with in me but my soul was lifted.
It is so often forgotten by both of us that we need these moments in time to remember ourselves as a couple, not just parents, employees, or carers. To stop, breathe in the ozone and look at each other through new brighter fresher eyes. To forget just for a few days about medications, stopping every few steps for someone to go for a wee, look in an actual grown up shop without dragging around a very, very bored little one. ‘Not another shop mummy, please!’
But even during these times our children are never out of our minds, rightfully and thankfully so, we imagined them enjoying the parks, running in the streets, playing in the fountains and enjoying a new culture. The city is alive with all ages and is a wonderful place to take kids (now that we have managed to enjoyed it’s pleasures too without them!) Phoebe would have loved the pop concert, Arthur would have devoured the home of Lego, it’s so pram and wheelchair friendly too.
A few of my favourite finds were an incredible flower shop (I still weep thinking I can’t go there every day), a cafe with the nicest owner in the world that cooked stunning healthy and fun organic food with reclaimed and hand built furniture all by themselves. A record shop that had fun and humour (and hot chocolate), Tivoli, I went three times and still could have gone back more!! An ace palace of Fonts with exciting stationery for me to stroke, as well as the beautiful Hay shop that I may have slightly remortgaged the house on with the amount of notebooks and pens I just NEEDED. The colourful houses of the harbour side. There was so much more to see but there really is never time to see everything, you find a new list of places to see, down each street you turn. (I have popped links to my favourite places at the bottom)
But what we needed from this break was found in spades.
We found ourselves, a spark was relit in our souls. I wanted to draw and paint again. A weight was lifted and left behind me and I felt like I could be happy again, like I could break free of the cycle I was trapped in. The every day burdens that I was beginning to feel were destroying me, suddenly become pleasures again. And a joy returned to the little crackly bit in the back of my brain. I didn’t want to let go of that feeling but instead of dreading the return to my home and those responsibilities I found myself excited about the new journey I was going to travel when I returned home. So thank you Copenhagen, thank you for a flipping mega jaunt with my scummy Simon.
Links to my favourite places:
Cafe Holger (gorgeous cafe with delicious food and the nicest owners ever!)
Detsortetrae (incredible florist with stunning diplays and beautiful containers to buy)
Playtype (fantastic, tiny independant letterpress foundary creating their own fonts and selling to-die-for stationery)
Hay House(Danish designer brand, you’ll know it whenyou see it)
Kaffe Vinyl (ultra cool record shop/cafe)