The Zoologisk Museum

Zoologisk Museum of Kopenhavn University
Metro ride and entry covered by Copenhagen Card
Zoologisk Museum of Kopenhavn University

The Zoologisk Museum is part of København University and the National History Museum of Denmark. Currently, they are getting ready to move by October 2022 to a new location being built in the Kings Garden.

-Females typically weigh 200-350 kg, males 400-600 kg, largest male on record weighed 1002 kg
-Largest bears measure 3 meters in total length
-Females reach sexual maturity at 4-5 years, males at 5-6 years,
-Litter size 1-4 cubs, most often 2.
-Polar bears are uniquely adapted to the extreme conditions of life in the High Arctic and live most of their lives out on the Arctic sea ice.
-In cold Arctic climates, energy is in high demand. Fat is the predominant energy source and the polar bear has a fat-rich diet throughout life. The polar bear’s main prey is ringed seals but also hunts other seals, and eats whale carrion. Polar bears have substantial adipose deposits under the skin and around organs, which can comprise up to 50% of the body weight of an individual
-Global population estimated at around 26,000 individuals, although this estimate is associated with a great dear of uncertainty.


Pollutants and heavy metals from industrial sources are found in this arctic top predator. Analyses of hair from polar bear skins collected 1852 – 1973 have shown an annual increase in mercury concentrations of 3%. The concentrations of mercury in hairs from polar bears from Northwest Greenland are no 14 times the concentrations in hairs from Inuit clothing dating back to AD 1300. In some bears the concentrations of mercury are above the levels known to cause neural damage in humans. Osteoporosis is an additional health risk to polar bears. Studies of penis bones from the collection have shown a possible link between PCB and bone density, bones being less dense with higher levels of PCB in blubber.

Always something for the kids

Precious Things

The move led to an exhibit called Precious Things. As they prepare to pack up they are going through everything they have. They have numbers of treasures in storage.

The museum’s treasure trove
has amassed all sorts of wonderous objects
over the past 400 years.

The way we perceive nature around us
has changed over centuries and decades,
and so have our ideas about what precious implies.

However, it is still with wonder and enchantment
that we collect rocks, animals and plants. To study them
and wrest from them their innermost secrets
– or just to admire their beauty.

People collect all sorts of things: stamps, airplanes, butterflies… Most collections eventually perish, but some are bequeathed to museums, endowing them with eternal life. This is how a collection of snail shells ended up in the Zoological Museum in 1905. The collection consists of snails gathered in different parts of Denmark, and represents almost all the species found in the country. The accompanying notes detail where and when the specimens were found, alongside those of the collector: Hans Christian Andersen.


At first glance it is far from obvious that these find goblets from the Royal Danish Chamber of Curiosities are made of squids.

The nautilus is a squid-like creature with an outer shell measuring 3-30 cm in diameter wit up to 90 tentacles without suction pads. They live at a depth of 150-300 m, where they scour steep cliffs for crustaceans, fish, mollusks and other bottom dwellers. Nautiluses are active at night, but during the day they sink to the seabed, where they rest with their body retracted into the shell, protected by the very thick skin on the head forming a kind of lid.

These goblets made of carved nautilus shells became part of the museum’s collection after Frederik III’s Royal Chamber of Curiosities was dissolved in 1825.


It is said that a boy and a girl herding animals on the pasture were the first to find silver at Kongsberg, Norway, in 1623. They came across the silver because an ox stuck its horns into the ground, exposing the shiny metal. When they took it home, their fathers melted it down and made silver buttons, which they sold. This activity came to the attention of the authorities and one of the fathers had to reveal where the precious metal came from.

The story may be a legend. However, soon it reached Copenhagen and Christian IV, who immediately commissioned mining in the area. Silver meant money – and money was needed at the Royal Palace in Copenhagen. Not only did Kongsberg have silver in large quantities, but some of it was exceptionally pure and did note even need to be extracted from ore.

The massive thread of silver, one of the museum’s finest treasures, comes from Christian VII’s chamber of curiosities. Presented to him in

1769, it was described as follows: “A magnificent thread of joined-together solid sterling silver stems or branches, depicting, when the thread is standing upright on its widest part. a capital Roman C, as the initial letter of your most gracious majesty King Christians VII’s name and as if covered with a crown.


Every plant in the kingdom – nothing more, nothing less – what the ambitious plan for ‘Flora Danica’. King Frederic V commissioned this great pictorial masterpiece, and the German doctor and botanist, Georg Christian Oeder, initiated the production of it in 1761.

One of the ideas behind ‘Flora Danica’ was that knowledge of plants was essential for economic growth, and in the spirit of the Enlightenment it seemed obvious that knowledge should not be reserved for scholars. The work was to be spread around the country and used by bishops, priests and others who were in contact with ordinary people.

The first set of 60 species was published in 1761. ‘Flora Danica’ kept various illustrators, engravers, botanists and publishers busy for more than 122 years. A total of 3,240 copper plates were engraved and used for printing. The vast majority are of plants, but there are also fungi, algae and lichens.

The herbarium specimen, copper plate, and the board shows ‘Pedicularis sceptrum-carolinum’.


‘Hortulus Sanitatis’ (The Garden of Health), published in Lubeck in 1520, was one of the most popular and influential herbal and medical books of its era. Combining knowledge from ancient classical writings with biblical and popular myths, it lists the plants, animals and minerals of the known world.

It mentions the mandrake, a plant that screams when it is dug up-a sound that kills anyone who hears it. And the bausor tree, which has a poisonous scent that lays waste to everything for miles around it. Not to mention unicorns, basilisks, mermaids and mermen, and al sorts of other weird and wonderful creatures.

However, it also describes real plants and animals, and provides specific instructions on their medicinal use and treatments for everything from bad breath, nosebleeds and snake bites to tumours, concussion and broken limbs.

The book teeters on the verge between the practice of uncritically copying classical writings prevalent in the Middle Ages, and the era of more empirical and practical science heralded by the Renaissance


In Roman mythology, King Neptune is the god of the sea and it is not to imagine him taking a sip from this cup.

This strange sea sponge lives in relatively calm waters less than 100 m deep. The largest specimens are over a metre tall and estimated to be several hundreds years old. We know virtually nothing about the spread and habitats of the species.

King Neptune’s cup was first described in 1820. At the time, it seems to have been quite common in south east Asia. I was collected in great numbers and exhibited in natural history museums around the world. Four specimens are held in this museum. They are listed as originating from ‘East India’ and ‘Singapore’, and probably entered the collections somewhere between 1820 and 1864

After the 1860s, no new specimens appeared in museums, and for many years, the species was thought to be extinct. It was not seen again until 1990, when a single specimen was fished out of the waters of Australia’s north coast. No more have been found since; however, in 2011, two living specimens were observed for the first time on the seabed off the coast of Singapore.


In 1836, a fin whale ran aground at Agger Tange at the western mouth of the Limfjord. It was a sensation – the first registered stranding in Denmark of a fin whale, which is the second largest whale in the world, only next to the blue whale. The carcass was dismembered, and the skull sent to the Zoological Museum in Copenhagen.

Then, in 2013, Herning Museum sent this chair to the Natural History Museum of Denmark. It is made from parts of the skeleton of the whale stranded in 1836, and is allegedly one of 12 by a man from Asp, near Struer.

The chair was handed in to the Herning Museum sometime in the early 20th century, but the whereabouts of the other 11 chairs remain a mystery.


This skull of the extinct bird, the dodo, is one of the museum’s greatest treasures. The only othe existing specimen in the world is found in Oxford, England.

The dodo was first described in 1601, when Portuguese mariners landed on the island of Mauritius-the only place the species ever lived. They described it a big and clumsy and noted that the meat was not very tasty. Many years later, in 1843, Johannes Theodor Rienhardt from the Royal Museum of Natural History, declared that the lumbering creature was some kind of pigeon. Although met with great skepticism at the time, his view is now acknowledged as being correct. The closes living relative of the dodo is the Nicobar pigeon.


In 1833, the Danish zoologist P.W. Lund travelled to Brazil, where he settled in the village of Lagoa Santa. The surround area featured many large caves filled with stalactites, stalagmites and amazing rock formations, which Lund began to explore and excavate. Skeletons of animals that had fall into the caves or were killed in other ways had accumulated there for thousands of years. Many were from extinct species such as the giant sloth, glyptodon and the sabre-toothed tiger.

In 1841, he found human bones. Lund suggested that this strongly indicated that people had lived in America long before the Europeans arrived. and that humans had lived here at the same time as the now extinct animal species. e also believed that the people who had previously lived in South America were the same as the Indians that the Europeans met when they first arrived on the continent.

Lund’s skulls remain of great scientific value. DNA remains have not yet been found in them, but if-or when-that happens, it may help to shed light on a very important chapter in our understanding of how humans spread across the globe. Who were the first people in South America, and where did they come from?

This is a plaque on a black box in a corner where a bronze statue of PW Lund was supposed to be displayed. The plaster model for the statue was produced and led a “vagrant” life in corridors and hallways until banished to the basement. Due to a lack of funds the statue was never made.


In 1854 The Royal Natural History Museum in Copenhagen received a gift from Charles Darwin: a box of barnacles. Darwin had spent many years describing all sorts of barnacles – a group of crustaceans living on whales backs and other surfaces in the sea.

The museum offers creatures large and small

From mammoth steppe to cultural steppe

a summer day somewhere in Denmark 16-17,000 years ago

The ice age is nearly over. The ice sheet has retreated but has left thousands of large and small dead ice blocks scattered in the landscape. Vegetation is sparse and at this point only a few animal species can manage in the area

I personally am intimidated by these really big animals so I observed the mammoth from across the room. We turned the corner and I was standing next to the skeletal tail of a whale. Gulp. I “womaned up” and continued through the museum.


Complete skeleton of an aurochs bull excavated by Zoological Museum in a bog at Prejlerup near Vig in Odsherred. Together with the skeleton 15 flint microliths were found lying close to the bones of the hind part. The microliths represent arrows shot into the bull. The hunt failed and the bull escaped its pursuers but drowned in Prejlerup lake. The event took place around 7400 BC.

-a summer day somewhere in Denmark nowadays.

Thousands of small and larger forests are scattered in the present cultural landscape – altogether 10% of the country is covered by woods. All forests are planted and only 40% of the area is covered with native tree species. The beech dominates the deciduous forest.

Banana Ballet
John Olsen 2002
Gives new meaning to pheasant under glass

We want to come back to see this museum in it’s new home. New exhibits being built look amazing!

Italicized text is from the displays.

Danish Architecture Center

The DAC in the BLOX

Architects statement: BLOX is designed as a city in a building. The goal of the architects was to create a meeting place full of life around the clock. BLOX is used in many different ways and has stirred up a lot of emotions.

There is a BLOX in Denmark and the UK.

Danes live in, work at, visit, drive, pedal or walk by BLOX because they live near the central canal of Copenhagen Havn (harbor). There are exhibits, conference rooms, a gym and private spaces. From outside it looks like a stack of blocks.

And the street runs through it.

The first exhibit featured the future of space architecture.


The LUNARK habitat unfolds after landing, increasing its volume by 750%. This makes it compact during transport but spacious when the astronauts move in. This scale model illustrates how the habitat unfolds. The design is inspired by the Japanese origami tradition.

Testing in Greenland

In the fall of 2020, Karl-Johan and Sebastian embarked on a 61-day simulation of a lunar missin in northen Greenland. A thousand kilometers north of the Arctic Circle, they lived isolated but comfortable in the 4.5 m2 LUNARK. Outside the experienced wind chill as low as -41oC and hurricane-force wind gusts. They chose northern Greenland because it is one of the few places on the planet that comes event remotely close to the extreme conditions found on the Moon.

The habitat can be folded up during transport and unfolded on the Moon. The shell is made of carbon fiber with a core of reusable thermoplastic and clad with solar panels facing the horizon. The load-bearubg structure is a lightweiht aluminum frame. The habitat has an oval shape to better withstand the low atmospheric pressure on the surface of the Moon.

The LUNARK habitat has been designed to cater to human well-being with the aim of making a Moon stay more than mere survival. The interior space is designed for optimal utilization of the full height of the pod, because low lunar gravity makes vertical movement effortless. This makes it possible to achieve 17 m3 of living space. The interior of the habitat is lined with soft textiles that improve the acoustics and thermal insulation while creating a sense of comfort and warmth. The colors are inspired by nuances from Denmark’s natural landscape.

SAGA has studied the psychological effects of bringing living organisms into space, including in the form of algae. They have conducted several projects to explore the possibility of utilizing the ability of algae to convert carbon dioxide into oxygen. At the same time, algae are a fast-growing source of protein and important vitamins, making them a potential sustainable food source.

Fitness DK operates a gym in BLOX

What are you willing to share?

Let nature move in

Our houses and gardens are unnecessarily well-tended. The number of imperiled species is growing. We no longer find dead insects stuck to our windshields in summer. The lawnmower is king. Our fences cry out for sealant.

Nature is something we control, and we don’t relax until our homes are completely sanitized. Of course, mice, rats and other pests aren’t welcome. And yes, hygiene is healthy, but mental hygiene is not. Pressure washers and Roundup tend to be used when they aren’t really needed, while suburban orderliness exacerbates the disorder in our ecosystem.

Let the power mower die and let half the garden go to seed! Ignore the protests of the neighbors – they’re wrong! Our cities should be full of weeds. The trees lining our streets should be larger and more numerous. Rainwater should water plants – in the sewers. We used to say: move the cities out into the countryside. Now it’s: move the countryside, the forest and the beach into the cities!

From Vandkkunsten’s manifesto “Lad Os” (Let’s). 2020

The greenhouse

Roosters and children playing among flowers and horse droppings, soil under our fingernails and a grassy meadow in the backyard. According to Vandkunsten, we should be spending more time outdoors, and nature should be invited into the house, the garden and city.

Vandkunsten seeks to build in tune with the nature and the landscape. This means minimizing energy consumption during and after construction. But it is just as much about quality of life. About creating structures that are less artificial and sterile. Vandkunsten wants to bring the atmosphere of the small, cozy, imperfect wooden cottage to everyday life. The question is, why do we surround ourselves with hard and cold materials in our everyday lives, and soft, natural surroundings when on vacation?

The greenhouse is built using old lattice windows. Explore the many different plant species or visit the guest room in the attic. Maybe it’s here where outdoors and indoors meet that happiness is to be found.


Simple living for a family of 2.

One needs color for design

My big kid

Italicized text is from the displays.

Hans Christian Andersen

Someone left the complete works of Hans Christian Andersen in the garret and Brian has been pouring through it. Appropriate. Hans lived in Copenhagen for a good bit of his life. Although he was born in Odense, Copenhagen has embraced him.

Believe It or Not

It was just outside City Hall, attached to a Hans Christian Anderson Museum, and included with the Copenhagen Card. Why not?

There’s a good deal more than pictured here but I am pretty sure most of us have seen all these things one way or another. We did in the comics as kids.

It was a fun romp. And because we are children at heart:

City Hall

This is the third City Hall of Copenhagen opened in 1905. The first one burned down – twice. The second one now serves as the Copenhagen Court House.

We were there for a tower tour. The picture on the right shows a sample of the carvings empaneled in the railings of the first few flights of stairs. Each relief depicts a different part of the building’s construction. There are panels of the architect and brick layers, carpenters and painters.

The stairway became increasingly austere. A peek out the window onto City Hall Square.

And then there was this.

The last set of stairs was a little beyond my courage level. Brian and the other tourists climbed up. I sat and contemplated.

For goodness sake, Fred Hansen in August of ’42? Lots of people have been carving on these stairs.

I thought about the fact that I would never be here again.

I swallowed my fear, took my time and climbed the stairs. So glad that I did.

That is the Øresund Bridge and Sweden on the horizon.
We can see our place from there.
The tower clock over our heads. Brian took this shot. I am not that brave.
Church of Our Savior

This is the Church of the Saviour in Christiania. It has a Baroque edifice and cork screw spire. There are steps around the outside of that spire.

Naturally, Brian wants to scale this next.

Lord help me.

This is the spire of Christiansborg, now home to Parliament. It was once the palace of Christian VI. Guess what happened to it. It burned down – twice.

Our guide spoke passionately about City Hall Tower. As a Dane proud that the people are now the government, he spoke of climbing to the top of the tower to look down upon the ruin of the King.

City Hall is also home to Jens Olsen’s World Clock.

Our Viking friends with the lurs hopefully trumpeting my conquering the tower.

Taking Advantage of a Break

Brian had a week off from teaching. We decided to explore our home away from home. We bought a pair of Copenhagen Cards. The cards provide entry to 83 attractions and the public transportation
to get to them.

Brochures to sites in and around Copenhagen

We started at the Museum of Copenhagen. It was founded in 1901 but has moved around a lot. This location just opened in 2020. The building was once the Overformynderiet (The Public Trustee’s Office) responsible for the welfare of children and missing persons. It was built in 1894 and is beautiful inside. We did not take a lot of pictures but we learned a lot.

Copenhagen Museum

This is the coat room. Almost every place we visit has a selection of ways to store your stuff. There are lockers with keys and others with a panel to set your own code. You can just hang up your coat if that suits you.

And there is always some play and/or learning space for kids. There are kids of all ages on fieldtrips all over the city every school day.

Scandinavia had a tug of war over who was in charge until they ultimately sorted out into the countries we know today. In the beginning Vikings lived along the coasts to fish for survival. They broadened their circles to pillage and absorb more from the surrounding cultures. They figured out how to farm and establish communities. In the 1300s the Kalmar Union came into being comprised of Denmark, Norway, Sweden and the surrounding lands.

The original capital of Denmark was Roskilde which was a center of Viking activity and about 19 miles west of Copenhagen. Copenhagen was a fishing village. But in 1416, Eric of Pomerania who was ruler of the Kalmar Union moved his seat to Copenhagen Castle.

It was fortified. It had walls and moats and gates. It had ramparts. If you wanted to enter the city you had to come through a gate.

The key to one of the gates is huge, say 2 feet long.
They weren’t kidding about the keeper of keys.
Who’s there?

Copenhagen had a problem with fire. (They were not alone.) Buildings were close together. Sparks flew and it was difficult to get firemen close enough to douse what was burning. So it spread. This led to some big fires. They widened their streets and rebuilt their water system throughout the city. In the mid 1800s they took down the walls and opened the city. The moats are now canals. The ramparts are now parks.

The more we learn about this city, the more we admire it.

In Denmark and Sweden they employ the ‘welfare state’. This building came about to support children. It’s purpose was to safe guard their welfare.

In the center panel a woman holds an infant. The infant and the little girl in front are her daughters. The younger did not survive. The woman made the window.

If you are like Brian and I, your first response to the phrase ‘welfare state’ was negative. We could not be more wrong. Everyone pays around 50% in taxes. BUT everyone gets the same support for education from daycare to higher education. Everyone gets the same subsidized health care. It does not matter if you are a pauper or a millionaire.

If you lose your job, they will help you to find another including retraining if necessary. Taxes pay for civilization that is efficient and sophisticated. Did I say how much we are impressed?


Sitting in the garret and we hear whack, whack, whack from across the street.

Slå katten af tønden or cat in a barrel is like piñata but it is a barrel.

Fastelavn is a carnival like celebration just prior to Lent. Danes of all ages dress up and a whack at the barrel. Who cracks open the barrel is the queen.

It is not enough to spill the contents, the barrel must be demolished. Everyone takes a whack. No slat can be left. The one to complete the job is the king and wins a crown and a prize.

Still loot to be gathered from the last barrel.
This young man finished off the barrel to be crowned king. I think I heard him say that his prize was coal.

There is a food component to this holiday: Gammeldags Fastelavnsbolls

Sweet buns with chocolate chips and pastry cream inside. Great with an afternoon coffee.

Copenhagen Light Festival

The CPH Light Festival is an annual thing. Because it gets dark and cold come November, the Danes are creative about bringing light and warmth into their world throughout the winter. It made for a lovely evening walk.

The “green beam” shines through windows in the tower can be seen from across the city.
It spells out hvad (what) using silhouettes of people.
When the pictograph lights flash off this installation spells out Købehavn.

The Creative Side of Brian

Brian is on break this week. We bought two Copenhagen Cards which give us passes to 83 attractions, all public transportation to those attractions, plus other benefits. This is a timed thing making a bit of a gauntlet. We have 5 days to take in as much as possible

Brian is really good at setting an itinerary. Give him a map and he will find the most efficient course of action. We visited six places yesterday, our first day. Posting will be sparse until we are done.

It is not lost on us that the daily walks during COVID make it possible for us to keep up the pace on tours. Brian has created an homage to the time we spent walking and asked me to share it with you.

Hygge Dinner Extravaganza

February brings Fastelavn Sunday, a celebration just before lent and a sort of carnival. This tradition includes costumes. Welcome to Tori, Sierra, and Joey’s Extra Special Blast From The Past. Guests were assigned eras to represent in their dress.

Brian’s students live across the courtyard from us and have regular Hygge dinners. This time we were included. The hosts were Tori, Sierra and Joey. Dinner was a vodka and chili spaghetti with meatballs and a vegan alternative.

Participants were assigned eras. Brian and I lucked out with 2020. With a little help, we called into the dinner on Zoom first. Then we showed up in sweats with masks. I had on an apron, too. I did go through that sour dough phase.

Beautiful table with place cards.
Jackie was a Viking and Bou was a hunter gatherer.
Joey was representing the 90s and Alyssa was royalty from the 1500s.
Reece was from the30s and Elise was obviously a flapper from the Roaring 20s.
Tamba covered the 70s looking all Miami Vice and Shelby was a goddess from before time.
Sierra covered the 80s and Emercyn represented the 2000s resembling Elle Woods
Nico was a Peaky Blinder and Tori was a Salem Witch

Dinner included a who-dun-it game. Tori was the emcee and Sierra kept track of events with her phone. It was a lot of fun. This was followed up with some ghost stories.

It was delicious. Dessert was banana bread with ice cream and chocolate sauce. They have an awesome kitchen in their common space.
Christian, Brian, me and Bou. Not sure what the reflection was across Christians face.

This was scheduled for the Thursday ahead of Fastelavn. The students were all leaving for break to a myriad of destinations. Some were going to Paris. Some were going back to the States. The Tagues are staying here to discover more of Denmark.

Medicinsk Museion

The Medical Museum

The first fieldtrip was to this institution which is part of the University of Copenhagen. It illustrates how far we have come with modern medicine. Barber surgery was conducted by those who were willing to guess how to treat what ails one. They were the pioneers.

We started in the Auditorium. This is where cadavers were used to teach.
Dedication at the Royal Academy of Surgeons in 1787

The hospital connected to the auditorium provided cadavers for research and classes. Doctors would wear the same surgical gear from class to surgery to maternity. Practicing doctors thought the most stained gown was a badge of accomplishment until patients were dying from unknown circumstances. This led to the discovery of bacteria.

The brown brick building to the left was the hospital and the orange gold buildings in the far back were where single women had their babies.

I chose not to photograph the actual bodies collected, but during the time when this was the medical school, they acquired examples of human remains for study and research. I learned that wealthy people wanted to get tuberculosis. It made them thin and gave their cheeks a rosy glow. They change their minds when poor people started to contract the disease. It’s all very interesting if a bit gruesome.

Developing from a cell
blastula and gastrula

The apothecary

What science has afforded human kind.


There was other older equipment on display.

The next exhibit examines the relationship and influence between the Mind and
the Gut

Diagnosis based on your emotional state

The Family Bohr

Franz Joseph Gall leading a discussion on phrenology with five colleagues, among his extensive collection of skulls and model heads. Etching by T. Rowlandson, 1808

Life at Games. This one is about aging. They refer to it as a dissemination game.
Brian and I have disseminated that we are aging.

Gown made of all the vials from one woman’s cancer treatments.


New Harbor

This is where many an iconic photo of Denmark has been taken. The Christmas before we came to Copenhagen, Brian gave me a puzzle of this scene. It is also the puzzle that I did when we got here.

Then all of a sudden I was standing there.

De Kungliga Slottet

Stockholm Palace or The Royal Palace

Our last tour brought us back to Gamla Stan and the Royal Palace. It houses the offices of the Swedish Monarchy as well as halls for diplomatic meetings and entertaining. The private residence of the royal Swedish family is located elsewhere at Drottningholm Palace.

The first few pictures below are used with permission and show all four sides of this structure and an aerial shot.

Every enclosed space is counted as a room totaling 1,430. Only 660 of them have windows.

The Western Facade inside the Outer Courtyard
The Eastern Facade
The Southern Facade
The Northern Facade
The Inner Courtyard – This is where they change the guard.
There is a full size portrait of Louis XIV. It was a gift from him. How generous.

Brian and I are so grateful to our DIS Short Tour Guides.

Steffen Lovkjӕr is DIS faculty and the Managing Director of Historic Talks based in Denmark. He holds Cand. Mag. (MFA equivalent) in History and History of Art.

Steffen arranged to be our tour guide through the palace. Among other points of interest. he made us aware that the Royal Family of Sweden is a working family. Being the Monarchy and representing Sweden is their job.

Steffen would ask me if the tours met my expectations. Hard to say. We do not generally have expectations. This is all new and exciting for us. We are just grateful to be here. I only had one expectation, and Steffen met it. He was brilliant.

Suzanne da Cunha Bang, Cand. Mag et art has degrees in Danish, English and History of Art. Conversation with her is always illuminating. As DIS faculty she is always looking out for the students well being helping them understand all the tours have to offer. Suzanne makes sure students are prepared with information. She set up the classes about Sweden and Nordic Noir in the days before we left. She is a great resource.

Christian Green is working at DIS as an intern for Wake Forest University at Copenhagen. He is also studying to become a journalist of Science. He manages the students, and the finances while on the trip, making arrangements for rours, venues, the hostel and restaurants. He does Wake Forest proud.

Before the Palace

Just a little coffee shop with color and fur lined chairs.

Note the Vasa tipping over in the background of this mural.
A coffee shop fit for Vikings.
The students who did not join us in the coffee shop were out scouting for Greta.
They did not find her. This is as close as they got.

Stockholm City Hall

Stockholm City Hall opened in 1923 and is something to see. It has offices, conference rooms, and ceremonial halls. It is the venue of the Nobel Prize banquet and a major tourist attraction.

Stockholm City Hall sits on the harbor.
This is the courtyard where we waited for admission.
Blå hallen – The Blue Hall
The Nobel Prize Banquet is held here, (except the for the Peace Prize which is awarded in Oslo.)

So why is it called the Blue Hall? It was supposed to be painted blue, but the architect changed his mind when he saw the exposed brick. They just never considered changing the name.

We got stickers to identify us as legit. At the end of the tour you can keep your sticker, but they have big boards near the exits where you can leave it. Overflowing, these boards illustrate how many people visit.

This woman did a great job guiding our tour.

Where the City Council of 101 men and women legislate for the million living in Stockholm
Experiential Learning

The Prince’s Gallery contains City by the Water painted by Prince Eugene between 1916–22. This mural is over 40 meters long taking up the walls and ceiling of the room. It simply depicts life in Sweden.

Prince Eugene, who painted the mural, was born in 1865 and committed his life to the arts.

Located in the mezzanine, The Golden Hall is the most impressive space of all. It, too, is a banquet hall. The giant mosaic covers every wall and uses gold leaf pressed between tiles of glass mounted on cardboard to create a mirrored effect. After the Nobel Banquet, they hold a dance here.

The focal point is an embodiment of the Queen of Mälaren or Mälardrottningen, which is the symbol of Stockholm.

She holds Stockholm in her lap.
King Christian II of Sweden and Denmark
Even the States are represented.

One last story. When they were building this room, they had a bit of a miscalculation with the mosaic discounting the size of the plinth for the door way. So the depiction of Saint Erik is missing his head. It would be too time consuming and expensive to fix so here it is in its glory.

The photo is blurry but how could I not include it?

More of Brian’s photos


We would meet in the lobby after breakfast.

In the following picture you can see a bus lane and a bike lane. Buses do not sit in traffic because they have their own lane. The bike lane is raised with its own curb. So enlightened.

Steffen and Suzanne, our fearless leaders.
I would follow them anywhere.

Dinner with the Adults

Our last night in Stockholm we went to the restaurant in the Kung Carl Hotel.

Delicious and a great way to end the day.

Sunset over Stockholm Bay

A group of us decided it was worth the hike to see a sunset over the bay.

City Hall. We tour that on our last day.
The three crowns of Sweden
plenty of spires
Part of our travel tribe
Savoring every minute

Vasa Museet

The Vasa Museum

Long ago (1626), Gustav Aldolphus commissioned a war ship to be the best in the world. On August 10th, 1628 she set sail into Stockholm bay, started to list, and immediately sank. For 333 years she sat at the bottom of the bay.

In 1956 they confirmed they had found the Vasa and the salvage phase of the restoration began. Amazingly, 98 percent had been preserved by the cold waters of Stockholm bay. The masts at the top of the museum illustrate how tall the ship was and the 2 percent missing.

Th Vasa Museet
The outside of the museet (the museum).
This is a free photo I got from Google. This ship was too big for Brian to get a shot. I found the
size of it within the museum intimidating. The paint is all gone. It is a ghost ship.
Details on the diorama.
Original prow.
Backend of the actual ship.
Replica repainted as it was
There is a wall of these replicas.
Maybe the rocks for ballast were not a good idea.
What was a great idea? This trip!

Rosendals Trädgård

Rosendals Garden

This magical lunch was in a greenhouse of the Royal Gardens serving farm to table meals. The Rosnedal Garden Foundation took over operating the centuries old garden in 1982. It includes a cafe, a plant shop and a farm shop.

There are food gardens, flower gardens and an orchard. They also have an educational garden for kids.

Round tables for the students.
A long table for the adults. All with linens and fine china.
The buffet table for beverages and desserts.
Drinks were water and a bubbly lemonade that was very tasty.
Whipped potatoes topped with a sauce of mushrooms, fried onions and a parsley pesto. Bread helped sop up every drop.

Lunch was followed by a dessert of warm blueberry cake with coffee or tea. We enjoyed every bite.

Great food and great conversation.


The second day in Stockholm we took the T, a ferry, and a trolley to the world’s oldest open-air museum. First the ferry ride.

The ferry ride was short but exciting all the same.

The Vasa Museum for later in the day. Note the masts coming out of the roof.
Skansen is packed with things to see and do.
Moe knows where he wants to go.
I wanted her outfit. Except for her glasses, everything she has on is authentic in detail providing layered warmth. I know she was warmer than me.

Sweden has been a Christian country at least since the 1200s. Sitting inside we learned about how the church was the center of the community. The minister kept records of births, deaths, transgressions and anything else he thought important. The stocks were used to embarrass transgressors. They were always welcomed back with the flock the following week.

Stockade for behavior control within the community.
Dalecarlian or Dala Horses. I know I had one as a child.

Families lived in one room houses. There are curtained berths for beds to the left of our guide, one for children, grandparents in the other. The young woman on the right is sitting on a pull-out bench where the parents would sleep. The students in the center are leaning on the fireplace. The cabinets right of center hold all their household goods.

Strangers were not allowed further into the house than the ledge over the 3 students heads. In winter, farm workers would sleep in with the family on exceptionally cold nights. The barn was attached and the roof was thatched

Tapestries were hung for special occasions. They depicted scenes from the bible. Members of the community were expected to know their scripture.

Red houses with white trim are everywhere in Sweden.

We would need more than a day to cover all this ground. We had a free hour here after the tour and before lunch. The students headed to see Nordic native animals. The adults learned about the people’s house. That is a house shared by workers. They got food and board and they kept the farm running.

If you’re interested, click the map to see an enlarged pdf of Skansen.

Swedish Meatballs (part 2)

I had to go to the big open market to get fresh lingonberries and all spice. But I am pretty pleased with the outcome. I learned a lot making this and will do better next time. I also owe my Mor-Mor (grandmother) a little more credit. The meatball recipe works. The difference is the gravy.

Ground beef and pork, bread pieces soaked in milk, minced onion sautéed in butter, minced onion-raw, 2 eggs, all spice, salt and pepper.
Fried in canola oil. I think I would prefer them browned in butter,
then baked off in the oven before their gravy bath.
Simmered in a gravy made with a roux, chicken stock, soy sauce and cider vinegar.
Not as pretty as Kvarnen’s plate. The potatoes were leftovers.
I do not have a good tool for whipping them up. The cukes were great.
The meatballs were awesome. The lingonberry sauce had a little too much sugar.
but they made a great berry sundae!

Here’s the recipe I settled on if you feel so moved to make it yourself.

Swedish Meatballs

I am half Swedish. Every smorgasbord at my grandmother’s house included Swedish Meatballs. She had a special cast iron pan for them and they were always delicious.

My grandmother’s recipe, alas, not the best.

Our first night in Stockholm we went to Kvarnen (The Mill) built between 1908 and 1920. Dinner featured the best Swedish Meatballs I have ever tasted. The restaurant, known for their meatballs, had a great atmosphere and the 19 of us were seated at a very long table.

With butter boiled potatoes, pickled cucumber and lingonberries.

Dessert was Swedish apple pie in little individual tins with a yoghurt sauce reminiscent of the custard sauce we would have with lemon snow pudding.

I have ground pork and beef in the freezer. I also have almost everything else. We will get the 3 missing ingredients at the grocery. To be fair to my grandmother, she did say hers was the quickest way when she gave me the recipe. I don’t mind taking my time. I will let you know how I do.

Gamla Stan

Old Town

We live in the Old Town section of Winston-Salem. It is vastly younger than Gamla Stan in Stockholm, by centuries. Ten minutes to check-in and stow our belongings and we were back on the T headed to meet a tour guide.

He gave us too many names to choose from. They all began with Z. We called him Zed.
We are a flock of 19.
First we learned about Gustav II.

Gustav Aldophus, also known as Gustav II, is credited with making Sweden a major European Power. His reign started at the age of 16 upon his father’s death. He was killed 21 years later at the Battle of Lützen in Germany.

The Great Church of Sweden

We went to ‘The Great Church’, Stockholms domkyrka or Storkyrkan (Stockholm Cathedral) and Sankt Nikolai kyrka (Church of Saint Nicholas).
It is the oldest church in Stockholm.

This is a copy of the earliest painting known of Stockholm. It hangs in the Cathedral

Stock means logs and Holm means island. Stockholm was built by Vikings on an archipelago, surrounded by wood pilings strategically placed to protect from invasions. The Swedes created a trade route where they collected money to let ships pass. This is how they built wealth.

St. George and the Dragon is an ancient legend about a knight who saved a princess from being sacrificed to a dragon. The impressive thing for me is that this statue is made of wood and antlers.

Nearby at the palace we watched the changing of Högvakten (Royal Guard).

Christina was the only child of Gustav Aldophus and became queen-elect at 6 years old. Gustav Aldophus insisted that she be educated as a prince. She became queen when he died at the battle in Germany. She ruled for 10 years and then abdicated to her cousin. She did not want to marry and she secretly converted to Catholicism. Sweden is a Protestant nation so this was a big deal.

Cobble stone streets held shops, business and cafes.

Zed included the “deets” of the royal family. The last full blooded Swedish King and his queen could not reproduce so they adopted a 50 year old Frenchman from Napoleon’s Army. Charles XIV John became king in 1818.

That was the beginning of the House of Bernadotte which has been in place since. It is also Swedish law that the oldest heir become the next Regis regardless of gender. Princess Victoria will succeed her father.

Zed added a bonus stop down a dead end street to see Stockholm’s smallest statue at only 15 cm high. The custom is to rub the boy’s head. Zed advised against it as neighborhood animals are known to relieve themselves here.

“Little boy looking at the moon”
by Swedish artist Liss Eriksson (1919 – 2000)

We were led around a series of streets in Gamla Stan and asked to make observations of the buildings we passed. In Sweden property owners are taxed for windows. To avoid the tax they create fake windows.

Note the top row of windows on the yellow building to the left. They are an illusion.

None of us noticed the fake windows. We did not look up. We were busy looking down so as not to trip on the stones of the street. They also use pea gravel instead of rock salt.

Climate change is causing the water surrounding Stockholm to recede which is challenging to sustainable land use. As the rock of the archipelago rises, buildings are cracking and leaning toward one another. They are not sure how to deal with this. Helps one understand Greta Thornberg’s vehemence.

The final stop on this tour was to learn about the Swedish Blodbad or blood bath that lies at the heart of Danish-Swedish relations. Today Danes and Swedes rib one another with good humor. But back in the day (1520), after Danish Christian II was coronated as King of Sweden, Swedish Nobles were invited to a meeting. They were imprisoned. Over the next three days over 80 of them were executed in this square and the well filled with their blood.

The well

On a happier note, the color in the square today is provided by the paint color of the buildings there. The red is prominent throughout Sweden as a by- product of the copper ore they mine. The metal shapes (brackets) on all the buildings are the ends of structural rods holding the buildings together.

Unhappy note: the white squares on the red building represent all those killed in the Blodbad.


Zinkensdamm Hostel is in the Zinkensdamm section of Stockholm. It is tucked off the main street we walked to catch the metro. Blessed with wonderful study tour leaders, I did not make an effort to learn what was where, but if we could find a T station, Brian and I could find our way back here.

Alcohol is not permitted in the hostel unless purchased here.
This was never a concern. A glass of wine with my dinner was enough.
I wanted to try one of these baked treats.
We ate so well at every meal that I never had room for another bite.

Breakfast was delicious, plentiful & available daily before our tour filled days.

So much to see!

All Aboard

Rådhuspladsen (City Hall Square) looks different all lit up in the early morning.

The giant thermometer says it is 5 degrees Celsius at 7:30 a.m.
We expect it to be colder in Stockholm. There are thermals in our backpacks.
The Old Irish Pub is all lights. Note The Old English Pub that sits beside it.

Typical track sign. The circles on the little train vagne (carriages) have bike icons. These signify the cars on which to bring your bike. You can commute from outside downtown; get off the train; and ride to your work place.
It’s all Dansk (Danish) to me.
The trains are clean and modern. The station has old world charm.

It’s not practical to get pictures from a train as we were moving at high speed most of the way. We crossed over the ocean into Sweden. Trains really are a great way to see the country side. There were farms sitting alone and little tight knit villages. There were small towns around the train stations. Then we arrived in the big city and caught the T. They call it the T here, just like throughout the states. Like the train we rode, it is modern and clean.

There is a lot of art and tile work in the Swedish Metro.

Next stop, our hostel.

Checking in

It’s been busy around here. Saturday we shopped. Sunday night fourteen WFU students came for a home cooked meal. It was tight in the garret but fun. Brian wanted to introduce me. I did not get any pics. My hands were full.

Monday we joined them for a class about the people, customs, geography, history, politics and philosophy of Sweden.

Tuesday we attended a lecture on Nordic Noir. Like Film Noir, it is very dark, but it also contains commentary on society. After the lecture we watched an episode of The Bridge which is available on Amazon Prime. We plan to continue to watch as it is very interesting.

Early in the morning we are leaving for a three day tour of Stockholm. It is a 5 hour ride on a high speed train.

We meet under the clock in the center by 7:45 a.m.

We are only bringing a bagged lunch and backpacks. The computer will stay here. I will post when we get back.

La Glace

We got some tough news. This amazing patisserie is just two blocks away.
So much for my waist line.

Konditori = Pastry Shop
In business for over 150 years
Famous people like Author, Karen Blixen (Out of Africa) and
Danish Journalist, Lise Nørgaard have left their mark here.
Two lines in the rain. One to eat in and one to shop. We were seated before some got in to shop.
Brian’s colleague, Catharina, who brought us here to experience ‘Hygge’ in the best way.

It is ‘cosy’ against winter weather and there is no rush to leave. “We want our customers to sink down into a time gap, where there is enough time to enjoy a whole pot of a hot beverage.

From the menu: Hot Chocolate made with whole milk, cream and blocks of dark chocolate. Served with whipped cream. If you can drink more chocolate, you are welcome to have your pot refilled.
I got a slice of the Karen Blixen: Chocolate sponge, mocha truffle with roasted hazelnuts and coffee mousse. Decorated with chocolate coated coffee beans. This and the three cups of hot chocolate are why I am up blogging tonight.
Life is good!
We will be back.


It is the same word in Danish. Here is a collection of pictures I have taken during our stay to-date that did not belong in any particular post, but represent bits and pieces of our life here.

This is a favorite dessert. Whoever stocked this place for us before our arrival bought these.
We cannot have them in the house. We are addicted. A package lasts two nights tops.

While shopping for kitchen tools I found this cart in a store down Jorck’s Passage. At $16 usd it was a deal.

Copenhagen is mostly cobblestones. The wheels didn’t work on the stairs, either. What was I thinking?

The young man was understanding when I returned it. It did not make sense to carry it everywhere I went.

Just thought you might like to see the bricks from the street when they pull them up to work underneath. They are made from natural stone. They simply need be set back in place. This project has been recognized for it’s design concept.

The Danish Hot Dog is a thing. There are Polser kiosks all over the city. The traditional Danish Hot Dog is red and topped with mustard, ketchup, remoulade, raw onion, fried onion and sweet dill pickles.

Another kind of kiosk in a lovely setting

I love the celery from the open market, but it is too big for the refrigerator.

A healthy share became salad. Eight stalks of celery with their leaves and a big apple thinly sliced tossed with a Dijon honey vinaigrette, it was delish! We love these pan fried meatballs, too. They taste like thick & juicy Salisbury steaks.

My libation of choice is a good sipping tequila from the freezer in a pony glass. Tequila is not readily available here and it is pricey. All the groceries carry vodka, gin and a few other spirits. I found this baby IKEA glass in a second hand store. It matches the rest of our glassware. So vodka with a squeeze of lemon will do.

In NC I shop for a week or more and my freezer is always full. Not here.

Outside Aldi’s

I love their houses, the shapes and colors. I want to learn if these are individual homes or floors of apartments like our place. I will let you know.

There is so much more to see and do. Brian keeps track of where we have been and investigates where we might go.

The green lines represent where we have been.
With the lift of COVID restrictions more attractions will open. Stay tuned.


The Round Tower

We watch winter weather reports from the states. No snow here, but we went through a powerful wind storm dubbed ‘Storm Malik’ that swept across Europe.

Saturday was gloomy. We stuck to errands and then home. It was scary loud in the garret that night. We kept telling ourselves that this neighborhood has stood here, just kilometers from the open sea, since around 1728.

Sunday, the storm passed but we still had to lean into the wind just to walk up the street. Naturally, we decided to climb the nearest tower to stand on its outside platform.

I walk by The Round Tower almost every day. When I get to the top of my street and turn left, there it is.

It is 8 stories high which is as tall as buildings get in Copenhagen. When the rest of Europe started building skyscrapers, Denmark did not have the funds. Once they became wealthy enough, they were also wise enough to question if they really wanted to change their landscape. They decided they did not.

Neither my mother, nor any of her kids like heights but I decided I could handle this. It is only 8 floors. It has a ramp. King Christian IV built it this way so he could ride his horse up.

There are other spaces to explore off of the Hollow Core. The Bell Tower is the most interesting with niches of information and history.

The Bell Tower Exhibits
The Kissing Bench
Glat means ‘slippery’
It was REALLY windy up there.
Brian does not have height issues.
In the background is the Øresund Bridge to Sweden.
We have the green light to get down.

I did walk around the whole turret while hugging the inside track. We will come back when it is not so windy and I am hoping to climb the last set of stairs to the observatory. That space is enclosed.

Window Shopping

I was headed to a hardware store for some tea cup hooks. I decided to take the long way. Sorry, I am your only photographer this time.

Out the door and down the street.
Jorcks Passage is a short walk from us.
It is like entering a mall only it is really just a passage to another street full of stores.
It is enticing.
This display is outside a jewelry store. These people are trusting.
There are so many side streets it is hard to choose.
Lot’s of stores for children.
This dragon made of LEGOs looks like it moving through the walls.
Lots of food kiosks open to the street like this.
Interesting bike rack. Think of it like mall parking.
Streets are specked with older buildings. They hold concerts here according to the signs.
This is more to my liking.

My Mother Told Me

My mother told me, “Spend the money on your bedding. A good night’s sleep is worth every penny.” Yesterday we did something about that. On the way we saw a new part of Copenhagen.

We emptied our backpacks for our planned purchases, and headed southwest to a home goods store. We live in the oldest part of the city so we saw lots of things we have not seen before. Modern Copenhagen.

First some rules of the road.

Note the man standing still. Jaywalking is frowned upon. At bigger intersections during the short grace period before vehicles get the green light, he will tilt to his side and look like he’s been hit.
When the green man is walking you can go. Obviously.
White bike means you cannot pedal through. Bikes have their own lanes and their own rules.
He is a good sport. Always.
And patient with my need to blog.
We have arrived in the big city.
Logo City
This is city hall.
Brian has a real camera.
We are in their country.
Railway under the station
A road under a building
Round buildings
Colorful buildings
We’ve been told this is the place to be on St. Patty’s Day. The two center windows are video ads.
Him hanging out the window makes me a little crazy.

Den Kongelige Livgarde Musikkorps

Royal Life Guards Music Band 

Everyday at about 11:30 a.m. I can hear music from the top of our street. If you are lucky enough to be on Købmagergade you can hear them coming. They are escorting the military guard of the Queen.

They are escorted by the local police who caution cars to pull over, and pedestrians to stay out of the way. They are followed by parading families and tourists. They play fife and drum as well as familiar tunes like “Its a Long Way to Tipperary” and they are wonderful.

The Courtyard

We have back stairs that lead to a shared courtyard. It is where the receptacles are for trash, compost, and recycle.

Brian helping. This is not unusual.
Yes, more stairs.
They are steep but with the first step down, lights come on, one floor at a time.

Gratuitous mat shot because it amuses me.

As we go out the back door on the ground floor there are a number of receptacles for dealing with all manner of refuse.

This shot looks up at the back of our building. You cannot see our space as we are in the attic.
The peak in the middle is over our front door landing.
This old building was once a firehouse. Part of the courtyard, it is now a studio used as a classroom.
It is also made available evenings. The glass panels are opened in better weather.
Sets of big doors around the courtyard lead out to the surrounding streets.
When it warms up, we will rent bikes and park them here.
Home is where the heart is. The tree is one more thing to like about our courtyard.


Update on the baking. I made cinnamon rolls yesterday.

These are supposed to look like snails. I had a few successes here.
I think I let the dough develop too long though.
I let them sit long after shaping, as well. Note the meandering.

The oven is still an enigma. The tops baked to the pretty color you see above, but the bottoms were close to raw. I finished them by selecting bottom heat only. I am having one for dessert with the closing of this post.


A ten minute walk from our place is Torvehallerne, an urban, covered marketplace featuring stalls with local produce, gourmet foods, beverages & desserts. Full size pictures for this post, folks. I don’t want you to miss a thing.

Torvehallerne is three structures connected with an open air space in between.
I imagine this space will only become more inviting come Spring.
Do not come here hungry. You will leave broke.
Pecans ARE exotic here. 250grams? $23usd.
Get your Gløgg (mulled wine) here! $7 a glass.
“Look forward to… Here will soon open an exciting specialty.”
Drinks, and specialties & groceries
Smag = Taste
The tree of truffles in the middle of this shot is really impressive in person.
A tray of tulips sprouting from their bulbs. 75 cents each. Brian thinks people may treat these like paperwhites that sit in a dish of stones and water.
Hellebore. They cover my friend, Woody’s front yard in NC.
I have to stop at every kitchen store. I told the clerk, “I want all of it.”
“Surroundings & Friends”
This is the only place I have found ricotta.
I may have to check out the mussels.
All manner of cured meats and cheeses
Want a whole ham?
Love the name.
“Unique” Bet you guessed that one.
Charcuterie, cheese and wine
I am not an olive person but one must appreciate this display.
I am going to go back and check the price on a lobster. This country is surrounded by ocean.
Chicken products want a kiosk, too.
Vinegars in every variety

A traditional Danish lunch is smørrebrød, an open faced sandwich. You can pile anything on as these display cases illustrate. We have been invited to a demonstration on creating these. I will keep you posted.

More smørrebrød
Need your knives sharpened?
This photo is not great, but they will sell you a side of cow.
I love these prepacked packages of edible flowers and greens.
Another one. I bought a set of measuring spoons.
Spice Mecca!
The whole reason I made this particular trek.
My spice cabinet is more respectable now.

It is overwhelming in the beginning but like other excursions here, I overcome and dive in to learn and experience more. Yesterday I bought this really fresh beautiful kale. From now on, I will be buying most of our produce from here. Their website makes it easy for me to check if some stader there has whatever ingredient I cannot find elsewhere.

Some things are familiar

20kr or $3usd on today’s exchange.
“Experience Denmark’s largest Apple boutique.” This is an ad for the butik next to McDonald’s.
High energy drinks. The little man is saying, “Close the door – it pulls.”
7 Eleven is not quite what we know. They sell pastries, only a small selection of sundries, and liquor.
I picked up some vodka there.
They are serious about this worldwide thing.
Believe it or Not!

Not Normal

This is the way the sign is hung.

I have been looking for mouthwash, and Q-tips. Today I found them.

Categories seem to be sold separately here. Grocery stores sell consumables like food and drink. Home stores sell furnishings. Pharmacies sell things associated with health but are not drug stores. Health and beauty stores are called drug stores even though they have no drugs. Not even aspirin. They seem to sell everything about appearance, both personal and for your home.

When you come in the front door you enter a serpentine aisle much like Disney. It winds through the whole store until you reach check out. They sell personal health and beauty aids, house cleaners, stuff for kids and sugary treats. I am a Listerine girl. They had it but only in flavors. I settled for the Fresh Ginger & Lime. There is a huge variety of products and brands.

I will only visit as need be.

What’s Missing

It snowed today.

When I opened my shade.
Out the window.
On the street

I could not tell if it was snow or hail. No flakes. It looked like the styrofoam beads from a bean bag chair.

Also, not all the streets are as pretty as Købmagergade. This street is cement tiles reminiscent of what you would buy at Lowes or Home Depot for a garden path. It is my route to the closest grocery.

It snowed on and off all day.

Baking is my therapy.

You can smell the molasses off this brown sugar.
Oatmeal muffins are easy and almost good for us.
These are already gone. Thank goodness for the daily stair master.

So, what’s missing? I cannot find an oven thermometer to figure out the heat range of this oven. It is in Celsius and it runs hot. We now faithfully check when we catch that first aroma.

The cabinet that houses the stove top hood is my spice rack. It is so sad. Spices and herbs are missing. Things like dried parsley and nutmeg are not readily available at the local groceries. I have a lead on a spice market. They sell starter spice kits for around $90 usd. I will need to be discriminating in what I choose.

Also missing? The spices and dried herbs I took for granted at home. Engelsk Sauce is Worcestshire although it has a deeper flavor. Cooking spray is not exactly a thing here either.

That myriad of salad dressings at your local store are down to 3, maybe 4 different flavors, mostly cream based. Forget about different brands. Brian likes a cheap Italian. I picked up the only Italian without reading the label. We think they waved the oil and vinegar over it. I used it for an excuse to buy an olive oil decanter and dressing cruet.

I add a couple of tablespoons of the Italian dressing for the spices to a measure of oil, vinegar, garlic and whatnot. I also got a glass measuring cup (in liters and pints) and decent wire whisk.
These are for zesting and Parmesan.
This muffin tin is quite shallow compared to muffin tins in the states, but it does come with this nifty cover for bringing treats to upcoming events.
The real test will be this weekend when I try to make cinnamon rolls, akin to the Cajun cardamom from last weekend. But now I have a silicone mat and rolling pin.

There a lots of things ‘missing’, but that is what makes it fun. I have found new ways to make meals. I am learning to use new ingredients. I am making lots of things from scratch. Life is good.

Minor Details

It was crappy out so I stayed in, worked, baked, and documented the details of our space.

There is also some serious Danish design.

There are 6 skylights. They all open and most have built in shades. There are also 4 double windows on the street side.

The skylight over the bed. – Open
I close the built in shade every night or it is too bright in the room to sleep.

The bed is made up with a fitted sheet, really, really warm duvets and square pillows. We will be shopping this weekend at a home store for top sheets, blankets that are not so warm and substantial pillows. We are Americans, older and we have needs.

In the following picture you will note a gray rectangle against the wall to the right. It is actually cardboard boxes arranged and covered with a twin fitted sheet. I think it is a sort of bumper to keep me from rolling off the bed and into the wall.

The bed is a stunted king made up of two twins with a king size mattress topper. It is comfortable.
The glass half door on the shower is not obvious. The big thing here is the heated floor.
Aside from the cute smiley face, electrical outlet, the switches work in the opposite direction of wall switches in the states.
Refrigerators one and two. I think I prefer it. Note the smiley face on the dust pan.
The freezer
The kitchen table we never use. It will come in handy when students come for dinner.
We generally use couches for napping. This is a little on the small side. The rolled up mat under the couch is for the one who was too slow to claim the little couch first.
This is nice spot for working when I am home alone during the day.
This is our partners table where we eat, work and learn together.
Decorating Brian style. He found these among the toys in the kid’s cabinet.
And maps…
We have to have maps.