Dancing with sommer. Playing with sommer. Flirting with sommer. But what a tease she is here in Denmark. I will admit that this past Friday was beautiful – lunch outside with a friend at a charming café patio. (I can highly recommend the avocado sandwich at Café Bopa on cute and leafy green Bopa Plads in Østerbro if you need inspiration!) Soaking up brilliant blue skies and sunny warm rays surrounded by loads of other Copenhageners doing exactly the same. Friday night followed by catching the “scene” down at Toldbolden on the water to extend our sommer day, which isn’t hard to do when the late stays so long. Stalked ourselves a table with a view and more sunshine with cold drinks and warm nuts (yes, its true) and the most excellent people watching on land and on sea. The boat traffic on the Copenhagen harbor accelerates in direct proportion to the rise in centigrade. Tourist canal boats tour with tops off (the boats, not the people) sailboats those wee and those mighty, yachts of various ilk, motor boats, zodiacs, water taxi’s, all trying to grab onto this idyllic Danish sommer ideal which has been fleeting so far. I am told that it is magical when it stays and I can well imagine from the brief glimpses we have encountered so far.
Saturday bestowed a bonus sommer dag, as the forecast had called for rain and even thunder rolling in. Luckily it waited until early evening before opening up the skies to pour on our parade. And what a darling parade it was, before the rain! Picture my perch – with my Danish friend (and new Cuban expat friend!) lounging happily in brightly striped folding canvas chairs on the grass lawn at the second oldest amusement park in the world – Tivoli. Hard to find a more perfect place to catch her son performing with the Tivoli Boys Guard in their precisely cadenced march that entertained and charmed the guests as they wove round the grounds. A unique and historical Copenhagen treat. And more than just watching the parade, we felt a connection to the parade – we knew someone IN the parade. What a difference in connecting to a space that makes. We committed to annual passes at Tivoli this year. Not necessarily because we need to see all the parades, but I will admit a certain latent jealousy regarding our Southern Californian relatives and friends who have a myriad of choices when it comes to amusement park annual pass options. We have never lived somewhere worthy of the annual output or experienced a desire to return as many times that would make it worthwhile. (Sorry Oaks Park, while charming you may be, once a summer is enough for me.) We’ll be back. To Tivoli. And the kids can meet friends and dart across the easily maneuverable park. And ride what they want. And I can ride. Or not ride. Sometimes a day date on the lawn while they explore is exquisite enough. And I’ll take it. Especially on a day like Saturday.
But sommer she is fickle here in Denmark. She reveals herself and everyone takes advantage. It is clear that the locals know this and drop everything to soak it up. Makes the long damp cold winter months tolerable. Store up the vitamin D in the reserves. As a native of the Pacific Northwest, I get this. The rain did return this weekend. But it didn’t seem to dampen the spirits of very boisterous and loudly celebrating Danes more than pleased that their beloved Danish National Football team won their EUFA qualifying match against Serbia Saturday night. Our flat is not far from Fælledparken which houses the home pitch for Denmark’s beloved De Rød-Hvide (The Red and White). Being privy to victory celebrations stemming from Telia Parken is not difficult. But for all the happy masses honking horns and singing and yelling and laughing and cheering down near our streets, makes me wonder what happens when Denmark actually makes it past qualifying rounds into the actual European Championship bracket. Brace ourselves, I guess. Or join in!
Join in is what I like to do most of the time. Seeing light at the end of my impaired mobility tunnel (read more here if you are new to Oregon Girl) I know that is what I will do. It is what I have been trying to do these past 3 months (to the best of my ability.) It is what we did on Sunday, despite Sommer’s trickery. With grey and murky skies above, we made our way (sans car) to the Copenhagen suburbs and the lovely Bernstorff Slot for a gratis performance by the Danish Royal Ballet. Picnic packed, water resistant blanket stuffed, camera loaded (I mean charged.) Thankful for friends who carved out the space on the lawn, as we arrived late due to revisions in the public transportation from the Øresund Triathlon in the area. Crutching my way towards the performance, we enter to Don Quixote’s Grand Pas de Deux and 32 fouetté’s. Oooh. Aaaah. Chills. It was the ballet I promise. Not the overcast skies and wind. See here for an idea of the dramatic opening to the Sommerballet performance.
But truly chilly and breezy it was. And DEFINITELY not summer by any definition I know, besides a date on a calendar. Still we dance. And one day soon it will truly be sommer. Hopefully when our parents arrive.
If you have any opportunity to catch any of the remaining Royal Danish Ballet Sommerballet performances I can highly recommend, whether it feels like sommer or not. Missed it in your ‘hood? Enjoy the pics for a glimpse of the grace. Cheers from Denmark and happy summer!