Denmark has been on the western media’s popularity list again. Not because of any best of “happiness” factor quotients or roasted ants on moss New Nordic food trends or even candlelight attempts at understanding HYGGE. But because of U.S. Democratic Presidential candidates Bernie Sander’s and Hillary Clinton’s banter about the social democratic welfare policies that make Denmark tick. I am not here to debate which system is better – so don’t click away yet. No need to get your panties in a bunch in defense or opposition of one or the other. I will admit, that it HAS been very interesting to see the reaction to the comments in traditional and social media both here and abroad.
What I would like to share with you are some more reasons that you should come to Denmark. To visit anyway. And why you should make plans for an excursion in the Fall. And as the first Friday in November is officially the kick off to the Danish Christmas (known as Jule here) with the ceremonial delivery of the Turborg Jule beer to purveyors all over town, I’d better share my fall faves NOW.
Here are my top reasons why you should visit Denmark in Fall.
- THE WEATHER
Ha! Right? Have you been reading my blog? How much do I NOT usually comment on the weather as a positive aspect of life here? Summer was less than stellar – weather wise. But fall is another story apparently. I haven’t been writing lately because I have truly been enjoying Danish Fall! (That, and I have a new job – which could be contributing to the lack of posts – more on that later!) Cool days turn into crisp star filled nights that spark a reaction painting the landscape in brilliant russets, cadmium yellows, mushroom browns and scarlet reds. Fall is sweater weather. And Scandis have great sweaters. But this fall here has been mild and beautiful and not wet at all, until today ironically. Perfect fall weather.
- THE FOOD
Fall is harvest. Reaping what’s been sown. Not unlike harvest time in my “from” – fall is the time for apples. Æbler in Danish. Fresh Dansk æbler are pretty darn delicious and I lived in a state known for their apples. (Psst… that’s Washington State (not D.C.) for those who don’t know.) Here in Denmark you can pick yourself a peck of perfect apples in many a pretty place. Check out plukselvfrugt.dk for an interactive map to find one near you. And not just apples – they’ll help you find other self-picking fruit opportunities that suit your hopes, wishes, desires. If you want a huge thumbs up, 5 star review of my new favorite apple picking place – read here on Yelp. (Do you Yelp? Come friend me – it’ll be fun!) We picked 25 kilos of juicy Dansk æbler and have already tarted, turned over, buttered and sliced nearly all of it! Yum.
- THE CULTURE
Kulturnatten – Culture Night – is the second Friday in October and involves the entire city of Copenhagen. Starting in the evening, all galleries, churches, museums as well as local businesses, government buildings and agencies, throw open their doors to the public offering a myriad of cultural activities. There is truly something for everyone – all ages and all interests. We learned how to cook pancakes on a fire, make votive holders out of birch logs, harvest seeds from summer’s spent blooms to plant again next spring, what kind of grains are in your bread and how they are grown, how to press your own cider and even how to clean a deer and cook the venison over an open flame. Looking for something a little less “campy?” Live choral music in the churches lit up at night offered goosebump-inducing harmonies. So fun to see inside the buildings whose spires litter the Copenhagen landscape. Talks, lectures, special exhibits, light shows, live music and PEOPLE. Everywhere. We had never seen so many people out and about.
- THE HOLIDAY – HALLOWEEN
Halloween isn’t that big here in Denmark. Not compared to the costume-planning for months (adults and kids alike), requisite pumpkin patch outings, jack-o-lantern adorned and ghost-bedecked homes, small-town neighborhood extravaganzas, not to mention candy hauls that make dentists cringe. All what I am used to back in the States. I will admit I did miss our Halloween from our “from.” Don’t knock it until you try it! Experiencing it here in Copenhagen was unique in its own right – a hybrid expat and Danish blend of fun. But for any fall visit to Copenhagen – a must not miss and motivation to come at this time of year is most definitely Halloween at Tivoli. Tivoli amusement park is really charming at any time of year, but they have an amazing display for Halloween. Truly. We didn’t attend on the holiday, but if you do brave the crowds, you will be rewarded with pumpkin carving and costumery, which we missed on our Wednesday night advanced holiday viewing. The Halloween displays only last three weeks, so plan accordingly.
- THE COLOR –
Denmark is a perfect purveyor for those who prefer their seasons to change. Bring on the decay I say. Did I tell you I love fall? With more deciduous trees than evergreens adorning most of Sjælland (island where Copenhagen sits) fall comes in a mash-up of color. I am collecting that color like a squirrel, filling the memory banks to hopefully tide me over in February as a reminder that I do like the changing of the seasons. Remind me. Ok? The change to daylight savings and the quick creep of the dark back into our corner of the world has me worried! But fall turns to Christmas and sparkle and candles and pepparkakkor and glögg and hygge – which starts tonight apparently. With no other special days or holidays in November – why not? I’ll try to keep it fall for my American readers for a few more weeks. It will be hard, but I’m thankful for the opportunity to try!
Want to see more of Copenhagen and our explorations along the way? Check out my Instagram @oregongirl_aroundtheworld or find me on Twitter @oregongirlworld. Need local tips and reviews – come friend me on Yelp – I’m Erin G.
Hope fall is amazing where you are reading from and happy Thanksgiving preparations to my American friends near and far. Cheers from Denmark! – Erin