I found myself standing in the extremely busy Torvehallerne at lunch time, staring at the most gorgeous display of smorrebrød, or open faced sandwiches. Smorrebrod is typically a piece of rye bread topped with lots of meat, vegetables, and a garnish. My choices were all so colorful in greens, yellows, browns, and vibrant purples, and displayed beautifully piled high with toppings and adorned with mirrors to make them look even better. Even though a few of the choices had large slabs of bright pink raw ground beef, or uncooked yellow potatoes on them, I found myself contemplating all the options anyways just because of how wonderful they looked.
I ended up choosing the smorrebrød that was referred to me by our walking tour guide, and he was absolutely right because it was the best thing I’ve eaten here thus far. It was a thick hearty piece of rye bread with three pieces of breaded fish and then smothered in a delicious Danish version of tarter sauce. My delicious lunch was then washed down with a pilsner, because the only two beverage options offered at this particular stand were pilsner or an IPA on tap (which I was very OK with).
We had ended our Renaissance walking tour of Copenhagen at this particular food market after seeing many castles, churches, and buildings significant to the renaissance history of Copenhagen and specifically King Christian IV. Some of my favorite sites and stories that went along with those buildings were Rosenberg Palace, Copenhagen University, and the Church of the Holy Ghost. Being that the Danish Royal family is the oldest monarchy in the world, they have a very colorful and illustrious family history. From noses being cut off, to marry cousins, and huge fountains filled with red wine, I can see why the Danish people are so fun and interesting.
Ending our tour at the Torvehallerne market, with it’s 60 plus stands selling everything from goats milk soaps and fresh flowers, to wine and fish was the best way to submerse ourselves in the true Danish culture. One particular stand I had walked past had the most amazing raw fish displays I have ever seen. I thought Sendik’s knew how to do food displays, boy was I wrong.
Another stand our tour guide had recommended was Laura’s Bakery stand in the far corner of the first building of Torvehallerne. He suggested if we wanted to try a traditional Danish baked good, to steer clear of the “Danish pastry” we are accustomed to in America, and try a kanel snegle. Kanel snegle is essentially a hand made cinnamon roll, but they come in various other types besides just cinnamon. There were carmel ones, ones with nuts, ones with cream, and many more. I chose a cinnamon one with a cream top to save for later in the day when I had more time to enjoy it and not worry about being messy while doing so. Which I did enjoy later in the day, and it was the most incredible thing I’ve ever had, (Cinnabon who?).
After finishing my smorrebrod and pilsner we left and walked to Nyhavn to see the beautiful colors of the Danish fjord where famous fairy tale author Hans Christian Anderson lived. If you’re going to visit Denmark, I would suggest making it a point to go to Nyhavn. It’s an adorable little area with cute shops, amazing food, and the most beautifully colored buildings. There may not be much in Nyhavn, but I could’ve sat on a bench there all day people watching and enjoying the view and ocean breezes.
After Nyhavn we walked back to our hotel and got ready to go to the Danish opera. The opera is something I have always wanted to experience, no matter what country it was in. If you have the opportunity to go to an opera, I would highly recommend doing so. The København Operaen Haus is beautiful from the outside, and even more aesthetically pleasing on the inside. It had four floors with stark white metal railings with a lot of clean, modern lines. The atrium of the building also had these three amazing chandeliers hanging from the ceiling covered with small mosaic style tiles in dazzling orange, pink, and red sparkling tiles. The inside of the opera house oozed modern elegance and beauty, which is a rare contrast to that part of the city, with it’s generally old colorful buildings with notched rooftops and small windows.
The opera itself was amazing, Dead Man Walking, performed in English, the vocal abilities of some of the performers was more than I had ever imagined. Although it was three hours long, not including the intermission, it was an unbelievable experience and I am so grateful for the opportunity.