Sunday, May 22, 2011

Is the Danish Really from Denmark?

We had a burning question and decided the only way to find out was to see for ourselves. So we packed up the kids and took a few days off to visit Denmark. Our flight through Brussels confirmed the fact that Belgium is known for beer and chocolate as at least 50% of items for sale at the airport were one or the other. (I suspect those two words just got the close attention of at least 50% of our readers as well.)

We flew to Copenhagen where we met up with Henrik and Astrid. Some of you may remember Henrik as he lived with us in Madison in 2007 while getting started on his masters program at UW. He also joined us for Thanksgiving in Missouri that year. And as you know, if you take someone home for the holidays, they become part of the family. Astrid, his fiance, we met last summer when they visited and we are excited to welcome her into the family as well.

Our first day we visited the Experimentarium. We were lucky enough to catch the Body Worlds exhibit which was incredible as always. I'm glad the girls got to see it and we talked about about the science of our bodies and what incredible machines they are. I especially like the posed athletic position forms. There were some interactive stations which asked questions and then you had to stamp your hand to find out the answer. Morgan seemed to enjoy the hand stamping. Maia was a bit more curious about how the body works and remembered some of her science from Thoreau where she learned about the number of bones in your hands. I had seen the exhibit in Milwaukee but there were some parts that were different here than there.

In addition to Body Worlds there were many other really amazing hands-on activities with water flow, bubbles, energy, senses... There were several biking power demonstrations. In the one pictured it was measuring your power output and based on that filling a small cup with some green Gatorade-like drink. It was a really nice museum. From there we found a place for lunch. It was a quirky little Italian place that served everything from pizza (Maia) to bagels with cream cheese (Morgan) and the two guys that worked there were more likely Turkish than Italian. Most importantly the food was great and nothing beats a good bagel, a food not found in Spain. Well, perhaps Belgium beer and chocolate. Feel free to place your vote in the comments area.

As if that wasn't enough food, the girls and Dean got big-as-your-head ice cream cones which they ate standing by the ocean. It was quite breezy so we didn't last long in the cool wind. We did see some Danes with very thick skin jump in the water, come out shivering and then jump back in again. I guess it is their version of the almost Polar Plunge. We hit a park briefly before heading to Henrik's parents house for dinner. They have a beautiful private home with a lovely garden. It has been a long time since we have seen that much privately owned grass. The company was outstanding, the food was excellent, and it appears Danish beer will give Belgian beer a run for its money.
DAY 1: Still no sign of Danishes...

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