2nd day of Christmas

by Andrew Stein

Day 2 begins when two gloggy (that’s a Danish joke) travelers step out for coffee. We walk into the street and are struck by the silence. It’s 7am the day after Christmas in the rain, but still, I’ve never been able to hear the squeak of my sneakers in a city quite like I am along the water in Copenhagen. We duck into our coffee shop. I call it “ours” because even before trying the coffee, we decide to come every morning. The place is cozy. Candles are being lit and it’s empty inside. It smells of baked goods and the barista is welcoming. As we’re scanning the breakfast menu, fresh croissants are pulled out of the oven. Without consulting one another, we order two and sit while she makes our lattes. On a drizzly December day, it’s the kind of place you never want to leave.

Christianhavn Coffee Shop

We walk back to our Airbnb, shower, and slowly prepare for the day. Our first stop is  Our Savior Church. Closed for services. Our second stop is Carlsberg brewery. Closed for the second day of Christmas. (Yes, to our surprise, that’s a thing.) Our third stop is the one destination known for running 365 days a year: the Stromma canal tour. It’s heated and covered and we have extra tissues to wipe down the endlessly fogging glass. The hour long tour takes us under 14 bridges and through the canal of Copenhagen. The only time we step out into the rain is to take a picture of the much acclaimed and humorously underwhelming Little Mermaid statue. The city has few claims to fame, and Hans Christen Anderson is a hot ticket. The statue itself is tiny, perched on a rock in the shallow water, given to the city by the Carlsberg brewery, and one of the most commonly cited destinations in the city. After the tour, we head to lunch at a Cheesecake Factory style restaurant. (Mexican? Got it. Italian. Burgers. Sandwiches. Yup.) On the bright side, it opened our eyes to a new area of the city, and even though every other store in the shopping district is closed for the second day of Christmas, we enjoy the journey tucked safely underneath our umbrella and rain jacket. 

We soon find ourselves next at an incredible bar for glogg. It’s a spot our morning barista had recommended to us, open only in the winter and situated on a dock along the canal. It’s crowded, warm, and the definition of what I’d pictured as hygge (Danish cozy).

The Glogg

Exhausted from some combination of jet lag and rain, we rest at our Airbnb before dinner.  As expected of jet-lagged travelers, we sleep through our alarms and our 30-minute snooze turns into a 2-hour deep sleep.  We wouldn’t necessarily call ourselves refreshed upon waking up, but at the same time, we knew we probably needed the sleep.

At the top of many lists of why to visit Copenhagen, we find Ruby, a bar located in the center of town with a living-room-esque atmosphere and excellent bar tenders.  What better way to start our evening than at Ruby.  It lives up to expectation.  Okay, maybe not the best bar in the world as some sites suggested, but very homey, very welcoming, and with delicious cocktails.  We find ourselves comfortable seats at the bar and quickly befriend all of the bartenders.  Trying to find a dinner spot on this second day of Christmas turns out to not be trivial, but luckily, our new friends at Ruby’s are full of suggestions. We end up in a new neighborhood at a place called Falernum.  It’s probably fair to call this place a wine bar given its wine menu was the length of a small novel.  We had some perfectly prepared scallops, mushroom risotto, and a slow-cooked duck to pair with some great wines that they suggested.  On a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is extremely unlikely and 10 is extremely likely, we would easily give this restaurant a 9 or 10 in terms of how likely we would be to recommend it to a friend or future traveller.  

Although the day started out a bit slow, it being the second day of Christmas and all, we didn’t let that slow us down and feel like we know Copenhagen and its Danes a lot better.