Wednesday, November 10, 2010

And where can I buy a klippekort?

I have been talking about s-tog and klippekort but I forgot to mention the basics. Where do you buy you klippekort? Well either from a shop inside the station or a vending machine directly on the platform. You can also find them in some newsagents.

Other essential info: if you ask kindly (to the vendor, not the vending machine of course ...), you may manage to get a card cover, some even have a line map on them! Classy and totally essential!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Did you klipp?

Essential when you take the bus, bus boat, train, S-Tog or subway: the right ticket.
Be careful here, you don't have to pass any door, so you may well get on a train without even thinking about tickets... (at least in a bus, the driver would stop you). Beware not to try it though, you would soon discover the 600 kr. fine the not convincing
enough "I am a tourist, I didn't know, I am sorry" excuse would get you....
For occasional travelers who do not have a monthly card, never forget to "klipp" a ticket (klippekort) in one of the yellow composter.

Above the composter, a map shows the number of areas needed for your trip. For example inside Copenhagen, you stay in the red area, so you only need a 2 klipp ticket. To go from Copenhagen to Hillerød (to see the amazing Frederiksborg castle), it goes up to nine zone (or all zones) Then, everything is modular. To do that 9 zones trip, you can make a klip on a all zone card (the cheapest option) or one on a "5 zones" + one on a 4 zones, or three on a card "three zones", etc...
When you always want to get the best price, you quickly get addicted to collecting colors!

This is clairly one of the most complicated ticketing system I have ever seen...!

Note: with the card on the right, you have to klipp once to travel with a bike. They really thought of everything ...

The advantages of these cards: they are cheaper than single tickets and can travel in a party (multiply the number of klipp by the number of passengers). Bon voyage!

See this page for 2010 prices (in Danish)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The S-Tog

Here in Sjælland, it's hard to avoid taking the "S-Tog" (S-train, but that does the S stand for? Super-fast?), A sort of equivalent to the Paris RER.
Equivalent, but careful though: the level of service is not the same! Here the traveler has the right to a nicely designed seat, the position of the train on the line appears, and everything is quite clean. Besides the trains are rarely crowded, extra trains are added during peak hours (lines "+"). It changes from the Paris trains ..
An extra help for people who usually do not know where to get off (I know quite a few who can't figure it out), red and black display in each car gives you the list of the upcoming station and a dotted line indicates in real time the remaining time before the next station!
There are 6 lines, each with its associated color and initial (A to H, but no line D and G, why? not sure...).

More infos about the stog (for Danish speakers) : DSB website

Friday, October 29, 2010

Snack and pølser

What do people eat on the go in Denmark? Pancakes? Kebabs? Well, sure but that is not the most typical option, which is pølser (hot dogs). How can you cook this monument of Danish cuisine yourself?
Well, very complex indeed ;-) You will need:
- Sausages
- Hot-dog rolls
- Danish style mustard not too strong and a little sweet
- Ketchup
- Grilled onions (can be bought already prepared, it's easier and it smells so bad when you cook it yourself, they are very strong those Danish!)
- Slices of pickled gherkins, "Russian" style
- Optional: chopped fresh onion. Sorry, we did not have any for the photo!
Preparation: Heat the sausage (possibly also the bread), open the bread lengthwise and place the sausage inside (and everything else...)
You will say: "Okay, but everything will fall when you eat it!". Well yes! That is the funny part!
Bon appétit!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Candles, candles...

Candles are a big part of everyday life in Denmark. This is especially true at this time of the year that once we get home I start by lighting up the dozen (at least) of candles stanging on my window ledges. In design shops, the choice of candles and candle holders is endless ... You can also spots huge candles or lanterns in the streets, they are used to frame the entrance to shops and restaurants. Big oil lamps as well, which is sometimes a little dangerous for the tourist wearing long coats! In our first flat (rented furnished), there was 5 candle holders and a bag of 100 candles (the biggest bag I have seen in a shop so far had not less than 500 candles in it), that explains a bit how important this is to the basic Danish survival kit.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Well, I have two ways to start this message.
The first: here is a typical Danish recipe that is very suitable for children!
The second: as I am a real sucking cook, I am only cooking when it is level 0 cooking (remember the cake for dummies!)
The recipe of the day: pølsehorn!
- a specially tailored and precut pølsehorn dough
- a few sausages

Open the package, flaten the dough on a clean surface, wet the edges of the dough. All the recipe magic is in the way you'll manage to wrap the sausage in the dough as a croissant ...

You can also try the ketchup alternative (more messy) or the cheese one (more calories).

Bake as indicated on the dough packaging. The hardest part is to wait until the cooking is done...

And voila! Within minutes, you managed to cook a typical meal Danish (1)that will delight children (even some adults!) (2) that nearly any cooking beginner can manage!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Blog action day: water

Why the "Water" theme for Blog Action day 2010?

Right now, almost a billion people on the planet don’t have access to clean, safe drinking water. That’s one in eight of us who are subject to preventable disease and even death because of something that many of us take for granted.

Access to clean water is not just a human rights issue. It’s an environmental issue. An animal welfare issue. A sustainability issue. Water is a global issue, and it affects all of us.

Bottled Water: Even though people in the US have access to clean water from their taps, they drink an average of 200 bottles of water per person each year. Over 17 million barrels of oil are needed to manufacture those water bottles, 86 percent of which will never be recycled.

Here in Denmark, I have stop using bottled water and bought a "Drikkedunk" for a while now. You can find them in a lot of shops, including pharmacies, and they come in different colours. The plastic they use is free for toxic elements, of course probably not all of them, but at least I don't feel responsible for creating hundred of kilos of extra trash every year.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Compulsive snacking options

As everyone knows, the Danes are craving for snacks. You just have to look at the assortment offered by kiosks, candy merchants, sausage stands, and so on ...
Recent example at work: as if all the sugar that my colleagues have on their desk wasn't enough, a box of candy and chocolates appeared with a help yourself system - a little money box on its side (this also illustrates how much trust people have in each other here).

Of course, Danes realized that this sugar extravaganza might not be so healthy after all, so healthy options are also heavily available. At work, it is easy to get its hand on the classic carrot and mini cucumber, alongside more traditionnal fruits...

Other healthy treats are also commun, like the knækbrød (a kind of very dry toast) or peas.
Healthy versus sugar: the fight has just begun! Wonder who is going to win ;-)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Floating hotel

Are you looking up for an original hotel for your next trip in Copenhagen? Well, if you are not sea sick, you might consider staying at CPH living, a boat hotel!

Even if this idea is well know already, as for example in Holland, the idea of the hotel boat only appeared in Copenhagen in 2008. After a few years, the hotel is still there, but it doesn't seem the idea has been copied, at least not yet.
Of course, hotels in Copenhagen aren't cheap and a room there will cost you at least a 1000 dkk, but for that price, you will get a unrivaled view on the Copenhagen harbor! And on a sunny day (maybe next summer!), you can enjoy sun chairs on the deck...

You can find the hotel close by Langebro, nearly opposite of the Black Diamond. It is practicly the beginning of our New architecture in Islands Brygge walk.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Is it safe to cycle?

Copenhagen City also uses another argument in its Let's cycle campaign: Safety!

Translation : "You are safer on your bike than on your sofa!". And the small prints add: "The lack of physical activity affects your health, whereas physical activity maintains your body healthy and in good shape".
Yeah right, but at least, I never fell off my sofa ;-)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Danish first names

2009 most populars first names are out! You can spot there a few quite interesting names... much different from France (and yet again you don't know the pronunciation ;-)))

Bets are already open for the upcoming little royal twins... Princess Mary and Frederik have some work ahead of them to choose. Luckily for them they have up to 6 months after the birth to choose so they have still some time ....
Note that first names number one on the list have been given to around 700 babies... not so much risk to have a school classroom full of Freja and Lucas in 6 years...


Source Danmark statistik

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Danskviking the blog selected by Go! Overseas

Thanks guys! This blog is now part of the top blogs in Denmark....

"Blogs serve as an excellent platform from which to share personal opinions and experiences. As a leader in the global travel community, GO! Overseas takes our commitment to screen quality and relevant blogs for our readers seriously. Users regularly comment on the usefulness of our top blog recommendations in their country of interest. Much can be learned from reading the experiences of others and GO! top blogs help our readers cut through the noise of the internet and head directly to quality and useful content.

Blogs that have been recognized for outstanding content are eligible to display a GO! Overseas Top Blog badge on their homepage.

Go! Overseas recognizes top blogs in two areas:
  • Individual countries. Generally, we select the top 10 blogs per country, however the number may vary slightly.
  • Topics with an international focus (travel, volunteer, study & teaching, among others).
Go! Overseas editorial staff evaluates blogs with the following criteria:
  • New content is posted at a minimum of once a week.
  • A writing style which is both clear and interesting.
  • A website which is constructed in a manner that provides a user-friendly interface and is maintained regularly.
  • A target audience which goes beyond providing friends and family with updates. Our editorial staff is looking for content which appeals to a wider audience.
  • Content that is relatively error free and grammatically correct.
  • A blog site which engages users on the website and is responsive to regular contact."

Thursday, September 23, 2010

When you bike, it's always sunny!

As everyone knows, Copenhagen is the city of cyclists. Yes but some bad mouthed people pretend that in Denmark it rains all the time ;-) !! Conclusion: in Copenhagen, you have to learn how to bike in the rain ... and wear the appropriate rainwear.
Well think again, it does not rain that much and the city is trying to correct this image, thanks to this billboards campaign!

Translation for the non-Danish speakers "when you bike, it almost never rains!" And the small print adds: "It rains on an average of 4% of journeys by bike home to work" ...

Armed with my journalistic and scientific consciousness, I counted the days where I did get wet during my daily
bike commute.
During the month of May, oh so significant because
(1) it's Spring
(2) you find deals on bike in every bike shop, and
(3) the campaign "vi cykler til arbejde " (yourself and all your co-workers have to bike to work during that campaign
).....I served as guinea pig.

Here is the result of this highly scientific test:
May 4 evening, rain gear were mandatory.
May 13 morning, I was a little wet, but I avoided to change into rain gear.

Overall, I got wet twice out of the 2 x 17 trips or 5.9%. And I say: What a scam! With the taxes we pay, this campaign doesn't even deliver and keep its promises! ;-)))
Well, seriously it does not rain that often and it's nice to get some air and exercise, so I will not trade my bike for a car ...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Lagkagehuset, the best bakery in Copenhagen?

Walking on Christianhavn, I suddenly became a little hungry (let's see I needed sugar and quick!). So I walked into Lagkagehuset. You can try this for a pronunciation approximate : Laokééhouzeut.

Rumor has it that it would be the best bakery in Copenhagen. When I saw the long queue waiting by the counter (remember to take a numbered ticket when entering if you don't want to wait helplessly for hours...), I would say that this reputation may not be usurped.

You can already find 6 shops in Copenhagen
- Vesterbrogade 4A

- Torvegade 45
- Dampfærgevej 9

- Falkoner Alle 4 inFrederiksberg

Frederiksberggade 21
- Frederiksborggade 6

Why so much success? The answer is simple, just look at the impressive choice of pastries...

Amongst them, I choose the potato cake (kartoffelkage): cream puff covered with a thick layer of almond paste and covered with cocoa

And of course, it is too hard to only taste one so let's indulge with the House special: the Christianshavner. Available in two sizes: big or small. But the real question is what's inside?

And what is inside this little boxe? Calories, of course ;-)

A small size Christianshavner - damned it really was too small: fruits and strawberry mousse on a base of biscuit and caramelized hazelnuts. Really tasty!

A classic "Sarah Bernhardt", chocolate mousse on a macaroon base, with a top chocolate layer. Not the best I had in the city, but still definitly good.

I didn't try the lagkage, it will be for the next visit (you need to be really hungry for that!).

Of course, they also sell excellent bread... but would that really be reasonnable after all those cakes?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A cheap weekend in Copenhagen - Day 2

This is day 2 of our weekend Discount Copenhagen, the challenge continues....

Let's go for Day two.

  • Let's start by visiting the little Mermaid
  • Her girfriend - the new millemium Mermaid located a little more north on the docks
  • A nice walk in the close by Kastellet
  • The City Hall (you can go inside for free)
  • The Danish Design tour by visiting the following shops: Illum, Magasin du Nord, Georg Jensen, Royal Copenhagen and Paustian
  • National Galeries (Staten Museum for Kunst)
  • the Sort Diamant (National Library with a nice design interior)
  • Boat ride low budget (use the yellow boats where you can pay with your public transportation klippekort) or the slightly more expensive and touristic option, but still affordable, the Netto boat) the boarding dock is at the end of Nyhavn
  • During the summer season essentially, look out for the festivals posters: like Copenhague Jazz Festival (most of the concerts are free), outside movie festival ....
  • the bathing areas or beaches (yes, yes it's right, Copenhagen has a few beaches close by the Center).
Note that a large number of activities are outdoor, it's of course much easier to live small budget style in Copenhagen in summer than during winter. I have to admit that during the winter, nothing beats the hours spent huddled in a warm coffee to enjoy the Danish "hygge" Danish, but then we are not talking about the same kind of budget this time ;-)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A cheap weekend in Copenhagen

Copenhagen has a reputation for being an expensive city, ... no kidding? Ok, it's true. But I love challenge and will show you how to spend a weekend in Copenhagen low budget style....

Day One

  • Nationalmuseet: National museum (entry is free): you should not miss it, and the new Prehistoric exhibit is really great
  • Carlsberg Glyptotek (free one day per week, right now it is Sunday)
  • the Royal Greenhouses in the Botanic garden (Botanisk Have)
  • the parcs (Rosenborg Have where you can admire the beautiful Rosenborg Castle and Botanisk Have are my 2 personal favorites)
  • Quick lunch at the pølsevogn - plan around 50 dkk for a sausage and a drink
  • Quiet walk along the lakes (4 longs lakes at the west of the city center)
  • A beer at the Carlsberg brewery (tasting included in the entry ticket) or the local way, sitting on the wharf at Nyhavn
  • After all that you might be a little hungry, so let's stop for a nice little evening all you can eat buffet at Riz-Raz or Ankara (both are restaurants brands with a few in the city center)
For sleeping, no a lot of cheap options, I can onnly name Danhostel Copenhagen City (H.C. Andersens Boulevard 50). It's a youth hostel located fairly well but you still have to pay around 30 euros per night per person.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

What can you grill on your barbecue?

The barbecue season is upon us, so the shops are full of barbecue-food.
Among them:

- The spare ribs, marinated in maple (another sign of the americanization of Denmark)

- Corn

- Barbecue bread. I have to admit the final result didn't look anything like the picture on the packaging. But let's also confess that I am absolutely not a BBQ-pro!

Bon appétit !
PS : in my home, there is also sometimes a few French delicacies on the grill... for example andouillettes... We may live in Denmark, we still need our dose of French gastronomy!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Green sausage

As everybody know, Danes are really fans of green. Now they can even buy a "green" hot-dog in the street! This hot-dog stand is now installed close to the Rundetårn since November 2009 and is only selling green products!

Please note that this really modest place has won the "best restaurant 2010" Ibyen award. Amongst the contestants were 4 others reals restaurants, including the famous Fiskebaren (Bib Gourmand Michelin).

Monday, July 5, 2010

They are big, hairy and a bit red-faced ...

Well, guess again, I am not talking about the Danes (or am I? .... Just kidding).
This is one of the summer fruit in Denmark, the stikkelsbær (gooseberry?)
It has a taste reminding me a little kiwis.
It's very good snack and I suppose you can also do some tasty desserts. If you have any recipes, feel free to give me suggestion....

Friday, July 2, 2010

Summer fruits

The classic Danish summer fruit: strawberries and ... peas!

I rapidly pass over the general astonishment that we can grow strawberries in Denmark. Yes! Greenhouses are miracles!
The most amazing is that here the pea is a fruit. This means that people sit quietly and start eating their peas in the afternoon, at work, in the train or even in the street. I tasted and I confirm that ...
is a small pea. So it's actually a bit bland, but then to consider it a fruit, I usually request a little sweetness ...

No kidding, this is the "fruit basket" at work.
Otherwise, you can also buy it sometimes in the street as here in Christianshavn.

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