After my new friend deferred to me on our first day in Copenhagen, I insisted that she choose the itinerary for the second day. Her selection, while not something I would have normally chosen, ended up being one of the highlights of our trip to Copenhagen! She chose the Old Denmark-Open Air Museum which was located north of Copenhagen. Established in 1893, it is one of the oldest and largest open air museums in the world and consists of more than 50 farms, mills and houses built from 1650-1940.
By using Google maps and a little assistance from a few friendly bystanders, we were able to find our way to the museum on the train.
Our Copenhagen Card allowed us to enter this replica of a countryside historic Denmark village which consisted of numerous houses and barns from earlier centuries The buildings had been meticulously moved, piece by piece, to this bucolic location to recreate a village from the past. The time, effort and expense involved with moving these buildings from all over Denmark to this location and its continued maintenance was incalculable!
Everything in sight seemed so authentic that I felt I had traveled back for centuries in a time machine.
We started our visit off fresh and perky following the numbers in sequence on the map which we were given at the entrance, Unfortunately, we failed to comprehend the scale of the map (86 acres!) and after completing only half of the trail we were completely exhausted! Nevertheless, we persevered, motivated by the amazing collection of fully furnished homes of wealthy merchants, peasants, the village weaver and the poorhouse. barns, windmills, watermill all surrounded by authentic gardens, landscaping, farm animals and artifacts from the past.
While wandering through the houses and farms it occurred to me how much time was consumed in the past with providing for day to day necessities and survival. The planting and harvesting of crops, the caring for and butchering of animals, the making of clothes and other homemade furniture and necessities, the preparation and storage of food, the cleansing of clothes and houses, the making of tools and chopping wood, etc. There was little time for rest and relaxation. We did see a demonstration of some people playing “kick the can” so they must have taken some time for fun. While it was a hard life, it also seemed like a good life where families worked closely together for the common good. A life from which we have moved so far away with all our modern conveniences, technology and time saving gadgets. Now, there is such a disconnect, you can’t help but wonder if we would be able to survive if we ever lost power for a long amount of time.
After visiting the farm, we returned to Copenhagen and had dinner at Josie McGee’s restaurant and pub. The restaurant had marvelous ambience with wood paneling, stained glass windows and decorations. The restaurant contained a mantle from John Lennon’s house in England where he lived when he wrote the song “Imagine”. Nothing Norwegian for me tonight. I had chicken tortilla soup and nachos with cheese and jalapeño peppers. Delicious!
Another great day in Copenhagen and another example of how traveling with a friend can enhance the experience!