It’s not what you think. Denmark was everything we hoped for and more. We visited 3 cities: Aalborg, Aarhus & Copenhagen, and happily ate our way through every one of them.
Aalborg is a tiny city. We stayed there for 2 nights in what we’ll now refer to as “Shanon’s dream apartment” - a top floor 1 bedroom nook with plenty of natural light, a cool breeze, and cozy cotton sheets. We loved everything about it (except for the shower… it only fit 1 person and Shanon’s baby belly really isn’t that big yet), but are still wondering to this day how they got any of the furniture up the narrow spiral staircase.
Technically, we also “stayed” on a hotel balcony the morning we arrived, since neither of us slept on the plane and were beyond slaphappy by the time we arrived in the city center. We were amazed by the variety of goods and cleanliness of the 7/11 but immensely disappointed in the coffee. It holds no comparison to the revered 7/11s in Taiwan.
Our impromptu outdoor hotel
Despite not having the idyllic start to our trip, we quickly discovered that Denmark is the perfect country to spend a trip centered around fine dining. The reason we landed in Aalborg in the first place was because we anchored our Eurotrip around going to Fredagsfest to see one of our newly discovered (and favorite) DJs- Hedeggard.
100% classifying this as our first European rave
Despite eating at some of the finest fine dining restaurants we’ve ever experienced, and getting our butts kicked by a ballerina turned yogi in a yoga class, we realized that all the bouncing around was taking a toll on us - which is not what we wanted out of this trip. Over the last 5 weeks, we travelled over 10,000 miles by car, never staying still for more than a couple of days at a time, crossed an ocean, and continued to do the same on foot. It didn’t help at all that we happened to arrive in the Nordic region around the same time as a massive storm, which limited our adventures.
It’s a lot. Even we recognized it.
Although we didn’t want to admit to having any limits, Shanon started to get sick & Matthew took a deep dive into the depths of his brain and was having a hard time making it back up for air. It was after a storm of emotions and hours on end of sleeplessness in our sleeping pod that we finally admitted to needing a vacation from our vacation, so we assessed weather maps and ticket prices and decided to go to Greece the very next day.
Copenhagen between the raindrops
Neither of us had been to Greece before, but last minute plane tickets were reasonable, and weather.com forecasted 80/90 degree and sunny weather, so we packed our bags and hopped on a plane early the next morning.
Copenhagen was efficient. It took us an hour to get our bags in Athens. People respected your personal space in Copenhagen. Most people in Athens forgot to shower and made sure their neighbors knew. We felt extremely safe walking around Denmark. The drivers in Athens always assumed they had the right of way, even when facing red lights and concrete barriers.
Despite the stark differences in pace, we finally made it into the sun, so we knew we were at least going in the right direction. However, we were quick to realize that being in the city was not going to bring the peace and quiet we were so desperately needing at the time. Our heads continued to spin out of control, and being in close proximity to hoards of tourists started to incite the type of violent thoughts that should really be reserved for cinema.
Our first night in Athens
We did get a bit of respite as we booked the most wonderful sailboat gastronomy tour with The Aiolis Experience. We ended up being the only 2 people who signed up for this tour, so we got to nap in the sun on our way to anchor, swim in the dazzling blue Aegean Sea, eat the most wonderful Greek cuisine we've ever put near our mouths, chat with the boat crew, and nap in the sun on the way back. 10/10 recommend this tour for anyone who stumbles into Athens. If you're still not convinced. This is the ONLY boat Shanon has ever enjoyed being on - even after she swore to never step foot on a cruise again after she got out of the Navy.
Our half day escape from city life
Being out at sea alone made us realize that we needed a break from being social. Not to mention, none of the restaurants we found on land could compare to the gourmet lunch we had. Surprisingly enough, even after trusting Google reviews, we ended up walking out of our first restaurant, ever (won't worry, we paid). 2 bites into the appetizer and we knew we could not continue to waste our time or calories on the most bland meal we’ve ever had.
Needless to say, after 2 days and a glorious half day sailing gastronomy tour in Athens, it was time to spend a week on a remote island...and in true S&M fashion, we rolled the proverbial dice and found ourselves on a 4 AM plane the next day to an island we had never heard of.
'Till the next hotel room,