Brace yourself: Danes have it all figured out.
The design, the furniture, the height, the socialist monarchy thing, the bikes, the hygge, the generous paid maternity leave, the happiness thing, the food scene. NOMA.
It’s almost enough to make you never go there because it’s so damn perfect.
Which is why I kind of hated it?
OK, I didn’t hate Copenhagen, but it was a little too safe for me. Not sterile, but organized. Not boring, but … organized. Until Denmark, I’d mostly hit the countries of Romance Languages: Mexico, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece. OK, maybe Greece isn’t a romance language country, but it is a country of arid landscapes and hairy chests, so, you know, romance.
Up to this point, my only brush with Scandinavia had been a whimsical and short-lived love affair with a brooding Norwegian sailor who ended up being a little too brooding in the end. “We have darkness in Norway most of the year, Sarah,” he’d once said to me. “What do you want from me?”
But when IcelandAir launched its summer sale, the flight to Copenhagen from Boston was so cheap that I couldn’t resist. After all, I enjoy sleek Scandinavian design and fancy foods, pickled fish, and generally getting down and comfortable with the Danish cult of coziness known as hygge, which has practically become a global movement thanks to some good marketing and even this how-to book.
I had three nights only in Copenhagen and so my goal there was easy: Spend Thanksgiving break alone, shopping Christmas markets and eating some Michelin-starred meals in the world’s hottest gastronomical destination.