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Visiting Denmark

May 17, 2012 | 9 Comments

We're going to Denmark! My husband, adult daughter, her partner and I are off later this month. None of us has ever visited Denmark before and we are wondering if you have any suggestions. My Grandma (Bedstamor) lived in Copenhagen until she was 25. She was a storyteller and wielded a mean aebelskiver pan.

Carol Beeler
York, PA


You'll probably land in Copenhagen, Carol, so you can look around there. See the Hirschsprung Museum, a small art gallery with some gorgeous 19th Century paintings, and skip the big State Museum. You can find Hans Christian Andersen's grave in the big cemetery on Jagtvej. The statue of Gefion near Kastellet and the English church is magnificent, much more impressive than the little mermaid person.  Tivoli is fun, but even more fun is to take an S-Train north to Klampenborg and the huge Royal Deer-Hunting park (Dyrhave) with a hunting lodge in the middle and nice stands of beech trees and a great amusement park and also a horse-racing track nearby.  The trains and buses are excellent and you can get almost anywhere in the country. The clothing-optional place to sunbathe is Frederiksberg, if that's of interest. I recommend heading for the island of Fyn and the town of Svendborg from which you can take a little ferry boat over to Aero and Langeland, two islands which are great fun to ride bikes around. Rather flat, fields of grain, little villages of 18th Century cottages with tile roofs and little vinstuer, wine rooms, where you can get a simple traditional meal, the herring (sild) followed by pork (fleskesteg) or the rather rare hamburger (Fransk boeuf) or the Danish goulash (biksemad). The Danish Miami is in the north of Jutland, at Skagen. All worth seeing. A good country for hiking and biking.


We loved Denmark and the people we met on a visit there, including an archivist on the island of Langeland who helped me find my grantparents in the census records before they emigrated to the US in the 1880s. Visiting the step-gabled church where they were baptised and confirmed was amazing.


You wouldn't happen to have your grandmother's recipe for aebelskiver, would you? I still have my pan, but lost the recipe in a move. It was one of the victims of faulty packing.

Tusind tak Garrison for the travel suggestions!

My Grandmother, Josepha (Seph) Maria Otavia Poulson, was an Idaho-born descendant of Danish heritage. Born in 1890, she worked until she was 78 and lived to be just five months shy of 100. She was renowned for her Danish cooking (I never saw her use a recipe) and made some of the best fruitcake this side of the Atlantic. Danes are seen as among the most contented people on the planet, and this characteristic was certainly reflected in my Grandmother. She was the most cheerful, upbeat person I've known and a staunch New Deal Democrat to boot.

Give me a call, while you are in Copenhagen. Would love to return some of the friendliness and hospitality I met on my America cross country bicycle rides (26 states and more than 10.000 miles)


Barbara, here is my grandmother Hansine's aebelskiver recipe: given the quantities of dairy, it's a good thing they lived on a Wisconsin farm!

Scald 1 quart milk and add 1/2 cup butter. Cool. Add 4 cups flour, 1 teaspoon salt and 3 eggs. Dissolve 1 cake (or package now) yeast in 1/4 cup lukewarm water with 3 teaspoons sugar and add to flour mixture. Let rise about one hour, then beat well and cook in an aebleskiver pan.

I also have some quicker recipes for aebleskiver using baking powder if you don't have time to let the dough rise.

On our way to the PHC show at Wolftrap in Vienna, Virginia tonight.

We are some lost Americans in Sweden living only about 45 minutes from Copenhagen across the bridge. The places mentioned are nice, but if you are in to gardens, castles, and art, then don't miss the Frederiksborg slott (palace) about 45 minutes north of Copenhagen. Kronborg is also very nice (the Shakespear castle), but Fredriksborg is the best, especially if you're in to Carl Bloch. If you're vising the royal casle in downtown denmark, stop by and visit the royal stables. A bunch of amazing horses that you can meet without worrying about a flock of tourists. Happy travels!

It's a long time ago now, but we found Louisiana gardens and museum amazing, fascinating, beautiful, I run out of adjectives. And I understand it hasn't changed ---

Thank you, Carol! It's been a long time, but I'm going to make some Aebelskiver.

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