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Monthly Archives: September 2015

Continuing with the tour of our rental apartment in Copenhagen (København, Danemark)… part 1 is here.

This is our oversized living room with windows facing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs across Strandgade.


The apartment is in a historic building so we suspect that many aspects of the apartment cannot be altered. For example, the kitchen and the two bathrooms are rather small relative to the living room, by today’s standard.


Similarly, the master bedroom is small while it is adequate for us. Loved the old gold effect on the bed and the wall.


There is a small door behind the bed that, judging by its position, lead to the landing outside the main entrance … for sneaking in or out of the bedroom … intriguing.


As the host is a designer, the apartment is full of interesting details. Galloping horse door handle.


Vintage furniture.


Preserved architectural details in the bedroom.


Homemade original art, vintage lighting.


Studio ambiance.


At dusk.


Snowflakes-patterned window pane in the bathroom.


It was a perfect apartment for a short stay but we are not sure if it is practical for a family to live in it year round – the host has a family with kid(s) – perhaps that is the reason why this apartment is rented out.

This place reminded us of the apartment we rented in Vienna, see earlier post here.


And then there were the four of us (C & S, IT, MW)…  on this trip to Copenhagen (København, Danemark). It was indeed a good idea to rent an apartment – more economical and convivial.


Our apartment is located in Christianshavn just across the inner harbor from the city center. We could walk to the center in under 15 minutes.


Our host is a stage designer who evidently applied her skills to decorate the place. The result is unique and fantastic.


She baked us fresh bread in the oven in the apartment and took it out as we arrived – the apartment is filled with that warm and welcoming smell – a trick that is borrowed from a real estate agent’s playbook.


We liked to gravitate around the table in the dining room.


Breakfast, one morning, including the bread our host baked for us.


We have gloriously high ceilings, except the kitchen and the upper floor. P


Parts of the apartment felt like a loft but it isn’t since it was not built for an industrial purpose in the first place.

MW’s new old guitar


The apartment was very bright – possibly the dining room windows face south or east. We got a lot of sunshine in the morning.


The living room is large and thus appeared to be sparely furnished – the sofa, coffee table, and chairs are adequate.


One side of the living room is lined with bookshelves. Above the shelves are shallow alcoves where a few pieces of art are displayed and lit. The light can be turned on or off remotely to accent (show off) the art work.


Many fixtures in the apartment are classic Danish designer pieces.


In the middle of the living room, there was a iMac on a rather large custom-made, leather-wrapped table (used to be a draughtsman’s table) and a vintage designer office chair, topped with a shaggy sheep skin seat cover.


The TV is relegated to a corner of the living room behind a door. That’s how important TV is to the host’s family.

More pictures to come … but if you are curious to see what we rented when we were in Paris, click here.

These are the photos I (Chris) took and posted on Facebook. The series was started in March of 2013. There is no theme – just something random and visually interesting. We gave each a title and noted where it was taken (to the extent we could remember the city).

random photo #161 – clean – Barcelona



random photo #162 – happy valentines – Lyonheart-1


random photo #163 – birds – Paris



random photo #164 – painter painted – Lyon



random photo #165 – gehry in vegasgehry-1


If you are interested in seeing other Random Photos, click on the  random  tag on the left. We have nothing to do with the ads below here.

We were traveling with IT and MW in Copenhagen and they love flea markets and antique stores. The last time we traveled together we went to the flea markets at the Porte de Clignancourt (Les Puces) in Paris – see earlier post here.

Our last post here showed some of IT’s purchases, and here are some more, including MW’s collection.

MW's loot-11

MW is interested in antique eyewear.

MW's loot-3

The translucent frame of this pair of sunglasses is made with turtle shell and the lens with a mineral, possibly mica.

MW's loot-2

Foldable opera glasses (?)

MW's loot-4

Spring-loaded to unfold. Pretty cool, huh.

MW's loot-5

One of these we believe is IT’s purchase.

MW's loot-6

A ram-like candle holder.

IT's loot-20


IT's loot-22

MW is into transportation. A model of a three-wheeled car made by Messerschmitt – a famous German World War II aircraft manufacturer.

MW's loot-7

Lada, Fiat 124 ? (the tray belongs to the apartment, the graphic pattern came from the same era)

MW's loot-8

MW is also interested in musical instrument.

MW's loot-9

An ex-guitar player’s purchase.

MW's loot-10

Happy hunting, and not too cumbersome to take home.

MW's loot-1

We came to Copenhagen from Berlin after the Champions League 2015 Final (see earlier post here). The Final was held in the Olympiastadion, the original stadium used for the Berlin 1936 Olympic Games.

MW's loot-12

In 1936, the Olympic Games were held under the direction of Hitler who exploited it for Nazi propaganda purposes. IT picked up this official souvenir book about the 1936 games from a flea market in Berlin.

IT's loot-16

The book was in excellent condition despite its age.  The photographs in the book were not printed directly on the paper. Instead, each photograph is an original and glued on top of the page next to the text.

IT's loot-15

James Cleveland “Jesse” Owens (September 12, 1913 – March 31, 1980) was a black American track and field athlete and four-time Olympic gold medalist at this event. At the time in the US, the blacks and whites were segregated. There were controversies around the fact that Hilter avoided shaking his hand after he won the gold medals. Well, there is proof in this book that at least his achievements were etched in stone.





We were traveling with IT and MW on this trip to Denmark. One of their favorite activities is crawling flea markets and antique stores. Copenhagen is fresh pasture for them and we shared the excitement.

IT's loot-17

One area in Copenhagen where there is a good concentration of antique shops is Nørrebro –  an area that feels like the East Village in NYC.

IT's loot-5

We had a daily show-and-tell session to examine and admire the loot. Below are some of IT’s loots. We will put up MW’s in a later post.

IT's loot-4

Zither –  a popular instrument in central Europe and alpine countries, related to the guitar. It can be played flat on the table or on the lap.

IT's loot-3

IT has been buying musical instruments lately especially ones that can still be played.

IT's loot-1

At the time, we really doubted whether she could carry all these stuff to the airport and then home. Well, she somehow got home safely with every thing she bought.

IT's loot-2

Harmonicas are much more portable.

IT's loot-11

.IT's loot-12

We wandered how much cleaning IT will need to do to the harmonicas before they are “safe” to use.

IT's loot-13

.IT's loot-14

IT bought other knick-knacks.

IT's loot-6

A well-balanced hand mirror, definitely useful.

IT's loot-7

Apparently, some of these pieces cost very little, especially if you bargain and if you combine it with another sale.

IT's loot-8

What was this made for ? Borderline junk ?

IT's loot-10


IT's loot-9


IT's loot-21

There is more to come.




Just a quick post about what we ate while in Copenhagen. The places we mentioned in our food diary entries are all memorable for various reasons and definitely recommendable.


Food is generally more expensive in Scandinavia than other parts of Europe (possibly with the exception of Switzerland). At FaFa’s, I(Chris) found the best-value-for-money lunch in downtown Copenhagen.


On that day, we all went to do our own thing in Copenhagen, I did not want a touristy restaurant, nor did I want a chain restaurants that serve fast food. A kebab place is usually the answer but most of them are greasy joints.

But FaFa’s is a different kind of middle eastern place, one with white walls decorated with art.


“Be the reason someone smiles today” – on a clipboard


The menu was written on a giant chalk board behind the counter. I ordered the 85 kroner ($12) kebab platter. Doubt you can get this price in NYC, except from a lunch truck, perhaps.


After I ordered, it took a while for them to prepare the dish. But it was worth the wait. Delivered to me was a generous portion of juicy lamb kebabs, 2 small falafels and a fresh green salad, plus a big serving of tahini sauce and pepper sauce.


Since I was sitting on a bench facing the street, when a family came to see the menu on the window, I gave them a thumbs up.  The family came in and I was sure they will not regret it.


Fafa is at Store Kongensgade 18.

OH ! Just read on their facebook page that they are closing and will look for a new place. Posted just days ago. I wish them the best of luck in their next location.

Guess what.

I went to their web site here and discovered that Fafa is a small Finnish chain and there are 5 stores in Helsinki. Good for them. Will check them out when I visit Finland.

In June, we spent a few days in Copenhagen with IT and MW. It was the first time for us and IT to visit Denmark. We did many touristy things and our friends did some serious shopping.


We rented an apartment in Christianshavn which was located a block from the harbor front – we enjoyed walks and great views at dusk. The apartment was interestingly decorated and will have its own posts later.


Views of the inner harbor.


Freetown Christiania is a self-governing city within a city in Christianshavn – well known for its hippie lawlessness and related cannabis business. On “Pusher street”, while the selling is very open, the purveyors wear masks and absolutely forbid photography.


Incidentally, the Royal Danish Ballet Company was giving, as a part of their summer tour, a free performance in Christiania.  So we just walked over from our apartment to see it but it was very crowded !


We climbed up a little hill thinking we might get a better vantage point … others had the same idea.


Copenhagen has in the middle of the city, an amusement park – Tivoli Gardens. Due to its location, we passed it every day and did not go until a day before our departure. Belatedly, we were dismayed to discover that our regular admission ticket would have entitled us repeated entrance for up to 3 days ! And on the only day we could go, it rained.


Tivoli has a old-fashioned, timeless feel to it – no movie or cartoon character references, no high-tech wizardry, it is hard to describe it – perhaps the graphics in its advertisements, the artistry in its gardening designs, it definitely produces a fun and fantastic experience.


Tivoli is not for kids only. It has nice restaurants and hosts classical as well as rock concerts.


Copenhagen is expanding its subway system and a big public square in the downtown area –  Kongens Nytorv (King’s New Square, like Trafalgar Square in London or Union Square in NYC) has become a major construction site. We had to detour around the site and got lost for a bit.


These antique sellers were probably displaced by the construction.


More highlights of Copenhagen to come … watch this space.

These are the photos I (Chris) took and posted on Facebook. The series was started in March of 2013. There is no theme – just something random and visually interesting. We gave each a title and noted where it was taken (to the extent we could remember the city).

random photo #156 – 15:22 – Baden Baden



random photo #157 – hole in the wall – Annecy

hole in the wall-1


random photo #158 – walk – Lausanne



random photo #159 – multistate – St Martin



random photo #160 – target 9 – Geneva




If you are interested in seeing other Random Photos, click on the  random  tag on the left.