Copenhagen, Normandy, Barcelona and San Sebastian
By Dakota Lum
Posted On August 13, 2017
Within a week we traveled to these four cities. Here are the highlights of our experience:
- Alternative Tour
In all of the big cities I have taken the free walking tour with Sandeman’s but for Copenhagen I also suggest paying for their “Alternative Tour”. Here you get to learn about the Red Light District and its remains, along with the Green Light District, which is booming. If you’re a fan of the green life then this might be a fun tour for you.
- Palace Grounds
Take some time to spend at the palace grounds. At 12 p.m. you can watch the change of guard. I unfortunately didn’t get to see it, but my tour guide said it’s really cool to watch. If you’re there during the Easter holiday you might get to see even more as the queen’s birthday is April 16, and the people of Copenhagen gather in the square to sing happy birthday to her.
- St. Alban’s Church and Churchill Park
Everyone who goes to Copenhagen has to see The Little Mermaid, but once you’re done taking your selfies with her wander down the road some more and you’ll come across a beautiful park area with a magnificent fountain and English church. This is St. Alban’s Church and Churchill Park where you can see a little bit of history of the English influence in Denmark.
- Tivoli Gardens
It is said that Walt Disney was inspired by Tivoli Gardens to create Disneyland, and by going inside the park it is obvious as to why. It is not that big but it is a historical and beautifully kept park that reminds me of Epcot with its representation of different places around the world.
- War Pigs
Meat eaters and beer lovers unite! This is a craft brewery that serves top of line meat products. It only makes sense, as they are located in the old meatpacking district. Have some pork shoulder, a few beers, and enjoy the fun atmosphere!
- Take a Tour with Bayeux Shuttle
Spend the money and take a private tour of Normandy with Bayeux Shuttle. Our tour guide Flo was awesome. He picked us up from the train station, gave a great and personalized full day tour, and then took us to our hotel. This was truly an unforgettable experience and I’m so glad I got to see this historical place. My parents were able to pop in for a visit and it was amazing to see my dad come to terms with what his grandfather and his fellow soldiers went through during WW2. It was a very emotional but incredible experience.
- Drink Cider and Calvados
On our tour we learned that this is an apple growing region of France so they are very well-known for cider as well as calvados, an apple brandy. You must try it when you’re there and if there is an option for an aged calvados definitely try that one because the taste is worth the difference in price.
- Did someone say brunch?
Start the day off with a huge and delicious brunch at The Benedict. For a group of five we started the day with a pitcher of mimosas, a pitcher of sangria, and pancake breakfasts for all. Not a bad way to start the day if you ask me.
- Park Güell
As I mentioned before, I am obsessed with Disney, so all you Cheetah Girls 2 lovers better get your Cheetah Sisters pictures here! This is the picturesque mosaic-filled park you see in all the postcards. It is just one of the many places where you can see Gaudi’s artwork. It is a must!
- La Sagrada Familia
If you want to see a more modern take on church architecture this is the place to do it. It is still in construction, and who knows when they’ll actually finish it. It has already been in construction for centuries and one can clearly see the difference in the style of the time periods as you shift your eyes from the top to the bottom. I did not go inside but I’ve heard conflicting views about it – the entrance fee is also pretty pricey. Decide ahead of time if this is something you want to do because tickets go fast!
- The Magic Fountain Show
The Magic Fountain of Montjuic is a fountain show that began in 1929. If you want a relaxing, beautiful show for the night, I suggest going. However, it typically only plays Thursday through Saturday at 9 p.m. and you have to get there early for a good spot. If you’ve seen The Bellagio fountain show and Disneyland’s water show, you can expect this to meet in the middle of those two expectations.
- La Boqueria
This is the coolest market I’ve been to so far. It’s huge and you can literally get just about anything foodwise: meat, cheese, peppers, candy, etc. For the photography lovers this is a great place to take some photojournalism style pictures with all the people and the wide array of colors you see displayed. · Montserrat If you want to take a day away from the hustle and bustle of the city I suggest going to Montserrat. It is a very historical monastery built into a mountainside about an hour outside of Barcelona. You take the train to the Montserrat stop and then take a cable car up to the mountain. Within the church you’ll find the Virgin of Montserrat displayed up high in a window where you see visitors who paid extra giving their respects to the Patron Saint.
- Views on Views
This city is frequently named one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and I can attest to that. Beaches, mountains, good food and drink, friendly people, what’s not to like about this place? If you like to hike you definitely have to hike Ulia Mountain because it’s a local spot with great views of the city.
- More Cider!
Go to a cidery! This is another apple growing region known for its cider so it’s very typical for locals to enjoy their time at a cidery. We went to Saizar, where they serve large portions of food to share such as tortilla (omelette), salchichas (sausages), and steak. You pay for never-ending cider so everyone gets a cup and you go into the cellar where a worker will open the spout to a barrel and you serve yourself as many times as you like. Don’t be surprised to see young children drinking too!
- Pinchos and Barhopping
I think most people know that tapas are a huge part of Spanish culinary culture, in the north, however, they call tapas, pinchos. Instead of having a big dinner, it is typical to go barhopping and have pinchos and drinks at several locations.