Our travel day to Denmark was very ugly. We missed our first train, as it sat right next to us and then recovered with a donut and school work while we waited for the connection train. Our 4 hour, no stop train ride turned into 5 trains with 45 minutes apiece and four connections. It worked out ok because we met some lovely people along the way, but it definitely complicated our arrival time.
When we finally got to Denmark and popped out of the train station to catch a connecting bus; we were told that the bus only takes cash and it only takes the Danish Krone. I walked a half mile up the road, in the snow, wearing the baby to find an ATM. I found it though and all was well. We caught our bus and were dropped off at the airport to connect to another bus line. We needed food and Krone so we went inside and went to the Currency Exchange Counter. Their system had crashed. We waited half an hour to see if they were able to reboot it, but they were not. So now we were without the native Cash.
We caught our bus and were dropped off at the end of the road that led to our family hostel.
Because of this particular kilometer walk with bags, baby, boys, Grandma, freezing wind blowing the snow sideways; I will forever more do more research about the actual size of and amenities available in the towns we go to. We were going to Billund, Denmark one way or another because Lego House is there and we wanted to see it. However, I made everyone’s life a living hell in this moment and I questioned if I was logistically good enough to do this.
Other amenities were missing as well, like heat in the hostel and groceries. I dropped everyone off and walked a mile back to the closest and only grocer.
The actual hostel was quite wonderful. We had loads of children’s toys, the important things like Legos, Trains and Balls. Outside they had every wonderful thing imaginable to include goats, bounce house, jungle gym, trampolines, etc. It was just too cold this particular visit to use any of them.
The little village of Billund, only exists because the creator of Legos is from there. There are no taxi, stores, atm, etc. Very few if any amenities at all. We would love to go back someday though and explore that area more with a car 🙂
The hostel host was exceptional and after discovering that we walked with such small children and so many bags that first day; he offered to drive us to the bus station each morning following.
Our rural hostel gave us something so incredibly special though; it gave us plenty of room to play, space from each other if needed, toys to play with and a table made for family meals. The meekest meal I’ve made in a long time. We had pasta (Woezel and Pip Pasta shaped like Woezel the Dutch Dog and Pip the Cat) with the cheapest jar of pasta sauce I could find. The little village had one grocery store with two pasta sauce options. They devoured it and because we were famished and living off of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches they claimed “it was the best meal ever!”
We slept hard that first night. It was a very long, very testing day and my strong children proved for the millionth time that they are capable of overcoming tough, uncomfortable situations. I would unknowingly test them again in the next post.
LEGO HOUSE: Surpassed any and all expectations that I thought I had. It was absolutely incredible! I cannot say enough good things about it. The zones were wonderful, there was something for everyone. Grandma walked in, hating the entire idea and by lunch time thought it was a brilliant impressive facility (big compliment coming from Grandma). The staff inside of Lego house was fabulous. One young girl showed me which app the Danish students use to figure out what public transport is running that day and at which times. She also found something for Atlas to play with in a room full of tiny big kid lego pieces.
Another girl approached Atlas and I and told me all about the designers and staff. How there are HUGE LEGO DESIGNER GROUPIES that come to work for Lego to get closer to their superstar staff and so on. She gave Atlas a lego key chain of hers that he had been playing with.
I truly do not have a single complaint about the facility and Lego house made the previous evening almost forgettable.
We, by we I mean mostly me, are learning a lot of traveling lessons the hard way. I love to travel and there are a lot of tough situations that don’t seem as tough when you are only one or two adults traveling, but when young children are added to the mix each ill placed move is amplified times a thousand. You can hear the cries in the next town and the look on their faces when you say “one more bus” or “then we have to walk” would make a Marine cry. Letting them down has been a truly hard lesson to stomach. My logistical skills are improving everyday, but only because I have failed so horribly.
We left Billund with high spirits and high hopes for what Copenhagen had to offer all while planning a future trip through rural Denmark following the Viking History Trail by car.