While Mads went to work on Monday morning, Jess and I spent the morning exploring downtown Herning. Even though Rene had described Herning to me as “the sleepy town…too quiet for you Dallas girls”…. We thought it was great! We tried to get our bearings as we walked from the house to the “walking streets” downtown…. Trying to distinguish between the “GADE” and the “VEJ”… but we finally got it all figured out. And during that time Jess informed me that she wanted her own bike… one with a big basket on the front!!
We spent a few hours shopping (yes, we did buy matching boots that are VERY EUROPEAN looking… in Jess’ words!), then we headed to a quaint café for lunch where Jess was determined that we would look like the locals and not like we did not belong! Lunch was great and then we got the call from Mads, telling us that he was ready for us to come by the bank to meet his colleagues! They were delightful! We got the grand tour of Alm. Brand Bank and got to meet all of his co-workers, who of course, already knew all about us! (After we got home, he reported back that we had made great impressions! LOL). The best part of that visit was getting to meet Mads’ boss, Bente, who is Kristina’s mom (our exchange student in Lewisville). She was so precious as she tried to express (in English) her gratitude to us for taking such good care of Kristina. Then she promised to do the same for Jess when we moved to Herning in the summer! SO SWEET!
Mads only worked a half day and then came home to pick us up and head to Copenhagen. It was a three hour drive from Jutland (the mainland… the peninsula...where Herning is) to Copenhagen whichi s on th island of Sealland… (it is actually closer to Sweden than to the rest of Denmark!) I was AMAZED as we crossed the bridge. I had heard so much about this 2nd longest in the world suspension bridge… and it was dark when we crossed it on Friday so I was taking pictures the entire time we crossed. Of course a certain 16 year old was not nearly as impressed as I was … Guess all that walking and shopping had worn her out!
Before we actually got to Copenhagen, we went to visit Rene Kelldorf… the one that brought the story of “Mads and Kelli” to life in the beginning! We spent a couple of hours at his home in Køge and it was So great to see him again! It was so funny to watch him and Mads interact….they were like brothers! Ok, 13 year old brothers, but brothers nonetheless. We promised to come back and visit in November when we had more time and when Danielle (the American Kelldorf) is with us! Rene bid us good night and then we were on our way to check into the hotel in downtown Copenhagen.
The scene was quite surreal since this was the same hotel in which Mads and I had stayed when I visited last winter. So many memories came flooding back as I was able to recall so much about the area. We quickly checked in, unloaded our suitcases and were back in the car, headed out to dinner. Bente had made reservations for us at 830 at a very popular Italian restaurant…. And we were not at all disappointed when we arrived. Not only was the food and service wonderful, but she had arranged to have a bottle of their best red wine ready and waiting for us! (Jess still cannot get over the “legal to drink at age 16” concept in Denmark!)
After a long and leisurely dinner, we headed back to the hotel, with intentions of waking up with the sun so we did not “waste a single moment in Copenhagen”…. We did not quite make it with the sunrise, but our day was incredible…as you will see in the next entry!