Sunday, July 14, 2013

Enjoying Svaneke ice cream in a charming Copenhagen courtyard

If you have ever been to a European city like Copenhagen, chances are you've caught glimpses of charming courtyards.  Maybe you've been lucky enough to step inside one of them, and maybe not. Like me, perhaps you've even felt that it was a shame you were missing out on their charm. You may have once wished someone would come along and welcome you in, or maybe you've accidentally wandered inside only to discover ominous private courtyard warnings or surveillance cameras. Maybe you've let your curiosity get the best of you and purposely ignored those warnings, only to later play the dumb tourist card when a local catches you snooping.  There's something enchanting about these courtyards, which mostly go undetected-- it's only when a visitor passes by that they sometimes experience this beautiful coincidence of doors opening, enabling them to steal a quick glance of what's beyond. Often hidden behind private spaces, you have probably seen dozens of building exteriors never realizing these magical places of respite from the city exist.

But perhaps, like me, you have caught split second sights of what you're missing, maybe even glanced at beautiful courtyard flower gardens just as an authorized courtyard goer slipped through the door. Perhaps you have seen people sipping wine and making conversation and heard a musician plucking the strings of an upright bass. If you've ever had this experience, you've wondered what's going on behind those doors, who those people are, and whether they'd notice if you slipped inside. Such courtyard affairs are so full of charm that I felt particularly lucky to be an actual guest at one for a traditional Danish Friday bar (when the workplace comes together to socialize with colleagues on a Friday evening.)  On this particular Friday, an ice cream vendor was there to give out flavorful scoops of Svaneke Is, a sweets company based on the Danish island Bornholm.

Of course the ice cream is transported by bicycle!  This is Copenhagen after all.
This person requested guf on their ice cream (a traditional Danish topping that is a bit like creamy marshmallow fluff)
4 flavors to choose from!
Fresh whipped cream anyone?
Ice cream vastly improving the Friday afternoon of Roza, one of my colleagues. 
Special cargo bike basket designed for transporting tupperware containers full of waffle cones!
The last step on ice cream cone day was to grab your cone and walk up these narrow stairs to the main Friday Bar event.  I hope everyone can one day experience the lovely charm of a Copenhagen courtyard (preferably with ice cream.)  Now you know what kind of secret events happen behind those doors, and how tasty they are!
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