Snow Covered Copenhagen

Snow Covered Copenhagen

How do you take a picturesque city with beautifully colored buildings, elegant canals, and wide pedestrian streets and make it even more picture perfect?   You add snow.  At least, that seems to be the approach Copenhagen takes a couple of times a year.   Despite its northern location, Copenhagen’s close proximity to the sea and placement along the Gulf Stream keeps it surprisingly warm and snow free for most of the year.   Over the last week, however, a cold spell hit the country dumping more than 20cm of snow across parts of Denmark.  While it also meant that temperatures plunged below 0 Celsius, the result has been worth it!

Eager to enjoy the city before the snow melted or got too dirty, I bundled up and headed out into the cold to capture these photos and shoot the above video.  As I walked the city center the snow periodically alternated between large light snowflakes and small slow-falling flakes that were few and far between.  Combined with the colors of the streets, the warm yellow glow of the street lamps, and the overhead lighting of the holiday lights that decorate many of the larger pedestrian streets, the snow left me feeling as though I’d been transported into a magical snow-globe. Pinch me, I am really here.

Snow Covered Copenhagen

Despite the cold I still found the streets crowed with tourists wandering the city and locals out doing their shopping. A few of the buskers had suited up and decided to brave the cold, casting the haunting notes of clarinet, accordion, and violin drifting across streets that date back to the 1400s and 1500s. In other areas the rich smells of freshly made crepes (pancakes as the Danes call them) and caramelized almonds offer a feast for the senses that leave passerby’s stomachs rumbling.

Snow Covered Copenhagen

Despite the snow and black ice most Danes still bundle up, layer on their scarves, and then hop on their bikes. It’s an amazing sight to see and definitely more than a little inspiring. I guess it makes sense, if I’m silly enough to enjoy walking around in the snow, biking in it isn’t all that different…right?

Piled Bikes in Snow

Still, not everyone is up for a snowy bike ride home, especially after a night out at the bars, which contributes no doubt to the piles of snow-covered bikes that line the city’s streets. This dogpile was especially messy. Apparently a few bikes had been double-parked during the weekend and then fallen over, knocking the others into a giant confused and snow-covered jumble.

Copenhagen Christmas Market

Copenhagen takes its holiday decorations seriously and has beautiful heart-shaped lights that hang over most of the larger streets. It also has a collection of wonderful Christmas markets. The one located near Christiansborg Slot at Amagertorv is one of my favorites! You can also find other markets in nearby squares and along Nyhavn.

Copenhagen Christmas Market

The market stalls in Amagertorv are solidly built, have beautiful facades, and a wonderful traditional holiday feel to them. They’re a mixture of random goods, warm-weather gear, food, and of course, Gløgg/Mulled Wine.

Copenhagen Christmas Market

I found Danes and tourists alike huddled together, hands wrapped around smoking cups of Gløgg, eying hot dogs and other delicious meats as they cooked in nearby stalls on circular suspended grills.

Copenhagen Christmas Market

The market even boasted a tiny Santa ride for little kids. Little more than a giant train set, the ride made a very tight circle around the Christmas Market’s central Christmas tree. What the ride lacked in size, it made up for with ornately decorated cars and a vibrantly decorated tree.

Snow Covered Roses

Another thing that always surprises me is the flower stalls. Despite the cold weather, there are several small street stands that stay open year round. In the photo above you can see the wide variety of roses and flowers they offer, all beautifully covered by a soft layer of snow.

Snow and Flowers in Copenhagen

Beyond cut flowers, they also offer live flowers waiting to be planted. Perfect holiday gifts which are somehow perfectly resistant to the cold weather and damp kiss of half-frozen snow.

Danish Bakery

I finished my stroll with a quick walk past a traditional Danish bakery with its windows full of stacked fresh bread, deserts and delicious Danish treats.

Danish Bakery

Cold, and ready to retreat back to the warmth of my apartment, I found myself playfully walking through the snow…a light near-skip to my step. There’s something about Copenhagen that always leaves me charmed. The more time I spend here, the more I fall in love. It is an amazing place and an incredible feeling. If you get the chance, don’t just assume that Copenhagen is a summer city. It has a lot to offer no matter what time of year it is!

Revisiting 17 of My Favorite Photos From My 2007 Europe Trip

September 11th 2007 I caught a plane to Europe with a one way ticket and and the butterflies of uncertainty fluttering away in my chest.  What followed was a three month trip that started in Scotland and wound its way down through Europe to Crete before looping back up to fly home from Athens on December 12th of that year. At the time I shot on a Canon Powershot G6. I was recently looking back through some of my old photos and decided to touch up the color on a few of the shots and re-post them.  Here are 17 that made the cut.  Enjoy!


Number 1 – Glencoe Valley, Scotland

Scottish Castle

Number 2 – Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland

 Scottish Waterfall

Number 3 – Unknown Scottish Waterfall, Scotland

Big Ben in London

Number 4 – Big Ben, London England

German Fairytale Castle

Number 5 – Neuschwanstein, Fussen Germany

German Foggy Forest

Number 6 – Woods Near Neuschwanstein, Fussen Germany

Swan Lake in Germany

Number 7 – Swan Lake near Neuschwanstein, Fussen Germany

Plitvice Lakes Croatia

Number 8 – Plitvice Lakes, Croatia

Plitvice Lakes Croatia

Number 9 – Plitvice Lakes, Croatia

Plitvice Lakes, Croatia

Number 10 – Plitvice Lakes, Croatia

Plitvice Lakes Croatia

Number 11 – Plitvice Lakes, Croatia


Number 12 – Roman Cathedral, Rome Italy

San Marino at Dusk

Number 13 – San Marino Castle, San Marino

San Marino

Number 14 – San Marino Castle, San Marino


Number 15 – Ponte Vecchio, Florence Italy

Cinque Terra

Number 16 – Cinque Terra, Vernazza Italy

Cinque Terra

Number 17 – Cinque Terra, Manarola Italy

Always fun going back through old photos and posts and remembering past adventures and magical places!  I hope you enjoyed the shots!

The Phoenix Zoo Trip Number Two!

This past weekend I felt the urge to once again make the trek across the valley to the Phoenix Public Zoo. Though mainly there to see how well I would be able to blend in with the wild life I decided to take along a camera or two for kicks. It was a beautiful fall day and just cool enough that many of the animals were out and about for a leisurely stroll.

While some of you may not particularly care for the Phoenix Zoo and prefer its larger cousins to the east and west I’ve always found it to be rather enjoyable. There’s something about animals at play that brings mirth to the soul while relaxing the mind and body.

Beyond that, I’ve always found that animals give some rather spectacular advice.  Like the photo above for example.  A wonderful illustration that two heads and corresponding ideas can blend near seamlessly if only you take the right approach and spend a bit of time together.

Or, as this Giraffe was so kind as to illustrate, perspective really can change everything.  I know for my part, I’ve had days where this shot pretty much summed everything up.  It’s a bit like a Giraffe’s version of the whole Ostrich with its head in the sand thing.

One should also remember that Quacks…

Really do come in all different shapes and sizes.

As a final note, I suppose I should also point out, that with stalwart resolve and enough gall you can climb to any height.  Just remember, that there is almost always another branch above or beside you.  The trick is being willing to jump for it.

I suppose at this point that that’s enough monkeying around.  So, without further adieu I invite you to view the rest of the 100+ photos from my latest Zoo trip and higher resolution versions of the shots included in this post over in my photo gallery starting on page 4 of the Zoo Album: View them.