Less than 10% of Danes are obese. After a few days here we are beginning to understand why. We aren't breakfasting at our modest hotel because they charge $21 for the first meal of the day. For breakfast today we had one cup of coffee (no refills) one piece of bread with one piece of cheese, cucumbers and green peppers on the side. Total cost? - $6. We booked a food tour and asked the hotel how best to get there. They advised a bus - $5 one way per person for a walk that ended up taking us less than half an hour. I don't know how many miles we walked altogether, but we were on our feet from 8:30 - 4, probably walking off what we had eaten on the food tour. The town abounds with bike riders. In places they have double decker bike racks because there are so many bikes parked, there isn't room for more. Part of the motivation is financial, but the Danes are also a very green people.
We've taken food tours in many cities and find them a unique and interesting way to get to know a place. Food tours are a novel thought here. There seems to only be one and it has been in business for less than two years. But in that time our guide had identified a huge variety of interesting things for us to sample. We met her in a new market that is part of the Danish trend to reinvent what and how food is eaten here. It is hard to produce fresh fruits and vegetables in a country that is so cold and has such a short growing season. For a long time the Danes thought poorly of themselves and their cooking and looked to other countries for recipes and inspiration. They imported much of what they ate. Then a few chefs began to reexamine locally grown and raised products and revisited old recipes. Some went foraging on the beach and in the parks, looking for new green stuff to add to the mix. At the moment they are on the cutting edge internationally and some of their restaurants have waiting lists miles long. I'm sure the prices they charge match.
But for today's tour this meant that we heard the words locally sourced and organic countless times. The smørebrød (open faced sandwiches) that had been out of fashion as poor people's food, have become works of art, combining myriad ingredients on one small piece of gnarly bread. The painstaking process of putting these sandwiches together made me think of sushi. Danes love their cheese and sausage. Our guide said that if you make them really well and from scratch, they are so tasty and satisfying you don't overeat. Try me! Beer is a big deal here. Carlsberg is the big brewery that exports around the world, but micro breweries flourish as well.
After the tour we climbed 400 feet up the Round Tower for a scenic overview of the city. The tower was built by King Christian IV who seems to have been responsible for just about every major old building we saw below us and it had a ramp rather than stairs which wound its way to the top. As we peered down on this low rise city, we could admire the spires of churches and major government buildings.