Copenhagen 2021: Day One – Security, Adventures and an Exciting Bus Trip

I regularly open the editor to write a blog post and then run out of time or just get writer’s block and don’t get any further than an idea (or at least the inspiration of an idea). But a new adventure has come our way so it’s time to think about writing more starting with our trip to Copenhagen. Well, hopefully, more frequently (I’ve been thinking about Blogtober after seeing Super Busy Mum post about it on Instagram but I’m going to want to make sure that one is a bit more planned given the crazy that might be happening.

Those of you who follow me on social media will know that Chris has been in Copenhagen since October last year, there had been a plan but Covid restrictions had messed with it so we had to take each step of the plan at a time, including celebrating Christmas in May when he actually managed to get home for a visit.

The next stage of the plan is coming into effect, this included us visiting for around 2 weeks this summer. We actually set off for our mini-adventure on the 16th August with the next part of the adventure to follow soon.

Day One – 16th August

After saying goodbye to Mum and Dad after the music quiz we take part in each week, I went (almost) straight to bed – I am not a morning person so needed to make sure I was organised and ready when my parents were due to arrive at 5:30 am to help get the car loaded and take us to the airport.

At 5.25 am I woke up. That was when I came around enough to hear the alarm on Alexa and the alert on my watch. I got out of bed and woke Jaxon before trying to get dressed before I woke Rex. Once Jaxon was awake he was so excited that Rex was awake too. I got ready quickly and as I sent Jaxon downt o get breakfast, my Mum and Dad arrived to take us to the airport.

We had 30 minutes to get loaded and on the road so Mum and I attempted to get Rex and I fed at least something to keep us going until we got to the airport and were able to get something else at the airport for ‘second’ breakfast.

Rex wouldn’t eat his breakfast (partially because he was still sleepy but secondly because he was so excited to see Grandma and Grandpa) and between being on edge and being excited, eating the banana I did have made me feel a little queasy – not good!

sunrise over the bypass

As we drove towards the bypass outside Bedford, we noticed the sunrise. We’d missed the beginning of it but the sun was so low in the sky it still felt really special – the sun rising on a new adventure/chapter in a way.

There were a couple of hiccups where we’d taken a slightly wrong route, due to the lack of signs in but we still made good time (we were aiming to get there at 7:30 and we got out of the car at 7:25 – well done Dad!). We were aiming for 3 hours before the flight to make sure we had time for everything – it’s our first abroad trip since February 2020 which means it’s our first trip post-Brexit and following Covid.

To make sure we were in line with restrictions, I had been for a Covid test on Saturday and received the results very early Sunday morning (phew! One less thing to worry about!)

Having loaded the trolley at the car we then had to take everything back off the trolley again so that we could go through security. There were three of us travelling which worked out as 2 wheelie cases, 1 bigger backpack, 2 smaller backpacks, and a tote bag. (Along with Rex’s Doona which is great in everyday life but a real pain as it has no storage space (like a basket underneath) and the handle curves a bit too much to be able to hook anything to the handle. (Tote bags kind of work if you tie the handles).

There was a really long queue at security and juggling everything was really quite stressful. There was a guy in the queue behind us who was really helpful when Rex dropped one of his toys in the queue as I couldn’t bend down to pick it up with everything else I was carrying. Leading up to the actual machines there are signs that say to take out your electronics etc while in the queue so you’re not holding up the line. Well trying to do that and juggle everything else was not going to happen so I ended up having to sort it all out at the conveyor belt bit. Between all the bits we had so many trays between us – then there was a query with some of Rex’s snacks/drinks so that caused all our trays to back up the queue even more. OH MY GOODNESS! It turned out that he could take fruit juice onboard but it still had to be less than 100ml (which hadn’t been entirely clear when I’d checked the rules etc). I was able to pour out the juice into one of his bottles and take that through instead (but during this whole discussion we’re still holding up the queue).

Having sorted that bit out we headed through to find something to eat and drink as well as somewhere to sit and pass the time until the gate was assigned for the flight. We ended up with the tiniest brownies from WHSmith along with drinks. Definitely with tiely with hindisght, we should have carried on a bit further aorund tot he rea (we should have carried on a bit further round to the restaurants bit and got something to eat properly!)

Waiting for the gate to be assigned

We found a spot to wait in where we could see the departures screen but sometimes it wasn’t entirely clear (which meant one of us – usually Jaxon had to get up and go and see whether it had been updated). When it was eventually released we were able to head along to the gate – which was a little challenging trying to navigate a buggy and suitcases but we made it! We had priority boarding which was handy because by that point, I was getting worked up and a little stressed and just needed to sit down and be on our way.

We made it to the gate and a “Manual Bag Tag” was added to the Doona. Having had our passport and boarding passes checked we could head to the plane. The problem was that our Ryanair flight involved us going onto the tarmac and then up the stairs into the plane. There’s no lift at the gate so you have to go down two flights of stairs. At first I go back to the desk and ask if someone could assist me, the gentleman I spoke to was polite but basically said “No do it yourself”. I get back to Jaxon and Rex who were waiting at the top of the stairs and decide that I’m going to have to leave them at the top, and run up and down the stairs a couple of times to get everything sorted (Don’t panic, it was okay). I take the first case downstairs, and then get back to the top of the stairs. Another passenger comes through the door and offers to help, Yes please thank you (phew!), he takes the second case down the stairs and as I go to pick Rex’s buggy up another passenger offers to help too (clearly the overstressed, overheated mother travelling with two small children was working for me lol). As I get to the bottom of the stairs the other case it gone, momentary panic as I adjust my eye line to out of the downstairs door and there is Passenger 1 with both cases in one hand and his own suitbag in the other hand! Rockstar! I’m very thankful and say thank you to my helpers. As I get to the bottom of the stairs, I work out the logistics again, if Jaxon can take his backpack onto the flight and find our seats, I can again run up and down the stairs and get our things onto the flight. Mr Suitbag Man says “let me help you again” and takes the two suitcases on to the plane following Jaxon, then leaves them in the row next to Jaxon to find his own seat. Now it’s my turn and still a challenge, too many bags, too few hands and a (wriggly) baby! I’m told by the ground crew person that the Doona can’t go on (unless Rex has his own seat paid for – nope at this point he’s “babe in arms” and riding on my lap instead of in a seat of his own). Fine, one less thing to carry but doesn’t solve how we get on the plane. At this point, there’s a bit of a team effort, ground crew person takes the buggy, once I’ve taken Rex out and folded it down sort of one handedly. I’m told that the buggy will be on the tarmac when we arrive at Copenhagen (it wasn’t but I’ll come back to that in a minute). We manage to get everything on and I sort out getting us arranged. The row in front of us is already full so I have to work my way along the plane with the different bags but we get there in the end. Thankfully we also ended up with an empty seat on our row anyway so 3 of us to 3 seats.

So we made it, we were on the plane, our bags were on the plane. I was strapped in with the baby extension bit – Rex was not happy that he had to sit still. Jaxon wanted to close the shutter on the window but couldn’t. The wasn’t too bad, once we were in the air I did relax more but was still a little worried I’d forgotten something or something could still go wrong.

And oh it did!

We landed in Copenhagen and managed to get everything off the plane. All bags accounted for, all people accounted for. Where’s the buggy? I ask the first ground crew person I see. Nope it won’t be on the tarmac, it’ll be at baggage claim (Baggage claim is after passport control, it’s the last room you go through before customs and then the outside door). How do I get us, the bags, the boys and my sanity all the way to baggage claim as well as going through Passport Control?

Well I did my best to stay calm and be polite even though I was a little cross. The ground crew lady got a bit snotty with me (and I’m surprised I didn’t burst into tears or something!), in the end she offered to help to take the bags into the terminal (at which point I said something about that helped for this bit but how would I get to Baggage Claim without the Doona?). Once we got inside the terminal she then found a trolley, the ones at Copenhagen Airport are kind of tiny but enough that we could get Rex in the baby/child seat on it, one of the suitcases on the bottom rack bit and Jaxon’s backpack – phew!

We’d arrived at Gate F101 (I think). At Copenhagen Airport, Ryanair flights come into the F gates which are the furthest away from everything else in the airport! Which means you walk what feels like miles even to get to Passport Control. The slightly confusing thing was that everything was still labelled to direct you towards Covid Testing – which we didn’t need, so we ended up walking all the way to the Covid Testing bit at Gates C only to find we didn’t need to go there, so we had to double back on ourselves.

When we did arrive at Passport Control, the queue was a little crazy (As it would happen by the time we’d followed the queue around part of the room, the end of the queue had moved back alot further than it had been when we got there – I was grateful we’d joined when we did!). It took us around 45 minutes to get through Passport Control. Another lovely person directly in front of us, had asked if we get priority because I have small kids with me. I said I didn’t think so and we’d just wait our turn. She decided that, that wasn’t fair and she’d go and ask for me. She reappeared a few minutes later and no it wasn’t an option, she then offered that I swap with her and she’d go behind us. I said that was very lovely but she should keep her space (After all she’d just helped me, and I also decided that if anyone kicked off that she was queue jumping then I’d tell them off because she was being lovely).

When I got to the desk, I had to take my mask off so that the Officier could check my passport was indeed mine, she commented that I looked very hot (I was wearing my coat. It takes less space if I wear it rather than try and pack it in my bag!) I commented that I was sweating buckets! She checked my Passport and my Covid Vaccine information then stamped my passport. At that point, I’d clocked the stamp but didn’t entirely register it. It was only later when I told Chris what happened did I remember that I’d got a stamp in my passport. Prior to Brexit, the UK was part of the Schengen Area and you’d get your passport checked but it woudn’t be stamped – but now it would be. Exciting – maybe the only benefit of Brexit because I’m a nerd?

The next part after that is Baggage Claim, we checked the board but our flight wasn’t on there – I’m sure we hadn’t taken that long! I then looked over at “Oversized Baggage Claim” (I think that’s what it was called) and I could see lots of other buggies, so we started to head in that direction and there it was! YES! There was our Doona! YEAH!

We had a shuffle of the bags and baby and got ourselves ready and just had to do the last bit. It felt a little like there should be some big crescendo of cheesy music as the crowd parted and we spotted Chris in the crowd – he’d even found a slightly higher bit to stand on to try and find us. (which added to the happy ending/movie moment right?)

He’d come prepared too with drinks and snacks because it was now 2pm-ish and we were all hungry and thirsty. We sat outside the airport near the train station entrance and had a mini picnic of sorts. We then caught the train first of all which took us into the city centre then we changed to the bus to take us to the nearest stop in Nordvest. We were home!!

I’d made it, my first flight without other adults and both boys. Phew! Okay, maybe some adventures aren’t all that scary once you beat them into submission lol.

I look so grumpy is this picture but I promise I wasn’t. I think it was a combination of relief and the early morning catching up with me!

When we got to the apartment, Chris had decorated for a party, we also had party food like pizza and other nibbles. He’d also made a chocolate cake to share with us. It was so good!