One of my Christmas presents this past Christmas, and also one of my favourites, was a gift card from my boyfriend to what might just be the most magical place in Copenhagen: Tivoli. We had been here when we came to Copenhagen in September and we'd just visited what would become our apartment the next month.

If you don't know Tivoli, it's one of the oldest amusement parks in the world. Dating back to 1843 it will be 176 years old this year!

There is truly something magical about this place, especially because it's so old and it actually has attractions that are over 100 years old, including my favourite one: the 'Rutschebanen' or Roller Coaster, which is simply a little train going up and down really fast but it gives you MASSIVE tingles in your stomach and I always scream my heart out every time it goes down. (I say 'always' because we literally went in there non-stop by the end of our first visit last year, as there weren't a lot of people at that moment and we didn't have to wait in line)

The whole park looks unbelievably beautiful with its wooden facades, the primary colors, the beautiful buildings, plants, gardens and lights. No flickering neon lights in horrible colors, no annoying loud electronic music. It looks like you landed in an old movie and you're going to a really big fair in a park. 

Needless to say I was more than happy to spend New Year's Eve here with my boyfriend. Being in Tivoli is like entering a fairytale.

With all the Christmas decorations, the park was even more beautiful than I remembered. There were tons and tons of lights (I don't want to imagine the work that was put into hanging the thousands of light strings into all the trees), Christmas trees and even 'snow' that looked real yet at the same time fairytale-like. There were tiny trains driving by themselves around a giant Christmas tree with presents underneath, making choo choo sounds. 

As if the whole day wasn't mesmerizing enough, there were fireworks one hour before midnight, and they were Copenhagen's biggest fireworks, which does mean A LOT (we discovered that later on).

I'm usually not a big fan of fireworks, I think they are loud, make a lot of mess, they can even be dangerous when done by non-professionals, and I'm just generally not easily impressed by them, as throughout my experiences they have all kind of looked the same. But not this time! Was it because we were in the park itself, close to where they were fired, or was it because they were actually so beautiful? I don't know, maybe it had just been enough years since I'd seen big fireworks in person to appreciate them again. Aside from the fact that it was a little too busy at the place where we all stood to watch it in the park, I loved it. 

It's really hard to capture fireworks on camera (especially with a phone) but I took some pictures anyway, even if it's just for the memory.

Later that night when we went home, we were confronted with one of these things that make you realize you're not in your home country anymore: in Denmark, everyone, ANYONE can buy fireworks and shoot them between December 27 and January 1. I can tell you there is no way you won't notice this. It's absolutely insane. They buy it from a huge fireworks market next to the station close to where we live, they even take the train with arms full of heavy duty fireworks that I believe aren't even legal to have in Belgium. What started with some loud bombing sounds the days before New Year's Eve, usually by some young fellows in the streets, ended in an absolute MADNESS on the actual night. When we tried to come back from our favourite peer where we sat when the year changed, it was like navigating through a war zone. People were shooting fireworks EVERYWHERE. Drunk people, men with young children, on the sidewalks, in the MIDDLE of the streets, literally everywhere.

There was smoke hanging in the sky and ashes tumbling down into your eyes anywhere you'd go. I have to say I was absolutely petrified, as it was not just extremely loud, hurting our eyes, and intrusive but downright dangerous as they didn't care that people and cars were coming by. I have never seen anything like this. Even days after New Years's Eve, the streets were still filled with dirt and burn marks from the fireworks that were shot. It's fascinating how Denmark is such an example to other countries in many ways yet seems to have some things like this that are completely out of control. Apart from this, I still really love it here though :) Luckily, it's only once a year.

Another classic Danish thing - one that I DO like - is for kids to wear ski suits, all winter. Babies, toddlers, young children: all of them walk around (or sit in a stroller) on normal days wearing these and it's absolutely adorable (and very smart!).

Another typical, kids-related thing in Scandinavia is to let your baby nap outside during the day. They have lots of warm clothes and blankets and a baby monitor, but they are just sleeping outside on their own. It's not a weird thing at all.