Hygge: Our Trip to Scandinavia

October 3rd, 2018


Hygge.  However you pronounce it (Hooga, Hhyooguh, or Heurgh), what is important is what it feels like.  It is all about feelings of intimacy, cosiness of the soul and taking pleasure in the moment.  It is the Danish way to live well.  The Scandinavian inhabitants have been designated the happiest people in the world.  The word Hygge expresses all that makes life happy.  The above scene captures the elements of hygge well; the warmth of throws, the texture and comfort of pillows, flowers, candles and the close intimacy of a welcoming table.  Keep in mind, this was just at a humble cafe on a quiet street.  Imagine what it would be like in a Scandinavian home.

Copenhagen 2

All over Copenhagen beauty abounds.  In spite of long dark winters, people manage to fill the warmer months with flowers and a buoyant attitude.  Bicycle lanes line every major and minor street and riders are given priority.  There are more bicycles in Copenhagen than cars.  We saw people of all ages two-wheeling their way through town.

Copenhagen Michigan girls

We shared a riverfront lunch table with two lovely young ladies from Ann Arbor, Michigan, our home state.  They had just arrived from Iceland sans luggage and were in a funk about it.  It pleased me so much that after a pleasant time with them, they thanked us for lightening their mood and we exchanged phone numbers.  We kept track of them in their travels.

Oslo Michigan girls

We reconnected in Oslo, Norway and had dinner with them.  They never did find their luggage until the end of the trip but managed to have fun with less “baggage” anyway.  A friendship was forged.  “The art of hygge is the art of expanding your comfort zone to include other people”. From “The Little Book of Hygge; The Danish Way to Live Well”.

Copenhagen Hotel

Even our hotel in Copenhagen, The Admiral, was cozy with wood posts and beams and soft bed linens.  Hygge even has a dictionary of sorts.  Hyggerbukser means “That one pair of pants you would never wear in public but are so comfortable that they are likely to be, secretly, your favorites.” Hyggerkrog means “The nook of a kitchen or living room where one can sit and have a hyggerlig time.  But my favorite is Hyggesnak; “Chit-chat or cosy conversation that doesn’t touch on controversial issues.”  Seems appropriate to our times.  There will be more of our trip in future posts which includes Norway, Sweden, Finland and Estonia.

I apologize for being gone for so long. It has been a busy summer.  Time has slipped by too quickly.  But I am back and looking forward to hearing from all of you.

24 responses to “Hygge: Our Trip to Scandinavia”

  1. Lynne Beattie says:

    You have been missed! Love hearing about your amazing trip! Welcome home!

  2. Penny at Enjoying The Simple Things says:

    I am looking forward to hearing all about your adventure! Glad you are home safe and sound. See you soon!

  3. Carolyn says:

    Enjoyed the first pictures from your trip. Looking forward to seeing more !

  4. Darla says:

    Welcome home…looks like a fabulous trip!

  5. Happy to have you back, you were missed by all of us. It sounds like you had a wonderful trip that I will enjoy reading about as you get settled by in. Welcome home!

    • Penny says:

      Thanks Karen. I look forward to hearing all about your wonderful trip also. Hope you have settled in at home and are ready to share.

  6. Dorthe Svane says:

    I have been reading your blog for a long time, enjoying it very much. Bring danish I am happy to hear that you enjoyed your stay in Copenhagen and got familiar with hygge???? From reading your blog I do think that you had a good sense of it from your own home beforehand.

    • Penny says:

      Hi Dorthe! Your comment makes me happy. I did fall in love with the spirit I found in Copenhagen. So thrilled to have a Danish follower. I do try to have a welcoming home and pleased that you picked up on the vibe.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Hi Penny,
    I’m so happy to see you up and running again!
    The danish sense of warmth and welcoming is something you already do so graciously!

    • Penny says:

      I would say that you have the same sense of welcome. Looking forward to lots of fun this Fall and especially New Years.

  8. Jane says:

    What a great placer to visit! How did you decide? I have a book about hygge, its very interesting. I skip around in it a little. I think the bed linens and the table in the first photo represent hygge very well. And the cozy conversation is something every family should strive for, especially on holiday!! ;-D


    • Penny says:

      Hi Jane, David’s Mother came to the US from Finland when she was 9 years old. We were researching his family history as part of the trip. Good to hear from you.

  9. Monique says:

    How nice your time with the girls.They must have appreciated you so much!
    Looks like a great trip.:)The roses:)

    • Penny says:

      Loved the trip Monique. I thought France was the ultimate destination. But there are so many fascinating places. So many, so little time.

  10. Susan says:

    That is so sweet of you to connect with the two girls so warmly. We have good friends who were also in Scandinavia this summer. They loved it also.

  11. Ina Gawne says:

    What a lovely post, and your trip to Denmark sounds wonderful! Having grown up with Danish traditions, although I am Canadian born, I have always carried them forward in our own lives and in our children’s. If you ever get to go back there again, Danish Christmas is something to behold.

    • Penny says:

      Thank you Ina. I have heard about Danish Christmas traditions and would love to experience it. I’m sure you celebrate with warmth and style.

  12. Marisa says:

    I am happy to have discovered your blog! I can’t wait to see more about the trip.:)

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