All your holiday options under just one roof
Let’s face it, the chances of repeating the glorious Danish summer of 2013 with 716 hours of sunshine and a meagre 136mm of rain are pretty slim. It was so good, people holidaying abroad were sending “Wish I was there” postcards home.
All the smart bets are on the weather gods dispatching another wet cloudy summer to Denmark to balance things up. So this year, then, has simply got to be the year for a holiday abroad. And if you are short of inspiration for potential destinations, a day at the Holiday and Leisure Fair (Ferie og Fritid) in Bella Centre from January 17-19 might give you a few pointers or merely the chance to dream of a place where the sun shines brightly and the sea is blue.
The Holiday Fair is divided up into areas dedicated to travel, camping, sport, golf, diving and holiday homes. You can treat your palate to gastronomic delicacies from the four corners of the globe, take a whirlwind world tour, try a whole variety of sports and leisure activities, get expert diving instruction, and be presented with potential destinations from the familiar travel agencies. For the young ones in need of a break, the Legoworld, Pippiworld and CPH Diveshow areas should keep them busy for a while.
Those looking to release their inner pilgrim might be tempted by the arrangements organised by the association of Danish Santiago Pilgrims and the Spanish Tourist Office. A mini-pilgrimage experience within the confines of the Bella Center is on offer with lectures, photos and tapas. The main emphasis, however, will be on promoting the incredible sense of tranquillity and comradeship that can be experienced on the road to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, far removed from the hustle and bustle of modern life.
The CPH Diveshow has its own special area where you can see the latest trends, equipment and resorts in the world of diving. Test dives are on offer in the two specially constructed pools for visitors wishing to take the plunge, and there are also dives especially for the budding junior Jacques Cousteaus in your family. The travel agencies present newer exotic destinations such as Palau, Guadalupe and Sudan as well as the traditional seaside resorts.
In the Around the World area, 25 embassies have come together to show off their individual holiday destinations and present some cultural snippets from countries as far afield as Argentina, Chile, the Philippines, Venezuela, Zambia and Japan. Lesser known European destinations such as Albania, Georgia and Hungary are also represented, as are the ever popular tourist destinations of Spain, Italy, Greece and Turkey. Don’t forget to pass through the Taste of Holiday (smagen af ferie) area to sample a plethora of the tasty titbits as you traverse the world in 80 minutes.
Some prefer to swap the swaying green palms and sandy beaches for sloping putting greens and sandy bunkers. The extensive Golf area teed up by the holiday fair includes information on the latest equipment, clothing and golf resorts around the globe. There is also a driving range, putting area and a golf simulator for those who want wield a club or two and put in a bit of indoor practice.
Closer to home, the family-friendly Langeland Festival has a stand if you are looking for an alternative to alcohol-fuelled frolics at Roskilde. This annual July festival on the long, thin island of Langeland has a children’s area the size of four football pitches and around 300 volunteers to make sure the kids have fun in the mini pools and bouncy castles, while the mums and dads valiantly attempt to relive former glories. For this you will obviously need a tent, or perhaps it’s time to splash out on a campervan.
Danes love their tents, caravans and campervans and things have certainly come a long way since the heyday of the brightly-coloured Volkswagen home from home on wheels and the steady drip-drip-dripping of a leaky tent. The busy Camping area has plenty of tents and caravans on display as well as stands representing all kinds of camping sites at home and abroad.
Tying the knot in 2014, or making romantic plans for renewing vows and a second honeymoon without the kids? By a strange coincidence, the Wedding Exhibition (Bryllupsmesse) is being held over the same weekend at Bella Center to give ambitious couples the chance to really get some serious wedding planning done and book an idyllic honeymoon at the same time – although possibly not in the cramped confines of a campervan.
If you truly can’t be bothered to make the effort and want to spend a rain-sodden summer watching the World Cup in front of the TV, then perhaps the impressive vibrating massage chairs at the wecare4u stand can remove the inevitable pain of England being humiliatingly eliminated in the opening phase.
Our prime minister, Helle Thorning Schmidt, began the year with the encouraging message that we are slowly emerging from the financial crisis. Perhaps the popular Bella Center exhibition will be the place where you can dare to contemplate opening your purse strings again and have some fantastic holiday experiences. In the words of Sir Cliff Richard: “You’ve seen it in the movies, so let’s see if it’s true!”
Holiday & Leisure Fair
Bella Center, Centre Boulevard 5, Cph S; starts Fri, ends Sun, open Fri & Sat 10:00-18:00, Sun 10:00-17:00; tickets: 90kr, under-12s: 45kr, family ticket (2 adults, two under-12s) 210kr; www.ferieibella.dk