God dag, everyone.
After a two week hiatus, I return to talk about a very long and very enjoyable trip abroad. I’ve never considered myself particularly narrow-minded or uncultured, but I will say from the start that visiting each of these countries could not be substituted by merely reading about them. Each has unique character and an omnipresent distinction from my status quo.
First up: Copenhagen.
Our flight was scheduled to depart at 5:40pm, but mechanical issues delayed us by an hour. The SAS flight was comfortable and we were fed reasonably well. As it was an overnight flight that landed at 8am, I intended to sleep for 5 hours and power through the day before we made it to the ship, but I’m lucky if I got three and it wasn’t all in one go.
I’ll admit to a certain degree of intimidation and anxiety visiting a foreign country with no safety net besides the ubiquitous understanding of English that became a theme of the trip. Some signs were bilingual, others were only in Danish. The most stressful part of this first day was when we tried to store our bags at luggage lockers using a system entirely in the latter. It took 7 failed attempts to get it right.
The Danish rail brought us to the interior of the city, just a short walk from Tivoli Gardens. Our Hop On, Hop Off tour left from there and allowed us to sightsee. We obligatorily visited the Little Mermaid statue, then did a nice walk around Kastellet, which is a natural terrain star fortress nearby. We noticed a lot of joggers running the outline of the star.
As a side note: everyone in Denmark is tall, fit and attractive. This is a fact. As a visitor, people may seem slightly standoffish, which is characteristic of their social fabric. Once you tear down walls, it becomes much easier.
We had Smorrebrod for lunch, which is a Danish open sandwich. I had Danish meatballs with sweet and sour red cabbage on dark, dense rye bread. Delicious. Our server left two types of lard on the table to spread directly on the bread, which was different and added to the experience.
After lunch we saw a bit more of the city then decided we were getting tired and needed to make it to the ship. We retrieved our bags and grabbed a cab out to Oceankaj. The trip cost about 60 Kroner less than we budgeted, making it a success.
It’s hard to form a concrete opinion of a city with seven hours and no sleep, but Copenhagen was mostly what it promised. Cyclists were out in force and it was fascinating to see how efficiently both the bike lanes and the mass transit operated. I would definitely like more time to spend among the locals and enjoy daily life and nightlife. And I’d love to ride my bike around the beautifully crafted paths that should exist in every city in the United States.
Next stop: Oslo.