Velkommen til Danmark!
Trip Start May 20, 2007
10Trip End Ongoing
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Anyway after a teary farewell at the Airport with my family and friends, I started my journey across to London, via Hong Kong. It was very weird hearing all these Jamie Olivers all over the place once I landed in Heathrow, and cause I tend to feed off accents, I swear I could have been a full converted London git by the end of it!! From what I briefly got from my short visit in Britain, the cost of living is definitely more expensive, food and things are pretty much all the same, some good healthy takeaway places which is great! And they call ´chips´Crisps and ´hot chips/fries` Chips.
Then it was to Copenhagen, yes that was my next decided location and it was great that this was a short 2 hr flight! Now if you ever had to vote for the most schmick and modern looking country, Denmark would be up there. From the moment you get off the plan you feel as though you walked into a white designer world with new tech gadgets and architecture everywhere. And here the Danes wear these sophisticated new rectangle framed full glasses that sets them apart from anyone in the world. For example in London, I didn't know where my gate was for my flight, so I just followed these three ´apparent´looking danish people (cause i figured cause of their glasses they were Danes) all the way to the Copenhagen flight!!!
For my flight to Alborg, I needed to get to the domestic terminal - Terminal A and I was in Terminal C. My Nanna told me before I left Australia that I would need to change terminals, so I was all focused in trying to not get lost in the midst of this complex Danish language I could hear all around me and amazing shops at the airport, and just follow the white marble road to my destination. And was that a hike and a half!!! Talk about a work-out! A half an hour walk I swear and as I didn't see anyone on my way there (which so made me doubt where in the heck I was going) I am sure there would have been some sort of Passenger Transfer Service available, but hey at least I found it. Looking around the café that was right next to my gate, I checked out the food (yeah you know its my favourite thing!). They still have things like Mars Bars, Snickers etc, but everything else was all so foreign to me (..funny that)..and again alll so expensive. For a Coffee you are looking at 20KR which is like $5.00 AUS!
Flying with SAS, the flight attendants make the announcements in Danish which at first I was like ...um excuse me what did you say..we are going to crash?? However 5 minutes after they finish the announcement..or warning..they come back and repeat the whole same spiel in English, which was great and made a bit more sense to me.....we weren't crashing, just hijacked that's all. Good, good.
While flying into Copenhagen and Aalborg, I realised just how flat and green Denmark is. I swear, this is where all the worlds water is going! Shallow ocean shores lead onto green farm like pastures, reminding me very much of the traditional England scenery. The houses here are very small and cute, no more than 2 storeys and like a typical square house with a triangle roof. In the more old areas of a town you have the more traditional looking houses, where on the outskirts you get more modern art deco looking houses like the ones around the Northern Beaches in Auz.
At Alborg, I met up with Lars and it was really great to see him again! He hasn't changed a bit, still the same person we all knew in Australia,...probably a bit more mature if I had to add something.. He was thrilled to have the opportunity to welcome me to his home country and show me around after all this time. Driving to his town called Thisted, (on the wrong side of the road!!) we passed some amazing scenery. Again so green and very lush thick oak forests, opposed to our dry, dense and mixed bush that we enjoy back home. Its actually reminds me of Maine, USA.
There are plenty of wetlands and marshes here resulting in the wide range of bird population. Along the road there are little ´break bays´ where you can get out and stretch your legs whilst going into these cute little grass huts that have information about the birds and binoculars that you can have a peek through. Alot of these wetland areas are in the process of getting protected like a National Park.
We arrived in Thisted, 1 1/2 hrs later and I know I am using the word ´cute´alot but it is!! Situated right near an old shipping port, it enjoys a water views over looking the Fjord which is the large lake/river that cuts right through the upper half of Jutland. Lars lives right smack bang in the middle of the town (probably the size of Katoomba) and his apartment is on top of a Pizza Shop that is on one of the main walkways which only people can walk, no cars allowed. These walkways are very popular in Denmark. This town has pretty much everything you would need from a library to a tattoo store, and there is no short of pizza shops, supermarkets and weirdly, hairdressers (would have been good if you wanted to work here Jano!). And I am unfortunately in a MAC ZONE!
Cycling is a big thing in Denmark, so there is alot of cyclers around and cycle tracks along the town edge near the water. I am hoping to get myself an el cheapo bike and take the opportunity to do a bit of cycling around the place. and a good way to keep fit of coarse!!!
So pretty much the plan from here was to enjoy the week and do absolutely nothing, well explore and chill out. And from the past few days, I have a few points to make:
- DAYLIGHT: One of the best things here is that (in spring/summer) it doesn't get dark here till 11.30pm!!!! It was sooo weird and a little hard in the beginning trying to get used to going to bed in the light, so much so that we had to buy curtains for me!! And the sun rises around 5am, so you really do have a full day!
- LANGUAGE: This is definitely the most hard and difficult thing I have had to challenge myself on. I thought it would be ok but yeah it is hard, really hard. I can pick up the basics, like Manga Tak (Many thanks) and other sayings that one would use but I never realised how isolated and alone you can really feel (even when you are in a huge crowd of people) being in a country that you do not understand their language and have no history with. I really take english for granted. Like the people here do speak english, except for the older generation but still it is not their language of choice and wont speak it unless they have too. And you do feel such an outsider when you speak english. I am slowly trying to learn some of the language just so I can get by but they reckon it takes 3 months before you can speak it ok, eeekk. Lars is pretty much like my own personal translator, and it is so daunting when he speaks Danish to others and it is at a speed of a race horse! Gosh, if only. But hey my expectations of myself and the way it would be were obviously too out there and so I am just going to enjoy myself and see how the journey in this part of my trip takes me.
- FOOD (Ohh Maddy you know you want to know, as would I!!)
Ok now from my USA short trip in 2005, I realised how so very lucky we were in Australia to have the range of fresh produce that we have available to us. And from my short trip of Denmark to date, I am again reminded of this. Well thats not all entirely correct, they have a good selection of food but alot of their traditional meals entail alot of meat and cream. Which as many of you know aren't my highest loving things in the world! Frokust which is lunch the Danes enjoy Smørrebrod (open sandwiches) and the traditional toppings are pates, cheeses, salami type meats, raw or smoked herring. They use brød which is this beautiful moist wholemeal bread and then put on the toppings. I kinda revolutionized this by putting on avocado, cottage cheese (which is really weird here - not a sluggy consistency but more clotted into separate little balls), and sundried tomatoes etc. Tried tinned roe though, yeah I thought it sounded dodgy too, but after it was lightly fried a little, it was liked tinned salmon. Kinda nice. Drinking yoghurt is like Moove over here and dark chocolate is the best next thing to pork! Danes never invented Royal Copenhagen Ice Cream and sadly no sign of it - but every town you go in there will be an ice cream parlour. And what is even more shocking and very unlike a new aged country like Denmark, no coffee machines! Well except for tourist hubs like Copenhagen, ordering a coffee or hot chocolate in a cafe etc comes from those tacky excuse for coffee machines, like on train stations that are made all in one. No froth for the legendary cappuccino over here!
The windows here are way cool. They can open up from the side, or can open up from the top so the top of the window is leaning in. Very art deco!
The main town walkway that I mentioned has these mini water fountains all down the walkway. I think that they look like bursted water pipes, but hey if its art, I wont argue!
The toilet push button is more like a button you pull up and the higher you lift it the longer the toilet will flush.......interesting....something I am sure you wanted to know too.
All houses, not just a few but all, have the occupant/s names labelled on the door or letter box for all to see, particulary for the posty.
OTHER INTERESTING THINGS..well I think :-)
Princess Mary is trying to start the SLIP SLOP SLAP campaign in Denmark, doesn't seem to be going that well by all these tanned bodies amongst this white little Aussie.Hey at least I am supporting it!
As young as 15 year olds can go to the pub....but only can order soft drink.....yeah with a little whiskey!
Well they are my tales for the first week of my Euro trip. On the weekend I have been invited to go to Skagen with Lars´s family, a very exclusive part of Jutland (a state in Denmark) and Denmark in general where families and the well-off go for their holidays. Sounds very swishy indeed. Will keep you posted.
Take care all of you and smiles all the way.