Copenhagen - day 37
Trip Start Aug 06, 2011
24Trip End Nov 13, 2011
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Where I stayed
First Hotel Kong Frederick
i am in love! i love denmark, i love the danes, i love copenhagen and its quaint little city, and i love its monarchy - i knew i would love the monarchs though, i had a danish friend and his family told me all about queen margaret, plus i have that aussie princess connection..lol...i MUST do a proper scandanavia trip! my friend MelB (who i will be meeting up with in just ONE WEEK to go to the greek islands and rome) will be spending a few days in stockholm...from what i hear she should love it there too so i smell a girl's trip to scandanavia in the making
every single thing here has been awesome...the food, the countryside, the people, the little itty bitty unpretentious castles...i can't rave about it enough
i had a bit of a scary start - not real life scary, just me having a bit of a freak out scary...the train out of berlin was 1.5 hours late and we had a ferry to catch...this train (the scandanavian night express) actually goes onto a ferry boat which has train tracks on it (have you ever heard of such a thing?? i found out about it on youtube), so we couldn't just catch the next ferry, it was that one or nothing...the train made it though, and at 3am we rolled onto the ferry...i got out to have a look only to see the wide, black expanse of the baltic sea and some fisherman-type of older scandanavian men all around, so i scurried back to the lower decks and into my cabin and went to sleep, telling myself that we weren't really about to sail off the edge of the world
8am we roll off the ferry into sweden but had a "problem with the locomotive", as the conductor put it, so i missed my connecting train from sweden to denmark...the cute little conductor told us all not to worry about a single thing, and that we were getting dropped off at the closest train station in sweden, and the sweedish people are very nice...lol, wut??? true facts, the train did in fact just go to the nearest stop where we were all told to get off..."you, train 1B go to copenhagen", and he was gone...freezing cold, in the wrong country, and apparently train 1B would get me to copenhagen
it did though :) it turns out i was only 2 stops away from where i was meant to be (lol...) and after we went over the Oresund Bridge (the longest bridge in the world), i stepped out into denmark and wonderful wonderful copenhagen
the weather was on the cold side, but not icy...when it said it would be 17 degrees, it was actually 17 all day long, it didn't fluctuate, it wasn't windy...the sun would come out at times and everything would be yellow, but it didn't actually get any warmer
everything looks so different here...everyone is tall and blonde and green eyed, and i don't speak a SINGLE word of danish, not even hello or thank you...and then to see the sun come out but not feel its warmth is some confusing shit...i was feeling pretty damn far from home my first morning here...this is the furthest from home i have ever been, and the furthest north on planet earth i have ever been
but it was uphill from there, every step better than the one before...i did the obligatory city tour and boat cruise, watched the changing of the guard at the palace (and margaret was home!) then walked around the beautiful curved streets and soaked in the atmosphere...it's all just amazing
the streets were built curved in the middle ages to safeguard the city from pirates - their canon balls couldn't hit any important buildings that way...denmark made a lot of it's money when they were an absolute monarchy (hence why they still love their monarchs), and their king heroes are King Frederick (the numbered something) and his son King Christian IV...the passage between denmark and sweden from the north sea into the baltic sea was the only way trade ships could get from mainland europe to russia, so the kings placed a tax on any ship wanting to cross those waters - and they all did...the deal was, you paid according to the value of your cargo, which was based on an honour system...the captain of the ship would declare the value and pay his passage fee accordingly, but the king had the right to purchase your cargo if he thought it a fair price - so you declare it too low, the king could buy everything outright for that low price...declare it too high so he wouldn't buy it, then you'd pay more taxes...it was win/win for the danes for hundreds of years
today, the danes pay pretty high income tax but have a rather high standard of living...this makes for a very well functioning city, with perfect public services and well-maintained public areas...it's safe, it's welcoming, it has tourists from all over the world, good food, good beer (so i'm told..i had some Carlsberg, shit is awful!) and it's pretty...what more can you ask?
i had the best salmon EVER, and i am no fan of red fish
florence and copenhagen, top marks from me...i've been to a lot of places and these two are right at the top of my best ever list
youtube scandanavian night express
danish royal family
ps...had a few hours to spare before my next train to amsterdam...walked into a hair salon, asked for highlights, walked out with the lightest and shortest hair i have had in about 2 decades...LOLERAMA!
pps...i'm on the train from copenhagen to amsterdam and we've stopped on the border of denmark and germany, so i'm posting this quickly while i have internet access...spell check be damned!