Copenhagen, Denmark

 In Honeymoon Planning
Goddag! Welcome to Copenhagen, Denmark. Denmark is the gateway to Scandanavia. The population is very tall and predominantly blond haired and blue eyed.  Cassandra is Scandanavian and felt right at home here.  Danes are known to be the happiest people in the world.  Denmark is one of the wealthiest countries in the world and the government provides plenty of free services to provide a stress-free habitat. They even pick up the tab for University students. The climate is very temperate for their northern lattitude (very similiar to Seattle). Copenhagen is on the island of Zealand and is blessed with gorgeous coastline, harbors, lakes and canals. On a clear day you can see the Swedish coastline.  The people are extremely friendly and everyone speaks English as well as Danish.
We were fortunate to have friends living in Copenhagen. My high school pal Mike, his lovely wife Marie, and their dog Peary, are there on a two year stint for the US Embassy. We were able to stay with them while they showed us around the city.  Our first lesson was that all Danes ride bikes.  It is a way of life there. There are more bikes on the road than cars. We saw entire families on bikes and people walking their dogs on bikes. Everyone has a basket on their bike they use for storage. We drove past the local health club and the patrons had gym baskets. Since people rarely use cars, everyone seems to be in excellent shape!
Our first day we went to Nyhaven.  The Danish translation is “New Harbour”.   This is a manmade canal built during the reign of King Christian to bring glory to the city. Originally one of the busiest commercial shipping ports in the world, Nyhaven is now home to rows of brightly colored waterfront restaurants and shops. We took a boat tour of the canals. We enjoyed the spectacular views of the Little Mermaid statue, the Royal Palace, the Opera House and Kronborg Castle (the famed castle of Shakespeare’s Hamlet). After the tour we kicked back and enjoyed some amazimg local beer on tap. Tuborg and Carlsburg are the drink of choice in Denmark and they are both fantastic.
Our next stop was Tivoli Gardens.  Tivoli combines a family friendly amusement park with lush exotic gardens. A replication of the Taj Majal greets you at the entrance. The park is built around a lake and  features spectacular dining with numerous Michelin starred restaurants.  We ate at an amazing structure called the “Chinese Pagoda”. It’s a three story authentic oriental pagoda that lights up brilliantly at night. We tried out some of the rides.  Our favorite was the “extreme swing”  that rises up 80 meteres and swings you out over the lake. It was pretty amazing.
During our stay, Cass and I borrowed bikes and practiced the Danish lifestyle.  We rode around some of the parks and lakes and even biked out to see the Danish Circus (the best circus we’ve ever seen by a mile – they even had penguins). The weather was superb during our stay. The air is very clean and there is virtually no pollution. The only drawback to Copenhagen was the prices. They are on the Kroner, which trades at 5-1 against the US Dollar. Our dollars proved rather feeble over there as we payed $13 for a hot dog,  $5 a bottle for water and $29 at McDonald’s in the airport.  USA Today’s sell for $3, postcards go for $2 each and the currency exchange commissions milked us for up to 24 percent (restaurants even charged us an extra 6 percent for the priveledge of using a non-Danish credit card).  However, the high prices result in very little unwanted immigration and crime and homelessness are virtually non-existent.
Copenhagen is a 9-hour flight from Dulles Airport in DC. They are 6 hours ahead of Ocean City time.  It’s a great place to explore the origins of Viking culture.  We really enjoyed our time there and can now appreciate why the Danes are considered the happiest people on earth.  Farvel!
– The Rox

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