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 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