Saturday, June 2, 2012

Copenhagen, Denmark (part one)

And now for the third city on our Scandinavian Adventure: Copenhagen!

I know, I know, I loooove every place we go to, or most. BUT for real, Copenhagen wins. It is my favorite city. Not because there are a tons of sights to see, but because of the lifestyle. Before we went, we read that the Danes in Copenhagen were some of the happiest people in the world. After biking around for 3.5 days,  I can see why. 

We took a train and bus from Gothenburg, Sweden, on to Copenhagen. Not sure why, but we could only train part of the way. The other part was by bus. Thankfully, it was a greyhound type bus, not a regular city bus, and very well organized, fast, clean, etc etc. As with the train from Oslo to Gothenburg, it was a good choice. We got to see more of Sweden and Denmark then we would have otherwise. Gorgeous, just gorgeous. Once we arrived into the city center, we took another train to our hotel, which was almost 2 miles outside of the city center. A was not too keen on the idea of staying that far outside of the center, but staying closer was SO expensive. We wound up getting a steal of a deal in this apartment hotel (Adinah Apartment Hotel), 80 euros a night, and it was a full apartment - living room, bedroom, stocked kitchen, bathroom, laundry, gym, indoor pool, etc. I read that it was a bit far of a walk but you could rent bikes. Well, let me tell you. Good decision on my part. Sure enough, we rented bikes for the entire time we were there. We biked and biked and biked. Copenhagen is SO bike friendly! It's crazy. The bike lanes are almost as wide as the road! And EVERYONE bikes. Apparently, 9 out of 10 Danes in Copenhagen own a bike. Yes, I'm sure this is in part due to the 200% new car tax, but still. It makes for an awesome and green city! We just love the idea of biking to work, biking to and from dinner, not driving ever, etc, so this is what really did it for us/made it one of our favorite places, my favorite place (of course, the perfect weather we had helped! Full sun, but not hot!)

The other thing that very much contributed to wining favorite city award was the friendliness of the people and their willingness  to speak English to us and everyone else for that matter. In every city we've been to, the cities in Germany included, people WILL speak English to you, if they can... at least eventually. They do this, but they also judge you and think less of you while they're doing it. They're not always rude about it, but you can tell. It's their attitude, things that they say, facial expressions, etc. You are not high on their list for not speaking their language. The people of Copenhagen, however, are completely different. Maybe it's because they are some of the happiest people in the world. Or maybe it's because many Danes and Swedes work side by side and their only common language is English, so they even speak it to non-Americas or Brits. But no matter the reason, it makes a REAL difference in the visit. You will hear English all the time there. Usually in cities, like Florence, I hate that. Absolutely HATE it. But that's because it's spoken by loud, trashy, tourists... ahem... Americans. Not in Copenhagen. English is spoken by many.. everywhere... always... not loudly.. not obnoxiously, just normal. Our entire trip, we did not once feel judged for not being able to speak Danish. Instead, we felt normal. We felt like we fit in. 

One of the other many reasons why we loved Copenhagen were the young people. There were seriously NO old people. Not that I have anything against old people. But it makes a difference having people around you similar to you. No old people living there, no old people as tourists there, just all young people. And I mean ALL young. All our age. All interested in the same sorts of things.... being outside, biking, hanging out in one of the million gorgeous green clean parks in the middle of the city. We did notice, and this is VERY different than Germany, there were MANY young Moms. In Germany, I think the average age for having a first kid is 35 (this is a guess of course, but based on what we've seen, probably about right). Not the Danes. They have kids young. But they fit the kid into their lifestyle. They still stay outside, bike around, etc. I don't know how many people we saw biking with multiple kids on their bike, attached somehow or another. I should've taken more pictures of this. But seeing as we fit in perfectly here, I was kind of enjoying not taking pictures/not acting like much of a tourist! 

Along the same lines, I read this article a while ago. I shared it with A. I think it's great! The Danish moms are all about having their kids outside. And it's SO safe that they just leave them in their carriages outside of the bar/restaurant/cafe that they're at while they're sleeping. Anyways, I saved A some embarrassment! While he was running on the first day, he saw a few cafes/restaurants that sure enough, had baby carriages lined up outside of them. And they were NOT empty! He said he looked around for the Moms at first... and then remembered the article! It's true!! They do this!! It's that safe! Again, I should've taken a picture to prove it, but didn't. We saw this a LOT while we were there!

As for the rest of the cities in Scandinavia that we visited, we had some awesome food in Copenhagen. Again, the restaurants, cafes, and bars, were adorable, inside and out. Not few chains. They all have LOTS of character. And the food (and service - surprise!) is great! 

As for the rest of Copenhagen, what we did, what we ate, what you should see, what you should skip, etc etc, another blog will be written! This one has gotten extremely long. I guess I just have a LOT to say on this city, it being my favorite and all! 

Below are a few pictures. I did not take many while we were there, which is not like me at all! And believe it or not, we did not take a self-portrait the ENTIRE trip. Can you believe it?! I am SO bummed we didn't in Copenhagen though. Oh well. Guess we'll have to go back!

 Nyhavn - great to look at, but don't eat here!

A, pre - getting a flat :)


Random parade through the shopping district on a Saturday morning

                                                               Random park by our hotel

Copenhagen Marathon on the Sunday we were there. This made for some very entertaining people

 We loved this house so we had to take a picture to remind us for when we build our own!

 Random, huge, beautiful, well kept parks EVERYWHERE and EVERYONE takes full advantage.

"Something rotten in the state of Denmark." - Shakespeare

I beg to differ. 

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