Monday, February 23, 2015

Wonderful, Wonderful Copenhagen

Even though my home in Denmark has always been a two and a half hour train ride from Copenhagen, I've spent a surprising amount of time in the city due to the year I spent consulting for Maersk.  But even beyond those commuter-days, when I got really good at knowing exactly when what trains left the central station and where the fastest take-out pad thai could be found, I've spent a few purely vacationy days there too. 

The first time we both saw Copenhagen was on my 29th birthday.  For my present, I "got" to go to the embassy and get my passport renewed, so we figured that if I had to pay the absurd train fare, we'd make a day of it (truly, the fare is remarkably absurd.  I wouldn't have worked in Copenhagen if my company had not covered the commuting costs.  But that's what you get when you live in a top-five highest cost of living country...and the train fare has to make up for the cost of maintaining long, large, elaborate bridges between islands). 

Anyway, that birthday wander around Copenhagen ranked the city waaaay up there in my list of favorites.  It really is a beautiful, interesting, vibrant place.  I'm a huge fan of Copenhagen.

Another vacationy day I remember in Copenhagen was when my family was here and we spent an afternoon before our flight to France taking the cannot-be-missed canal boat tour and getting some Danish hot dogs.  Unfortunately, even though it was June, their day was a bit rainy and cool, but I hope they still could enjoy the place even so. 

So before I end by dumping a bunch of photos here, I'll just say that if I had to live in a largerish city for the rest of my life?  Copenhagen.  Hands down.


Tally is unimpressed with the most expensive real estate in the city

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Roskilde and the Motherland


There are three UNESCO World Heritage sites in Denmark.  One in Helsingoer, one in Jelling, and one in Roskilde.  Since we'd made it a point to try and see all the nearby UNESCO World Heritage sites there were in our home in Germany, we made a pact to to the same for Denmark and subsequently spent a day in the summer of 2013 traveling to Roskilde to see the cathedral where all the kings and queens of Denmark are buried as well as the viking ship museum.

But perhaps more memorable was how, on the way back home, we got off the train at the small town of Sorø - my mostly-matrilineal homeland (my grandmother's maternal grandfather's line comes from the area).  I'd always liked Denmark, from the first moment I saw the place, and felt a connection to it even before I knew for certain that I had a family connection.  Being able to walk around the old town and church at Sorø, that time in 2013, and later going to the nearby village of Munke Bjerby with my family in 2014, really solidified my attachment to this lovely country.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Langeland: Our First Trip in Denmark

Way back in the summer of 2013, only a few months after we'd moved to Denmark, we went on a short one-nighter trip with the university's international club to the island of Langeland (literally: long country). 

It was great fun.

Even when it poured buckets the entire first day - it seems the international club trips are just doomed to be rained on (see Bornholm). 

If I were ever to go back, here are the things I'd do again (which was almost everything).

- Rent a "luxury tent" at this beach-side vacation camp place on the northwest coast.  The tent had mattresses, separate rooms, wood floors ...running water!  It was a Harry Potteresque experience.

- Go to the Tranekær Castle grounds and gardens again.  When we were there, there was actually a really interesting collection of "natural art" (art made only from natural materials that would gradually decompose) in the garden.  One of my favorites featured huge stones on top of wooden branches - the branches would gradually decompose and the stone would move slowly down the sculpture, like a clock of sorts.  

Also, I always think of this castle as "Cranberry Castle" since it's name sounds like the word for cranberry (tranebaer)...and it's painted this color...

- Go biking!!!  The quintessential Danish experience.  And our short, four hour bike ride from Rudkobing to Lindelse and back through the countryside on the Danish biking highway system, being our first longish ride, really got us excited to do more on our own, larger island of Fyn.  Plus, there were moments when we biked by a windmill, bright yellow canola field, 14th century church, or little "pay what you want" un-manned roadside produce stands was just like EUROPE!

All in all, a really awesome first trip in Denmark outside of our Odense base.  I really hope to go back someday.
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