When in {Copenhagen} – Part I

June 19, 2011

Today wraps up my first week abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark. Despite jetlag and an intense courseload, here are some sights I’ve seen:

Boat tour of the canals – In under an hour, we explored much of Copenhagen’s history in a boat that rode under arches so low, my hand to touch the underside of the bridges.

Elephants on parade – These little guys are all over the city, raising awareness and funds for the endangered Asian elephant. Here is one of my favorites so far.

Little Mermaid – Jetlagged, cold, and hungry, I dragged my feel to get here for a little statue. But it made me wish I was home with Lucy, watching the her favorite princess movie. [PS: This photo was taken around 10pm – crazy daylight here!]

Gefion Fountain – This is the largest fountain in Copenhagen, as a well as a wishing well. It is an impressive sculpture that faces the end of the street, Amaliegade.

Botanical Gardens – We strolled through here on a lunch break – so serene and pretty. I want to go back soon and just read there. Maybe I can finish Renaissance Soul finally, eh Erin?

Hyldespjældet – For our first field study, we visited a community that has taken a realistic path to a sustainable future, including shared gardens and chicken coops, a recycling center that helped reduce landfill contributions from 3 containers a week to 3 containers a year (!), and many other volunteer-based green initiatives. My favorite part was the playground, whose designer I don’t remember!

The Round Tower – We climbed up the spiraling brick pathway to the top of one of the highest points in the city, home to one of the the oldest functioning observatories. Of course, I was more interested in the cafe design of the museum.

And other things I’ve learned about Denmark:

  • The people are all beautiful and fashionable despite age, race, or gender. Tons of women walking through the cobblestone roads in heels and platforms without effort.
  • Everyone and their mother, sister, grandpa, nephew… EVERYONE rides a bike. I’ve yet to find myself the free bike rental posts where you insert 20 kroner in the lock to release a bike for the day. So I have to get myself to a bike rental store to REALLY explore the city like a Dane.
  • They don’t like to work much. It is not unusual for a shop to close up early if they feel like it…
  • But they are ALWAYS on time. Hardly ever late.
  • The pay stupid high taxes… but get 5 weeks of paid vacation.
  • During summer solstice, daylight hours are from about 5am to 10:30pm. I’m glad I remembered a sleeping mask!

There is much more to come – that was only the first few days. I leave today for a week-long study tour of Norway, where I will get to celebrate my birthday, June 21, in grand style with their huge Midsummer celebration!!! Then I’m back in Copenhagen for another week. Very exciting but I’m missing my baby like crazy. I’ll be home before I know it – just need to cram in everything I want to see!

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