Beer, more beer and did someone say beer?

Trip Start Dec 04, 2006
Trip End Aug 05, 2007

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Flag of Denmark  ,
Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Nathan here: When we left Canada way back in December, a visit to Denmark was not being considered. Nothing against Denmark, we just figured we would go to other destinations in Europe. Well, our thoughts about Denmark changed early on in our trip when we met Titti and Kirsten in Beijing. Even though we only had a couple of days with them, we had a great time and they were keen to have us come to Copenhagen for a visit. So we left them and started to think about changing our plans for Europe.

Fast forward from December 2006 to February 2007. We were finishing up a visit to Halong Bay outside of Hanoi in Vietnam when we met Mads, also from Copenhagen. Well readers of our blog will know that we continued to travel in Vietnam with him and we had a great time.

So it became clear to us that we had to go visit Copenhagen and we`re so happy we did. If anything, we didn`t give ourselves enough time but that`s another story. For those who don`t know, Denmark is located in northern Europe between the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. It is the southernmost of the Scandinavian countries and consists of a mainland peninsula, Jutland, and 406 islands. The capital, Copenhagen, is situated on the island of Sealand and is the largest city in Scandinavia. The country has a population of 5.3 million people, of whom only seven per cent are of foreign origins.
Approximately 1.7 million people live in and around Copenhagen.

Copenhagen is a quick flight from Amsterdam. Funny story upon arriving. Tara and I had literally strolled off the plane and were walking though the arrivals lounge when, out of the corner of my eye, I recognized a former classmate from high school. So I not so quietly called out to her and we spent a few minutes re-connecting.

Mads met us at the airport to guide us to his place. He had volunteered to put us up in his flat. He has a great a little home close to a canal and the centre of Copenhagen. Setting a trend that would continue for the remainder of our time in the city, we spent the first night eating and drinking.

We took a canal tour on our first full day which was a great way to figure the geography of the city centre. As many of you know, Hans Christian Andersen first published the fairy tale of The Little Mermaid in 1837. It is the story of the Little Mermaid who saves the life of a shipwrecked prince and sets off on a perilous quest to win his love. Of course, Disney produced a movie and Copenhagen maintains a statue in her honour which we saw from our canal tour. She has had a tough life though as, over the years, she has been subject to vandalism including - if you can believe it - decapitation. Crazy.

Like Amsterdam, water is everywhere. We took further advantage of this in the afternoon when we took turns paddling with Mads around the canals in kayaks. He managed to borrow his neighbours kayak for us to try while he gave us skillful advice from his own vessel.

A key highlight for us though was just spending time with friends. Titti and Kirsten gave us a super walking tour that started in Christiania which is an area of town that was colonized by hippies and free spirits in 1971. It has now evolved into a kind of self-governing area. It is an interesting areas with well-kept old buildings and lots of green space. There are some unique shops there and, we were told, an open hash market on "pusher street." I had a good laugh on the way out of town as one has to pass under a sign that reads "You are now entering the EU."

Tara here: Among other highlights, we managed to have a BBQ along a canal one night which was great. As you can imagine, we have had few BBQs over the last six plus months. A final few words about Copenhagen. It is a beautiful city and we loved it from the beginning. We had a super time with friends and will look to come back in the near future. Having issues uploading pics so there is only a few at this time. Stay tuned for more, including one of the mermaid. Off to London, England. N and T.
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