[Author’s Note: This is a post about Copenhagen and it’s a week late…. but the Paris post will be coming soon!]
It’s amazing how snobbish of a traveler I have become. I hate to stand out. I cringe every time I feel the desire to whip out my camera (mobile phone) and snap a quick pic. I get bothered by the loud Americans yapping away on the tube, buses, cafés and pavement. I am fast to forget the fact that yes, I am one of those loud-mouthed, picture-taking, fascinated-by-everything tourists. I try so hard to blend in (and it helps that all I ever wear is black).
I experience these feelings mainly in London, and probably primarily because I am so willing to call this place “home” and therefore don’t want to include myself as one of those foreign outsiders that plague the city with their selfie-sticks and union flag t-shirts (though I do in fact HAVE a t-shirt with a union flag).
Being in Copenhagen (or København), however, I found myself to be much more forgiving. Of course, I didn’t run into all that many tourists. Turns out Copenhagen is a very much homogenous city. 98% of the population is tall, gorgeous, fair-skinned with blue eyes and speaking Danish. So naturally – I fit right in! Ha! #sike I’m neither tall nor do I speak a lick of that fascinating Nordic language (though I so wish that I did now!)
But it was always quite funny to me that whenever I was in a transaction (shopping or buying clothes or food (MOSTLY FOOD)) the sales person would always speak to me directly in Danish. And now I’m not totally convinced it was because my slight Scandinavian attributes – I think it was more likely because Copenhagen is actually just full of the Danish! They don’t expect you to not know their language! Luckily though, once they realize you don’t speak Danish (because you’re staring at them like they’ve just asked you to recite Shakespeare’s entire sonnet sequence backward) they’ll quickly switch over to perfectly fluent english with a smile and a friendly chuckle.
I could go on and on about Danish (the language) and how it’s so fun to eavesdrop on a conversation, trying to pick out similar words or English phrases but I’ll stop now because I can’t imagine it’s even half as much fun to read about as it is to experience and remember first hand.
Instead, I’ll switch gears and just tell you how absolutely wonderful Copenhagen was!
It’s a bikers world over there. Many many more bikes than cars that’s for sure! And parents will ride their bikes with a cute little cart attatched to the front with their children inside. Once your kid is about 4 they’ll be riding their own bike next to you! Before you know it, that kid is off training wheels and cycling on their own infront of you… I mean seriously, who needs a drivers license when you live in a small flat city with EXTREMELY cycle-friendly laws and road ways?! The KIDS are even “driving” themselves from a young age. If I lived in Copenhagen I’d never drive again. EVER. And that is reason #1 why Emma and I decided Copenhagen is so happy.
Bikes = no driving = no stress = no waiting in rush hour traffic = no sedentary sitting for an hour or more a day.
Bikes = exercise = endorphins = happiness and healthiness = even MORE happiness!
Reason #2 we believe Copenhagen is so happy is their diet. Markets and fresh fruits and vegetables ARE EVERYWHERE. And the seafood is to die for! Seriously the fish – sooooo yum! With a light/lean diet and he plethora of water that all of those Danish cyclists are no doubt guzzling you KNOW they are happy. Yes the markets/grocers do sell sweets and processed goods, but as we walked through a local grocery store (solely as an anthropological experiment – because Emma is awesome) I couldn’t help but notice, most people stick to the perimeter! I only saw a few people breech into the center (and two of those few were Emma and myself…. though we didn’t buy anything – just appreciated looking at the Danish chocolates)!
Way to go Copenhagen. Eating clean. Way. To. Go. (AMERICANS ARE YOU TAKING NOTES?)
Reason #3 in my humble opinion why Copenhagen is so happy: colors. The little houses and businesses and sometimes totally random colorful buildings pop up and make me smile. Purples and pinks and yellows and green and oranges and blues. More than once we found ourselves peeking down side streets and stopping just to snap *one more* picture of the colorful houses though I had taken at least 23 that looked identical…….
But anyway, the colors are just so whimsical and friendly and you can’t help but smile when you see them!
All in all, Copenhagen exceeded my expectations. It was small enough to do everything on foot, the markets were soooo much fun to check out and the food was amazing (I got a gyro & apple lemonade at one market and a cinnamon roll & fish and chips at the other!), the Karlsburg beer was delightful, the sun was shining, the people were friendly and talkative and smiley.
If Copenhagen was not on your list of places to visit before – it should definitely be on your list now!
(And if you need suggestions of things to do or places to stay – I’m your gal.)
“GO EVERYWHERE IN THE WORLD AND TELL THE GOOD NEWS TO EVERYONE.” Mark 16:15