Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Re-Post: Denmark Summary (or How We Got Daned)

Original posted on: June 11th, 2004

After our stay in Sweden, we headed across to Denmark to see Copenhagen and visit Legoland.

The town square in Copenhagen

We had our fair share of experiences in Denmark. Enough that we coined a special phrase in it's honour, but I'm getting ahead of myself. Karl and I had just arrived in Copenhagen. Our first goal was to find our hostel, get rid of our bags and proceed to having a good time. Feeling good about ourselves, we decided to walk to our hostel with our packs on. (Kyla had successfully convinced us of the economy of this in Amsterdam.) Besides, the distance in the hostel guide was only 1.2 km, a pleasant stroll. So the two travellers, practically fresh of the plane from Canada, set out to walk to the hostel. We walked. Then we walked some more. We consulted our maps. We walked and then for good measure, we walked some more, four kilometers to be exact. What we had failed to notice was that the 1.2 km referenced distance was from a smaller train system that ran within the city.

Well, we were at the hostel now. The walk was behind us. Time for step two of the plan, dump the bags and head out on the town. Seemed simple enough, but there was one catch. The lockers were incredibly small, barely big enough to hold one of our bags and as a little extra salute to our predicament, they had conveniently located a shelf right in the middle. After walking four kilometers to get here, a shelf was not going to be standing in my way. A little creative redesigning of the lockers (which may or may not have been reversible) and we were finally off.

Excellent, now all we needed was an objective. Karl was set on seeing the Little Mermaid, so this seemed like a suitable goal. We were feeling light without our packs, so we decided to walk it. And walk we did, for quite a ways, which is saying something since we walk everywhere. Then we found it. To really understand this moment you need to understand that as we trekked (endlessly it seemed) through the city to the mermaid, on every other block, we would pass amazingly grandiose statues of soldiers and important figures. The Little Mermaid is well, little, very little in comparison to all the other statues. At this point you may be beginning to grasp how Karl and I drew the inspiration to coin a unique phrase for this country. If you haven't, don't worry, we are by no means done.

The Little Mermaid

It was not all clouds in Copenhagen though, along our trek to the mermaid we met a backpacker from New Zealand who let us in on a budget travelling secret. You see, you can buy beer in six packs in small grocery stores close to a lovely stretch along the pier filled with cafes. This allows you to drink sitting along the side, without paying exorbitant amounts, but more on that later. So we decided to do just that. (Pictured here with us is an Aussie friend we met at the train station, who shared in our adventures for the day).

Sitting pier side

Heading back into the main part of the city we decided to try a pub. Here our Aussie friend, Ross, poses with a beer which cost him 12.50 Canadian. Not wanting to keep you waiting any longer, the expression Karl and I came up with for such a situation is "daned." As in, "Ross has just been daned."


After our day in Copenhagen we decided to try and head straight for Legoland to keep our costs as low as possible. Legoland is located in Billund but has no train access and no cheap hostels that we were aware of. So we decided to stay in Vejle and go to Legoland by bus. Things didn't quite work as planned. Upon arriving we discovered that of all thing, it was a Danish holiday, meaning practically everything was closed down and we wouldn't be able to make it to Legoland that day as planned. So, to cut our losses we went down to a "beach" close to our hostel. If I was in charge of translation, the term "riverbank" comes to mind as being exceptionally suitable. Regardless we had walked out there and everything else was closed anyway, so I went for a swim.

Swimming in the river

The next day luck was on our side. Which is to say, we missed our bus from the hostel, had to then madly hitch a ride, barely made the bus leaving for Legoland, discovered we would have no where to put our bags, but we had arrived. Denmark couldn't keep us down, we were in Legoland!


As you can see, we were quite excited to reach our elusive goal. To take care of the problem of the bags we took shifts. Legoland was a great flashback to the fun I had playing as a kid with Lego.

Doing the tourist thing

The most amazing part for me was the detailed replication of many famous landmarks as well as a lot of Denmark. Here is a Lego replica of the pier were we drank our beers in an earlier picture.

Lego pier

Denmark, despite my telling of it, was a great place to visit. To put things in perspective, we had incredible luck in Amsterdam and were pampered in Tilburg and Sweden, so the fact that our time in Denmark gave us a harder time shouldn't be surprising. Besides, it makes for a fun story to tell.

Ed: This is the first re-post that I have significantly fleshed out the account from the original. Everything actually happened and I've still followed all the points I covered in the original post, but when I first posted this I was already in Germany and just trying to catch up with all the posts. I posted this on the same day as the Swedish one and it was mostly an excuse to get pictures up quickly and then get off the computer and continue partying with Karl's cousins. In some of the later posts, once I had given up on posting pictures, I opt instead to do more storytelling and for those I will try to keep the same voice that they were told in.

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