I got to Copenhagen, Denmark Sunday evening. We had to take a ferry in order to get to the island that Copenhagen is on, so at one point I was on a bus on a boat on an ocean (or strait I guess.) I didn’t know Copenhagen was on an island. Basically, this trip has been one expensive European geography lesson.
It’s interesting because the part of Copenhagen near the bus depot where I walked in order to get to my hostel is newer and more commercial, so this is what I saw.
I could easily believe this picture is of Las Vegas. I felt like I was in familiar territory You might not be able to tell (the photo isn’t very great because it was at night) but there is a 7/11, Burger King and McDonald’s all in a row. 7/11 is actually fairly common in Copenhagen, I probably saw 4 or 5 while I was there, which I think is a strange franchise to have been exported. I’ve since learned that 7/11 is also in Malaysia. Besides the occasional 7/11, the rest of Copenhagen has what seems to be the standard European look of brick buildings with brick roads and isn’t this American looking.
I had planned on doing another walking tour the next day but it turned out that the place where I thought we were supposed to meet was completely wrong. I have no idea where I got the incorrect address, because when I thought about it, it didn’t make much sense. Having missed my tour and without anything else to do, I walked around aimlessly, a pretty common activity.
All of the cemeteries I’ve seen in Europe have been really interesting. They usually have a squared off part in front to plant flowers or place mementos. For example, this is a cemetery I saw in Slovenia about a month ago.
In Copenhagen, I walked through a cemetery that had many plots similar to that but this is one of the more original grave sites I saw.
I also saw the pride of Copenhagen (not really), the Little Mermaid statue.
According to my tour guide the next day, it is the second most disappointing European tourist attraction after Mannekin Pis, the statue of the peeing child in Brussels (in Brussels, my tour guide said Mannekin Pis was the second most disappointing European tourist attraction after the Mona Lisa.) I wasn’t too disappointed because I didn’t have very high expectations to begin with. I didn’t even know about the statue until I got here, but apparently it gets hyped up quite a bit, even though it’s just a statue. Hans Christian Andersen, the author of The Little Mermaid and several other popular fairy tales, was from Copenhagen so there are several things relating to him around the city.
At the Little Mermaid statue, I thought this guy was funny. He’s taking a selfie on his phone while wielding a huge shoulder cannon camera (with stylish fuzzy thingy!) and another camera around his neck.
The big camera looks like a nice video camera, but I don’t know what he’d be video taping, nothing exciting was going on.
Having been a tourist for the past 2 months, I have thought quite a bit about what the appropriate level of photographing is. I know that cameras now being cheap and small, allowing essentially everyone the ability to take pictures at any time, is a good thing. However, I do believe there can be too much photographing. I’m always surprised at some of my (I assume) fellow tourists’ need to document every second of their trip, and as a related side note, their compulsion to make sure they’re in as many photos as possible. While it’s nice to have things to help remember the trip, I feel that too many photos just leads to pictures of stupid things you won’t care to look at after the trip. Every time I pull out my phone, I have a self conscious wondering if I’m being an overly, photo-happy tourist. Overall, I think I’ve been pretty conservative with my photo taking.
I do consider this different from people who are actually interested in photography (Dad). For them, a big part of their enjoyment of the trip, and perhaps a large justification for going, comes from taking many photos. And their photos are also likely to be more interesting. Basically, I’m advocating for anything that leads to less pictures of food on Instagram.
From left to right, you have the Prince’s house, the Queen’s house, the guest house, and the Prince’s younger brother’s house. Apparently the Dane’s don’t like the younger brother too much. His first marriage ended in divorce, which left a royal palace and yacht with the ex-wife, which would be a pretty sweet deal if you ask me. If you look closely, you can see little men, with larges rifles and large fuzzy hats, in the background. Unlike the guards outside Buckingham Palace, they can move and talk to you. I got a Dikembe Mutombo finger wag from one, for what I’m not entirely sure. I think it might have been for leaning up against one of the columns you see on the far right.
Dinner that night was two donuts from The Donut Shop, a place I just happened to pass in my wanderings. They were both awesome. One of them had a blueberry frosting with coconut flakes on top and the other was caramel. It’s always nice to have American comfort food in Unamerica.
That night, I met Other James at the hostel, a fellow James, as well as a fellow American. He is a native Texan getting his PhD in sports science in Australia. He was on summer break, so he was visiting his girlfriend in Prague (which was a coincidence since Prague was my next destination) for most of it, but had a conference related to his schooling in Copenhagen that week. We went and got food at a cafe together. We first tried to eat at an African place, but it apparently half of the menu, including all of the things we wanted to try, wasn’t available, so we left. So much for trying to be adventurous.
I did the official tour I was meant to do the next day. Copenhagen’s history seems to be dominated by fires and warring with Sweden. I don’t think anything else significant happened that day. There was more wandering, a little shopping. But I didn’t die, so I guess that’s nice.