This week I’m on a tour of Scandinavia and our first stop was beautiful Copenhagen. I could tell you a few things about Copenhagen. I could tell you that only Denmark, Sweden, and Norway are Scandinavia. (Finland is Nordic, not Scandinavian – it gets left out in the cold. 😉) The Vikings were Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian.
I could tell you that thirty-five percent of the 700,000 Copenhageners ride their bikes to work. Copenhagen is a city of spires, bridges, and canals that lives on the Baltic Sea. It’s the capital city of what once was a great monarchy with kings named Frederick and Christian.
I could tell you that Karl Karlsburg started brewing the delicious beer that is Karlsburg here in Denmark. Today fifty percent of the company’s profits goes to the promotion of the arts.
I could tell you that everyone comes to take photos of the statue of the little mermaid from the story of the same name by Hans Christian Anderson. (The fairy tale is different from the Disney version of course and I need to reread it.)
But what I really want to tell you is that as always and forever it’s the people that we meet along the way that make traveling so worthwhile and memorable. My seatmate and my newest new friend is “the other Kathy”, a beautiful older woman who is now living in Tennessee, but who has lived all over the world in her life. She lost her husband of fifty-five years three years ago and this is her first big trip without him. I have never met anyone so full of life and so happy. She works out at the gym four days a week, she volunteers at the hospital, and she likes Fridays’ sudoku puzzles the best. When she goes on her walks, she carries two bags and wears gloves so that she can pick up the litter along the way. She’s tried a different beer in each city we’ve been in, and she doesn’t drink beer. I think you get the idea. We agree on everything except for Danish modern decor. (I like it; she doesn’t.) After laughing for a long time on the bus together, she muses, “I wonder if anyone else would find what we just said as funny as we do?” I really don’t know, but as Hemingway once wrote, it would be pretty to think so.
Here are a few photos of our ride on the canal, the old stock exchange building, the city under construction, the little mermaid statue, and Kathy and me.