Wednesday, September 3, 2014

60 hrs in Denmark

So, at 9:30pm was my flight from Fort Lauderdale to Copenhagen, Denmark with Norwegian Airways, I was to be on this flight 9hrs and was wondering how to survive it. I had never done such a long flight before and I expected the worst because I had gotten the cheapest flight to Europe possible. I was allowed 10kg on board and I was only carrying 7kg and my purse that contained my wallet and my tablet. I was very pleasantly surprised to find a very comfy seat with a tablet integrate to the front seat where I could watch movies, TV series, play games, and see the map of the plane's trajectory. In addition they had USB ports to recharge your phones and tablets. And if that wasn't enough, they had something that I personally considered very cool, which was a light changing system, where the atmosphere would change from green to blue to yellow and so on depending the time zone you were traveling to in order to avoid jet lag. Totally worked! I watched 'The Book Thief' on the tablet, then fell asleep and woke up to a sunny Copenhagen, jet lag free. I felt as they say here, 'Fresca como lechuga' (fresh as a lettuce) and ready to start my first day in Europe. Since like one month before, I had arranged through Couchsurfing my stay with a girl named Suzanne who lived in a town called Farum, 20 km north of Copenhagen. During our chats before the trip she recommended that I learn some Danish Sign Language (that's how she communicates since she is mostly deaf). She even sent me the page to learn online. Problem is you need to know Danish to know Danish Sign Language, so to make the story short, I gave up. And just in case you're  thinking that all sign languages are the same, well they're not.. I think that even American sign language and British sign language aren't the same, now that is crazy. Anyway, we had arranged to meet at her place at 8pm. I arrived in Copenhagen Airport at 12:30 had a good 7 hours to look around. I picked up a free map from the airport and took off. I got on a train to nowhere in particular and started walking. As is typical with me, the first thing I bumped into was a cemetery, and yes I like cemeteries, so I took pictures. My mom had insisted I see the Little Mermaid statue that was close to the touristic part of the city. It wasn't terribly close to where I started out at, but I'm a walker, so I headed in that direction. There were lots of parks and sunny blue skies. Also, the amount of bicycles and babies is impressive. Even more so, the amount of moms on bicycles with little baby carts attached to them. I guess the baby boom is on. After many stops and picture taking, I arrived to the Kastelle. The castle island where there is a big fortress and the mermaid statue, and oh surprise! It's tiny! Very pretty, but very small. The castle island is very beautiful though, and the interesting part is that it's shaped like a star, you can see it in the image below.

It is very nice to walk around and see the buildings and statues. My mom had sent me a song from my childhood called Wonderful Copenhagen from the movie of Hans Christian Anderson to listen to before I got to Copenhagen. Fortunately I didn't listen to it, otherwise it would have been stuck in my head the whole time there (didn't have such luck in other places) 
Tired of walking I headed to the nearest station to go to Farum, it took around 30- 40 min to get to the town. Having no internet on my tablet, I needed to ask for directions to get to my host's place. Everyone in Denmark seems to speak English, and pretty well too, better than some Americans I know. Even so, it was easy to find her place. I arrived to her door to find a limping Suzanne! She had twisted her ankle and was waiting for her flat mate to take her to the hospital. While we waited for him to arrive we talked a bit and understood each other very well, Suzanne spoke very good English and even though I knew no Danish Sign Language, she understood me very well too.  Per arrived to take us to the hospital, and we went talking all the way. I can certainly say that I have never had so much fun in a hospital before. We had to wait a lot, so it was great having Per making jokes about everything and running Su around in her wheelchair. 

Suzanne and Per at the hospital, being a bit silly.  

The fun ended around 2:30 am when they had finally finished scanning and studying the foot in question and put a removable cast on. We headed home and  I died on my bed in the living room. 
Suzanne woke me up to a nice simple breakfast and we chatted about what to do in Farum. She gave me a map, pointed out some places worth seeing,, and sent me off to explore the world. Farum, being a small but very nice town, had very traditional houses to take pictures of and wonderful lakes and forests to explore. I took my time walking but got home early enough for dinner and to get organized for the next day that I was heading back to Copenhagen.  

So next morning, I went to the store to pick up a package from the post office for Su and to buy some supplies for the day. Got home, we said our goodbyes, some sign language mixed up with yoga, as you can see in the picture, and I packed to hit the road at noon. Here I'd like to give special thanks to Suzanne for taking me in and for the wonderful fun conversations we had. Even Per was surprised that we understood each other so well, like if we had been friends for years, to the degree I had to tell Su what Per was saying every once in a while. Thank you guys! You must be some of the funnest people in Denmark! 
And as I learned, the first rule in Denmark: Go to a hospital to have fun!!!

Back in Copenhagen, I walked around a lot. Parks, botanical gardens, main buildings... I could go on and on but I'll just bore you and it's much more interesting to see pictures for that. I'll leave the link at the bottom. So after walking, eating and drinking, I headed to the airport around 7:30 pm and just chilled and rested there till my flight at 1:50 am. Had a beer before boarding and then I was off to a new adventure. Turkey!

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