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Day 1: Denmark (I think I dress like an American.)

Updated: Feb 20

I confess I've never written a blog before, and I also haven't been out of the country since I was three, so this might be something of a bumpy Whatever?

This trip was planned with my entire family, and we landed in Germany, then hopped on another plane to Denmark which was where we were to board the cruise ship that would take us through the Norwegian Fjords. However, the boat didn't start boarding until two days later, which left us with a two day layover in Copenhagen, Denmark.

One of the first things I noticed, stepping out of the airport doors was how cold it was. Even in the dead of summer the air had kind of a crisp chill to it that the Midwest doesn't get until October. Thankfully, it was sunny when we first arrived, which kept the chill in the air from actually being cold. All of the buildings around the airport were massive office buildings stretching up into the sky as far as the eye could see. Many of said buildings were still under construction as well, high towers of scaffolding and the bare metal bones of buildings were visible everywhere.

As soon as we left the airport, we all piled into the largest taxi van we could find, and set off for our hotel, while my father had to try and explain to the cab driver (who spoke almost only Dutch) where our hotel was, the name of which was Hotel St. Anne. There is a Dutch name for it, but my keyboard is in English so if you want the Dutch name I'm afraid you'll have to google it.

One of the most striking things about watching the streets of Denmark pass us by was that we were one of the few cars on the road, the majority mode of transportation seemed to be bikes. We passed parents riding bikes with little trolleys for their children hitched on the back, and people riding bikes while on the phone. Riding bikes while in sandals and in boots. The scary part about all of it was, was that the bikers had no problem biking in the street if the sidewalks were too full, and the closer we came to residential areas, the more bikes were in the streets.

The neighborhoods were beautiful though, parks everywhere, with green grass and street games for people to play. Large shops, hotels, and apartments were all connected in tall buildings stretching up on either side of the road. Another thing I noticed was how formally people dressed. Everyone seemed to be out for a bike ride or a walk on this crisp summer day so I had an ample view of everyone's outfits from my seat in the taxi. All of the women seemed to be wearing some variation of loose long pants or slacks in a cream or dark color, and most men were either in the same type of pants or jeans. Stripes seemed to be a common denominator, but there wasn't a pair of leggings or sweatpants in sight.

I was able to immediately tell which building was our hotel by the few taxis that had driven up onto the sidewalk outside it to park out of the street. The building was large and white with a small outdoor dining area packed with people. It was quaint, everything you picture when you think of beautiful old European hotels.

There are few things more humiliating than rolling your giant American amount of luggage into a small hotel while under the gaze of at least fifty Danish stares. Pro tip: When visiting Copenhagen, do NOT wear sweatpants unless you would like everyone and their brother to know you are Americans.

The only exception to this rule was my mother, who had been smart enough to watch some cultural YouTube videos before throwing her sweatpants on, and was thus dressed in a pair of slacks and a button down.

Hotel St. Anne, as it turned out, was even more beautiful on the inside. The lobby was about a third the size of your average Holiday Inn lobby, but it stretched at least four floors up, with open plane glass windows on every floor, and a giant modern chandelier hanging from the ceiling.

The elevator was small, my two brothers and I had to squish into it with our luggage, while our parents waited on the bottom floor. The hotel room itself was also very small, and by small I don't mean dingy or gross, the whole place was beautiful. Patterned tile was in the bathroom, and lovely lights and big windows gave the whole place a glow.

Lessons Learned from the Day:

  1. European architectural sizes are not American

  2. Dress nicely

  3. Not everyone drives everywhere

  4. You can walk anywhere in Copenhagen

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