Hej København! (Hello Copenhagen!)
This was my first experience flying with Norwegian Airlines. I read some mixed reviews on this budget airline and have even seen it referenced as the “Walmart of the Skies.” But honestly I found their newer Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner to be really comfortable and impressive with more room in economy than most other airlines have offered me. Each seat had its own Android touch screen that you can play, watch, and even order food/drink on which alerts your stewardess. And since they offer such killer deals ($384 for a one way to CPH!) it was hard to pass up. My only complaint was that the plane was delayed but I ended up making a new Italian friend at a nearby bar over a glass of seriously overpriced Cabernet so it made the wait tolerable. I also got to sit next to Bradley Cooper’s doppelgänger on the way over (if you’re head is swimming trying to put a name to face think The Hangover or American Sniper)! As I was debating on whether I should comment on his manly celeb like features, my incredibly graceful self opened my water bottle without thinking about the changes in cabin pressure and as I unlocked the straw spout, Old Faithful started shooting into the air…and on him. Whoopsie. Of course to diffuse the situation, I awkwardly blurted, “Has anyone ever told you that you look an awful lot like Bradley Cooper?!” And just like that all was forgiven. Put that one in your back pocket for the next time you’re in a sticky situation. You’re welcome.
My Denmark pitstop is literally about 21 hours but I decided to make this a pitstop because
1) Norwegian Airlines has such hot deals and buying separate flights to CPH and then to ATH was cheaper than buying it as one trip and
2) It was a perfect excuse to see my international bestie and favorite Danish, Mette!
Mette and I met in February of 2014 on a group tour through New Zealand (check out Haka Tours if you’re at all contemplating a trip to NZ). Our group was comprised of all solo travelers so we were forced to make friends and really I think we would both agree that based on first impressions alone, we doubted that we would end up being such close pals. But then when she mentioned she wanted to grab a morning run before our day started I jumped on the opportunity to have a running partner and asked if I could come with her. As I got to know her better I realized we had a lot in common- her love for eating dessert daily, iced coffee, unashamed public dancing, Ed Sheeran, and using running to try and stay fit on the road made it quickly clear that I was in good company. And for the remainder of our tour we were inseparable. We also made it a point to offset all of the cheesecake and chocolate consumption on that trip by starting what we liked to call the “Haka Running Club.” Every morning, we would take a jog through whatever city we woke up in and watch the city come alive. Since then we have ventured to Vietnam together in October of last year and she recently visited me in California this past April. So while we have only known each other for about 18 months, I have spent more time with her than some of my dear friends in the States.
Because my stay was so short, I told Mette I’d rather spend time with her than try to be a tourist so we got some killer burgers at Halifax in Copenhagen and walked around the city for an hour or so. We finished the night with a Danish childhood tradition and hit up a candy store. Mette explained that while Americans tend to have ice cream/cake for dessert, candy is really what the Danish people grow up on. Licorice in particular. And you know the gummy company Haribo? I always thought it was German but I guess it’s actually Danish!
You basically put on a glove and roam around the candy shop pulling out handfuls of whatever your heart fancies. And they have a ton of shops like this all over the country. Sweet deal. Then this morning we did what we always do: RUN! What’s a jet-lagged girl to do at 6am but meet the morning sun with a nice jog? A few coffees later we are both now getting ready to head to the airport. Mette is also leaving the country to Budapest today to visit a friend for the weekend so it all worked out nicely.
One of my most favorite things about travel is learning how other people do life and developing international friendships. Because of that, I have decided to add a new feature to TDD in which I highlight some of my foreign pals from around the world and their hometowns. And Mette here gets to be my lucky number one.
Q: How long have you lived in Denmark?
A: I have lived here for 29 years, and most of them spent in my hometown of Nakskov. I work as Danish Police Officer.
Q: What’s the capitol? And in your opinion where is the most beautiful part of your country?
A: Copenhagen is the capitol but my most favorite part is Marienlyst beach found on the island of Falster.
Q: Name three things you must do if it’s your first time to Denmark.
A: 1) Ride a bike. Probably 80-90% of Danish people use a bike for transportation.
2) Visit Christiania. It’s a controversial hippie town that is definitely a unique point of interest.
3) Drink a cold Carlsberg on tap. Tuborg is popular too.
Q: Describe Danish people in 3 words:
A: Reserved, busy, black humor.
Q: Wait what? “Black humor”? You mean blunt?
A: No, “black humor” is actually the Danish translation. We Danes can have a weird and sometimes dark and twisted sense
of humor at times. Watch the Danish film Klovn to really get what I mean.
Q: What is your most favorite part about where you live?
A: I am an avid kite surfer and all the surrounding water makes this a great location for it.
Q: Finish this sentence: You cannot leave Denmark without eating/drinking ______.
A: Frikadelli. It’s like a large fried meatball. Danish people are very big meat eaters. However, I’m a vegetarian so obviously not crazy about but it’s a traditional home cooked meal.
Q: What’s the currency? In respect to the US, how does the cost of living compare?
A: The currency is DKR aka the Danish Kronoer. Currently it’s about 6 DKR for every USD. The cost of living here is much more expensive than the States but in generally speaking it all kind of evens out for the Danish citizen through taxes and benefits.
Q: What time of year is best for visiting?
A: End of July-August! The daylight hours are much longer and you’re more likely to experience sunny weather. They also harvest the crops during this time and to me it just smells like summer. Average temperature is probably 15-20 degrees (and that’s celsius people…which is roughly 60-70F. Brrrrrr!)
Q: Name your favorite country:
A: It would be New Zealand. The culture, the landscape, and the locals are sweet ‘as!
Interested in visiting Copenhagen or Denmark and want some tips? Mette is more than happy to answer any questions. Shoot me a text/email and I’ll set you up with her info!
Next stop, ATHENS!
Cheers and keep on wishin’,