The “Little Britain” Denmark and the Beautiful København (8-14 Jun ’16)

When God was creating Denmark he wanted to base his designs on the rest of Scandinavia but somewhere half-way through he got distracted and looked at the UK instead.

Britain with its high-streets, greasy spoon diners, trashed roads and incredibly unsociable and in may cases obese locals.

 

Denmark complements Britain in so many ways that it makes it look like its major colony.

They like small cars and their cars are all scratched. I think to get a TUV (MOT) they kick a tyre and send you off.

The music… oh my God, I feel as if I am back to Britain… Britain of the early 2000s because their radio is full of unpopular pop music that I can not listen to! And you’d be lucky to hear pop because most of the time they’re just chatting away… in Danish!

You will be missing German Radio in Denmark! Or Belgian! And especially Dutch! Central Europe has an edge for good music. I’m terrified to go to Sweden now!

Food? Forget it, after Germany you’d struggle to get an edible breakfast. Food here is pretty much British – deep fried. Every time I got a sandwich somewhere I felt like my mate Les would walk into the diner and suggest that we go for another round of clays! It literally felt as if I never left!

But we’re loosing the plot. Here is what you see when you’re boarding the ferry – Danes and Swedes carrying alcohol. Loads of Alcohol!

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How bad does it need to get to be carrying beer crates from another country is beyond me. Even if it’s twice the price in Sweden… well just drink less and enjoy the taste of what you’ve got. Why travelling hundreds of kilometres to get it from Germany?

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I guess alcoholics make up for the most travelled social group in Sweden:)

 

For the boys

Did I mention they like small cars? I can understand that when a boy racer buys a Mark I Gold but they also like buying NEW small cars, things like a Peugeot 208… or even a Hyundai  i30.

Do you know what needs to happen to a German so that s/he buys an i30? He’d need to loose a job (probably three times over including that job in a cafe), loose all his savings, family heritage, then he’d need to loose his 24 year old Mercedes which he bought new when he was 18. And then, under the treat of imminent death he’d buy a small Hyundai.

The Danish… well, they enter a show room and go “I’ll have an i30 please, yes, with the optional spare wheel and the radio).

Their favourite cars – Peugeot 308 – in Black! In Black! You have to have mental issues to buy a 308 in black because black belongs to big executive cars… not the 308. But how would you compare if the 308 is the biggest car on the roads. My Allroad looks like a giant in the streets in comparison… it’s also the fastest being really a family saloon.

Køge

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I started my trip in Køge following Eyewitness Travel’s guide and the first city “of historical heritage” was so shocking I would go back to Germany if not for the 101 Euro ferry ticket.

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This kind of stuff being sold… in a town with NO SEA next to it!!!

Everything seemed wrong. I walked up its narrow cobalt streets towards the oldest half-timbered house in Denmark which by the way you should definitely see. It has wooden beam structure filled with stone, it does not sound special until you realise it was built in 1527.

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The streets are narrow and the high street bears every resemblance of a UK high street – back is cheap Chinese stuff unseen in Germany, back are people would would not look into your eyes and Heep their heads down. Back are the fat people. I generally believe that the problem with obesety in both DK and the UK is food. Look at what Germans eat and go much they exercise and now compare that to Denmark.

There are more similarities too. Gone is the culture of quiet restaurants – music must be heard in Denmark so when you are out in a bar you’ve go to shout at your mate and if s/he shouts back at you in Danish, well, it will he a while before you realise you don’t understand a word.

I quickly lost interest in Køge and decided to cut my losses short by going to Roskilde – a formerly 10000 people-strong capital of Denmark.

The Beautiful Denmark

It is on my way to Roskilde where I have witnessed a truly beautiful Denmark – no more high streets with stalls of cheap Chinese plastic, no more locals who aren’t looking in the eye – just beautiful Denmark!

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These guys know how to make beautiful country houses!

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I could not stop driving from one small village to another – anywhere you go is this beautiful stuff which you can see because they don’t hide it behind “the English fence”. I even walked into this house with a collapsed hay roof, it smelled like my family’s country house – a bit of wood, a bit of rot:)

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And here is a farm house – forget the ugly barns of continental Europe! Switzerland could learn a lot from the Danes on how to make their farms look cool!

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But you know what is the most beautiful thing you can see in Denmark – it’s their flag. Normally flags are what, 6×4 square pieces of fabric? Have a look at the featured image in this post – the long almost ribbon-like think on the flag pole is their flag, when no wind it almost reaches the ground and once the wind picks up you will witness a beautifully waving Scandinavian flag – a white-red stripe!

Roskilde

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Two days spent there revealed more or less the same picture. On the first day I went to the harbour to sail a Viking ship which was a great experience and is well worth the 200 Kronen you need to pay.

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You get to row and then they put up the sail and you glide in such a quiet serenity of creaking mast and even the smell of the boat reminded me of my childhood when my dad used to tar the skis for us.

The ticket includes admission of the wharf where they keep old craft alive and you can see the very boats like the one you’ve just sailed being made as well as all the components for them such as sails and ropes (I think that’s all there is to a Vikings’ boat)

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Roskilde is a beautiful town, I would say I have not met any interesting people there because that just don’t talk to strangers there these girls were an exception and I’m sure they’ll be seeing nightmares about talking to a stranger for weeks now:)

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…but the architecture is beautiful – the church, the town hall, everything is very solid and is beautiful in its monumental simplicity.

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København – the city of best church domes in ‘de World!

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It was time to go to Copenhagen, I would not stay an extra day in Denmark if not for the camera charger which was posted for me to a friend’s address there. But Copenhagen was worth it.


At first glance Copenhagen is just like a bigger Edinburgh with its monumental historical buildings and the sea front. But in my second or third day I began to appreciate this beautiful city.

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Truth must be said, I was here in June when the sun is high and I am sure there are at least 8 month of weather hell here but hey, let’s live the moment. And in that moment I started seeing the beauty of Scandinavian architecture. Lift your eyes off dirty pavements, Chinese takeaways and you will see the beautiful spikes of churches, I think the Danes are probably the best architects when it comes to making a church dome!

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High, pointy, elegant, gilded or in green copper in a combination with black brick – swirls and twists, everything the rest of the building does not have goes into the pointy dome!

And the wide streets where the eye meets perfect walls of old warehouses.

By the way, every Dame would tell you they are the nation on bikes. With 8 months winters, really? They have not been to Holland… but I admire the fact that they are still keen:)

Carrying a passenger in these front trays is a norm here, I have been seeing it done on a daily basis. It’s fun. I would get a bike like this to carry my drunk girlfriend around:) But for the money? I think I’d add it to buying a better car, not the all-famous 308 in Royal black:)

I spent a night roaming the drunken streets of Copenhagen with the highlight of the night being a fabulous gig by a group if what I think must have been a music school students. Three guitars, loads of weed, amazing singing!


Would I spend the rest of my life in Copenhagen…. most likely not. But it is certainly worth seeing, just make sure you come here in Summer and take a few days to walk around.

Next day greeted me with Nana and her Icelandic horse who came to seemingly eat EVERYTHING she (the horse) could reach out to:)

Nana used to be an oil&gas lawyer but quit her job 5 years ago and has been living free ever since, she tried an other job but then decided she’s better off with just doing the thing called “Life”.

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That day I spent at the beach – yes, they have a beach in Copenhagen and you know what, this is where you realise that you don’t wanna live at a place with millions of people share same amnesties. The Copenhagen beach is a relaxed place with few people by English standards and incredibly clean (and cold!) water!

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I also went to the local Botanic garden which was indistinguishable from the Kew Gardens near London (but unlike the 25-quid London “miracle” this was free!)



And spent most of the day basking in the sun among tropical trophies of Denmark’s collonial past.

I also bough a small medical-looking jar from the museum of biology. I hope they did not use it for storing Anthrax samples:)

Every evening I the road was taking me through the southern parts of the city, across neighbourhoods that looked exactly like what you’d see head Hastings or any other sea-side town in England. Even ice cream shops looked similar and were full of English-looking people.

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I stayed in million dollar hotel which in the past I could not even have dreamt of. I fell asleep to the sounds of hundreds love-singing frogs and woke up to the noise of hungry seagulls and airplanes and then I come outside to look at the planes and which airline they are. And in the evening there is a moment where maybe 20 planes land within 40 minutes or so and they light up the sky with their headlights!

And of course, the sunsets, although not as spectacular as in Fehnarn but still beautiful.
It was time to go to Sweden. I had to wave a goodbye to the strange and beautiful København with its landing planes and beautiful church domes.

 

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