0455 First impressions of Scandinavia (Denmark 001â€”new)
Copenhagen Travel Blog› entry 80 of 201 › view all entries
Iâ€™ve visited 10 countries over the last 25 days. Iâ€™ve had a lot of new experiences and made a lot of new discoveriesâ€¦ But so far I havenâ€™t visited a single country for the first timeâ€¦ All these countries have been â€śrevisitsâ€ť and trying to add something new to what Iâ€™d already discovered.
But today is different. Today is new country day. My first â€śnewâ€ť country inâ€¦ damnâ€¦ 18 months!
And itâ€™s not just a new country, itâ€™s a new sub-region: Scandanavia.
Scandanavia is one of the worldâ€™s wealthiest regions where people are also known for their simplicity and love of bicycles. So I should really connect here. However, after my inspiring day in The Netherlands, it might feel a little bit anticlimacticâ€¦
And I know itâ€™s very expensive here, which puts a bit of a damper on how much I can enjoy a placeâ€¦
We get on a very modern ferry to cross the straitsâ€¦ Off in the distance the very flat landscape of
I soon reach Scandanavia. As we cruise across the countryside, I keep an eye peeled for town or villages that might be worth revisiting, but donâ€™t see many towns of substance at allâ€¦
And then we reach
I must admit, I was kind of expecting perfection here, I was a bit disappointed. After all, Scandanavia is the â€śCrown of the Planetâ€ť isnâ€™t it? Isnâ€™t everything supposed to be perfect here?
We cross over the ugly remains of an old industrial sector and stop near the train station here.
I head into the train station to find out where the Eurolines ticket office is. I go to information, I ask 5 or 6 people, but nobody seems to have a clue as to where you buy a bus ticket in this townâ€¦
Starting to feel I bit flustered, I wander out to the rather ugly downtown area. The skyline is dominated by a horribly ugly green skyscraperâ€¦ No magnificent structures or landmarks anywhere, just a random mix of old and new buildingsâ€¦ And an amusement park right in the middle of downtown? That just seems strangeâ€¦
I find the tourism office where finally Iâ€™m able to get a map and directions-- and a list of hostels and their pricesâ€¦ I head out once more looking for the bus ticket office.
I find it down a side street in a very bad neighbourhood right near the train station. Trash everywhereâ€¦ Nasty looking drug dealers lurking on the cornersâ€¦ a cluster of alcoholics that look like theyâ€™re about ready to keep over from liver failure staggering about on another cornerâ€¦
I tell you, after my day in the
And then, another disappointment. The buses to
Technically, I could run across to
I go ahead and book a ticket to
I sit on my bed for a bit collecting my thoughtsâ€¦ Hey, every day canâ€™t be perfectâ€¦ Iâ€™ve had a lot of great days latelyâ€¦ letâ€™s just head out there and make the best of itâ€¦
So I trudge out, heading northâ€¦ Once I reach the edge of the old city, and the lively pedestrian area, I start feeling a bit better.
Another plaza has an international food festival going on, and another plaza has a bunch of displays of different energy saving inventions of the last couple of yearsâ€¦
Then when I reach the edge of the harbour area, I start to get the distinctive Scandanavian feel with tall colourful old buildings crammed together along the dock where fishing boats and old sailboats are docked back to backâ€¦
I head on down to the peaceful harbour edge, past palaces and fountains-- and industry visible on the other sideâ€¦ I decide to check out one museum that holds hundred of replicas of many of the most well known Roman, Medieval and Renaissance statues-- and the entrance is free!
Nothing really Danish about it, but itâ€™s still funâ€¦
Further up is a beautiful multi-level fountain with a statue of a chariot being pulled by 4 bulls on topâ€¦
But of course, the tour isnâ€™t complete until I reach â€śThe Mermaidâ€ťâ€¦
Not really impressive at allâ€¦ but, hey, sheâ€™s the symbol of
I head on back, up along the rim of an old earth fortress with another beautiful windmill at the topâ€¦ and a military band playing for a small audience in the centerâ€¦
Then I head on back into the Old Town areaâ€¦ wander around for a bit, then across the main canal to a more modern residential area on the other side, where I watch the sun set over the city to the music of a clarinetâ€¦
I guess Iâ€™m not the only guy who likes to play music at random locationsâ€¦
Finally I head on back to the hostelâ€¦ But first I figure I should brave the ugly neighbourhood I had seen earlierâ€¦ So I wander around the south neighbourhoods for a bit where you have a very ugly red light district/drug selling area and then some relatively pleasant neighborhoodsâ€¦
So what can I say? What grade will I give