First impression of Denmark
I had a long transit to get to this gorgeous street in Aarhus. It is a beautiful sunny day clear skies, other than a few wispy clouds. There’s a slight breeze and the temperature is around 5 degrees. I left Washington D.C. on a clear cold afternoon and arrived at Heathrow airport on a cold and snowy morning for my layover. I’m pretty happy to be back in the sunshine again.
My connecting flight was cancelled due to anticipated poor weather (which didn’t seem to happen) so I checked into the lounge, helped myself to a hot breakfast, propped myself up against a wall and had a little sleep. I’m hoping I didn’t snore or drool, Jaz let me know I do that occasionally (every night). Once I arrived at Copenhagen to meet up with Jaz (who had flown on another flight from DC) to organise our new train ticks because, unsurprisingly, we missed the one we were booked on due to me flight cancellation. Luckily, I had the foresight to book a flexible ticket to take us to our final destination, Aarhus. Didn’t turn out quite that simple though!
The staff at Copenhagen airport were busy and generally had no time for our questions, Jaz had similar problems when she enquired earlier. So, after asking about getting to the central Copenhagen train station, we had been directed to the replacement buses as apparently, the train was not working due to roadworks (on reflection, I think they meant railworks). Again, we asked each time we came to a member of staff and were assured, “yes, this bus is going to the train station.”
The guy did not look at our tickets as we got on the bus despite both of us repeatedly asking, he just waved us on. After the hospitality and friendliness of everyone we met in America, we were a bit miffed at being impatiently dismissed. Particularly as it was at an international airport where, of course, there are visitors not knowing their way around.
Once on board, we had trouble deciding which direction we were going in. Something about the Northern hemisphere throughs of both out internal compasses completely off! We crossed a bridge that was rather amazing and a bit disconcerting as it is very, very high and the wind was strong. The bus rocked around somewhat with only a tiny little guard rail keeping us away from the edge, though the driver did slow down because of this, thankfully. In my head, I was trying to figure out the height of the bus and how much road shoulder we had if it tipped over. Not enough, I’ve decided!
After about 15 minutes we came to a customs checkpoint, which we did wonder about at the time. Jaz and I looked at each other when we were asked how long we were staying in Sweden. Sweden? We were going to the train station in Copenhagen, right?
As we pulled out of passport checkpoint, we were onto google maps. Nope, we are definitely in Sweden! “How long were we staying in Sweden,” he asked. “About 10 minutes we hoped!”
We just looked at each other and started laughing. We couldn’t stop laughing until we had literal tears streaming down our cheeks. The people on the bus must have thought were a bit crazy.
Luckily, once we got to the Swedish train station in Malmo, our driver quickly stopped a bus that was about to leave, and we went back to Denmark. Back at the airport, we discovered that the train to “København K” was indeed working all along and we finally found the right train.
We have discovered that if we don’t look lost, we obviously look like we knew what we were doing, as each place we have been someone always asks us for directions or about the locality we are in. Sometimes, we have a vague idea and can give semi-useful directions (Jaz usually knows where the closest coffee shop is). This day, it happened again, and let’s just say it was a surprise. As we pulled into the first stop on the train to Copenhagen central station, a young man asked us if it was Central station and, of course, we had to tell him we had no idea. Another (very Danish looking) guy a few seats down, confirmed that no, it wasn’t – but he was going to central so would let us know when it was time to get off. A chorus of accented grateful noises came from half a dozen seats around us. Suddenly, this Dane had quite a following!
I cannot express enough gratitude to this young man, even though I sprinkled him with thankyous at the time. He then went out of his way to help us find the correct train and platform for our train to Aarhus, even searching for us, to give us further information while at the main station. He certainly reversed our initial impression of Denmark, as did the next dozen people we were lucky enough to meet. The lady who let us on to the last train of the day with expired tickets, the taxi driver who took us to the apartment we stayed in and carried our (very heavy) suitcases up the stairs and into the doorway. By this time it was late and dark, so we were very grateful.
This morning as I write this, is gorgeous! I am sitting here with sunshine streaming in the window, overlooking a park. Well, actually, it is a cemetery. But it took me a while to realise that all the plots have clipped hedges around the headstones and they are spaced far apart. Our apartment is in a lovely street, with shops just around the corner. Being Sunday most are closed, though I did find a grocery store and everything we need for the moment. I am looking forward to exploring the shops, there are all sorts, ranging from clothing, real estate, hair salon, and a movie theatre – The Darkest Hour, which is about Winston Churchill, is one of the films currently playing.
My first impression of Denmark has certainly been varied, but I’m certainly looking forward to more wonderful experiences during our visit to this remarkable country.