I saw this Oprah show a few years ago when Oprah went to Copenhagen to interview people there, since (and this is a direct quote from Oprah.com --- a truly credible source): "for the past 30 years, scientific researchers and survey results have all reached the same conclusion—Danes are consistently happier than the rest of the world." Oprah.com tells us next up is Switzerland, Austria and Iceland, with Canada at 10th. Not too bad!! (I don't know where the UK falls on this "world map of happiness", sorry.)
Since then, I have wanted to go to Copenhagen so bad. And this fall we were hemming and hawing about going for a sunny holiday, but all of the "sun" destinations couldn't guarantee good weather, and there's nothing worse than being at a beach town in the rain. So I convinced Matthew that Denmark is awesome. It wasn't hard to do, since Denmark is awesome.
Here is a quick collage of Elizabeth, to keep you interested. She loved Copenhagen, even though she called it Pocahontas for most of the trip.
Copenhagen is a really beautiful city, and just like our trip to Budapest last year, we had no idea what was there. We got guide books out of the library but didn't read them, so we were pleasantly surprised to find a really pretty little city to wander around. There was public art, lots of parks and green spaces, a palace with guards, and of course, the famous harbour.
So, the highlights of the trip were:
(1) We rented an apartment on www.airbnb.com, which I totally recommend. It was a 10 minute cycle away from the city centre, and Copenhagen is
bike-friendly utopia for bicycles. The perks of apartment living when traveling are numerous, but the best part is pretending that you actually live there. We totally pretended we were cool Danes, I won't lie. We also got to experience Danish bathrooms . . . So tiny!! And there's the added bonus of being able to spy glance into your neighbours' windows and see how "real Danes" hang out. Turns out, "real Danes" play World of Warcraft on their massive televisions. Hmm. (This kind of lets the cat out of the bag that Matthew once played WoW... it's okay, he's over it now. Thank goodness.)
So there are a million rides - carousel, ferris wheel, bumper cars & bumper boats, you name it. Does Elizabeth want to go on a single one? Nope. Thank goodness the entry is a flat fee, and you buy tickets or passes or whatever for rides. Instead of using her tickets for a ride, we went to the aquarium. . . Aquariums are fun, don't get me wrong, but Matthew & I were so surprised she didn't even want to go on a single ride!!
She did play a carnival game where you "fish for ducks" with a magnetic pole, and you always get a prize at the end. And she chose a toy cell phone. And then she talked on her phone for the rest of the trip. Most of the time she was calling her Auntie Suzie and Uncle Adam. She had a lot to tell them, apparently.
(4) The zoo. Never underestimate a zoo when traveling. Elizabeth loves them, and (big surprise) so does her Dad. This zoo was awesome - there was a family of lions, and they had a roar-fest while we were there!!! It was unbelievable! I have never heard a real lion roar!
But the ultimate highlight of Copenhagen was that when we rented bicycles, from this guy (all Monty Python fans should check his site) and the baby seat was a kangaroo seat attached to Matthew's crossbar. This meant she got to hold onto the handlebars, and (in her words), "I am driving the bike!! I am the leader!!" It is safe to say that day was the best day of Elizabeth's life. She was laughing and smiling the w-h-o-l-e day. At one point while we were riding, she yelled out, "I am having so much fun!!!"
There is also secret option (D) as the ultimate highlight: the fact that all cafes and pubs and restaurants have outdoor seating, and they give you a blanket so you can snuggle up with your beer when it starts to feel chilly. I think this might be the reason Danes are so damn happy.