My Literary Vacation or How I Stopped Worrying About the Cost of Coke in Denmark
So, I just got back from vacation. When I travel abroad, I basically purchase the plane ticket, rent a car and see where the wind takes me. I set no itinerary because I never know what I might find and I am always pleasantly surprised by what I do find. This vacation was no exception.
I started off with the plan of visiting my brother, sister-in-law and new baby nephew who is 3 months old in Germany, which we did do, but somewhere in the middle of the two weeks, it morphed into a literary journey which was not at all expected.
My brother lives in Kiel on the Baltic Sea where he is studying for his PHD in physics. He's a clever lad. Kiel is a University town, population very diverse, but not a whole lot of activities to do. Oh sure, there is any number of restaurants and bars to spend time in. There is lots of shopping that can be done, lots of International chain stores. Not surprisingly, there are also a lot of book stores. But this is not where my literary journey began.
We arrived on Saturday the 22nd. We spent the first two days jetlagged and napping a lot. And while the primary reason to make the trip was to spend time with my brother and his family, still we wanted to get some traveling in. My brother took us to a city named Lubeck, which was really beautiful, but it rained, as it did most of the time I was in Germany on the Baltic Coast.
We wanted to get a few days of travel in, though, so on Wednesday, we bid them all a fond adieu, but only for a few days, and headed off to Copenhagen in Denmark. Before crossing the Danish border, though, we stopped at a viking museum, which had a living museum. You know, artisans dressed as vikings living the dream and it was really interesting. We thought to make a stop in Flensburg almost to the Danish Border, but arrived just as all the shops were closing, which was apparently a theme for the entire trip. Aggravated and unable to find a hotel where we were, we decided to drive into Denmark and stay where we could find something that was not a truck stop. We found Christianfelds, but didn't see anything of it. It was supposed to be a picturesque town, but we arrived after dark, stayed on the outskirts and forgot to check out the town in the morning. But this is not where my literary journey began.
We pressed on into Denmark and it was in front of the Rathaus that my journey truly began. In front of the Rathaus is a statue of Hans Christian Anderson, who holds a special place in my heart as I associate his stories with my youth. Little did I realize that one statue would start a chain of events that began with his place of death and ended with his place of birth.
Copenhagen has always been like a dream for me. Wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen! One of my favorite movies growing up was Hans Christian Anderson starring Danny Kaye. He was so excited to travel to Copenhagen and begin a new life that I was completely swept away by the movie. I was also fond of his stories when I was a child, so given the chance to go to Copenhagen, I felt like I was embarking on a grand adventure just as HC Anderson did.
I knew nothing of his life, except what was portrayed in the movie and while not entirely accurate, a lot of it was based on actual events in his life. I must say, though, that Copenhagen looked nothing like it did in the movie.
But back to the statue. One of the landmarks I wanted to see while in Copenhagen was the statue of the Little Mermaid. It is reputed to be one of, if not the, most recognized landmark in all of Denmark. Who wouldn't want to see it? It turns out my husband was not too keen as it was a pretty far walk just to look at a statue in the harbor. I felt giddy, though. We had walked through Nyhaven and had dinner there the one night we stayed in the city which is, as it turns out, where Hans Christian Anderson was living when he died.
The city itself, while beautiful, was a bit aggravating to navigate by car. We stayed at one of the cheapest hotels near city center which was little more than a closet the space was small. It must have been a renovated attic because we were on the top floor and the windows were the dormer type windows angled about 45 degrees up. Not much of a view. The shower was merely a shower curtain to pull around a drain in the floor of the bathroom and when closed, the curtain was actually touching the toilet. So it may have been possible to go to the bathroom and shower at the same time. I didn't test that theory. We were told the room had the best shower available at the time. If that was the best, I'd hate to see the worst. We did some of the walking trail hitting the majority of big hot spots, saw the changing of the guard, walked up the Round Tower for a panaromic view of the city and lots of walking. In one day and out the next.
Stay tuned for more adventures or There's Something Rotten in Denmarkand It's Not the Fish...