Saturday, July 25, 2015

Trip to Copenhagen, Denmark (July 2015)

Little Mermaid, Copenhagen's icon
We loaded our luggage onto the coach by 6:45am and we ate the breakfast by 7:30am to depart.

The breakfast was excellent with ample choices and delicious foods.

It was another long drive, but the traffic was not too bad. We crossed the border into Denmark early in the morning. Denmark also went through many invasions and suffered from destruction caused by wars, fires and plaques. Denmark is part of EU, but chose to use its own currency, Danish Krone.

Copenhagen is now the capital city of Denmark, but it was originally established as a fishing village. Its population is approximately 1.25 million, significant compared to Denmark's total population of 5.5 million. Copenhagen has an independent state city within its boundary, called Fredericks.

Denmark is part of Scandinavian countries, along with Norway and Sweden. They represent three kingdoms. More broadly, however, the Nordic countries also include Finland and Iceland.
Angel statue looking over the Copenhagen harbor
King Frederick V
Group photo at Carlsberg Brewery
Group photo with the Opera House in the background
Europe is organized with complexity through several different associations, affiliations, agreements. For example, Denmark is part of EU, but chose not to use the Euro currency. It is also part of Shengen Agreement so that people may travel freely within the Shengen Zone. There are other regional agreements that may or may not include Denmark. These complex relationships among the nations in Europe, it seems that, make the political union of European nations close to impossible.

Rosenborg Castle
Denmark was heavily influenced originally by the Norwegian Vikings. The Vikings established Iceland, Greenland and reached even North America, believed to be the current eastern coast of Canada.

Denmark is well known for the legos, little mermaid statue and Danish pastry. It is also known for Rosenborg, a castle used for the royal summer castle, but now being used for a museum. There are many castles and mansions that demonstrate the wealth and power of the rich and famous in the past. Carlsberg beer brewery is headquartered in Copenhagen and it is known to be the third largest in the world.

On the way into Copenhagen, we crossed two long bridges. One of them was Storebaeltsbroen, the 3rd longest in the world and the longest outside Asia. The bridge has a suspension bridge section in the middle that spans 1.5 km.

Hans Christian IV reigned for 59 years, the longest in Denmark, and built many castles and monuments. His long reign was unusual in light of shorter life span at that time. However, this compares well to the UK's Queen Elizabeth who has been reigning for 62 years.

After we checked into the hotel around 2pm, we headed out to see several spots, including Carlberg brewery, Rosenborg castle, statue of little mermaid, Copenhagen opera house, Frederick Church (Lutheran), statue of King Frederich V, and Nyhavn or New Harbor.

Hotel Cabinn Metro

The opera house was only 10 years young and was built with the budget of $500 million. Danish people may be proud of it, but it did not look that impressive. Nyhavn had a lot of cafes and restaurants where people hung out enjoying street musicians and people watching.

After a walking tour, we enjoyed a seafood dinner and delicious ice cream at Nyhavn. We took the metro to return to Cabinn Metro Hotel with unique exterior decoration but tiny rooms.

Nyhavn scenery 

It was a day packed with a lot of sightseeing and actions on top of a long drive. Kristin has already fallen asleep and I need to wash and go to bed to get up early tomorrow.

While we were traveling, the world was watching closely what was happening in Greece. The Greek prime minister said earlier to accept the new proposed terms and conditions of a deal offered by its creditors, boosting the equity market, but he later changed his words by urging the voters to reject the terms. Greece keeps playing a game according to the game theory by John Nash. Let us see who raises the while flag. The market seesaws as the Greece debt crisis turns the corners, but finished with a 138 points climb in DJ to 17,758. - Jeffrey

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