Denmark: A Country that Should be on Everyone’s Travel List

Gaelen McCartney Glasgow School of Art, Scotland


September 7, 2015

WOW! Denmark is a beautiful country. My flight from NYC to Copenhagen went without any flaws, and I happened to be sitting next to a university student from Denmark. She walked me through all of the must-sees in Copenhagen, allowing the start of my adventure to be a very comforting one.

After I made it through the airport, I took the metro and train to Virum, the town where I would be staying for my time in Denmark. Jeanne picked me up from the train station and brought me to their home; a very beautiful home just a few hundred meters from the station (that’s right, I’m starting to use the metric system. Celsius… that’s a little harder). Therese came home from school and then Peter from work, and it was time for dinner. Throughout my stay, Jeanne and Peter cooked lovely dinners that were very delicious. Now, to give you a reference again, my dad studied in Denmark over 30 years ago (sorry for aging you dad). When he did, he stayed with a lovely family: parents, Alice and Arnold, and their youngest son, Peter. So this time around, I stayed with Peter and his wife, Jeanne, and their youngest daughter Therese. Therese is 20 years old (21 in 8 days) and just started at the University of Copenhagen studying to be a veterinarian doctor.

Thursday morning, I was on my own. I took the train into Copenhagen and walked everywhere. I mean it. After my long day, my phone said I had walked just under 15 miles. Everything was beyond beautiful. Some of my favorite places were: Christianborg Castle and Tower, where I saw an incredible view of the city; Nyhavn, a canal entering the city with beautiful colored buildings and also where I ate lunch; Amalienborg, where the Queen of Denmark still lives today; Frederik’s Church, which had a beautiful 31m diameter dome; and finally Rosenborg, another beautiful castle that I returned to on Saturday. After dinner, Peter and I went for a bike ride to the Furesø Lake, where we watched the sun set over the water. It was a beautiful ride, I was a little nervous, because we did not have helmets, but it was a wonderful ride.

On Friday, I woke up to thunder and lightning right outside the window, putting a little delay on my bike ride for the morning. But, by 9:15, I was out on the bike headed to the Royal Hunting Gardens in Lyngby. You arrive at the gardens, by going straight from the busy road through a red gate and onto a single lane road where everything just turns to fields, and it was absolutely beautiful. The road leads straight up to Hermitage Castle another stunning building in Demark. In the gardens were hundreds of deer with huge antlers, some of them fighting each other. I spent nearly two hours here just in awe of how incredible it was. Getting a little lost on my way out I found my way and biked to the open-air museum which has numerous very old houses from Denmark. It was very neat to see. I then headed home to meet Therese. Therese and I drove up to Helsingør, which is the closest point in Denmark to Sweden. Here we went to the Kronborg Castle, the same castle where the story of Hamlet is based. Inside we saw an incredible exhibition of the Royal Table Canopy of King Frederik II, which was absolutely stunning. They we had a very delicious late lunch, where I had traditional Danish, which tasted good. I’m glad I took the opportunity to eat a traditional meal. From here we went to go see Alice, the woman who my dad stayed with when he studied abroad. It was truly amazing to hear her speak such wonderful English and to tell me about the times when my dad stayed with her. I was very glad to have the opportunity to talk with her.

On Saturday, I headed into Copenhagen to take a look at the Royal jewels and artifacts at Rosenborg. Since many Kings used the castle, they transformed one room in each house to represent how it would have looked during that king’s reign. Everything inside the castle was absolutely beautiful, and when I made it down to the crown jewels… just WOW. It was amazing.

I then traveled back home to Virum where we went to a family party to celebrate Jeanne’s mothers 75th birthday. The rest of their immediate family was there, so it was very cool to meet them and to exchange stories. The food that was cooked was also very, very good. When we got home, we just relaxed and I began packing to head to Edinburgh. Sunday morning we shared a great big breakfast together before Peter drove me to the airport, and on our way we stopped at a small bakery so I could experience a true danish (which was so good by the way). And with that, we were at the airport and I was waiting for my flight to Edinburgh.

Now, having just finished my first day in Edinburgh, I have to say that it is just gorgeous. It’s amazing how old a city can be, and just to imagine what it must’ve been like to live in this city during those times. Similar to Copenhagen, I think of how in Philadelphia many of the old buildings being around 260 years old, to these ones that are at least 500 or more. It’s just such a huge array of history that has passed through these very streets.

I had a great day meeting some great people who are going to be great friends. We ended our day playing cards at a local pub. Cheers for now!


Scotland Travel