We took an overnight train to Copenhagen from Dusseldorf. In total, it took us about 14 hours to get there. We arrived Friday morning and went to check into our hostel. For the decent amount we paid, our hostel was sub-par. We were on barrack beds! 3 beds on each bunk. It was very awkward. Also, the showers were disgustingly cold, located in the basement of the building. The entire living situation amused me, but I couldn't help but be angry, too.
The people in Copenhagen are so incredibly friendly though! My friends and I would be wandering around on the street, with our cameras out, and someone would come up and offer to take a picture of the group of us. Or we would look confused and a guy would walk up to us and ask if we needed help. It was really lovely to feel so welcome for once since being in Europe. It seems the Danish like America.
On Friday we went to the National Museum, which houses a bunch of medieval art, viking history, and then some information about modern Denmark. They also had some Egyptian and Greek collections. Entirely free to visit! Christina, Kristin, Courtney and I decided we wanted to relax before dinner on Friday, so we went to a local theater to see Milk. It was subtitled in Danish, so we could just watch it in English, which was refreshing. I highly recommend everyone see Milk. It's a Gus Van Sant film, really great acting, award-winning. And I think it will really help to open people's minds to the gay-rights movements and the constant struggle and oppression this population faces every day. The acting and the story personalize the issues. I cried more than once. It's all based on a true story, and the actors have a firm likeness to each of their characters. As for the theater, it was very classically posh and old-fashioned - black and white tiled floors. Plushy, assigned seats. The atmosphere was very intimate.
I ate a bunch of fish while I was there - bagel with lox was the ultimate lunch. We went to a great Mediterranian-centric vegetarian buffet on Saturday night, which was incredibly satisfying. Copenhagen is full of buffets!
On Saturday we also treked way outside the city center to see the Little Mermaid statue. We followed the canal to the port and came across a bunch of other statues. Ran across the house Hans Christian Anderson was born - he's the guy who wrote a bunch of classic fairytales and kids stories - like the Little Mermaid.
Also went shopping and found a lot of great deals. They use the Danish Kroner in Denmark, not the Euro. Some of the coins have holes through them! That's always amusing. I got a cute bolero for the equivalent of $20, it used to be $40. And then a great shirt-dress type tee-shirt that was once $50, and I got it for $15. The problem with kroners is that 1 US dollar is 5 kroners - so all of the prices were big numbers and it confused us a lot. Good thing I snagged a mini calculator off my desk before I left Portland. It's been so handy. We also get to use the Czech crown currency this weekend while we are in Prague.
I wish I could expand on Copenhagen, but I have to sleep now. Maybe I'll add some more details later.
On the sleeper train! It was impossible to get comfortable. Kristin and Courtney slept on the cold floor. Then we curled up two of us to each bench. I slept maybe 2 hours.
HC Anderson was born here.
The port? The wharf? I don't know what it is called.
A statue of David by Michaelangelo.
Me and a serpent on some statue of a Roman chariot.
The Little Mermaid! There were a bunch of guys visiting it, which is ironic to me. I mean...I guess the statue is naked...
The changing of the guards.
Tomorrow morning we are off to Prague as a whole group. I'll be with my Baroque and Renaissance Art History class all weekend...maybe we will bond. Otherwise I will go nuts. On Monday night a few friends and I are taking an overnight train to Venice, Italy. We'll be there a few days, then we are going to Florence, then Rome and Pompei. So I won't be back in the Netherlands until Sunday the 15th. Expect a lot of posts, stretched out over a few weeks once I get around to writing them. To those of you going on Spring Break, have a great, relaxing, safe time.