Living in Berlin, I always knew I would make it to Copenhagen someday. Yet despite a general interest to visit, the prospect never seemed as exciting as planning trips to Croatia, Istanbul, or even Krakow. Maybe it's because it's so close: the flight from one capital to the other takes less than an hour meaning the ride from my apartment to the airport was literally longer than flight time. Or maybe Scandinavia just seems too similar to Germany culturally to feel at all exotic. Either way, it was a no-brainer in my travel to-dos, and my excitement soon kicked in upon arrival.
|Excited about the discovery of a library-cafe for our first meal|
Copenhagen is every city. But better. It's a ludicrous statement that is highly linked to my very thematic-prone brain, but I'm going with it anyway. Multiple times a day while in Copenhagen I found myself reminded of other cities. One moment I'm jogging along the water and thinking of Amsterdam, and the next I'm peering up at a couple cafes overflowing with people-watchers assembled in rows of outer-facing chairs and picturing Paris. The language and orderliness kept reminding me of home (both of them), and the cosmopolitanism and water everywhere reminded me of Hamburg... and I haven't been to Hamburg yet! Copenhagen felt like a utopian port city: It has absorbed influences from around the world but the influence feels reciprocal and seamless, not forced.
Danish is like German. No, English. No... Denglish. Kelly and I were in language heaven in Copenhagen. As soon as we got to the airport we were giggling and pointing out words, excited to find so many connections to our languages. In the airport we immediately spotted Ankomst for arrivals which is clearly related to "to arrive" in German, ankommen. Though the language certainly leaned more toward German, a lot of it reminded us of English, too. This makes sense given that English is a Germanic language (English native speakers: keep that in mind the next time you say German is an ugly language). Denmark, like the rest of Scandinavia, is known for their high English proficiency, so we were free to get by in our native tongue while learning a few words just for fun. The word we ended up using most often? Mange tak which means thank you. Mange: what do you see more? "Many" in English or Menge in German ("amount" or "plenty")? Tak: a shortened version of "thanks" or danke? Oh, the joys of language.
|May as well be the German "Reichstaggarten"|
|Nørrebro mutlilingual statue about coexisting... yes please!|