Saturday, 2 August 2014

Living the Life in Copenhagen

Yes life is good in Copenhagen. And it should be as it's known to be the word's most livable AND bikable city. During our 2 1/2 day stay there we were kindly invited to crash with Maria and Greg, whom we met in NYC last year. Maria is a Dane but Greg is a Jersey boy and they had met in Australia years ago. Since then they'd been building a long distance relationship until late last year when he moved himself permanently to Copenhagen, changed career paths and is learning Danish (a very difficult feat). It's all very romantic.

Well these locals gave us an insight into what it was like to live here and it sure does sound sweet. 'They don't like us very much in the business world because we don't work very hard' Maria told me. Her day seems to involve a few hours work at home in the back yard on her laptop (she's a journalist) and then a short bike trip to the local harbour pools for a swim during the longer summer days. Where do I go to sign up?

Our days there involved renting the public bikes which are electric and have an inbuilt GPS, making it very easy to get around the city. And at 25 kroner per hour, it didn't break the budget either. And Copenhagen has spacious bike lanes all throughout the city, so it's very safe and you get to see so much of the city so easily. Kevin and I rode along the beautiful canals, through the assistens cemetary (where the infamous Hans Christian Anderson resides), around the Tivoli pleasure gardens, through Frederiksberg Garden (where you can see Elephants from the zoo next door) arriving at Brygge island. 

At Brygge Island we met up with Maria who joined us for a swim and Kevin and I did the big jump of the high platform which can be fun yet painful if you land oddly like I did. Maria has yet to do it as she says she's heard some of the loud slaps from people landing in the water and isn't keen on the experience. We ate ice cream. And lay in the sun. And I only wished that London had something like this. Not that we'd use it all that much with the weather and all. But still. It was the perfect day.

During our chats, Maria also tells me about the progressive nature of Danish society. On how child rearing is divided 50/50 amongst the sexes, how it's not uncommon for men to take the woman's surname and how children are raised unisex so they can decide on their own what they want to be. A university education is free and the government actually give you an allowance to study. In fact most young people are still in their studies until they're in their late 20's. I guess without the financial pressures why wouldn't you?

Yes, we biked, swam, strolled and ate our way through Copenhagen and given the chance, I'd move there within a heart beat. Any spare Danish princes left? 

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