29 May 2013
“Rather than read a thousand books, it is better to walk a thousand miles.”
Alright, night trains are the bomb! We took our first night train last night from Berlin to Kopenhavnn, and right now I am shooting myself in the foot for not taking them earlier. All the stories I heard about night trains before coming to Europe were bad things like that the trains were loud and uncomfortable, people on night trains are sketchy, you will get robbed, the coaches may get gassed, etc… Nothing like that has ever happened to us on any train and when I talk to all the locals who take the trains on a daily basis, they love them just as much as I do. It is all the foreigners who have a “hollywood” perspective of the outside world, such as many American’s view on Europe. It is actually quite sad that many people are too afraid to every leave their home country because they sure are missing out!
When I woke up around 8am I went in the couch next door and gazed out the window at the beautiful yellow fields and windmills that passed by. I was actually quite surprised at the solid nights rest I had that night, I did not wake up one time. We loved the night train so much that right now we are on another one on our way to Praha or Prague. It is the coolest feeling to leave a country in the evening and wake up in a completely different one. We are on our 35th train headed to our 10th country and 24th city. It has been so great to see so many things, and I haven’t felt rushed at all. The nice thing about traveling to so many places in such a short amount of time is that you really get to compare and contrast a lot of differences without giving time a chance to fog your memory.
The second street we walked down was Hans Christian Anderson Boulevard… Pretty clever name for a street in the city that commemorates his brilliant and creative children stories. Kopenhavn is home to the famous Little Mermaid, a statue that was built after H C Anderson’s fairytale about the Mermaid and Price Eric. Growing up and still to this day, the Little Mermaid has been and still is my favorite fairytale.
Ripley’s Believe it or Not and the Genius Book of World Records museums were located on the same street less than a mile apart. They were located on one of the longest walking streets in the world, Stroget street. It is 1103 meters long and lined with the cutest little shops and restaurants. When people say that Northern Europe is expensive, they are right. Everything costs at least 2x as much there as it did in the rest of the places we have been. The exchange rate is $1 for 5.5kz, or 1 Euro for 7.2kz. A large baguette cost about 30kz, which equals out to about 4 euro or $5.20. Baguettes in Italy, France, and Spain were about 1 Euro, and Baguettes in Belgium, The Netherlands, and Germany were closer to 2 Euros…but 4 Euro! Seriously, since when can a college student not even afford bread?
One of my favorite places we went to in Kopenhavn was Nyhavn. It is an old port with tons of beautifully colored houses surrounded by intricately designed ships that look like they came straight out of the Pirates of the Caribbean movie. I have discovered that all my favorite places have been cities where the houses are all unique and colorful. Cinque Terre was probably the place with both the most unique and the most colorful houses…and as a result it seems to be one of my favorites.
Amalienborg Palace was beautiful…but we missed the changing of the guards. Here is a picture of them just pacing back and forth. They are kind of intimidating with their big guns. I imagine their hands must get so tired from holding those heavy things all day!
I am convinced that yellow is the favorite color of the Danish…all the houses are a burnt yellow color. They are absolutely stunning. Kopenhavn is a very, very clean city. It is funny as well that the cutest boys I have seen thus far while in Europe have been from Kopenhavn. What? I thought all the cuties came from Italy and Spain… No, Scandinavian boys are the keepers… Hmmmm going back on that, England does have quite a few handsome fellows. I will keep my eyes peeled over the summer while I am studying in England. Maybe I will even take some pictures/videos and post them so you can fall in love with their accent and culture just as I did…
We got to see a lot of great things in Kopenhavn, and seems that it was not on our list a couple of days ago…it was quite a surprise to be able to go there! It is a beautiful country, with lots of beautiful green parks and a beautiful harbor separating itself with Sweden and Norway. It rained on us all morning, but eventually calmed down and the sun came out…absolutely beautiful. Did you know that they have a different currency in Denmark? This was the first time since England that I have had to change currency from the Euro. They call their currency Koronas or Kz for short.
Right now I am on another train headed through the night for Prague. We will arrive first thing in the morning and be able to start another great day in a new country! I just realized that we are on the backend of our trip. Today was the end of the 17th day meaning that we only have 11 days left. This trip has been one of a lifetime and I am so sad for it to come to an end. Although I will have plenty of time left in Europe through the rest of the summer, there is nothing like spending everyday in a different country. It is quite exhilarating