The Happiest, Part Two

August 23, 2014

On International Happy Day I wrote with excitement about the fact that Adam and I were going to be visiting the top happiest places in the world. Denmark holding the number 1 spot.

After spending a mere four days in Denmark I think I’ve figured it out. The key to happiness and why Denmark has a hold on the winners podium.

Public Drinking. Vikings. Costumes. Rampant Sunlight.

Of course this was all very scientific, my figuring this out.

Ahem. Exhibit A: Public Drinking (and Sunlight)

Anywhere you turn in the city center there are people enjoying the sunshine in the numerous parks and green areas around Copenhagen, more than likely they are enjoying a brew or glass of rose. There were times I had to cherry pick my way across a lawn in order to get to the other side of the walkway to avoid picnickers and it was amazing. It made me feel I were on a summer holiday with the entire country.

Happiness meter – medium.

Exhibit B: Vikings (Duh) and Costumes

While in Copenhagen we took a day trip out to Roskilde for me to indulge in my love affair with Vikings by visiting the Viking Ship Museum. I’ll save the museum for another post because what I really want to talk about are the costumes. As if “Vikings as a happiness factor” requires further explanation anyway.

Ahem, back to the costumes; not the ones you can try on at the museum (oh, yes!), no I’m talking about the hoards of young folks parading randomly down the streets of Roskilde in the middle of the day on a Monday carrying cartloads – and in one very inventive case, a baby carriage – of beer and, inexplicably, waterguns. Everyone was in high spirits, none of the costumes fit together, the locals weren’t even phased and we couldn’t figure out any rhyme or reason to it. Was it Danish Halloween?

Costumes

Doesn’t matter. For the sake of my scientific endeavor, random costumes in the middle of a work/school day = happiness meter registering at medium high.

Update: Apparently students in this part of the world celebrate graduation by dressing in costume. Because caps and gowns aren’t quite enough. Happiness bonus points.

Finally, Exhibit C: Sunlight, sunlight and more sunlight.

Let me return to the fact that up here in the Northern countries the more you progress towards summer the more daylight you have. Every day the sunset hour creeps closer and closer to midnight. What this means is quite profound: more daylight for more picnics, costumes and public drinking.

denmark daylight

Happiness meter – #1.

It all makes sense.

And just to be clear, Denmark isn’t about to win the #1 spot by the skin of their teeth, nope, they go in for bonus points and win by leaps and bounds. Case in point: Flash mobs at Copenhagen Central.

Waiting for trains is never a fun activity. Don’t worry though, Denmark has you covered. I’d like to think this happens with some sort of regularity and that it wasn’t just a random once in a blue moon event that I witnessed. A large group of young folks spring out of nowhere and start dancing. Really early in the morning, just because. You can’t watch that and not smile. Unless of course you have no soul.

Denmark Flashmob

You win, Denmark.

 

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Home Away From Home

August 13, 2014

I love when you find something unexpected while traveling.

America

A little American Flag caught my eye on my and Adam’s first day in Denmark. I quickly approached to snap a picture – because nothing says “jet lag” like the incessant need to capture every single moment of your first day. I may recall a blur of activity later, but damn it if my pictures won’t light the way down memory lane!

Imagine my joy at finding the flag was for a store called “Signs of Time” that, based on the window display, sold nothing but antique American crap. Old ladders, old posters, old anything as long as it had something to do with my home, sweet home. After a chuckle I gasp – my jet lagged brain is screaming “This is SO important and rare and AMAZING!”:

Home

 

You would have thought I’d stumbled upon a winning lottery ticket, but in fact just stumbling upon a piece of home away from home was enough. Jet lag may have fueled some of the extra excitement…

Maybe.

 

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Nyhavn

June 6, 2014

When I think of Copenhagen I think of this canal with its brightly colored buildings and boats lining the sides. Nyhavn (pronounced New-Houn…I think…) is one of those sights that is chockfull of tourists for good reason – it’s simply a gorgeous place to be. We wandered over here on our first day and enjoyed […]

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Don’t You Have a Home?

May 31, 2014

Kids say the darnedest things. While Adam and I are wrapping up our travels here in the North, I’m desperately trying to sort through all the different stories I want to tell about our adventures. The fact that I’ve been enjoying myself too much to bother blogging is, well, fantastic. But it sure does leave […]

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Our Saviors Church

May 26, 2014

I know…not exactly the post title you’ve come to expect from yours truly. Nevertheless if you find yourself in Copenhagen I will have to insist that you find your way over to this church. Not for the beautiful interior, or for the organ music that’s played live (or at least was on the day we […]

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Hi, Hej; Yea, Ja

May 24, 2014

I didn’t realize I already spoke Danish. It wasn’t until my less jetlagged 2nd day in Copenhagen that I realized that all these Danes weren’t immediately marking me as an English-only speaker, they were simply saying hello and I, inadvertently, was responding in Danish. This of course only invited more Danish speaking to which I […]

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What Not to Do on a Rainy Day in Copenhagen

May 22, 2014

After spending four days in Copenhagen I’ve finally had some time to gather my thoughts and jot down some notes (which may or may not have been left on a train…) What keeps coming to mind is our run in with some angry weather gods. A theme I’m realizing more and more is a frequent […]

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Stumbling Upon a Marathon

May 19, 2014

Tomorrow will be an important anniversary – see one year ago I ran in and completed my first Marathon in Denver.  An entire 26.2 miles on my feet. It’s fun remembering how much I loathed running up until a few years ago. Something clicked and I would enjoy short to mid-distance jogs but still never […]

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