Sunday, July 19, 2009

A Walk in Copenhagen

If I could pick a single word to describe Copenhagen (København in Danish), I would say "regal." It is a beautiful and proud city, with Danish flags flying everywhere, more statues than I could count, and very clean and proud architectural design.

On the day of my arrival in Denmark, I ventured with a fellow classmate from Lyngby (the site of DTU) to Copenhagen to have a look around. We had little time, so this first trip primarily involved walking the Strøget, a famous street that is supposedly the longest pedestrian shopping area in Europe. Below is a picture from a square at its end, Kongens Nytorv.

There was an exhibit on the Strøget that caught my attention (and Laura's too when she arrived for the weekend) entitled Signspotting, which featured reproductions of the world's weirdest signage. This included signs with double entendres, irony, and tons of poor translations. Some of our pictures are below, but you can see many more at

With rain clouds bearing down on the city, I ended my walk with a free tour at the Danish Resistance Museum, which was really excellent. The tour detailed the Danish government's official "collaboration" (as it was called) with the Germans, which was a means of protecting the people; they essentially provided just enough support to the Germans to remain mostly autonomous during German occupation. Slowly, of course, things deteriorated, martial law was enacted, and a significant resistance movement was born, mostly involving sabotage of railways, ships, and other infrastructure important to the occupying forces.

There's a saying that Denmark is like The Netherlands ... but with two more months of winter. The similarities are there for sure: bikes are used as a primary mode of transportation, there's a similar international flavor to the country, infrastructure is similar, etc. Based on the weekend weather in June - high 50's to low 60's with buckets of rain - I think the second part of the statement is accurate as well.

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