Wonderful Copenhagen–and windy too

Flying into Kastrup, Copenhagen’s International Airport, I was impressed by the svelte line of proud windmills, straight and tall, waving fair welcome to our approach, boasting efficient use of a wind that never seems to stop.

Middelgrunden is an offshore wind farm which seems to sprout from the sea, delivering an estimated 4% of all the power for Copenhagen.

The architecture is eye-catching from the get-go, mixing quaint and modern-esque, futuristic and surreal in its lack of symmetry. It seems to reflect the attitude of the Danes–old enough to have earned the right to express a determined individualism.

The language is strange to my milk-toast ears but not harsh as the over abundance of consonants might imply. In fact, as the stewardess made her announcements, I wondered if she was deliberately trying to be provocative with her soft, whispery Marilyn Monroe delivery. But as I grow used to hearing it, I realize this is their way of speaking what is touted as the most difficult of the Scandinavian languages, with only 5 million people in the world speaking it. Their English is nearly impeccable without a hint of accent; switching between the two seems effortless, reflecting how they become bilingual (at least) from a very early age.

I have yet to hear native music– American oldies drift in the air, making me a more comfortable stranger in a strange land.

I marvel at the lack of traffic even during rush hour. In Copenhagen 50% of all citizens commute by bike every day and there are more bikes than inhabitants! Unlike some countries, bike riders follow traffic rules and they expect pedestrians to do the same. Motorcycles are curiously lacking and traffic flow is remarkably quiet without noxious emission smells–never marring the delightful ambiance and flavor of my street side cappuccino.

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