by Dr. Denise R. Ames
My Baltic Sea Cruise was coming to an end. Our small cruise ship, the Nautica, was steaming its way to Copenhagen, our departure port. My stint as cruise ship lecturer had come to an end, and now I was a free person to relax and enjoy my 3 days in Copenhagen with my traveling companion, Susan. I was looking forward to it.
The sun shone brightly, and the city glittered with possibilities as our ship edged closer to its final destination. As our ship pulled into its docking place, the crew jumped into overdrive. It was a busy day for them—they had to scoot out the old passengers and usher in the new in a quick turn-around time. We made our way to the cruise ship terminal with our carry-ons in tow.
We queued our way to the area in which our larger luggage was awaiting us. The luggage was neatly arranged according to our floor and we quickly spotted our bags. After a harrowing five days at sea without our luggage on the cruise, I was happy to see that it didn’t disappear into the unknown again.
We emerged from the darkened terminal into the morning sunlight that glistened and flickered off the undulating waves. It seemed like a good omen for a fun and adventurous three days. We hailed a taxi, spotlessly clean, and headed to our hotel conveniently located in the center of Copenhagen. It was still early but the hotel promised to store our bags until late afternoon check-in.
The kind taxi driver helped us unload our behemoth bags, I swore they had gained weight like we did on the cruise. Actually, I only wore about half of the clothes in my bag since we were without our luggage for half of the trip. I had packed more than I usually do since I was supposed to look “professional” for my lecturers. Now I had to haul around a heavy bag of unworn clothes. Oh well, mark it up to being part of the travel experience.
The hotel was what I expected in Copenhagen: clean and efficient. The staff said our room was ready and we could check in at 9:00 instead of at 3:00. We were happy to unpack a few things, get settled, and plan the rest of our day. I towed the “monster” up the elevator and through the hall to our room, where I ceremoniously parked it in the corner out of sight for the duration of the trip. The room was sparse but immaculate with a glass-enclosed full shower in the gleaming bathroom. Two narrow twin beds took up most of the room but we were used to small quarters since our cruise ship room was “compact” as well.
I found a good map of Denmark to see where Copenhagen is located. It surprised me to see that it is situated on the eastern coast of one of the eastern islands, Zealand, another portion of the city is located on an island called Amager. I didn’t realize it is very close to Malmö, Sweden, separated by the strait of Øresund. In fact, the Øresund Bridge connects the two cities by rail and road. I can see why water has shaped the culture of Denmark so significantly, it is everywhere.
I had been thinking about what I wanted to see in Copenhagen during my short time in the city. Of course, there was much more that I wanted to visit than time allowed, so I had to narrow it down. Top on my list was a visit to Christianshavn, a colorful bohemian neighborhood. Also, the monarchy was very popular in Denmark, I wanted to see it and investigate why it was so popular. Thirdly, Copenhagen is considered to be an environmental paradise. What could be learned from their environmental consciousness by walking around the city. And, fourthly, Denmark is often ranked in some surveys as the happiest country in the world. What makes them so happy? Those were the top four topics and destinations, I am sure others would crop up as our sight-seeing expanded.
We immediately found a walking tour of Copenhagen that was leaving in an hour. It sounded intriguing and perhaps we would get our bearings about how to navigate the city center. Also, the tour included a stop at the monarch’s palace, it would be fun to see the regalia surrounding the monarchy. Off we went.
To be continued …
About the Author: Dr. Denise R. Ames
Dr. Denise R. Ames’ varied life experiences—teaching, scholarly research, personal experiences, extensive travels, and thoughtful reflections—have contributed to her balanced views and global perspectives. Earning a doctorate in world history education, she has taught secondary schools, universities, a community college, professional development, and lifelong learners. In 2003, Dr. Ames founded Center for Global Awareness, an educational non-profit that develops globally-focused books and educational resources for educators and students grade 9-university. She has written eight books, plus numerous blogs, lesson plans, articles, newsletters, teaching units.
Along with CGA’s Gather program, Global Awareness Through Engaged Reflection, a study and conversation program for self-organizing groups of lifelong learners and, Global Awareness for Educators, Dr. Ames is developing a new program: Turn, Transformation, Understanding, & Reflection Network. Turn encourages life-long learners to see with new eyes, learn from the past, understand others, and recognize the relationship of all things. She teaches workshops/classes and writes about Turn’s five topics: learning from the past, cross-cultural awareness, five worldviews, elder wisdom, and transformative travel.
Dr. Ames has written 9 books for the Center for Global Awareness, check out their offerings! Global Awareness Books