We stayed at our Home For Exchange apartment in Copenhagen for 5 nights, and it was so nice to have a place of solace while in a big city. Us country folk have our meltdowns here and there about city life, so we left Copenhagen in the rear view mirror and on to the island of Fyn and to Odense where my family is from. The bridge crossing over to Fyn was INSANE and looked like something out of Star Wars. Towers a few hundred feet high and nothing but the sea all around us. Which explains why we had to spend $40 just to cross the damn bridge.
Before departing Copenhagen we did have an interesting time trying to get the car washed. It had sat under a large tree for 5 days and was hammered with leaves and pitch. After enlisting a random stranger to help us decipher the Danish wash instructions, we almost got stuck under the automatic door, then we thought it would be fun to jump out of the car while the car wash was still going! Then we forgot the key and the car automatically locks after a few minutes of no activity so we had to jump back in to grab the key while the blower was still going. Finally, when driving out of the wash at the end of this fiasco there was the smallest ghetto trailer you’d ever seen with random shoes all over the ground underneath it, the door wide open, and no one to be found. Seriously WTF?
After the car wash debacle we elected to visit our “own” bar back at our apartment since it was almost rush hour and we wanted to watch the world go by while we enjoyed a cocktail. Our cozy apartment living room hangs over the street somewhat and allows the best views of people going both directions.
We each sat on one end taking turns trying to find the strangest scenario happening. Blonde woman with two blonde children and a very dark haired middle-eastern man (is that genetically possible?). Woman riding in stiletto heels on her bike with a cigarette in one hand. Man riding his bike without holding on to the handlebars and playing the guitar…and not crashing! And every once in awhile someone would look up to the second floor and see us watching the world go by.
Now that we are out of the city and in Odense, it’s an even slower pace regardless of the fact that it’s still a city. A much smaller scale that you can navigate in about 30 minutes. No matter where we go in Denmark, the pace and energy is much the same. Peaceful, stress-free living where people stop to enjoy a park bench in the sun. They make time for their friends, family or even acquaintances and stop to just talk and connect when dining. Not a single cell phone has ever been seen while we’ve been dining out. Danes are all about connecting with each other and living in each happy moment. It’s an art form that they refer to as Hygge. Literally translated as “coziness” in English, Hygge is the art of creating intimacy, closeness, camaraderie and contentment all into one happy lifestyle. Something we most definitely felt in Denmark.