Copenhagen, Denmark

Trip #9: Saturday August 7 – Sunday August 8, 1999

Paul and I went straight to the train station after work on Friday. Our destination was Copenhagen, where there was an organized all-inclusive get-together for trainees working in Europe. We were to meet about 175 trainees there, most of whom arrived a day earlier. The train ride consisted of riding a "reservation only" train without reservation. Regardless, we were able to ride the train, which went onto a ferry to cross the Baltic Sea. Cool.

After arrival in Copenhagen at about 0:30 Saturday morning, we were picked up and taken straight to a private party at a Bar/Club. There, we met the other Canadians working in Hannover (Karyn, Ryan, and Ben) among other trainees. It wasn’t until 4am that we finally saw our accommodation. Hundreds of mattresses had been laid down in a hallway of a Denmark Technical University building. Call it what you want, but for me, anywhere where I could lie down seemed homey at that time.

No later than 3 hours after going to sleep, I experienced the most effective wake-up call I have ever seen. A marching band playing drums and flutes in our ears. It wasn’t long before 175 people were wide-awake and ready for a full day of touring.

Throughout the weekend, there was a camera crew taping our every move. The 10 min. edited version of the tens of hours of recorded video that we got to watch everyday proved to be worth dealing with the annoyance of having a camera in our faces all the time. Besides, this may have been the only time that we can feel like celebrities. For some people more than others, as it turns out… A Greek trainee was asked by several teenage girls why he had a camera crew following him. They were told that he was a famous singer from Greece. Our friend the Greek trainee got to spend several hours signing autographs and being followed by teenagers.

In the early part of the day, we spent an hour on a canal open-air boat cruise. Then we went to go see the changing of the guards at a castle. Most people thought that the half-hour wait to see the guard change was not worth seeing the most inefficient shift change ever. Full of marching and playing with their guns, the whole shift change took more than half an hour.

The longest part of the day was when we broke up into groups and went on separate tours. I opted for the history tour of the city, which was lead by a local who wasn’t a tour guide. Most of his explanations were the likes of "this building was built sometime in the 16th or 17th century by some famous Danish architect." The leader seemed somewhat uncomfortable with the whole situation, until he led the group to a bar. Once in the bar, the leader seemed to know a lot more of what he was talking about. Highlights of this tour were ascending the ramp of a tower (Rundetarn) to get a good view of Copenhagen and walking down Stroget, a one mile pedestrian street that’s the longest in the world.

The event for the night was a semi-formal dinner/dance. What people wore ranged from a tux to T-shirt and shorts. Regardless of what you wore, you fit in with this group.

The get-together ended early Sunday, which was well timed because it rained.

"I love it. Feels just like home." - Paul Sharman

Next: Bruges, Belgium

Back to Europe 1999 Intro