Friday, August 10, 2012

Denmark: last year this time...

beautiful day at the beach in Skagen, Nordjylland, Denmark

... I started to get ready to follow my man to Denmark for the season. All the way up in the north of that already very much northern country. And that me, the sun lover, southern lifestyle fan and coffee culture craver! I found out, that in these lines of latitude I would get my fair share of the famous short, dark days in wintertime and beautiful, lucent long days in the summer. How convenient that I would be there between September and something around March!!
I was lucky enough though, to have the time and to find a cheap flight right around this time in August to visit for some days the town I would later live in (and of course him).

So here are just some things I figured out during my first hours in Danish-landia:

Denmark is flat. Flatter than flat when you're used to live in between mountains.
This insight led to a funny moment right at the end of my stay in Denmark. My friend drove me to the airport and said on the highway, that she gets a weird feeling every time she drives over that hill. Probably the height change... I didn't know what the heck she was talking about, we didnt drive over any hill. Oh yeah, she meant that 5 meter difference over a stretch of a kilometer! Ha, I can't wait for her to visit me here, where you drive 500 meters up and down all the time...
Northern Italian and Northern Danish temperatures in August are NOT the same. It's still bright but don't let the picture betray you, it's windy and not really warm. Yay me, I brought a jacket.

The beaches in Nordjylland (that's Northern Denmark) are white, sandy and beautiful. They even plant some palm trees on one!
...which I wanted to show my friend when she came to visit from Italy and looked like an idiot when there were none. They had to bring them somewhere inside for the winter, of course...

Despite all the info, not to expect too much of a warm welcome from Scandinavians, that they're a closed up folk and need some time to open up, I felt right away heartly welcomed. Responsibles from my man's team did their best to help me settle in  and organize everything, people in the town were friendly and helpful.
Where else would they tell you to just go buy whatever is missing in the fully equipped appartment. Should I tell them before and ask? Nope just bring the bill and we'll reimburse you.
I was shocked to be in a country where I didnt understand a thing. Well ya, big surprise if you don't speak Danish, stupid! But I take pride in speaking or at least understanding 4 languages and I hadn't been in a country where I wouldn't understand for some time.
Wasn't a big problem though, Danish people speak all very good English and some even German.

(I should have learnt more Danish. I didn't and I didn't try hard. I picked up the words I needed to get by and go grocery shopping. Then I started working in a Danish company which kept me pretty busy and occupied. I learnt some more and had to use all my other languages at work, plus not my first language at home, obviously. But still, now I think I should have invested more time.)

Denmark is windy, especially in the North and close to the beach. Getting out of the mini plane which took me the last 40 minutes from Copenhagen I almost got blown away. Literally.

The huge tankers and ships are cool. I spent at least an hour on my first day there just standing at the window and staring. I've never lived at a harbour and there was one right in front of our doorstep.


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