As I said in my last blog, I spent the past three days in Copenhagen with two other people. The weather was fine when we arrived on the first day, but after we ate lunch, it started to pour on and off again. Because of the weather, the places we ended visiting was less than what we anticipated. We were also trying to get some z’s in and rest up before we start hiking everyday again. We did end up going to a Michelin rated restaurant, where we had a five-course meal and some white wine.
One of the places I recommend going to, is the Little Mermaid statue, and the island near it. While the Little Mermaid statue is only a spot for taking pictures, the island is a relaxing and beautiful place to walk around. When you look at the island on a map, it takes the form of a star or even a turtle. If you are interested in modern design, I recommend going to Designmuseum Danmark, which is at one end of the island. Another memorable place for great pictures in by the canal in Nyhavn. There are numerous colorful houses from the 17th Century lined up along the canal that make the harbor a bright and wonderful place to stop by.
Souvenirs are also something that tourists buy. Most stores have magnets, shirts, bags, postcards, and so on. I believe I had visited around five or six souvenir stores in Copenhagen, when I found one in particular that had some very interesting gifts. The three I ended up getting were: a pencil sharpener that is actually a carrot peeler and slicer; a “friendly” vase that has movable hands and feet; and two lid sids, which keeps your pot cover open to let out steam. I haven’t seen these in any other shops, but it’s fun and looks like they work.
One thing I learned while traveling to both Berlin and Copenhagen is that you should take money straight from the ATM. I came to Berlin with US Dollars that I had taken out of the bank to be exchanged into Euros. The teacher told us to just exchange it at the airport because the rates are better, but I had lost more money than I had thought. 500USD should have given me around 446.44 Euros, but I ended up getting only around 379 Euros. A lot of the money that was lost was the service fee, plus an additional exchange fee (I believe). The same thing happened when I exchanged 100USD for Danish Krones and got back less than I expected. Now this may depend on the bank that you have and the service fees that they charge, but when I withdrew money in Copenhagen with my debit card, I got almost the exact amount that I was expecting. I have Chase bank and was informed that I would have a 3% service fee, plus an ATM fee, but somehow I did not see these deducted from my account. Either way, all I can say is that I keep losing money while exchanging; therefore, I believe it is better to just withdraw.
I came back from Copenhagen last night and had to repack to leave for Essen this morning. We have arrived in Essen after a 4-hour train ride from Berlin and I am extremely exhausted. As it is the first day, we didn’t really do much after arriving at our housing complex. All we did, was simply have dinner with Frank, who will be with us during our time in Essen, while Holly goes on vacation with her family and travels back to the States, and relax after settling down. Tomorrow officially begins our hiking days once again, and I can’t say I’m not looking forward to it. Til next time then!