Friday, June 5, 2015


Is that Don Bright? Funny thing is that many men in Copenhagen look like Don Bright of Attronica.  We are in Copenhagen Denmark. We arrived three days earlier in order to explore the city of Copenhagen and to get adjusted to the 9-hour time difference from San Diego. This being the first week of June I expected the weather to be warmer but the temperatures are in sixties and it is mostly sunny.  Also it has been quite windy. So it turns out to be a San Diego and Chicago combination, weatherwise.
Over the last three days I have formed some impressions about Copenhagen and Denmark that I'd like to share with you. People here are extremely nice. They all speak English in addition to Danish. Everywhere in Copenhagen you feel totally safe. Public transportation is amazing here. Trains and buses go everywhere and are frequent. People bike everywhere. There are two bikes per every resident of Copenhagen. There are separate traffic lights for bikes at many traffic stops. Traffic lights are synchronized at 12 mph to allow the bike traffic to flow smoothly with a higher priority. Their Metro runs automatically without drivers.
Denmark is not in the Euro zone. Its currency is Danish Krones. Prices of most items are similar to U.S. The prices seem higher initially but once you factor in VAT (national sales tax) they become more or less equal. In US for a  $10 sandwich at a restaurant you'd pay almost  $13 because of tips and taxes. Here the price is listed at $12 (in Krones) and that's what you pay. I like this system, you know exactly what you are going to pay right up front. 
Taxation in Denmark may seem excessively high at 25% VAT and 50% income tax, however, that includes total health care for every citizen, and free school and college education for all. I think it is a great system. Maybe this is why in international surveys Denmark is usually at the top as the happiest country in the world. 
Another interesting thing we noticed is that many women  (men too) were out there walking with their babies in sturdy baby strollers. Denmark's social net supports family values. 
Scandinavian countries are known for their contemporary designs. I love designs with straight lines and angles, with glass and chrome. I was in design heaven of Copenhagen. All the relatively newer buildings were full of such design elements. Simple lines, angles, triangles and other complex angular shapes were everywhere. I started thinking about my days in engineering college in India. Could I have made the drawings of this contemporary hotel, Bella Sky, that we are staying in? It is full of zillion angles everywhere inside and out. If you like architecture don't go to Paris, Rome, or London, go to Copenhagen and feast your eyes. You'll find Danish people's love for design everywhere, in decorations, metro, food presentation and every little facet of their lives.
Toady we visited Tivoli gardens. Walt Disney got his inspiration for Disneyland after visiting Tivoli and one can see why. Tivoli is a smaller Disneyland created years earlier.
It has been three days in Copenhagen and tomorrow we board the Royal Caribbean 's Serenade of the Seas for a cruise to the Arctic Circle the land of the midnight sun.

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