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Murray Edwards College
University of Cambridge

Adina Neda: Independent travel to Copenhagen, Denmark

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    01 Oct

    This year with the help of Gateway Challenges Funding I finally got the chance to visit a Northern country. I
    chose Denmark because of its reputation for being “the happiest country”. I was intrigued why the people
    here are so happy. And it was worth it!

    To begin with, the country itself is very clean, the streets are beautiful, the public places are nice and taken
    care of. This was my first impression after arriving by train from the airport. I was fortunate to find a hotel
    near the Central Station, quite close to the city centre. Copenhagen is a small city so it takes about 30-40
    minutes to get to any museum. You have the option of taking the bus or the metro, they are included in the
    Copenhagen Card, a convenient choice for a student who wants to visit. The card also offers you free access
    to the most important museums.

    In my first day, I left the hotel quite early in the morning to enjoy the pleasant warmth of the sun and walked
    to Tivoli Gardens. I thought it’s going to be an amusement park, but it’s so much more than that! It has
    something for everyone: you can walk around the park and admire the scenery, relax in the beautiful gardens
    full of colourful flowers or eat traditional food at a restaurant and, of course, you can try a couple of rides in
    the carousels. In the afternoon I saw the city hall and went to Christianborg Palace. The rooms inside are
    very imposing and the museum offers a map that indicates in what order to visit the rooms. Everything was
    very organised, the museum workers are polite and willing to help you find anything — from giving you
    more information about a room in the palace to recommending you other museums. The information about
    the history of the Royal Family and the Palace was well presented, concise and easy to follow.
    After that, I walked to the Little Mermaid, the symbol of Denmark. I would recommend visiting it in the
    afternoon because it's less crowded and I was able to take pictures of it and enjoy a moment of quietness
    while looking at the sea.

    The following day I went to the National Aquarium. Here you can admire a wide range of marine species
    while the staff explains to the visitors why it’s important to keep the oceans clean and how to help the
    threatened species. Also, you can watch the two adorable otters adopted by the aquarium while they play and
    eat. After that, I took the metro back to the city centre and visited the Glyptoteket, an art museum. It has an
    Antique and Modern Department and a couple of temporary exhibitions. The statues and paintings really
    impressed me because of their size, the details they depict and the techniques used to create them. However,
    the interior garden is what I liked the most, it's a small, quiet oasis of vegetation in the centre of the museum.
    In the afternoon I walked to The Harbour Bath, a recreational facility where locals come to socialise and
    swim in the canal. Moreover, the place offers an amazing view of the city.

    On the last day of visiting I took the bus to The Church of Our Saviour. Whenever I visit a city I like to go
    somewhere where you can see the whole place from high up. In Copenhagen, this is the perfect place! You
    have to climb 400 steps to get to the top and the stairs become quite narrow and steep near the top, but the
    effort is worth it. The view of Copenhagen from a 90 meters height is breathtaking. I was able to see almost
    all the museums I've mentioned and take some amazing pictures as I was lucky to go on a sunny, clear day.
    After that, I walked to Nyhavn (New Harbour) which was once a disreputable quarter of the city, but now it
    has brightly coloured houses, restaurants and coffee shops. I concluded the day by visiting Rosenborg
    Castle, the summer residence of King Christian IV, built in the Renaissance style. In the treasury
    situated in the basement, I admired some of the most important jewels: the Crown Jewels, the Crown
    Regalia, the Crown of the Absolutist Kings and the Queen's Crown.

    Overall, I had an amazing time in this beautiful European capital. It has offered me the chance to improve
    my knowledge about the history of the Royal Families of Europe and become better at planning, booking and
    sticking to a schedule.

    I realised that it’s the small things that make Denmark the happiest country: a healthy and organised lifestyle,
    a good education from a young age about how to behave in the society and a relaxed outlook towards life and
    people. So we can all follow this simple recipe and become as happy as the Danes!

    Adina Neda
    Computer Sciences