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  • Writer's pictureSlow Coach

Copenhagen – History, Happiness, Design and World Class Food, All Rolled into One.

Updated: Apr 12, 2021

The brightly coloured buildings and harbour of Nyhavn

Denmark has always fascinated us with its strong focus of design, aesthetics, and its experimental and bohemian soul. It is the only place we know of that has a dedicated institute that conducts research on happiness! No wonder, that Danes are also considered to be the happiest people on the planet.

It has the hippy state of Christiana with its own laws, has the world’s top 2 oldest amusement parks, has the longest and the oldest pedestrian streets, is one of the top cycling countries where more than half of the population prefers to cycle. The Danes and have been able to convert abandoned places into community hubs. They have become masters of design, creating everything from pedal bins to Lego! High on eco friendly hotels, vehicles, organic -food and sustainable and ethical fashion what’s not to love about Denmark!

Home away from home - Anirnab and Souma, our host and friends in Copenhagen

Our travel story of Copenhagen started on a chilly December afternoon in 2017 in UK at our friend’s place where we were invited for a lunch as the couple were busy packing for their move to Copenhagen. As they showed us pictures of their trendy duplex apartment in Copenhagen suburb of Hellerup for their new life in the Scandinavia. With a soft spot for Danish design we jumped at the offer of being their first visitors! And within moments the plans were finalised and tickets were booked. And just like that one sunny Saturday morning during end of May 2018 we arrived at Copenhagen and were greeted by the warm hospitality of our friends and amazing home cooked lunch.

Amidst lots of banter and laughter interspersed with outings in the ever changing weather (if you live in Britain you carry the Brit weather with you!!) days went in a jiffy. We explored the city which is full of life, energy and a juxtaposition of royalty and hippy culture! Add to that was company of good friends and late nights – a perfect recipe for a perfect holiday (minus being bumped into by a cyclist travelling at god forsaken speed!!)

Bishop of Roskilde - Absolan: Founder of Copenhagen

History: The story of Denmark started as early as the end of the Ice Age when hunters and fishermen migrated from Southern and Eastern Europe to the land, we call Denmark. But the most fascinating aspect is the age of Vikings which lasted about 250 years. At one point, the Danish Viking Sweyn Forkbeard and his son Canute the Great were the kings not only of Denmark but of Norway, Southern Sweden, Greenland, the Faroe Islands, Shetland, Orkney and parts of England. The Vikings travelled far and wide from North America to middle East and had mastered the art of shipbuilding and could undertake long and dangerous voyages to raid and trade. Christianity was introduced in the 10th century following the baptism of the Danish King Harald Bluetooth. During the 14th century, with the Kalmar Union the Nordic region (Denmark, Greenland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden) was brought under single monarchy ruled by the Queen Margrethe I. However, in the 16th century Sweden broke away and this was the start of the long rivalry between the two for control of the region. Denmark remained neutral in World War I, after which the Danish economy began to thrive. But it remained under Nazi occupation for 5 long years during World War II

Streets of Copenhagen

After World War II, the economy thrived again with international exports of all kinds and today is a power to reckon with. With a population of less than 6 million Denmark has led the way on many initiatives and has been defending free trade and human rights. Denmark is a constitutional monarchy ruled by a representative democracy.

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