København \\ Week One
August 27, 2011 § 1 Comment
One week in Europe down. Many more to go (thank goodness!).
Its been a quick seven days, yet this country already feels like home. I have somewhat figured out the transit system, have biked many miles already (the average Dane bikes over 1 mile/day) and already experienced the most intense thunderstorm of my life (apparently that is not normal).
The first week was filled with orientation, get-to-know-you icebreakers and introductions to the Danish language. This language is really going to test me. I can’t even pronounce the alphabet correctly thanks to the additional æ, ø and å letters!
I am finding Copenhagen is a wonderful city to learn about architecture and urban planning. Thus far I have had a couple of lectures based on the changing of the city’s boundaries. I find it all so fascinating. The founding of the city dates back to 1167A.D. Clearly none of the original structures are around, but I will settle for the castles, towers and churches that are well over 500 years old.
The city began as important port thanks to its excellent harbor. Like traditional medevial cities, it was fortified by a wall but during the Industrial Revolution the city grew immensely and sprawled outside of its city walls. The city is now home to over 500,000 Danes and the surrounding area boasts over 1.9 million residents.
In recent years, city planners are working on making Copenhagen and the surrounding areas a revitalized modern city. This is especially apparent around Nyhavn (the harbor area). Once an industrial area, it is now home to some new architectural icons, like the Royal Playhouse, Opera House, and ‘Black Rock’ Public Library. (Pictures are coming, I promise!)
More Copenhagen fun facts coming soon!