In this article, you will read about (in my opinion) the 12 unusual and surprising things about Denmark.
This is mainly a comparison with The Netherlands.
A 1.5 week holiday to Denmark was good enough for me to see the society.
How are people living their lives?
Are they happy and relaxed? How is the environment?
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This is one the article from the Unusual and surprising things series.
1. Good energetic vibrations
This was something personal.
Closing my eyes, I definitely sensed a “blessed” place.
Blessed in the sense of warmth, at home, positive, happy, relaxed, opening up and just good.
The vibrations I felt were in the city center of Copenhagen.
Also in the southern area of Copenhagen, Dragør, where I stayed for a week was good energy.
2. Relaxed people
People were joyful, happy and relaxed.
I did not see, in my time of stay, people yelling and were unkind to each other.
In 2019, Denmark was ranked second in the world’s happiest countries.
This was clearly visible in the people.
When the sun was shining, people walked outside with cans of beer in their hands.
Despite publicly drinking, which was allowed, there was no violence or aggression to be found.
Of course, everywhere are people that make trouble for others.
But so far in the trip, I did not see any.
Maybe this had to do with the low density of the population in the country?
Denmark had, as of writing, 5.7 million people living in Denmark with 42.9 square meters.
While The Netherlands had 17.1 million people living in 42.5 square meters.
3. Close to Sweden
What amazed me the most was the close distance to Sweden.
I stayed for one week in Dragør, a town south of Copenhagen.
From that place, at the harbor, we could see the bridge to Sweden.
This Öresund Bridge connects Denmark to Sweden directly.
It was open for traffic in 2000.
Since then, not only could you fly or go by boat to Sweden, also by train and by car.
From Dragør, it was very close to go to Sweden.
At least to Malmö, the Swedish part closest to Denmark.
I took this great opportunity to visit Sweden, as it was so close.
I went by train and it took me one hour to end up in Malmö.
First a bus to Copenhagen airport, then a train to Malmö station.
It was 15 minutes quicker by car to the airport and from there take the train.
4. Not much of a multicultural society
This was a stark contrast with Malmö.
In Copenhagen, I saw many non-Danish people.
Most of the non-Danish were tourists.
The ones that were not tourists though, they fit into society and did not stand out.
They looked relaxed and satisfied and got along with locals.
In Malmö, non-Swedes were clearly visible and they did stand out from the crowd.
They were, because of the amount, in groups together and showed their differences.
This made them stand out and different from the culture of the country.
They did not look satisfied and relaxed.
I noticed the difference in energy between the two places too.
Don’t mistake me, I like to interact with multicultural people, as it is an enrichment by itself.
However, those that do not fit in well and causing troubles are not beneficial to no one in the long run.
5. Cold outside the sunlight
Once the sun was shining and you were walking in it, it was quite warm.
Once outside the sun, in the shade, it was cold.
Also, mornings were usually cold and the afternoons warm.
This applies to the month of July that I was in Denmark.
6. Flat country & biking culture
Like The Netherlands, Danmark is a flat country.
This makes the country perfect for bike riding.
There were many bikes around and people even use rented autopeds (electric scooters).
Compared to The Netherlands, autopeds in Denmark is something new.
In The Netherlands mostly bikes are in the streets, both rental and personal bikes.
7. Driver-less metros
It was amazing to see metros moving without a driver.
They do this automatically.
I heard that at the beginning they did not work so effectively.
After some improvements, they became quite effective.
In The Netherlands, we have as of writing only a driver-less bus driving a small route.
8. Swallow birds
One thing I noticed was the great number of swallows in Copenhagen.
Sometimes, according to a friend, the sky can be covered by the swallows.
I rarely see swallows normally, so this was for me very beautiful to see them flying around.
9. Flies with attachment
This was so different than my experiences in Germany, Belgium or The Netherlands.
Flies here came to me and sat on my skin.
Even after pushing them away, they came back regularly.
10. Pork rinds
Pork rinds are chips made of pork’s skin, also called pork scratchings.
This was for me something new, I had not eaten this snack before.
One thing was for sure, it was very fatty and (to me) the taste was not delicious at all.
So I do not want to eat it again.
11. Grilling and hyldeblomstdrik
Danish love grilling food.
I had been told that they grill whenever the weather is 15 degrees and above.
And it does not matter if it is cloudy and/or rainy, they will grill as much as possible.
Hyldeblomstdrik is a typical Danish drink made of elderflowers.
It is mainly drunk in the summers in Denmark.
I have not seen such a drink in The Netherlands.
12. Public free toilets
At some places, like the train station Nørreport, there was a toilet block with free toilets.
The toilets were also clean as there was staff that keeps the toilets clean.
Although I heard from a friend there will be more and more paid toilets coming up.
In The Netherlands, it was very rare to find a free public toilet.
Everything was paid.