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October 6, 2010

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WHERE'S JOHNNY JET?                    Copenhagen
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God dag from Europe! Last week I told you all about my SAS flight to Copenhagen, and this week I will share with you my stay in Denmark's beautiful capital before taking a 12-day Baltic Sea cruise.

ARRIVING IN DENMARK
I've been to a lot of countries, and so far Denmark has had the warmest welcome. First of all, there was no immigration/customs form to fill out, and there were no lines and no invasive questions from the agent. He just said, "How was your flight?" and then "Welcome to Denmark" with a huge smile. Why can't other countries, especially America, do the same?

TRAVELING WITH MY MOM
It's been a dozen years since I last stepped foot (besides transferring in the airport) on the land that produced my mom's father. One of the main reasons is because Denmark is the country that holds some of my most special travel memories, as I traveled here twice with my Mom just before she passed away. I waited so long because I was afraid going back might erase those memories, but instead it was just the opposite. I retraced our steps, which helped dig up old memories as well as created new ones.



SOME RANDOM GOOD-TO-KNOW FACTS
-Copenhagen is six hours ahead of New York.
-Copenhagen's 10-Day weather forecast
-1.5 million Americans have at least one Danish ancestor (I'm one of them).
-In May 2009, the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development stated that Denmark is the happiest country in the world.
-Most state-run museums in Denmark are free all the time. Some are free on select days (often Wednesdays).
-You can have dinner with a Danish family by booking with MeetTheDanes.dk.
-If you are 65+ you get a 50 percent discount on train tickets (Danish State Railway) and 25 percent off of train tickets on Friday, Sunday, and some holidays.
SOURCE: JourneyWoman.com -There's no need to tip in restaurants, as 15 percent is automatically added to your bill.
-A link to book Copenhagen hotels


ATM
The first thing I usually do when I arrive in a country is hit the ATM and withdraw some local currency. Denmark has the Kroner (DKK), and at press time US$1 = 5.40 DKK or 1 DKK = US$0.18. But since I was only going to be in town for 24 hours and my meals had been pre-arranged, I figured I could get by using a credit card or even euros (I always carry some in my bag), and I was right. I didn't have a problem because all the taxisI used and stores I went into took either credit/debit cards or euros.

CREDIT CARD
I used to always use my United Airlines Visa card for purchases, but after they started charging me 3 percent on all foreign transactions I switched to a Capital One Visa, since they currently do not charge a currency-exchange or cross-border fee. I'm starting to notice that more and more countries are using credit/debit cards with embedded chips rather than our (U.S.) magnetic stripes. I did have some problems using ticket machines with my credit card, but luckily my debit card worked when my credit card didn't. Read this excellent article by Joe Brancatelli on How Banks Bite Business Travelers.

AIRPORT TO CITY CENTER
To get into Copenhagen (locally spelled KÝbenhavn), my girlfriend Natalie and I each bought train tickets. I didn't have my itinerary handy, so the very friendly agent looked up our hotel and found the easiest train station (Copenhagen Central). It cost 34DKK (US$6) per ticket; a taxi would've taken 10 minutes longer and cost around 500DKK (US$86.94). FYI: This was one of the places I tried to use my credit card but it was declined since I didn't know (or have) my four-digit pin. Trains leave often (every 20 minutes or so), and lots of locals got off at the airport but none got on. We made two stops and arrived in KÝbenhavn at 7:35 a.m.

TRAIN STATION TO HOTEL
The hotel was a five-minute walk from the Copenhagen Central train station (note that Vesterport train station is only three minutes). It was a beautiful day, so the walk was welcome, and I loved seeing daily life in Copenhagen up close--especially all the parked bikes at the train station. The Danes sure are environmentally friendly.

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Copyright 2010 JohnnyJet, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Pictures From

The Trip

 

CPH Airport

 

Train Ticket Booth

 

Danish Train

 

Scenery

 

Almost There

 

Central Station

 

How You Spell Copenhagen

 

Inside Station

 

Distance To Hotel

 

Danish Parking Lot

 

Europe With My Mom and Brother in 1998

 

My Mom in Denmark

 

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