It begins with Lana's job opportunity to work in Denmark while working in Seattle for CMC Biologics. As a contractor there she felt exposed given the 3 month contract terms so was looking for something more permanent. I had been working in Germany for over two years so getting our lives back in the same time zone was the primary interest. Moving to a completely new country is a mixture of adventure and drudgery. The adventure is easy to understand. New people to meet, new foods to eat, and new places to see. The drudgery part involves the visa applications, contract negotiations, apartment rental, moving in blues, filling out endless forms sometimes in a foreign language and just plain dealing with all the details that get you and your stuff from here to there. As always there is a price to pay for the rewards of living and working away from your home. Now we are in the second year of this experience. Lana has settled into her job which has been extended to the end of 2012 while I am still hanging on down in southern Germany hoping to last until I'm 70 when we both agree we should be moving back to the US or to our final retirement location wherever that might be.
Copenhagen is if anything a particularly photogenic city located on the island of Zealand which lies between the Swedish mainland and Jutland, the peninsula that connects Denmark to Germany. With a few exceptions no city I've visited has the density of interesting architecture, scenic seaside walks, historical buildings, and heft of history. It comes at a price though, as the cost of eating out and visiting museums etc. is quite high compared with other old and famous places in Europe. The cool, gray weather during three seasons is a negative although it doesn't rain constantly. Of course it mostly depends on what you are used to like many environmental factors. If you are from Seattle as we were then Denmark will hardly seem like a change. Danish history is not at the top of most people's list of subjects so it may come as a surprise to some just how powerful and large Denmark has been. At one time the Danish government ruled all of Norway, Finland, Sweden and parts of the countries now located along the Baltic coast as well as two northern states in Germany. That may explain why the country is so well endowed with castles, palaces and other grand structures that could only be built by a government or very wealthy families. As with any empire the plunder tends to move towards the center of power which in Denmark is Copenhagen. It's been several hundred years since Denmark's hegemony over these areas was taken down by a series of lost battles. Now it exists more or less within the original boundaries established during the early Viking period dating to 10th Century. One of the key aspects of Danish wealth dates to the early middle ages when she controlled both sides of the entrance to the Baltic Sea called Oresund. This narrow channel allowed the Danes to levy a tax on every ship that passed through. Today only Kronborg Castle on the Danish side remains. It was one side of the control mechanism and provided a secure position from which the Danes could intercept commercial shipping as it passed through the sound and into the Baltic or North Sea. The following links provide a brief history of Denmark and a description of the famous Oresund channel:
Coming up to a year now that Lana's been working here. In that time we have managed to take several trips locally to various points of interest. Rather than write up each location with our description we are inserting links that show the main attractions and provide better than we can explanations of the history and importance of the site. Most of these sites are within easy driving from Copenhagen i.e. less than a few hours.
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