Travel, and the traveler’s itch – there’s a lot to be said for the slow, ever pressing and incessant creep of Wanderlust. Wanderlust, in case you’re wondering, is a strong desire for or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world. According to the expertise of Wikipedia, “The term originates from the German words wandern (to hike) and Lust (desire). The term wandern, frequently misused as a false friend, does in fact not mean “to wander”, but “to hike.” Placing the two words together, translates to: “enjoyment of hiking”, although it is commonly described as an enjoyment of strolling, roaming about or wandering.” Apparently, the Wikipedians breaking down the etymology note that ‘In modern German, the use of the word Wanderlust to mean “desire to travel” is less common, having been replaced by Fernweh (lit. “farsickness”), coined as an antonym to Heimweh (“homesickness”).’ Which is quite an interesting concept! Unfortunately German remains tucked away on my long list of languages to learn, quite a bit higher at the moment then Danish, and I’ll tell you why in just a moment.

Wanderlust is what brought our family together in Denmark in 2014, Colorado in 2013 and in Zambia in 2012. When I closed my service and rang the old wheel hanging in the big tree outside the Peace Corps Zambia office, it was a symbol. Not only of the ceremonialistic ending of my service, but also of a ringing clarion of freedom – to be free to wander and explore again on different continents and countries. In the first three months after my Peace Corps service, I took the time to reflect, adjust, travel and explore. On Oct 8th, I rang out and by Oct 9th, I was thousands of miles away, stepping off the aircraft into Copenhagen (København). There to greet me were my parents, Jo and Ed Berger, ready to explore and discover all that Denmark had to offer.

Kobenhagen, Denmark - November/December
A Mural that reminded me of Zambia when I was first discovering Copenhagen

As we adjusted and explored the city, we started picking up some of the linguistic similarities of Nordic languages and English, although we also were quick to recognize some of the seemingly ridiculous amounts of consonants and unpronounced letters!

For example:

Hej – Hello
Goodbye – Farvel (farewell)
Good Morning – Godmorgen
Good afternoon – Godeftermiddag
Thank you – Tak
Excuse me – Selv Tak
Where are you from – Hvor kommer du fra?
How much is it? – Hvad koster det?

You’ve also got Æ Ø Å – æ ø å – some fun characters to add into your pronunciation guide!
Luckily for us, the majority of the population speaks fluent English, is exceedingly polite and generous about language, and is happy to converse in their visitors tongue.

Kobenhagen, Denmark - November/December
Nyhavn (Nye Houn)

København itself is a gorgeous city – it is rightfully ranked as one of the top cities in the world, and with fantastic planning, and dedicated pedestrian and bike areas, combined with huge amounts of green space, lakes, and nature integrated into the city it is truly a lovely city.

Kobenhagen, Denmark - November/December
A block in Copenhagen’s Center

Alex Berger who is a travel blogger, writer, photographer, dancer, and videographer writes about Copenhagen frequently and has often posted media on it. Check out his posts at www.Virtualwayfarer.com and his outstanding photography at https://www.flickr.com/photos/virtualwayfarer

Having spent a few days exploring the intricacies of the city, and walking ourselves into exhaustion each day, we decided it was time to see the rest of the country.

Here’s where it gets a little bit ridiculous! Navigating by car isn’t easy in any country, but when you’re traveling to areas that have names like these – it surely doesn’t make it easier!

SLAGELSE-KORSØR HYBORG ASSENS AARUP SALBROVAD
ÅRHUS MIDTBYEN MAGASIN-ARHUS SKANDERBORG HORSENS-BRAEDSTRUP
REDENSKORV SØ IKAST-BRANDE-KLOVBORG HOLSTEBRO
JORTSH ØJ ROSENHOLMÅ JANNERBUGT-FJERRILSLEV
SYDDJURS-HORNSLET ALLINGÅBRO NORDDJURS-ORSTED JANNERBUGT-BROVST
KLIM STRAND THISTED FROSTRUP THISTED HANSTHOLM
NORRESUNDBY HJORRING BAKHELM RUBJERG KNUDE FYM
SKAGN BRONDERSLEV DRONNINGLAND AARHUS TILST

Kobenhagen, Denmark - November/December

You certainly don’t know when you’ll need to stop on the side of the road, climb the tallest mound and take a look around!

Kobenhagen, Denmark - November/December
But the Danish countryside is definitely worth it – albiet mostly flat (we drove by the tallest mountain in the rain and didn’t even know it), it’s outstandingly gorgeous.

Kobenhagen, Denmark - November/December

With hidden docks and crystal clear lakes, it’s a land of mystery and beauty.