Saturday, July 24, 2010

Mike's Bike tours

My third day in Copenhagen and final day in Europe was very informative and productive. I joined Mike's Bike tours for a 3.5 hour ride around the city, featuring many stops and excellent commentary on ancient and modern Copenhagen. We saw many sites in a different way, learned how to navigate the bike lanes together, and learned what makes the Danes the "happiest people on earth" according to many world polls. Our guide, born and raised in Copenhagen, explained the government, high taxation, the strong welfare state, and the extremely low crime rate. I took notes on some of this commentary (to the amusement of my fellow riders) so I could provide a more detailed write up later on (most likely upon my return home). This is what I came here for, information like this.

I saw the residence of Hans Christian Anderson, where he wrote the famous fairytales we grew up hearing. I also saw Soren Kirekegaard's residence, and Mike gave us a wonderful commentary on his work Either/Or, which he feels is a great guide to people, especially as they hit middle age. "I can only read about 15 lines or so at a time, but that's enough to keep a guy's mind spinning for weeks." He explained that it's his favorite work. As a result of the discussion, many fellow riders wrote his name down. An Aussie beside me pulled out her Rick Steves Denmark book and jotted down the book title inside, saying "I'd like to read that."

"Kirekegaard is great," I replied. Although I'd only read The Present Age, way back in college . . .11 years ago. It's time to read some more Kierkegaard, especially with my interest in philosophy and, of course, my impending 30th birthday next month.

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