By Samantha Samsonite (with input from Sam Samsonite) | Contributors
Editor’s note: This is the first of a two-part series by contributor Samantha Samsonite chronicling her recent sojourn to Scandanavia with her husband, Sam. Part two will run later.
Somebody once observed without travel you would never lose your luggage. When Sam and I disembarked from the plane in Copenhagen, Denmark, we had no idea how true that observation could be. In fact, we’d never heard it until we stood in the baggage claim line after passing through security (my first passport stamp! Sam tried to act like an international arms dealer, which caused quite a stir, let me tell you.) One by one all of the other passengers collected their luggage from the carousel until it was empty. Our brand new luggage set was nowhere to be found.
Sam, his English-Danish dictionary in hand (always the Boy Scout!) approached an airport employee and asked for assistance. When the airport employee pointed at me, I was quite shocked. Later, after we discovered that the nice man spoke near perfect English, we learned that Sam had asked where his old bag was!
It turned out we had been standing at the wrong baggage carousel. So, our luggage gathered, we were off to Hotel Neptun for our three-day stay in Copenhagen, home of the World’s Oldest Amusement Park, a statue of Hans Christian Andersen, and the World’s Biggest Shoe.
The first thing we learned about Copenhagen was that the toilets have push buttons instead of levers. Sam spent 45 minutes disassembling the tank mechanism to see how it worked (always the explorer!) and then couldn’t get it back together. He had pieces of that Danish commode spread all over the room, and I had to go! Finally, he gave up and we were forced to check out because the shut-off valve leaked and flooded our room.
We wandered the streets of the Jewel of Scandinavia with our luggage in tow. So many bicycles and rules! Several times our roller bag strayed into the dedicated bike lane and upended a speeding cyclist who then cursed us in some foreign language that consisted mainly of throat clearing and hand gestures. This is truly an international city.
After several hours of this we stopped for a coffee in the heart of the fashion district, where smartly dressed women greeted Sam’s photography skills with traditional Danish glares of approval.
Word of our arrival seemed to have spread to other hotels in the tourist quarter because even before we entered their lobbies courteous bell hops greeted us in the street to inform us there was no room in the inn.
With few other options, we found our way to a sort of hippie enclave called Christiana that we assumed was a permanent performance art installation. Several nice men and women dressed as beggars found a blue tarp for us to sleep under. We drifted off to the strains of someone called Bob Marley singing about cornflakes.
In the next installment, the Samsonites tour Malmo, Sweden, the Jewel of Southwestern Sweden.