I have just returned from a week of doing nothing in Denmark … well, sort of!
It was my first ever visit to the country. We were ensconced in a very rural region in the Billund/Kolding area.
As I have the memory retention of a goldfish, I would like to share a few observations with you, whilst such thoughts are still caged.
My first impression of Denmark was the cleanliness of the countryside. No litter or roadside dumping. It is such an orderly society; for example, they go to great rounds and have a pride in how everyone plays their part in recycling waste and getting rid of rubbish. Speaking of pride; as well as the above mentioned civic pride, I was surprised at how nationalistic is the country. Almost every house has a 40’ flag-pole in the yard or garden, from which a well-kept national flag flies proudly. Come to think of it, there are many countries, such as the U.S and Canada, all of whom pay greater homage to their flag than do we in Ireland. The British are a bit better than we are. The sad fact is that dissidents and even gangland leaders have managed to devalue our tricolour. But I digress!
I learned about Dexter cows and I visited a family who enthusiastically showed off their small Dexter herd. The Dexter cow originates from the south of Ireland and is the oldest bovine breed in Europe. I felt ashamed that I didn’t know any of this; but I am now a Dexter fan and you could be reading more about this fact at a future date! When I contacted the Irish Dexter Society and a man by the name of Batt Kelly, he told me he knows me from Paddy’s Point and read my books! What a small world …
Along even the most rural of roads in Denmark there runs parallel walking and cycling lanes. Outside of villages can be found specially designated car-parks for car pools and lift sharing to work in the city. You see very few cars with one person during rush hour. I understand that tax breaks are given to those who participate and thereby keep thousands of unnecessary cars off the roads. Another thing I noticed is that almost every car is fitted with a tow-bar.
We can all learn from best practice in other countries.
So what is my abiding memory of Denmark? Ah, it has to be LEGOLAND, in Billund – the home of Lego. You see, when you have your own personal tour guide it’s a big help. You are unlikely to easily forget this one, when Finn, your six years old grandson takes you around by the hand and explains everything in a language that even a goldfish remembers!