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Denmark

The Danes are world-famously happy, and your mission is to figure out why.  Get the whole story in the homeland of the world’s favorite storyteller, Hans Christian Anderson.  The lush countryside and sweet villages are just as charming as metropolitan centers like Copenhagen, where you’ll find Strøget, the world’s longest pedestrian street, and plenty of other delights.  You’re never more than an hour’s drive to the sea, but it may take a bit longer by bicycle, the Danes’ preferred mode of transportation.  Find out about the preserved “bog bodies” of Danes from 2,000 years ago, delve into adventurous Viking history, and explore the land that links Scandinavia to the rest of Europe.  It’s a big mission, but you’ll have plenty of energy – in the summertime, it never gets completely dark.  On second thought, don’t worry about solving the mystery.  Maybe just add this tune to your concert program:  Forget your troubles.  C’mon, get happy…

Nyhavn Harbor:  A trip to Copenhagen at any time of year ought to be topped off with a stop at this 17th-century icon, a waterfront and canal, where shops and homes with colorful facades line the walkway.  Tour by boat in the summertime for a splashy view, or brave the outdoor cafes in the winter, where blankets are provided on the chairs to warm your legs while you warm your belly.

Kronborg Castle:  Get some extra credit in English by visiting Kronborg Castle, the magnificent Renaissance structure where Shakespeare set tragic Hamlet.  Take a tour of the crypts and catacombs to visit the statue of Holger the Dane, defender of Denmark, or schedule your trip for the Shakespeare Festival and make it a whole fine arts thing!

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