(or How I Spent My Summer Vacation) Listen people, I know what you’re thinking. Denmark? There are no car companies in Denmark! There are no famous racetracks in Denmark! There are no famous races, shows or even noteworthy roads in Denmark! What are you thinking Mama? Why subject me to this dumbass post? Well, my friends, that’s exactly why I’m writing to you today. I can find car culture anywhere and not just in the obvious places. Read on and you’ll find out why I think Denmark is a great place for Motorheads to visit (in the business, we call that ‘a tease’).
First of all, let’s get a few things straight. Denmark isn’t a part of Sweden. And people from Denmark are called Danish or Danes, not Dutch, not Danishes. They speak, funnily enough, Danish. It’s a small country (roughly 6m people) with a 1,000 year old monarchy. The mainland is a peninsula pointing north from Germany and then there are 443 or so islands. One of those islands has, among other things, the capital city of Copenhagen. Full disclosure: If I wasn’t married to a Dane, I wouldn’t know any of this sh*t either– so no judgement here, guys.
Due to my recent Danish adventures, I’m delighted to recommend some automotive hotspots of this stunning Scandinavian place. Here goes:
Rent a Car. Make It A Manual. Drive Around
This advice probably transfers to 90% of any overseas adventures. But if you rent a car and it’s a manual you will find yourself more alert, more engaged and ultimately, a better driver. I was stunned to discover how much more vigilant I was behind the wheel when I knew that I had to handle the gears and read signs in a foreign language. Plus, I got to rock a Renault and that never happens at home (tease alert: that post is coming next). Oh and I figure all of that left foot action almost counts as cardio, which was helpful to my diet of hotdogs, Carlsberg, gummy bears and you guessed it.. Danishes.
Play ‘Spot the Pothole’
Denmark is known to be a very progressive country. Due to its highly educated and highly taxed population, they have a government that thinks things through and gets stuff done. Not always to everyone’s liking of course, but on the roads, the activity is unavoidable. Drive across this small country (no seriously, it won’t even take you 4 hours) and you’ll be hard pressed to find a pothole, a un-serviced stop light or even a bike line that isn’t fully paved and clearly marked. This considering that for 6 months out of the year this place is covered in cold, white stuff, that’s quite an accomplishment. Kind of like if Apple made roads…sure, there are annoying updates all the time, but the stuff is pimp.
Answer The Question: What Would A Baron Drive?
Here’s a hint: He’d drive a lot of things. At the famed Egeskov Slot (no, you perv, that’s Danish for castle)
you’ll find one of my favorite places, a private automotive collection that’s not only in a barn on the grounds of this 15th century castle, but it holds everything from 1920 electric car to cool emergency vehicles from the Danish company Falck. As if that isn’t awesome enough, the castle also has a motorcycle museum which is equally impressive and a section of that museum is dedicated to vintage campers.
Ride A Bike
Yes this is me, Motorhead Mama, telling you to shelve your keys for a few days. Get your ass to Copenhagen and straddle something on two, un-motorized wheels. If I can do it, you can too.
I spent a day biking around Copenhagen with my daughters because it’s cheap, easy and of course, because of the aforementioned diet of hot dogs, gummy bears and beer. I’m now convinced that biking around Copenhagen actually made me think about how I, as a driver, am not always sensitive to bicyclists’ needs and perhaps there would be room for improvement when I return to LA. Hear that Mr. Spandex on Mulholland? Mama’s gonna try..I swear
Crash A Car Show
Just as my automotive cohorts were gearing up for the world’s car show, The Pebble Beach Concours D’elegance, I was in a little town in Jutland walking through the main street looking at vintage European cars. Why? Because exactly how many VW fire trucks are at Pebble Beach? Exactly. Money isn’t everything, kids.
Just Keep Driving
There are plenty of amazing places to drive to in Denmark. Like Rosenborg Castle, which Shakespeare thought was cool enough to set Hamlet in, so please don’t tell me ‘But I’ve been to Disneyland.’ Also the world’s highest ranked restaurant Noma, plus the 10,000 year old man at the Moesgaaard Museum:
and of course, the usual suspects: Legoland, Tivoli & the Little Mermaid. You can even drive across the bridge to Sweden. Or head south to Germany where I hear they make some cars, but with so much to do in Denmark, why would you want to do that?
If had a favorite Danish car event, meet up or destination, please let me know in the comments below. You know I’ll be back!