Posted by: Peadar Ban | December 14, 2019



My wife and I are more than used to seeing a place we travel to through the windows of a bus, along with 30 or so other folks.  I have yet to get a window up front and spend the time just looking straight ahead, instead of from right to left and missing what is going by on the other side.  It’s the best there is much of the time, isn’t it?

But there are better ways, you know.

We love to walk, too.  Walking through a place one doesn’t really “know” yet is always an adventure, and often a delight. But you see, the great drawback to that is not knowing enough about where to go next, and where, let’s be honest, not to go at all.

I remember a very long time ago when I took a bunch of visiting police officers on a walking trip from the Battery in Manhattan uptown to the UN.  We were all there for a conference of some kind, and most of them hadn’t ever been to the city.  I got the job because I had grown up in New York.  It was the hardest part of the day keeping them from places I had grown up in.  But the rest was lovely.  And, I was able to answer the many questions.  We stopped a lot, and that was great!  Questions should be answered.

The fellows were all very, very happy with the expedition.

Recently, my wife and I were exposed to such a walk, just three of us, myself, my wife, and her first cousin’s good friend Heidi, on a very lovely excursion through Copenhagen, a much more compact city than New York, but just as exciting for its history and its culture.

Mariellen’s cousin personally brought us to meet up with our guide, hostess, and new friend at a busy Metro stop on a busy street, and after some brief introductions we three got down to a very pleasant, always interesting, fully explained and definitely user-friendly stroll through “Wonderful, Wonderful Copenhagen”.

How much is enough to see of “wonderful” Copenhagen?  Our guide, I thoroughly believe, was both careful and concerned that she would neither overwhelm us with detail nor wear us out (she being considerably younger and clearly more fit than we) with an endless journey.  In fact, we took time out to stop in a delightful café, which I would return to tomorrow if I could, for some delicious hot chocolate and a pastry.

Then we were off again, not forgetting to stop into an exciting store where our guide loves to shop for gifts, very high quality workmanship all over the place.  Were we tempted?  Oh yes.  But we resisted.  All the while, in the most pleasant way, most friendly, and most casual, we wandered and listened, questioned and learned.  And when it rained – and it did!  Several times – she knew where to duck under an overhang or into an unexpected courtyard, within which, too, Heidi found things worth pointing out that evoked yet more knowledge of the city’s history in her mind.

I remember the quiet square, the old buildings, the very technical descriptions of architecture always readily offered, and the happily answered questions.  Reminiscing with my wife about Heidi’s very thorough and enlightening explanations of the university and the great tower, the churches, and, after a mad dash through heavy rain into the area,  our final walk through a (sheltered, thank God) outdoor market, all ending with a celebratory beer back in company with Mariellen’s cousin makes me yearn to spend another such, dare I say it, enchanted afternoon.   I got the feeling that day that all this was almost as much fun for our delightful guide as it was for us. I keep thinking of Julie Andrews in “The Sound of Music” and the lovely song, “My Favorite Things”

PEG Dec. 14, 2019





  1. Are you there now, or is this a remembrance of things past?

    • This Summer, or Spring. I know that there was no snow. If you ever get the urge, I will give you the nice lady’s address. Stay out of the sun!


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