Gdansk and Around

Kay and I passed through Gdansk for the first time about ten years ago on our way north through the Baltic States in an attempt to beat the summer heat further south. On that occasion, we stayed only a couple days to admire the old city and ogle the amber jewelry in the shop windows.

This visit was more comprehensive. During scheduled excursions from our annual two-week literary conference held at a nearby resort on the Baltic Sea, we revisited the beautiful old town’s center, overflowing with summer tourists, and spent some choice hours in two museums that hadn’t existed at the time of our first visit.

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Finally! It was time for Kay and me to feel what it was like to spend a few days in what some claim is the most livable and happiest city on the planet. July was a perfect time to fly north and escape Istanbul’s summer heat and humidity.

As we debarked into Copenhagen’s airport, I was all eyes and ears. Do the happiest people in the world look outwardly different from the rest of us? Maybe not. But maybe courtesy and thoughtfulness are signature traits of happy people. We certainly found these on display at the counter of the airport tourist office where we bought our five-day Copenhagen cards that gave us passes on all public transportation and admission to every museum we visited. And we found them again when we checked into the central city’s Absalon Hotel. Preliminaries accomplished, the receptionist left her post to personally escort us to our room, making sure we knew how to use our key cards to run the elevator.

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