Since my partner keeps encouraging me to write about my travels (though she does a much better job at it), I thought I’d do so. We spent the day in Copenhagen, a lovely city, where last night we simply wandered around the pedestrian-only streets. In walking distance of our hotel (the conveniently located but not too fancy Hotel Danmark), we spent the day at Christiansborg Slot, seeing the Royal Reception Rooms, ruims of the old castle, armory and royal stables. While it was slightly chilly and somewhat rainy, it was a very enjoyable day with the kids.

After living a China for a year, Europe is of such a smaller and lesser crowded scale. I often assume things will be difficult and crowded when they simply aren’t. For example, as I write this I’m on the City Night Light train from Copenhagen, Denmark, to Basel, Switzerland. I assumed the Copenhagen Central Station (København H) would be packed. I was decidedly wrong. A spacious train station with few people, at least compared to China.

On the way to Basel, we’ll pass through essentially all of Denmark and Germany. We currently stopped in Kolding, Denmark. We’re in a four-person sleep couchette. Some tips for train travel thorough Europe: (1) Carry a lot of food and drink with you. But a note: if you love sausage, potatoes, cheese, beer and chocolate, you need not every carry any food as these things are found in great abundance in Scandinavia, Germany, Switzerland, and on this particular train. (2) Carry cash in many denominations. Shockingly (but maybe not given Germany’s relationship to the Euro), the City Night Line only takes Euros and Swiss Francs, and I had to do a bit of a song and dance when we stopped in Odense to get Danish Kronor from an ATM, and convince someone to let me buy something in Kronor and get change in Euros so I would have Euros on the train. (3) Bring a map of Europe with you so you can see where you are. (4) The lighter you pack the better, something we fail to given that my kids can’t carry all their bags. I can’t wait to say: “You can bring what you can carry.”

In other news, my sabbatical has just hit a turning point, where a feel I finally have the time to simply write. Article paragraphs and grant proposals are being typed with more speed. After this post, I’ll move to work on a article tentatively titled, “Global Environmental Law: Food Safety and China.”

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