Some facts of Odense

The first thing you notice about Odense is the size. It is a very small town � not compared to other danish towns, it is the third-largest city in Denmark, and the locals hate it when people believe that the third-largest town is Aalborg, which actually is the fourth-largest � but compared to citys in general it is not what you would call a big town in any sense.

So just to be sure that you will be on friendly foot with the locals, here is a list of the biggest danish citys with an estimate of inhabitants. If you memorize this list, you will know a lot more about Danish geography than your ordinary Danish first grader:

Copenhagen is the capital of Denmark and further than hosting the Danish Queen and her family, Copenhagen has roughly 1.5 million inhabitants. If you look at a map of Denmark you can � if you have the smallest creative gift � make out that Denmark have some similarity with a garden gnome with a snotty nose. The nose has produced two islands (I promise I won�t mention what they are made of). Copenhagen is located on the right side of the island Sealand, that is the one further most right, next to Sweden.

The second largest city is located in the other end of the country. Aarhus is located just below the nose, in Jutland, and hosts some 250.000 Danes. People from Copenhagen tease people from Aarhus with the occasional Aarhus-vits, which means jokes about people from Aarhus and their stupidity. I.e. �Why do people from Aarhus take the house in at night? Because they feel sorry for the houses if they have to be out at night�. Now you are familiar with the standard. Some say that these jokes actually reflect the mental standard of Copenhageners more than the IQ of Aarhus-people.

At the top of the middle island Funen we find Odense. Odense has roughly 180.000 inhabitants and hosts the largest hospital in Denmark. It functions as a university hospital as well as an ordinary one. As already said, this is not the biggest city in the world, but it can be one of the cozier, and coziness counts for a lot in Denmark.

Just to put the record straight. Just below the gnomes hat you will find Aalborg with its 155.000 inhabitants.

Now you know the geography, let�s take a look at a few practical Danish travel terms.

The Danish currency is Danish Kroner, but in bigger stores and shops you can pay with Euro notes, its rare that coins are accepted. You must expect your change to be in Kroner, notes as well as coins. Visa is widely accepted as well as most other big brands of credit cards. Tips and service are included in the bill in restaurants and in taxicabs. But it is still nice to leave some appreciation of the waiter (normally up to 10% of the bill), don�t tip in cabs except if you really feel for it.

We drive in the right side of the road, our international phone prefix is +45, almost everyone speaks a little English, at least enough to lead you on a detour. On the island of Funen and the southern parts of Jutland most people speak German as their second language.

And that�s basically Denmark for you. I hope you will have a nice stay in Odense � or at least a tolerable one.


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