Malta and Denmark Trip Report – Carnival, R2D2 and Giants
This is a trip report for a trip my wife and I took to Malta and Copenhagen from March 1st through March 11th 2014. It is a fairly long report, so it is broken into sections. The first section is an overview of the trip and some brief impressions of the places we visited. The next section has (what I think is) some important information about travel to these countries. Finally, I’ll explain in detail what we did there.
If you want to see pictures of this trip, go to www.mathewsweb.net/pictures/malta2014.shtml .
For reference I am 48, my wife is 50, and we live in NE Ohio. We have three kids ages 16, 18, and almost 20. We travel relatively lightly (backpacks and a piece of checked luggage). In general, we prefer meeting people and understanding cultures more so than sightseeing. The total cost for this trip was approximately $2600 (because we used miles for airline tickets). Copenhagen was just insanely expensive. I’ll try to give specific details below. Note that all costs in this report are in USD and include taxes. We’re both black and experienced no hints of prejudice at all.
We flew United on this trip and had a total of eight segments altogether. Surprisingly they were all on time. Although United was the carrier, the planes were operated by United, Lufthansa, SAS, and Swiss Air. Lufthansa had the nicest planes and Swiss Air the worst, but they were all fine, had good food, and polite flight attendants.
We landed in Malta, picked up our rental car, and drove to the island of Gozo. We stayed there for a total of three days, and went to Carnival in the city of Nadur (words cannot describe this experience). We also met Tony Dyson, the inventor of R2D2. After three days in Gozo we returned to Malta and spent another three days there. After that, we headed to Copenhagen for two days.
Malta (the country) was very enjoyable. Of the two islands we visited (Malta and Gozo), Gozo was more enjoyable to us. It is actually a little funny, as there is some “light animosity” between the two islands. Maltese see Gozitans as uncouth and backwards, whereas Gozitans see Maltese as rude and overbearing. As an outsider, I could see where each side was coming from, but the reality is that Malta (the country) is only about 122 square miles (about half the size of Chicago), so any real differences are minor. Both Gozo and Malta have a very beautiful countryside, hectic cities, sleepy cities, and pretty water. Yes, Malta is a little busier and Gozo is a little slower, but both have their own specific charms. That being said, we both liked Gozo more than Malta (but that is really because of Xlendi).
Copenhagen was fun, but we found it to be a lot like Amsterdam. We jokingly referred to it as Amsterdam’s expensive big brother. It did have one museum that is one of the most amazing I have ever seen: The David Collection. More on this below. The cost in Copenhagen was simply crazy, but their money is too. The coins have holes in them and the paper looks like something out of a board game. And they have a 200 DKK note and a 40 DKK coin (denominations you normally don’t see). With that (and the larger 500 DKK note), 35 DKK for a hot dog doesn’t sound bad until you realize that is about $6.50 USD. But it was a good hot dog!
For costs, we found Malta to be inexpensive. About the cost of a smaller city in America. Our waterfront hotel in Xlendi was approximately $100/night and included breakfast. Shots were between $1.50 and $2. A pizza was about $7 or $8.
Copenhagen, as already mentioned was the reverse. We got a great deal on our hotel, but it was a bare bones (literally) room. A normal hotel there is anywhere from $200-$400/night. Food in a “Friday’s” type restaurant will cost you $40-$50. Drinks are $8-$10. However, just as we got a good deal on the hotel, there are ways to do Copenhagen cheaply. More on this below.Edited: 16 March 2014, 06:54