Thursday, 21 July 2011

Money, money, money ... a common currency, well maybe not

So as discussions today seem to be moving towards a (let's hope) more stable future for the Euro we are actually on a crazy tour around four European countries that don't have the Euro. Quaint as all of these currencies are it is certainly not all that much fun for the traveller. To make it even more confusing Denmark, Sweden and Norway all call their currency the Krone (the crown) but there are different monarchs on each of these currencies. And of course a different monarch again on the British pound which is the fourth non eurozone country we'll be getting to.
This morning we got on a bus to go to the railway station, we had a 50 Danish Kroner note. The bus driver would not take us because we didn't have the change for the machine ... so we then get change and the next bus comes and eats the first 10 kroner piece. This much more laid back bus driver says "free trip". This is even more exasperating when you know that the Danish Krone is actually tied to the euro and we had plenty of those coins in my purse! However, the Danish Krone with holes through some of the smaller coins is very pretty, so I suppose I must simply celebrate this currency diversity and cope with the fact that we shall just have even more change in the little pots in the kitchen. Anyway, despite being thrown off the first bus we still made it for our train in plenty of time.
Now we're in Stockholm, beautiful city, amazing journey across stunning countryside and a fabulous bridge to get to Malmo from Copenhagen. Train journeys are wonderful, except I kept on wanting to get out and look at the waterlilies.
Meanwhile I wonder about these so called rating agencies valuing currencies - who are they? are they fit for purpose? how much money are they making in the dramatic fluctuations their "ratings" cause on the currency markets? Enough, rant over, off to find some supper!