As I sit, butterflies begin to build,
I hear children calling the attention of their parents, and the footsteps of people hurrying away towards their destination.
The smell of cigarettes stings my noise while mingling with the scent of coffee.
Overhead metal birds fly overhead full of sleeping travelers on a new adventure through the skies.
I stand wondering where they escape to while I wait for my own.
I start my journey where most do, the airport. An innumerable amount of people from so many different places altogether under one roof. I sat waiting for the other two as I am always there at least two hours before take-off. I once experienced what it was like to miss a flight and I never want to again. A sign shows images of knives, guns, aerosol cans and drugs with a red circle that crosses over in the middle. Nope, I do not currently have any in my possession, off I go then, security check completed. I always find the security section of the airport awkward and a little nerve-racking. I know I have and I am not doing anything wrong but I still think, what if I am and I don’t know? I wait at McDonald’s, perfect for people watching while I wait. The other two arrive soon afterwards and together after an hour delay we arrived at our destination. We’re in the infancy of our journey and we are already lost. Yep, we got the metro that we were meant to but when it came, actually finding our Airbnb by foot, it got a little more difficult. We were able to get in contact with Søren or as we like to call him Sauron (because of the similarity and nothing do to with him trying to destroy the realms of men). Through our terrible phone directions, he found us and brought us to our Airbnb.
The Apartment was very much the bachelor pad. Minimalist, with large sofa, enormous flat screen TV and boxing gloves displayed. A few nice features where the guest slippers and the view from the small balcony looking over a little park. One of the nice features of staying in a flat is the host occasionally leaves out maps and travel books. Which are so helpful to anyone in foreign territory. Thank you, Thomas, for the maps!
Coming from a part of the UK that does not have either a metro or subway service it was an interesting thing trying to decipher it in Copenhagen. Especially when it’s in another language Danish place names are hard to verbalize. Most of the time you just have to try to pronounce it and hope people know what you’re talking about. We make it to the city centre and eventually find ourselves at a small local bar to have a pint and mingle with the natives. An unwelcome return to cloudy bars, people packed in like sticks in an unopened matchbox, each person striking to fill their lungs with nicotine which is unfortunate for me but not so bad for the smokers. Something I have to get used to again.
So many pubs so little time! It’s the weekend, where to go? Let’s drink with the locals, the best way to get a sense of a place. It’s small and full of locals, perfect. Wooden tables, bartender bamboozled with all of the eager punters. It is a nice little spot to kick off the evening.
Back out on Copenhagen’s city streets, tourist stroll along the pavements with maps covering their view, Danish briskly walk through the crowds towards that night’s destination. Buskers entertain the crowds and try to earn a few coins. We get chatting to a few students who disclose the best nightclubs to go to which is free entry because who the hell wants to pay entry? After some general chitchat and a short walk, we make it to Miami cafe bar. A smoke filled nightclub with some amazing cheesy chart tunes that got myself and my two friends dancing our asses off. The average age is early 20’s so it’s not a stop for those looking for a place to chat but is perfect for cheap booze and a cheeky dance among the caged dancers.
We drag ourselves home in the early hours of the morning and manage to get onto a train instead of a metro, sigh… Be warned the stations are very close to each other and with a few drinks clouding the brain it could easily happen to you! 4 am time to sleep.
I was up with the sun the next morning while the other two lie unconscious in the bedroom. By 10.30 we are up and out the door. Copenhagen has a river system that appears as if it’s cut in two. A cafe floats upon the river. It is called Christianshavns Bådudlejning Og Caf. They serve food, tea and coffee and alcoholic beverages. Perfect for watching people drift by on their humble boats.
Church of Our Saviour is our first touristic spot. A golden Alicorn is my only way to describe it. The gold reflects off the sun and shines down on you. From afar tiny figures walk on its steps towards the heavens. The 400 steps to heaven aren’t free but it doesn’t cost anything to enter its church doors. Students and children receive a small discount. Wooden interior, creaky wooden steps, it feels alive moving with every ascending step you place upon its surface. A Strange old-fashioned doll wearing all red lies behind bars with decapitated statue heads. (I never discovered why they lived behind its prison bars so if you know, please let me know). The warm air hit my face as I managed to climb up to the open balcony where the view of Copenhagen waited. Fear hit me right in the stomach. The only object keeping me from plummeting back to earth was a golden metal rail. Rosie the bravest of us all managed the trek to the very top. We wish you good luck and Godspeed because there is no way I am going with you. But you should definitely give it a visit on your trip to Copenhagen.
Just a brief walk away, an old army barracks became a community. All are welcome to enter Christiania. Greeted by an artistically painted fairytale building. Walking along the entrance are large buildings on either side being used as housing and cafes. The further you invade the more aesthetically interesting it becomes. An artistically creative town built by the artistic and creative of the community. A hippies dream! Its walls and its people ooze a care-free ambience. Locals and Denmark’s Tourists (us included) eager faces admire the interior. A sign is erect ahead that reads “no cameras” and another reads “drugs are still illegal”. Meters from this sign are stalls with signs attached. They read “good weed” (A little contradicting I think) A man wearing a white vest top sings into a mic with his band playing behind him on stage. The crowd drinks and chats. We walk away from the noise and venture further into the wooded area. Through the trees and down the hill a lake is by Christiania’s boundary. Different shaped houses are propped all around its edges. We strolled onto a bridge that brings you over to the other side and away from the perimeter. As the rules state no photos I obeyed but the rest I discovered on the internet. It looks like we have a lot of rule breakers… Check out their food places, they’re pretty good and reasonably priced. It’s a big place to walk around as well so you’re going to want a snack.
From my research on Copenhagen, I knew one of the big historical sculptural attractions was the Little Mermaid. She is of realistic size and absolutely tiny when using my tiny human eyes from a tour boat. You can gain a much closer view from land. Tour buses go to the small beach, the Mermaid is perched across from the sandy beach. Although the boat isn’t a great mermaid view it does bring you on a delightful trip down the river and out to the bay. The tour guide also gives interesting information about the surrounding area so it was worth it for that alone.
We bought A Tivoli Gardens ticket with the boat ticket which was helpful for skipping queues but it doesn’t include rides which we discovered while in a queue for a roller coaster. They have different prices depending on ride size and you can get a price map in the Tivoli reception that explains it all. The Gardens landscape is beautiful though. It is laid out with lots of restaurants, amusement rides, games, with its own lake and wildlife. It even has a large outdoor projector screen playing “pretty woman”. Docked on its lake is a pirate ship with giant octopus hanging from its port side. It’s not cheap either so if you don’t have children or plan on going on all the rides I wouldn’t recommend it.
Having a little time to kill before the train, we shuffled with heavy bags hanging from our backs towards the pier. A sea pool and walkway occupies the pier. The heat from the sun blazed down creating a beautiful day which everyone was taking full advantage of, relaxing on the grass and swimming in the sea pool or sunbathing on the pier. It is a lovely area for a walk with the Kalvebod Waves piers redeveloped by JDS Architects and KLAR Architects full of people strolling along its wooden surface.
Copenhagen is somewhere I will definitely visit again. The people and the city is inviting to everyone. A few things I learned from our first location is not to use cash converters. They give you terrible rates and when I used one in Copenhagen they gave me the same rate in pounds as in Euros which is a complete ripoff. Using your own debit or visa will work fine in their ATM’s and it doesn’t charge you too much to use them. It’s less hassle and safer than exchanging lots of money and carrying it around. Hostel maps are a godsend. They give you tourist attraction spots and it obviously helps you get around the city. It’s the perfect city to cycle around so if you like to bike, do it there. They have bike lanes everywhere and everyone seems to cycle because of it. Most of the bikes weren’t even locked which gives me the impression that it’s a super safe city too. I hope you enjoyed this post!
Until the next,