Within an hour of arriving in Copenhagen we understood why the main mode of transport here is bikes. The first train from the airport was delayed by twenty minutes, which meant we missed our connecting bus and ended up having to wait at the bus-stop for thirty minutes in the dark because it was 3pm and that’s when it gets dark. Oh, and did I mention it was -4 degrees?
Not to sound bitter, though. That’s just the cold talking. When we got to our Airbnb, two shipping containers stacked at the end of a dock just out of town, and set the heater to twenty-five, we slowly began to feel the charm of Copenhagen creep up on us.
A walk into town the next morning gave our thermals a good work-out and with my scarf wrapped so high around my face, I’m surprised we found our way to Hart Bageri. Probably because he does all the direction-based stuff while I try and work out my lefts and rights. With AUD$14 worth of coffee in us (yes, that was just for two coffees) and an assortment of Danish baked goods devoured, we headed for ‘that classic Copenhagen picture.’
We arrived at Nyhavn Canal and added a London Bus keyring I’d found in a puddle a few days earlier to the bridge. Along with the other locks it was different. And we like to do things differently. Except when it comes to our Instagram, as we both took that shot in front of the canal, him with a loaf of rye bread he’d bought from Hart Bageri and insisted would be worth carrying around all day (and it was).
Walking the streets headed for the Designmuseum, because who doesn’t like Danish design, we slipped into Prince Fredrick and Princess Mary. Not really, but we did happen to stumble across their palaces at the perfect time to watch the changing of the guard that only happens twice a day. Mary, you’re a long way from home, but damn you’ve done well girl.
The Designmuseum was fun and even let him check his rye bread into the cloak room, and let me in for free as a student even though I’m not actually studying anymore (shhh!). Thank you Australian student cards for not having an expiration date. Note to self: always bring a student card traveling. We got into most things for free with one.
With the smell of freshly baked bread lingering around us, we went on search for lunch. He’d been doing his research on the best dogs in Denmark, and not the fluffy barking kind, the kind you stuff in a bun and smother in sauces, onions, pickles, and more. Deciding DOP was the best hotdog stand, we walked past the most magical Christmas markets and window displays discovering a store I now call ‘Heaven‘ on the way. If you’re ever looking for a present for me, look there. I’ll take anything. Everything, please.
Dinner that night was exactly what you’d expect. Just kidding, it was ramen. Not until after we’d paid for two ramens and two beers did we realise we’d paid AUD$80. Whoops, they’re the best stories from traveling. It was damn good ramen though, and the beers were from Mikkeller, a brewery that he’d read all about and I liked the labels of. So much so that I even drank three quarters of one with only a little nose crinkle.
After celebrating tradition with cream-cheese and loganberry jam on rye for breakfast in bed, we headed to the much-anticipated Freetown Christiana – an alternative community where free-thinking inspires and creativity runs wild. While the streets were particularly quiet on this cold morning, we did get to see the unusual houses carved out of nature, the bright murals and outer-worldly sculptures that all seemed to merge into one another. We saw a market selling goods made in town and an all-female blacksmith, but considering it’s its own society within a society, Freetown Christina has its own rules, one being that its a photo-free zone, so I’ll have to leave most of it up to your imagination.
Coffee was calling not long after, so we ventured to the Coffee Collective on Jægersborggade, which is known as a hub for up-and-coming designers and craftsman. Even better, Prag, a vintage clothing shop that was on my to-do list was just around the corner. With the price of coffee shocking us once again, we walked it off until we found the Torvehallerne market hall, with all the food you couldn’t even dream of, like the potato cake I picked but still don’t know what it is, and the most colourful traditional smorresborg.
With the sun setting at 3.30pm each day, we tried our hardest to fit everything in. Dear Tivoli Gardens, we saw your sparkling goodness from beyond your gates but didn’t find time to make our way in. And damn girl, you ain’t cheap. But, we’ve got to have an excuse to go back, right?
Got places to be.