Keeping cool in Copenhagen

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.

E x

Hack: what to pack

Have you ever arrived late at your hostel and had to creep into your dorm in the dark and wished you’d packed a torch? Or found yourself draping the clothes you’ve just washed in the sink over every dusty corner you can find in your hotel room and teared up over your washing line at home?

Every time I travel, I learn new hacks on things to pack to make my life easier on the road. But come the next trip, I never seem to remember them, so I thought it was about time I wrote them down.

The list doesn’t contain the essentials (ie. passport, duh), but possibly a few things to add to your letter to Santa.

1. Powercube

Say goodbye to scrambling around that dusty drawer of international adapters looking for enough plugs to charge all your devices. Forget organising a schedule stricter than school camp to make sure your phone, GoPro, laptop and camera are all fully charged for the next day. A powercube has four plugs and two USB ports in one nifty little device. Say hello to filling all your devices with power, in the time it takes you to shower. (That is not an ad, but it should be).

2. Pegless washing line

A lot of places in Europe won’t let you hang your washing out on your balcony, and there is nothing worse than losing your limited stock of underwear after it flies off the precarious perch you hung it over to dry. A pegless washing line not only looks cool, but ensures the delicates you quickly washed in the bathroom sink the night before are actually dry before you stuff them in your bag and hop on the train the next morning.

3. Flexlible travel lock

This is a tip I got before my first backpacking adventure around South East Asia. Locks become much more than just security on long-haul flights. Particularly when you’re backpacking, locks are your life. Passport, money, that scarf you really love. Lock ’em up. But what happens if your lock doesn’t fit into the latch that’s been dented and deformed from years of abuse. Get a flexy lock. With bendy arms, it’ll hug any catch. Nawwwww.

4. A shampoo bar

I’ve never actually used one before but I saw a video on Facebook recently (pretty much how I learn about everything these days), and it looks pretty cool. Save yourself the room big bottles take up and the risk of everything exploding over your limited wardrobe and grab yourself a shampoo bar. Just like soap, only shampoo. Plus, any excuse to head into Lush is one I’ll take.

5. Rechargeable phone case

Forget carrying around heavy power batteries and just slip your phone into a rechargeable phone case. Practical, powerful and yep, you guessed it, packed.

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So what do you never leave without?

E x