Copenhagen, Denmark

First stop in Copenhagen was the caravan park. We checked in, put on a load of washing (in new washing machines that didn't break down), bought a couple of drinks and something called "Kim's chips" (they weren't so good - can you believe it?) before making our way into the city via train. The train dropped us off outside Tivoli, which I planned on tackling first thing tomorrow. Danny wanted nothing to do with the place.

We walked to the island of Christianshavn, home to the independent community of Christiania. It was basically a free-reigning, art-loving, hippy colony, with their own leaders and laws (there seem to be no laws on graffiti or drug possession and use). No cars were allowed in the area and no photos could be taken on their main street. It felt like we had stepped way back in time. 

After stepping back into the EU (or so the sign said) we headed over to another island, Slotsholmen. Here's where we found the Christiansborg Palace and a few museums, all surrounded by a moat. The buildings were impressive and contained decent gardens, but it wasn't worth spending too much time there. 

On the way back to the station we decided to try a national specialty: a mini hot dog cooked inside a sugary bun. Only worth doing once. I hadn't actually seen anyone else eating them but every second shop displayed them in their window. I had no idea how they could be so popular.

Back at the caravan park we noticed that there weren't many showers in the shower block. The caravan park was extremely popular, so we opted to have a shower that night rather than wait in line tomorrow morning. As I was walking through the shower block I discovered what were called "family showers", which consisted of a gigantic shower space with two shower heads. I couldn't resist it. Luxury.

TIVOLI! It was all about Tivoli this morning. Danny is scared of most adrenaline-packed adventures so he went his own way while I spent the morning going on every possible ride in the "thrill" category (except dodgem cars - how are they thrilling?). I planned to get there early before the cues and it turned out to be a great idea. In the first hour I went on six rides, never having to wait more than five minutes in line. Ten times better than Disneyland and loads cheaper. In the end I felt slightly queasy and was a bit out of it for the rest of the day but it was completely worth it. The only downside was that my camera died - it must have had too much fun on the rides.

I met Danny outside Tivoli and we visited the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, an art gallery featuring mostly statues (I found out later that Glyptotek meant statue), which wasn't really our thing. They had a small section dedicated to 19th century art that we lingered at briefly. We skipped most of the rest. 

Danny had been tasting beer in the morning (apparently there is no such thing as 'too early' in Danny's mind) and decided he needed to sample more. Off we went to a pub/brewery, where I relaxed while Danny made his way through five beers. I wondered what he would do if there wasn't beer for sale in all these cities.

 

Following this booze binge we wandered/staggered up through the extremely crowded pedestrian centre to a Lego store (Denmark being the home of Lego) and spent an embarrassingly long time admiring the endless, crazy expensive displays. Danny turned into a little kid and wanted to play with everything. I dragged him out before he destroyed anything.

 

We walked past a canal lined with crowded cafes and up to a large public park. It seemed that there were thousands of people on the grass, picnicking and sunbaking. I don't think anyone was at work in Copenhagen. We sat and joined the locals for a while, enjoying the warmth of the afternoon sun, before making our way back to the van.

The great thing about Denmark is they are very proactive about recycling. At supermarkets we can return bottles and cans for credit. We collected a weeks worth of our recyclable goods and exchanged them at the supermarket for about €2, which bought us a packet of sliced cheese. Danny thought this was a great excuse to buy and drink more beer. 

The next day we toured the north side of the city around the harbour, slowly making our way towards the Little Mermaid statue. It wasn't signposted at all so it took us about half an hour to find it (we should have just followed the crowds). The relatively small statue was the biggest tourist attraction in Copenhagen after Tivoli and the Danes were proud of it. I'm not sure what all the fuss was about.

 

Walking back towards the centre of town we wandered through a palace with a huge central courtyard and happened to arrive in time for the changing of the guard. It only involved 10 guards and was not at all exciting, but there were dozens of tourists who thought it was the best thing they had ever seen. They ended up getting so close with their cameras that they were physically blocking the guards from performing the ceremony. Our fascination lasted about two minutes and it was more with the other tourists than the guards.

We made our way to the State Museum for Art, which was definitely better than yesterday's museum. It was next to the Botanical Gardens, so we sat on the grass to have lunch (along with a few others) but were promptly told that sitting on the grass was not permitted. Of course all the chairs were taken, so we just left. I guess that's why everyone was at the park we visited yesterday - no grass-sitting restrictions there.

A walk back through the centre of town took us past colourful elephant statues, buskers and numerous cyclists to a camera store. After being cameraless for 24 hours I was feeling symptoms of camera-withdrawals. The shopkeeper took one look at my camera and said it would cost more to fix than the camera was worth. I ended up buying another camera that was almost exactly the same model as the original for a reasonable price, with a case and an extra battery thrown in for free (which I desperately needed with our sporadic access to power points).

We used a supermarket to rid ourselves of our Danish currency, as we were heading to Sweden tomorrow. For dinner Danny made a fantastic red coconut curry noodle dish, which we both agreed was the best meal he had created this year. Parking next to a large park gave us a perfect excuse to get outside and kick our soccer ball around after our gourmet meal. We would have preferred an Aussie Rules ball but they didn't sell those here. The night (and Denmark) ended back in the van, devouring Brie and Sauternes while watching downloaded TV.

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