PLAIN SAILING TO COPENHAGEN
After being left in the cold for what felt like an eternity at a chilly outdoors bus stop in Berlin, our bus finally arrived to take us on wards to Copenhagen. After making the obligatory noise of exhaling air combined with a body spasm, (“Brrr!”), the thing you only do when you step into somewhere warm after being outside in the cold, we settled in for the ride. After a few short hours we were at the boat docks at the tip of Germany.
Once the coach had driven onto the ferry, we disembarked and found some new seats upstairs for the 1.40 hour crossing, sharing a big portion of fish and chips to warm us up after foolishly taking a walk on the outside deck. It was bitterly cold!
Bitterly Cold on the Copenhagen Ferry
We checked into the budget, but perfectly acceptable, Go Hotel on the edge of town, and in line with our penny saving approach to travel, headed straight to the Nettos supermarket across the road for dinner supplies. I didn’t think Nettos was still around, so thoroughly enjoyed my nostalgic trip around the isles, admiring their complete disregard for the use of shelves. Why bother when people will still buy stuff if it is just piled haphazardly on a wooden pallet?
With no fridge in our room, we used our new found “natural fridge” tactic to keep our supplies cold, by dangling the shopping bag out of our third floor window and clamping it shut in the window seal. We were worried that our “natural fridge” would actually become a “natural freezer”, given the minus temperatures, and I was also slightly concerned that the bag might slip, fall, and hit an innocent passer-by. “Cause of death Officer?”, “Killed from above by a frozen quiche. No witnesses” In many ways the perfect crime as you could then eat the murder weapon! But I digress…
COPENHAGEN IN ONE DAY
So we’d come to Copenhagen as we were desperate to go to the birthplace of Lego, and more importantly, the original Lego Land. It doesn’t matter how old you get, Lego is still effing brilliant. We’d also read that there was a roller coaster that had been operational for over 100 years in the Tivoli gardens, which seemed like a fair chance to tease the Grim Reaper! Then there was good old Hans Christian Anderson, the Godfather of fairy tales, and the need to find a certain street that appears on almost every postcard of Copenhagen and apparently encapsulates it in one shot. Other Danish items we felt we already had a good handle on included, Carlsberg, bikes, bacon, pastries and sandwiches; although I’d never had a “proper” Danish “Open Sandwich” to be fair.
No real planning went into this part of the trip as it was just so far away back when we started 4 months ago, back in Spain. The lack of planning quickly unraveled us, as both Lego Land and Tivoli Gardens were closed, and frustratingly opening up again just a week later, so we booked just 2 nights in the end.
After two stops on the train from our Hotel, we were back at Copenhagen Central Station and walked East until we hit the river. The river hit back with an icy wind and we walked across the bridge into the curious hippy district of Christiania.
Self-governed since the 1970’s this bizarre community in the heart of Copenhagen is a “free love” paradise where locals who share the same ideals as Bob Marley come to live. Many of the houses are self-built, and if there isn’t a fresh lick of artistic graffiti on every surface, then someone has missed a spot. It kind of looks like the 1960’s threw up on a recycling centre that’s hosting a Vegan convention.
After about 10 minutes of walking around and being nosey, we exited through another graffiti laden gate, via the “Green Light District”, where a number of locals muttered a list of various drugs under their breath in the hopes that you might take interest, which we didn’t. Literally just on the outer fence of Christiania a group of young teens were being searched by a waiting police car. Clearly they’d forgotten the police turn a blind eye on one side of the fence but not the other!
All in all, a very odd place, but especially odd given how clean and proper the rest of Copenhagen is by contrast.
Rules of the “Green Light” District
PICTURE PERFECT COPENHAGEN
After zig zagging more bikes than a Halford’s show room, we stumbled upon the famed street of Copenhagen. Why this street is so famous, I have no idea, but it is pretty, and perhaps captures the time when Copenhagen was merely just a little fishing town, before it became the most visited town in all of Scandinavia.
Infamous Copenhagen Street
It is so famous, that even the local Lego store has taken the time and effort to build it out of miniature plastic bricks!
In keeping with our tradition of seeing what Hollywood makes of our destinations, we had also watched, “The Danish Girl”, where Eddie Reymene portrays “Lilly” – one of the first males to undergo a sex change. Guess where he (she?) lived? Yep! On this street too, well, according to the films cut scenes anyway.
THE LITTLE MERMAID
Having read that the Hans Christian Andersen museum was both sh*t AND expensive, we decided to pay homage to our childhood memories by walking North for nearly an hour to visit the “Little Mermaid” statue instead. It was also a bit sh*t, but at least it was free.
The Little Mermaid
Although the Little Mermaid statue was a bit of a letdown after the lengthy walk, the walk via the army barracks and around some of the smaller water ways was very nice, so worth it is in the end.
THE LEGO STORE
Our pilgrimage to the original Lego Land had been quashed by our own rubbish planning BUT there was still a Lego store in Copenhagen, so we had to make do.
Just Leave Me Here All Day…
I’ve always like Lego, and I think I always will. If you want to shut me up for a few hours give me a box of Lego bricks and mission accomplished! We walked around, pointing out the innovative approach that Lego has taken in recent years by piggy backing the latest films and fads and adding to their collection. You can now buy Star Wars kits and build the Death Star or Millennium Falcon and even build an island full of bloody “Angry Birds”!
They had large models for Tower Bridge, in London, as well as the Opera House, from Sydney, both icons that I have lived near to. One day I may buy them both and have them in my house as weird memory mix between my adult and child life.
Lego Tower Bridge in London
THE CARLSBERG BREWERY
Thirsty from all the walking, we decided to give the Carlsberg Brewery a visit. I hadn’t been too fussed about going, as for the most part, I view Carlsberg as a pretty bog standard lager. The sort of beer, that whilst perfectly acceptable to drink, you associate it with bulk buy supermarket deals and football hooliganism.
Luckily, Carlsberg brews a lot of other decent beer that they don’t widely export outside of Denmark, and we got acquainted with the Jacobsen brewery, via a tasting board.
Tasting Board and a “Beer Sausage”
We sat in there for an hour or so and enjoyed another tasting board, some peanuts and a “Beer Sausage” which is in fact, just a posh pepperoni stick. After a tipsy purchase of a limited addition Christmas beer, called the “Naked Golden Ale”, we headed home, just as it started to snow. We arrived back at the hotel and I was delighted to discover that not only had our quiche not frozen solid, it also hadn’t killed anyone!
Winter has Come!
Time to double up our socks and head over to Austria!