I haven’t been to many countries, but out of the few that I have, the Scandics were always my favourite. My weekend trip to Copenhagen cemented that for me.
I mean where do I even start?
Firstly, London can take its over priced mediocre food and get bent. Really. There was not one bite of food that I had in Copenhagen that wasn’t utterly delicious. Every coffee that I drank was tasty – nothing bitter, nothing too strong – all just right. The food is so flavoursome and rich – and real. I had a simple breakfast at a quaint cafe in Nyhavn which consisted of scrambled eggs, bacon, some sausages, Danish cheese, fruit, yogurt, shaved nuts, some blueberries and honey – and some Smørrebrød (which is just butter and bread, but it was insisted that I call it this)…and yes, if it sounds like it was a lot of food – it was. I only needed to eat breakfast and dinner there, because breakfast kept you going all day (which I attribute partly to the rich, real-ness of the food – it is nutritious enough to keep you full – and there was enough of it…and it was tasty enough to want to inhale it).
Food aside, the city itself is wonderful. It is mostly flat (both in terrain and architecture), with not many buildings being higher than 5 floors. Everything is well spaced – not like London – and there is a massive bicycle culture. I was planning on hiring a bicycle and cycling around, but, thankfully, I was a bit hungover and decided against it…having spent some time outside observing bicycles after that, I am convinced I would have died – I mean, driving a bicycle (problem one) around millions of other cyclists (problem two) on busy roads (problem three) on the wrong side of the road (RED LIGHT problem four). By the end of the weekend, I was very wary of stepping off a pavement for fear of it being a conspicuous bicycle lane that would result in either a collision or an angry Dane shouting angry illegible words at me.
It was colder than I had expected and went a bit under-prepared and so ended up wearing everything warm that I owned every day, but I dont mind the cold, so I was mostly quite happy.
We spent the first night at the Ibsens hotel in the north of the city…all I’ll say about this hotel is A. they have the comfiest beds I have ever slept in and the warmest duvets that make you feel like a little baby kangaroo in its mother’s pouch (I loved them enough to actually go and buy one of these duvets, which is on this winter’s list) and B. traditional Danish local produced continental breakfast buffet…OMG. (Can you tell that I loved breakfast?) The next day saw us at a meeting with the client we went to visit, who kindly took us to the top of their 19 floor building for spectacular aerial views:
That evening, we went off to Copenhagen Food Market for dinner and drinks with friends of mine from South Africa…if you are ever in Copenhagen, do yourself a favour and go here! Its a huge warehouse type vibe on Papirøen (Paper Island) that houses loads of independent street food vendors with a communal bar area in the middle…try the Basil Collins cocktail (if you are into gin and yumminess),but beware…I was quite hungover the next morning thanks to these babies. As for the food – everything looked and smelled amazing, but I had the Brazilian mixed meat dish which I devoured.
The next day was spent milling around Freetown Christiania and Christiansborg Palace which, as far as i can tell, it a formal residence for the Danish Royal family. We then walked around one of the main shopping districts, took a quick trip up the round tower for more aerial views:
Later, we headed to the Meat-packing district (Kødbyen) for dinner, but it was jam packed, so we ended up at a quaint little restaurant close to the area in Vesterbro (which I was staying in anyway). I had guinea fowl for dinner…the chicken of the roads as I called them in South Africa. Again, totally delicious.
Freetown Christiana is like an independent part of the city which the police tend to turn a blind eye on – it is mostly run by hippies, is very dilapidated and graffitti’ed and felt very gritty to me. Tourists arent really allowed to take pictures because of the possibility that you might catch a drug deal in the act while snapping away (not a word of a lie…this is legit)…read about it here. Sufficed to say, I strolled, I stole a few snaps and I left.
My last day was an early one, where I went down to Nyhavn for a stroll and the aforementioned breakfast – I am so glad I went…
After a glorious morning stroll and some souvenir buying, I met Vicky and Jack at the National Museum where we educated ourselves before heading back to our respective residences to collect our bags and head off home.
If you have not been to Copenhagen, book a flight right now and go. You wont regret it one bit and, like me, you’ll never want to leave. I mean, it is totally on my list of places to live when we decide to vacate the UK one day in the far future.