This manic month started off with a winter weekend in Copenhagen, a city I’ve been dying to visit for years. Despite the chill it lived up to all my expectations; the only word I can think of to describe it is ‘cool’. It’s mix of classic architecture, relaxed lifestyle and unpretentious indie spirit made a lovely place to wander, explore, and warm up with many hot drinks!
Water is so central to the landscape, wherever you go it is inescapable, making the most unexpected of buildings look impressive. It cuts the city centre up making it’s grid structure work around it. Nyhavn and Kastellet, the star shaped fort, have very different uses and feels, but both wouldn’t be what they are without it.
One thing I knew we were definitely going to have to do was climb the tower at Christianborg Slot, the seat of government portrayed in Borgen, my TV obsession of last year. The view perfectly showed Copenhagen’s mix of old and new, industrial and beautiful. It also gave us a faint view of the Oresund Bridge, which this year’s TV obsession ‘The Bridge’ is centred on.
The strangest part of the trip was definitely visiting ‘Freetown Christiania’, a self-proclaimed, autonomous neighbourhood. Although selling drugs is still illegal, this commune is left alone by the police, and is a massive tourist attraction due to it’s colourful streets. It being a grey, overcast day definitely didn’t help the mood, but while I never felt unsafe with all the people around, it was definitely uncomfortable walking down a road where people are wearing balaclavas. I’m glad we went as I’m not sure where else I’d experience that kind of place, but I can’t imagine wanting to stay for long.
Considering the fact I’ve never cycled on a road before, I wasn’t brave enough to jump on the cities favourite mode of transport. Although given a bit more time I think I would have done, as I’ve never seen a place where cyclists have as much importance as cars, and where the roads are built with them in mind. We did at one point jump on a water taxi (also adapted for cyclists…) as the few bridges are fairly spaced out; if we were thinking that then I’m sure the city’s residents really can’t wait for the pedestrian bridge to be completed!
Having apparently done over 100,000 steps in 4 and a bit days, I was ready for another break when we got home. With all it’s open spaces and waterside, I am already looking forward to one day coming back in warmer weather!