Denmark's the Spot
Hey from Copenhagen!! Or hej if you prefer, which after being in Copenhagen for a day, I'm quite inclined to say.
I'm not going to lie. When we landed in Copenhagen, I felt a little guilty... our standard had been set prettyyyyy high by Stockholm. I mean, shoot- Amsterdam was phenomenal, but at the end of the day, it came no where close to outdoing Sweden. And I definitely didn't want the same fate for Copenhagen. I felt... sorry..? It didn't seem fair to all the other countries that Stockholm was so great!!!
You'll be pleased to know Copenhagen has blown me away. I think it strikes the same historical quaintness as Stockholm while simultaneously maintaining an urban aesthetic. The city is a contradiction, depending on which part you're in. One moment, you're in a state-of-the-art modern library, and the next you're walking alongside ancient sailboats on the historical canal streets. It's a city to behold.
Our flight out of Amsterdam was super delayed. I'm sort of positive that our plane forgot about all of us because we stood in the pre-boarding holding area for a solid hour. That wouldn't have been a huge problem had we not been starving and had Jen and I not had concert plans a few hours after we were supposed to land.
We thankfully landed and made it out of the airport in reasonable time, though we were all running super low on cell phone battery. We took the metro from the airport to Central Station, which is conveniently located steps away from our hostel. Every ounce of hostel inconvenience earned from Amsterdam was made up for here in Copenhagen. I cannot say enough great things about the Urban House hostel. Check-in was a breeze, thank goodness. Jen and I raced upstairs to charge our phones and tidy up for the concert while the other four set out to explore the city scene by night. We made it to the venue just in time to grab drinks and pester a local to take our picture. Seeing LANY live in Copenhagen could not have been a more perfect start to our leg in Denmark.
Jen and I had enjoyed a few ciders at the concert and made a 1 am pizza stop on our walk home, so waking up the next morning was not the easiest thing. And by that, I mean my friends literally sat on me to get me out of bed. Eventually their antics worked, and I arose from the dead and sort of succeeded in making myself presentable.
Because of our late start (sorry, fam), we missed the window for brunch. Our 11:00 breakfast ended up being a burger feast for my carnivore friends, and a lovely Caesar salad meal complete with a giant personal pot of coffee for me. I personally have no regrets.
From "breakfast", we rolled (read: failed at navigating the metro) over to a Danish castle, Rosenborg. One thing I've learned this trip is that my crew of friends goes absolutely nuts over palaces. I personally found more enjoyment photographing their sheer fascination than I did from the castle itself, but hey- to each their own.
From the royal castle, we resumed our peasant status by hopping back on the metro to a groovy street called Jægersborggade. No doubt in my mind, this was the hip, up and coming part of town. I was obsessed. The only downside was that- you know- it wasn't surrounded by the most affluent areas, which absolutely freaked my friends out. During our stint here, we located the famous Meyers Bageri bakeryand each purchased a Danish pastry that we ate with a cup of coffee we ordered from Coffee Collective, a trendy coffeeshop further down the road. The combo of the two was possibly the best thing I've consumed all week.
Opting to find a new, less sketchy mode of transportation back to the heart of the city, we boarded a bus. That's one thing I adore about Copenhagen- the abundance of reliable, affordable public transportation. We purchased a 72 hour transit pass when we landed in Copenhagen, and it's already paid for itself and more one day in.
Our next stop was Old Town, which is the famous water-lined streets of colorful shops and cobblestone pedestrian roads. We stopped only to snap pictures against a striped wall and to climb up an overlook to get a better view of the area. The overlook and striped wall were actually along a construction site that the city had up-cycled for tourists while the construction was being completed. Another thing they did alongside a construction site was installing a "tourism wheel" where you literally spun this massive "wheel of fortune" style deal to see what part of the city you should see next. Needless to say, I am a huge fan of Denmark's repurposing efforts. No area goes to waste during construction.
The entrance of Old Town is marked by a massive anchor statue, which we took as a nonverbal cue to go crazy with pictures. 15 minutes of shuffling around and taking turns taking pictures, we actually made it into Old Town. I cannot put into words how unbelievably stunning it was. Sailboats line the edges of the canals, and bright buildings tower on either side. We didn't make it inside any buildings as most were restaurants, but we'd have had you fooled by the quantity of pictures we took there.
From Old Town, we meandered across a huge bridge to the Royal Library of Copenhagen. Before we arrived, we stumbled across the coolest canal-walk, complete with trampoline installations and soccer courts. The walk to the Library was absolutely wonderful, though quite chilly. Upon finally arriving, we explored the roof of the library, which doubles as an overlook onto the water. Inside, modern architecture fuses with the historical parts preserved from years past. While I didn't take any pictures here, a google search won't let you down.
After we got our library fix, we walked back across the bridge to another bridge, where we all dragged our sore feet to dinner. The food scene for this meal was- hands down- the coolest thing I've seen all week. Copenhagen Street Food, located on Paper Island, is home to at least 25 different indoor "food trucks" serving up cuisine from all around the world. Outside, there was a paper wish tree, which was very cool. We all wrote notes and strung them alongside other notes hung on trees.
The indoor hub was packed with locals and tourists alike, so scouting out the food options was quite the time. Jen, Caro, and Meg found a shop serving all of the meaty goodness while I went across the venue to the vegan place. I got a vegan burger- a vegan burger!!!!!!! Wohooo!! And that's not even all that rare- vegan and vegetarian food is in abundance in Copenhagen. Gah, I love Denmark!!!! We all indulged in some drinks along with dinner and sat for many hours chowing down on delicious food, talking in great company.
Post-dinner shenanigans led us back to our hostel, where I set up camp at the bar downstairs. Equip with my computer and a bottle of beer, it was a perfect end to a perfect first day.