Our four day ‘city break’ destination of Copenhagen turned out to be a brilliant pick. With the Travel Bee’s joined by Aunty and Uncle Travel Bee, it was difficult to find somewhere none of us had been (yes Aunty and Uncle do like to travel as much as us!). The kids were a little dubious but they needn’t have been, there was plenty to do for all ages.
Between day trips to Sweden, pastry cooking class and Bastard Cafe we used the metro and ferry to explore this intriguing city. We were all very impressed with how easy the Metro was to negotiate. The trains were cheap, frequent, not overly full and clean. The only snag was working out which exit to leave the stations from! This did lead to a fair bit of disorientation as we got to street level which turned out to be both a disadvantage and an advantage as we discovered places we were never intending to see!
One such place was Torvehallerne food market, a bustling, high end, gourmet type experience with both prepared food stalls as well as butchers, fish mongers, fruit and vegetables etc. It was here we discovered the Danish open sandwich and where we all agreed that these sandwiches were the best we had ever experienced! The photos tell the story…..
Apart from eating sandwiches, we also enjoyed taking in the varied architecture around the city with the pretty canal of Nyhavn and the view from The Round Tower amongst my favourites. Also impressive was Christiansborg Palace and the spiral spire of The Church of Our Savior.
Not overly impressive but a must see for any fan of Hans Christian Andersen is the Little Mermaid statue. I found the background just as interesting as the statue itself. The unusual sloped building seen in the photo below, CopenHill is a waste to energy plant that doubles as a sports centre including a ski field on top and climbing walls along its sides! The Danish are the masters of dual purposing and getting the most out of any construction.
There was only one place in this beautiful city that left us unimpressed, Christiania. Touted as the Amsterdam of Copenhagen, this is the ‘free town’ area an independent hippy type community. Here people live according to certain ideals including no violence, no stealing, no cars, no running, no photos and with a strong emphasis on sustainability and recycling. Marijuana although still illegal in Denmark, is a big part of the lifestyle in this area.
I had read much about Christiania, it’s vibrant cafe scene, it’s arty hangouts and it’s yoga and meditation vibes. We saw none of that. Perhaps it was the time of year, but the whole area seemed grey, run down and dirty. The only thing that matched the guide books was the distinctive smells of marijuana.