Copenhagen - Coping in Heaven

Copenhagen Travel Blog

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Tivoli Gardens

Before I start I just really need to get off my chest that I absolutely loved Copenhagen. I’ve been missing it like you miss your girlfriend or your family and I was only there for two nights.

 The train from Berlin reached Hamburg where we had to transfer. I had actually been contemplating going to either Hamburg or Frankfurt on my way back to Amsterdam but realised I didn’t like either of these fastfoods. Besides, by going up to Copenhagen I’d get to see another new country and culture.

 Well to tell the truth I had found a book these English guys in my hostel in Berlin had, which ranked the best places to go in Europe for young red blooded males and females.

Tivoli Gardens
It even gave you tips on what to talk about to the locals and where to find the best fauna. I had actually begun to mentally write just such a book myself thinking that they did not exist and was both overwhelmingly excited and disappointed to find that I was too late. Anyway, after reading the book I deemed it was simply impossible to not pay the little mermaids a visit.
I was Thor-oughly looking forward to my wisit to wiew a wast wariety of wery wicked Wicking wixens. The Danes were actually the first Vikings and are very proud of their handsome yet tough heritage.

 I hopped onto the new train in Hamburg destined for Købvenhavn and noticed a dramatic difference. The train was clean, white, spacious, new, and very fast. The Danish lady next to me informed me that it was of course a Danish train and therefore much better than the German ones. I would soon learn that the Danes, like most people, give the Germans a lot of crap.

Copenhagen Nightlights
The Deutsche are like the Americans of the western world. And everyone is always complaining about how awful a language German is.

 The train was so impressive that the entire thing even drove onto a large ferry, which took us across the ocean out of Germany into Denmark. This journey took 45 minutes and we all got out and went up to have a meal and laze on the decks. There was even a large duty free shop. Out of bordeaux’m and the need for self-amusement I stood by the wine shelf advertising the Australian Jacobs Creek Shiraz as a ‘bonzer u-beaut ferry special wine’ to all the blokes and sheilas on board who’d listen.  Leaving the wine I asked a salesperson why they didn’t keep their Port on the left side of the ship, but he didn’t get the double meaning. My heart sunk a little.


 The land of Denmark is like a big plate that has been dropped and smashed into a thousand pieces. We skipped across numerous bridges and islands passing through beautiful, clean, green countryside, the horizon was dotted with large, modern, power generating windmills.

 The lady next to me was very friendly. She owned a pub just out of Copenhagen and was a backgammon champion returning from the championships which had been held in Berlin. She smoked 128mg unfiltered cigarettes like they were good for you and  drunk beer like she didn’t have any access to it at home. She taught me all the Danish words I’d need and we had a pleasant little journey. I knew I’d be right when I learnt that beer was as simple as “øl(pronounced ‘oel’).

Lille Havfrue - The Little Mermaid
With her pointing out all the things that made Denmark better than Germany along the way, we were kept busy.

 I arrived in the central station at about 9:30pm. As always, no tourist info was open so I’d have to find accommodation all on my lonesome. Well, I saw a sign pointing to tourist info but all I found was an ATM.

 Luckily I had taken the liberty of jotting down a crude map to ‘The City Public Hostel’ from someones guidebook in Berlin. I now set off, walking through the semiseedy redlight district hoping my mud map would be successful. I was in luck and took a seat next to Charlie Chaplin, a dirty, smelly homeless looking dude, and a few other extras from some psycho foreign movie, waiting till 11pm when the reception at the hostel would open. Well actually the receptionist was there and he spent the entire time telling people to take a seat and wait till 11pm when he opened. Even when I handed him the 10 Danish coronas for the beer he wouldn’t reach behind to grab it from the fridge because he wasn’t ‘open yet’. Is it just me or does that not really make sense? If he just signed people up and gave them their bed number it would take less time than to explain to everyone why he wasn’t open.

 The youth hostel was one massive lice filled room with about 50 beds. It reminded me of a concentration camp. Only the beds were probably worse (here). The springs were completely gone and my butt touched the ground (and I was on the top bunk!). People sitting at their beds looked dour and depressed. All it needed was someone on a harmonica but they had been confiscated along with pencils and fresh air.

I showered and dove straight back out into this exciting city. I felt really alive. My holiday was almost over and yet I felt like it was just beginning. Well I suppose I convinced myself that I was just passing through Copenhagen as something crazy to do as a brief glimpse. Although my travels were now finishing up it made me aware of how much more there is out there. So it felt like what I was getting was a preview for my next holiday. Man I can’t wait to get to see the rest of Scandinavia.

The streets were very clean and colourful and big neon lights and signs were everywhere. I decided to simply walk and at each corner randomly chose which direction to take. I found I was basically following the Strøget. This is the longest pedestrian mall in the world, spanning over a mile. I also noticed that the Danish will NOT cross a road unless the little man is green. Even if there is no other sign of life within the realms of human vision and sound they will not walk. They just stand there, sometimes waiting for ages, looking like nerds. I think I was regarded as some sort of a madman for jumping across, in front, and behind of moving cars. The Danish are predominantly law-abiding citizens. About the worst crime in the city is bicycle theft. Queen Margarethe used to walk to the shops every morning unescorted. Isn’t that just fantastic?

I passed Tivoli which looked beautiful lit up at night but it was closing, so I was too late. Tivoli is a very large 100-year-old amusement park situated right in the centre of the city next to the central station. I’d have to wait till the next day. I found a whole heap of pubs, which were all pretty similar. They were very stylish and kind of like the Irish pub style. The nearly all had an English or American guy on an acoustic guitar playing cover songs. The atmosphere was warm, a little dark, and almost completely male (it was a Monday night though!). Walking into a few nightclubs I soon found out that nightclub = stripclub. Note this one down fellas �" it will not go down too well if you walk up to people asking where the good nightclubs are…what you want is ‘danceclubs’.

 At 8am a man announced over the speaker, waking everyone in the hostel room, that all the little children had to get up and go for showers. As they were dragged away screaming I knew they wouldn’t be coming back. He then announced at 8:30am that all the elderly had to go. I was thankful that I was healthy and reasonably fit and was prepared for my day of hard labour. Well I am not really sure what he said but I think he was actually warning everyone that breakfast was between 8 and 9am. I didn’t care for bread and dripping so headed out on my own, back onto the streets as a tourist, for one last time.

Tivoli is such a cool idea. It’s hard to believe its 100 years old. It’s a little like a Disney park with all different sorts of rides, restaurants, buildings and gardens, of different themes. It costs about $10 to get into and you can come and leave all day. I spent a few hours walking around marvelling appreciatively that someone had decided to put something like this right in the middle of the city.

It was an absolutely glorious day so I decided to walk the entire city. I wandered right down Strøget. It was bustling, fresh, and remarkably clean. There was a lot of cool stuff, but very expensive. Just my breakfast of a drink, pastry and some fruit from the supermarket was about $15AU. I was disappointed to find that the Danish appear to worship America. I think every country �" no matter who �" should be proud in who they are and their own culture. That’s why I love the Scottish. The Dutch also do a very good job. That cool guide book I’d read told me a US college jumper would almost guarantee you busty young tanned blonde Danish women requesting assistance with your offspring. I found the idea so hard to swallow. I’ve always thought that such guys looked like Jocks that no self-respecting girl would want to talk to. Well it must be at least half-true because it was almost like walking through an American city mall (with the exception of fat people). There were many American styled stores and a few even had the good ol’ Stars & Stripes, amongst other things, posted about. This for me was the biggest disappointment and after this I had to flag seeing any more of the mall. It’s not that I am bagging Americans, I just think they get enough publicity in their own country. 

Turning south I reached the spectacular street of Nyhavn. It runs along a wide canal, which feeds into the ocean just a few blocks south. The canal is filled with large old sail ships and the road packed with colourful 17th century buildings. In front of these runs a dense line of pubs and restaurants, which are in turn, filled with people. Its all incredibly attractive stuff and does wonders for the eyes. This was more like what I wanted to see. Like most European pub restaurants most dining is done outside �" especially with such pleasant weather. I sat just off the pathway at an Irish style pub and had a great big burger. Overlooking the canal, listening to the comforting rumble of a satisfied dining crowd, and eating a hearty meal, whilst breathing the sea air and hearing the seagulls, made it a most wondrous relaxing occasion. At first I found it interesting to note that all the waitresses were American. However they weren’t �" it’s just that they all spoke English so well that they had perfect American accents.
When the waitress brought out my bill she had written “Enjoy your stay in Copenhagen”, drawn a big smiley sun and signed her name. I encountered such friendliness elsewhere and I found it so refreshingly beautiful. It was like these people actually wanted me alive �" and in their city. It’s hard to explain but it really makes you feel good. It doesn’t seem as superficial as “Have a nice day”. They are proud of their city, and they want you to like it - and rightly so…and so you will!

Walking east along the coast I eventually fished out the Little Mermaid. This smooth bronze statue sits looking forlornly out to the sea, and was maid on a rock just off the edge of the coast. There were tourists everywhere taking photos of her. It was not as bad as the Manneken Pis in Brussels mind you and I think overall I have to give the Danish full points for the following reasons: There is hardly any flamboyant, garish - royal, national or military edifices in this city. I mean, if I was a British taxpayer I’d be furious at all the money wasted on gold-coated statues, buildings and fences everywhere. Not to mention all the pomp and garb in everything else. But this simple little statue is able to attract just as much of a crowd. And for me, what really caps it off, is that it is a symbol of a story that actually had a horribly sad ending. With the mermaid being unlucky in love she was destroyed and turned into the waves �" unlike all those soppy happy Hollywood endings we are force-fed. I waited for the little kids to finish scaling her and then took my picture. All this sea air was giving me a hankering for some seafood. After searching unsuccessfully around her for the red lobster from the cartoon I decided to move on. I walked up and around some assorted gardens, parks, and I think I found some royal palace or garden or something. I found it all very enjoyable and I loved the way everything was so clean, crisp, attractive and fresh �" the people included. I walked well into the evening, unable to remove the smile from my face.

So it was, that I was leaving the continent for the time being. But I’d be here again soon enough. There is just too much fun to be had, and by golly once you’ve had a taste, Europe’d in for good.

Tak & Farvel,

TravellinChic says:
You are hilarious! :) Great writing :)
Posted on: Jul 17, 2014
jenn79 says:
this is a GREAT entry! =D
Posted on: Jul 03, 2010
Chokk says:
Just happy you enjoyed my hometown:D It is a lovely place in the summer. Not too crowded - and you can always find a corner where you can be alone if you want that.
Posted on: Nov 20, 2007
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Tivoli Gardens
Tivoli Gardens
Tivoli Gardens
Tivoli Gardens
Copenhagen Nightlights
Copenhagen Nightlights
Lille Havfrue - The Little Mermaid
Lille Havfrue - The Little Mermaid
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photo by: the_bill