Well, we made it! The third and final stop of a 12-day European adventure including stays in Paris, Amsterdam and finally Copenhagen, Denmark. Copenhagen was the perfect conclusion to a week of battling through train stations, airports, and language barriers. So if you’ve stuck with me this long (Hi Mom!), it’s time to trade in our Euros for Krone and our Heineken for Carlsburg because we’ve made it to Denmark!
Sam, Lindsay and I arrived in Copenhagen around mid-day and took a very expensive cab ride to the hotel. We were hooked up with a room at Cabinn Scandinavia by the hosts of Lindsay’s conference. The room was extremely small. Comparable to the size of an interior room on a cruise ship. Good luck getting your hands on a coveted hair dryer because they only have a few that you have to borrow from the front desk. But it had beds to sleep in, free wifi and great breakfast. Plus, we were within walking distance from everything we wanted to do and see.
After we checked in, we walked around for a bit and finally did some shopping without getting rained on…well, only a little bit rained on. We stopped at a hot dog stand to indulge in some heavenly polser. Pickles on hot dogs. Come on America, why aren’t we doing this yet?
We then walked to the harbor and found The Little Mermaid statue. She was sculpted after Hans Christian Anderson’s story The Little Mermaid. I’m sure we’ve all seen the Disney adaptation but you can read more about her history here.
At this point in the trip we started to feel a little drained. One thing I had to keep in mind was that traveling through Europe is not a relaxing lay-on-the-beach-sipping-margaritas vacation. There is just too much to see and do. You are constantly on the go with zero time to rest. But we were determined to push through and make the most of our last days abroad.
We took a 30 minute train ride across the Oresund Bridge to Malmo, Sweden. Unfortunately, Malmo was celebrating Mid-Summers Day, which is apparently equivalent to Christmas Day or New Years Day, so 99% of the businesses were closed. We probably should have done some research before we went but Mid-Summers Day isn’t something we acknowledge in the States so it hadn’t even crossed our minds.
That evening we went to Tivoli Gardens. It’s an amusement/theme park in the center of the city but also has beautiful gardens, amazing restaurants and concert shells for live entertainment.
As with any amusement park, the food within Tivoli was a little pricey but I had what was probably the best burger I’ve ever eaten from a place called Woodhouse. That was a trend in Copenhagen. The food would always seem overpriced and then it would arrive and we’d find ourselves dining on borderline-gormet cuisine.
We explored the rest of the gardens and the rides, ate some ice cream and when the live band started playing the people began to swing dance in front of the stage. Here’s a quick Instavideo of the Open-Air Stage. It was such a fun and lighthearted atmosphere.
Sam had to head back home and get to work on Monday so we all had breakfast together and then said our goodbyes.
Lindsay and I walked up Norrebrogade and did some more shopping. On our way back we decided to wander through a beautiful cemetery that had caught our eye. Little did we know, it was Assistens Cemetary where Hans Christian Anderson’s grave is located.
We kept the night low-key by grabbing a quick dinner and picking up some Carlsburg to drink by the lake. Nighttime in Copenhagen seemed a little surreal to me. The sun would set around 10:00 p.m. but it would stay light until after midnight. Then the sky would lightened again and the sun would already start to rise by 4:00 a.m. I hear winter has the opposite effect when most of the day is spent in darkness.
On our fourth morning in Copenhagen, the other Americans attending Lindsay’s conference began to show up. I don’t think I’ve actually mentioned what Lindsay’s conference was for. She will soon be an Audiologist and Copenhagen is the headquarters of a few major hearing aide manufacturers. Students from all over the world were brought together for a few days in a camp-like setting to learn more about the hearing aide manufacturer Oticon.
We all did a little bit of shopping and then Lindsay and I attempted to walked to Christiana. Freetown Christiana is basically a large commune where people live an alternative and organic lifestyle. We made it to Amager, the island on which Christiana is located but we got terribly tired and didn’t get all the way to the neighborhood. We practically crawled back to the hotel for nap.
Lindsay and I then met back up with the rest of the Audiology girls and we all had smorrebrod a.k.a. open-faced sandwiches at Hoppes. On the way back to the hotel we stopped for waffles with soft ice and chocolate syrup. To. Die. For.
All of the Audiology girls and I took the train to Kronborg Castle, also known as Hamlet’s Castle because it is the setting of Shakespere’s famous tragedy Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. We caught the English speaking tour which was nice because not only did we hear about the background of the castle but there was a lot of Denmark history included as well. The casements and this statue of Holger the Dane were probably my favorite parts.
The weather was quite chilly that day but we had learned by then that the weather in Copenhagen could change on a dime. I might say it’s even more unpredictable than Michigan weather. Gasp! Rain and sunshine would alternate throughout the day. So we knew to carry our umbrellas, jackets and sunglasses at all times.
It was my last night in Copenhagen and my last night of the trip. We had dinner in Nyhavn, a popular canal and entertainment district, and then went for drinks at an underground bar. We met some very friendly Europeans and had an all around great time. I am so thankful that the Audiology girls let me tag along and be one of them!
Day 6 – Time to go home!
I packed my things, said bye to Lindsay and hopped on the metro to the airport. I flew in to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City. Ohhhhh, JFK. It was horribly unorganized and chaotic. I had never flown into JFK before and I now know to avoid it at all costs. I eventually departed and made it to Detroit where my brother Nick picked me up and delivered me home to my dog Audi and a few days of serious jet lag.
I still can’t believe we actually did it. Three best friends in their twenties embarking on a European adventure just because we could. Seeing the world is my dream but it’s just the bonus when compared to sharing those memories with my closest friends.