København

By abbieredmon

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I decided it would be fun to spend a few days in Copenhagen on my way from Stockholm to Berlin — since I am taking the train, it’s a nice way to break up the journey, too.

The (high-speed) train ride through Sweden was foggy foggy, and Copenhagen upon arrival was the same. I kind of loved it! Sadly, I didn’t have much time to get any nice photos before the sun went down, though.

The first thing I did was meet a friend of a friend for a coffee at Holberg no 19, a nice spot near Nyhavn (though I didn’t know I was near Nyhavn at the time).

My friend of a friend is Swedish, and his Danish didn’t seem to be much better than mine. We sat and chatted in English -- about our mutual friend, and also about his new adopted city. He’s here at an art school, which I received a short tour of after we finished our drinks. It’s quite a cool space, and the students in the sculpture department are currently working with molten aluminum! Very thrilling.

I rarely find myself among such raw art, and I compensated for the novelty of my situation by taking an obscene and probably obnoxious amount of photos of the goings-on in the indoor/outdoor workshop.

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I parted ways with my one-man Swedish welcoming committee and found my way home via bus in the dark, after stopping at a surprisingly adorable and quirky little hole-in-the-wall place for a Mediterranean fusion kind of take-away that ended up being delicious! Falafel and avocado and cous-cous and some nice veggies. (There was a bunch of other stuff in there, too, but I was hungry and I ate it quickly and I don't remember it all. So sue me.)

The place is called Foodie, and the guy behind the counter was really kind and chill as well. A happy accidental find that I’d definitely recommend!

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After a glorious morning run along the Amager Strand, a nice little stretch of beach with a cool little island attached via a few bridges, the sun came out for my first full day in Copenhagen.

I took advantage of it by going on one of the canal tours by boat. It was a pretty touristy thing to do, but seeing the city from a different angle was cool.

The tour (which lasts an hour) started from Nyhavn and went through all the canals near there. We saw the opera house from the water, which is a nice way to see it, and squeezed our boat under some pretty low bridges.

I enjoyed it but wasn't OVERLY thrilled by the experience. I'm glad I picked the sunniest part of the day to be on the water, though -- the wind was already chilling enough!

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Later in the afternoon, I met up with a Instagram friend (hooray, connections!), and we went up the tower in the Parliament building to see Copenhagen from the opposite angle: from above.

It's apparently a new attraction and is -- amazingly! -- free. The choice was obvious! One must always attempt to see a view of a new city. This is my philosophy.

When we were ready to come down, we found out the elevator was stuck, so we had to walk down all of the stairs. I became aware of how lucky we were with our timing as we passed all the people huffing and puffing their way UP the stairs as we padded down them. Well done us!

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I managed to make it to Tivoli Gardens on the last night of its Halloween extravaganza, which could have been an amazing experience had I not spent almost the entire evening feeling sorry for myself for having to go to Tivoli by myself.

Being a Sunday evening, and the last night of these particular festivities, the park was crowded. I appreciated the fantastic orange, black, and generally spooky atmosphere they created with all of the lights and decorations, but it also made me aware of how AWESOME the place must be at Christmas time. I’ve never been a big fan of Halloween, though, and perhaps I’m just longing for a bit of Christmas, but yeah.

After I wandered around for an hour or so by myself I had a indecently indulgent meal at one of the restaurants in the park -- also by myself. I only had an appetizer soup and a dessert, but it worked out to 120 Danish krone, or $20 U.S. (Oh the shame!)

It was delicious, though: A pumpkin soup with some kind of fish(?) in it. Sounds weird, but it was good. A note of warning, though: If you have never dined alone, beware that ordering soup is a questionable choice. When you have a dining partner, you can eat soup with more grace, pausing between each spoonful to discuss your waiter's choice of hairstyle, or comment on how sad you are that the candle on your table has gone out, even though that is likely because you guffawed with too much gusto when your dining partner made a slick and sarcastic remark about said waiter's hairstyle.

When you eat soup by yourself, you find there is nothing to really do if you put the spoon down, so you hold the spoon in perpetuity, but you quickly find that holding the spoon while you're not using it is ALSO awkward, so you just keep using it, and before you know it, you are shoveling soup into your mouth at an alarming rate, and you begin to experience a modicum of shame as you realize how much of a heathen you must look to the other diners in the restaurant (a few of which have already smiled at you with a bit too much pity in their eyes for your tastes).

At any rate, I finished my soup. I won't tell you how long it took me.

Then I ordered a raspberry sorbet and chocolate dessert PLATTER that was more intense than I had anticipated, but pretty good. Some of the pieces of chocolate had nuts in them, though, which ruins chocolate for me. I felt bad about leaving them since the server was paying so much attention to me and wanted to know how I liked everything (another thing that often happens to you when you dine alone), so I put those pieces in my napkin and took them to the bathroom with me to throw away. I am awful because: (1) that’s a waste of part of a $10 dessert, and (2) I am afraid of what a random waiter in Denmark who I will never see again will think of me. Oh and (3) what am I, FIVE YEARS OLD???

But yeah. Tivoli.

Try going to an amusement park by yourself sometime. Try walking around alone, watching kids run past you to jump on a ride, their parents trailing behind with a camera and big smiles. Try listening to the screams of delight as friends terrify themselves on purpose on the maniacally dangerous “carnival rides” high above your head. Try watching couple after couple pass you by, holding hands, smiling sweetly at each other, wearing scarves, clutching hot chocolates.

This is not an inordinate amount of fun.

I am sad to say that I became the mildly creepy loner, laughing second-hand laughs at other people's jokes, applauding out of turn for the boyfriend who successfully won a giant stuffed animal for his girlfriend at the dart-and-duck game, or smiling just a little TOO much at other people's children as they toddled by with balloons and ice cream. I am not proud of this.

But I went to Tivoli because it is the second-oldest amusement park in the world, originally opening in 1843, second only to Dyrehavsbakken, which opened in 1583 and is also in Denmark. Tivoli is more popular and more well-known I assume because it is in Copenhagen, and Dyrehavsbakken is near Klampenborg. Where? Exactly.

Whatever. Here are some pictures of Tivoli. I took a lot of them because WHAT ELSE DID I HAVE TO DO?

A-hem.

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