Denmark has been the closest country to London that I haven’t been to for years, so it was only a matter of time until I actually went ahead and booked that flight. Opportunity came along when I found out my old flatmate and frolleague from Australia was living there. Cristian and I worked together at The Colombian Hotel in Sydney and shared a couple of dingy apartments there as well. Since leaving Australia he’s lived all over the world, but in Spring this year he decided to join some of his Argentinean friends in Copenhagen. It being the closest we’d been proximity-wise for several years it was the perfect chance to meet up.
I arrived late on Friday night and met Cristian at one of his favourite bars, the imaginatively named ‘GAY’ bar. I had a chance for a quick walk round the city first. The buildings were lovely but I was a little surprised at how trashy the nightlife seemed to be. Loads of tropical themed venues which makes sense I suppose when you consider how bleak the climate it is (regularly one of Cristian’s major complaints about the city).
We partied till the early hours and I had a great time meeting Cristian’s friends, many of whom he knows from back home in Argentina. Apparently Denmark gives out an unlimited number of visas to young Argentineans which goes some way to explain the sheer number of them here. It also appeared to me that the club was catering to them as well – there were so many latin pop stars/spanish songs playing. Partying with South Americans is always fun – they know how to have a good time! Especially compared to stuffy Brits.
I unearthed myself this next day just in time for a walking tour at 2pm that left from the main Town Square. I haven’t done a walking tour like this round a city for ages and I think perhaps I should consider doing it more often. We really enjoyed the tour and learnt lots about the city and Denmark as a whole. Interesting how Danish culture has influenced a few random things, like for example ‘Bluetooth’ is named for a former Danish King named Harald Bluetooth, and the symbol comes from old Viking runes.
Copenhagen is a very attractive city and highly walkable. It’s also fairly compact so I think I saw most of the main highlights in the two days I was there. Obviously there’s merit to exploring the less central neighbourhoods which I plan to do next time. But for this trip I was more than content to walk around the city centre, the harbour and the city parks.
I decided to do something a little cultural and visited the North Atlantic House, which showcases art from the Faroe Islands, Iceland and Greenland. They’re three places I know basically nothing about so I figured that would be interesting. The gallery was small but they had a few thought provoking pieces. Apparently Greenland is pretty close to seceding from Denmark, who knew? I was quite intrigued to learn about the tattooing practices there as well, although overall I got the impression it was a rather bleak place to live. Sorry Greenland!
I also got a tour of the strange little region named Christiania, which is a kind of commune that exists just outside the city centre. Danish law applies here, but things are much more relaxed with weed being for sale for example. There’s some bizarre architecture and many shifty characters to observe, although overall it’s a fairly safe and cool place to hang out. Photography wasn’t really encouraged so you’ll just have to use your imagination for how it looked!
I had a fab time in Copenhagen; it was a brief visit but the city really made a great impression on me. It’s beautiful, safe, trendy, relaxed and convenient. I loved seeing the life that Cristian has built for himself here – he always manages to surround himself with great people (cus he’s a great guy obviously!). I’d love to visit him again before he leaves but unfortunately I don’t think it’s possible! But at least I managed to catch him before he returns to Argentina. Till Buenos Aires my friend 😉