One of my favorite cities so far has to be Copenhagen.
Maybe it was the help of visiting our family friend Mike and having a personal tour guide, but I felt right at home with the salty air blowing off the chilly Norwegian waters.
My Dad’s friend from when he was younger Mike, moved to Copenhagen with his girlfriend six years ago and we finally got the chance to visit him. My memories of Mike were happy ones with him playing guitar, letting us play with his dog, and always full of new information. Our visit with him for the day did not disappoint.
He met us at the airport and helped us navigate the train to our hotel.
Our first stop, as my mom’s request was to visit “The Little Mermaid,” and she for sure is little. We continued our stroll along the water to Kastellet which is an old military fortress built in the shape of a star which rises up out of the moat. It was incredible to admire the construction that had gone into creating the steep walls of the fortress built ages ago. While we were there we got to see them mowing the steep lawns, which is surprisingly done by a remote-control lawn mower, we all joked about different people we knew who would enjoy this invention!
Our next stop was Nyhaven which Mike told us was the quintessential post card picture of Copenhagen. The harbor here is beautiful and surrounded by colorful townhouses that brightened the cloudy day. We were sure to take some pictures here! After getting our pictures, we headed over to the other side of the harbor to explore Freetown Christiania which is an autonomous anarchist area of the city in a former military barracks. Despite the negative connotations those words may have, Christiania is a colourful place with many art galleries, concerts, shops, restaurants, and some “legal” drug dealing. The area is decorated with street art and flowers, clearly intended to be a place where people can escape the city and feel free to live as they please. To our surprise, Copenhagen has a similar concept as Foodhallen in Amsterdam called Street Food in an old warehouse on Paper Island which has all sorts of stalls. Mike took us here for lunch and also to meet up with his girlfriend Greta. We all got to get our own food and drinks and catch up over the past several years. I hadn’t had sushi in quite some time and was excited to get some Nordic fish sushi. It did not disappoint.
After lunch, Greta gave us a tour of the city center, including another walk through Nyhaven where one of the restaurants was giving out samples of their signature winter drink, mulled wine which is warm wine with spices and fruits that is made over the timespan of a whole year. It was very delicious and exactly what we all needed to warm us up. Our next stop was the Round Tower which is a former astronomical tower. The inside is an easy climb up because it is just a ramp, no stairs. From the top, we could see the entire city and beyond despite the clouds. Despite it being a ramp we were all a little tired from our ascent and descent of the tower and went out in search of some coffee. We grabbed some from a little market nearby that has enclosed areas for cafes, candy shops, and bakeries and an outdoor area for a produce market.
Our next stop was my absolute favorite. Greta’s daughter and her boyfriend have an art studio across from Tivoli gardens. They each have their own studio room along with renting space to other artists in the city. Greta’s daughter Jacoba was at yoga when we arrived but we were greeted by her boyfriend Brendan. He showed us his music studio and her art studio where she had up some drawings she was working on. It was very thought provoking to look at her work just before I met her. Come to find out though, Jacoba and Brendan met in an art class when they were both students at UMass, such a small world! It was such a great time to hang out with them in their studio and get to know them. Sadly, we had to part ways before dinner but I do hope to see them again in the future, whether it be in Massachusetts or Copenhagen.
My parents, Greta, Mike and I ended our night at their favorite creperie. We all got dinner crepes and talked about our day and lives for a long time before we had to depart. I’m so thankful to Mike and Greta for taking the time to show us around the city. I will hopefully be returning to Copenhagen very soon!