Chronicles of one girl's journey to London - from conception to eventual migration.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

36 HOURS IN COPENHAGEN

. . . or København if you are a native.

First, a little backtrack. Jessica arrived in London on Saturday November 19th. Qas, Sara and I picked her up at Gatwick. Our first order of business was to attend Mel's hen-do - the bride of the wedding I will attend in a couple of weeks. Basically, we had a great week with Jessica, and it culminated in a trip to Copenhagen with Julainne.

Saturday, November 26th
We left VERY early, took a taxi to Gatwick in the dark and, with no luggage to check in, made straight for our Easyjet departure gate and were off by 8am!

The flight to Copenhagen is only an hour and a half and they are an hour ahead so we were on the ground by 10.30am their time. Once again, straight through passport control. We headed to the station and made it into the city centre by about 11.30. Copenhagen has one of the easiest train systems I have seen yet, and it's all very modern and clean!

We took a little stroll around to find somewhere to eat and (as you do when you are in Denmark) we went to McDonald's for a quick, cheap bite. Denmark still uses the kroner or DKK instead of the Euro and their currency is slightly inflated. So you will pay 68 DKK for a meal in McDonald's but that translates into £8.50. Have I mentioned Copenhagen is one of the most expensive cities in the world?

Anyway, we ate our overpriced burgers and fries and then headed to our hotel to drop off our bags. It was right next to the famou Tivoli Gardens. While we didn't go IN to Tivoli Gardens, we did stare in wistfully and take pictures from the other side of the gates. We had budgeted very little for our two days there and Tivoli Garden's 95 DKK entry fee was too high. They had a lovely Christmas festival going on inside too.

Tivoli Gardens entrance
Next, we went Christianshaven. This is what the Danes call an "alternative lifestyle neighbourhood" and is meant to be bohemian and very hippie. When we went there, though, it wasn't much at all. It was very quiet for a Saturday afternoon though it is still a very pretty part of Copenhagen.

In Christianshaven, there is a spiral-topped church called Church of our Saviour. Those who choose can climb to the top (current cost: 30 DKK) via 400 steps. 150 of these steps are outside at the very top. While Jessica and Sara opted out, Julainne and I decided we wanted to up our previous record of 366 from Bruges. So up we went! And up, and up, and up. The climb is steep but the view is worth it!


After, we walked through the old palace that is no longer in use, and then headed to the hotel to check in and freshen up. We had now all been awake 12 hours but it was only 4pm!

We had 2 rooms in the Cabinn City Hotel and they were so cute. We had bunk beds! And the shower was just a tap stuck to the ceiling in the middle of the tiny bathroom.

I love bunk beds!

We had a few bottles of wine and then went out for dinner and a night out. It rained sideways on us the whole time, though, and the wind was so bad it broke both mine and Julainne's umbrella. We ended up at Nyhavn, the famous canal of colourful buildings and ducked into a bar there. After a drink each, we headed back to the hotel for much needed sleep!

Sunday, November 27th
Checked out at 11am and headed to find some breakfast. We were after the elusive Danish pastry. It's not as commonly found as we thought . . . well, we didn't know where to look yet. Anyway, we eventually found Lagkagehuset and it is basically wall to wall pastries and bread. And they are delicious!

After, we went to see Nyhavn in the day and it is rather pretty! Despite the endless spitty rain. The canal that runs down the middle also has the clearest water I have seen. Apparently you can swim in it. I have vowed to return and do just that one day.


After that, we headed over to see The Little Mermaid. She is quite a trek from the main area of the city but definitely worth it! She was the final stop on our tour and the prettiest. For those who need a brief history lesson, she was created by sculptor Edward Eriksen at the request of Carl Jacobsen to commemorate the Hans Christian Andersen story. Most of us know the Disney version, and it is similar to the original.


Then, we were off to find a meal where we were repeatedly told that near Christmas, Danes do not serve hot food in restaurants. Instead, they have a Christmas menu that comprises of a lot of herring and pork with bread, cheese and other cold salads. I really wanted to try this but Sara and Julainne are not fish eaters so we moved onto a place where we managed to get some chicken, rice and salad.

By this time we were absolutely exhausted from two solid days of walking in the rain and wind. We had a long time before our flight so we just sat in the hotel's lobby to rest. The wind really kicked up around this time (it even ripped a door off its hinges in the lobby) and our take-off was very shaky.

All in all, a great trip though! I would like to go back in the summer as it looks like it would be a beautiful place to be when it's hot.

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