The GoGlobal Blog

Flyin Solo – Copenhagen

Flyin Solo – Copenhagen

My one and only truly solo trip I took this semester was to Denmark. I realized I had been to every Scandinavian capital except Copenhagen, plus I had wanted to travel alone at some point, so it felt fitting for my last trip of the semester to be there. Here is my experience down in words….

Day 1

Despite being enthusiastic for my final trip, especially since I was traveling alone, I got rather sentimental at the airport. I started thinking about how much time I’ve spent in this airport these past 6 months and how that airport and Denver’s are my favorite airports. I laughed when I reminisced about my first trip I took there to Krákow. My friends and I were so newly aquatinted with the country and traveling. We got lost, over packed, you name it. Now I feel like a pro or something because I’ve done so much traveling this semester. Except my expert bubble popped when I still managed to try to board the wrong flight. That was the second time that happened but in my defense the flight I tried to board was also to Copenhagen but only 20 minutes earlier than my actual flight—an easy mistake really. When I finally boarded the correct flight, I was in the front row, feeling like a boss. I looked out the window and thought how beautiful Norway is in the summer now that everything is green. “My Frosted City” to which I named because it always looked like it was frosted with snow now more closely resembled “My Green City”.

When I landed, I was happily surprised at how easy it was to figure out where the metro was to get to my hostel. The airport looks eerily similar to the Oslo one, and the public transit systems could be sisters. Although, the amount of people and how they act is very different. The train was packed full of people by the time I got off, and the city as a whole was bumping for a Wednesday afternoon. Juxtaposed to that, Oslo seems quite desolate, although I like that the city is smaller and not crowed. Copenhagen with the crowds and the fact that I was alone for the first time made me feel extremely anxious and I couldn’t shake it.

After I checked in, I immediately left to go grab food. I was so hungry that I bought the first sandwich that sounded good at this cool market outside my hostel. I saw in the distance what looked like a park so I figured I would go there to eat it. I was happy to find that it was a lake with a nice walking path around the perimeter. It seemed like the only place in the city that wasn’t packed and I was beyond grateful to take this opportunity to calm down and acquaint myself with my environment.

The park right near my hostel where I spent my first day at, as well as ate at least one meal a day at the entire time I was in the city. Very lovely.

I guess it just felt strange to be alone suddenly. The past week I literally spent every single moment with my friends (or studying) because seeing that we were leaving soon, we were trying to pack in as much time together as we could. Thus, transitioning from that to complete solitude in an unfamiliar city really threw me off. Not to say that I wasn’t happy to be in Copenhagen, or that I can’t spend time alone in general, but it was just a surprisingly hard transition that I wasn’t prepared for mentally.

With no plans of what to do (again logistics are not a strength of mine), I just kept walking anywhere that looked appealing. Turned out that I happened to arrive on a day when this massive EDM festival was going on. It’s the biggest street party in all of Denmark, called Distortion. It used to be all over the country but the smaller areas got sick of it and moved in all into Copenhagen. The party was going on the entire week and would move each day to a new section. Streets were closed to cars and instead filled with what seemed like every 20-something-year-old Danish person intoxicatingly vibe’n to the beat of the music. Every 10 meters there was another stage and at some points the crowd was so packed it was hard to move. When one stages’ music would fade, another would come into focus. It was THE place to be for everyone my age it seemed! Given that I was alone, I mostly just walked through and took it all in, wishing that the guys were here with me because together we’d have a blast.

As I was getting tired of being surrounded by drunk people with loud house music all around me, I set off to escape the festival and continue seeing the city. It was an interesting first day, and I was keen to see what the next day had in store.

Distortion, the largest street party in all of Denmark, was absolutely crazy. At one point, I come across this man just carrying around a plastic leg!

Day 2

I woke up around 9:30 and to my surprise all the people in my room were already out. I got ready and set out for a quick breakfast at the market near my hostel. I wanted to make the 11am free walking tour in the city so I didn’t have all that much time. The cafe I went to took forever, so I had to scarf down my food before speed walking to the meeting spot at Town Hall.

When I arrived, there were a ton of people–probably the biggest walking tour I’ve ever seen. Before it began I heard two guys next to me had an American accent so I asked them where they were from. Their names were David and Tommy, two college students from New York who go to school in Buffalo. I found that intriguing because that’s where my mom was from. As the tour went on, we hung out the entire time and got to know each other as we walked from each destination. I learned a lot on the tour as I always do (the free walking tours in every city are amazing, I highly encourage doing them on the first day of any trip to gain your bearings in the city, both geographically and historically). For example, the crown prince and his family took in an exchange student this semester! How cool right? I should have applied on exchange here!

The famous Navn street in all its glory.

When the tour ended, the guys and I went together to Christiania, the free town in Copenhagen to explore and more importantly get food. Inside was really fascinating. It had a totally different atmosphere juxtaposed to the rest of the city. While inside, we ran into a group of Finnish men that Tommy had met the night before. They took us to this beach there which we would have never known existed if it weren’t for them. We stayed there for hours and eventually the New York guys got up and asked if I wanted to leave with them. Since I knew them a little better, I went with. We walked back to the city center and got another hot dog to eat–the hot dogs there are amazing, be sure to order them with everything on them. Unfortunately, I was so hungry I didn’t even think to take a picture. So sad… After we ate is when we split our ways and I went back to my hostel to nap for a little.

The entrance to Christiania, the free town. On the flip side it reads, “You are now entering the EU”.
The beach in Christiania where the people I met and I spent a good few hours at.

When I awoke from my nap, a Swedish guy had moved into my room. We talked for a little before I headed out to continue exploring for the night. I ended the night by watching the sunset over the river. When I came back, the Swedish guy and I talked the rest of the night together. He’s 23 and quit school three separate times. He seemed frustrated with himself that he did such a thing. I found him to be quite intelligent, for when he found out I studied math, we talked about our favorite proofs for quite a while. It was a perfect, chill second day in Copenhagen.

 

The beautiful sunset I witnessed along the water.

Day 3

I didn’t need to leave for my flight until 4:30pm in the afternoon, so I set a plan to see the rest of the city that I wanted to hit. I quickly ate breakfast at the hostel with a Brazilian woman whom I met that morning.

Now, my first stop was the botanical gardens followed by the Kings Gardens. It was so beautiful and peaceful inside. I always love seeing the botanical gardens in any city I travel to. Kongens Have, or the Kings Garden was bigger than I was expecting. There were large fields of finely cut grass that people were sun bathing and playing games on. I could totally see myself throwing around a ball, or lying down there for days

The botanical gardens in the city. Very sublime.

Next on my agenda was Kastellet, i.e., the star shaped fortress. I heard from a friend who studied abroad here that it was unlike any fortress any Americans have ever seen, yet I was still astonished. It was basically a gorgeous park with a moat running through the middle. There was even a windmill on the hill at the very center. I sat on a bench in there, just relaxing, watching the occasional runner or biker swing by me. I ended up walking the entire path that surrounded the fortress, both on the lower path, as well as the path on the hill. If you’re a runner, I think this would be a fine spot to take a jog if ever in town.

The statue of the Little Mermaid is just on the perimeter of Kastellet. I’ve heard not to really go there because it wasn’t worth it but I decided that I wanted to see what has been deemed the 2nd most underwhelming tourist attraction in the world. What I found more impressive when I saw it, was the amount of tourists gawking at such a mediocre statue. I stayed for a half a minute before moving on.

One part of the fortress. It was so beautiful it was hard to believe it actually was a fortress.
The windmill that was located on the hill inside the fortress.
Included because I think this statue is cooler than the Little Mermaid…

On my way to the Church of our Savior, I found this interesting Octagon. There was a small door and inside was so unlike anything I’ve ever seen. It’s an art installation called “Cosmic Space” by an artist from the Faroe Islands. Definitely try to find it if you can. No one really notices it, so I was the only one in there for quite a while. I don’t want to include any photos because it is one of those “be surprised” types of places. Not a huge tourist attraction, but when you happen across it, you’ll be glad you saw it.

Finally I arrived at the church. I first went inside where the organs were playing some rather dark music very loudly. Yet, the inside was remarkable. Probably one of my favorite churches I’ve ever been in. Following a quick stop in there, I headed up to the tower. I’ve heard it was the best view of the city, but I had no idea just what that meant—beyond worth the 35 kroner I spent to get there. First you had to walk up a set of narrow wooden stairs inside the church. A funny, elderly British couple near me were playfully bickering about how difficult it was. Then you come out onto a platform where you can see the whole city. I thought this was the end until I turned the corner and saw a set of oxidized copper stairs spiraling upwards on the outside of the tower. I climbed these, with my legs shaking from my fear of heights, until I reached the very top. Glad I made it before I left, is all I can say.

Overall, it turned into a beautiful trip. I finished it off by eating an early dinner and reading my book by this beautiful lake before heading off to the airport. TY København.

The the best view of the Church, but you can see the twisting stairs at the very top.
A small view of the stairs I climbed on the outside of the church. So high!!

Well this is my last blog I’m going to write. I don’t think I’m mentally prepared enough to write a final, “goodbye” blog so I’ll leave it at this… S/O to all my friends, all my roommates, all my adventures, and especially to all of Norway. You’ll be missed…

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