Arrival in Copenhagen

Copenhagen is great! I always thought I would enjoy Copenhagen without trying to put pressure on myself to forcibly enjoy Copenhagen, so I’m pleased to say that I really love it!

Catching a train to the central area was super easy. They also had luggage storage, so I put my big backpack in and took my little day pack out for my initial orientation to the city. I walked from the station and passed the Tivoli Gardens, an amusement park that is quite beautiful in charm.

I wanted to find lunch so I looked on yelp for some suggestions, and found a suggestion to a hamburger place that was supposedly great hamburgers for a great price–served out of a gas station. I got my meal, and it was quite good! I sat down at a communal bench, and a couple sat in front of me. During the meal, we started talking and they told me some things I should see and do while in Copenhagen.

I then headed to Stroget, the longest shopping street in the world! Here they had all sorts of shops lining the cobbled stone pedestrian area which spanned for almost a mile. I was instantly piqued by the shops that focused on Danish Design. I enjoyed browsing around, and then it was time for me to head back towards the station to get my baggage to bring to my Airbnb.

My Airbnb was in Fredricksburg, which is the neighbhorhood adjacent west to Copenhagen. It was easily located in walking distance to the main area, but renting a bike ended up being an amazing experience. The bike paths here are so well done. Safety was great, as from the street there is about a 4″ lip raised to the bike path, and another 4″ raised up to the pedestrian path. It’s really great! Even the bike lanes have their own mini stop lights and sometimes even lanes when you need to turn left. Everyone was really well behaved on bikes, and I felt safe the whole time.

I arrived at the Airbnb and was in contact with my host, Kasper, and he buzzed me in. I made my way up with all my baggage again to another 4th floor apartment. Kasper opened the door and welcomed me inside. The place was really great–really high ceilings and a lot of history in regards to aristocratic living. My room was actually the servant’s room, which had a connection directly to the kitchen and bathroom. He showed me the walls that had been removed to renovate the apartment for a more civilized style when servants weren’t living together with their masters anymore :)

This means my room was very small, but it was fine for what I needed. The curious thing, however, is that I was interested in seeing the rest of the place and I didn’t get the sense that he was interested in me seeing it. His girlfriend arrived shortly after, and we spoke a bit, and I was commenting on how beautiful the place was. She was some what a timid girl and very soft spoken. Apparently a lawyer as well, so she must be able to hold her own if need be. She then explained that they typically will keep the doors closed (into the dining and living room).

Even now, I’m not quite sure how I feel about it. One of the reasons I do Airbnb in a share is for cost effectiveness. Copenhagen is expensive, so I could save money by sharing. However, when I do this, I also enjoy getting to know the hosts, see how they live their life in a new country, and see the interior of a Danish home. About the entire time, not only did I not see them, but the doors were kept closed, so I too began to feel the sense of me being a servant, only being provided access to my limited quarters. Not that I spent a lot of time at home, but it would have been nice to relax on a couch or just be in a more open area than my tiny bedroom.

Anyhow, despite the unwelcome feeling I had in the airbnb, it was actually like renting my own place. I had access to the kitchen and bathroom, and really felt like they were my own. I didn’t see them, have to wait on anyone, so in the end, it was like renting a private apartment–so I guess it was actually fine.

I found a bike rental shop right next to the apartment which was cheaper than doing the bike tour that I had found. I decided I would rather do my own bike tour for 3 days than pay even more for just 3 hours. Soon I was on the streets like a Dane and no one could tell a difference :)

I made my way all around Copenhagen over the next several days. The little Mermaid, The Round Tower, Ameliaborg, Christenborg, Torvehalle a great market hall with food, Papieroen (Paper Island) with the best street food stalls housed in one great place (two visits!), Christiana, Tivoli Gardens Amusement park — I did unlimited rides!, Nyhaven, the neighborhoods around Vesterbor, Norrebor, etc.

I really think I got the whole feel of the city. I enjoyed it so much, just wandering around on my bike, seeing beautiful streets and houses, beautiful architecture and brightly colored buildings. My last night, I decided to do a canal tour around the city, and I am so glad I did. It was one of their last cruises, and I was only one of a few on board. The tour guide was great, and now having seen and learned about the city, it was great to see it from the other side. Our boat went through canal underpasses with literally inches between our heads at the bridge. It was impressive driving! I’ll definitely come back to Copenhagen, and was excited to finally get a feel for the city I’ve wondered so much about!

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