Call of the North (5): Copenhagen

Lonely Planet – Scandinavian Europe is one of the best investments made so far. It has almost everything I am anticipating of needing.

An even better investment (as it was free) was the map taken from the hostel (Danhostel city center, for the record). It contains a 3 hours walking tour, nicely marked with main attractions. Perfect for the first day! So here we go.

First observation – the weather. I haven’t seen so rapidly changing weather, ever. In a matter of seconds it went from sunny to completely clouded, and I am not exaggerating. Very confusing.

First main stop was in the city hall square,

where I consumed a ciabatta at a terrace, peoplewatching and tourpreparing.

Further on, on streetlets,

through squares

till i caught water.

Back to their main shopping street

with rickshaws (Indian fashion catching);

a.k.a. ecological taxis. Quite expensive, compared to India.

Finally, from this square

suddenly… first I saw the anhor.

Only thereafter I realized where I was. Nyhavn is probably the most well-known place in Copenhagen, and I saw why.

Made dozens of photos here, couldnt stop. Even now I dont know which one to choose. Maybe this one

or this one

or this one?

From the part of the world i have seen so far, this place has only one rival – Canale Grande, Venice. I was completely mesmerized. But after a picture with the Romanian violonist

I continued my tour, by the new opera,

the royal palace with one of the few equestrian statues out there featuring a lady

heavily guarded.

The Copenhagen Dome is called Marble Church,

and has one of the largest cupoles in Europe. It didnt even fit in the picture.

There was more, but let’s jump to one of the landmarks, probably the landmark, the Little Mermaid, small and shy of all the crowd wanting to touch her (don’t touch me!)

The way back lead through a fortress, red on the inside

along houses yellow on the outside,

or churches with blue Bugs.

Back to the Dome, since at 15:00 sharp one can climb the tower, for a panorama picture. Following my King Kong syndrome, of course I had to be there, climbing on a very long and narrow stair system, very cool.

The view

is nice, but not knockingoffyourfeet. Hard to pick something outstanding, maybe these windmills on the sea

or the huge bridge conneting Copenhagen and Malmo, in Sweden.

I had a secret wish, to stroll on a bike in one of these cities. Voila les bikes, I took one, and strolled.

That satisfied, resumed walking, among others seeing the Round Tower

next to which some Russian lads from St. Petersburg were performing some outstanding Xylophone pieces.

Here is a sample:

After a bit of musical refreshment, went on to the free city of Christiania, a famous hippieish place on one of the islands, declared “independent”. It looks… optimistic.

Soon I reached Pusher Street, where I saw the below sign, which I hurried to take a picture of

Some elderly kiosk sellers on the right protested immediately – this is the only street where they sell hash, and the boys are not too nice if they see you taking pictures. I said i was only taking pictures of the sign – which is true, and turned away fairly quickly, just in case. Thinking in my mind – these people “ask politely” to not take pictures of their illegal activities. I honestly dont feel like obliging. Anyway – on the way there I had observed this lot

being it seems arrested around that corner. Serves them well – was quite annoyed by the reaction i got.

Glad to be “back to civilization”, I stopped by Nyhavn again, on nightfall, shooting another 1000 pictures, like this one

and this one

or this one.

That’s it, enought, back to Strøget, the main shopping street, now much emptier

and which was resounding with… music. There was this american-seeming dude playing the guitar and – surprize! One of the Russians had joined him for a spontaneous guitar/xylophone jam session. It was AWESOME.

Unfortunately, my battery ran out during this song:

It was the best way possible to end a rich day.

Err… would have been the best way. It didnt end exactly like this. I reached the hostel, wrote for a bit, then went to the room fairly late, after midnight… there was someone in my bed. Shit. What do I do? everyone was sleeping… i go to the other room (was an apartment with 8 beds), a very bad smell and… noise. Someone was snorring like a cavalry unit attacking. Shit. What do I do? Wake the guy up? my backpack was on the ground, maybe the lad is a touch violent, i don’t need that. go back to the other room, one dude wakes up, tells me the guy in that empty bed had changed to the other room. Aha. Shit this is unbearable. Fuming, I gather my guts and wake the guy up. Try to wake him up, he sleeps like a log. I manage eventually, ask him whats the deal, he apologizes and says that he had asked the others in the room and they had sad the bed was free. I said well, my backpack and linen and stuff was on the bed, so… well that guys said it was free. well it was not. oh, sorry, no problem, i go. but, you know, very bad snorkeling in the other room. i know, i’m sorry, but this is my bed… he goes. the guy he was talking about raised a tired head, saying – i didnt say it was free, i said i dont know.

no worries, mate. i am very happy to have re-gained my bed in the “good room”, with no violence in the process. the guy was very polite, just a bit… odd.

Only now, the longest day so far came to an end. Good night.

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