Wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen....

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June 19th 2012
Published: June 19th 2012
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I don't think i've ever been as unprepared for a trip as I was for this one. I needed it, definitely, but I just couldn't be bothered to plan. I knew roughly what I wanted to see, sort of. The Carlsberg factory for example, seemed like a good start to a holiday. And it was. Sat outside in the sun, drinking a beer and catching up with a friend is always going to be a good start. The museum bit; I don't think I've ever been to a museum as bad as that one, and that includes the hat museum in stockport. The best part of it was a room with some bottles in it. Maybe I missed the point somewhere, there should be signs. The day had started badly, a 6am wake up is never good for me. I got to the airport extra early, because if we'd left later, we'd have hit rush hour traffic and i'd probably have been late. During the 4 hours i was at the airport, i managed to break my watch so i couldn’t wear it and break the zip inside my bag so that it took forever to get at my passport. Then once I'd landed I somehow managed to freeze my phone. The only means of contacting the person i was staying with that i had and it wasn’t working. Great. Luckily, I ran into her at the Metro station we planned to meet at. Before I arrived, Kirsty told me that I better like beer. I thought that this might be her way of telling me we were having a drunken weekend. When i went to the shop however, I found out what she meant. A bottle of water is 20kroner, a can of carlsberg is 10. Anyone else think that the pricing system is a bit skew-if there? The rest of the first day was just having a wander round. We might have been a bit lost, but I like to think of it as exploring. Come to think of it, we did quite a bit of exploring.

Kirsty's halls used to be an old nursing home. It's very clinical. Long, wide, white corridors with black lino floors. The rooms are better, more homely, but the best bit is in the basement. The walls haven't been plastered, just painted white over the brick, and the floor is concrete. It's a big basement, lots of adjoining rooms and corridors down there. Lining the walls are cages for the residents to lock away anything they don't want to keep in their room. The place has atmosphere. (This description has a point, I promise.)

The next day was a bit more organised. Kirsty had a few things she wanted to see before she came home and I had my list. We started at the Botanical Gardens. It's really good, there's some weird plants in there and its really hot and humid. It's nice to go outside again afterwards. Across the road from that is Rosenborg Slot, a seventeenth century castle. It's like a fairytale castle, with displays of art, furniture, tapestries, but my favourite bit was the treasury. It is the home of the Danish crown jewels. In one room there were three life-size dolls in glass cases, sort of like the ones you see and fair grounds sometimes. Two of them, the adults were ok, but the third was a kid and it didn't have eyes. It had horror film written all over it. Now, I told you the basement description had a point; imagine that the eyeless doll child was in a far corner of the basement, covered in cobwebs. It's dark down there. People don't go down there alone. Especially in the night. In the dark. You get the idea. Freaky doll in a basement, moves when you aren't looking. Starts killing people. That sort of story. Or, maybe it would be better if it just drove them mad... but I digress.

After Rosenborg Slot we went to the Danish Design Center. It had an exhibition about materials on, so hopefully I learnt something I will be able to implement in my designs in the future. It was the bit to make me feel like I was doing something educational. Now, I know that Tivoli is supposed to be the big attraction in Copenhagen, but an old amusement park just didn't appeal to me. Maybe next time i'll go but this time, I just got a picture of the outside. Next on the itinerary was the national library, also known as The Black Diamond. The building is a unique fusion of old and new architecture. It's a place that, were I living in Copenhagen, I would definitely go to study. It's one of those places where you would expect inspiration to come easily. From there we walked to the Little Mermaid. It was a long walk. 1.5 hours. And then back again, not so far though on the way back, we made a b-line for the nearest mode of public transport.

On that note, Public Transport here is amazing. It's clean, it's efficient and it stays open much later than in the UK. We went for a night out in the meat packing district. (Worth a visit and it was a good night. The music wasn't that great but you could dance to it. It was just a bit weird... But what do you expect from somewhere meat is packed by day and becomes a few bars and clubs at night?) Getting a train and a bus home at 3am wasn't a problem. In the UK, they would stop running at 12 at the latest. It's not bad on price either. A 72 hour pass is 199 kroner, about £23, and covers you for trains, buses and metro within 4 zones. The entire time we were there we didn't get further that zone 2 and that includes me getting to and from the airport.

The final day was the best. We had a plan. To begin with, it looked like the weather had scuppered this plan. It was a bit drizzly. So we stopped at a flea market for a mooch and to think about what we should do. The clouds cleared (kind of) and the plan was back on. We were going to the Zoo. I've not been to the zoo since i was about 6, and i feel like i've missed out. What have i been doing with the years of my life in between. Zoo's are great. I feel a bit sorry for the animals, the elephants especially, they just seem too big to be kept in a zoo, but I love that I can go and see them. There were Lions, and Tigers and Bears... and Monkeys. :D I love animals. Yes, I am a child.

The last stop on my whirlwind tour of Copenhagen was Christiania. It's a free town. The residents don't have to pay tax and it's almost a world of it's own in the middle of the city. The archway even says 'Welcome to the EU' as you're leaving. If only all borders were that easy to cross. It's a hippy drug haven. I think that would be the least politically correct and most accurate way to describe it. There are random sculptures and pieces of art everywhere, some are actually quite good. Apparently weed is a good source of inspiration. One important fact. You can't take pictures. It says so very clearly on the corner or side of pretty much every building. A picture of a camera with a cross through it is a pretty universal symbol.

I had wanted to see Von Frelsers Kirke (Our saviours Church). You can climb to the top of the tower for a really good view over the city, but t was shut by the time we got to it and if i'm honest, after the amount of walking I'd done, the idea of climbing up and down 400 steps wasn't so appealing. It's a beginning of the trip type thing to do.

So all in all, I had a good weekend. Copenhagen has lots of graffiti, amazing public transport, a huge amount to see and Danish pastries are really nice. It's also quite expensive.

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