Denmark: Meeting Expectations


We awoke in Hamburg with a relaxed attitude as the day was dedicated to getting to Copenhagen. I was fairly excited about the journey as Chris has previously informed us that the trip would include a section on a ferry. Normally this would not inspire any emotion, but this turned out to be no ordinary boat trip; the train itself boarded the boat and the novelty never really wore off. One of the less pleasant experiences of this trip was the fact that almost all seats on the train were reserved prior to departure and David and I found ourselves becoming acquainted with the floor.

When we eventually arrived in Copenhagen after just short of six hours on the train we found that the weather had taken a turn for the worse and we could have easily been back in Britain. We hurried to the Sleep in Heaven hostel to find it would be costing us a four figure sum to stay there. Ignoring this detail I quickly paid the balance and we found ourselves in a twelve bed dormitory, the largest so far.

Sleep In Heaven Hostel

We made our beds, dumped our bags and headed back out into the weather to find somewhere to eat.
Not far from the hostel we found an incredibly cool cafe; The Laundromat. It was like totally the hippest place dudes. The bar had a bookshelf below it and the books were organised by the colour of the spine. I loved this, having recently reorganised my CD collection by colour. The clientele were trendy young attractive Danes, and the food was delicious and the beer extortionate. Copenhagen had already hit my expectations and we had been there for less than a day.

The following morning was an early one, various travellers awaking earlier than us opening blinds and slamming doors. We found ourselves on the way into the city centre before 10am and one of our first sights was of a group of older gentlemen enjoying a lager in the morning sun. We were more surprised that the locals could afford the prices than the hour at which they were enjoying their drinks. We would later discover that minimum wage in Denmark is around £12 which helped to justify the price of just about everything.
From the map provided by the hostel we began a self-guided tour of the city where I offered David some made up information on some of the city’s buildings. We eventually found ourselves on the waterfront of Nyhavn and both realised that Copenhagen is one of the most beautiful cities we had ever seen (so far).

We followed the water to the harbour where we found a wind that crippled us on impact, but we battled on to reach Kastellet, one of the best preserved fortifications in Northern Europe which still held some of the Danish Army’s barracks. Within the same area there was also the Gefion Fountain, one of the most impressive fountain I have seen (again so far), and we both took the opportunity to test out our photography skills.

After exhausting our creative talents we wandered back into the city to find an expensive coffee and messy waffle. Much of the afternoon was spent in our usual fashion of ambling about streets, sitting on benches to watch the world go by and discuss how awful Britain is compared to everywhere else, and my new favourite hobby: watch cute Danish girls cycle past.
We eventually returned to the hostel with the intention of finding somewhere else to eat, but due to a lack of restaurants, or our poor observation skills and perhaps our love of the Laundromat we ended up eating there once more.

We awoke much later the following morning and headed out into the city to find the free National Museum. I was finding it increasingly common that it would not be possible for me to walk around European museums with my rucksack as the staff expected me to either destroy or steal exhibits and so left it in a locker. We lost several hours learning about Northern European history, discussing the merits of flint daggers, whether or not it would be better to have a sword or an axe and how irrational it is to sacrifice tools by throwing them in a lake. David and I both found ourselves slightly disappointed by the lack of Viking displays but we were still impressed overall by what the museum had to offer.
Having lost most of the morning learning, we returned to the city to find that it was once again pouring with rain and I took the opportunity to lead David to shelter in the Lego store. For me, this was a place of worship and for him a trip down memory lane. I could have wasted my entire travelling budget in one hit but decided it would probably be an unwise decision to have to carry so much around the rest of Sweden before returning home.

We eventually left the store to find the weather was even worse and took refuge in the first café we could find where I enjoyed perhaps the best and easily the most expensive tea of the tour so far. As the day drew on we decided to return to the hostel to dry off before finding a fantastic curry house within the same neighbourhood we had searched so poorly the night before. For such good food it came as such a surprise to us both to find that we were the only two customers for the whole time that we were in the restaurant.

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