Day 165, 166, 167 & 168
Copenhagen was our last city of the cold Scandinavian North and Im kinda happy to say that. Whilst Scandinavia was a completely different experience to anything we had been through so far and we did enjoy ourselves, the cold and indeed the cost of everything we did made it a struggle along the way. Nevertheless we did have fun, especially in Copenhagen as the days were slightly longer and things were slightly cheaper.
After our 16 hour train trip from Kiruna to Stockholm, our two hour flight to Copenhagen and then a 30 minute train into town, we wanted nothing more than to crash when we arrived. Making our way to our hostel we found it to be the biggest in Europe coming in with a whopping 20 something floors. With this in mind, we dreaded going up to our room expecting to find it packed with people. Yet as we walked in we couldnt be happier, finding our room completely empty and a decent shower waiting for us. We spent a good couple of hours (yes hours) cleaning up and getting ourselves ready, before we heading into town. We needed to grab something, anything to eat before we crashed for the night.
Walking into town, we found this city to be much more fun than Stockholm and definately more lively than Kiruna. People were everywhere, shops were buzzing, the amusement park in the middle of town was full, everything was happening and we thought we were going to have the best time. Then we decided to find something to eat... Thinking Paris was expensive, we had another thing coming trying to find some food in Copenhagen. With food ranging from expensive to ridiculous we ended with our most expensive maccas meal ever setting us back a nice 13.50 each. That night ended on a bit of a sour note as we thought we were going to hate the rest of the time there, however things would begin to pick up the next day.
With the money situation the way it was, we started the day in the perfect way, that being with a free tour. With our last free tour not since Prague several months ago, we were happy for them to be back and couldnt wait to see this town. This tour just like all the others was fantastic, taking us exactly where we wanted to go. We saw the Tivoli Gardens Amusement park, The Danish Royal Palace (where Mary lives :D), Nyhaven (pronounced Newhaven) harbour, the Parliament, the Royal Guards, the longest shopping street in the world, learnt about Hans Christian Anderson, Warrior Bishops and so much more. It set up the rest of our time there showing us exactly where we needed to go and what we needed to see.
Following that we searched the town looking for a cheap lunch. Eventually upon some advice of others on the tour we found a decent Pizza place and managed to not spend a days budget on a meal. Losing ourselves in the progress of getting to this place we spent the next hour or so after lunch exploring this town in an attempt to get home. Eventually we made it back to our place, had a quick change and were out again, off to something else.
Before we had even come near Copenhagen we were told one thing about it... go to Christiania. With no idea what it was or why we were being told to go there we found a map and decided to head in that direction. We were eager to explore this place we had heard about so often yet knew nothing about.
This place was crazy. It was essentially a city within a city located on a military barracks. It was the definition of alternative. The buildings were all crazy messed up, graffiti was everywhere and there was even an area entitled the green light district where stall after stall were set up selling anything you could imagine (but mainly one thing). The funniest part about it was that everyone acted as if it was all legal. We spent a decent time just walking around there being careful not to annoy the wrong people but having a blast whilst doing it. We had a great time just looking around, exploring the markets and meeting some very peculiar people. We stayed there until well after the sun went down and wrapped off our day with a chill at the hostel after that.
Now day three was definatetly not as action packed as day two due to a little thing we had overlooked for quite some time, laundry. Knowing we needed to get it done we decided this was the time to do it. We just didnt think it would take so long. With some rude receptionists, two crappy washing machines and and even crappier dryer the whole process for all three of us ended up taking 7 hours. That was the day gone. By the time we got out the house that night we wanted nothing but to eat and ended up forking out the cash again as we were too hungry to hunt around and didnt want to settle for Maccas. We ended up getting some awesome burgers at some restaurant right near our place. The guy who seated us was some south African oak and we had a good chat with him whilst we waited for our food. With us finally having some food in us we were much happier after a crappy day.
After that we decided to walk to Nyhaven harbour hearing of a Christmas Market happening there. We walked along the long shopping strip stopping at any and every store that was open. We found a giant candy store, a Lego shop with giant figurines (Lego was made in Denmark) and a couple of random other shops along the way. By the time we got to the harbour it had begun to rain and It seemed like the market was closed. We headed back home early again, wrapping up a crappy day on another crappy note.
Doing nothing on day three annoyed us a bit and so we made big plans for our last day. We were going to head to the Tivoli gardens, the worlds second oldest amusement park as we had heard so many good things about it. Yet fate would have it that we wouldn't be able to do even that as it began to bucket the second we stepped out the door. So another day was spent walking up and down the shopping street killing lots of time. We walked into all the shops that were closed at night and even back into the Lego store to build a truck that would impress most.
We actually did come across a Guinness World Records museum and went through that. It was actually surprisingly cool as they had exhibits and then asked you to try and repeat the record to see how you would go. Some that we tried were the most drumbeats in a minute, the furthest cycled in a minute and the fattest person alive (it was pretty much a scale). It also showed you recreations of a lot of records such a giant fruit, small animals and the world high jump record. We went from there to it's sister museum next door which I think was called the Imaginarium. it was pretty much a bunch of cheesy illusions such as a mirror room, electric chair simulator and a thing that showed you your shadow. It wasn't as cool as the World Records but was entertaining and killed some time.
This day had to end early too as we had our 14 hour bus to Belgium to catch at 4pm. Copenhagen was more exciting than Stockholm as we got to sightsee a lot more but comes across as really bad because of the weather, the laundry and the price. I definitely need to come back to Scandinavia and redo it all. However I would come back with a lot more time, a better time of year and a lot more money.
Let's hope things pick up in Belgium.