Monday, April 20, 2009


After spending over 3 months on the same continent and not yet seeing each other, which sounds relatively insignificant except that this is Europe and you can travel very easily, I finally made it to Copenhagen to visit Nash for the weekend.  Leaving Berlin on Friday afternoon, I arrived in Copenhagen after a short 1 hour flight.  Since Copenhagen is part of the European Union but refrained from entering the monetary EU, I first had to exchange money and was shocked upon receiving 735 Kroner for 100 Euros.  However, while my wallet may have been flooded with 200 dollar bills, it was completely insignificant since everything in Copenhagen is so expensive!  For instance, my first purchase, a 4 zone train ride into the city from the airport, costed 38 Kroner, or over 5 Euro - you can get a day pass in Berlin for 6.40.  Since the city is so expensive, Nash and I figured it would be best to cook dinner instead of eating out.  As you can probably already guess, still expensive.  A case of beer, 3 chicken breasts, a bag of veggies, and a bag of chips cost 200 Kroner - and he already had the rice and soy sauce for stir-fry at home.  But anyway, we made it back to his place after buying groceries and cooked up a nice little meal.  He lives way out in the Copenhagen suburbs in a residential house with a roomate - a family lives on the 1st and 2nd floor but they have the basement all to themselves.  For a homestay scenario, it was a pretty nice setup - full kitchen, living room, bathroom, and a bedroom so not bad for living.  After cooking dinner and kicking back for a while, we hopped back on the train headed into the city for a night at the bars.  We met up with a few of his friends from his architecture program as well as some other people who were studying abroad and went to a couple bars.  Eventually, we decided to call it a night and headed back to his spot, but it was definitely a fun first night out in Denmark.

On Saturday, we made a sort of tour around the city.  We started off with a few games of Backgammon in Christiania.  Christiania is a hippie commune neighborhood in central Copenhagen that is completely separate from the Danish government - upon entering Christiania, you walk under a sign that says "Christiania".  Upon leaving, the sign says "You are now entering the EU."  Basically, the Danish government originally treated the commune as a social experiment and decided that it was not a harmful environment, so present day Christiania has many walk-up-and-order type restaurants, art shops, marijuana stands, street musicians, and residents.  It's definitely an entirely hippie community, but very friendly to the public and a fun spot to hang out.  So after a few games of Backgammon over lunch, we left and walked along the famous street Nyhavn which provides your postcard image for the city.  We also made it up and down a few shopping streets, by the river that runs through the city, and to a few other areas, but really there's not much of anything to do in Copenhagen - or at least that was my impression.  I had probably the most interesting vanilla ice cream cone I've ever had - it was basically half vanilla ice cream and half marshmallow fluff, leaving you dying of thirst after every bite.  After wrapping up a day in the city, we went back to his house and cooked dinner (like I said early, eating out is so expensive that Nash has only eaten out once after 3 months of being there).  And for Saturday night, we made our way back to Christiania where there was a live funk concert, which was a great way to wrap up the day.

Sunday pretty much illustrated my overall view of Copenhagen.  As I had already noticed there seemed to be nothing to do, Nash had no idea what to show me for my last day in the city.  So, upon at least an hour of brainstorming, we settled for going to Tivoli Gardens, even though the theme park did not look all that appealing.  But, with nothing else to do, Tivoli snatched the remaining money out of our pockets as we spent a day at the most polarized - great for the elderly and under 10 crowd but awful for anyone in between - amusement park I have ever been to.  However, we did ride one roller coaster which while not the best was actually fun.  So, we sat around and just hung out in the park for the day, and really didn't do much else.  And that was the trip.  Pretty simple, pretty basic, pretty bland, but fun since I had a friend there in the city to visit.  My overall impression of Copenhagen is extremely expensive, definitely the most expensive city I have been to (7 Euros for a beer at the bar), very small, and pretty basic.  Not the greatest impression, and no real reason to visit if you don't have a friend there, but another experience so no complaints on my end.

No comments:

Post a Comment