Eurotrip, Part VI: Copenhagen

Woo, almost done! I'm exhausted just blogging about this trip. How the heck did I live through it?!

April 18th

Our second and final overnight train was actually quite enjoyable. We had "couchettes" this time, which are basically makeshift beds that fold out of the wall. Horizontal surfaces! Bed linens! Hooray! The train was divided into compartments of six, and we were in one with two other girls. They were Asian and didn't seem to speak English particularly well, and they weren't especially warm or friendly, but they kept to themselves. The train apparently stopped during the night due to a medical emergency (they had to get a doctor on board), so it was three hours delayed in arrival. I didn't mind, though, as it meant I had more time to sleep.

We got to Copenhagen at around 1, and had a bit of an adventure trying to buy travel passes (at 7-11?) and figure out how to get to our hostel. We got there eventually, though, and hung out for a bit, since we were there late enough that our room was ready. None of us really had an agenda there, so we planned on doing the Sandeman's tour the next day at 11, getting lunch (at 4 pm? Okay), and just wandering for a bit. We ate at this little Chinese/grill place and headed into the center of the city, stumbling across the design center and spending some time there. We also found Hans Christian Andersen!

The design center was really cool! There was a huge exhibit on new and innovative materials, and there were tons of things to touch and play with and sit on. Interactive stuff is the greatest!

We were going to explore some more afterwards, but it was cold and damp and we were hungry. So we walked back towards our hostel and got dinner at this little Italian/kebab place that we ate in our room. By the time 11:30 pm rolled around, seven people in our ten-person room were asleep. So weird.

April 19th

Our original plan of taking the 11:00 tour was scrapped upon getting a message from Erin; the four of them were arriving on a train at 10 that day, and had booked the tour for the next day. So we decided to do the tour with them instead, and waited at the hostel for them to get there before we started our day. They got there at around 11, fresh (or not) from an overnight train.

After some freshening up, we headed out into the gloriously beautiful weather. We walked to the center of the city and took a boat tour around the canals. I couldn't really hear the guide at all, but all I really wanted was to see things anyway, so it was good. It was awesome being in Copenhagen -- ten years after doing a project on Denmark in PAG! It's such an adorable city, with little cobblestone streets, canals, and pastel colored buildings.

When the tour finished up, we ate on the fly and went to the Carlsberg experience -- basically, an exhibit about their beer. As I still don't think beer is especially tasty, it wasn't the most fascinating place in the world, but the cost of admission got us two drinks each. Plus, horses!

We took a bus back to the city center to meet up with Cynthia, who's studying abroad in Copenhagen, after her class let out. Erin, Liz, and Angela left to do their own thing, while the rest of us went to see this super hippie area of town called Christiania and meet up with Lorraine's friend David. Christiania is really cool and equally as weird -- pot is legal there, and taking pictures isn't allowed... -- but at this point, my whole body hurt and was basically refusing to function until I'd eaten a decent meal.

Luckily, though, David's parents own a little restaurant... coincidentally the one we ate at for lunch on our first day! Hah. They made us a huge, delicious, free Chinese dinner. Seriously, I wanted to eat forever. It was so delicious!

We went back to the hostel after that to reconvene with the others. They decided to go out to a bar, but Amanda and I stayed in; my Achilles heel was bruised (because why not?) and obnoxiously painful, so I decided to save it for the walking tour.

April 20th

Whoa, last full day!

We woke up that morning intending to climb the round tower before the tour but, true to form, we took too long getting out the door. We ate breakfast on the go on our way to the town hall square. There were some science tents set up, so we looked into those and did some souvenir shopping before the tour started. I bought a pin and a keychain from a very lovely shop owner who jokingly assured me that my English was perfect and it sounded like I'd been practicing for years. He's my favorite! :)

Our tour guide was named Anna, and she's a Copenhagen native. This was the first time that our guide wasn't British! I really loved this tour. I knew so little about Copenhagen, so it was awesome to see some sights and learn some history. It's so beautiful there!

After the tour, Amanda, Liz, Lorraine, and Jen went to Tivoli Gardens, the amusement park. Angela, Erin and I, however, didn't want to spend that much money, so we went off on our own. We got lunch and pastries and did some people-watching before going (back) to Christiania. On the pot holiday, no less! I actually liked it much better this time around. I was less hungry and in much less pain, so I could actually enjoy myself. It was like the '70s reincarnated; people were smoking weed and playing music and lounging around in parks. It was bizarre, but once we got into the more residential areas, it was so nice.

Erin and Angela had to catch their train after that, so I wiled away some time on the pedestrian shopping street before meeting Jen, Amanda, and Cynthia in the square at 6:30 -- Lorraine and Liz had left to catch their flight already. We walked around for a bit and explored a market before getting dinner at the Italian place we'd eaten at on the first night. We brought the food and some cider back to the hostel, where we marathoned Endurance. No joke. My abroad friends have discovered it, and they actually think it's really cool, lol. I haven't watched it in so long, and it was bizarre seeing it again. In Copenhagen. What is life?

April 21st

I never got around to journaling about our last day. Heh. My diligence evaporated as soon as my feet touched down on British soil. :P

We had a fairly busy morning planned before we wanted to get to the airport, so we were out fairly early. It was gray and drizzly, but we were determined to finally climb the round tower. It was a giant ramp inside as opposed to stairs, which I've decided is a far superior way to climb a tower. Because of the clouds, the view from the top wasn't fantastic, but it got the job done. There was also an art exhibit inside, which was pretty neat.

By the time we got back to the ground, it was raining harder, and I was hood-less AND umbrella-less. But we pushed onwards, because I couldn't leave Copenhagen without taking this picture.

Ten years in the making! :')

Just like we started the trip at the Eiffel Tower, we ended the trip on a similarly iconic note at the Little Mermaid statue. The weather cleared up as we were walking there, thankfully, so it turned into a lovely spring day. Unsurprisingly there were hordes of tourists at the statue, so we only hung around there for a few minutes. I think that's all we really needed, though.

Then it was time to collect our bags from the hostel, and head off to the airport. Once we were there, we grabbed hotdogs for lunch to spend our remaining kroners. The flight was problem-less, and suddenly we were back in London, happily whipping our our Oyster cards and stopping for fish and chips on the way back to Queen Mary.


Honestly, I wasn't expecting Copenhagen to have as much character as it does. I mean, an area of the city where pot is legal? It's such a great city, though I can understand why people say that it's boring. I don't think there's really a ton to do, and the amount of time we spent there was more than enough. That being said, it's such a nice city, and I'm SO glad I finally got to go! Check that off the bucket list! :)


Well, I did it. I successfully backpacked across Europe for nearly three full weeks. None of my possessions were lost, and I was even manage to fit all my souvenirs in at the end. I came back to London carrying no more than I left with. I'm quite proud of myself! It was so difficult, and by the end I was sniffing my shirts to see which would be the least offensive to wear, but it was definitely the experience of a lifetime. I also collected an impressive list of injuries: bruised forehead in Paris, plantar fasciitis in Venice, bruised tailbone in Berlin, and bruised Achilles heel in Copenhagen. There was a good stretch in Germany where my plantar was fixed and my tailbone hadn't been hurt yet, but I was pretty much constantly in pain there for awhile. Wearing Converse on this trip was definitely poor decision making on my part. Luckily, though, the pain didn't take away from my enjoyment!

I hate to sound cliche, but I definitely learned a lot on this trip. I learned a lot about my own limits, both mental and physical, and about what I'm like as a person and a traveler. While taking this trip with friends was amazing, I think I'd really enjoy traveling alone -- I'm often at my happiest following a tour in complete silence, looking around and absorbing the sights and feeling of a city. Back in second grade, Ms. Prysock called me a sponge -- I definitely live up to that description when I'm out in a foreign city. I like to sit back and observe.

But I also learned that, while I absolutely loved seeing all these cities, I definitely picked the right place to study abroad. I was in London for nine days in 2004 and desperately wanted to come back ever since. Each city we visited was great, but I don't feel that kind of obsessive love for any of them. By the end, I was more than ready to get back to London, and finally getting on the tube after three long weeks away felt like coming home. :)

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