DAY 14: JANUARY 1, 2015
We used the first day of 2015 as a travel day to get to the last city of our trip: Copenhagen, Denmark!
After about 5 hours of sleep, we reluctantly rolled out of bed at noon to pack our bags and check out of our airbnb by 1 pm. After a 30-minute walk to the train station and a 30-minute train ride to the airport, we arrived to the airport at 2:30 pm with about 2.5 hours to spare so we grabbed lunch at Burger King (I seriously eat more American food in Europe than I do in America) and relaxed before our 5 pm flight.
We arrived to Copenhagen around 6:30 pm and took the metro to the center of the city where our hostel was. We stayed at the Generator hostel but it took many back and forths until we finally found it. Once we checked in and got settled into our room, we went to a pizza/kebab place around the corner from our hostel because it seemed to be the only thing that was open on New Year’s Day. The whole city seemed pretty dead when we arrived. Apparently the night before was so crazy that everyone went to sleep early on New Year’s Day, which is exactly what we did once we finished eating.
DAY 15: JANUARY 2, 2015
Like every other city, we wanted to spend our first full day in this new city getting to know it by doing one of the free walking tours that was advertised in our hostel. And just like our usual late-selves, Ange and I were a couple minutes late to meet our special hostel pickup so we ended up having to go to the town hall on our own to meet everyone. On our way, we stopped for some breakfast at 7-Eleven!! YES, that’s right, Copenhagen had 7-ELEVENS! In fact, it had a lot of them. I was so shocked to see them because I had no idea they went international. Next to the town hall, there was what I like to call “American Row.” In a straight line there was 7-Eleven, Burger King, and KFC with a huge McDonald’s advertisement that hovered up above.
The tour was great because since Copenhagen is so small, it really covered most of what we needed to see. I feel guilty because we were given a lot of information about Copenhagen and its history on our tour, but since it was more than 2 weeks into our trip, we were all feeling a little burnt out so it was hard to pay attention. Things we saw on our walking tour, however, included the Nyhavn, which is the city’s old port, which used to be filled with sailors, prostitutes, a pubs. We also saw that Amalienborg Palace, which is a square of four buildings, one being a museum and the others being the houses of the Danish royals, and it is also where you can see the changing of the guard everyday at noon. Our tour ended just a few minutes away from The Little Mermaid Statue. This [said to be] most overrated tourist attraction is a bronze statue that was inspired by the characted of Hans Christian Anderson’s fairytale was unveiled in Copenhagen in 1913. It was definitely underwhelming, as it was just a tiny statue that, I mean, didn’t even look like Ariel- like, come on! But I already knew what the statue looked like and that it was small so I didn’t have any feelings of disappointment when I saw it.
After getting stir-fry for dinner and resting a bit at the hostel, we decided to go on the pub crawl that was advertised by our tour guide. We were surprisingly on time (if not early! *Gasp*) for this ridiculously early pub crawl that started at 8 pm. It included 4 bars and a club at the end so I suppose there was a lot to fit in and therefore needed to start early. This was definitely one of the best pub crawls I have been on. It was a great group of people and we all had a lot of fun. Our night ended in the wee hours of the morning with Ange, Lindsey, and I all getting separated all over Copenhagen from one another but luckily we found each other in the end.
DAY 16: JANUARY 3, 2015
We were complete waste of lives this entire day. After all waking up past noon and getting ready, we found a burrito place near our hostel that hit the spot in our hungry bellies.
Our plan was to go back to the hostel for a bit to re-group but that “bit” turned into the rest of the night. Luckily the Generator Hostel was like a huge college dorm and student center. It had a café and bar, an area to watch TV and movies, a pool table, and plenty of comfy seating. We stayed on the couch next to the pool table for HOURS napping and listening to soothing Ed Sheeran play through the speakers on repeat. I was loving life. When people started to use the pool table things got intense because an old Swedish man who was staying at the hostel started dubbing himself king of the pool table and was challenging poor young guys who just wanted to play pool. It was entertaining at least.
When we finally decided to move, we only moved about 30 feet to one of the tables next to the café. We ordered dinner from the hostel which was actually delicious and then we called it a night and went to bed early. After a crazy New Year’s Eve in Amsterdam and then an even crazier night two days later in Copenhagen, we were feeling pretty exhausted. Luckily Copenhagen was a small city and we didn’t have a long list of things we wanted to see or do so we had some extra wiggle room to take a day off and not feel guilty about it.
DAY 17: JANUARY 4, 2015
Since we missed the day before, we got up early to make the most of our day of sightseeing. As I was showering, our roommate came in and told us that there was a siren going off and we had to evacuate the building. Of course it was just as I got out of the shower- lovely timing. Being the slow-movers that we are, Ange, Lindsey, and I finally made it outside after the majority of our hostel had already been there. But lucky for us, we only had to stand there for 10 minutes before we were allowed to enter the building again. Thank god because Copenhagen’s temperatures were not exactly ideal for standing outside with wet hair! To this day we still don’t know what happened but we assume it was a small fire of some sort since we saw firemen in the stairwell.
Our first stop was 7-Eleven (of course) to grab some breakfast and we ate it next to the beautiful Nyhavn area. Then we walked over to the royal palace to watch the changing of the guard which happens everyday at noon. It was so much better than London’s changing of the guard! For starters, there were MUCH less people there so we were actually able to get up close and personal as the guards marched by. Second, they performed the changing out in the open, instead of behind giant gates, so we had a perfect view the entire time. I really enjoyed it! And being able to stand right next to the guards allowed us to see how some of them are complete babies! (Babies as in probably 18-years-old but still, that’s young!)
Next we made it over to the Strøget, which is a pedestrian, car-free shopping street. It’s one of the longest shopping streets in Europe, stretching over 1.1 km. Naturally we had to do a little shopping! Afterwards, we spend a couple hours in the National Museum before it closed at 5 pm.
Our last stop was Tivoli Gardens, the second oldest amusement park in the world which opened in 1843 and is located right in the center of the city, next to the town hall. It was great how everything was in walking distance of each other in Copenhagen! We decided to pay only the entrance fee instead of buying unlimited rides because we weren’t sure if we would actually go on the rides. The Christmas season had been over for quite some time by this point- but not in Tivoli Gardens! It was like walking into a Christmas wonderland and I absolutely loved it! There were lights everywhere, Christmas music surrounding the park, and even a Christmas market. We treated ourselves to some gløgg which is the Danish version of mulled wine, just a little sweeter with more fun surprises (like dried fruit at the bottom) and we walked around the park. We saw the water fountain light show in the lake, Ange and I rode the swing ride, and then we caught the impressive firework show since it was Tivoli’s last day of the season.
It was a great day of sightseeing! And since it was the last night of our trip (sad face) we went to an Irish bar on the Strøget street for some drinks. We got some Carlsberg’s since that’s a must-do in Copenhagen, where the brewery is located. There was an American singer/guitarist performing for all 8 of us spectators. Once he found out we were American he dedicated his cover of Tom Petty’s “American Girl” to us and then an even more special one to Ange since she was from Chicago. The best was when he said he was going to do a cover of our “homegirl” and then burst into “Baby One More Time” by Britney Spears haha.
DAY 18: JANUARY 5, 2015
The official last day of our trip- WAHH 😦 Our flight wasn’t until later in the afternoon so we had time that morning to do some last-minute exploring. We decided to walk over to Christiania, or Freetown Christiania, which is an autonomous neighborhood in Copenhagen that is regulated by a special law. Like Amsterdam, Christiania is said to be tolerant of cannabis and this neighborhood represents the liberal and progressive side of Denmark. Unfortunately we got there, walked around, and saw nothing special about it. Everything looked closed and there weren’t many people. Something tells me that we didn’t go into the heart of the neighborhood, though.
After walking back to the hostel, the time had come to hop on our flight back to Madrid and officially end our trip. The definite perk of living in a big city is that once we reached Madrid, I was home. But poor Lindsey and Ange still had a little more travelling to do to get to their cities in the south. I was sad to say goodbye to them and our trip, but I was definitely looking forward to sleeping in my own bed and relaxing!
Lindsey, Ange, and I mutually agreed that we were a little disappointed by Copenhagen. It was a nice city and we had a great time there, but we weren’t very impressed. Everyone we had talked to prior to our trip said that they LOVED Copenhagen, so we had high expectations. So naturally I was expecting to be wow-ed but I just wasn’t. Perhaps it was our timing. Cities seem to be a little lackluster the week after New Year’s. But overall, it was my least favorite city on our trip but I’m still very happy I got to see it.