1.04.2013

"Perfect Copenhagen..."

... is how one travel magazine describes the Danish capital. With goals of becoming the world's first carbon-neutral capital by 2025, run entirely on wind power and biofuels, the city is the definition of environmentally friendly. Bikes squeeze out cars, and are taken very seriously. Travelers be warned: don't you dare let even a pinky toe cross into the bike lane. You will be run over.
Two wheelers rule the the city with over 350km of bike paths. Such coverage is necessary considering that 1/3 of Copenhagers bike to work or school each day. Imagine my excitement when my host M nailed down a bike for my visit. Pedal power!
All that pedaling builds up an appetite, and thankfully a big brunch is a Danish staple.
Exploring the streets of Copenhagen is nothing less of entertaining. From fish on the street, visiting the infamous Hans Christian Andersen's burial plot, and bouncing on random trampolines in the harbour. How high can you go.
A visit to Copenhagen would not be complete without a quick trip to Christiana, or "Freetown".  Christiana is a unique commune type neighborhood within Copenhagen, regulated under its own special law, the Christiana Law of 1989. The famous freetown was founded in 1971 when a group of hippies took over an abandoned military barrack. Since then, most of the neighborhood's supervision powers have been transferred from the municipality to the state. Behind these graffiti adorned walls marijuana is legal, while running and taking photos are not. The area is home to approximately 850 citizens who work as artisans or in one of the numerous bicycle repair stores.

Late afternoon I cautiously entered through the graffiti gates solo. The picnic tables and benches were lined with boys and men lounging about, the streets filled with shops and restaurants resembling a developing country. I will embarrassingly admit I did not feel comfortable exploring alone and quickly checked my imaginary watch, miming to anyone who would watch, oh look at the time, I am late for some very important appointment, and scurried out. Christiana is not by any means scary or threatening. I just had one of those uncomfortable feelings and opted to head out.
How lucky I was to visit Copenhagen during the Christmas months and explore the holiday decorations in Tivoli park. Naturally, M and I made it our personal mission to rank the variations of Gluhwein and Glogg.
So cute. A Christmas decoration handcrafted by M!
And after a couple days of exploring, lounging on the couch with this precious chocolate lab called Morgan is the perfect end to the day. If somehow you still have trouble falling asleep, flip to the local children's channel, where you will find video after video of people sleeping... strange... but probably works to convince the little ones its time for bed!
Thank you M for introducing me to your perfect city and allowing me to crash in your incredibly quaint Danish home. It was an entertaining couple of days - you have patience like none other!

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