Copenhagen: Cheap weed, sludge in squats and buffets

For my birthday, my lovely wife gave me a trip to copenhagen as a gift. I had been to Denmark very long ago, back in 1992 (starting my long affinity with Danish football as well), but not to the capital. I enjoyed my time here, though it’s a pricy place.

This was also the first time we used AirBnB, where you get to sleep in a persons house. Our host was a stewardess for a major flying company and gladly hosted us in her neat apppartment. Added bonus is that she owned a great coffee shop, where we could have breakfast. Extra super bonus is that this was a vegan/health shop, so we had the breakfast of dreams at the Coffee Queen.

Kristiania and Nyhavn

When you go to Copenhagen, you need to visit Kristiania. I was amazed at the long line of weed vendors, selling their wares on top of old oil barrels. Seriously, there was a liberty and randomness to it that made me feel that being Dutch was not at all what I thought it was compared to this place. I can’t say the rest of Kristiania was as impressive as the legends that precede it. It looked like a dump on most parts and others where highly commercialised.

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The same you could say about Nyhavn, the hip, go-to center of the city with the colorfull houses. It looks great, contrary to Kristiania, but hardly offers the complexity and fascinating aspects of the squat settlement. The center of the Danish capital is beautiful though and you would love to be in the cyclist friendly city with excellent public transport (the trams are even fully automatic it seems). I spend an excellent first day exploring these parts , just wandering around and enjoying the surroundings.

Exploring the city

Copenhagen is a city with wide streets, winding roads and a lot of old buildings. Just wandering around those is a joy. Obviously you want to visit the little mermaid statue. Perhaps you even get a glimpse through the hordes of tourists that stop their with full busloads. The harbor is obviously a nice part of the city to visit, since a lot of live was around these parts in the past and old buildings, statues and pretty parks will surprise you.

What is well worth visiting is the national history museum. You can literally spend a day here, soaking up the history from the ancient days all the way to the present century. The museum has a vast collection and some surprisingly impressive items, such as some of the well preserved bodies found in bogs. Not saying this to be morbid, but to be able to see a person froma  different age is something particularly special.

Northern Discomfort

I went to see the cool Northern Discomfort Fest as well in Copenhagen, which took place at the Ungdomshuset, an old squat commune where often bands play. The cool thing was the atmosphere and the affordable drinks and food. I really enjoyed this festival, which had some great acts and truly no bad shows going on. You can read more about that here and here. Again, public transport is your friend, though it does stop driving at some point and then an hours walk is not so bad through the streets of Copenhagen actually.

Noteworthy acts I saw were for example Alaric, the English post-punk infused band with melodic and melancholic vocals. Another one I liked particularly is Cult of Occult.

FC Copenhagen

Denmark has a very peculiar music culture. It really is baffling to know that hooligans interact and work together with the police. For some reason the Danish league is considered small and teams fuse, merge and fold a lot. Current champion FC Copenhagen only has been around for about 1,5 decade. I have always had affinity for football in Denmark. My parents took me there on holiday back in 1992, just after the European Championship.

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So I went down to Telia Parken to see the local FC Copenhagen play Lyngby, one of their historic competitors. My tickets were not for the nice seats, but right in with the hardcore fans. It was great to join in with the chanting during the game with the passionate FC Co fans. After 45 minutes the score is 0-0. A few minutes into the second half Pavlovic, the Serbian striker of Copenhagen, scores a beautiful goal. The fans explode and fireworks are lit. Pavlovic continues to score three goals and the chanting never stops. A great experience.

photo’s by Justina Lukosiute

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