Our morning flight to Copenhagen, Denmark was pretty uneventful, always a good thing for a flight! I slept for a majority of the time, about 3 hours. We landed at 6AM (2 hour time difference than Iceland, 8 hours ahead of Denver) and were exhausted, but ready to see the city! I attempted to connect to the airport wireless in order to contact our AirBnb host to let him know we had landed and were on our way. For some reason I couldn't connect which made for a frustrating moment. After 10 minutes of trying, we decided to just head in the direction of the apartment, find a coffee ship with wifi, and go from there!
We somehow managed to leave the airport without going through customs or getting our passports stamped? I've never had that happen before.. but we just walked right onto the Metro! Before we left for our trip, BHW and I purchased the Copenhagen Card for 72 hours. It's a card that gets you free public transportation (bus, metro, train, etc) as well as many free attractions and even more that have a discount! We didn't use our cards for our first metro ride because the card doesn't start the 72 hour count down until you use it for the first time. Our flights leave thursday afternoon, so we wanted to use our card for the first time in the afternoon, so we could have the full 72 hours we were here while being able to use the card! Our metro ride was about 20 minutes to our stop in Fredriksberg. Once there, we found a cafe and I was able to call our host using the wifi. Thankfully we were only a couple blocks away from the apartment and he met us at the cafe, how lucky! Our host showed us around the beautiful and charming apartment before he left to go to work. After not having a bed for almost 2 days.. we were ready to just lay down for a second. As usual, that never lasts long with BHW... we decided to get up and explore for the day and call an early evening instead.
Wanting to explore, while also keeping things low key for our 'running on empty' minds and bodies.. a nice long leisurely walk down to the harbor was in store, oh, and COFFEE. I've been following a roaster in Denmark for a couple years now, Coffee Collective. They have amazingly high standards for their coffee, and have many prestigious awards to prove just that! The shop closest to the apartment is their newest shop and roast site. The decor is bare bones and I LOVE it. White walls, wood tables, no frills or fuss. We shared a cheese, marmalade, and toast snack along with a cappuccino, latte, and a pour over. BHW dubbed it the best meal of the trip so far and I am backing him up 100% on that. The coffee was phenomenal and the barista was so friendly. We told her that we'd be back tomorrow.. and most likely the next day too! Now that we were all jacked up on coffee, it was time to get walking!
Aside from being new to the country, we felt out of place in more ways than one. We were one of the very few people not on a bicycle. I knew that Copenhagen had a huge bike scene and everyone rode a bike everywhere.. but I didn't know that LITERALLY EVERYONE RIDES A BIKE. It was mind boggling to see all those bikes, I've never seen so many in my life! Because of the bike life, which equals WAY less cars on the road, the streets are packed, but it's quiet as can be!
We made our way towards Strøget, one of the longest pedestrian shopping streets (almost 2.5 miles). Not being 'into' shopping didn't stop us from enjoying the hustle and bustle among the old buildings and cobblestone streets! Strøget is in the center of town so it was easy to quickly walk through on the way to the harbor! Our Copenhagen card had a free canal tour connected to it so we decided to hop on after our long walk to get a little tour while on the water! I usually don't like to do those types of gimmicky tourist things.. but it was informative and a good way to experience the canal! We rode past the Copenhagen Opera house, Amalienborg (the home of the Queen and the Prince's home), and the Little Mermaid. An interesting fact about the Royal Family's homes is that when the Queen is away, the flag on her roof doesn't go up. So you can tell when she or the Prince is gone! We saw the Little Mermaid from the back side, AKA her butt, there were so many people crowding around her taking photos. I don't understand what the fuss is about.. but hey, I can say I saw it.
After the tour we were excited to have lunch at the Paper Island. The Paper Island is an old industrial building that used to house un-printed newspapers, hence the name. In 2013 it transformed into an open area for street food vendors to set up shop temporarily! We rode past Paper Island on the canal tour and it was packed! When we arrived after the tour is was still hoppin' with people relaxing by the canal and eating delicious food! There were so many kinds of food to choose from, almost every major ethnicity represented! We opted for fish and chips since we are so close to the water, and also a Brazilian meat plate. We split and shared our meals like we typically do! That way we get to experience more types of food! The Brazilian meats (chicken, sausage, and pork neck) were cooked on an open coal and were out of this world good!
On our walk home we stopped by Free Town Christiania. Christiania is a self-proclaimed autonomous neighborhood of about 850 residents, covering 84 acres in the borough of Christianshavn in the Danish capital Copenhagen. Civic authorities in Copenhagen regard Christiania as a large commune, but the area has a unique status in that it is regulated by a special law, the Christiania Law of 1989, which transfers parts of the supervision of the area from the municipality of Copenhagen to the state. It was temporarily abandoned by residents in April 2011, whilst discussions continued with the Danish government as to its future, but is now open again. Christiania has been a source of controversy since its creation in a squatted military area in 1971. Its cannabis trade was tolerated by authorities until 2004. In the years following 2004, measures for normalizing the legal status of the community led to conflicts, police raids and negotiations. During our walk through, we were amazed at the cannabis market called 'The Green Mile'. Living in Colorado, seeing people sell marijuana isn't unusual, but these people were wearing masks and had guard dogs. They were very strict about no photos in the 'town'. I saw one girl whip out her phone (so dumb.. there are signs EVERYWHERE) and they immediately yelled at her 'NO PHOTO!!!'. It's basically a hippie village in the middle of a huge city!
Since it had been 2 days since we had see a bed, it was time for us to get to the apartment and crash. We stopped on the walk from the Metro and grabbed some groceries at the store so we could snack and have breakfast without needing to eat out for each meal ($$$). The sun also sets quite late here, like Iceland. It was about 10PM before it was actually dark. Tomorrow has been dubbed 'castle day' for us, another full day of walking! Today we covered 10 miles of walking between 10am-5pm! ZZzzzz!