Casa’s Blog

A Life Abroad

We are what we’re supposed to be, Illusions of your fantasy, All dots and lines that speak and say, What we do is what you wish to do….

Sup from Denmark 🙂

 

I flew in to Copenhagen without a hitch.  EzyJet were on time, didn’t crash and  all this despite the plane leaving from the somewhat fearful gate 13 at Stansted Airport.  I’ve always enjoyed toying with the “fate” associated with the unlucky number 13 though, even wore it when I played footy as  a little kid because nobody else would 😛  The first thing I noticed on the plane was that there were Scandinavians everywhere.  Now this probably shouldn’t have been surprising but it was more the fact that there didn’t appear to be a Pom or other foreigner on the plane.  Scandinavians with their damned good looks (yet to see an ugly one haha) and there fondness to what I call “Marty McFly” shoes were all over the place.  It was also on the flight that I realised that the Danes speak Danish (another obvious observation) but I must admit I gulped when I realised that I will be going to a place where I won’t be able to understand the natives for the first time since I left Australia.  Actually that should be, as I was going to the first place where I didn’t speak the language…as WHO can understand an Irishman, Scotsman or man from Yorkshire? LOL

 

I was met at the airport by Peter who had graciously offered me a bed for my time in Copenhagen as well as to pick me up from the airport and generally welcome me in to my home.  For the friends, Peter is my Dad’s cousin.  He is the Danish equivalent of Riza…but we still struggle to realise what type of Cousin that makes them to me 😛  My first thoughts of Denmark were a little blurry as I couldn’t see much from the plane (besides the bridge to nowhere that is really the bridge that goes to a small island before becoming the tunnel to Sweden) and I was more preoccupied with sitting on the right and NOT driving when Peter was driving me to their place than to actually look around the city.  Those observations were left until today.  I did though have a good look at their place and it is one stylish house.  Scandinavians seem to have style that us foreigners can only dream of.  I feel like I am living in a Ikea display or house layout from a magazine.  Even the small touches around the house are very stylish and “smooth.”

 

After chatting to Peter and Jonna on a bit of every topic I got a relatively early night.  I had been exhausted by a full day of travel, a 4am start to said day and the “young’ns” were out having fun.  Saying hi to Sebastian and Nikoline would wait until morning.

 

The morning was relatively lazy.  Breakfast was had.  I checked emails/facebook and  the footy scores…Lions lost unfortunately.  I did run in to Sebastian after he came home and Nikoline when she awoke, but as the weather was rainy the lazy morning continued.  Peter had suggested that we ride to Christiania (more on what that is later) but the wet weather and Copenhagen Marathon meant that became rain coats on and my first experience with the Danish Metro. 

 

When Peter, Jonna, Nikoline and I arrived at Chirstiania (Sebastian would join us later) it was an interesting place to see.  On the outside it looks like any run down, slummy area of major cities.  But this was no ordinary area.  Founded in the early 70s, it is a commune where it is largely self sufficient and hippy culture rules all.  Apparently the Cannabis culture has been removed in recent years due to a police crack down (Leading to it spreading to other parts of the city, starting gang issues in the city, etc which generates quite significant debate about drugs policy and malign displacement of crime around Denmark) but I still swear there was a certain smell in the air and you could taste the Bob Marley vibe it was that strong.

 

 Picture 007

I suppose to liken it to any Australian equivalent, it is like Nimbin if it was in the centre of the city.  The real estate value of the area would be extreme and you could see some capitalist investor dreaming of kicking off this squating community and making a bundle.  However, there is much more to Christiania which I feel is unique.  We sat and had coffee in the cafe and there was just a happy feel to the place (and not a drug induced happy 😉 ).  There is also a history of the community supporting each other, the less fortunate and generally, despite a history marred with riots, a supportive environment. As you walk around and hear about the “1500 christmas-less people” that they give a full christmas dinner to, you struggle to see the downside of the area.

 

Okay, if you are starting on the downside the fact a negligence lawyer or health and safety officer would have a field day with the self-built houses and buildings that look like planning permission is unlikely to have been requested, that may be a good start.  I think the real issue comes though when you hear about the area taking electricity and other resources/services from general Copenhagen and still not paying taxes or contributing to that society.  If the area was fully self sufficient, I doubt you could question its existance too much.  That is at least my first, and largely uninformed, opinion.

 

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We then went to New Harbour, after meeting up with Sebastian, where I got my first real look at Copenhagen-proper as the sun started to come out.  You see the canals.  The old tall (yet not high rise) buildings that are crammed along every street.  You see the influence of an old monarchy in the various statues and royal insignias seen around.  In general, you see a rather beautiful city that is completely different to anything you would see in Australia.

 

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We stopped for lunch on the canal bank and I had my first pint of Carlsberg in Denmark and chowed down on 3 luxury Smørresbørd (open sandwiches).  It was great food and although the fish and steak ones sounded Delicious, I was a little surprised at how nice the eel one was.  Also, I am glad that I was able to use the ø.  I am using a Danish Keyboard on the laptop Peter has lent me, so now I just need to find use for the æ, å and ¤ keys sometime haha

 

Picture 023

 

After  a wonderful lunch, we then strolled through old Copenhagen.  Just walking around the streets was an experience for this Australian (and I am not talking about the fact I almost get run over regularly as a result of looking left instead of looking right haha).  Around every corner and in every nook there was a building, sign or store that interested me and made me stop and look.  It was amazing we actually moved anywhere. However, we did manage to walk past the Queen’s palace, stop off at the Round Tower and eat the BEST ice cream ever (Paradis Ice Cream…no kidding, I am contemplating moving to Copenhagen just to be able to eat this regularly.  I would kill my first born for just one more scoop.  It is THAT good!  The best I have ever had…and I’ve eaten a lot of ice cream haha)

 

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The Round Tower was  a great site.  It was built by an old king, supposedly the ramp inside is because he wanted his horse and cart to be able to take him to the top as I am un-reliably told by Peter, and as Copenhagen has no real sky scrappers you get amazing views of the city.  I saw the Tivoli Theme park that we will go to probably tomorrow night and just vast amount of very Danish house crammed in along the streets with the periodic historic/royal building thrown in there.

 

Picture 041 

 

Overall my first impressions of Copenhagen are that it is an amazingly beautiful city, the city matches the Scandinavian people.  It is the kind of city I came to Europe to see and the only downside is that you see prices in 3 figures and you only divide them by 4 to convert to Australian Dollars.  The prices may be extreme…but it is a lovely place.

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May 25, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

6 Comments »

  1. Did I over use paragraphing there? I think its because the screen is smaller on this laptop, but I’ll definitely throw in some photos soon as that just looks weird lol

    Comment by casaboy69 | May 25, 2009 | Reply

  2. No, I think that your sense of expression has improved remarkably since you traversed the North Sea! 🙂

    It is/was an interesting place, even 40+ years ago. Have you seen the statue of the Little Mermaid? A bit different to the Disney version, but what isn’t?!

    Take care

    Dad ( from Vegas, after remarkable day flying through Grand Canyon, after a disastrous start – but that’s another story!)

    PS Peter and Riza are your 2nd cousins, by the way.

    Comment by Niranjan | May 25, 2009 | Reply

  3. The question I have to ask – would you kill your second born for that icecream?????

    Comment by Christine | May 25, 2009 | Reply

    • No Mum! We all know second borns are the best 😀 1st, 3rd, 4th, etc are free game though.

      Comment by casaboy69 | May 25, 2009 | Reply

  4. Simon,

    Have fun in Denmark, but be wary of any historical snippet that Peter tells you. He may be like me in many ways, but he makes up a lot of things for attention!

    I feel that it’s good to warn family about things like this.

    Riz

    Comment by Riza | May 26, 2009 | Reply

  5. WHAT ABOUT COLD ROCK ????????????????????????????????????? *HAS TANTRUM AND WALKS OFF*

    Comment by Christ | June 1, 2009 | Reply


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