18 Hours of DaylightJuly 2, 2017 in Denmark
During our first night we were woken by fireworks at midnight. We felt a little out of sorts since it was a few days early and several thousand miles away from where we expected them. We couldn't see them and they didn't last long so we were able to easily fall back asleep. And since Copenhagen is located above 55° north in latitude and we visited just after the summer solstice, there was plenty of time to explore the city even after sleeping in til 9.
One of the great things about being back in Europe is the quality of breakfast that can be found anywhere you go. Rather than the typical continental breakfast garbage seen in US hotels, we got a spread with fresh bread, homemade jam, an assortment of eggs, fruits, and pastries.
Copenhagen features several free walking tours which are usually a good introduction to a new city. We were surprised by the amount of Spanish visitors. This confused a fellow tour member who, after overhearing the guide, asked "Is 'hola' hello in Danish?" to which the guide replied "no, that's Spanish." Overheard in CPH... The tour itself was good but not spectacular. We got some history about the rise and fall of the Danish Kingdom, the frequent fires in the city that have destroyed many historic buildings (sometimes more than once), and the queen's chain-smoking habits.
We stopped for lunch at Street Food Copenhagen, a collection of street food vendors in an old warehouse. We opted for an order of fish 'n chips and a pasta dish. The atmosphere was cozy with communal tables. We found a table on the makeshift second floor, overlooking all of the stalls and crowds below.
Next up, we headed to the freetown Christiania aka Nemoland. It was formed by a group of hippies in the 1970s, and so far has maintained its autonomy from the rest of the country. They have few rules: have fun... The dirt paths are lined with old shacks and tents, most buildings are covered with counterculture graffiti, and the smell of weed abounds. We grabbed a beer in their "downtown," listened to some music, walked along the waterfront paths, and checked out an art gallery in an abandoned building. Overall a pretty cool vibe quite different from the rest of the city, and well worth the visit.
Just outside of Nemoland, we climbed to the top of the external spiral staircase at the Church of our Saviour which, at 92 meters, offered pretty cool views of the area, including the Baltic Sea and Sweden in the distance. We didn't spend much time at the top since there was only room for one person and a lengthy queue below.
No stop to Copenhagen would be complete without a visit to Tivoli Gardens - a 19th century amusement park in the middle of the city. Our tour guide from earlier in the day mentioned that Walt Disney was inspired by Tivoli when creating Disney World. We took a ride on the Demon roller coaster and walked around the park.
After watching Germany on the way to a Confed Cup win, we were excited to try the New Nordic Cuisine at Restaurant Bror. There are a number of restaurants across the city showcasing sustainable, healthy and fresh food which have made Copenhagen a destination for foodies. We weren't disappointed with our 4 course meal which highlighted local produce and fish. And incredible bread. We finished dinner just before 11, and the sun had just set.Read more