Copenhagen had me at … cleanliness. It’s spotlessly virtuous, and I hate dirt. There are other deal breakers – it’s not as expensive as they said, and it’s sunny in May. There are too many bikes for my liking but I forgive them this sin for I like 7-Elevens and they are plentiful. These franchises remind me of life in Thailand, and nostalgia enters. The city is so serenely relaxing, another stress-free metropolis I’ve been fortunate enough to sample. And I couldn’t find any Lego. Is its omniscience a myth?
Copenhagen Downtown Hostel – a ten-minute walk from Nørreport Station – greets us with a two-for-one happy hour, a free evening meal, complementary towel, and a batch of board games. The latter are jettisoned in favour of a trek to a local sushi place and then The Globe Irish Pub. Here we watch the UK General Election results with the Irish manager, knocking back Jägermeister and a peculiar mouthwash concoction of his own making.
A brisk wander the next day with a few smokes and cans of Tuborg brings in Rosenborg Palace and The National Gallery of Denmark; here I unearth a painting of a noble from yesteryear who is the spitting image of one of my friends back in Edinburgh. Amused, I take a snap and promptly upload it to facebook. I’m very proud of that. We also look for The Royal Danish Arsenal Museum but end up in a pub.
A walking tour in the afternoon culminates in a trip to Christiania. No photographs are allowed here, we are informed. I see why. An Anarchist commune, its Pusher Street market-sellers peddle cannabis from mock-camouflage stalls; speed and cocaine is more discreetly offered at standing bars and eateries. Pre-rolled joints in the sun by the river, we chat about airline safety, Lego, and the feasibility of setting up a commune. We proceed back to the hostel followed by Taphouse, a delectable bar close-by housing over 60 beers on tap.
The nearby Swedish city of Malmo over the border I find to be a snore, a vacant square of near-empty bars, adjacent streets deserted – the highlight was the train journey in. An hour there was enough. I wonder why the ghost town exists, and feel sorry for the Swedes that they have to put up with it. Cursing our foolish endeavour, we indulge in White Russians back at the hostel, first from the bottle and then from the bar. The evening is a blur, but happy faces feature in the photographs.
We depart the next day downtrodden. There is also the sense that more of the city could have been seen, but then compulsory evening boozing usually cuts out the number of ticked attractions. The only irritating Dane I find is at the airport. The security bloke confiscates my can of tuna chunks. Presumably this is a dangerous weapon. The mind boggles. Anyway, I’ll be
back, Copenhagen. You’re a cracker.