Hey guys! I’m in Prague, so I’m going to write about Copenhagen. But seriously. I intentionally booked a flight with a 17 hour layover, just so I could visit a new city.
Copenhagen is beautiful and all, but nothing about it really sparked my interest massively while I was researching European destinations, so it didn’t make my “let’s go spend a weekend there!” list. But the pictures people take of Copenhagen are drop-dead gorgeous, and the flight was cheap, and I thought why not?
#1. It is CRAZY expensive.
#2. There is no #2.
I arrived at 1pm from SFO, and my checked bags were checked straight through to Prague. All I had to worry about was my backpacks (my big one with my change of clothes, etc. and my little one that had my computer, books, water bottle…). I got my passport stamped (yay, stamps!) and bought my Metro ticket. #1a: The Metro ticket for a 10-15 minute ride was 36 DKK, or about 7 dollars. I realize thats not all that expensive compared to, say, Caltrain, but when you most often use public transport in Boston, where its a $2 ticket no matter where or when you go, …
Anyway, I found my hostel after getting lost while going the right way, asking for directions, and looking like a fool. I dropped off my stuff, grabbed my wallet, passport, and camera, and went wandering. #1b: Strolling and gazing costs absolutely nothing. The best way to save money is to aimlessly wander. I had a map, and no intention of going anywhere. But I went a lot of places, and found a lot of the most famous sites, as well as some I never would have seen if I had been looking for the big ticket spots.
First, I wandered two blocks away from the biggest tourist attractions and found a park, which housed a statue of Hans Christian Anderson, as well as a marionette theater (which was, unfortunately, closed for the season.)
Then, I wandered towards what I thought was the most famous street, and instead found a huge star-shaped park. It was seriously a maze, with hills and raised paths with steep walls, and I was always up when I think I wanted to be down and down when I think I wanted to be up. But then I found this traditional-looking windmill, which was giant and pretty cool.
When I got out of the park, I found the “most photographed statue in the world.” That’s what they say, anyway. A bronze and marble statue based on Hans Christian Anderson’s The Little Mermaid, it certainly did have a lot of people standing around and in front of it taking photos. A lot of Asian people, actually. Which meant they were short enough that I could add to the hype and get a good picture taken over their heads.
I wandered a bit more, past the opera house and the national theater, until I finally found “the street.” Also known as Nyhavn, it is pedestrian-only, and legitimately gorgeous. It is actually a canal, I think, which is famous for one side, even though the other side looks basically the same. This shot is of the “other” side, through the rigging of a few boats that were docked. Clearly, the weather wasn’t great, but there were a few patches of sunlight through the rain.
Also, when I finally got around to eating dinner, I came back here, to the “other” side. A little bit cheaper than its more tourist-centered other half, I was still able to get the famous Scandinavian smørrebrød, which are basically just open sandwiches. They were pretty damn good, though.
Before I had dinner, though, I wandered across the Queen’s main residence. Not only that, but I wandered into the courtyard during the changing of the guards. Talk about timing! I think the coolest thing about the courtyard, beside the patterned cobblestones, were the red structures behind the guards. There were five guards on duty, but at least a dozen of these red things. But the ones with the guards in front were hollow, though the others appeared solid. So I got to thinking, and I went to inspect. As I suspected, they can be turned around. The cobblestones around their bases have clearly been rubbed against many a time, and the “solid” ones had hollows in the back sides. Chalk that one up to stage management…
So that was my afternoon in Copenhagen. Before I sign off, though, we need to remember my nonchalance. And that everything went just fine.