We wanted to hit a third Nordic country in our last week of the trip, and it was between Denmark and Norway. Everything we read said go to Denmark unless you have time to go in the Norwegian countryside, which we didn’t. So, Copenhagen is where we landed for day, and it was worth it. Our flight was interesting, as it seemed like there were 30 girls all on some school trip and didn’t know how to SHUT UP FOR ONE SECOND! The man sitting next to us on the plane was even making fun of them, saying they had “little to no brains” and “can never sit down and stand still.” We thought that was pretty funny. We make it into Copenhagen, which honestly is only about an hour or so flight for Helsinki, and embark on the city.

But, what would travel be without me screwing up something and getting the evil eye from Annemarie. Once again, I had the trains screwed up, but she bailed us out, AGAIN! Once we got off the train from the airport to downtown, we had a short walk from the station to the hotel…well at least we thought we did. We would like to give a personal “THANKS, NO REALLY, THANKS” to Rick Steves and his crappy downtown Copenhagen map. It took us in circles multiple times, and a walk that should’ve taken 5 minutes ended up taking close to an hour, it was awesome!! Once we got there, The Strand Hotel, we checked in and hit the pavement to see some sights.

Once again, our travel agent booked us a hotel that was in a prime location for walking around the city. We were close to everything that most would want to see in Copenhagen. Best of all, we were right around the corner from the famous cafe street where all the tourists go to drink, but more importantly, turns into the biggest bar in all of Denmark on the weekends. Drinking is very lax here in Denmark, as you can drink anywhere, anytime. Stop into the store, by a six pack, and crack it open while you are walking along. It’s very expensive to drink in restaurants, so most locals just drink this way, sit by the harbour and booze away. As they say here, they don’t drink more, it’s just more public. After we passed that street and determined that we would hit it later, we set forth on finding a very important piece of Copenhagen….the Little Mermaid. Well, it’s not really that important, but it’s there, and was the inspiration for the movie. And once again, were there many tourists there taking pictures? No, so that was good for us. Is it a popular tourist spot to hit in the summer? Yes. It took us about 30 minutes to walk there, and we spent a whopping 10 minutes there…only because we were waiting for some kid to climb off the statue…which you are not allowed to climb on, naturally.

We walked around the city a bit more, and saw a church, a royal palace, and a lot of statues. We wanted to end the night with a traditional Danish meal, but then realized, there really isn’t any, and that was confirmed by most of the menu’s we saw. We ended up at an Irish pub, which was voted #1 Irish drinking establishment by some magazine, but who knows. But get this. We ordered two beers and two modest meals, and our bill was $50!! On top of that, you had to prepay, because they have issues with patrons doing the dine and dash. People still do that? In Copenhagen I guess they do. It’s incredible how expensive it is to even eat in normal spots. We saw one deal that said “Two beers for 50 Kronor, best deal in town.” 50 kronor is $8.50, and the beers were less than 12 ounces. Safe to say, we stayed for one and then took off.

We got up the next morning, hit breakfast, and headed over to a part of town called Christiania, which is pretty much like and old hippie commune. This area of town had an old military base that was abandoned, and taken over by the hippies back in the early 70′. About 180 of the original founders still live there. It looks like old shacks and buildings that are about to fall apart, but is full of life. One thing you expect to find on a hippie commune? Drugs of course, and there is weed everywhere, but it’s accepted and normal. Most of the market stores there, which is the main source of revenue for the area, have tons of paraphernalia. You can also purchase quite a bit of product as well, but I guess it’s not as hardcore as it once was. The area of town wants to be left alone, so they have agreed to tone things down a bit, and they pay a $1 million tax to the city each year so they can stay on the land. The city then provides them with heat, water, and electricity. Not a bad deal for them, and they have their bubble and are happy to stay in it.

Copenhagen Opera House

Copenhagen Opera House

There are no camera’s allowed in the area, respectfully. But below are the signs that you see on the way, and on the way out of the area, which is kind of funny. They really do live in their own little world. I needed to get something to remember this place, so I picked up a t-shirt from one of the shacks inside, that says “Brevar Christiania”, which means Preserve Christiania, and is on a red shirt with three yellow dots. Red and yellow are their colors, and the dots stand for the three letter I’s in Christiania.

We are not already in the EU?

We are not already in the EU?

Copenhagen was a great choice to spend 24 hours in, and we will definitely return. The city is very laid back, and the people were very nice…and now we know how to drink on the cheap! We are now on the hispeed train on our way to Stockholm, which is our final destination on this trip, and look forward to seeing our friend Nick who is our host while we are there. By the way, this train is going 100 mph, is quiet as can be, and has free wifi on it. If only we had trains like this in the USA.

More later from Stockholm