It had been 9 years since I was first in Copenhagen, the very expensive capital of Denmark, so I didn’t remember everything. I just remembered that it was a gorgeous place with really friendly people-not much has changed. We spent a great day and night in the city which included a 6 hour walking tour in the rain covering all of Copenhagen plus the Carlsberg Brewery on the outskirts of the city. Carlsberg just happens to be one of my favorite beers so I though it was pretty cool. The brewery tour was also better than any previous brewery tour I had been on, including Guinness.
I was surprised to see that the legenadry enclave of Christiana was sort of being regulated now and had been the target of massive police raids in 2004. This has led to the drug trade in Copenhagen to move underground and has caused some vioence in the Danish capital in recent years over drug turf. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Christiana, it’s a very small area within Copenhagen that had been soveriegn so to speak for years as it was started by a bunch of hippies in the late 60′s to have an alternative lifestyle which includes living in dilapidated ramshackle buildings and open drug use. I remember visiting back in 2000 and being shocked that a place like that existed, much like Nimbin in Australia, but going back yesterday, I felt it had become seedier, or maybe I’m just getting older. They still do things out in the open now but I guess they just have to be more careful. Still a very strange place and of course, still the most visited place in Denmark for tourists.
Although the weather didn’t really cooperate with us too much, in fact, it stopped us from checking out the famous Tivoli Gardens in the center of Copenhagen but we still had a blast and I feel very comfortable with the city. I had also hoped to meet up with my friend Michael from Australia who is now a Danish chef in a fancy restaurant outside the city, but he couldn’t make it in. However, a good time was had by all and I was ready to get back to normal prices and some warmer weather sans the rain!
The overnight train to Berlin does not leave from Copenhagen for whatever reason, it leaves from Malmo, Sweden. Malmo is a 30 minute train ride from Copenhagen and it is where you generally switch when coming from Stockholm or from Copenhagen going to the other. So we went across the impressive channel bridge to Malmo and had just a few hours to take in the small town which is actually the third largest in Sweden and a massive student town.
Walking out of the train station, you know immediately that the place is gorgeous and very nice. We arrived early on Saturday night and headed straight for the main square which was packed with people enjoying their beer and food in the heated outdoor tables that took up most of the square. After taking in the atmosphere, we continued around the city and basically saw most of it. I always hate to say I saw an entire city when I was only there for a few hours on a stopover but I did feel like it was small enough to make that claim.
The overnight train left at 9:31pm and was promptly on the 4.5 hour ferry to Germany, crossing the Baltic Sea within 30 minutes. The simple fact that our train was on a ferry kind of weirded me out but we made it and the ferry was cool because it had a huge restaurant and shopping set up, reminiscient of a Lido deck on a crappy cruise ship. Anyway, we arrived in the unbelievably nice and new Hauptbanhopf (spelling?) Station in Berlin at 6am and I am loving life in one of the best cities on Earth.