It’s always so strange leaving a city you could see yourself loving if only given the time. Even the mere four days I stayed in Copenhagen built within me such strong connections to specifics—the colors of Nyhavn, the perpetually packed corner cafés, the wide open squares, the characteristic church and palace spires, Rebekka’s hospitality, the statue of H.C. Andersen and his grave near my own room—that I found myself saying goodbye to them one by one. Waving from the train. Promising my heart that I’d be back. (Tivoli won’t be open till April 14th. I can’t just NOT see Tivoli, right? Right.)
Tonight was my last in Copenhagen, so I spent it spoiling my tastebuds in Nyhavn (Nyhavn 37; nyhavn37.dk) with a DELICIOUS bowl of blue mussels steamed in wine, shallots, garlic, and thyme, served with bread and paired with a glass of white wine.
Just take a gander at that backdrop. I was in heaven!
Copenhagen is a land of fairytales.
It is a land of kings and queens, renaissance castles and white horses, jutting cobblestones, medieval towers, and looming narrow alleyways unchanged from days of old. There is a smell to it, too, though I’ve yet to place it. A sweet smell, swirling with tastes of the ocean, baked bread, musty library books, burnt sugar. There is something in the air that sets your imagination ablaze. Its royalty must have felt it, too. It’s the sort of feeling that if anything can be dreamed, it can be realized. (And, in the monarchy’s case, with the right amount of bank).
Being pressed for time is never easy, especially when one has so much to tell yet so much sleep to acquire. This one is going to be just a clean, visual guide to Denmark’s capital. Hopefully, as clean and as visual as the city is itself.
This is just what I’ve stumbled on in the last three days; things noticed, I think, only by fresh eyes. These are no great landmarks, no highlights in a travel guidebook, and no recognizable names. These are, simply, a walker’s Copenhagen.
I’d just like to let you all know that I am currently enjoying the dinner of champions: a classic chokolademælk! and what the Danes must consider to be a club sandwich (chunks of chicken and salami (bologne?), lettuce, and a colorful array of roasted peppers slathered with a sweet, tikka-tasting mustard). Mmm mm good.
The Danes, and I’m pretty sure the rest of Scandinavia, are design-a-holics. The Danish know how to design a museum. They just…get it, from the streamlined lobbies to rooms separated by swishing automatic doors to pops of color in their adorable lower level cafés to ALLOWING photography as long as you behave yourself. And the symmetry. Oh, the symmetry! And not just in museums, mind you. Everywhere.
It would be LOVELY if you could stop raining enough for me to, you know, take a good picture or two.
The first day is the hardest. I’ve been through hell and back with London, so I should anticipate this. Knowing zero words of Danish does not help. Yet, despite the grief with the hostel check-in and the rain and Bekky not being available till 5 and me not being able to find an ATM and not being able to eat until, well, dinnertime, I know this: my bunk bed is comfortable. The rain has stopped. What I DID see of the city was expectedly beautiful. I’ve freshened up. I’m heading to Rebekka’s for some yummy sushi takeout. And I know that at least ONE of the days I’m here, the sun will be shining.