Story /Meghan O’connor
Photos / Meghan O’Connor +Liz Preza
When one thinks Copenhagen, generally the thought process goes something like this; if youre a fan of Weeds, you think Andy Botwin on a bicycle. If youre a metalhead, you think of one of the million Nordic metal bands (see map:http://i.imgur.com/P5Yfz.png ), if you are ignorant American Meghan O’Connor, you remove Andy Botwin from aforementioned bicycle and simply think bicycle (imagine a flashcard for a struggling kindergartener). My trip to Copenhagen was maybe none of these things, except maybe all of these things if you take into account the level of absurdity.
The absurdity all began with the fact that method of transportation was bus. From Prague to Copenhagen. Now thats a 12 hour bus trip for those who have never been insane or cheap enough to consider the ride. Somewhere around three quarters of the way through said trip, at approximately 3 A.M., my travel partner and I are awoken and told to leave the bus for an hour. We drowsily exit the bus into what seems to be a large garage of buses, step off into a side door and see a sign reading “Deck 1.” My travel partner proceeds to proclaim “what are we, on a boat?” I proceed to laugh HEARTILY. Herein lies ignorant american moment #1. We are on a boat. We will not realize this for at least another hour, however, as we peruse the duty free shops, hysterical laughing in that way that can only come from far too little sleep.
Later, after concluding what was in fact our ferry ride across the Baltic Sea, we arrived in Copenhagen and almost immediately fell in love. Renting bicycles is a must in said city, and so my original bicycle assumption was not altogether false (this is not just me trying to legitimize myself) and in the process of riding said bikes my travel partner Liz and I realized that riding bikes makes everything better. Seeing a city on a bike, specifically on a bike that is part of an entire school of bicycling Danes, while the wind whips through your hair and you thank the good Lord you still remember how to pedal, is an experience that you will not likely forget.
Furthermore, the Danish people are almost too nice to comprehend. Being two New Yorkers in a foreign land, the concept that a stranger would approach us simply because our faces registered confusion at the sight of a Danish street name and ask if we would like help is bordering E.T. status. On top of that, our much-loved hostel “Sleep in Heaven” allowed us to linger for far longer than we paid for, and gained us a pair of awesome new friends with whom we wandered the city for the next 24 hours. Another must-see was Christiana, a shantytown/commune with a seeming free pass to the cannabis trade from the Danish government.
Along the way, we met one of our favorite people to date: a “homefree” shoeless Dane with dreams of creating sustainable farms in Africa. Our favorite quote from said friend was that he slept at night on a roof, but only one certain roof because he preferred to “live a stable life.” Basically what I’m saying is that everyone in Copenhagen seems pretty content, and with one of the highest standards of living in the world, I can understand why. Also Danes are beautiful. Try not wrecking a bicycle with that view at every turn. I tried and failed.
So in conclusion, the Danes are beautiful, too kind to handle, love their weed, their bicycles, and their sustainable agriculture. Most importantly, they know how awesome they are. Copenhagen, you rule. I hope to see you soon, with a more expansive knowledge of your geography and perhaps a nice comfy seat on a plane.
Indtil da, Copenhagen
With love from Prague,