Copenhagen

Monday, June 15th

Copenhagen was meant to be a stopover on the journey to Stockholm, and we planned on just walking around the city. We were staying near the train station which meant we were also close to the center of town. There was a bakery across from the train station, which is probably the best bakery on earth. I got a cinnamon roll with cinnamon frosting and another with chocolate frosting. Also, like many places, they gave you a better deal if you got things to go, so that meant those cinnamon rolls were to go and I had to find a place to eat them. There was a large town square nearby. It was empty of people, but full of pigeons. They were scattered around the square at first, and then Brock dropped some of his breakfast. That meant they started swarming around us to pick up crumbs. Even though they had cleared the area around us, we still had to sweep our feet back and forth almost constantly to keep the birds at a nice distance.

With the breakfast and birds out of the way, we made our way to the palace. Denmark is one of those countries that still maintains a royal family even though they don’t really serve any purpose in ruling. I guess this would be a good time to mention that election posters were everywhere. On every available signpost. Lining bridges. I guess they must have regulations on the signs. They were all poster-sized, had the candidate’s name, a nice professional photo with a background of the party’s color, their party (and probably its slogan) on the bottom, and that was it. No attacking other candidates, and I only saw one billboard in the entire city. It was an electronic billboard at that, and was showing ads for Jurassic World instead of campaign ads most of the time. Anyways, the palace was quiet because it was closed to tours on Monday, so there was just some normal weekday office work traffic.

The guys on the train/ferry the night before had mentioned a place called Christiana that was supposed to be kind of shanty/free-rule town. That just basically meant it had more trash lying around than normal, more graffiti-ed surfaces, and some questionable architectural modifications done to some buildings. That was about it.

Copenhagen has a fort on an island, and that was the next stop. On the way, we found a secret treasure of Copenhagen: public trampolines. I would say they were about a square yard size, but there were about five or so of them in a row. From a distance, they would just look like coverings for spots where a line of trees would be planted. The abundant amount of springs built into the coverings made it clear that they were made for fun. After bouncing around for a while, we continued to the fort. I guess it still has some use by the army, but it was neat to see a fort that was something like 300 years old. The only way to get on the island was on two wooden bridges over the moat. The entrance was also built into a large berm on the island side. There were a lot of joggers on the berm and around the island area in general. Close to the north side of the island was the famous mermaid statue in Copenhagen. I am not really sure why, as it isn’t a particularly large or fancy sculpture. Nonetheless, the area around the statue was swarmed with tourists.

Making the way back towards town, there were more canals. They were lined with Amsterdam-like buildings, but they were mostly stucco instead of brick and were very colorful. It was rare for two adjacent buildings to have the same color. There were also tons of boats lining the sides of the canal, which was bigger than the ones in Amsterdam. It really felt like a coastal town.

Sometime after lunch, the exploration of Copenhagen continued. Like many European cities, there were not too many tall buildings in the center of the city. If anything was tall, it was either a government building or a church. Eventually we came across a unique church. It was called something like Rundtaarn, which means round tower. To get to the top, you had to follow the spiral ramp most of the way up, when the ramp turned into narrower and steeper steps. At the top, it was easy to see pretty much the entire city because the church was at least a few stories taller than any other building in the area.

In the early evening, we were making our way back across the town square. Soon, you could see a large band approaching, followed by people dressed very formally and carrying flags. The whole group with the band was at least a hundred people. The band then stood in front of the town hall for a while and played something that I assume was the Danish national anthem or similar. The whole ordeal was for a town hall meeting. Very different from the United States.

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