At the University of Edinburgh, there’s a week in February called Innovation Week, where there are no classes, giving students a chance to listen to lectures, participate in educational events, etc. that are organized by the university. But everyone just travels/sleeps duh. I wonder if anyone actually showed up to any of the events.
…so I went to Denmark and Italy!
I met Laura and Jennifer at an international exchange Welcome Party, and after a trip to Iceland didn’t pan out, we planned a trip to Copenhagen and Italy instead (because it’s cheap to fly out from Copenhagen, and also you need to at least see Copenhagen bc its Copenhagen).
We flew out on a cloudy Sunday morning in Scotland, and were met with an equally cloudy but very bitingly cold Copenhagen. The outdoor temperature was technically the same as Edinburgh, but felt much more brisk and kept us on our toes. But despite the weather, the colorful buildings still shone beautifully.
Once we got there, we had to exchange some money into the Danish Kroner, pictured below. Literally the cutest money I’ve ever seen – there are holes in the coins so I always thought KRONUT and they have hearts!!! Danes did it right.
Laura and Jennifer had a friend studying in Copenhagen, so we had a tour guide as we made our way around the city! Our first stop was the infamous New Haven (Nyhavn), with all of the pretty buildings along the river (the view that’s always in the postcards and travel sites). There, we snuck on one of the boats and got a few pics hehe
Denmark is known for their open-faced sandwiches, so Tiegan had made a reservation for the Royal Smushi Cafe, known for their delicious Danish sandwiches. As self-proclaimed foodie, I was delighted at how light and refreshing they were. The cafe was beautiful, but I soon learned that all Copenhagen stores had beautiful interior design – very minimalistic and light, despite their limited sizes.
Afterwards, we climbed the oldest in-use observatory in Europe, right after the sun had set. This is my favorite time to climb tall buildings, because I love watching the lights in a city turn on and light up the ground like a web of Christmas lights.
On our way out of the hostel that afternoon, I saw a place selling churros with ice cream, and that glorious image had been stuck in the back of my mind the entire walk around the city. Now, with stomach growling, I really wanted to find that place. We searched everywhere, and FINALLY came across one a few minutes from the hostel. It was like a 20 minute wait but SOOOOOO worth it.
Next morning we had a lovely hostel breakfast of traditional Scandinavian breakfast foods: open faced sandwich, bread/butter, yogurt and fruit, and grapefruit juice. Delicious and filling, and great fuel for the rest of the day.
One thing to note about touristing in Europe: a lot of museums and landmarks are open on Sunday and closed on Monday, to best fit tourist schedules. Because of this, we weren’t able to visit a lot of places on Monday, but thankfully there were enough to keep us occupied. After breakfast, we walked across the park to visit the Rosenborg Castle.
Afterwards, we wandered the streets, and ran across the Trinitatis Church, a beautiful white-walled and high-vaulted church. Turns out, climbing to the top was free, and gave us a stunning view of the city. We could even see Sweden across the Sound!
My favorite part about Copenhagen was the interior design of the shops. All of the shops are fairly small in size, but the insides are always beautifully done, with modern and minimalistic furnishings and plenty of light. For some reason, the wood used in Copenhagen is all very light in color, which brightened up the rooms. I loved going inside these small trinket shops and looking around (but too expensive to buy anything :().
We eventually found our way to Christiania. If you don’t know about this place, it’s very unique – it’s technically under no governing body, and therefore has no real “government,” so people can legally buy drugs and smoke publicly. We weren’t allowed to take pictures, so we just walked around (with our giant tourist backpacks and cameras around our necks, getting laughs from the locals). It was a very eery trip – the whole place reeked of weed, and at the entrance, there was a “You are now leaving the EU” sign, which creeped me out a little. But all in all, definitely something you need to experience.
We walked around to find some pastries; were not disappointed. I was laughed by this couple for standing outside and taking pictures of the pastries like a mega tourist.
After a dinner at the hostel and a good’s nights rest, we spent our last day in Copenhagen visiting Denmark’s National Museum in Copenhagen (free museum!!) and getting their beloved Sank Peders Bakery, Copenhagen’s oldest bakery.
So, a lovely ending to a lovely city. As fun as it was, it was COLD and as I was shivering in my jacket the entire time, the back of my head kept dreaming of the warmth of Italy on Sunday night.