To start the day, we thought we’d take advantage of one of the free-on-Wednesdays museums, the Thorvaldsen. A quick 30 minutes through was the perfect amount of time for me (I’m not the sit, stare, ponder type.) The menacing statues are both impressive in size and quantity. Hercules, in the stairway, is the best example of this in my opinion.
After, we again jumped on the Copenhagen Free Walking Tour; this time, to Christianshavn! Starting at the iconic Absalon Statue and ending at the Freetown of Christiania. It is an interesting area, no doubt, uniquely hippy, even compared to Venice Beach, LA, CA. From the history given by our tour guide, it’s in a very transitional phase. It seems the tensions between the Christiania locals, the outsiders who are capitalizing on the tourist interest in Christiania’s drug culture, and the Danish government, have led to the local’s voluntary destruction of parts of the the town’s charming hippy-scene, in order to discourage exploitation of their commune by self-interested and dangerous gangs.
Based on a few warnings by friends and an earlier tour guide, we did not take any photos in Christiania. It’s a bit rundown and ragged; perhaps its summertime vibes will reinvigorate the town. For the sake of those who depend on the community, and for the preservation of this historical town, I hope so!
The route to Christiania was guided by Luis, another transplant to Denmark, he brought his Peruvian charm to our tour. Luis’s vibrant personality and in depth knowledge of the city and its landmarks made for a delightful trip from the city center through Christianshavn (pronounced “Christian’s Hound” without the “d”), even if we were freezing our butts off the whole time!
The guides don’t lead groups through Christiania, as to respect the locals’ desire to live without groups of tourists roaming around. Understandable. While we were assured it’s quite safe, even “no more dangerous than any other part of Copenhagen,” one can easily catch the vibe of tagged walls and drug deals to feel slightly less secure. Though, I still felt safer than I would most nights walking through DTLA.
After leaving Christiania we took the short walk to Paper Island, where the food trucks of Copenhagen join together under one (heated) roof. The options are abundant, and it’s easy to satisfy almost any culinary desire, though prices are on par with Copenhagen’s average sit-downs, and pricey even relative to Los Angeles for street food. When your prices surprise someone who has paid Santa Monica prices for the past 5 years, you’re expensive af. Since we have too much food left to consume in the 2 remaining days sitting in our apartment’s kitchen, we decided to enjoy the scene and the warmth with a couple drinks then go home for dinner. My amaretto hot chocolate and ma’s bourbon cider (mine originally…we traded) were both on point…and at about 11USD each, they better be.
The walk back to the Ascot was snowy/sleety, and rather windy when crossing the Kissing Bridge to Nyhaven, but still a nice way to enjoy the sun setting over Copenhagen.
It’s certainly nice to be in warmth for the night!