Friday, November 20, 2015

Copenhagen (part 3)

I then wandered into the gardens around the Danish National Archives (or Rigsarchiv for those of us in the know), known as the Royal Library Gardens. I had no goals and wasn't planning on going into the museums or galleries, but after seeing these gardens couldn't not go explore. Also, that Scandinavian architecture again. 

Lest you were worried, I did go into a museum while I was in Copenhagen - the National Museum of Denmark. It was free and huge and had sections on pop culture since the 1960s, sections dedicated to African immigration into Denmark and a special exhibit on the White Buses effort: in which Denmark and Sweden worked together to rescue people from concentration camps and bring them to safety. After a few months in Germany, learning about German history (most of which is focused on 1939 to the present), I was glad to see a new perspective on the tragedy that was the Holocaust.

I left the museum and continued wandering around, making my way to Strøget, the car-free pedestrian shopping center in the middle of Copenhagen. I can't say that I went in any stores, and even my internal debate about getting ice cream was eventually lost because of the weather outside.

But then it started pouring, and it was amazing how quickly umbrellas went up. Not wanting to be part of the umbrella-carrying crowd (I'm not used to it and was sure I'd injure someone), I ducked into the closest cafe, and this is what that ended with.

That is a brownie muffin, which is really just a muffin but it has a fudgy brownie center and it's wonderful. And the hot chocolate next to it was literally boiling milk, and that stick in the cup? That's a spear that has a hunk of chocolate on it. They handed me my hot chocolate with two separate parts, which led to some confusion, but once I figured it out, and tasted it, everything was right in the world. (And the hunk of chocolate was in a nice shape, pretty pyramid-like, not just something someone broke off a larger hunk of chocolate. It's the details.)

More wandering brought me to a neighborhood that really looked Scandinavian (or at least what I was picturing Scandinavia to look like.) Or maybe it was just old and my benchmark for beauty is low and I draw way too many conclusions.

Oh, and also the Carlsberg building. And huge clouds that I thought meant I was about to have a terrible end to my evening but instead it was fine and it didn't rain and later the sun even came back out.

This neighborhood was like the Danish version of a subdivision. The houses on the short and parallel streets looked exactly the same, with different colored windows or the doors on the other side of the house when the architects decided to mirror the house.

Made me think of what I imagined the streets in Harry Potter to look like, or England in general, but I will report back when I get to England and see how things really look.

Notice the lack of clouds. This was less than half an hour after the Carlsberg picture.

More pretty windows! And those flowers, someone did some good work. Taking the pictures, especially of the houses, I was a little worried someone'd see me through the window and come out to yell at me, but looking back that was silly because everyone I met in Denmark was wonderful and nice and beautiful while they were being wonderful and nice.

When in Copenhagen... get a Frankfurter. Hot dogs are supposed to be an American stereotype and maybe I'm underestimating the US's influence on the world and the speed of globalization, but there are a lot of hot dogs in Europe. We saw tons in Amsterdam and multiple people told me to get a hot dog when in Copenhagen, so maybe we're completely wrong with everything we've ever thought.

It was delicious and the woman who sold it to me was very kind (what else did you expect?) and beautiful (nothing new here) and spoke impeccable English (still expecting a surprise?). And pro-tip when you go to Denmark: please be notified that they deal in Danish Krone and not a Euro. I used my card for everything, because it worked and was easy and I didn't want to have the hassle of changing between Euros and Kroner and have money left over that I couldn't change back and then eventually lose money, so I went with the card.

But the problem came with the hot dogs! I wanted to act like a local and eat one, but most of the hot dog carts would only accept cash (not Euros). But after hours of searching, I found one that would take Euros and finally I had dinner.

It's a happy ending.

Gardens on the side of the court house.

My good friend Hans Christian Andersen! He lives on H.C. Andersen Boulevard which is pretty convenient.

And surprise! Back at Nyhavn. This time, finally, clouds are gone and sun is out and the 6,392 tourists who came from China to all take the exact same picture (in my way) were gone, so that made this journey entirely more pleasant.

And then a very kind Korean woman asked me to take a picture of her and her daughter, a favor which they reciprocated, and here we have my first non-selfie portrait from my time in Copenhagen.

I forgot to impress her with my new Korean vocab I had learned a few weeks earlier. But telling her the words for "tree" and "cup" might have been a little out of context, I suppose.

This basically sums it up.

The moon was close to full, and I saw it rising as I walked back to my hotel. (This was close to 9 p.m., but please notice the light.

The next morning, I knew how to not accidentally go to the wrong country, so after waking up early I took another lap around the city. I got a Danish pastry for breakfast (how could I not?) and then did one more lap in the sun. It was freezing and the wind was sharp and the sun was shining and no one was out except people who were hurrying off to work, and that's how I like it (anywhere).

So good. I can't say I've had a pastry in the States for years, so I can't compare, but on one hand I'm sure I'm happy about that because it wouldn't, I'm sure.

I got to the airport, to wait. I was early, but didn't want to make mistakes like I had before. CPH is one of the more phenomenal airports I've seen in my life, it was incredible. Not over the top and in your face, but clean and well-designed and beautiful and makes you want to have extra time there.

On the plane, I had the row to myself, and airberlin gives you chocolates on the way in and the way out, so I was a happy camper. Back home to Germany for two weeks before I had to fly home.

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