"It's just like riding a bike" or so the saying goes when trying something you haven't done in a while. So when I arrived in Copenhagen around noon on Thursday, I figured that riding a bike, something I hadn't done in over a year, would be well, just like riding a bike. I hadn't slept since I woke up for work Wednesday morning, since I needed to leave in the middle of the night for my 7 AM Thursday morning flight. so when I arrived I had already not slept in over 24 hours. I was also wearing a sweater dress, which admittedly isn't the best attire for biking. All of these things were easily corrected for the second day of biking, but one problem remained: the bike was about three inches too big for me. Oh, three inches is about seven and a half centimeters (yes, I looked that up on Google just now- A few weeks ago, I spent all day telling skaters in inches how much lower their sit spins needed to be and then on the last session realized that inches were meaningless to them. Not only do I need to learn Icelandic, I need to grasp the metric system!)
Anyway, once I actually got going on the bike, it was fine and I greatly enjoyed peddling over the cobblestone roads and past coloured houses. Each time I needed to stop though, my bike would tip to the side because I couldn't reach the ground. Sometimes the bike would topple over and I'd have to jump off to avoid falling. Eventually, I learned to stop right next to a curb to assist my balance.
I arrived on Maundy Thursday, which meant most of the shops in Copenhagen were closed so we decided to take a twenty minute train to Malmö, Sweden. I had been to Sweden before, but this was my first time outside of Stockholm.
Malmö was full of cute, little shops and felt more like a quaint town than Sweden's third largest city. The twenty minute train ride was scenic and mostly a long bridge over the water. There have, apparently, been problems with balloons in the past.
When I first arrived in Copenhagen, I was approached by a British couple on a crowded train platform asking if I lived there and for directions. I replied that I was from a land far, far away from Denmark but that they were not at the metro like they had intended, but were at a train platform.
Conveniently, "thank you" in Danish, Swedish, and Icelandic is all "takk" (though spelled slightly differently in each language). I was surprised at how much I could read and translate (though not pronounce!) in Danish due to the similarity with Icelandic.
One night, my friend and I decided to get some fruit and cheese for our flat (both wannabe vegans- my attempt at going dairy-free is best illustrated with the following anecdote: I was at the mall with a friend and was planning on getting a coffee before work. I saw a place, but said, "Oh, they don't have dairy-free milk. Oh, look there's that ice cream place we always go to. Let's just go there instead." My friend said, "You went from needing dairy-free milk to full-on ice cream." #confessionsofafailedvegan).
My minimal Icelandic translating to even-more minimal Danish did not extent to dairy products, so we were trying to find goat cheese when what to our wandering eyes should appear, but a stranger with an accent (neither American, British, or Danish. I guessed Kiwi, but my friend thought Hungarian, so one, or both, of us was way off!) offering help. As I suspected, the cheese with the goat on it was indeed goat cheese. Considering that the last time it was suggested that I try foreign dairy products resulted in the Baby Brown Swiss Dairy Cow Incident, at this point, I became paranoid that the Baby Brown Swiss Dairy Cows had conspired with the Danish Dairy Goats. Fortunately, this was not the case.
Copenhagen was the perfect size city. There was plenty to do and see, but it was definitely not nearly as crowded and fast-paced as London. I especially liked both markets and their all-porridge restaurant called Grød.
One afternoon, we took a twenty minute train in the opposite direction of Sweden to visit Roskilde, the old Danish capital. We toured the cathedral, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and visited the market, which has been there since Medieval times!
On Easter morning, we biked to the Elephant Gate for a quick look at one of Copenhagen's most iconic landmarks.
We got to the airport to board our flight to London, however our gate was not announced until right before boarding. When we got to the gate, it was completely shut off. Then, we moved gates. Then, no one from Norwegian ever showed up to get us on the plane. My friend went to the Norwegian desk, where she was told that the flight was cancelled. We were told to go through border control again and go to the Norwegian desk and get re-booked for a later flight. We went and no one was there. So after waiting a while, we went back through border control (this is why I have three stamps in my passport entering and leaving Copenhagen on the same day!) and went to the gate for the other flight and were finally given a new boarding pass. Once we got on the flight, we were delayed another two hours on the runway. The ground crew certainly wasn't very informative, however we sat next to an off-duty pilot for Norwegian who was very helpful explaining air traffic information and the flight crew was wonderful. So, despite the hassle, yes, I would fly Norwegian again.
My next stop was London, which will have its own blog post soon!
Hi, I’m Crystal! I love to travel and am currently a graduate student in Scotland. You’ll get all the best tips and insights from my experiences as a former ice-skating coach in Iceland and former study abroad student. Of the 27 countries I have visited, a type 1 diabetes diagnosis has been the strangest land yet. Type 1 has not slowed down my travels and you'll learn how to take type 1 with you on the road! You can connect with me further on Instagram @CrystalChilcott, or send me ideas of where I should travel next via email: email@example.comHappy Travels, Crystal
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