It was our first trip out of Spain—our first weekend adventure abroad. We chose to go to Copenhagen because of all the wonderful things we had heard about it. It would be cold—really cold compared to Barcelona. So, we packed our bags with sweaters, hats and scarves and set out on Friday morning.
As we went through security, it hit me. I was about to go to Denmark… a place I had only heard about once or twice in school, mostly in my psychology courses since it has been called the happiest country on earth. We were so excited to see, to taste, to experience everything that we could in the city over the two and a half days we would spend there. As we went through security, our passports or IDs were never checked and that came as a shock. Later we learned that when you fly within the EU, they don’t check for ID until it is time to board the plane. Different. Really different.
The hotel we chose was a short train ride from the airport. We checked in, dropped our bags, and made our way into the magical city. We decided to go to Café Norden for dinner as it was a strongly recommended restaurant from my friend at home. It was AMAZING. And so cozy.
First, we ordered blueberry mojitos. Then, I got the open-faced sandwiches—a Danish specialty. There were three of them (yes I was stuffed after). One was tuna, one chicken salad, and the other shrimp. All piled on thick, toasted bread. Yum. Sophie got the tuna tartar and Emmie got mini chicken burgers. We were quite satisfied. Little did we know we were about to fall in love with the city even more. Big time.
The next day we woke up early to get the most of the day. First we had breakfast at Union Kitchen, which I highly recommend! Then we headed to Nyhavn—the area of town with the line of colorful buildings that sit right on the water. As we approached Nyhavn, we could hear music from the little band that sat on the square in front of the dock. The sun sparkled off the canal and the houses sat in their colorful glory. This is where the love came. I was absolutely amazed at the beauty and simplicity of the place. We signed up for a canal tour where we were taken on a large boat and shown many of the landmarks, including Hans Christian Andersen’s little mermaid, the architecture museum, and the Copenhagen Street Food market where we would go for dinner later. The tour guide told us that the city burns garbage to produce electricity, but they don’t have enough garbage to produce enough for everyone so they have to import more garbage. How perfect could this city get?
After the tour, we warmed up with some Irish coffee at a little café on the canal. We then tried to find the trampolines that are set in the sidewalk somewhere along the water but just couldn’t. Instead, we decided to take a ride on one of the bike-buggies and the driver showed us some cool views along the way. We were cold, but it didn’t matter. The beauty kind of distracted from it.
Then, we experienced what would be our favorite part of the trip. We took a cab to the Copenhagen Street Food market also called “Paper Island.” I had never been in awe so many times in the span of two days. The market is inside a giant warehouse, right on the water. It is bustling and beautiful and warm at night. Music plays throughout the entire place and everyone is just so happy (no surprise). There are stands and stands of different foods from Moroccan flatbreads (which we got) to Italian to Chinese, to every dessert you could imagine. After the market, we met our friends at a small, local bar where everyone danced and sang and requested songs.
In the morning, we packed our bags and headed for brunch before going to the airport. We went to the restaurant Mad & Kaffe where you are given the freedom to pick either three, five, or seven small dishes to make up your meal. The choices range from oatmeal to fruit to avocado to eggs to a freshly baked cinnamon roll. I chose to get three: fried eggs with chives, yogurt with granola, and blood orange slices.
Needless to say, the weekend went by way too fast. Copenhagen was an absolute dream city, a winter wonderland. It was like nowhere I had ever seen before. Even though we were sad to say farewell to our weekend love, we were ready to return to our first love—the beautiful and spirited city of Barcelona.