Denmark and Germany in a Weekend
Sometime last year, in the most beautiful "first-world problems" situation, I realized that with the trips we had planned, I would not be making it to Europe this year; this would be the first year in five that I had not been. This wasn't a huge problem, I had other trips that I was already going on or had been on, Taiwan, Colombia, Maine, an Amtrak Trip, and then Patagonia. All the same, I wanted to go and WOW has super cheap and affordable flights to Europe, with a little extra time in my plans, I went ahead and pulled the trigger on some tickets. (I'm not gonna detail the flight, you can read about it here.)
Two friends, one from Chicago and one from Miami decided to tag along, which was good because Copenhagen is not cheap. I started looking for hotels and hostels and landed on was Urban House.
Copenhagen, like most major European cities, has a great transit system, with the metro coming directly to the airport. The metro here is small, only three car trains, and it is fully automated. It is very nice, clean, and on-time. The metro line, currently, is only two lines and not very big; the city is building a new circle line, though. The main trains Copenhagen and the outskirts are the S-trains or S-Tog, which are wonderful. They go pretty much wherever a body needs to go. My first day here I rode the metro a decent amount. After arriving, I met with a friend of some friends to wait for my Chicago buddy to arrive.
My friend from Chicago arrived and we spent some time wandering around waiting for our third friend to arrive. We took the S-tog and metro around, hung out with some people we had met, and shot quite a few photos; our third friend finally arrived, 6 hours late, and we went to the hostel.
Urban House was really nice, you check in via a computer, pay for the room, and they print out a password for the doors and the room. Our room had four bunks, one which was occupied by a young lady who I am sure was not happy about bunking with 3 dudes who came in super late, oh well, hostel life. The place also looked about 3 weeks old, everything was nice and new.
That night we met with a friend of my wife and we got some food and walked about. Copenhagen is very good for walking about or biking, everyone has a bike or three. We turned in and got up the next morning and decided to head to Hamburg.
Once you are in Europe, everywhere in Europe is accessible by rail. We bought tickets at the main station and took the train, a four-hour ride for about 80 euro each. The ride was nice and extremely comfortable. Denmark had lots of wind turbines.
In what can only be considered unfortunate, we took a train that got us into Hamburg around 5pm, which meant we did not have time to do much. We met more people, hung out, ate food at a sidewalk restaurant till about 2am, then took the bus back. The bus and one train route take a ferry across the Baltic Sea: the ferry only takes 45 minutes, but the ferry is massive, like a floating city, and it allowed us to watch the sunrise over the sea, which was beautiful.
After getting back to our hostel around 8am and waking up our new roomer, we all went to bed, likely smelling terrible. When we woke up, we decided to take the metro over to Christiana, a self-proclaimed autonomous zone in the city. It was unique, where one can "legally" buy weed if that is your thing. It reminded me of an open-air set from the movie Hackers. There was a lake here which we walked around, my friends had a beer or two, and then we retired to our hostel, where they had some drinks at the bar and I went to take a shower. That evening was fairly boring and uneventful but was a nice last evening to have in Denmark.
Overall, Copenhagen was a fun trip, with the exception of my return journey, I had a great time and would gladly go back anytime. I wish we had taken the 30-minute train to Malmö, which is just across the water in Sweden. If you have ever felt like you could not make it to Europe simply because you did not have enough time, stop it, even one weekend is enough to enjoy a city you've never been to.