Our first stop on the Northern European cruise was Copenhagen, one of those places I’ve always been curious to see, but confused as to what I would actually see there. I have always pictured Denmark as a little dull, mostly due to my ignorance. This idea was quickly wiped away after spending only a few hours in the city.
The tour we embarked on through the Disney Cruise ship was called “Wonderful Copenhagen.” We saw the winter residence of the Queen and her son (the future king of Denmark.) We saw the city’s government buildings and, one of my favourite parts; the famous Little Mermaid statue. It’s been vandalized and stolen many times, but it still sits proudly, representing the original Hans Christian Andersen’s story.
The atmosphere in Copenhagen is calming, almost lazy like a breeze, but this gives off a sense of energy. While people take their time walking around, they are also biking and jogging through the quaint streets. In the middle of a sprawling city, people seemed to be gaining energy from the peaceful landscape.
We saw the shopping district, although it was quite touristy at the section where we were; cheesy t-shirts and expensive fridge magnets. Once we had gotten past this area, I was met by cute boutiques and cafes with names I will never be able to pronounce. One amazing store we bumped into was called Cremefraiche.
We went into a section of the city where there was a line of picturesque old buildings. Our guide explained that Hans Christian Anderson had lived in a red one, nearby. The canal there split the colourful pedestrian street, and restaurants lined either side. We stopped for lunch, I ordered a chicken caesar salad, expecting it to taste like any other salad. I was pleasantly surprised to be served a salad with dressing made with fresh, real ingredients, you know the caesar that doesn’t taste like fake cream and food dye? It had chunks of real parmesan in it, and it was slightly oily, all served in a gigantic wooden bowl I quickly emptied.
Branching off from our tour guide, we set out to find our ship by ourselves. This was when we saw the breathtaking scenery I had been envisioning before. The hills were neon green and trimmed neatly, like a town in a storybook. Rivers weaved through the bumps in the land, carrying jellyfish and ducks that quacked politely at us. We stopped to admire some old army barracks and an ancient windmill,that we later discovered was all part of Kastellet, one of the best preserved star fortresses in Northern Europe! It’s definitely worth it to explore on your own, sometimes you discover the greatest things, all accidentally.