We discovered that Copenhagen is great for just chilling out.
I’ll be honest: our weekend in Denmark was probably the most unambitious we’ve had in a while. Liebling and I arrived in Copenhagen’s airport with no expectations, and pre-voyage we did virtually zero preparation. We barely handled the map we filched from our hotel the whole time we were there and we didn’t visit any museums or enter any castles. Instead, Liebling and I erred lazily through the streets, with no other agenda than to enjoy the sunshine that was in large supply most of the weekend.
One thing that we discovered is that Copenhagen is GLORIOUS when the weather is good. The city is highly walkable, the public transport is excellent, and if you are so inclined, you can ride a bike.
Our first day, after taking the metro to Nytorv station, we explored almost entirely on foot, embarking on a long walk that took us past windmills and waterways and famous landmarks like The Little Mermaid.
One of the things that struck me most about the city was the parks and green spaces to be found at seemingly every turn. We patronized them when we were idle (which was often), stretching out with a drink and just enjoying the surroundings and each others’ company. Since the weather in London has been grey, cold, and just generally dreadful the last few months, it felt delightful to just be outside, so we eagerly lapped up the sun like kittens would milk.
Another thing that struck me was the colourful buildings we saw all throughout the centre, pastel oranges and pinks suddenly juxtaposed with vibrant primary hues you would expect to find in a crayon box.
To say that we had a chilled out weekend is probably an understatement: I was so relaxed that I now struggle to remember the names of the beautiful things and places we saw. My brain was completely switched off, I can barely list two of the many neighbourhoods we passed through.
I’m of two minds about this: on the one hand, I feel like I didn’t really “do” Copenhagen (at least not “properly”), but on the other it felt good to just relax, to not feel obligated to check items off of a hardcore itinerary.
I’ve written before about how I’m increasingly becoming a fan of slower travel: a slowing down of pace while on the road, a slackening of the “travel rules” that dictate what and how much to visit. For me it’s also a letting go of sorts — a relinquishing of the “responsibility” of travel and touristing (constant noting/photographing/calculating) and just taking things in a face value. Sometimes absorbing, indulging, and really enjoying a destination with my five senses and nothing more is just I want — what I need. It’s basically travel with no real agenda, no strings attached… and it feels good. Definitely something I need to do more.
So while I didn’t get to “know” Copenhagen in the thorough, academic sense, I had a fabulous time and connected with it in my own way (which, admittedly, mostly involved lying prostrate on the grass and gazing into the horizon). And, when it’s all said and done, isn’t that the most important thing?
Do you have a more relaxed approach to sightseeing or a fan of following a more directed itinerary?