“But the true voyagers are only those who leave
Just to be leaving; hearts light, like balloons,
They never turn aside from their fatality
And without knowing why they always say: “Let’s go!”.
Those whose desires have the form of the clouds (…)”
Charles Baudelaire Les fleurs du mal
We have to leave this amazing little charming corner of Denmark, we pack our backpacks and take all our stuff for the last time, close the door behind us and leave the key on the coffee table, a last goodbye to this home with a big smile reading the quote in the picture leaning on the door, then we exit and go away from the little home by the sea, hoping we will come back one day.
It’s early in the morning, we have a lot of time to go to Copenhagen airport to return the car and once we arrive there, one minute and everything is done – we will discover a week later that we have left the waterproof cover of the camera in the car, obviously we couldn’t do everything with no mistakes! We postpone the breakfast once we will be in the city and since we already know the metro ticket system – holy internet always helps! – we get two day-tickets for something less than 10 € each, they will be totally worth the price.
Backpacks on our backs, our first stop is Kongens Nytorv, right downtown and the starting point of our daylong walk tour of the city.
Our plan says we have to go straight to the castle where the Little Mermaid is, on the other side of the harbour. At first we just wander, lost, in the block, searching for the right direction, then we finally find our way to the sea and the promenade along the sea. We feel really idle, everyone around us is running: the old man is running, the little kid is running, the woman with the stroller is running, groups of runner pass by us every moment, we, instead, slowly walk with our backpacks, enjoying the sun.
It does seem you are really a stranger if you are not running on a sunny morning!
The idea of running is so far from us, the temperature is just perfect to walk, step after step, the sun finally shining among in the morning haze, after two days of continuous rain it is a big pleasure.
We get to the castle eventually, a star-shaped fortress built near the harbour, fenced in by a high embankment on which is possible to walk or just enjoying the sun. Otherwise one can enter through the bridge and be thrown hundreds of years back in time, when castles, cannons and guards were everyday life.
We have a long walk around the main square of the fortress, then up on the path along the embankment and after down again, on the other side of the little island, and we head to the Little Mermaid.
The Little Marmaid, pride and pain of Copenhagen. People love it or hate it, there is no way in the middle: someone see the old tale written by Hans Christian Andersen, all wrapped in this little statue, some other only see an ugly little piece of steel. Actually, it is quite ugly, it is little and alway packed with tourists all around, which makes it quite annoying to be there. But it is a symbol, it doesn’t matter if it si little and ugly. I really don’t know if I like it or not, but the fact it is sourrounded with lots of tourists which almost jump on it, make it uninteresting for me.
We go away without even taking a photo of it, very annoyed by all these typical tourist attraction which lose their inner value, lessend by a rude crowd.
Another train station, Osterport this time. We are mislead by the map and wander a good half an hour searching for the metro stop, a stop actually under construction. In the end, we decide to take a bus towards Tivoli gardens, right on the other side of the city.
We know they will be closed, it is the usual inconvenient of traveling out of season, but we could not have gone anyway, losing preciuous hours in there with our backpacks on. It is the decision to have a super packed and quick weekend travel.
We just enjoy the view of the carousels from outside, wondering about cotton candy and roller-coasters then we head towards the city scenter, or what we can see on the map as a really packed block with lots of narrow streets and canals.
Wandering around with no real direction, we run into Amber’s house where we try hard to make them believe us and give the whole building to us for free, but we cannot succeed. Then our tour goes on.
After resting our feet a little bit, we continue towards our last stop, Christiania, the Hyppie no-laws neighboorhood beyond the harbour, but our way is still long to go.
With lots of kilometers walked already, we get quite hungry. The thought of Ireland still in our minds, we wander around the many locals searching for a good fish and chips, since we did not have found it last night. We finally find one, but it is too late, we already are stuffed with a big hot chocolate and some muffins, so we just go on, repulsed by the thought of eating something more.
Before arriving at our next stop, a tower from where we can have a sight of Copenhagen from up above, with its colourful roofs – at least so we were told – we find ourselves in this peculiar plaza.
“A good traveler does not have to happen, assert and explain, but shut up, listen and understand.”
Not sure on what direction to take, we ask for informations at two stoic people sitting on a bench, but they don’t cooperate too much.
The tower is born as an Observatory, but now only the curious and come fans go there to observe. It has become a place where exhibitions and displays take place and it also greets lots of tourist who want to have a different view of the city.
After we leave we have another stop at a coffee bar for a coffee, which become another hot chocolate because danish coffee is actually really bad, obviously with another muffin.
We walk really a lot to get to the bridge which will bring us on the little island of Christianshavns, along the Nyhavn, the bigger and longer canal of Copenhagen, with its typical little houses all on the water and the little pubs and bars with such colourful curtains.
And finally here we are, we cross the bridge and get to our destination, where a boat with its unmistakable name inform us on where we are entering.
The atmosphere and the location suddely changes some meters after: we get into a dirt and not so looked after block, almost a slum, exiting the super tidy and clean Copenhgen. We follow the direction the entrance of Christiania and we get to the gates of this peculiar community.
And here is where the shock takes place. We are in su hyper-commercial neighborhood, totally different from what we expected.
I better explain – and I cannot post photos since there are lots of prohibition for such a free community, one of which is to take photos. What one usually expect from a post-hyppie community is a neighborhood with lots of penniless people, happy and with lots of marijuana, while we step in a place where everybody, from the young to the old people, who maybe remains hyppies in the spirit and once was, are now just living in a declined place, many of them addicted to whichever kind of drugs, lots of prostitues and little stand where people can find unusefull and quite ugly pieces of whatnot insted of the most searched marijuana, which is what really appeal the majority of the tourist who come here.
We are totally unimpressed of this place and so we leave while stealing a forbidden photo, really disappointed of what should have once been a nice and peculiar block and now is another touristic place, used only to attract people in the city, which has totally lost all of its history and the real reason of its foundation. A neighborhood where it is just tolereted drug selling and consumption and where there are no controls, nothing more than this.
At the end, it is time for us to go.
We go towards the metro station for the last time, just outside Christiania, and in some minutes we are at the airport, our travel almost at its end.
“The richness of life lies in memories we have forgotten.”
We get on board with loads of great memories and the will to come back here to explore all the places we missed this time, both because they were too far away or we haven’t time anymore. We just know that one day, flip through the photos of these days, we could only smile and be so happy we had choosen this amazing land for this long april weekend.
This article is available : Italian