I HAVE FORGOTTEN WHAT SUNSHINE IS // Copenhagen, Denmark

Don’t let the blue skies in the first few photos below fool you: it was actually painfully cold the entire time I was in Copenhagen. Winter truly is here!

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SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESChristmas preparations are in full swing here in Europe, and Copenhagen looked even more beautiful with the streets decorated for the upcoming celebration. We hired a bike for me and spent our day on Saturday riding around the city to check it all out.

We also bypassed the major tourist attraction of the Little Mermaid, which I missed last time. I can see why I didn’t bother to go last time, the small statue is… underwhelming.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESYeaaaah, people are taking selfies.

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SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESThe city centre was crowded, but we still managed to fight our way through the masses to wander around the Christmas market and pop into the greatest Lego store in the world.

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SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESWe had a late lunch on the other side of the river at Copenhagen Street Food. This old warehouse is full over street food vans and hipsters to match, but it had a really cool vibe and was a perfect escape from the biting cold outside.

After lunch we continued along the river a bit to ride around the opera house and look at the ridiculously perfect houses along the river.

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SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESLater that night we decided to brave the cold again and check out an ice skating area that had just opened up for winter at a nearby park. Despite being later at night it was still quite busy. Because Chris lives a bit out of the city centre we were the only tourists at the park. Everyone else was Danish, and consequently pro at ice-skating. We even saw a toddler getting trained up on her skates, and she was already miles ahead of Chris and I in skill. Despite out failures, it was fun and a bit of a laugh to have a try!

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SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESWe had planned to ride into the countryside to look at a deer park on Sunday, but we woke up to a freezing wind that made the cold temperatures even more unbearable. Chris suggested we headed to a museum which was free on Sundays.

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SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESThe exhibits were predominately about sculptures, ranging from Roman and Greek, to French and Egyptian. It was incredibly interesting, and gave us a few hours of entertainment.

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SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESAll the noses that fell of old sculptures seen in the exhibit. Apparently they always fall off during transportation!

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SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESYes, mummies.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESWe spent the remainder of our afternoon chilling out indoors and cooking an early dinner, before I had to return back to the airport for my flight home in Prague. As depressing as it is always saying goodbye to each other, it was exciting to know that our fortnight to month long stints of not seeing each other are soon going to end: we are meeting up in Stockholm in less than two weeks, then Chris will be moving to Prague for a couple of weeks over Christmas! It is all coming around so quickly!

– Reanna

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ROYALTY // Copenhagen, Denmark

Time is going so quickly! Today I am on the train from Copenhagen to Hamburg in Germany, yet it feels like only the other day I was catching a plane in Amsterdam! These few days I have had with Chris in Copenhagen have been wonderful, it’s been quite refreshing to stay put for a few days with someone I know. SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES Chris had to go into university on Monday, so I borrowed his bike and went into the city centre for a few hours. I joined another Sandemans New Europe tour. Despite Chris having shown me most of the main points of Copenhagen, I really enjoy learning a bit more about the history of a city, and the sights that I am seeing. SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES Our tour guide was a young Danish student, who seemed quite knowledgeable about Denmark’s history. SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESIf you look closely, you can see statues in the water! SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESHC Anderson lived here for awhile, in Nyhavn. SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESThe hideously modern opera house, which seems out of place next to some of the older buildings! SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES I somehow managed to navigate myself back to Chris’ place, despite the ridiculous amount of cyclists on the bike paths. Admittedly, cycling here wasn’t as crazy as Amsterdam (that was borderline terrifying at times), but it was still an experience riding with so many other people. I’d love to see Melbourne designed a bit more like this, with dedicated bike paths. SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES We kept it pretty low key for the afternoon, doing our usual cook up of way too much food (homemade pasta and meatballs, it was delicious) before heading out to a local bar for a couple of drinks. Yesterday I spent pretty much the entire day on a train, due to delays, but somehow managed to find my way to Hamburg, where I am staying with a friend. She is a local, so she is going to show me around the city! – Reanna.

CANALS, CASTLES & CEMETERIES // Copenhagen, Denmark

Despite the stiffness caused by sharing a single bed, Chris and I went off for another day of exploration yesterday. I must say, my legs are getting a bit worn out from all this walking and riding I am doing in Europe, but it is all worth it!
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SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESWe walked through Assistens Kirkegard, a cemetery that is utilised as a park. Chris had told me about this before, and it always sounded a bit strange. People walking their dogs, having picnics, or drinking beers in the middle of cemetery? However, this cemetery is completely different to the ones I have seen back home. It is green, cheery and bright, making it quite a nice place to walk around. I guess it’s a good idea really, to make the most of limited green spaces in a city. I don’t know if I would go as far as having a picnic there though…

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SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESWe then continued on into the city, walking past some of the main government buildings and canals. Apparently a lot of these canals were modelled after the ones of Amsterdam.

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SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESChris then took me to see Christiana, also known as “Freetown”, a small, closed off community within the city of Copenhagen. I don’t know loads about it, but the commune is governed by its own law, has its own currency, and marijuana sales are legal. Chris said the community is based upon principles of freedom, or something similar. You aren’t allowed to take photos inside (the above photo is just one of the entrances) but they do allow tourists to come through. It was like a completely different world inside, with buildings made from an eclectic mix of reused and natural materials a strange contrast to the perfect streets of Copenhagen.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESWe then rushed over to the royal palaces to see the changing of the guard at midday, which turned out to be quiet an unspectacular spectacle. The guards pretty much stood like this for ten minutes. Intense staring contest?

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SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES“Selfie” out the front of Princess Mary’s palace, as per special request. We have many more face pulling versions.

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SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESWe then wandered along the picturesque Nyhavn with the intention of finding lunch. Everything proved to be out of our budget, so we gave up and went into the city.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESThis dish is “smorrebrod”, a Danish speciality of open faced sandwiches on rye bread. It was quite delicious, though I wasn’t to keen on the pickled herring Chris got me to try!

We spend the remainder of the afternoon chilling out, and cooking the worlds most delicious curry. Today is my last full day here, so I am going to try ride a bike in Copenhagen (I survived Amsterdam, so it can’t be too bad!) and fit in a bit more sight seeing.

– Reanna.

REUNITED // Copenhagen, Denmark

It still feels a bit surreal actually encountering someone familiar on my travels in Europe. I know I was only travelling solo for ten days or so, but it is a bit of a relief to be around someone I know, who I can be completely comfortable around. SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESChris and I took it pretty easy yesterday, wondering around the area where Chris lives. We looked at where Chris goes to university, then walked over to Frederiksberg Have, a wonderful garden nearby. It was quite beautiful, having a kind of more natural and unkempt feel to it. The park is also located behind the zoo, so you also get to watch some elephants. Randomly. SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESI saw a few squirrels on our walk, which I calmly lost my mind over. However, they proved to be too quick, always running up a tree by the time I whipped out my camera. One day… SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESWe decided we want to get a danish pastry, being in Denmark and all. We ended up with a chocolate croissant. I’m not sure how Danish that is, but it’s close enough. SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESA random hedge maze we found along the way. Yes, we totally raced each other into the middle. SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESNear Carlsberg brewery. Chris had already been here previously so we didn’t go in. SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESThe meat packing district, which is also filled with funky cafes. Seems like an odd combination, but it was filled with hipsters. SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESChris took me to the Lego Store, which was packed with kids. It was worth it though, with so many awesome constructions. The buildings in the above photo are of Nyhavn, a well known area in Copenhagen. SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESYou can also buy pretty much every conceivable individual Lego brick here, if you were that fanatic. SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESAfter wandering around the incredibly busy city centre for awhile, we went and sunbaked in the Kongens Have (Kings Garden) along with everyone else. SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESWe took the afternoon pretty easy, walking back out to Chris’ accommodation and cooking dinner together. Today Chris is going to take me to see some of the more tourist locations in Copenhagen, which hopefully won’t be too busy on a Sunday! – Reanna.