My fourth and final day in Copenhagen began with much-needed sunshine, although the weather was deceptively beautiful: the blue skies failed to hint at the ridiculous gusts of wind that numbed you to the bone. Nonetheless, C and I embarked on a 2.5 hour free walking tour, which covered the highlights of the city—City Hall, Christiansborg Palace, Nynhavn harbor, the Royal Opera, and the Royal Palace of Amalienborg. We also learned some fascinating history, which I’m going to quickly bullet-point below:
- Copenhagen has a very unfortunate relationship with fire and burning down (buildings with 90-degree corners survived the main fires, while buildings with rounded corners were built afterwards because it was easier for firemen and their hoses)
- Women have a higher median income than men
- Denmark was the first country in the world to legalize gay marriage
- The Danish pay high taxes but healthcare is free, as well as the dentist until you’re 18
- The government pays students 5500 kroner a month to go to university
- People leave their bikes unlocked on the streets and babies in strollers outside restaurants
- During WWII, the Danish saved 98% of their Jewish population and smuggled a majority of them into Sweden. After the war, when the Jews returned, they found that their neighbors had maintained their houses and fed their pets. (Okay, I won’t lie, I cried during that story.)
Basically, Denmark is an incredibly socialist country, and America needs to follow its example.
After all that walking, C and I briefly popped into Frederik’s Church before lunch. We ended up sitting in Constellation Burger for two hours, defrosting, talking, and demolishing the sushi buffet.
By that point, we decided we needed to walk that food off, so we headed to Christianborg Tower for a less foggy, though much windier, view.
Since admission is free on Tuesdays, we trekked over to the Glyptoteket Museum, which, in addition to all its art, featured a neat winter garden at its center.
Finally, we walked to Papirøen, otherwise known as Copenhagen Street Food, a very hygge (Danish word that sort of translates into cozy) indoor market full of the most incredible food choices. It was quite unfortunate that C and I were still stuffed from the sushi buffet, because everything looked and smelled so good. In the end, we split a small Danish hot dog, which put all American hot dogs to shame.
On our way off of the island, we passed a cute project, a wishing tree garden, which was a heartwarming way to end our time in Denmark.