This weekend should be the saddest one since I moved to CPH 10 months ago: (almost) everyone headed back home last week, there are also some people leaving this weekend to the Roskilde festival and by this time tomorrow I’ll be leaving København.
Twenty minutes ago I hopped on the Øresundståg to visit Helsingør. I might be the laziest person in this country to visit all the mainstream sights but as a proper Spaniard I feel like I have to visit everything during my last day in this city. Let’s see if I still have enough time to visit Louisiana for the very last time.
But I’m sorry, this is the end of the emotional speech. This won’t be a fucking chapter of a random Paulo Coelho book. I’ve always matched songs to different moments I’ve lived, so I decided to tour around certain places of Copenhagen with some songs I’ve been adding these 10 months to my playlist, so I hope I’ll bring back some good memories to everyone.
I haven’t named anyone in the post, but I guess you all guys remember many of these moments even better than me
1 – Nørrebro
Easy choice. Just found out this band in January thanks to the Spotify Discover Weekly playlist. Depressing video (actually, see that guy (3′ 21”) drinking Port wine. Good luck mate) and lyrics but I like this kind of scandinavian music groups. Reminds me of that wild parties drinking Carlsberg and Tuborg beer. Plus, every time I see all that spots in Nørrebrogade in the video I feel like living that insane Nørrebro Distørtion again.
Apart from its wild side, I also got in my mind those classic touristic walks along the infinite main path in Assistens Kirkegård, just after having a delicious brunch at Kaffehuset.
Nørrebrogade also stands for Kebab: why not biking in a rush to Konyali before 4pm just to get pita brød for 14dkk?
The first time I entered Kafa-x (aka the vegan place where you could have dinner for 20dkk) I got shocked when I saw there a couple of posters commemorating some mass strikes in Spain 10 years ago. Bizarre, isn’t it?
I know it’s weird for a Spanish guy to find a table to have dinner at 7pm (just in case it is packed, as usual, you might consider to bike back home with heaps of vegetables in your bike basket) but it does worth it.
After having dinner for the first time there, I realised I got stolen my rear bike light ( that classic red light which everyone gets in Tiger for 20dkk). Fortunately, I managed to avoid a fine while biking back home . That was a minor bike issue after having 3 flat tyres during my first week in CPH. Probably the second unluckiest Spanish driver (“It’s amazing, but we weren’t lucky again”) in the whole world.
I promise I will come back to Dupong to win a ping pong final (so far I’ve lost around 10 finals).
2 – Østerbro
Frosinone – Calcutta
Official anthem in øbro 2nd floor hallway. I was always told: “Calcutta writes really weird lyrics, but after a while they do make sense”. Definitely, they don’t.
Music was a key factor in this dorm. Bluetooth speakers were always the trigger for a
wild chilling night
Rumor has it that the common kitchen was more than just a simple kitchen during the first semester. Some witnesses claimed that it was used as a glass recycling plant to get money in Netto. I also heard that it was used as a guest room.
Nobody in Obro knew exactly what was going on there, probably because no one usually remembered what happened the previous night. The HF and Mr K (aka the Inspector) are still investigating what was going there.
So neither do I.
I used to go to that kitchen just for the Spanish-Basque Country Omelette
contests meetings and the Italian pasta dinners
Beerpong easily became the official sport in the dorm, although finding the cups for it was always a tough task,
even more than following the common kitchen cleaning schedule.
There were also some events with a
moderate few attendance: Thanksgiving (featuring Irish traditional dances, Aussie-French wrestling exhibition and how-to-tell-guards-adios-motherf*****-without-getting-a-warning) and the Rooftop BBQ (tip: please never let Spanish people to run a bar and make sangria in Denmark). Still can’t believe how we could borrow that grill from some random neighbours in Tasingegade. That’s another mystery.
A.k.a, Darts-Music-Hygge. [Woman laughing really really loud in a weird way]
This “hidden gem” does deserve to be written a whole paragraph.
Ragged and r owdy Christmas contests and epic dart games took place in this tiny place in the quite neighbourhood of Østerbro.
Some people claim that downstairs there is a hidden pool and some random people living too.
Two of the most memorable phrases I heard there:
Euro 2016 Denmark – Sweden qualifying game:
– “Fuckin’ Zlatan. He always scores against us. Always. Now we have to score two goals. Two. Do you understand?
– “Yeah, sure”
-That’s really difficult. We had to score one goal before. Now we have to score two!”
[2 minutes later]
-“Two goals, we have to score two. That’s really difficult. Two. Do you understand?
A few moments after an Obro guy won a prize during the christmas contest:
-“Ok, you won a wine bottle, but I’ll keep it here. Every time you come here I’ll invite you to drink a glass of this wine”
Ok, I have a Word document with the most hilarious moments and anecdotes from 1st semester. PM me for more info.
3 – Rundetårn and Nørreport
DISCLAIMER: The following dialogues and stories might not be close to reality.
“That’s how it starts”
-Ok, let’s meet later at McDonalds or Studenter.
-Why not going to Riz Raz or Dalla Valle for dinner using the Too Good To Go app? We can wait till 22:15.
-That’s fine. Have you heard that there are movies on Wednesdays at Vor Frue Kirke, next to Dalla Valle? They screen them on the roof!
-Yes someone told me about that, I might go there next week. I have some friends visiting, so we can go there after eating some burguers in Paludan. Well, wait, from 5pm we can get a Carlsberg pint for 25dkk in Paludan. I think we’ll stay there the whole afternoon.
-I didn’t know that. That’s awesome! By the way, next week there are some Champions League games. I’ve told some people from the dorm to watch the Juventus match at The Happy Pig if you wanna join. Just in case it’s crowded we’ll probably watch it at Magrath’s.
“And so it starts
You switch the engine on”
[Memories before and after this dialogue are kinda blurred]
-Den Glade Gris (The Happy Pig). I think this is the bar I saw in Facebook
-You decide tonight man. It’s your birthday
-Let’s get in there
-Wait, why not going to the bar next to this one? It seems much better.
-Whatever. That one seems really small. Well…there is no wardrobe. That’s good news, I won’t lose my coat ticket as I did some weeks ago in A-bar.
-You are always losing things. The other day you lost your bike lock key in Meatpacking
-Are you serious? You lost your house keys in the common kitchen last night and they have ended up in a random room this morning.
[some moments afterwards..]
-It’s his 21st birthday. Can we get a bottle of Fisk for free?
-Can I see his ID?
[a few seconds after showing the ID]
-Free shots for everyone!
[All those who were in the bar before us started to get out from there asap]
When you’re drunk and the kids leave impossible tasks
You think over and over, “hey, I’m finally dead”
– Just before going there to look for the bikes, I’m gonna take a french pølser in that stall.
-I’ll take a cheeseburguer in Mcdonalds. Just wait for me.
-Ok. but why the hell didn’t we end up in that CSS party tonight? It’s just a 25dkk entry fee, 10dkk for shots, 15dkk for beers and you can get two gintonics for 30dkk !
-Dunno, it’s late, I’m wasted and I cannot speak English.
“Where is your bike tonight?
Where is your bike tonight?
If I could see my bike tonight”
Next morning you wake up and you can’t remember what happened last night. Some people have bruises all over their body. You’re just biking down to Ondangsdag to get some fresh pastries. Everyone is hangover but you are looking forward to it. Everyone is crying and is looking sad when they say you bye. You are heading back home for Christmas that afternoon.
I know I should’ve written something about CSS parties but I’m sorry, I can’t remember many things from there. You gotta go there to check out how they are.
4 – Christianborg – Black Diamond
The only two things I knew about CPH before coming there were the Little Mermaid and the fact that this song is named as the city. The latter refers to the canals in CPH. I thought that there were heaps of canals all around the city.
That was even more disapointing that the first time I saw the Little Mermaid. The
only biggest canal is just in front of one of the classic sights in Copenhagen: The Tarnet.
Everytime each of us had a visit we had to go there. I might have been there around 15 times. I swear it. Plus, I think I managed to see Malmo and the Turning Torso more than once, which is a bit rare!
Right next to the Tarnet is the Parliament. I visited it but I felt that the tour was a bit short. Anyway, it well deserves a visit. I was impressed that there was no police officers outside the building. Back home, our Congress has become something similar to Fort Knox…Shocking (as everything compared to Spain)…
If you exit the Parliament and you keep straight, you reach a marvelous garden and an old building. It might sound unreal, but that’s one of the newest buildings in the city: the Black Diamond.
After getting out of that garden you surround the building and there you can see the Black Diamond, as it is seen in Google Images.
Probably the best library I’ve ever been to.
“Studying in heaven”.
That’s what a friend of mine told me once. He was damn true.
I’m still amazed how it’s possible to merge an old and a new building into a single one without turning it into a horrible thing. As you go upstairs through the new part, suddenly, you realized you are in a XIX century library. Awesome.
What is the Dome next to the Black Diamond?
I could never explained that question to all my friends visiting. I always said: “It’s just a Nordic thing. You know”.
If you are lucky enough, once a year, in front of the Black Diamond, you can also see a small boat sailing with a guy inside playing a violin.
Finally, another two things I’ll always remember from this area are the Dragons tails in the spire of the Børsen building (actually, I didn’t realize about the spire until some friends visiting told me about it) and the Christmas market at Absalon Square (ok, one of the thousand Christmas markets at Copenhagen, but this one was the best one for me for sure, even better than that one with the big wheel):
I started this section blaming everything about the Christiansborg surroundings but I ended up admitting that it is a cosy and a really nice area. I think that’s beause it’s Denmark, one of the happiest countries in the world (how do they do these rankings?).
5 – Paper Island – Christiania – The Opera – Island Brygge
“I refuse to fly without you high”
If you’re lucky enough you might listen and meet this “artist” (featuring some basque musicians) after one of his famous jams (well, actually the jam consists of just this song) at Studenterhuset Thursday concerts, right after the last group plays.
He also pretends that he knows how to pronounce well the name of the place where he lives. It’s hilarious to see how the Danish are cracking up because of it.
Actually, we all pretend we can pronounce Danish, don’t we?
A few days ago, I read that the Christiania neighbours decided to tear down the green district stalls
I think that Christiania has two sides: the touristic (classic place to bring your friends visiting) and the real one. I understood the point of Christiania after I walked there with a couple of Spanish friends and one of them started to tell us how Christiania was founded and how it evolved. He always told us to keep walking down some random path in Christiania, just to see what he called “Deep Christiania”.
That afternoon we did it, and then was when I found out the school, the stables and some really cool houses, like the “mexican house”. Meanwhile, many neighbours were biking in all directions, trying to avoid the bumpy
roads paths, with their kids inside their huge bike baskets. That place was amazing. Christiania isn’t just the green district and the souvenir shops at the entrance.
My tip about visiting Christiania is keeping walking down the paths, even though you realized there are no tourists around you. The whole area is safe and trust me, it does worth it a visit.
I regret I couldn’t visit Byens Lys, the auditorium. I do remember that one day I biked down there with some friends to Christiania because Kip Thorne, a physicist that helped Nolan about the physics topics in Interstellar, was invited to give a speech about that film. When we got there, we realized that it was absolutely packed. There was an extremely long queue and we were told that we weren’t gonna make it.
Sadly, we had to bike back.
It was just 20 minutes biking.
I remember it was freezing by then, and it was only October or November…
Winter never comes to CPH, it is always there, even in May and June. Never forget it.
Just 5 minutes walking from Christiania you hit the (probably) best sightseeing place in CPH: Vor Frelsers Kirken (aka the golden staircase church).
I’m kinda afraid of heights but one day I didn’t bother about that, so I went there with my cousin.
It was Sunday, and (unsurprisingly) it was extremely windy in CPH.
Don’t know how I reached the top of the tower. I only got my eyes on the steps, and from time to time I took a look at that amazing CPH landscape. It was one of those days that there were Danish flags all over the buildings. The flags were completely horizontal in Tarnet, so yeah, I think that was such a windy morning. God.
The Opera and Paper Island at your left and The Black Diamond at your right. From there you could see three of the best places in the city. Really miss biking across the bridge (by the way, that bridge was the only real “slope” you could find in the whole city). That’s because this bridge and the lakes were my favourite places to bike around.
After this nostalgic break let’s move to Paper Island and the Opera.
First of all, I warn you not to bike over the bridge next to Paper Island. It’s been proof
by experts it’s unstable.
I guess I should say something about those Thursday nights where you could get the half price student discount or discussing about the best food stall (pulled duck? Brasilian? sorry, but for me it was the French/Belgium one for sure!) but somewhere in FB there should be a really nice picture of some of us, having dinner (yea, it was around 6-7 pm and it was tough by then for a Spaniard like me to get used to it) in one of this ship containers that were refurbished into dinner tables. I particularly remember that moment in Paper Island. I don’t know why, but I keep looking at that picture, with the sun going down in the back, and I feel like being in Papirøen right now. That’s such a nice feeling.
I realize that everytime I see a picture of the Opera, I see it as a huge trampoline. Shame on Red Bull and that diving contest, even though it was a really cool event.
That morning I just finished one of my last exams in CPH and I biked in a rush to Amalienborg. The divinig platform, Amalienborg square, the Marble Church, everything is aligned and seems to be perfect. Divers falling gently into the
freezing water and getting up to the Opera roof again.
Everything is perfect in Denmark, huh?
Well, not really. Actually, it seems that the Opera was funded by private donations just because someone wanted to avoid some taxes.
It rings me a bell…
I’d beg the Danes not to come to Spain in order to learn more about corruption. The variety of corruption cases could be mindblowing for them.
Anyway, have you realized that the Opera at night resembles the Christiania flag?
6 – Fælledparken
Still Young – The Cat Empire
I first heard of this group when the Studenterhuset artist told me about them. Since then, I really like this group, particularly this song. It always sets you in a good mood, like every time I was biking across Fælledparken to reach Nørre Campus.
I always wondered how it’d be going to uni in Copenhagen. Walking to uni in Madrid from where I used to live wasn’t a great deal. Ciudad Universitaria, my campus, seems to be an abandoned one and sometimes it can be kinda depressing.
It didn’t matter if it was pouring rain (classic in CPH while biking), snowing (by the beginning of January the city was completely covered in white, but, as everyone, nobody cared and took their bikes to go to uni. I was puzzled when I saw that the snow was removed from the bike lanes before than in the main roads) or it was really hot (not so common), Fælledparken is amazing every season. There was always people running and walking around there.
I always stopped at the same point by the central path just to take a picture of the park every three months or so, with Parken stadium in the background. I haven’t found them yet, so I’ll have to keep searching…They must be somewhere in this computer…
Ok, I know many of you got lost many times in this park when you were trying to get a shorcut to Nørrebro or the lakes, but I feel this place was full of really good memories.
For example, I clearly remember when we were playing hurling there. Suddenly, it began to snow really hard. It was insane. It was even more insane for the Aussies: one of them just went nuts and ran downstairs barefoot just to see the snowfall.
I also recall some matches we played in the football fields by Parken, the FCK stadium. During “my first match” I decided to play as a keeper and (I still don’t understand how) I started to block every single shot. Everyone was staring at me like if that couldn’t be possible.
Well, eventually, I got a ton of goals, so everything went back on track, as usual.
1st May. The hangover day.
I was dead when I woke up that morning. I had one friend visiting who was
dying sleeping in my room and he woke up really late. Couldn’t remember about that last night. I made a huge effort to say hi to an old friend who was coming to CPH for a few hours.
Actually, I can’t remember if I could say hi to her.
After a glorious brunch, we had to head Fælledparken. It was 1st May, a big day in the city. There were music, political speeches and alcohol. People was lying there in Fælledparken’s grass
getting wasted chilling.
I managed to drink a beer that morning in the park. That was impressive, I guess.
I guess everyone doesn’t remember the name of this park but finally I managed to find it in Google Maps (I wonder wether I’ll be able to remember a single CPH street name in a couple of years, even the street name where I lived).
Thinking about Fælledparken made me think about this park. Such a great park too.
I remember celebrating some birthdays there (we always had a really nice weather, which was rather unusual) and that classic pre-Rugby World Cup Final BBQ. Always good times with friends and Netto Harboe Classic crates.
Fælledparken means Parken, so Parken means FCK.
I first watched a FCK match at Brøndby stadium. This derby is called the New Firm and tickets were much cheaper than what I’m used to in Spain. There were also loads of police around the stadium.
1-0 for Brøndby and probably the worst football match I’ve ever seen in my life (good tifos with the gladiator holding the lion head though!). Well, at least, I managed to get 3 or 4 beers and sandwiches into the stadium, which was really really weird.
We thought we booked some seats in the FCK area.
We had to hide every single FCK shirt or logo cause everyone goes nuts during that match (probably due to Carlsberg).
That morning I also got a 10€ fine for not checking out with my Rejsekort. After that, I always checked-in-checked-out. Never make a mistake with your Rejsekort (the low balance one, for instance…) or you’re done.
The following semester I got some tickets to see a game at Parken with a friend. The stadium is by far too big for the amount of FCK supporters but I really enjoy the atmosphere.
FCK 6 – Aab 2.
That was a much better game that the previous one. Since there I became a FCK (and Delaney, of course) fan. They’ll play in Champions League next year! The draw put them in an easy group, let’s see if they can make it to round of 16!
7 – Kongens Nytorv
[If you think you’ve read a lot about beers, bars and wild parties in CPH you can surely skip this paragraph. Well, you can just read the very last part]
“Don’t cry because Kulør bar is over. Smile because it happened” – Some American guy
Seconds after the first seconds of this song were played, everyone at Kulør bar went nuts (specially people in the cages). They were such random (but nice on average) Tuesday nights.
Some people claimed that the drinks served had a ridiculous amount of alcohol and the fact that the floor was incredibly sticky. They probably showed up there really
sober drunk so they don’t remember very well because I don’t recall those things at all.
List of memorable moments I saw in the bar:
- Guy kicked out after falling sleep in a couch. He got like 4 or 5 shots in a row before that. Witnesses said that he was dancing while he was lying in the sofa.
- Girl falling down after jumping from the cage while yelling: “I love you guys”
- That guy who lost his wardrobe ticket
- Queuing in a loop mode: ordering drinks-finishing them in 5 seconds while queuing-ordering drinks
- Heaps of people suddenly falling in love with another people (and some of them trying to take as many pictures of this moments as they could)
- Some guy smashed his jeans so he ended with a big hole in them. You can guess the area where it was made.
- Drunk biking and bike crashes after the bar was closed. Crashes started in Gothersgade but the worst area was surely Oster Farimagsgade (aka the CSS street).
Just next to Kulør
but less wild is Stereo Bar (I found out that it was its real name during the 2nd semester after being there a thousand of times), aka JaggerBomb bar.
Needless to say what was going on there.
Now let’s head from Gothersgade to Kongens Nytorv (and Nyhavn afterwards, yeah, sure).
As one friend told me while he was visiting CPH: “Man, it’s such a pity that the metro construction sites are all over the city. I feel like I can’t take good pictures here.”
He was, and he is, absolutely right.
For example, Kongens and Radhuspladsen were the biggest construction sites. These two squares are right now completely swallowed by those green panels. Kongens Nytorv seems to be a really small place, and it is impossible to hang there with anyone.
At least there are some viewing areas where you might take a look and see how the construction is progressing (feel this could be a really cool idea for those old Spaniards who love to stare at construction sites)
It’ll last till 2019 though…
I didn’t visit Nyhavn till November.
I admit I spent around 3 months without visiting the most well known and mainstream sight in CPH, but, seriously, I don’t get it why it is so popular.
The place is not very big, it is always packed (so it’s a pain to walk down there) and all the bars and restaurants are ridiculously expensive. So, what’s the deal there?
If I bought a house there I’d just paint it black.
Maybe that’s not a good idea, everyone would start painting their houses like Pollock and I might become a responsible for turning that area into a sort of Nørrebro 2.0
I just remembered that I got snaps from a friend a couple of months ago biking through the Kissing Bridge. It finally opened!
Kamikaze – Mø
“Take me to the party
As Mø also says: “Don’t let this be a final song”.
Well, actually it is the final song.
It is by far the best one to sum up this year.
Just a couple of days before coming to CPH, I felt like a kamikaze. I didn’t know exactly where I was going. I didn’t know any Spaniard coming to CPH for an Erasmus exchange either. I’d never been to a Nordic Country in my life.
But, after some weeks everything started going well.
I will never regret when I signed that paper saying that I was refusing to accept Warwick as my Erasmus destination just after realizing that the student who was supposed to go to CPH cancelled his destination.
Mate, I think you missed such a really big oportunity. Tak anyway.
During these months, the EU has also become a kamikaze in a creepy way:
The refugee crisis led Sweden and Denmark to close their borders, so going to Malmo by train became an insane trip. Trains delayed and police getting into them just to check passports.
Plus, news regarding refugee crisis kept coming and they were even more unbelievable
It was clear that last December Denmark wanted to stay away from the EU and just a few days before I left CPH, Great Britain left the EU.
I remember that night, right before going to bed, that every single British newspaper was publishing that all the polls were predicting Bremain. Next morning, when I woke up I couldn’t believe that.
Well, three days after, the polls became ridiculous back home, so I quickly got used to it.
I miss many people (hej to my roomies, neighbours and classmates! Specially people from 2nd floor), bike lanes (swerving! swerving!), some bars and clubs I found during my last week in Gothersgade (Despicable me cocktail!), Louisiana exhbitions (specially the Kusama one), SignalHuset parties (oh, god…), Meatpacking district (well, it wasn’t my favourite place, but some nights were fun there) those Malmo trips and our adventures at Rigshospitalet (after a Danish soldier gave me some directions in Spanish) .
I realized I still have some backup songs (1, 2 and 3) but there isn’t enough room for them in this post.
According to the slides I got from the KU departure event which I couldn’t attend
because I was chilling in Distortion by that time ( I managed to get the slides as to know what paperwork I had to do before heading back home), I could be suffering “Reversed Culture Shock”.
Is that serious?
This post is dedicated to all my “temporary” roomates.
There will always be a piece of floor for you in
I totally forgot that a year and 3 days ago I was arriving to Copenhagen.
Time does flies.
I also got an email today from the HF saying that Mr K won’t charge me for the window blinds so in 8 weeks maximum I should get my deposit back.