9 Rules of Freetown

Saturday we were up early to get ready and finish packing.  Then it was time to say goodbye, as Melody was heading home to Boston.  Always sad to say goodbye, but I know we’ll be seeing each other again at some point (I’m working on getting her to come visit me in Winnipeg).  I had ordered an uber and was waiting in the street for it to arrive, when some woman asked me if I needed directions.  When I told her I was waiting for my uber, she ended up lecturing me for a few minutes on why I shouldn’t use uber!!!  I didn’t really feel like arguing, so I was just like: Ok, thanks!!! 



I finally made it to my hostel (Urban House Copenhagen), but it was too early to check in, so I had to pay to store my luggage until I could check in.  I was kind of 50/50 about it, because on the one hand, it sucks to have to pay to store my luggage, it’s usually free, but on the other hand, at least I knew my stuff was safe and I didn’t have to worry about it.  The lockers were actually super fancy, it was all electronic and they had different sizes from which you could choose. 

I had a few hours to kill, so I decided to do some walking and explore the city.  I walked to the canal and checked out the swimming area.  It’s actually really cool, they have these areas along the canal that you can swim in.  Some are actually fenced in areas, and others are more open so you’re actually swimming IN the canal, and there are boardwalks you can walk along.  Even though it was September, it was a beautiful warm day and there were lots of people taking advantage! 



This kid was having a blast jumping off the top!



Taking advantage of the beautiful weather


After that I walked through the park along the Stadsgraven canal until I reached Vor Frelsers Kirke (Church of Our Saviour), a really beautiful baroque church with a twisty spire on top.  For a fee, you can actually climb to the top of the spire, which of course I did.  It’s pretty cool, although a bit scary, cause you go really, really high and the stairs get smaller as you get closer to the top.  Plus there were a lot of people climbing at the same time, so there was a bit of a wait to get right up to the top.  It’s definitely worth it, the views are spectacular.  Unfortunately, I’ll have to post the pictures of the view at a later date, since I only took pics with my camera (too scared to accidentally drop my phone over the rail), and I left the memory card at home.  After climbing all the way back down, I wanted to visit inside the church, but there was a wedding, so I couldn’t.



Lovely walk through the park



Vor Frelsers Kirke. Climbed right up to the top of that spire!


From there I went to visit Freetown Christiania, which as the name states, is a self-proclaimed “free town” in Copenhagen.  It’s an anarchist community that was started on an abandoned military base in 1971 by hippies.  They operate independently of the Danish government and have their own set of rules (there are 9 of them: No weapons; no hard drugs; no violence; no private cars; no biker colours; no bulletproof clothing; no sale of fireworks; no use of thunderflashes; and no stolen goods).  Things are certainly different in Christiania, for example, you cannot buy a house in Freetown, you have to put in an application, and if your application is successful then the house is given to you.  They even have their own flag and currency: the Løn.  There are 3 additional rules in the Green Light District (the area around Pusher Street, where they sell marijuana): Have fun; Don’t run – it causes panic; and No photos – buying and selling hash is still illegal.  Visiting Freetown is a must if you’re in Copenhagen, it’s a super interesting area to walk around and explore, different from any other place I’ve visited.  Plus there are shops, galleries, cafes and restaurants (many of them organic, vegetarian and/or vegan).



Entering Freetown Christiania



So many cool murals



Graffiti artwork on the outside of Freetown Christiania


From Freetown I walked to Nyhavn (Hans Christian Anderson lived in the area for over 20 years and wrote some of his fairytales there) and then to the Workers Museum, which was closed by the time I got there.  So instead I went for dinner at a burger place called Halifax, which was really good, and then for a quick walk through the Botanical Gardens before they closed.



Beautiful Nyhavn


Sunday I got up early, rented a city bike and biked over to The Cisterns.  I was really excited to go there cause it sounded really cool, as it is a former water water reservoir located under a park that is now an exhibition space.  I wasn’t disappointed.  First of all, it’s dark, damp and echoey.  I’m not going to lie, I was totally creeped out.



There weren’t a lot of people when I went, so sometimes it felt like I was all alone down there, but then I’d hear echoes of other people talking or of the video exhibits and it would freak me out a little.  Anyway, it was totally worth going, the video installations by Eva Koch (a Danish sculptor who also does video installations) were pretty cool, and the space itself is amazing to walk through.  Most of the good pictures I took are on the memory card I left at home, but I did take a few with my phone.



Glass mosaic in the Cisterns



Not at all creepy!


I then took a bus to Central Station where I got a train to Humlebæk and then walked 15 minutes to the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, this really cool museum on the shore of Øresund Sound.  Since it’s housed in a former villa, it definitely has a different feel than most art museums, plus there is a sculpture garden and a beautiful view where you can sit and relax or eat your lunch.  And of course it has a great permanent collection of modern and contemporary art as well as special exhibitions. Highly recommend a visit.  You can definitely spend an entire morning or afternoon there, checking out the exhibits, wandering the property and eating some traditional Danish food at the cafe.






Love these sculptures






Loved this installation of Gleaming Lights of the Soul by Yayoi Kusama



Loved this installation of Gleaming Lights of the Soul by Yayoi Kusama






So cute! Found this little guy in the sculpture garden



You can find this one in the sculpture garden too



Did I mention there’s a cool wooden pyramid you can climb?



And you can walk around this pond too



Really yummy


Then it was time to head back to the hostel and figure out where in the world I was going to head to the next day.  I knew it was time to leave Copenhagen and move on, but had no idea where to go.  So after some searching on google flights, I found a cheap flight to Paris and messaged my friend Antoine to let him know that: Oh by the way, I’m coming to Paris tomorrow and I’m staying with you, hope it’s okay!!! 🙂



 So I went ahead and booked it, and heard back from him shortly after that of course it was okay!!! 🙂 Problem solved, I had figured out where I would go! For the next few days, at least.



My flight on Monday wasn’t until the evening, so I put my luggage in the storage lockers and was able to do a bit more exploring in Copenhagen.  I headed over to the Workers Museum, which was actually open this time.  It’s a museum dedicated to showing how Danish people have lived for the past 150 years.  It was actually pretty interesting, they even have a family’s entire apartment in there, where 3 generations of the family lived, it’s pretty cool.  It’s probably not a museum that everyone will find interesting, but if you’re interested in history and how things worked, it’s pretty good.  There was a few sections where they only had signs up or videos in Danish, but overall there was quite a bit of English.



So true






Love, love, love this linocut collection by Yukari Ochiai entitled: Women Are Half the World


The cafe is also supposed to be quite good and you can get traditional Danish food there, although it was closed when I went.  I also managed to lose my phone while I was there, something I (luckily) noticed just as I left.  I rushed back in and asked the woman working in the gift shop if it had been turned in, but of course it hadn’t, so I had to run back through the entire museum (it’s not that big, but there are a lot of rooms and it goes up several floors).  And of course a big tour group was going through just as I rushed around looking for my phone.



I finally found it on a table in the kids section, where I had sat down to read some of the descriptions that had been translated into English.  Oops!  But it all worked out well in the end and I was reunited with my phone!  The gift shop lady was very relieved (as was I).



After that mini-disaster, I decided to take it easy and walk through the botanical gardens at a more leisurely pace this time.  Once again it was a beautiful day, so everyone was out enjoying the sun and the gardens.  There are 27 glasshouses in the gardens, the biggest one being the Palm House, which I checked out.  You can climb to the top and walk along the edge overlooking the palms, which is cool, but beware it is swelteringly hot in there and you will melt.




Glass houses



View from the top of the palm house






So pretty


Then it was time to head back to the hostel, collect my luggage and get to the airport for my flight to Paris! Bye Copenhagen, it’s been fun!



If you’re interested in seeing more travel pictures, follow my instagram account at: awinnipeggerabroad

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