Lets talk about Wes Anderson for a moment..
If you haven’t heard me go on a rant about Wes Anderson, are we even friends? Because anything he touches turns to pure gold. I always watch his movies twice, once for the storyline and a second time for the visuals. I purchase one of his movies whenever I leave the country. I save it for the time spent waiting at airports, long bus rides or for those low-key nights when you simply need a break. When I traveled through South East Asia I watched “The Grand Budapest Hotel” easily 20 times.
Nothing about his movies is accidental, every scene is carefully composed, and the symmetry- don’t even get me started on his fascination with symmetry! Every scene is a masterpiece with an equal mix between bursts of vibrant colors to serene, humbling color palettes that create an atmosphere unlike any other film. Even if you aren’t a fan of Indie style movies, you won’t be disappointed. Seriously, go watch one of his movies.
That’s how I felt about the streets of Copenhagen. I was on the set of Wes Anderson’s new movie- Grand Copenhagen Hostel. As I twisted around every corner, I anticipated running into Anjelica Huston or Adrian Brody. I searched for the Belafonte while walking down the canals of Nyhavn. I waited to catch Suzy Bishop behind her binoculars staring down at the streets below her window. I scanned every rooftop for Mordecai because even hawks need to catch a break from NYC, why not fly to Copenhagen?
A girl can dream, right?
The second day In Copenhagen I decided to explore Freetown Christiania, a self-proclaimed anarchist district of about 1000 people with only 3 rules…
- Have fun
- No running- It causes panic
- No photos
Crossing over the border from Copenhagen into Christiania is like being tossed back into the 1970’s. This district runs separately from Copenhagen, which means they have their own laws, a very unique way of life and they do not have to pay taxes. The locals have built the entire community from the ground up so the stark difference between Copenhagen and Freetown Christiania is astounding. Christiania is an alternative, artsy community with colorful houses, cottages and treehouses decorated with old antique finds, nestled in with shops, a skatepark and its very own “Green Street” which is the reason behind the no photos rule.
I spent most of my time in the vibrant Nørrebro neighborhood while couch surfing with a host from the University of Copenhagen, My host Casper was incredibly knowledgeable of the city and all of its history. Casper spends most of his time working towards a history degree while working at the Viking Museum just outside of the city. Combining Casper’s tales of everything historical with his own personal journey across the Atlantic on a rebuilt viking ship, it was never a dull moment with him!
Also, Asheville- we need to talk about something.. It seems as if our timelines just keep surfing by each other. Casper spent some time in Asheville and ALMOST stayed at the BonPaul and Sharkys while I was still working there. I met another couch surfer named John while I was using the hangouts app to find other travelers. He has been wandering around overseas for the past year and he’s about to go back home.. to Asheville. We both happened to be staying in the same hostel and we both lived in Asheville, what are the chances?! The third final encounter with Asheville was meeting up with an old friend Mads that I met.. while working at the Hostel. Mads is from Copenhagen, and he spends most of his time doing carpentry and building stuff for his apartment. Him and his girlfriend treated me to lovely stir-fry dinner and sent me off with a homemade lunch box, just in case I got hungry while waiting for my flight.
Whether it’s an Intro to Balkan folk dancing class, a pub crawl or simply a friendly face just looking for an adventure buddy, the Couchsurfing community definitely did not disappoint. I helped organize a “small” CS meet up while I was there and over 15 people showed! We had Hosts and Surfers from all over the world, and it was a fantastic night of story telling, dancing and street pizza. I joined Couchsurfing back in 2014 and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made as a solo traveler. Couchsurfing gives you a better understanding towards what the local lifestyle is like. You have an immediate connection to the city. You have a local to show you the best hidden gems, places that are commonly overlooked by a simple google search. Couchsurfing is something I’ll always support, and there will be many more posts about my experiences to come.
I didn’t have enough time to explore outside of the city but I did catch a train to the entrance of the Baltic Sea. I’m always searching for the nearest coast, and the Danish coast was next on my list. I ventured into the small 15th century port city of Helsingør which is known for Kronborg Castle- the inspiration behind Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” delicious pastries and a view of Sweden. This city is extremely charming, and its easy to spend a whole day just meandering through the old streets. Which is exactly what I did while searching for a bakery that was recommended by a local on the train.
Devoting a whole day towards a certain dish or pastry is not uncommon with my travels. Diving into a new experience should never start with an empty stomach.
Until next time, Skål!
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Very nice !
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