Copenhagen, Denmark

As the plane begins to descend, I peer out the window fascinated by the tiny white dots of offshore windmills and the Øresund Bridge which connects Denmark to Sweden through an underwater tunnel. From the sky, it looks as if the toy-sized cars are driving off the bridge into the depths of the ocean. Impressive stuff. I already like this place.

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The airport is easy. No custom lines (also no passport stamps). I walk out, following the signs to the metro and hoping I make it in one piece. This is my first time navigating through Europe alone, and while B has assured me I will be 100% fine, I have my doubts. With a little help from a friendly transportation worker, I manage to get to Nørreport where I walk to the apartment where I’ve rented a room in someone’s flat for the night.

The weather is divine in Copenhagen! Clear and bright, 65 degrees. I find the apartment without a problem, unload my things and set out to explore.

So. Much. Walking.

Into the King’s Park and to see Rosenborg Palace which has a copper roof and houses the Danish Royal Jewels. I’ve read that they haven’t installed electricity for security reasons, so the guards are armed. Rosenborg looks more like a mansion than a palace, which is actually the case. It was built as a summer home for the Danish Royal Family. The surrounding grounds are fabulous – bursting with vegetation. I stroll through, admiring the gigantic lemon trees lining paths and beautiful flowers of all shapes, sizes and colors. Tons of college students from the nearby university are laying in the grass soaking up the sun.

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I continue towards the Langelinie promenade to see the iconic The Little Mermaid statue. Hans Christian Anderson, known best for his fairytales, is Danish and buried in Copenhagen. Tons of cruise ships (which make the massive yachts look like babies in comparison) clutter the harbor along with a bazillion tourists and apathetic tour guides who loiter about looking bored and holding up numbers so their “group” can reconvene. As I’m taking a panoramic view of the water, I notice a group of people clustered together. Bingo! The Little Mermaid. She is small.  Barely life-sized.

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After a quick lunch in Nørrebro, I find a shady spot on the grassy bank of the river and sit for at least an hour gazing at the water. This day is perfect. No agenda, no travel partners to consult. I am anonymous in a city filled with beautiful Danish people going about their business on bikes. This moment is perfection.

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