Jan 29, 2012

Copenhagen, Denmark

27 (Fri) - 29 (Sun) Jan 2012
Lodging: Generator Hostel

This trip to Copenhagen was decided and planned by a few of us, the NUS exchange students in Lund University, Sweden for a weekend, and a total of 14 of us travelled there by Öresundståg, the train that commute across the Öresund Bridge that joins the South of Sweden and Denmark.

Day 1

After my Computer Vision exercise, Aletheia and I departed from Sparta to Lund Central Station. On our way with luggages we started to realize that how far it is from school to the station as we've used to riding bicycle, plus the obstructive in-defrost-able snow on the ground…

We're supposed to meet there at 11:45am but we're a few minutes late because of having brunch at McDonald's on our way.

At the ticket machine, Khiong Kiat bought a single and duo tickets for three of us who're alighting at Nørreport and it's SEK101 after division. Train departed at 12:01pm and can you imagine that we're so close to missing that train as we're entering while the train doors were closing? Be punctual in Europe as trains won't wait.

I wonder whether it's fortunate or unfortunate to realize that the train conductor didn't check our tickets. Arghh, conclusively we didn't actually have to buy a ticket even for a train ride to Denmark. It seems like Europeans trust each other.

Copenhagen Central Station (København H)
Most of us stayed in Wakeup Copenhagen so they alighted at Copenhagen Central Station while we still have to further our journey for a few stops to Nørreport Station.

It took us a while to reach Generator Hostel, the place Min Khai, Victor, Khiong Kiat and I were going to stay for 2 nights, from Nørreport Station. It's a room of 6 beds that cost SEK189 per person for 2 nights, pretty budget. Another 2 Singaporean exchange students from Stockholm School of Economics shared the hostel room and luckily because of that we don't have to lock our luggages (the lock for the huge containers are too big for any of our padlocks to fit).

Generator Hostel, Adelgade

It’s pretty inconvenient to contact each other as we’re outside Sweden and phone calls don’t really work – we’ll usually find a WiFi spot to WhatsApp each other.

Tivoli Gardens
The Wakeup Copenhagen group and the Generator Hostel group people met at Tivoli Gardens (I usually have no idea what’s the upcoming plans or whatsoever) and walked down to the Visitor Centre for some useful info about travelling, also the place where we’ve waited at for some of them who claimed to have gone to the washrooms and took ages to come back because of pastry shopping and window shopping.

It’s around 4:20pm and we walked back to the shopping streets (which are confusing to recognize the way) and passed by the City Hall Square where the Copenhagen City Hall is located. Somewhere at the side of the square you’ll find one huge touchscreen (most of us didn’t realize that it’s a touchscreen) that allows you to take pictures and even videos, you can also send them to your email.

At the junction going into the shopping streets, girls went for shopping and guys went for strolling and we’ll meet at KFC at 6pm.

Caritas Well, Gammeltorv

Seriously, the shops that we visited weren’t that affordable so what else can we do other than a quick window shopping? And at least there's something for us the guys to drop by: The Lego Shop @ Vimmelskaftet!!

The sky has gone completely dark and we reached KFC a few minutes past 6, thinking that we’re late, but you know what? Having 6 of the guys finished 21 pieces of chicken thighs and drumsticks didn’t stall enough time for the girls to come here, and they reached at 7pm - say NO to shopping... :)

Time is always wasted with us having no plans and sense of direction – making us back to their hotel (Wakeup Copenhagen), and more disappointingly, to use the lobby computers to plan next weekends’ trip – isn’t it already stressful enough in school? We originally planned a trip to Vienna but in the end cancelled because of the fees refund – something wrong with Victor’s credit card?

The day ended with 6 of the Generator Hostel guys walking all the way back to our hostel located more than 2km away in the chilling midnight through the streets full of drunkards, especially the females. o.O

Day 2

Good morning, Copenhagen!!
Opps, one of the two guys from Stockholm was still sleeping (because of hangover)? 4 of us (the Lund University guys), with heavy eyelids, again, walked to Wakeup Copenhagen to meet them.

Well, the reason we’re staying at different places is 4 of us managed to find a cheaper accommodation (Genrator Hostel) at SEK189 for 2 nights while the rest have booked Wakeup Copenhagen which is more than double of Generator Hostel’s price.

Therefore, never mind, we shall pay the price... by walking to their hotel instead...

After meeting them, we departed from Wakeup Copenhagen through Kalvebod Brygge to a harbour outside Fisketorvet Shopping Center.

Well, I guess due to timing issues, we're unable to take the canal tour as scheduled, ending up walking towards the city for sightseeing.

Along our way on Hambrosgade, we passed by an open area called Under Krystallen (Under The Crystal) where some modern architectures were observed, as you usually see old buildings around Copenhagen.

Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek
We're just blinding walking, so we'll just visit any attractions that we'll pass by.

Along Dantes Plads, there's this art museum called Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek with two lion statues sitting outside. However we didn't visit the inside because it's free on the next day, so, not worth it.

Let's move on!

And here we are, Nationalmuseet - The National Museum of Denmark, entrance is free!

Cameras are allowed but bags are not, so we have to lock our bags together with our winter clothings in their designated lockers.

You need DKK10 coin to lock but it's technically free because you get back your money when you return to unlock your locker, cool.

Oh, and they have a Children's Museum, and anyone including adults may visit.

Well, I only came to Singapore after STPM, not pretty sure how to quantize good PSLE scores, but I'm sure that Min Khai's 282 was relatively close to the full score of 300 was an insane achievement according to the computation of T = 50 + 10[(x-μ)/σ] where T is the score, μ is the mean and σ is the std deviation.

It's already 1:30pm, let's get out of this place for a fulfilling lunch.

Restaurant Chili
We settled down in Restaurant Chili along Vandkunsten, and luckily one of us noticed that there might be something free for students, from a poster in Danish on the wall.

The waitress answered that every student can have a free drink. Syok!! Can finally get rid of tap water.

The veggies and sauce that they serve: onions, curry, mayonnaise, ketchup, jalapenos...

Gareth and I shared this Dijon Hamburger (1/2 pound) @ DKK116.

The journey continues upon satisfaction, towards the city area.

The PancakeBike at Østergade sells nice and hot pancakes for the shivering us.

We managed to get a group ticket at DKK104 each that entitled 10 of us entrance to the Guinness World Records Museum and Ripley's Believe It or Not! Museum, which is located at the other end of the street, weird.

Therefore we die die have to visit these 2 attractions in this group of 10, plus, we might not be coming back to Copenhagen again, except for taking flights.

Next on was Ripley's Believe It or Not! Museum which is actually just next to KFC, where we had our dinner on the 1st day.

If you lift the leaf up on his crotch, he'll laugh and say:

"I'll show you mine if you show me yours!"

LOL~~ So hilarious...
Now this is cool. You enter the tunnel through a bridge and ACTUALLY only the circular tunnel is rotating while the bridge you're standing on is stationary relative to outside, but as you enter, the mirror creates the illusion that the bridge you're standing on is rotating relative to the circular tunnel, and the effect even makes you fall onto one side. It's one of the COOLEST things I've ever experienced!

We then had a relatively budget dinner at China Box along Strøget.

Mine was a Small meal (mix 3 dishes) @ DKK30.

Ohya, and the caterer speaks Mandarin Chinese, I was like picking my dishes for hall meal. :)

It's already Aletheia's birthday in Singapore (GMT+8). It's her 21st furthermore and she seemed to be depressed to have her birthday celebrated in a foreign country.

But well, being optimistic, wouldn't one think that it's special to celebrate birthday overseas? Like me, celebrated my 21st and 22nd in Singapore instead of Malaysia.

We actually did nothing much other than making her a birthday card and buying her Ben & Jerry's. Hope that she's at least a little bit touched by our intention.

Same thing, some of us use the lobby computers to plan next weekends' trip again, and after some controversial argument we've come out with the decision of travelling to Kiruna mainly for northern lights, as we found the youth tickets page for SAS and accommodation with activities.

Yup, you're right, we walked back to our hostel again in the cold midnight.

Day 3

The Memorial Anchor, Nyhavn
The morning began with the canal tour on a waterbus departing from the Nyhavn Harbour at DKK85 per passenger.

We're waiting for the Wakeup Copenhagen group to reach the harbour while the waterbus is leaving at 10:20am.

And they happened to reach at 10:18am - another close one.

Nyhavn Harbour

On the water bus

The Little Mermaid
The first stop was Langelinie, where The Little Mermaid, the icon of Copenhagen is located.

Being one of the major attractions for tourists like us, it's been our must-see-list upon travelling to Copenhagen.

The Little Mermaid statue is actually based on the Danish author Hans Christian Andersen's fairytale.

It's quite a pity that the mermaid has to sit outside without shelter, and unexpectedly looks pretty fragile for me as I thought it would a pretty grand one.

Besides, there's a little imperfection because of the snow on her thighs and the rock she's sitting on. But what matter is, I've seen it!

And by the way, Langelinie doesn't seem to have shelter or big buildings, and so it's cold there - the coldest experience we've ever had by far (which reminded me of our painful little frostbitten toes).

We waited very long for the next water bus. Instead of stopping somewhere else, we've gone back to Nyhavn Harbour, except Khiong Kiat and Syjia who went to visit Christianshavn, while some of us fell asleep on the water bus.

Nyhavn Pizzeria
It's still cold on the water bus, and definitely it's colder when we alighted at Nyhavn, and so hastily we picked one pizza shop near Nyhavn to settle our lunch at. It's called Nyhavn Pizzeria, located along Lille Strandstræde and managed by only one guy, the owner most probably.

He must be musical as there're keyboard, guitar and accordion in the restaurant which we're allowed to play. There're even more KORG keyboards and electric violin behind the kitchen.

It's epic to recall few of us unskillfully played the accordion, just like morons, when one is playing and the other one just pulling.

At least I learnt a bit about accordion - there're keys for chords for left hand and some switches for harmony, but seriously, one needs to practice a lot.

We ordered 4 pizzas, two plates of French fries and a 1.5 litre coke, which cost DKK64 per person for 8 of us.

The Round Tower
On our way to The Round Tower in the city, we visited some pastry shops and The Disney Store and bought lots of huge erasers there.

Here we are - The Round Tower (Rundetårn), built in 1642, along Købmagergade.

Inside is one long spiral ramp and some narrow staircase when we're close to the observation deck on top of the building.
So you have to keep walking and don't roll downwards...

Once stepped onto the observation deck, enjoy the skyline of Copenhagen and some cold wind. :)

Bus 11A
The Generator Hostel group has to go back and pack their stuffs and take a bus back to Wakeup Copenhagen.

As we hopped on the small Bus 11A which looks like a shuttle bus, we're asked to show some cards or what...
Then we asked how much do we pay by coins, he replied that the machine has broken down.

After a while, he just said, "take a seat".
Fine, then we took our seats and enjoy the free ride!!

From Wakeup Copenhagen, we walked to the Central Station with luggages and that marked the end of the trip.

We had 10 of us buying 5 duo tickets in total for SEK194.40 each (SEK97.20 per person) for train from Copenhagen Central Station back to Lund Central Station.
And this time the train conductor checked our tickets...

Copenhagen, being the capital of Denmark, as expected, is one lively and relatively populous city.
It's however unexpectedly colder than Lund despite its more southward location because it seems to be relative windy there I guess.

This is pretty fresh to me, as I practically have never traveled around Europe before and it's even more entertaining travelling in a group.

Finally, thank God for the safe trip!

For more photos, please check out my photo album Copenhagen, Denmark on Facebook.

Javin Tham A master's degree graduate in engineering, a musician at heart, loves playing with soft toys.