I had a good feeling about Copenhagen when I stepped off the train and heard hundreds of people laughing hysterically. I looked up and spotted Tivoli http://www.tivoli.dk/en/ the second oldest amusement park in the world. “This really is a fairytale city” I thought to myself. (The birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen even has love hearts on its coins). Filled with this good feeling, I happily made my way to the hostel. Like a child getting the bus home from school, I even counted the stops as I was told to – one, two. I jumped off and found myself outside Christiansborg “Borgen” Palace. Following the Swedish yacht incident, I’d got used to a little luxury, but this didn’t feel quite right. A passer-by then pointed me towards a long shopping street. In fact, Strøget is the longest shopping street in Europe. With nineteen kilos on my back, it felt like the longest shopping street in Europe. After fifteen minutes, I’d arrived. There were Christmas carols, candles and Carlsberg. There were people laughing again. But once upstairs, I found myself in a locked room, on a cold bunk bed, staring at a list of rules on the wall. Was I in a prison? The next morning, I got up early to try and rekindle the magic feeling I’d felt the night before. I wanted fairylights, towers and Danish pastries – but the door to the bar was locked. I was stuck in a corridor. It really was a prison. The reason? I was just too early. After my release, I had a Sunday morning stroll through the grounds of Rosenborg Castle
and had breakfast at the Torvehallerne indoor markets.
I then walked back down to the canals and past the brightly coloured buildings on Nyhavn.
I carried on towards the harbour and in the distance, I spotted her. The Little Mermaid is one hundred years old this year. I don’t care that she’s considered ‘touristy’ – I think she looks lovely. But even this iconic fairytale figure has been decapitated and drawn on. That’s the thing about this magical city – you don’t expect things to go wrong and you’re surprised when they do.