A pale blonde girl in a black bathing suit dives head first into the canal. She comes up for air with a gasp from the gray water. All along this side canal in Christianhavn, young women are taking the plunge with thrilling screams or are lying on blankets in the grass taking in the sun.
It is a glorious day, warm and sunny, a real summer day. And in a cold weather country, these glorious summer days are few. So you have to take advantage of them.
My long weekend is coming to a close. After visiting Rosenborg Slot and Christiania this morning, I’ve run out of things to do. Since then, I’ve been wandering around and people-watching — this morning in the gardens at Kongens Have and this afternoon in Christianhavn, watching the young people hit the water or seeing the boats go by.
As happens a lot in recent years, my free day is the last day. I’ve stayed too long in one place. And in about thirteen hours, I’ll be beginning the long journey home.
Copenhagen is a nice enough place. I especially like the neighborhoods. But like Norway, it’s expensive. Unlike Norway, it’s overrun with tourists. Now I recall why it’s been so long since I’ve been to Europe.
Favorites: The Nationalmuseet, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, and Statens Museum for Kunst. Christianhavn and Kongens Have Gardens. The daytrip to Helsingør and the seacoast.
Less Favorite: Christiania, all the tacky stuff along the Strøget and Nyhavn.
Best food: Royal Bistro and Madklubben.
Surprises: The Kulturehavn performances of African and Middle Eastern music in Islands Brygge; these last three sunny days.
Place I stayed: Hotel Copenhagen.
What I’ll miss most: Canal views.
I am ready to go home this time. Norway wore me out, with its spectacular vistas and scope. I’ve not been as energetic in Copenhagen.
These trips are taking it out of me. Sometimes I wonder how many of them I have left in my body.
But my friend Karimé and I have unfinished business in Argentina. And I still long for Japan.
Cover image: Frederickirken and Amalieborg Palace