Wintery Christmas Adventure
This next journey would take me to Berlin to work for a few weeks, but since I never made it to Oslo previously, I decided to go via a Scandinavian country (originally I had wanted to go to Oslo first, but the train from Oslo to Berlin is considerably more expensive and time consuming than the train from Copenhagen to Berlin).
Whilst growing up, my family has always had a habit of not going back somewhere via the same route, which I appear to have inherited, so I will also be going back to the UK via train through Amsterdam and Brussels.
The night before flying to Copenhagen, I checked my Instagram feed, and noticed that a uni friend from Iceland had posted a photo from there. I eagerly messaged as we had not seen each other for several years. To my delight, we were able to catch up after such a long time, and she was able to show me around the city as she knew it very well. There is not much better than meeting people you know when travelling!
My friend is from Iceland, but is often in Copenhagen. I learnt a bit about Norse legends whilst she took me on a whistle-stop tour of the city:
According to legend, the goddess Gefjon cleaved Denmark from Sweden:
I also learnt the REAL story of the little mermaid. Instead of getting with the prince in the end, he left her for another woman and she was turned into a sea sponge (sorry Disney fans). Don’t know how well that would have appealed to a mainstream audience though! I quite like it, seems more realistic.
I was also very surprised to hear (and see) that in Scandinavian countries, it is quite normal to leave your baby in the pram whilst you go into a restaurant. It is great that it is safe enough there (my host said there hadn’t been any incidents for several decades), but I would still feel incredibly anxious doing this, especially in a larger city. This got me thinking though, have I just been culturally shaped to be overly concerned with safety and privacy? Britain does have a reputation for being a ‘Nanny State’ after all! Although I was told that one Danish actress got into a lot of trouble for doing the same in New York; I can appreciate why someone might do this if they were used to that level of safety, but definitely not something to do in New York!
In my opinion Copenhagen is a really nice city, especially at Christmas time, all the decorated shops make it very quaint and a beautiful place to visit.