Colourful bliss and exquisite city streets that had me lost for hours in a mere forcefield of contentment. Copenhagen had me falling head over heels at the first site of the entangled mazes of the city that sat below me as I came through the concrete clouds to land. The crisp spring breeze that danced around me as I strolled peacefully and at ease through possibly the safest place I have come across, I was completely immersed within the city of Copenhagen, and I found myself for the first time in Scandinavia.Walking through the streets of Copenhagen I couldn’t help but feel suppressed happiness rise to the surface, a happiness that I hadn’t felt since last time I entered a new city. I am not referring to the pure everyday happiness one feels through simply pouring a tea in the morning, but the engulfed sense that I was in complete and utter freedom to explore a new city totally and utterly alone. Not once did Copenhagen neglect me or make me feel unwanted, not once did I encounter rude customer service or everyday people swearing and preaching their thoughts in the streets, it was a divine sense of inclusion.
Denmark has been the happiest place in the world for three years running, until this year Norway took over the crown for the happiest country in the world, there is no doubt that Scandinavia is possibly the happiest region in not only Europe, but the world as we know it. The United Nations has reported that Denmark is still the second happiest place on earth, and this was no surprise when I stepped off the plane and had a delightfully intellectual conversation with my taxi driver. We spoke about his family and how his Pakistani grandfather fought in WWII, as he was promised citizenship in Britain which was granted when the war came to an end. We spoke about Scandinavia as a whole and how he believes the Swedish people to be the happiest people he’d ever met. He told me that I inspired him and made him feel as though he has so much more to do in his lifetime, from the beginning Copenhagen made me feel like I was wanted.
Expense and everyday living
Before I had, myself, ventured into the city of Copenhagen, I had heard amazing things about it. Whilst on my exchange program in England, Copenhagen was on my list to do but every time I looked up tickets it was one of the most expensive cities to fly into. Until two weeks ago when out of complete luck I saw tickets from London Stansted to Copenhagen for £15 return. RETURN!
Besides Copenhagen being an incredibly expensive city, and I mean £5 for a tea in a takeaway coffee shop, I had wondered if this is perhaps because their wages were ridiculously up and beyond the average wage. I was wrong, a Danish lady in a coffee shop had joined me on her lunch break and had told me that it is an extremely expensive city even for the locals. I did not ask what an average pay check was, but I was told that they don’t get paid as much as they’d want to to be able to afford everyday living. As we were talking and enjoying a £6 pound hot hot chocolate, (please note that I am doing these conversion for you, in Denmark their currency is Danish Krone) what to me looked like a royal marching band had strolled by. I mentioned that I saw them yesterday and she explained that they march through the city everyday for the traditional changing of the guards.
What’s all the fuss about with Copenhagen?
Not only is Copenhagen an enchanting city, but it is home to world class coffee (if you drink that – I on the other hand do not) and pastries, which I can confirm are perfectly crafted to pastry goodness. The famous Nyhavn is one of the main reasons travel goers travel to Copenhagen. The lined buildings with restaurants all lined up with heaters battling the crisp spring air looking out onto wooden boats with proud Danish flags that dance on the top of the poles, is a crowd stopper. It’s no wonder people travel far and wide, it truly is a corner of the world that needs to be ventured too.
During my time in Copenhagen, I didn’t catch a blue sky nor did it ever completely stop raining, and I was still struck by the magical atmosphere of the beautiful city, I could only imagine what it would be like in the summer time as fresh flowers blossom and the smell of the river engulfs your senses. The sharp breeze pierced my fingers as I held out my camera in order to record my time in Copenhagen. Note to self: Pack gloves next time.
I have only ever seen this city in the spring time, and spring in Northern Europe is far from any spring I am use to. I compared it to winter and far from blooming flowers and warm, sunny afternoons. But there’s something about being in a nationally recognised country of happiness that made me feel as though the ‘winter’ was something that no longer contributed to me liking a place or not, Copenhagen overcame that, and for the first time, I truly did enjoy winter.
What was your favourite part about Copenhagen?