We left Halle at 9.15 a.m. and picked up a young Czech couple standing at motorway services near Hanover. Although their sign indicated they wanted a lift to the ferry port of Lübeck, it turned out they were also going to Copenhagen (to the bohemian district of Freetown Christiania).
After some hassle at the Germany/Denmark border – my fault as I took a wrong turning – we arrived in Copenhagen at about 8.45 p.m., having driven for several hours in miserable weather. On the bright side, the bridge from Funen to Zealand was extremely impressive! Following Google map directions through myriad streets we found our way to my friends’ gorgeous large flat in the Frederiksberg area (they were away on holiday – and, alas, were in Oslo at the time of the mass murder!) and located the keys they had hidden outside for us. We moved our stuff in. Vroni was tired that evening, but I ventured out in the drizzle to sample what Copenhagen had to offer.
After a drink in the pleasant but fairly quiet Charlie’s Bar (staffed by an Irishman), where a mixture of nationalities chatted largely in English but also French, I headed to Andy’s Bar, which my guidebook described as a “packed late-night traditional Danish bar”, open from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m., “with a very jovial vibe – you’ll end up leaving with lots of new friends, if only you could remember their names”. Entering just before midnight, I knocked on the closed door and was let in by a barman. The bar certainly had lots of character – with dark red walls and a jukebox – but no characters. I was the only one there but decided to have a beer and wait. Gradually it filled up and transformed into the place described in the guidebook. Asking a couple of men at the bar for their advice on where Vroni should play in Copenhagen and what we should see, I did, indeed, make friends. (Their names, incidentally, were Michael and Daniel, so I do remember them!) I asked whether it would be appropriate to take a photograph of the bar and was told that this was the sort of place where people did not want to be seen. The barman, however, was delighted to pose with me. I left after 4 a.m., mindful that I had to help Vroni with her street piano-playing the next day!
I felt slightly rough in the morning but still functional, and in the early afternoon, after a bit of what Vroni would described as “faffing” about where to play, helped her set up her piano on Kongens Nytorv, a large square at the end of the pedestrianised Stroget. Rain stopped play after about an hour, but her playing seemed to go down well. We headed back to where we were staying and parked the van, heading out for a bite to eat and a glass of wine at a local cafe/restaurant.
After a rest I went out to buy some food for an evening meal. I couldn’t find much as the local supermarket had closed by the time I found it, so contented myself with pot noodles from a 7/11 – how exciting! We ate this together with some provisions we had brought with us, and set out to see the bright lights.
As the Tivoli Gardens were about to close we were let in free! What an amazing place – stages, restaurants, bars, a funfair and lights, lights, lights! When the gardens closed we had a drink at a nearby bar where Vroni was able to access the internet and update her blog and then had another one at a central establishment called Pub Victoria, before heading back home.
Before we set off the next morning I reserved us a room a hostel in Malmö. “Sweden, here we come!”
Some more Copenhagen scenes: