As our first trip away from Brussels comes to a close, I thought I would reflect on some of the highlights of our time Copenhagen. Most of Sunday we spent all together, which was nice. It gave us all an opportunity to enjoy an incredible Danish meal together and catch up. Being spread out amongst our host families in Brussels makes it difficult to frequently chat with each other, but getting to spend the past few days together has definitely helped us develop better relationships. After returning to the hotel and settling in for a bit, we decided to go on a walk with no destination. The weather couldn’t have been better for getting lost in Copenhagen. Wandering around helped my friends and I decided where we should visit for our coming free day.
The Danish Refugee Council was our first site visit in Copenhagen. My classmates and I can agree that it was one of the most interesting and informative visits that we have had. Hearing the Danish, Copenhagen, and even our presenter’s perspectives was an awesome experience. We haven’t heard much of that from other presenters. It’s always nice to hear a little more than just the basic facts. Following our presentation, our presenter led us to the rooftop where we were able to see a beautiful view of the city. After several pictures, we headed out for lunch before meeting up at the hotel to head over to the University of Copenhagen together.
Once we arrived at the university, we were greeted by Ian Manners, a Professor of Political Science. He talked about a lot in such a short two hours. Of course, once the questions began, we went over our set two hours by about thirty minutes. Manners gave us a wonderful presentation and had a lot of information to share with us. It was cool to hear his opinions on problems such as migration and a possible Brexit. It was a nice way to end our first day.
Tuesday was much more relaxed and finding things to do was all on us. After gathering friends after breakfast, we set out for the famous Little Mermaid statue. Our first stop along the way was Rosenborg Castle, a renaissance castle. It was originally built as a country summer home in the early 1600s. It is home to the crown jewels and is surrounded by beautiful gardens and a park. After briefly walking around the castle and through the gardens, we returned on our path to the Little Mermaid. We were once again side tracked, this time by St. Alban’s Church.
Not often do you come across open Anglican/Episcopalian churches in Europe, so it was especially touching to me as an Episcopalian. Immediately upon entering, I noticed similarities to my church at home in everything from the structure to the linens used. The church was built in 1885 and is the only Anglican/Episcopalian church in Denmark. After spending a little time inside, we finally headed for the Little Mermaid statue. The statue happened to be a little underwhelming, but it was still a wonderful opportunity to see such a famous piece of art.
After all of this exploring, we had really worked up an appetite. We headed for Papirøen Copenhagen Street Food. It is essentially a waterside marketplace that features independent food stalls and trucks that sell snacks, meals, and drinks. I enjoyed a pulled duck sandwich (similar to a BBQ sandwich, but better) and fries that were double fried in duck fat! It was hands down one of my favorite meals in Copenhagen. With this, our first free day was in the books. We returned to the hotel to watch lots of soccer together.
Wednesday morning was all booked up with our second site visit. After a short thirty minute walk, we arrived at the Danish Foreign Ministry where we were briefed by two gentlemen. About an hour and a half later, it was time for lunch. We all went together to another street food type market. This time I indulged myself in some tacos. Once everyone had finished eating, we headed for the parliament building where we climbed (rode the elevator) up to the top for an incredible view of Copenhagen. By the end of our visit there, we were all ready for our canal tour. A lovely hour boat ride accompanied by lots of history was the perfect way to wrap up the long day.
Today being our last day here, we were all up for different things. Some of us checked out a few museums while others took a day to catch their breath and relax a little bit. Copenhagen is a beautiful city with a lot to offer. Five days isn’t enough to take in any city, especially this one.