The little mermaid

Trip Start Apr 23, 2005
Trip End Mar 31, 2006

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Monday, June 27, 2005

It was with great sadness and a really sore shoulder (I slept funny on the last night) that I bade farewell to Berlin. It had been really good to me, but it was time to move on.
I caught the train up to Copenhagen which was uneventful except for the ferry crossing - The train actually parked on the ferry which was a bit of a novelty (I was wondering why the train was so short). It was also the first time I saw the Baltic Sea so I spent the trip looking over the side of the boat and chatting to a seagull which had made friends with me.

I arrived in Copenhagen tired and quickly found a hostel. There were a bunch of Aussie guys who were off to a music festival the next day, so we went out for a quick drink and a falafel - brilliant falafel! They were all surfers and one of the fellas is going to be surfing in Peru when I'm there, so we exchanged details and I'm going to try and join him for a few days - I hope he doesn't mind that I'm a crap surfer.

Next day I headed out to check the sites. Copenhagen has these city-bikes which are free for use inside the main city area. All you have to do is put in a 20Kroner coin and your off (its like a shopping trolley - you get the coin back when you return it to a rack). The bikes are very bright and covered with advertising, so you really look like a tourist, but its better than walking. I cycled around the main city and checked out all the big buildings then headed out past the palace to the big park (didn't see princess Mary from Tasmania anywhere - she must have been busy). I tried to introduce myself to the little mermaid, but she was busy being groped by a big group of Russian tourists to the moral outrage of a big group of American tourists. I couldn't decide which group was funnier so I waited until the entertainment was over before getting some snaps.

Next stop was Christiania free town. This place was set-up on an abandoned airforce base by a bunch of 'alternative' lifestyle seekers (hippies and squatters) in the 70s as a place where they could lead a self governed 'progressive Danish lifestyle' as the history blurb says. What you get is an amazing mash of grafiti covered buildings, art, Political slogans, interestingly dressed people and markets selling everything from Hotdogs to Hashish. It used to be that Hashish was sold openly from stalls on the unfortunately named Pusher Street, but since a big police raid a few months ago, this has now retreated slightly below the surface (I figure this means you need to ask for it now instead of selecting it from the display). The use of hash and canabis is common there, but they are very strongly against hard drugs - The slogan 'NO HARD DRUGS' in English and Danish is painted everywhere. The Danish government isn't to happy about the place and is trying to introduce laws which will quash it like the privatisation of all property in the town - currently all property is communally owned. Walking round the town gave me the impression of a relaxed friendly place that was always willing to party - There was a live band in the main square belting out classic rock as I walked through. Some locals I was sharing a beer with that night told me that the place has really lost its energy since the drug bust. I'm not really that alternative myself, but it seems a shame to lose it if thats the way it goes.

Public Toilet in Christiania

The locals were very funny with a sarcastic sense of humour that made me feel right at home. We had a heated discussion about what was the biggest Island in the world. I was sure that it is mainland Australia, but they said Aus didn't qualify because its a continent and that the biggest Island is Greenland. I said that was ridiculous. They said I was ridiculous. We persued this topic for half an hour before we decided to agree to disagree.

On looking at a map later, it seemed that continent or not, Greenland looked bigger than aus anyway, but then they always do towards the poles. So... I would like to know - any ideas? post them on the guestbook.

Next day I caught the 30min train North to Malmo in the very South of Sweden.
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