Dispatch: My First 48 Hours in Copenhagen

I arrived in beautiful Copenhagen on Saturday afternoon to begin my much-anticipated Block Club residency and, not surprisingly it’s been an oversaturated deluge of new sights, sounds and experiences for me ever since. Already it feels like Saturday afternoon was a week ago. Obviously, I’ve only begun to scratch the surface of what this beautiful city has to offer, but as the wide-eyed novice on his maiden voyage to Europe, I’m seeing everything through the most un-blasé lens possible and taking in so much for the first time.

For the duration of my six-week stay here, I’ll be living in a cosy and cute little flat in trendy Vesterbro, a bit removed from the crowded city center but with its own unique pulse. I’ve settled in quickly and easily to this bustling, family-friendly neighborhood dotted with cafes, bars, restaurants and bike shops; everything I might need or want can be found literally a few steps from my front door.

I spent Saturday exploring on foot and getting my bearings, but rented a bicycle on Sunday afternoon, which took me into the historic city center and scenic canals. Cycling through the historic neighborhoods of Copenhagen was truly an exhilarating experience. I hardly knew what to stop to take a picture of because everywhere I looked was full of incredible beauty. A bike ride to a particular restaurant took me hours because I kept veering off course to check out something else that caught my eye.

All throughout Copenhagen, smartly designed, people-centric public spaces are filled with young and old, enjoying the company of others and the beauty of nature. Outdoor cafes packed with people engrossed in conversation over pints of pilsner line every block. If there’s a bench, a picnic table, a park, a path, a public ping-pong table, a bocce court, etc., people are using it, together. In Vesterbro, there are children and families everywhere all seeming to go about their business together as a unit (granted, I arrived at the beginning of the weekend). One of my favorite quintessentially Danish things to observe is a mother shuttling her infants around by pedaling a stroller bike (yes the baby strollers are also bikes here) with a gaggle of school-age children on bikes following behind her like baby ducks.

Although Copenhageners don’t appear to be a very multi-cultural group, the apparent steady influx of tourists to this city gives it a friendly cosmopolitan sensibility. I’ve overheard fellow travelers conversing in British, Australian or American English at a good number of places I’ve been to so far, and the locals have all been very welcoming, warm and understanding with me and the other tourists I’ve observed. Of course, nearby any of the major tourist attractions I’ve made it to, like Nyhavn or Tivoli Garden, there are foreigners of all stripes and all tongues, and the selfies and posed photos to go with it. From what I can tell though, Copenhageners seem to happily embrace this aspect of their city.

It would be hard not to fall in love with this city, and I’m beyond excited to continue the affair and dive in headfirst. Today is my first day working remotely from Vesterbro and I’m truly looking forward to the next 40 or so days that I’ll get to spend here.