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Copenhagen

Copenhagen has been a very nice city to hang around over the past week. One of the nicest things has been cycling around. I hired a bike to get between the different venues I needed to go to and it's been an amazing experience in contrast to cycling in Britain - not only are there big wide dedicated cycling lanes everywhere, but drivers and pedestrians recognise your right to exist! So cycling around is really safe and pleasant. On top of that, the entire city is completely flat so it's no strain.

A Copenhagen view

I cycled out to the wind farm at the edge of the sea once, and on my way back accidentally rode into Christiania, the alternative/hippy/whatever zone which apparently has a kind of independence from the state. I didn't realise where I was and was marvelling at the houses on this particular path, a mixture of brightly-painted shanty-like things and posh-looking eco houses made of wood and glass, just like the eco-friendly houses we explored in Inverness. I would 100% recommend checking Christiania out if you're in Copenhagen (forget the gaudy Tivoli theme park). Apparently some of the hotels recommend tourists not to go there, but locals have told me that it's not a dangerous place or anything and is a very friendly place to visit.

Other things I liked were the modern art in the town's art gallery - the really excellent thing about their gallery is that they support and promote young local artists, so there's all sorts of new stuff in there. The main exhibition was by someone called Sørensen and his stuff was all rubbish, actually, just shock-value stuff that wasn't really shocking. But there's lots of other really cool stuff there.

I also went in 12 Tonar, the Icelandic record shop / record label (nice surprise to find them in Copenhagen!). Their shop was really nice, and they offer you a cup of coffee when you sit down to listen to stuff. I bought a CD by Kira Kira which was good.

In Kongens Nytorv (one of the main squares) there was a dead good open-air design exhibition, full of lots of things. Some of the exhibits were clearly not innovative even though they were pretending to be, but some things were really interesting design-wise, such as a lifesavingly-rapid tourniquet for use by soldiers, and a strange folding bike in which the bike-lock was integrated into the structure of the bike.

Bike with unusual lock design

Near Kongens Nytorv is the Nyhavn (new harbour). We had a recommendation to head down there for food, so we did - but as it turned out, that's really a very touristy area crammed with over-expensive restaurants, and I totally wouldn't recommend that area for finding a nice meal.

Copenhagen is an expensive place (beer is particularly expensive) but as a Londoner I wasn't too shocked by the prices. And after a couple of days of wandering around the town we'd managed to find quite a few good places to eat for a decent price. The number one best food I had in Copenhagen was at Thai Home, which is mainly a takeaway (but with a couple of tables) and nice and busy, and their beef mussaman was absolutely gorgeous. I went back there a few times :)

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