Friday, September 16, 2011

Velkommen til København (Welcome to Copenhagen)

After practice on Tuesday, Jo and I drove with Jazz to Växjö, pronounced softly as Veh-kwah, to spend the night so we could catch the train to Copenhagen the next morning. Jazz had helped book our train tickets (only $75 round trip!) and would help us begin our journey the next morning. Our trip to Copenhagen was fairly unplanned, with no ideas of where we would be staying, what we would be seeing, or what there even was to see; however, these often make some of the best and memorable trips, so it was a risk both Jo and I were willing to take.

Jo and I catching the train in Växjö
The train left around 9am and after a quick stop in Alevesta, we were on our way, traveling south through Lund then Malmö before crossing the water into Denmark. As we pulled into the central station, Tara – one of Jo’s friends playing in Denmark – called to let us know she was just leaving to meet us in the city. With a few minutes to spare, Jo and I decided to head to the nearest 7-11 in search of coffee and some American-style donuts. SUCCESS! Before I knew it, Jo was up and running towards Tara and we were ready to begin our trek through the city. Deciding to just have a self-guided walking tour, we only paused for some city scene pictures. Tara had never really been around Copenhagen “tourist-style” so the three of us were a perfect group. We started at the Tivoli Gardens – something I had never heard of until stalking through one of my friend’s pictures (who is now playing in Copenhagen). Next to the Tivoli Gardens is the Town Hall Square where we followed the crowd down the main pedestrian street that was full of shopping, bars, and restaurants. We saw a tall, green steeple peeking out through the buildings, which I later learned was part of the Christiansborg Castle. Miraculously, we managed to make our way to Kongens Nytorv near the Copenhagen Harbor. It was here in the harbor that we learned about the open container policy of Denmark: there isn’t one. There was actually a bar advertising “take away beer and shots” which, unfortunately, we did not take advantage of. We continued on, now in search for my coveted Little Mermaid statue, passing the Gefion Fountain – commonly used as a wishing well – which is across from the Anglican St. Alban’s Church. Finally we reached what I had been waiting for all day: THE LITTLE MERMAID!

Me and Ariel <3
After a few great photos, we were ready for some food. The food was delicious and gave us the energy needed to find our next destination: the Carlsberg Brewery, where Tara’s friend Jessica would be meeting us. After retracing our steps back to the Kongens Nytorv, we stopped a horse-police man to ask for directions to the closest bus station that could take us to the brewery. Despite his advice to take the metro, we hopped on the 1A bus (after only paying for 2 passes) and hoped for the best. So far everything else had gone fairly smoothly, how could this not follow in suit? At our stop, Tara told us “hurry” off the bus, so me, being the first one at the door, jumped off without looking. I was almost run over…by a cyclist. Luckily, I survived. The three of us burst into laughter just as Jessica got off the bus behind ours. A few brief introductions and we followed Jessica through the streets, as she had directions on her phone, towards the brewery. Or so we thought. After walking about 3.5 blocks, we stopped in a mini-mart to ask if we were headed in the correct direction. The man shook his head and pointed out the door, in the direction we had just come from. Oops! We should’ve guessed that the large white building with “Carlsberg” on the top was probably where the tasting would be held. Unfortunately we arrived about 10 minutes after the final tour for the day, and were given lanyards with bottle openers as a consolation prize. Wandering to the nearest bar, we decided to have our own beer tasting instead, asking the bartender for recommendations. The rest of the evening consisted of swapping stories about our teams, both past and present, and sharing jokes as if we had known each other for years. A few hours of laughter later, we decided to call it a night. Jo and I went back with Tara to her teammate’s apartment to spend the night. Our adventure in Copenhagen was definitely one for the books and something I am hoping to do again during my time here. 

Jo, Tara, and I at the Copenhagen Harbor

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