One of the best days of my life was when I went travelling alone for the first time. I impulsively booked a two-day trip to Copenhagen, a part of Europe I had always wanted to see.
BY EMILY JONES
I arrived on a Thursday night and headed straight to my hostel. My Danish friend, Emilia, had given me tips on what to do while I was there and suggested I visit her work for a free coffee. I checked my list for the next day and ate one of my sandwiches in bed; I’d been told how expensive Copenhagen was so in Paddington bear style I packed enough sandwiches to last the entire trip.
I woke up on Friday morning, excited to explore on my own without anyone else to worry about. First I headed to the Rosenborg Castle. The gardens were beautiful and the castle was much smaller than I expected. It was nothing like the medieval behemoths back home. The castle was so delicate and beautiful; I had never seen anything like it.
I visited the castle café to find Emilia’s friends and pick up my free coffee and then sat in the gardens eating a sandwich. Next, I headed back to Nyhavn, where my hostel was and bought myself a seat on one of the boat tours of the city. The views were incredible and the tour guide pointed out another two places on my list to visit.
After the boat ride, I headed to a church in Christanshavn where you can pay to climb the 400 steps up the beautiful gold and black steeple to get the best views of the city. The winding old wooden steps were terrifying and when you reach the top you go outside and the steps eventually just run out. It was worth it though. The view of the city was amazing; I could see everything from where my hostel was, to the airport, to the canals winding through Christanshavn.
After the climb back down the steps, which was just as bad if not worse than going up, I found a quiet spot by the canal to sit and phone home. Part of me considered that it would be nice to have someone there to share this day with but then I was sure I wouldn’t have done so much in one day, and it was nice not having to worry whether someone else was enjoying the trip, I could just focus on how much I loved this new city.
I found a nearby Lidl and bought some noodles and vegetables to cook back at the hostel. I sat in the common area with my dinner and checked the time. It was six o’clock. I’d had an amazing day but what was I going to do with myself now?
Just then a group of people walked in and sat down by me. One of them offered me a beer, which is exactly how someone becomes my friend. I got talking with the group, they all worked at Siemens in Denmark but not a single one of them was Danish. One of them was French, another from Brazil, and few from Spain and another two from Germany.
They adopted me into their group and we spent the evening listening to the live music in the hotel. Later they invited me to go with them to the Distortion festival which they were here for. I could buy a ticket on the door. Emilia had told me about this festival and advised me to go. I hadn’t wanted to go alone but in a group it could be fun.
I went with them and had the most amazing night. Every night of the festival was different and this one was a rave in the industrial district of Copenhagen. I’ve never been a particularly spontaneous person; even this trip was incredibly planned out. But Distortion was worth the slight anxiety of doing something out of character. The party was enormous and the group I was with made sure I had a drink in my hand all night, other than the ticket I didn’t spend a penny. The atmosphere was amazing; the Danish people were so friendly and chilled, nothing at all like clubs and festivals in the UK. I didn’t know the sun came up so much earlier in Denmark so we danced until 3am and walked back to the hostel in sunlight.