I recently travelled to Copenhagen in Denmark for a few days of sightseeing and soaking up the fresh Nordic air. Copenhagen is the kind of city that makes you feel very healthy, and everyone there seems like the picture of health. On my first evening in the city, I took a walk along the The Lakes; a row of three rectangular lakes that curve around the western side of the city centre (they look a lot like a river to you and me). Along the lake side, it seemed that everyone in Copenhagen was outside, running or cycling along the lakeside, looking tanned and strong, and not an overweight person in sight. It was a lovely evening, and it seemed a shame to head in to a restaurant and miss the sunset, so I decided to stop at a restaurant located on a pontoon on the lake.

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I chose the Tapas for one at Kaffesalonen on Peblinge lake, next to the Dronning Louises Bridge. The tapas (110 Kr, also available for two) was FANTASTIC!! A great array of Danish specialities and local ingredients, including a chocolate crisp, pickles, and stewed rhubarb. I certainly needed that long stroll home along the lakes to burn off all that tasty Nordic food.

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Having been quite ill in the few days leading up to my trip, I chose to save my energy (or lack of it) and take a bus and boat tour of Copenhagen on my second day in the city. It turned out to be a good call. The boat tour in particular allowed us to see lots of the waterside neighbourhoods, such as Christianshavn and Langelinie. These neighbourhoods were incredibly tranquil and you could sense the quality of life that the people who lived there had; travelling by boat and enjoying the outdoors. There were also some incredibly cool apartment buildings, such as one created from the ashes of a ship building yard.

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From the boat tour you got a great view of the variety of architecture types in Copenhagen (due to the numerous great fires experienced over the ages I believe).

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The old and new seemed to gel quite seamlessly in this city. Some of the inner city’s narrow central waterways are bordered by picturesque town houses, administrative offices and smart brick built apartments and lined with small boats (and occasionally house boats and floating cafes).

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I stayed at the Savoy Hotel in the Vesterbro district (approx. £110/night for a twin room), just a few minutes walk from the Tivoli Gardens and Copenhagen Central Station. I’d recommend the hotel; it was in a great location and had an excellent breakfast included.

A trip over the bridge to Sweden

Having missed my flight back to London due to delays on the way to the airport, I decided to use the opportunity to stay another day and do a bit more exploring. I booked onto another flight for the following day and decided to head for Sweden for the night. The train to Sweden goes directly from Copenhagen Airport, so I set off on the fifteen minute journey, which crosses the Øresund Bridge and stops in Malmo, where I had decided to stay(the train carries on to Helsingborg). A train ticket to Malmo from Copenhagen costs 110 Swedish Kroner, and passports or photo identification must be shown at the train station when departing from the Danish side.

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I stayed at the Radisson Blu hotel in Malmo (Approx £106/night) which was great, and really central, just a five minute walk from the train station. Malmo is a small city with lots of great independent design and fashion shops. It also has some lovely plazas and kooky eateries (thanks for a large international and student population). The architecture and pleasantness is nothing on the scale of Copenhagen, but it’s still a lovely place to visit.

IMG_2500I couldn’t resist eating a traditional dinner of meatballs in a creamy sauce with mash, pickled cucumbers and lingonberries, which was scrumptious and a great way to celebrate making it to my fifth new country in the last 12 months. My countries visited total now stands at 32. Here’s to the next 32!