A Surprise Birthday Weekend In Copenhagen


I turned 30 recently. Oh dear. All downhill from here etc etc… Anyway, my girlfriend Helen had informed me that plans for the weekend prior to this momentous milestone involved a couple of days with her parents in the South Downs for our annual Easter-ish walking holiday.

We boarded a very early morning train down to Brighton so we could ‘join them for brunch’ and I occupied myself with slipping in and out of snooze mode and a little research on the Brighton area as I’d never been before.

It’s hard to convey my level of complete confusion when Hely suddenly jumped out of her seat as we pulled into the Gatwick Airport station and said we were getting off there but, rest assured, I was utterly stunned. I was still struggling to get my head around it all as we took our seats for the two hour flight to Denmark.

So began two and a half days of exploring a new city which, in spite of us both coming down with awful colds – not so great when you’re out in -5°c windchill all day – we absolutely loved. It’s a beautiful city full of some of the nicest folks you’re ever likely to meet.

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kobenhavn danmark copenhagen denmark scandinavia city break holiday travel rob cartwright street photography pedestrian crossing leading lines wide angle graffiti

On Day 1 we wandered far and wide, lunched at Aamanns (incredible), before wandering the old castle fortifications whilst being chilled to the bone by the brutal sub-zero winds whipping in off the water.

It’s perhaps not surprising how many natives of the city asked us, ‘What on earth are you doing here at this time of year?!’ A very, very good question it turns out. The city’s very civilized penchant for a heated public restroom may have saved our lives on more than one occasion.

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kobenhavn danmark copenhagen denmark scandinavia city break holiday travel rob cartwright heart love romance girlfriend Margrethe II red paint wood eye

We got Day 2 off to a flying start with a breakfast courtesy of Coffee Collective and Meyers Bageri on Jægersborggade, just round the corner from our smashing little Airbnb apartment.

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kobenhavn danmark copenhagen denmark scandinavia city break holiday travel rob cartwright street art photography graffiti blue wide angle

Not much more than a year old, the Torvehallerne market is every foodies dream.

kobenhavn danmark copenhagen denmark scandinavia city break holiday travel rob cartwright market torvehallerne street photography candid wide angle

Heading up the distinctive spiral walkway of the Rundetaarn (Round Tower). I’ve walked up a number of towers via a variety of terrifying, ever-narrowing staircases and this method of ascent is highly preferable.

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All well worth the climb for the stunning views from the panoramic observation deck of the Round Tower.

kobenhavn danmark copenhagen denmark scandinavia city break holiday travel rob cartwright view cityscape rundetarn round tower

Waiting to cross the street on Vesterbrogade. Everyone waits for the green man when crossing in Copenhagen – it takes a lot of getting used to when you come from the UK.

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A statue of Carl Jacobsen in the Carlsberg factory grounds, for some reason surrounded by one of the weirdest assault courses ever.

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After taking in the peculiarities of Pusher Street we sought some respite from the cold in Christianshavn’s fantastic Eiffel Bar. If you could bottle the boozy revelry, camaraderie and stale-cigarette-smoke-charm of this place, I’d be buying it by the case load.

This charming gent bought us a round. I insisted he shouldn’t but he was adamant, ‘You’re guests of my country,’ he said, handing 50 krones to the barmaid. Truly wonderful.

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As dusk fell on our final day, we passed a dozen bicycles eerily strewn on the ground following a blustery afternoon near the Forum. No one seems to chain their wheels up but maybe it’s not that necessary in a city where 50% of all citizens commute by bike every day and there are more bikes than inhabitants.

kobenhavn danmark copenhagen denmark scandinavia city break holiday travel rob cartwright street photography abandoned bikes bicycles eerie spooky blown over by wind dusk

What a fantastic birthday surprise and what a lucky wee lad I am. Cheers Denmark, it was a blast.

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12 thoughts on “A Surprise Birthday Weekend In Copenhagen

  1. HAPPY 30TH wait til you get to 40 .Looks fab!! Amazing piccies as always – I gave my mum (for mothers day) an album full of the fantastic photos you took of our wedding. Take care C x

  2. Wonderful shots from Copenhagen, it is a wonderful City, I love it too..But you must visit again in spring or summertime, where the city is most beatyful and crowded with people in Nyhavn and Tivoli or at Stroeget.. 🙂

    • Thanks very much! Yes, we really enjoyed it and I think we’re both really keen to go back someday – especially when the temperatures are the right side of zero! I really want to see Tivoli in full swing too – looks amazing.

  3. Great photos! That photo of the Round Tower is really, really great! I don’t know when your birthday was (…mine was March 10th), but happy belated birthday! — Paula

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