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Denmark Diaries: Various Notes

Over the last few weeks, a few notes for blog posts have accumulated here that don’t really want to fit together. They probably won’t any more, so they’re just going to appear here.

Cycling in the drizzle #

In Copenhagen, you can cycle in almost any condition - whether it’s sunny, when the wind is blowing heavy gusts from the sea onto the land or even when it’s raining. In a few months’ time, I may also be able to tell you what it’s like when it’s snowing - but probably no different, if the internet is to be believed. My second favourite weather for cycling is the moment when a light drizzle sets in. The absolute best cycling weather is when this light rain stops, the sun comes out and the whole city starts to shine golden.

Even more cycling #

Here is a very interesting infographic on the subject of “Cycle City Copenhagen”, which recently made the rounds in my Copenhagen filter bubble. Fun fact: All Copenhageners together cycle more than 1000 times around the world - every single day.

Municipalities #

Some time ago, I spontaneously signed up for a tour of Copenhagen City Hall. Until then, I had only seen it from the outside - a large brick block with golden decorations and little monsters outside the door. However, as I discovered, there is much more behind the fa├žade than initially meets the eye. Our tour guide explained in detail how the citizens of Copenhagen themselves built the town hall in a very short space of time as an act of resistance against the Danish king. The idea of communes, which reminded me very much of a community of citoyens, can be found again and again in the architecture and furnishings: self-confidence and independence, especially in relation to the royal house, are recurring elements. And when the king (or today: the queen) visits the town hall every year, they have to follow a traditional and fixed route past all the little symbols with which the citizens of Copenhagen wanted to demonstrate their independence. In addition to this emancipatory symbol, there are repeated references to the Nordic world of legends and myths. Great tour and, above all, a great tour guide - I came without expectations and was completely surprised.

Monk’s Brew #

My best friend M. was in town for a visit at the weekend. We made a relatively spontaneous stop at the university early on Friday evening, where there is a “Friday Bar”: Beer from a small Copenhagen brewery is served from around half past two, students and staff meet up after their last event and start the weekend with a beer in company - a very nice way to get together. The sun was shining beautifully, we were in the neighbourhood on the way home anyway and stopped by spontaneously. In the meantime, some of the beers were already sold out, I avoided the somewhat strange-sounding names on the menu and ordered something relatively conventional-sounding: Monk’s Brew. When we held the result in our hands, however, a glance at the label was a bit of a surprise: it had an impressive 10% alcohol content. The taste is not dominated by the alcohol, thanks to the malt and sweetness. Very tasty beer, but one bottle on an empty stomach (we were on our way home to cook something) is enough to leave you feeling noticeably buzzed.