2012-01 – Malmo and Copenhagen

Posted by jswt | Posted in Denmark - Copenhagen, Sweden - Malmo | Posted on 29-01-2012

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Hopped back over the ocean and flew into Copenhagen, where I met up with a couple good friends from the UK who were popping out to join us for a few days… We grabbed the 20 minute train to Malmo, Sweden and set into catching up.

Met up with Chris at the hotel, freshened up, and went out to grab a bite and a few beers while the four of us caught up on 1.5 year’s worth of stories, and missed gossip – hadn’t hung out with them since Field Day in London a couple years back… C&J had been together for quite some time, and I’ve known J since we were wee lads and he came to Canada on an exchange trip (“I’m in Regina. Please tell me there’s more to Canada than this?”).

Malmo was cute, clean and full of gorgeous people, but overly polite, expensive, and uptight in proper Swedish form, so the next morning we woke up slowly and just after noon caught the train back over to Copenhagen for some more interesting wandering in one of my favorite cities.

It’d been almost 3 years since I’d been in Copenhagen last (spent 2 weeks there), and I wondered if my rose-colored memories would be changed with a lot more euro-tripping under my belt, but I was happy to find that it still resonated in my heart and made me feel well at home almost immediately. I’ve always described Copenhagen as feeling like Vancouver in 300 years – when Vancouver stops being uptight and trying to force itself to be something, and just relaxes into itself, gets comfortable in it’s strengths, and realizes that it’s all good just as it is… Unbelievably hot people on bikes filled the “second sidewalk” bike lanes, and scurried about on their way to fill their heads with knowledge, have beers with friends, or design fantastic home accessories that are both functional and cozy… Seriously – the danes have a word, “hygge’ (pronounced hewge) that loosely translated can be considered “coziness” and includes the presence of and pleasure from comforting, gentle, and soothing things. Hygge is described as a deep sense of place & well-being; a feeling of friendship, warmth, contentment and peace with your immediate surroundings. I dig large on a culture based around being cozy.

We had a good day wandering the city, with some time spent in the Danish Design Museum and the archeological museums (that had fascinating egyptian and roman collections), strolling along the canals at sunset, wandering shops, and having a great dinner at a little cafe (where we got the last non-reserved table for the evening).

After dinner, we ended up doing some sleazy bar hopping, and had a blast doing shit-pop kareoke to backstreet boys in a jail cell in some weird fetish club, making friends with random danes and their girlfriends, impromptu navel lint competitions, and being generally much too silly while having an exceptionally fun time. Greasy kebabs on the way to the train, and it was back to Malmo for some sleep in Sweden.

The next day, Chris was off but we let C&J have the day to wander while we lazed about and took it easy while Chris shook off work and I worked through jetlag. We met up with the guys later that afternoon, went for some tapas at a great spanish place, and then took them to their very first hockey game where they were confused at “rugby on skates”, but got quite into it.

Chris worked the next day, so I wandered some shops with the guys and had some lunch before they had to catch their train, before which some sad farewells were hugged out and plans to meet up again somewhere along the road were laid.

Back to the hotel, and I finished up the week in my standard work/gym/sleep routine while doing my best to avoid overpriced swedish food ($40 for a ramen and 4 pieces of sushi! seriously!), and saving my energies for more exciting places along the way.

Malmo would have been a pretty boring place, but thankfully the proximity to Copenhagen and the company of good friends made it a more than tolerable week…