Saturday we left the city life behind to spend several days a short drive north of Copenhagen. Gitta had promised us a very different Danish experience at the home her family has summered in since 1935. We knew it was a special place because when she talked about it her eyes lit up and she couldn't keep a smile off her face. We also knew the cabin remained (mostly) true to the era in which it was built. Reg and I weren't too clear about whether we'd have electricity, a hot shower or even a flush toilet…but travel is about experiencing life, so we packed a small bag and put our trust in our friends.
The main house has two bunk rooms, a living/eating area, a kitchen with cold running water and (we were happy to find) a flush toilet room. There are also two outbuildings that serve as bunk rooms, so the property can host quite a crowd. The shower house is the only source of hot water, but boy is it hot! It is there that James, the official dish washer, (he likes the job and one has to be quick to beat him to it!) washed dishes and we all took turns showering.
The main cabin sits in the center of a a grassy expanse. The shower room sits along the perimeter. Reg guards the BBQ and we enjoy an all American meal of burgers and fries. A combination eating/reading/sleeping nook inside the main cabin.
Gray skies and rain showers drifted away Monday, leaving us beautifully warm weather. The endless blue of the skies and water pulled us away from the green, woodsy feel of the cabin for a morning wander down by the harbor. Today is the end of a three-day holiday weekend in Denmark and families were out in force, on foot and bicycle, enjoying the last bit of surf, sand and sun.
Families hunt for crabs through cutout spots on the boardwalk. Gitta finds a peaceful meditation spot. A rocky pathway leads to the shoreline.
This was the stage next the building where we stay in Copenhagen.
Our hosts James and Gitta join the street fun while a Danish guy shows off his muscle Chevy. Two in a booth pose for Sue.
We walked out the front door Thursday night into the biggest street party of the year in Copenhagen. Along with hosts James and Gitta, we waded through massive crowds, part of the five-day Distortion 2014 covering many blocks. Dozens of stages offering live and recorded music attracted tens of thousands of mostly young people in fun-loving, admittedly intoxicated states. The atmosphere was friendly and peaceful. James says the streets are clean by 7 a.m. the next day. Then the party moves to another part of the city for more music and fun.
Sue joins James and Gitta for beer, wine and a Tempt Quick and Dirty drink that Gitta is holding. Sue thought it tasted like NyQuil.
Vehicles and art come in many forms within Christiania.
Our friend James said we were entering another nation today on our tour of Copenhagen, but it felt like another world. Christiania has nearly 900 residents and is sometimes called a commune, set on more than 80 acres in the capital of Denmark.
The area has a military history dating to the early 17th century. The people live in many homemade houses. The community collects rent and makes money from restaurants, stores and things made by the residents.
Visitors are prohibited from taking photos in the Green Light District, which has funky eateries as well as stands selling marijuana cigars, hashish and other associated goodies. Related aromas fill the air. The drugs are illegal in Denmark, but within Christiania are openly consumed and sold. Rival outside groups have wrested control of the drug trade.
We also refrained from photographing the residential areas. The homes come in many styles, sizes and degrees of completion. Gardens and courtyards are common and residents span several generations.
Christiania: You have to take your senses there to believe it.
James and Sue check out the Christiania bikes, sold to make money for the community.