When I planned my to Scandinavia it 2004 I didn’t realize until I arrived that it was the ‘summer solstice’. The term is colloquially used like “midsummer” to refer to the day on which solstice occurs. The summer solstice day has the longest period of daylight, except in the polar regions, where daytime remains continuous for 24 hours every day during a period ranging from a few days to six months around the summer solstice. And this would be my first stop on my journey through Scandinavia and it would be an adjustment like nothing I’ve ever had to do.
Like so many countries I’ve visited I had no idea what to expect and Copenhagen would be no different. I don’t no what drew me Denmark, aside from Hans Christian Anderson, I new nothing about it, truthfully I knew nothing about this part of the world. Once I’d done some research I knew this would be my next journey and a good friend would spend the five days with me.
On our first full day it was a visit to a camera shop in which we were informed of where to buy the best ‘hash’ something we were not looking for. I do not know if it was the way we looked, or we were a black man and a Brazilian together, but the man behind the counter felt the need to inform us when all I wanted was film. We looked at each other and said ok.
It was the blind leading the blind as we both entered the unknown. It was Copenhagen’s ghetto a rural part of the city and all you could smell was hash from any given tent. It was an open air market where you could buy many different things aside from hash. There were hand carved statues and hand woven clothes and fine jewelry and just about every instrument to smoke just about anything. We had absolutely no reason to be there especially being tourists and once we realized that we left, but it was an interesting way to start our five day adventure.
Once we returned from our walk we truly began exploring Copenhagen. It has been called the most beautiful city in Scandinavia and it is easy to see why. The city streets are narrow and the houses that sat on them were a perfect size and no one house bigger than the others. The neighborhoods were villages with a calmness about them, when you forget you’re in a major European city.
And the city itself was an extension of the village it never overwhelmed you with in many ways it was just as quaint. The buildings were an eclectic mix of old world vs new, 16th century and 21st century standing side by side or across from one another will all roads leading the city center. Welcome to Copenhagen.