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Posts tagged norrebro

Ill Wicker @ Lygtens Kro

ill-wicker-lygtens-kro

Ill Wicker @ Lygtens Kro (Kobenhavn July 22, 2016)

Before my 2016 adventures in Copenhagen, I hadn’t really explored places where locals hang out. One of my favorites that I discovered this past summer was Lygtens Kro. The place has a nice vibe, and the customers are very friendly. The two downsides are that it gets too crowded (especially on nights with live music) and nearly everyone smokes. The latter criticism can’t really be avoided in Denmark.

Ill Wicker was a great-sounding band from Gothenburg, Sweden.

Terrorist bikers

Back in Copenhagen our first order of business was to secure some bikes. Everyone, it seems, rides a bike here. We wanted to fit in and, more importantly, be able to explore a wider range of the city. The problem is that to rent 4 bikes for a month in this town will set a person back over 3,000 DKK, which, with the weak U.S. dollar, translates into over $600, about how much we can buy 4 bikes for back in the states.

Ellie and her new bike rented from a suspected terrorist

A friend told us we may be able to purchase used bikes from a store they knew about and then sell them back after a month so that the net cost was less than 3,000 Danish Kroners. We went to the bike store to investigate. The owner told us that rather than sell us bikes that we sell back to him after a month he recommended we just rent used bikes from him. That way if we had any problems (flat tires, etc.) he would fix them for free. At 1,200 DKK for four bikes for a month with free repairs we took him up on his offer.

Suspected terrorist and his bike shop in Copenhagen

But the main reason I’m telling you this story isn’t about how to get rental bikes in Copenhagen. (If you are interested, though, his shop is just north-west of the Forum on Orsteds Vej.) Why I’m really relaying this is so that I can tell you the story the bike shop owner told me.

The owner is a really nice man from Iraq. He has been a Danish citizen living in Copenhagen for over 8 years running a humble bike shop.

He wanted to have a big vacation in America, visiting some relatives, so he saved up his money and purchased a plane ticket last year flying through New York with a final destination of Detroit which is near where his relatives live. He converted his savings of Danish Kroners into U.S. Dollars before leaving. Upon arrival in New York he honestly claimed at customs that he was carrying $7,000 as spending money for his vacation in the states. This was apparently too much money for someone born in Iraq to have on their possession and not be a terrorist in the “land of the free.”

Homeland Security immediately put him in handcuffs and ankle cuffs (since bike shop owners from Denmark who just walk off of airplanes after having gone through airport security are well known to have WMDs fly off of their person when not completely shackled). My bike shop owner friend was then searched and placed in a detention cell for two days. He told me he was cuffed at the wrists and ankles for more than 12 of those hours. After two days he was told that he cannot go to Detroit. They placed him on the first flight back to Copenhagen and so ended his American “vacation.”

And we sit around wondering why some of the rest of the world don’t like the good old USA?

He told me that he lived under the regime of Saddam for 30 years, and even though he didn’t like Saddam Hussein, he was never treated poorly during those 30 years by the Iraqi government. No, it took a trip to the United States of America, under the regime of George W. Bush, for all of his human rights to be taken away.

He told me he will never go across the Atlantic Ocean again and will never believe someone that tells him America is a land of freedom.

I told this story to a conservative American couple in Copenhagen a few nights back. I thought it would shock them. Instead of outrage, their response was, “At least they (the U.S. Government) are doing something.” My jaw dropped.

I felt like saying, “How would you like it if on your trip to Europe the British police had cuffed you and thrown you in jail for two days upon your arrival at Heathrow and then sent you on a plane back home?” But I bit my tongue as they changed the subject. The golden rule appears to be a one-way street for them.

Assistants Cemetery

On our first walk around Copenhagen we went through the aforementioned Assistens Kirkegård cemetery where Niels Bohr and Hans Christian Andersen are laid to rest. This place is incredible. It has atmosphere and then some. There is a rich flavor to the entire cemetery. The greens are lush, the trees old, and the varieties endless.

assistants cemetery

Around one corner you may find a couple having a picnic. Around another you may find curious tombstones in a unique setup. Some gravestones have runes on them as well. I’m not sure if they are Viking, Anglo-Saxon, or, more likely, Younger Futhark or Rok.

Assistens Kirkegård

The only thing that disappointed was the graffiti. Niels Bohr’s tombstone is a mess on the backside (not pictured). You can see what Hans Christian Andersen’s currently looks like below.

Hans Christian Andersen

The graffiti relates to The People’s House Copenhagen located at Jagtvej 69. I don’t know all the details but apparently the government sold the building, and the new owners are going to demolish it against the wishes of many people.

Niels Bohr

This is the front of Niels Bohr’s gravestone. The graffiti on the backside contains several English curse words. I have no idea why.

Pictures from Copenhagen, Denmark

How can I possibly have pictures from Copenhagen already when we don’t arrive for another three and half weeks? Well, thanks to information provided by Copenhagen Insider, aerial photos are possible even if you are on the other side of the world. So I took a few pictures to share with you of our future lodgings and the neighborhood.

apartment in Copenhagen Denmark

Although I’m not 100% certain, I’m pretty sure part of the above is our apartment building. We are on the 4th floor. There appears to be a nice courtyard, garden, green area, whatever you want to call it, behind the place. We will be in a part of town called Norrebro. According to one of my guidebooks, Norrebro “is a lively, multicultural part of the city with plenty of bars, cafes, and alternative shopping centres.” In this part of town is the Assistens Kirkegard which is a famous cemetery. My guidebook goes on to state that “it is a wonderful place to relax or take a romantic walk. The churchyard is beautiful and is located in the trendy Norrebro district.” Sounds good.

My other guidebook says, “Norrebro is one of the most delectable nightlife destinations in the city and it is also a cutting-edge fashion centre.” It also provides more details on the famous, leafy cemetery including who is buried there. I will be living in the same neighborhood as the remains of Hans Christian Andersen and Niels Bohr. Cool. In Paris I’ll be in the same neighborhood as Jim Morrison. Last year, on our trip to Japan, we were next to Tokyo’s most famous cemetery as well. Ending up close to famous grave yards seems to be an unintended commonality on our travels.

walking along the sortedams so in Copenhagen Denmark

Less than a block from our apartment is a reservoir called the Sortedam So. You can see people walking along it in the above picture confirming what my guidebook says. “You can lounge along their grassy banks or enjoy the scenic view from the bridges that cross them.” I’ll post that scenic view from the bridge for you here in a month or less. Stay tuned.

botanisk have in Copenhagen Denmark

A short walk over the bridge will have us spilling into the Botanisk Have (pictured above from a bird’s eye view) which my guidebook describes as “among the prettiest outdoor spaces in the city, these gardens are studded with lakes, bridges, and lovely flowerbeds. Climb the winding staircase for a great view of the exotic trees below. A geological and botanical museum are also here.” Needless to say, I can hardly wait.

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