Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Culture, Denmark, Expat life, Travel, Vesterbro, Vesterbro

Enghave Plads, Vesterbro

Enghave Plads is at one end of Istedgade and it’s a nice busy spot (plaza?) to hang out on a sunny day. There’s a metro station in the square and the area leads on to a very nice little park at the end of the street, with picnic areas and a fountain. It’s a nice spot to start exploring Vesterbro. I didn’t have a ton of pictures here, but because I did take a picture of my ice cream (of course) I’ll take this opportunity to mention that Nicecream, a vegan ice cream shop by Enghave Plads, is really good! The shop always has a queue so that attests to how popular the place is.

I find that Denmark actually seems ahead of the UK when it comes to vegan/vegetarian food options. It’s easy to dine out as a vegan here, I think (similar to the UK), but it’s even easier to buy vegan at the supermarket. Despite my very limited knowledge of Danish, it’s easy to spot the ‘vegan’ shelves/freezers, which stock plenty of plant-based alternatives. I would say the meat replacement products especially are surprisingly good compared to the UK – you get a big variety of brands and types of ‘mock meats’ that don’t taste like crap (I normally dislike mock meat because they tend to be rubbery and taste terrible). On top of that, I get the sense that a lot of supermarkets (excluding the “discount” types like Lidl) stock mostly “healthy” (and veggie-friendly) items anyway. It’s not so often that greasy/junk food catches my eye (unlike in UK supermarkets).

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B, Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Culture, Expat life, Home, Travel, Vesterbro, Vesterbro

Istedgade, Vesterbro

I just love living around Vesterbro. I didn’t know anything about this neighbourhood when I visited Copenhagen as a tourist a few years ago, so I hadn’t seen any of it before moving here from Bristol, UK. When I was planning my move to Copenhagen from the UK, Vesterbro was the one central-ish neighbourhood that I happened to find available accommodation. As soon as I found the place I put down a deposit and signed the lease before even entering the country (you have to be really careful with scammers though apparently). Accommodation is notoriously difficult to secure in Copenhagen so I didn’t want to risk waiting around searching for something else.

Well, thank goodness it turned out to be the most perfect place I could possibly live as a newcomer to Copenhagen! I find the location to be just perfect – it’s close to the city centre, it’s got buzz, there’s also decent green spaces, hip venues, quirky shops, and so on. I feel like I’m at the heart of all the action, though I’ve been more or less a homebody since moving thanks to not having a real social circle here and being busy with work, ha (and of course corona). The fact that it’s only a 10 minute bike ride to my workplace is also a plus.

There are quite a few streets in the neighbourhood with their very own ‘character’. Istedgade is one of them and is definitely a street that warrants its own post – it stretches out a kilometre and it stands out in the neighbourhood as particularly fun for people-watching. The mood and vibe of the street changes as you walk up and down – you’ll see what I mean from my pictures below.

Outdoor seating ready for summer!
I thought it was rather mysterious how that prism-like shape floats about that spot. I won’t question it though, ha
More brickwork.
Pretty sure this weird statue is stood at the entrance to a hotel on the street.
Loving the bright colours of the buildings here.
And more colours to entice people like me!
I’m rather fond of these pink walls.
This photo pretty much sums up ‘Danish cool’.
Spotted a neon shop on the street.
Any bar with a fluorescent cactus sign gets points in my book.
A more vintage vibe…
Compared to where I lived in Bristol, there isn’t as much ‘grunge’ or street art but you’ll notice big wall murals and pops of colour around Vesterbro.
It sure seems like the Danes know how to maintain plant life 🙂

Hope you enjoyed these pictures, have a good day!

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Bristol, Bristol, Home, Travel

Ashton Court/Leigh Woods, Bristol

I’ve been sharing so many snaps of Copenhagen lately you’d think I’d forgotten about Bristol. But I lived in Bristol for close to 6 years, so I’ve still got some places to share with you yet 🙂

Ashton court and Leigh woods was great place for quarantine/lockdown walks. The woodland and open meadow are quite spacious and you’re surrounded by some picturesque scenes. And if you live more centrally, without a bike or a car, I reckon this is pretty much the only big ‘nature’ walk you can get within walking distance to the city centre. Check it out:

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Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Culture, Denmark, Expat life, Home, Travel

Christianshavn, Copenhagen

This post is going to be even more image-heavy than usual…consider yourself warned!

Christianshavn is a part of the city centre (Indre By) in Copenhagen, but on its own island the other side of the canals. It’s got a more bohemian vibe compared to the rest of town, though plenty of colourful houses as is characteristic of Copenhagen 🙂 It’s definitely a picturesque and walkable neighbourhood, and a perfect place to stop by for a drink by the water or cruise through the canal. It’s also very close to the notorious Christiania, the self-governing commune within the city which has become a tourist attraction in its own right.

The impressive church you see in the photos below with the helix tower is the Church of Our Saviour. I’d love to climb the spires but the place was closed due to the coronavirus. There are so many places I can’t wait to visit here over the next couple of years!

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Bristol, Bristol, Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark, Home, Personal, Travel, Uncategorized

Life in Copenhagen: 2 Months in

Today is exactly 2 months since I arrived to Denmark. I’ve queued up this post because I’ll be travelling back to Copenhagen today from a weekend away celebrating my partner’s birthday 🙂

Though not much else has happened or changed since my last update, I guess I can now say I have met someone ‘special’ here. I won’t bore you with the details except to say it’s making a positive impact on my life overall 🙂 Besides that, the weather has taken a turn for the worse, if we can call that news (how English of me to talk about the weather so often). I mean it feels like it’s been raining non-stop for the entire month of July. No big deal, though – I’m already used to rainy summers thanks to being from Korea (we have the most humid monsoon seasons) and having lived in the UK previously.

Anyhow, this has meant a lot of indoor days and museum trips. I’ll share some snaps in upcoming posts. Many museums and attractions are half price during this summer period in particular, and some of them have days where you can visit for free anyway. So I’ve been trying to take advantage of that. Just the other day I went to a Korean-born Danish artist’s exhibition! It’s great to be “new” in a city over summertime because you really feel like you are on an extended vacation and don’t get bored or feel a need to travel elsewhere – at least I don’t really! And since we get so much nordic summer light here it’s really a blessing to get off work ‘on time’ – as in 5pm before everything closes – and to make the most of what’s left of the day. Honestly, it feels like you can have two complete days in one – the time you spend at work, and the leisurely activities you can enjoy around the city after work before it gets dark around 10-11pm.

Besides that, I don’t necessarily have exciting adventures to report. Everyone at work is basically on holiday here, as July tends to be the ‘holiday’ month for employees in Denmark. Personally, I’ve been pretty busy with work and will be for the foreseeable future so I don’t anticipate that I will take any time off. As I’ve mentioned in my previous update, though, the work/life balance is pretty good here so I don’t feel like I’m missing out.

The thing that’s mind-blowing to me right now is that last year July, right around this time, I graduated from my PhD. I know I keep going on about all these developments in my life but I really hadn’t the faintest idea what I would do with my career this time last year. I felt like a complete fraud putting on my fancy robes for what felt to me a ceremony to validate that I am overqualified, overeducated, and with no purpose in the real world (you have to remember, I was unemployed when I graduated).

If anyone had told me last year on my graduation day that in exactly a year’s time I would be 2 months into my second academic job (in Denmark of all places!), living in a French-style apartment in the middle of the coolest neighbourhood in Copenhagen, happier than I have ever been in my life, completely smitten with the first person I met here…well, I would have told them those kind of stories don’t get written for foreigners like me 😉 I mean you really have no idea…I used to fantasise about not getting deported, that was my threshold for a good life! I’ve always felt like a little nomad, an outsider, with no real home to speak of, trying to make it somewhere in a sea of obstacles. I’ve always felt like my life story was constantly changing course and being re-written. And I’d wondered if my story would ever ‘settle’. Maybe it never will. But what I have right now – a few years of stability – is good. It’s the best possible reprieve from my anxieties about the grand uncertain narrative that is my life (and I suppose, the universe).

It occurs to me that I haven’t really kept up with my Sunday musings posts, and I think the reasons for that are: first, that it feels a bit arrogant to assume strangers are actually interested in my passing thoughts, and second, I’ve been occupied with living my life. So, I’m not sure how frequent the text-only posts will be. I’ve always found that when I’m super content or happy with my life I don’t have much to say by way of writing out prose. In a weird way, dissatisfaction is often more inspiring than happiness, which is sort of more banal (not that this is an unwelcome thing!) But if you are in a generous mood, do feel free to give me ideas for things I could reflect about.

Have a nice day 🙂

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Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Culture, Denmark, Expat life, Home, Travel

The Playhouse, Copenhagen

I have some not-so-good news. My trusty old Canon Rebel T3i (a rather old model of Canon’s entry-level DSLR, which all the photos on my blog are taken with, excepting a few phone snaps) has broken down after all these years, thanks to…the rain. Such is Danish summer. It was just the other day that I went out for a walk around this exact area, it hadn’t rained all day, and I took some photos of dramatic rain clouds. On my cycle back home, however, it suddenly started pouring down. It was less like rain and more like a flood of waterfall from the heavens, I’ve never experienced such intense rainfall in my life. Of course the rain then subsided just in time for me to step back home sniffling and absolutely soaked head-to-toe. Unfortunately my camera somehow got wet inside my backpack (which I covered with my umbrella) and it has just stopped working since. Thankfully my lens and memory card seems fine so I will at least be able to share some of my rainy/cloudy shots with you at some point. I’m not too sad about the camera, though this is now unfortunately my second camera which has broken, because I am definitely on the market for a camera upgrade 🙂 I’m honestly torn between getting another DSLR – I’ve owned and loved my trusty Canon DSLRs over 10+ years – and a more compact mirrorless camera. I am so indecisive about these kind of things. Any of you camera-lovers have any advice for an amateur like me?

Anyhow – you’ll have to make do with these dry golden-hour shots I took a couple weeks back by the Playhouse in town 🙂 I’ve got a backlog of many more wonderful scenes from Denmark to share with you in general, so there will be plenty more photos in the coming weeks.

These set of pictures in particular make me so happy. I mean, there’s an aesthetic overload going on here. The clean lines, the neat patterns, the angular structures, the glass, the golden hour reflections, the bright yellow water taxi, the cyclist’s bridge, the social spaces. It’s a memorable place and perfect for an evening stroll close to town. I am reminded yet again to try and get out a bit more and make the most of the late sunset hours when it’s sunny enough to be outside (maybe with a new camera next time)!

Hope you enjoyed these images 🙂

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Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark, Home, Travel

Frederiksberg Have, Copenhagen

I feel like I’ve shared many lovely green spaces with you on my blog already, but let me tell you…Frederiksberg Have is a real treat! This park is a little haven away from the buzz of the city, not that the city has much buzz at the moment…ha. I find all the parks in Copenhagen quite “fancy” (like, extremely well kept and super clean – just look at the pristine hedges in the photos) but this one is particularly so. It’s less than a ten minute bike ride away from me, so I feel fortunate to have all this practically in my back yard. You’ll see lots of families and groups of friends having picnics in this park, and lots of ducks and geese walking around and shedding feathers on the grass. Just the other week I finished a book here on my little picnic blanket 🙂

Grand view of Frederiksberg Palace inside the park.
I’m always impressed by how pristine the parks are in the city.
Plenty of cute creatures waddling about 🙂
There are some very romantic scenes/walks in the place too.
Reflections at sundown…
I detest seagulls but I thought this was a cool shot, ha.
Love the colourful bit of gardening here.
Exiting the park at golden hour, as per 🙂
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Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Culture, Denmark, Expat life, Travel

Glyptoteket, Copenhagen

This is the first museum I’ve visited since moving to Copenhagen, and it was definitely a good one to start with. It features the personal collection of Carl Jacobsen (son of Carlsberg Breweries’ founder) and contains a large selection of ancient Mediterranean sculptures, as well as French impressionist paintings. The building itself is quite lovely. It’s got a lush tropical indoor courtyard, for one, and lots of skylights leading the way up to a rooftop terrace with an entertaining view of Tivoli amusement park rollercoasters (you can see people getting flung in all directions).

Also, in case any of you plan a trip to Copenhagen or this museum in the future – it seems like there is free entry on Tuesdays so you may want to double check for that 🙂

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Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Culture, Denmark, Expat life, Home, Travel

Botanical Garden, University of Copenhagen

Another Giverny post? No, this time I’m sharing some photos from here in Denmark, from my university’s botanical garden. It’s no Monet’s garden, but it’s got a charm of its own. It makes for an idyllic walk, and there’s plenty of interesting plants to observe on the way (many I hadn’t seen before!) as you will see in the photos.

The gardens are in a very central location, right next to Rosenborg Castle, and very close to my workplace. It’s free to walk around the gardens, but you have to pay to go into the greenhouses. Pity I don’t go for lunchtime walks here more often.

Even though my workplace is in the heart of Copenhagen, I haven’t felt particularly compelled to wander into town during or after work. Once I’m at work I feel busy! But looking back on these pictures, I’m thinking it would be really nice to read here or catch some rays on warm summer days every now and again.

Hope you enjoyed these photos!

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