Denmark – Day 1 – Paper Island, Nyhavn, and Strange things

So, super early start today, getting up for the airport at 4:30am for a flight around 7am.

Nothing particularly noteworthy about the flight, though I did accidentally try to smuggle on some scissors (I thought I had lost them, apparently they were in my luggage), the bag search lady was not too impressed.

We arrived in Copenhagen a little before midday local time, grabbed the train to Amegebro (or something like that? We actually memorised it as ‘I’m a gay bro’) and met up with our Airbnb host. The accommodation is decently sized and the beds are super soft and foamy (not sure if this is a good thing or not yet), the only real downside of the flat is that you need to walk up like 6 stories worth of stairs to get to the front door (75 steep steps)

After dropping our stuff off and having a quick rest, we were quickly off to Paper island, which has Copenhagen food street area – a covered ex warehouse or similar, huge location filled with just about every type of cuisine – the family split up and brought back a selection of nice food to the table, which turned out to be a pulled pork burger, a duck burger, some chicken… Thing, and some Korean fried chicken. All pretty good, no complaints here aside from the price, which was pretty high (though, unfortunately, just normal for Copenhagen, with all dishes in the food street costing over £10 and into the 15 range).

After eating our fill, we headed to Nyharvn – the scenic canal with colourful houses that you have probably seen in postcards or on social media feeds, it is the most distinctly Copenhagen thing that I am aware of. We would hunt around there for a little bit looking for a riverboat tour of the canals.

We found the riverboat tour after some searching around, it had been raining pretty much all day and so we were initially thankful to have a riverboat with a glass ceiling, at least we would be able to rest and stay dry for a bit after the long walk from the food street. Unfortunately the glass walls and roof weren’t fantastic at letting us actually see the sights the tour guide was pointing out, and the open air segment of the boat was crowded and wet – coupled with the fact that we had all been up since 4AMish, all of us actually ended up dozing off for some of the ride.

After disembarking the boat, we set off down one of the more lively looking streets, filled with shops and bustle – we’d spot a huge church down one of the side roads, and went to investigate…
The church was actually St Nikolaj church, though the inside was no longer being used for prayer, having been stripped down of everything heavenly and being replaced by… Something significantly stranger..

Denmark was about to get weird.

After flashing our Copenhagen cards to gain entry (tourist card) we would be greeted by a pure white church interior, some strange mouldings on the floor, and a very odd corridor looking like something from an Alien space station – there was very loud and ominous music blasting throughout the church, like industrial noises mixed with higher pitched organ soundings… It genuinely sounded like something from a horror film soundtrack. Going through the corridor would eventually lead to a staircase to upper floors, with the top one having bloodied lab coats and metallic railings and boat blueprints scattered around.. Meanwhile on the ground level, coloured polygon shapes were embedded in the ground, some emitting sounds or smoke… The staff were all dressed in lab coats as well. The whole thing felt like some sort of bizarre experiment, and I was half expecting the staff to stop us from leaving until we solved the puzzle, I’m sure a talented game dev could create a video game out of what we saw in there.

After being thoroughly baffled, we’d head back down the road and come across ‘the round tower’ (actually called that, how original), finally a more normal and traditional sightseeing structure. The interior was just a giant screw tapering, going all the way to the top where you could eventually get a 360 view of Copenhagen, there was also a hole down the middle of the entire tower, which would allow you to see all the way down from the top to the Base, complete with glass floor you can stand on – I opted not to.

And then things got weird again.

One of the side doors in the tower lead to a different ‘art’ exhibit, with floating halos and… This… Thing.
In similar fashion to the ‘ship’ we had seen earlier, this exhibit was also blasting the most ominous freaky horror film soundtrack you’ve ever heard, it would have felt right at home as part of ‘The Grudge’ or similar scary flick – the end of the room had curtains leading to a near pitch black partition with a movie screen showing… I’m not entirely sure what it was showing, but the noises and ‘music’ were freaky enough to make you not want to stick around long enough to find out.

You can check the freaky music in the exhibit below

We would head back to the flat afterwards, stopping by a Danish supermarket and shopping centre first – resting up, and then heading back out to a tiny 2 table Italian restaurant called Pasta House, there wasn’t much to eat around our Airbnb flat, with majority of the restaurants in Copenhagen apparently closing at 8 or 9pm, so were kind of happy to just be able to find somewhere to eat. I didn’t get any pictures of the inside but this was a real one man band kind of deal, with strange decoration and only enough seating for maybe 6 people, regulars would come and chat with the boss while he cooked, and then the food was rather strangely served up in one of those metal oven takeaway dishes, really not much to look at, but the food was reasonable at least.