going strøget

copenhagen, strøget

Drew this from a photo taken on my first trip to Denmark (strawberries, adidas shorts, 1995), strøget in Copenhagen. The photo itself is bright and sunny and colourful, but for some reason I changed it to sepia and old-fashioned. Well, it’s historical, for me. I was nineteen and adventurous (and skint). I just decided one day to go and pick jordbaer in the south of Fyn, meeting lots of interesting people along the way. Back in those days they didn’t have the long road bridges between the isles: a trip across Denmark meant getting on lots of ferries. There was a great ferry that the train rolled onto, and off again once in port, straight onto the tracks. That hot summer, the night in Copenhagen came last. I must have had about ten quid’s worth of krone left. Doesn’t get you very far in Denmark. I went to an atrociously bad hostel, paid my money, sat on the bed (with the hudnred or so other beds in the converted gym around me, got up, went to the front desk, got my krones back and went off into the night. My bags were locked at the station, and went to a karaoke bar, and while singing ‘going underground’ I told Denmark about my predicament, and I swear I didn’t have to buy another drink that whole night. I was younger then. I got on the bus for London the next morning (the bus! Back before the cheap flights boom, the 24 hour eurobus ride from hell was the way the poor travelled) I had one Danish krone left, one of those coins with a hole in it. I threaded a piece of string through it and made it into a necklace. I probably still have it somewhere.

I’ve been back a couple of times since, each with different stories. A friend of mine just had his stag do in Aarhus, another place I’ve been a couple of times; wish I could have gone this time! I could at least afford the drinks now.  I love Denmark, it’s expensive but the people really are the friendliest.