Happy holidays everyone!!
I hope the holidays this year were a time of relaxation, good company and good food! For this holiday season, instead of traveling back home, my sister hopped on a plane to visit me and together we explored London with an old friend from home living there and then journeyed over to Copenhagen for the New Year. There are a lot of special things about Europe during the holiday season, like the twinkling lights decorating the main streets and the mulled wine (basically the wine equivalent to hot apple cider) at the cute Christmas markets, but there are a few things to be wary about if you choose to visit London or other areas of Europe during the holidays. For one, there was a public transit strike during the holiday season and the SouthWest trains between London and Guildford were not running/running less frequently the week leading up to Christmas and the week of, and the Underground train schedule within London stopped running Christmas eve until Boxing Day. We were lucky that we were staying at a friends’ place in northern London and that we’re all fans of walking around, but it did become quite chilly at times.
Another thing I hadn’t been expecting until a week before my sister came was that many restaurants, museums and other places we wanted to go to were closed the days surrounding the Christmas and New Years. We were able to work within these limitations and squeeze in a few museums and restaurants while we could, and explore the parks and streets on Christmas when most everything was closed. It took a little more planning and improvising, but we still had a wonderful time exploring London.
On the 27th, we journeyed to Copenhagen (we’re still there now!) and it’s such an easy city to be in. We found an air bnb to stay at in the Vesterbro neighborhood not too far from the Central Station, which couldn’t have been more convenient. Though the street names seem daunting at first, they’re easy to maneuver and after the first night of exploring, we already felt familiar with the neighborhood. If you like to walk, this city is for you! Not gonna lie, the food is kinda expensive, but the food is really tasty and we’ve been able to cook at the air bnb which has made eating less of a hassle. My sister is an artist, so she enjoys going to art museums and galleries, which there are plenty of here, though all of the galleries were closed during the holidays. Though some of the restaurants we wanted to go to were closed too, we easily found alternative places to go.
Highlights of Copenhagen include walking around everywhere, seeing the neighborhoods, the parks and what Copenhagen is like, seeing so many people on bikes, going to the Kunsthal Charlottenborg (an art institute which is free), and the Copenhagen Contemporary Art Museum in Christiania (the graffiti around Christiania was pretty cool and the museum had really unique exhibitions though the street food market next to it was closed 🙁 ). Copenhagen is just an easy place to adapt to when traveling for just a few days; even though Danish is the primary language, everyone knows some English and you can ask for most menus in English.
We leave this place tomorrow to head back to the glorious land of Guildford. I’m sad to leave and see my travels come to an end, but it’s good timing because I’m also out of clean socks.