As most of you know, I was in Denmark from August 3rd to August 8th for the Amnesty International Nordic Youth Conference. While 4 of the 6 days were full of Human Rights Activism and Advocacy, my first and last day were spent walking around Copenhagen! My trip to Denmark was not only my first time in a Nordic country but my first time in Europe all together. You can imagine my excitement!
When I first got to Copenhagen airport on Sunday afternoon, I was greeted by an Amnesty Youth Activist with whom I stayed for the night. After making our way to her house in Norrebro and having dinner. We went out to a little coffee shop in the area called Tjili Pop. It is actually a place I loved so much I see myself going there on a daily basis. On top of being decorated with chalk boards, typewriters, and old record players, they played the perfect playlist ever! The most striking thing about the city at that point (after basically spending 5 hours in CPH) would have to be the number of bikes I had seen. I am pretty sure I lost count after about an hour and before we even reached Atussa’s house.
The next morning we woke up quite early, got a copious breakfast and then headed to the bus station towards downtown Copenhagen. The plan was to drop off my bags at the Amnesty International office, since the conference started in the afternoon, and then go out and explore the city. Since it was raining cats and dogs on Monday morning, the only good picture I have is of Copenhagen from the 12th floor of Atussa’s building! We did however walk through all of Strøget (the shopping street in Copenhagen), we then went for a quick-lunch before heading to The Coffee Collective booth in Torvehallernekbh for some awesome lattes! This was the end of my time with Atussa as we had to say goodbye once we had reached the Amnesty office.
The Nordic Youth Conference was held in Sankt Helene in Tisvildeleje, Denmark. Despite having a really tight schedule most of us still managed to go to the beach Tuesday night after our last country group meeting. It was probably 10 pm, if not later, by the time we reached the beach. I took advantage of the low light to play around with the shutter speed on my camera. I even got a shot of the starry sky! It was not until around midnight that the last four of us made it back to the conference center. We then met up with some other people from the group, went on a mini “adventure” in the woods, before settling for a capitals game during which Karan enjoyed questioning Emil and I about all the capitals of the world.
I think that on Wednesday, everyone was so focused on the Public Action that the moment we got a free opening in our schedule we all went to the beach for some much deserved relax time. Again, I did not take as many pictures seeing as I was too busy swimming, but here are a couple from my Instagram account (feel free to follow me @Kipepeo_Bee).
Thursday was definitely a bittersweet day since I had to say goodbye to the new friends I had made during the conference. Initially, I was supposed to check in at my hotel and then go to meet the people whose flights were not until later in the evening for an early dinner before they departed. However, due to some faulty communication, I could not get a hold of anyone and neither could they so I ended up going for a walk around town alone. Some of us did get to take a last selfie before leaving the bus, so at least there was that!
Later that evening, I got in touch with some people from my university: Amine, who spent his summer studying at Copenhagen Business University, and Peter, my Danish friend who was an exchange student at AUI last Fall. They picked me up for my hotel and we spent the night walking around Copenhagen. I’m always a fan of the way cities look late at night/early in morning. Naturally, I’m really glad I got to see Copenhagen at 2 am. One of the highlights of my stay would have to be sitting on the dock near the Royal Danish Playhouse overlooking the dark still water and the illuminated Copenhagen Opera House.
For my last day in the Danish capital, I wanted to get a taste of the not-so-touristy Copenhagen. Peter picked me up again and after we dropped off my bags at his apartment, we went on one very long walk. I think we walked for at least four hours and it was not until I got back to Morocco and looked at a Copenhagen map that I finally realized the distance we covered.
We spent most of our time in different parks around Frederiksberg. We then ended up somewhere near the old Carlsberg factory, which is now a visitor center. We finally crossed the city, got some coffee, went into a bookshop. and went to the King’s Garden where Rosenborg Castle is (The castle is used to store the crown jewels).
After lunch, Peter drove me to the airport where I had to wait for an hour and a half to check in (typical) and then fly on a plane full of hyperactive kids. Yay-not. Either way, I made it to the Casablanca airport around 10 pm and between the time it took to get my luggage and drive back to Kenitra, I was not really home until 1 am. All in all, my stay in Denmark was really enjoyable. Also, Copenhagen has definitely secured a spot on my TOP 5 cities I’ve been to so far. It is safe to say I will to go back some other day and see more of it!