Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Copenhagen Vacation Highlight: Copenhagen and Clarity

I fell in love with Copenhagen, and though I did nothing cultural (aside from drinking the local beers), I couldn't have enjoyed a city more.

So very walkable, and easy going, the city was beautiful. See?!

View from the 21st floor. Thanks new phone!

I was lucky enough to find an affordable hotel in central Copenhagen, so nothing was more than a 20-minute walk from me. The air was so fresh and I'll even admit that I missed the rain. The weather was so Vancouver, it was comforting. And though the city was expensive, there were ways to enjoy it without spending a ton of money.
Me and just one of the canals.

And canals! They make everything so pretty.

As I roamed the city streets, I had yet another a-ha moment: This is why I moved. A weekend in Copenhagen would have been unimaginable back in Vancouver, not to mention unaffordable.

The thing I love about travelling solo is it gives you a ton of thinking time. Time that isn't filled with the obligations of daily life. Time that is yours and yours alone. In those thoughts, I realized how lucky I am. How special these moments are, exploring new cities, experiencing new things, seeing everything and nothing. Copenhagen helped remind me that I really like my life, that the choices I've made thus far, though some questionable, have led me to this moment and this place.

Easily one of the best weekends of my life. Easily one of the most memorable trips I've ever taken. Easily of the best cities I've ever visited.

So yeah, to say Copenhagen has moved up my list of cities to move to would be an understatement. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Copenhagen Vacation Highlight: The National

After arriving in Dubai I realized something: very little good music comes to the sandpit. Missing regular concerts, I decided early on that I would base my travel destinations on interesting music / events in places I've never been to before.

The National playing in Copenhagen was the impetus of my trip. They were my excuse for visiting the city, they were my excuse to run away from Dubai for the weekend.

And they didn't disappoint.

The sold out show was in a relatively small venue, but full of very tall Danish people - my calves got quite the workout from being on my tippy-toes the entire time.

So there you have it, only my second show of 2013, but I'm happy to say it was a memorable one.


I Should Live in Salt
Don't Swallow the Cap
Bloodbuzz Ohio
Sea of Love
Afraid of Everyone
Conversation 16
Squalor Victoria
I Need My Girl
This Is the Last Time
Apartment Story
Slow Show
Pink Rabbits
About Today
Fake Empire

Mr. November
Terrible Love
Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks

Friday, November 08, 2013

Copenhagen Vacation Highlight: OkCupid Does it Again

I've made a habit of using online dating sites to secure cute tour guides in various cities. In Berlin and Amsterdam, my trick worked quite well. Copenhagen put those experiences to shame.

When I met my tour guide for dinner, we began the obligatory first date conversation, 'what do you do?' 'how do you spend your free time?' you know, the usual. I explained to my date how I have a podcast. He asked the name and I explained the name and its origin - given that English wasn't his first language, I wanted to ensure the pun got across.

He proceeded to bring out his phone and show me our page.

Great, at least he can use Google effectively.

A few minutes later I was taking a photo of the beer I was drinking and I told him about how Corey and I drink beer each week and I was capturing the moment in part, for the podcast.

"Iris, I know you drink beer each week. You and Corey talk about it."


"Iris, I've listened to your podcast. That's why it is on my phone."


Apparently I was on a date in a foreign land with someone who had listened to our podcast.

When I've told people this story, they've immediately said "Stalker". But it's simply not possible. This guy didn't know my first name when we met at the restaurant, my profile says that I have a podcast but when you search 'podcast', we are not anywhere near the first thing that comes up. There is simply no way this person could have known that I was a co-host of this particular podcast.


So there I sat, enjoying sushi with one of our listeners. In Copenhagen.

What the what?

Needless to say, this blew my mind. The whole experience blew my freaking mind. 

Monday, November 04, 2013

Copenhagen Vacation Highlight: Beer!

I love beer. I won't, no I can't, deny it. When I made my plans for Copenhagen, I knew beer would play very heavily into my adventure, and boy did it.
Beer at Sticks n Sushi

You see, the trouble with Dubai is the beer variety is generally limited. Heineken, Guinness, Fosters, the usual suspects. No interesting craft beers or even seasonal varieties. I was about to get quite the treat from Copenhagen, and I didn't even know it.

The first night I was there, a friend and I went for sushi, where I enjoyed the restaurant's house brew.

After sushi, we headed to a small pub for more Danish beer. A few more stops that evening and several more local beers later, the night came to an end.

The next day, I was on my own to wander. A beer in a park, was followed by a trek to a local brewery. Mikkeller was my first stop. Their peach brew and sour beer were delicious. I love me a good fruity beer, my Portland trip turned me on to sour beers. Who knew sour beers could be so good!?

I finished the fancy craft beers and went off to brewery number three, Apollo Brewery.

Christmas brew & marinated herring at BrewPub
When I sat down, I asked the waiter, "What's your beer of the month?" He looked at me like I was stupid and said, "Of course, it is our Christmas beer."

YES! (I would find out the next day that November 1 is J-Dag, or the first day of the Christmas beer season. Honestly, could Copenhagen be any more awesome!?)

The next day saw another brewery, and many more Christmas brews. BrewPub's Ellington variety was my favorite of all the beers I sampled this holiday.

Beer in a park?
Have I mentioned how much I love Europe?
The rest of my trip was spent with Tubourg's Julebryg, and many of them. Sometimes they were enjoyed in parks, sometimes they were enjoyed in pubs, but they were all enjoyed.

So thanks Copenhagen for being such a lovely destination for a neglected beer fan.