And the award for the airline trying to flog the most crap goes to…Ryan Air!
No I do not need a special Ryan Air carry on suitcase, or your priority insurance, or your magazines, or your scratch cards and I most certainly do not want your e-cigarettes. And can you please get this token crying baby to shut up. I also did not appreciate having to pay £2.60 for a bottle of water! My friend warned me that Denmark was expensive, but I didn’t realise it started as soon as we were airbourne!
So, the F word. No, not that one. Friends!
That is exactly my next tip for cheap holiday, in this case, my long weekend in Denmark with one of my best friend’s, Annika. If you have any friends or family living in another country, then ditch the Skype and visit them in person! This trip costed a total of £200 (well, intially, I’ll explain) £50 for the flights (orginaly £17 each but my favourite airline, Ryan Air, can’t resist bulking the total cost up with fees. I mean, what the hell is a passenger fee anyways?!) and £150 spending money. Although, you may find yourself £77 out of pocket (or in IOU form to your disappointed father) if you happen to accidently book your return flight a whole month late. I entirely blame this on Ryan Air’s apaling website (walking it off). After a few tears and a considerable amount of mocking from my boyfriend, I had my return ticket for the 11th February sorted!
Now, my friend had told me that the best time to visit Denmark, and more specifically Aarhus, was in the spring. But unfortunately, those flights will usually cost you a bit more (if you book them on the right dates anyways) and if you’re a student like me then spring is the dreaded exam period. So February had to do! Although, as like most sun thirsty Brits, I have only ever flown during the summer months, so it was great surprise to break through the clouds and see acres of white coated land. And man was I so glad my Mum gave me a hat to take, because it was freezing over there!
The airport is tiny, but this does have it’s advantages. For one, I didn’t have to wear my glasses to see across to the other side of the room, but it also made the issue of finding the bus that takes you straight into the center of Aarhus easy enough. As in you literally walk out of the airport and it is there waiting for you as it’s bus times are synched up with the flights timetable. Those nifty Danes. I must admit though, it did feel slightly odd handing over a note with 100 written on it to a bus driver, but in correct money terms (The marvellous, and ever inflating Great British Pound, it comes to about a tenner, which may still seem expensive but it really is the distance of a coach journey).
As soon as I hopped off the bus, and then back on again because I left my lens cap behind, I got my first real view of Denmark. The architecture, like most of Europe, is just incredible. With tall, pointed roofs grazing the clouds, and a great thriving city. The train station it’s self was an incredible building as well, although the red light of what looked like a Rolling Stones Forty Licks with wings kind of ruined the vintage vibe.
After meeting my friend (and spending the equivalent of one elephant staring at one another before we realised who each other was) we did what you must do in Denmark. Grab a Danish pastry! Unfortunately for the pastry, we got side tracked by the need for warmth and a chit-chat, resulting in them going a bit stale. But having a catch up doesn’t mean that you have to put your adventures on hold, and for me, this was trying a tiramisu latte. A desert in a coffee, what more could you want?! And it lived up to it’s name.
One building that will really stick out like a sore thumb, or an incredible master peiece is the City Hall. What some would consider a council flat, others a clock tower, and the more abstract among us, a peice of art. One very random building indeed. And I still can’t decided whether I like it or not….
What do you think??
Anyway, this whole blog isn’t going to be the philosophical wanderings of a curious spirit, whom is slightly obsessed with cute animals on YouTube. Let’s get down to the Great Danish To-Do list.
If you’re visiting a fellow student friend, then one thing you must do is have a night out! One of the most surreal moments of my life was standing on a podium in a night club in Denmark singing Westlife’s, ‘World of Our Own’. Yep. That happened.
The drinks aren’t cheap, but if you’re willing to scacrifice taste for price then you can get some liqourice flavoured shots for pretty cheap. The strip in Aarhus is extremely plentiful, although some clubs you may need to be as old as 23 to get in to but there are plenty of 18 and over clubs you can go to as well.
Now, this is a travel blog. Not a travel brochure. So I’m here to tell you the truth, and nothing but the truth….something like that. In the most delicate and unoffensive way that I can, if Danish girls have a place to be, they will get there. And sometimes this may result in a bit of pushing. So don’t take it personally if, even in you’re Primark ‘Vans’ lookalike trainers, you end up on the floor. And also there seems to be the general consensus that if you’ve gotta go, you’ve gotta go. So if you see a girl, or boy, discreetly relieving themselves in the streets, it’s pretty normal. But on the upside, this really isn’t too different than a night out in the UK, and to be honest, I’d rather a girl pushes me because that’s just what is done, than trying to start a fight. Again, obsessed with funny animal videos, lover not a fighter.
After a night out, I spent my Saturday mostly in bed and catching up with my awesome mate (she told me to say that). So Saturday was a bit of a write off, but then again, I don’t think you can really call watching The Lion King in a onesie a write off.
Sunday was our day of tourism, and great thing about living in a student city is that you can get student discount. Even if it’s British!
The first place we visited was ‘The Old town’ or ‘Den Gamle By’, if you’re feeling cultural. This is an open-air museum to the history of Denmark, from late 1800s to the 60’s. And it is incredible. Each building has been taken apart, brick by brick, and been restored again, brick by brick, in this little historic village. And it’s only 30 Krone! That’s about £3! I think I paid more for a drink on the Friday evening! It’s not my first open air museum I’ve visited, but that doesn’t make it any less special, and in fact it was the first open air museum to have been built back in 1909 (I just googled that). You do get a really great vibe from it though, and it’s so much more interesting than just going around a building and looking at things encased in class, it was really interactive, and even though I am a bit of a history buff it is a really cheap day out. And you could spend an entire day there! We didn’t even get the whole way round it before we had to surrender to the cold, it was an awesome place to get some great photos though.
Our next stop off was ARoS, to visit it’s rainbow panorama. Which is just astonishing, and attach to all that is an amazing art gallery for a student price of 80 Kroner, about £8 (if you hadn’t worked that out by now). The rainbow panorama is just madness, with this coloured panelled corridor going in a full 360 degrees, it gives you a view of the whole of Aarhus. And if you go at sunset, it’s even more incredible Although I could imagine that on a really sunny day it must look jaw dropping-ly beautiful. It’s also a really great place for some more snaps, in fact Annika and I spent probably the better part of an hour in there! A definite must, even if you just pay the £8 to do that, it is really amazing.
Having a gander at the massive creepy boy is also another must. This is a piece of art by the way, not just a fat kid who is occasionally at the art gallery. I did take art in school, but with most things you’re taught at school, the fun got sucked out of it. But, this was the first time I feel like I connected with a piece of art as the huge giant stared back at me. Okay, maybe I’ve had too much wine, but it was still pretty cool.
Although it was not nearly as cool as Anish Kapoor’s exhibition. The brains behind the ArcelorMittal Orbit sculpture at the London 2012 olympics. Or that thing that looks like a fun slide, if you’re a bit ditsy like me. Back to the art though, who doesn’t love a canon firing red wax at a wall. Art is just a whole new playing field.
So all in all. I loved Denmark. Not the most cultural place I’ve been to, and I would definitely pick South East Asia over it anytime. But, for a long weekend away it’s ideal. Only an hour and a half flight and it’s a great opportunity to see your missed ones. Here’s a tip for you though, if you’re already a bit of nervous flyer then try your best not to get a man to sit next to you who has a panic attack, says a pray and makes a cross sign over his body during life off. It’s really unsettling!