The Journey to Copenhagen

As Karsten attests in his latest blog, sometimes half of the battle is getting there. Follow along on his trip to Copenhagen!

Sunday, September 22, 2019 | Written by Karsten

This weekend, D.J. Akers, Jake Tjards, Julia Kerns, and I decided to make the journey to Copenhagen. Jake and I went by train, and Julia and D.J. went by plane, since they were having Eurail issues. The original route had Jake and I leaving at 8:30pm on Thursday night and making it to Copenhagen at 2:40pm on Friday afternoon. We booked the couple of train reservations necessary, booked our Airbnb, and were off.

Jake and I left Lafayette, our residence hall, at 7:30pm and all went according to plan—that is, until our very first train was delayed upon arrival to the station. Needless to say, with tight layovers, we missed our third train and first reservation, thus messing up the rest of the planned trains. We had to stay in the Mannheim Station for an extra two hours until the next train left, putting us on a train from 2am until 10am. When we got on, everyone was sleeping and there were next to no available seats, but towards the middle of the trip, it became rather empty. However, at about 6am, it filled back up—this time with drinking Germans instead of sleepers. The train went from dead silent to full of noise, and I was not a fan, as I had only gotten an hour of sleep by laying across the two seats. However, and much to my surprise, since the noise was constantly loud, I managed to get a couple more hours of sleep. Everyone on that train got off at Hamburg, so that was a bit of a struggle.

Jake and I searched for food around the train station, but there were so many options that it was difficult to decide. The primary goal was to get coffee, as we packed food for the entirety of the train rides, so we decided on Dunkin Donuts. A couple of girls from America in front of me were very excited for and ordered Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Their excitement rubbed off on me apparently, because I felt inclined to order one as well. I had it on the next train, and it was as good as the last one I had, so I’m glad I ordered it. On the next train, I ate the rest of the food I had packed, and we crossed the border from Germany into Denmark. The rest of the train ride was very uneventful and we made it to Copenhagen at 4:15pm in the afternoon, almost twenty-one hours after leaving our rooms. We met Julia and DJ, went to our Airbnb, and then set out for our adventures in the city.

After a rather rough start, Jake and I ended up being a little downcast and even slightly considered going to other cities from Mannheim, but I am so glad we didn’t change our minds. Copenhagen has been my favorite trip so far (excluding the trip to Belgium with my dad). The city is beautiful, a pretty decent amount of English is spoken, and we didn’t have a set plan. We just did what we wanted to when we wanted to, including taking the train into Sweden (which puts me at eight countries for the semester so far, but who’s counting?) and playing cards in the King’s Garden. Perhaps it was the city that I enjoyed so greatly, perhaps it was the spontaneity, but I’m just glad I got to have this experience.