Friendly old girl of a town

We left France on Sunday for Cologne, where we caught an overnight train to Copenhagen.  I love the train.

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Copenhagen is a beautiful city – it kinda makes me  feel like I should start singing. But I won’t. It might embarrass the OAP.

Bicycles are a popular mode of transportation here.  There are bike lanes everywhere.

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We didn’t rent bikes, but the lack of cars makes this a great place to explore on foot as well.

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Today we visited the neighborhood of Christiania, an alternative community that was founded in 1971 by protesters, homeless people, and residents of the adjacent neighborhoods. The village is in a waterfront borough of Copenhagen called Christianshavn.   Many buildings on the site are former military barracks and city ramparts (some as old as the 1600s), now converted into homes and businesses.  There is an art gallery, cafes and restaurants, a childcare center, performance spaces, and a bicycle manufacturer (no cars at all here). Christiania is a city within a city, with its own borders

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Exit sign

and its own rules

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Since its inception, Christiania has had a rocky relationship with Copenhagen proper – but for now at any rate the city enjoys a tolerated, semi-independent status.  The residents are now trying to purchase the property. I bought a button in support of their efforts.

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The community symbol. The three dots stand for the dots over the three i’s in Christiania.

Christiania is peopled by alternative folks of many varieties, about 800 of them at this time; artists abound in this environment, and the surroundings are quite colorful. Kind of like a children’s fairyland in a purple haze.

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One of the hallmarks of Christiania is its rules about drugs. Hard drugs are not tolerated (see common law, above), but cannabis products are not only accepted, they are freely and openly sold in market stalls in the “green zone” central market area in Christiania.  Unfortunately (but understandably, as  it’s illegal to sell drugs in mainstream Denmark) no photos are allowed in the green zone, so I can’t show you.  But just imagine booths like you see at your local farmers market, with rows of glass jars labeled “white russian,” “orange haze,” and the like.  Each booth might have 8-10 varieties of marijuana and as many of hashish on display for purchase.  There are also booths selling pipes, bongs, papers, and all the other associated paraphernalia.

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I can take a picture of the beer, though!

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About lornaofarabia

I am a teacher from Medford, Oregon. I currently live and work in Cairo, Egypt.
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