In Issue 37
Copenhagen is a beautiful city inhabited by beautiful people. This was my fifth time to Copenhagen and my third with Atlantis Cruises. I look forward to coming back this year because it is one the friendliest cities in the world. This year we were lucky enough to disembark there on Gay Pride and for the last day of the World Out Games. Now granted, we weren’t around for any of the competitions, which I heard were a lot of fun, but we did make it in time for the celebration.
Now before I talk about the bars and the parties, let me tell you a little bit about Copenhagen and answer your first question. Yes, the men are gorgeous. After visiting every Scandinavian country, if you like blond blue eyed buff men, then this is the city for you. I’m not just talking about the gay men by the way. There were more hot guys pushing kids around in strollers than there are lesbians on a Rosie cruise. It was like getting whiplash. When you say Scandinavia, the first thing people think of is the Swedes, but I’m here to tell you the Danish are rising to the top.
Denmark is known for being the first country in the world to legalize civil unions. Part of the pride celebration was honoring the 20th anniversary of this event. While Norway and Sweden legalized gay marriage this year, Denmark is still working on it. Many of the building were flying the rainbow flag to show their support of gay pride. Most notable was the columns at the Copenhagen Cathedral wrapped in rainbow colors.
Now the parade was not confined to the gay district by any means, it traversed the entire city. It was about 3 hours start to finish and had nearly one thousand participants. The streets were packed with thousands more views. Now here’s what I thought was funny and rather well organized: 30 minutes before the parade was suppose to pass by, no one was camped out waiting for the parade to come where we were standing, and in fact the streets were not even blocked off. Then, all of sudden the motorcycle cops swing in, close the intersections, people come out of nowhere, and 10 minutes later here comes the parade. It was very impressive. In addition to the parade there was big party at the City Hall Square where the parade ended, and flying over City Hall, the rainbow flag.
Copenhagen is a relaxed, carefree and open city. The best place to get your feel of the city is Stroget, the world’s longest pedestrian street for shoppers. Basically it’s a pedestrian shopping mall going on for a about a mile. One of the best things to do is sit and watch the world go. But if you are feeling more active, there are a lot of great shops and restaurants along the way. Several of the gay bars, such as Oskars, Masken and Cozy, can be found just off the pedestrian street as well as the Amigo Sauna if the bars aren’t working for you. The street begins at the City Hall square and ends at the New Harbor (which really isn’t that new being several hundred years old). The New Harbor is a great place for dinner; ten restaurants line the small harbor with great views.
Just past city Hall square is Tivoli Gardens, one of the oldest amusement parks in the world and the inspiration for Disneyland. Yes, there is a mini Disneyland in the middle of city, complete with rides and shows, but I would skip the shows.
Copenhagen is also home to a county within a country, a 20 block area of the city known as Christiania. Christiania was founded in 1971 when a group of hippies took over an area of abandoned military barracks and developed their own set of rules, completely independent of the Danish government. The free town in the heart of Copenhagen has always been known for its human diversity. There is art everywhere, if you want to call it that. It’s more like graffiti which, yes, is art.
The last thing I want to say about Copenhagen is that sense of security and peacefulness that can be best exampled by the bikes. Everyone bikes in Denmark; in fact, it is the main mode of transportation here. There are bike lanes everywhere. People park their bikes anywhere and just lock the back tire and walk away. There is no worry that someone will take the bike. Why? Because you just don’t do that. When you can leave your bike leaning against a building at night and know it will be there the next day, you know you are in a safe place. You know you can hold your boyfriend’s hand and you are in a safe place.
So grab a bike, grab a beer, and grab a Danish. Enjoy!