Copenhagen for Christmas

Copenhagen, Denmark
December 23-27, 2019

So, in true crazy-person (aka classic Abby) fashion, I decided, on a whim, on the fifteenth of December, to spend Christmas week alone in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Why Copenhagen?

I mean… why not? 

Honestly, it just happened to be Easyjet’s third cheapest destination to travel to at the moment I popped onto their site to peruse ticket prices, and given that I’d already visited the two other most affordable options (Berlin and Venice, for those curious) it was a pretty easy-peasy choice for me to make. I immediately texted my dad, asking if he would cover the cost of my accommodation if I purchased the plane tickets with my previous month’s salary… due to the time difference between California and France he obviously didn’t respond right away. Annnd… I got impatient annnd… I just went for it.  I added the tickets to my shopping cart and bit the bullet… *poof*, my November earnings disappeared just like that, in the blink of an eye… or rather, in the click of a button. I figured should my dad respond negatively (which I seriously doubted), I could and would prepay the lodgment myself. Fortunately my dad, being the fellow sucker for all things travel that he is (I mean, I had to get it from somewhere, right?), agreed to pick up the cost of the (very budget-friendly!) hotel I’d selected, and all was perfectly set. In a week, I’d be taking off on a five-day-long solo adventure. I couldn’t wait.

But… what was my motivation behind booking this trip? Why on earth would I willingly choose to spend Christmas all alone? This time around, ‘why not’ really just doesn’t cut it as a response, does it?

Here’s the truth: I needed to get away. To clear my head, to process the absolute mind-fuck of a year that was 2019. And I needed to do it by myself.

Maybe that’s weird. Maybe I’m weird. I don’t know, and I don’t particularly care, either. These five days were as healing as they were empowering, as fulfilling as they were solitary, and looking back I wouldn’t change the slightest thing.

With the sole exception of my accommodation, I didn’t plan a single detail of this trip prior to arriving (super-duper) early on the morning of Monday the 23rd, my enormous black travel backpack and a G-Eazy tote (yes, I saw Gerald in concert back in 2018, please don’t judge me), which was practically bursting with various cameras, chargers, and films, in tow. From the airport I took a taxi into the city, and was dropped off a stone’s throw from Hotel Ansgar, which is located in the heart of Copenhagen, within walking distance from Central Station and Tivoli Gardens; it’s where I spent the four nights of my stay. Would I recommend it? I mean, it was perfectly fine… far from luxurious, but my needs were met and personally, I was more than satisfied. The service was impeccable, the room was spick and span, and the exterior of the building was pink(!), what more could I have asked for?

Anyways… over the course of my full three and half days in this pretty city, I managed to hit up the majority of Copenhagen’s ‘must-see’ spots. I kicked things off in Nyhavn (being the photographer that I am, I was practically drooling over the prospect of shooting all the stunning facades) and wrapped up my touristy endeavors with an hour-long hike up to see the Little Mermaid statue at the Langelinie Promenade. Oh, and I spent Christmas day between Rosenborg Castle and Tivoli Gardens. As you would imagine… it was pretty damn magical.

A word on these photos

Initially, I hadn’t intended to bring my digital camera along on this trip, as it’s rather heavy and I was anticipating chill, blue, wintry vibes from the city (as far as weather, I mean)… which I’m not usually keen to shoot in to begin with, due to the heavy blue tint the photos tend to have, and um… all the chromatic aberration (that shit’s a bitch). But… I quite liked the idea of curling up on a cozy hotel bed with a mountain of biscuits, a piping hot expresso, and heaps of photos to retouch, so I hauled my Canon 5D to Denmark anyway. I still shot way more film than digital (postcards from Copenhagen coming soon), but I was sure to capture the essential sights on both… Nyhavn, for example, the Tivoli Gardens entrance, the Little Mermaid…

Rather than fighting all the blue hues, I decided to simply give into them and see where the cold, icy sort of winter aesthetic took me. I went for very subtle contrast, and a pastel sort of atmosphere, and really leant into the muted colors and cloudy skies. I’m not quite sure if I accomplished what I was going for, but that’s alright. I had a whole bunch of fun shooting these pictures; it felt hella good to brush off my dusty old digital camera and mess around a bit.

Stay tuned for my 35mm film photos and also… Happy New Year!

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4 comments on “Copenhagen for Christmas”

  1. I’ve visited Berlin and Venice as well, but have yet to visit Copenhagen! I totally get needing a trip away from everything. I actually left for the holidays right before Thanksgiving to escape from Thanksgiving obligations and get away from it all in general.

    The last few years, I’ve leaned toward warmer coloured photos, and will often do some serious colour correction to fight the blue hues, but it’s cool that you leaned into the winter vibes in this set! Really interesting to compare your digital and film photos from Copenhagen 🙂

    • You totally have to visit Copenhagen, I LOVED it. For some reason the other Scandinavian cities don’t interest me as much, but I’ll surely check them out someday anyway. And ooooh, I’m dying to visit Iceland as well! // Getting away is really such a healthy practice, I came back feeling so much better. A change of scenery can do wonders. // I lean towards warmer colors too, generally, which is why I shoot way more Kodak than Fuji. I had classes on color-correction when I was studying photo but I hate doing it, mainly because I’m lazy and also don’t always trust my own eye… so I decided to leave these essentially as they were shot, with light bits of editing to the colors to make them slightly more pastel. I still prefer film, I think, but I’m glad I shot these.

  2. I think that sounds incredibly healing and kind of lovely-I hope it was everything you wanted <3