Long story short we hopped a cab that literally sped us to the other side of the city, he was reaching speeds of around 115mph on the highway. I don't think I've ever gone that fast in a moving vehicle before. We missed our flight because it was so far away so we ended up on the phone with the travel agency in Cincinnati and at the American Airlines desk at the airport
. We eventually re-booked for the next flight to Copenhagen with a transfer through London. I'm glad we were still able to make it. I will miss Milan. It had a great atmosphere with little tourists and it was nice to have Federica translate for us at dinner. We spent most of the afternoon traveling due to our mix-up and a couple hours of layover in London, but I got to buy some British goodies while we were sitting around. During the flights I was able to catch up on my travel journal and sleep.
When we arrived in Copenhagen...it felt like I had never left. I couldn't accurately describe how awesome it was to be back, and I had a sense of being home again. I easily navigated us to our hotel which was in Rådhuspladsen (city hall square) right in the middle of downtown. What a view. We had arrived a bit late but I learned Distortion was ending that night. Distortion is a huge music festival held once a year in downtown Copenhagen. It spans five nights and is held in a different district every night so they can clean up from the night before. Saturday was the final night and since I did not go last year when I was studying abroad (now I really wonder why I didn't) I had to go check it out. Dad and I grabbed some pølser (Danish style hot dog) from a vendor and some of our favorite Scandinavian vitamin water since we never really had dinner and I got ready to head out.
What a night
! I missed the first bus and had to wait around an extra hour, but when I got to Distortion, held in an old industrial district called Refshaleøen, it was packed. I was a little short on money as wristbands to get in were a little more than I had expected, but I was able to collect enough within a few minutes to get in. The Danes are so nice! All I had to do was mention that I was just a little short and they were happy to help a foreigner like me get in. I started talking to the guys in the ticket line behind me and got to know them. They were a group of Danes that were from all over the country, and I made friends with all of them before the night was over. I think they got a kick out of an American asking to hang out with them but they made really good company. They weren't into chasing after women or doing drugs - they were there to hang out and party just as I was. What a great group: Anders, HP, Steen, and Pierre. Distortion had all kinds of stages and food stands. We went around and checked out the whole place, hoping from stage to stage and grabbing some beer and food whenever we felt like it. Each stage had a different kind of music ranging from techno to rap to reggae so you could go around until you found the kind of music that suited you. It was a real blast. You could see Copenhagen from across the canal and there was even a double decker Jaegermeister bus.
Since it was summertime it started to get light on the horizon around 2:30, but apparently the party went until 10am the next morning
! We, of course, didn't want to stay that late so we decided to head out. Unfortunately there was only one bus running at 3 in the morning and it was privately funded instead of a city route. We weren't able to catch it and ended up walking around the entire south side of Copenhagen to get back to the city. It was like a mass exodus watching everybody try and get back downtown, and it took us well over an hour to get back. I was cold, sore, tired, and I had to get up early in order to see my Danish friends at noon in the suburbs. I was amazed how awake Copenhagen was, even at 4:30 in the morning. People were walking down the sidewalk, biking in the bike lanes, buses running through the streets, even the bar next to our hotel was still packed. Since it was broad daylight by that time it looked like an average morning. Dad said he had woken up to the light, noticed I was still gone, looked outside to discover the city bustling, and then noticed it was 4:15 in the morning! It's definitely a different atmosphere. I got back to our room just a bit later around 4:30 and was completely exhausted. It was the best five hours sleep I've ever had. What a night to remember!
What a crazy day. I thought leaving Milan was going to be straightforward. We had breakfast at our hotel and took the train to the main station and then out to the airport. Unfortunately after our hour of transit we discovered we we at the wrong airport! Our flight was at the other airport on the other side of the city just a few minutes from our hotel. The travel agent had even told Dad we were flying out of a different airport, and when I had asked to see the tickets earlier he said he knew what to do. Oops. Guess that will make him think twice next time we travel internationally.