The Danish version of the Himalayas


Originally, this was my Christmas E-Card for 2019, which is why Santa Claus is flying over Copenhagen. But the subject of the picture is still interestring any season. It refers to a recent (2019) Copenhagen construction: Bjarke Engel's "Copenhill", which is a unique combination of practical engineering, compelling tourist attraction and absurdly impressive plaything. Go ahead, Google it.

After 10 years of construction it opened just this last October and seems to be a big hit. As a tourist attraction it offers a fantastic view high above Copenhagen Harbor, a 400-meter astroturf ski run (who needs snow?), an 85 meter (250 ft) climbing wall, hiking trails through alpine-landscaped nature and trees, parking and elevators to make it accessible even to families with kids. All for free unless you use the ski lift to drag yourself uphill over and over -- or drink in the two bars, at top and bottom, just like a real-live ski resort. No, the drinks are not free, sorry.

For us it's a 20-minute bicycle ride away, so we've been to Copenhill a few times to show it to friends and visitors. It's also right next to Christiania, the infamous hippy bastion, which is also interesting for visitors. Combined with the completion of several new bridges to make the Harbor area more accessible, especially to bicycle traffic, the entire waterfront is changing fast, all for the better. Even the water is so clean now that we can swim in the kanals. How many major cities can offer that?