As Peder and I emerged from a week-long haze, we knew we’d pushed our bodies to their limits. We were burnt, tired, and broken – running on absolute empty. But on top of all this, it seemed like he’d caught something. He was feeling seriously nauseous and, for the first time ever, unable to keep up with me by bike. So after dropping our mass of recyclables at the market, we stopped by a cybercafe to clean ourselves up, recharge our (actual) batteries, and evaluate options.
(Throughout Scandinavia recycling is encouraged by adding a small charge to any purchase that comes in a recyclable container. It’s like a deposit, which you get back by returning the container to any supermarket. After our long stint at Roskilde the refund came to over $10. Free breakfast.)
Eventually, after giving me time to empty my thousands of photos onto a portable hard drive, he reckoned he could make the trip. So off we went towards Copenhagen.
The ride was unlike any of the previous; short and almost entirely urban. We pulled into town somewhere around 8 and immediately began looking for a place to sleep.
The first hostel wanted more than $45 for a bed in a 6-person dorm. Ridiculous, at nearly double the most expensive hostel I’ve ever heard of. To their defense it did look quite nice – modern, bustling, smiling staff, huge restaurant and lounge – but we decided to look for something more reasonable before making a commitment. We ended up at another spot across town for less than half the cost.
…Too bad it was a sh*thole 😛
Each room had 30 beds, and most of the people – all still wearing Roskilde wristbands – looked and smelled like they hadn’t showered in a week. They probably hadn’t. But by the time we got there we were so exhausted, and Peder so ill, that we decided just to stay. I knocked out in about 10 seconds and slept straight through till morning.
When we awoke, one of our 29 roommates was in a panic. He’d been robbed. It was the second night in a row; just one evening earlier a couple of girls had also awoken to find their cash and phones missing. I guess that’s a risk you take when staying in such a huge room.
Here’s a tip for budget travelers: be very deliberate about where you store your belongings at night! It may sound obvious, but I’ve often been shocked at how careless people are. The guy who was robbed had placed his wallet inside his designer shoes right at the foot of his bed. Duh!
My personal technique is to make valuables as troublesome to reach as possible: I wrap them in loud plastic bags in the middle of my zipped backpack under dirty clothes with the zipper side down. The backpack itself gets tied to a bedpost. So far, it’s always been enough to deter potential thieves.
After consoling our roomate and eating the fabulous included breakfast (3 pieces of toast), we headed out into the Danish capital.