Traveling can sometimes be a bit of a lottery. There have been countless occasions when, despite my best attempts at planning, I have 'just missed' the amazing experience that I had travelled halfway around the world for.
- 'Normally at this time of year you can swim with dolphins here - they must be somewhere else this week.'
- 'You can usually pick wild berries in these fields but the season has just ended.'
- 'This waterfall is really spectacular but we haven't had enough rain recently.'
- 'On a clear day you can see Mt Fuji from here - it's a shame it's so cloudy today.'
Conversely, you can occasionally fluke being in the right place, at the right time, and be part of something that you hadn't expected and new nothing about.
I'd travelled to Denmark to do a bit of exploring - I wanted to head north of Copenhagen to check out Kronborg castle in Helsingør, (the setting for Shakespeare's Hamlet) and also the North Sealand region which offers lots of outdoor adventure and activity options.
Her enthusiasm and excitement had me intrigued - Distortion is an annual festival that celebrates dance music and club culture.
What makes the four-day Distortion festival a bit unique is that it moves around the city, each day taking over a different neighborhood for massive street party. It's described as a 'party-tsunami', a rolling wave of music and dancing that progressively engulfs the city.
I changed my plans.
The opening night was in Nørrebro - the coolest area in Copenhagen. I borrowed a bicycle from my hotel and cycled from Vesterbro along the lakes. At Nørrebrogade bridge I had to park the bike as it was impossible to get any further - it was about 7PM and the bridge was rammed with people and the music was pumping. This was a young crowd, a lot of students, and there was a general 'hipster' vibe. Everyone enjoying the evening sunshine, everyone drinking.
I grabbed a six-pack of beers from one of the temporary bars and pushed on through the crowd. There was music and people everywhere - DJs set up on street corners, guys cycling around with massive sound systems, a giant mirror ball suspended on a crane above the street.
The atmosphere was incredible.
At 10PM the music shut down and the neighborhood slowly began to return to normal.
I freakin' love Copenhagen.
The 2013 event ran from 29th May - 2nd June. I'm already making plans to be back for Distortion 2014.
Planning your trip:
- Official tourism websites have lots of information and ideas: www.visitcopenhagen.com or www.visitdenmark.com
- I flew EasyJet from London Gatwick.
- I stayed at the Anderson Hotel in Vesterbro. A smart, modern hotel in a great location.