Denmark is home to the happiest people on Earth.
Society in Europe is older than most commercially available dirt. How old? Denmark’s first king wasn’t called something cool, like “Badass The Mighty.” His name was Gorm The Old. That’s a little off our usual timescale here in North America, but it makes for some enthralling history and sightseeing.
The Europe Regional is the perfect opportunity to do just that.
Copenhagen, the capital city of Denmark, has come a long way from its roots as a Viking fishing village in the 10th century, A.D. Viking fisherman would dig CrossFit. I wonder how those salty sea dogs would fare in this year’s regional competition?
That’s something we’ll never know, but this weekend Sam Briggs, Katrin Davidsdottir, Annie Thorisdottir Frederik Ægidius, and others will bring it to the Europe Regional in Copenhagen, at the Ballerup Super Arena.
Watching Thorisdottir smile through a grueling chipper will inspire you to get your fitness on. Copenhagen is dotted with CrossFit affiliates, so you’ll have plenty of it on tap. The Danish language sounds really cool, and they’re noted for friendliness so you’ll want to spend as much time around the locals as possible.
“CrossFit Butcher's Lab in the old meatpacking district has a paleo cafe and a very nice atmosphere,” said Ditte Jacobsen, a human biology student at the University of Copenhagen and athlete at CrossFit Butcher’s Garage. “There are a lot of boxes in Copenhagen. So you can find one close by no matter where you're staying.”
To find all the CrossFit affiliates in Copenhagen visit map.crossfit.com.
While you're in country, be sure to get some Smørrebrød: a traditional Danish meal, which is a hearty open-faced sandwich served on a buttered rye bread.
When it’s time for middag (the Danish word for the evening meal): “Michelin chef Thomas Rode (Andersen) has been involved in the startup of the chain Palæo that has two restaurants with clean eats,” Jacobsen said. “Generally you can find a lot of healthy take-away if you are in the mood for salad.”
Bicycles are as serious a business in Copenhagen as they are in Pee Wee’s Big Adventure. Use caution crossing bicycle lanes, as the two-wheeled traffic in the capital of the happiest country in the world can be just as dangerous as the typical four-wheeled variety. Better yet, join them and experience the city the way the Danes do—a full 50 percent of the commuting in Copenhagen is by bicycle.
Rosenborg Castle, first built in 1606 was a home of the Danish royal family until the early 1700s, and is now a public museum rich in Danish culture. It’s home to the Crown Jewels and the Crown Regalia.
“You can also see the queens guard at Rosenborg Castle. It has a nice big park, and it is in the middle of the city,” Jacobsen said.
She also suggested shopping at Strøget, which is touted as the world’s longest pedestrian street. She warned, though, to avoid the uber-touristy restaurants located there.
A major attraction in the city is Tivoli, the second oldest amusement park in the world, which opened in 1843. More than just rides, Tivoli is home to a 21-acre park decorated with beautiful flowerbeds and fountains. It’s popular with locals and tourists alike. When heading outdoors, Jacobsen advised to be prepared for rain, as the weather in Copenhagen changes quite often.
Once the snatching, handstand walking, chippering, and fitnessing has determined who will represent the Europe Region at the CrossFit Games, kick back and enjoy Copenhagen.
Get yourself some Smørrebrød in the former hometown of Philosopher Søren Kierkegaard and author Hans Christian Andersen. Take in the hygge—best translated as coziness—a central part of Danish culture, which includes relaxing with loved ones and friends with good food and drink.
Who wouldn’t want to get all warm and fuzzy with the happiest people on Earth?
During four regional weekends, Kevin Daigle will choose one city each week to feature in this series.