I’d heard only a little about Christiania before I visited Copenhagen, and the reality was not at all what I had expected. I thought I would be getting a stereotypical hippie commune vibe, full of free love and mutual respect. Instead I got a tense air of paranoia, shifty looks and leather clad bikers wandering menacingly about. This is a photo outside the bit of Christiania that attracts most people – the bit where you can buy weed. I wasn’t allowed to take photos in there. Even though Christiania is technically an autonomous neighbourhood beyond the jurisdiction of the city of Coenhagen, and the drug trade (specifically marijuana) has been tolerated there for years, it is still illegal to buy or sell. So no photos.
And with all that weed, there’s a lot of paranoia. So no running, lest everyone else thinks their getting raided. And no violent behaviour, because who needs that noise, man.
We didn’t stay long in Christiania. The clouds of sickly sweet smoke got a little overwhelming, and the overall sense of skittishness made in an uncomfortable place to be, even sober as we were.
A little more peace and love wouldn’t go amiss.