Drugs, anyone? The alternative community of Christiania, Denmark

Freetown Christiania is an alternative community in Copenhagen. It started in the 1970s  by homeless people squatting in the derelict buildings. They then started a self-governing hippy / anarchist community which is still thriving today.

The main central zone is shops, mostly selling drug paraphernalia, cafes, and an art-gallery. The main street is called Pusher Street, for a reason – it is lined with men selling marijuana and the air was thick with weed. Continue reading

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Amsterdam : Sex, drugs and rock n roll?

It makes sense to start by discussing sex, drugs and rock n roll. For that is the stereotype of Amsterdam, is it not. I was fascinated to explore a city whose response to (some) drugs and prostitution is to legalise them.

So, taking each issue at a time…  starting with sex. I was somewhat apprehensive to visit the notorious Red Light district. But once I ventured in there I was surprised by how “family friendly” it felt. That sounds odd I know, and I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it as an alternative to Disneyland. But I thought there would only be old men and stag-dos in the red light district. In reality, there were plenty of women, couples, just normal people strolling through. It was much more sanitised than I expected. There were full length windows in groups of 3, each with a woman in it. Continue reading