Surfing in Portugal – a visual essay across some of the most riveting Portuguese surf lanscapes

Ericeira / Praia de São Sebastião

Ericeira / Ribeira D’Ilhas

Ericeira / Praia dos pescadores

Lagos

Sagres

CPH in full circle: from Scandi chic to gentrified boroughs and everything in between

Article written for The Copenhagen Post.

Link to original article.

Is Skovshoved Petrol Station this country’s most uncelebrated gem?

Copenhagen is well and truly a city of numerous facades, to bandy about a commonly deployed maxim that many a travel journalist has surely applied to depictions of cities the world over. 

As part of the Copenhagen edition of the Where to Go podcast, produced by the award winning team behind the DK Eyewitness travel guides, I recently had the pleasure of presenting wonderful Copenhagen in my own parlance – touring its different neighbourhoods where old meets new in this progressive and inclusive city. 

Obviously, I’m not going to divulge all the content of the podcast (I am told that it makes for great listening on that morning stroll), but I will, in this article, aided by several images that encapsulate my time in Copenhagen, take the curious reader on a varied journey of the throbbing Danish capital. 

City of everyday wonder

It took me over a decade of cursing at the Danish weather gods at the first sight of a grey cloud (let alone those enduring winters, and indeed several months of lockdown due to corona) to discover the beauty in the absurdity and paradox that is winter bathing. 

Hopping into the chilled waters all year round has become a fixation in my new life as a dad. For a precious few minutes as often as I can every week, I have discovered the freedom in winter bathing that many Copenhageners have long revered – and the lasting effects on one’s concentration, ability to regulate body temperature, burn fat and, ultimately, get endorphins circulating, no matter how devious the gods of Nordic mythology may be on any given day. 

My favourite spots to take a dip are Kalvebod Bølge, La Banchina (pictured above) and the newly-opened Valby Beach. Be sure to check out badevandet.dk (or download its app) to see if the water quality permits swimming (which it usually does, except after prolonged downpours). 

City of Scandi cool
I could name all manner of places to see where you can experience exactly what Scandi Cool is all about, but none would come close to my personal favourite: the Skovshoved Petrol Station (see main photo), a historic station on the northern outskirts of Copenhagen. 
First opened in 1936, it was designed by Arne Jacobsen and is an example of the functionalist style typical of the time – a veritable design classic. Drive up Strandvejen from Hellerup to Shakespeare’s Elsinore (Helsingør) and keep an eye open on the way for more of Jakobsen’s hallowed works. 
City of pastoral life

A walk around the lake in and around Christiania or, better yet, an early morning foray into Sydhavn Tippen, the home of a Nordic savannah and flock of friendly alpacas, are but a couple of poignant reminders of just how green this city is (despite recent political efforts to undermine this tenet of Copenhagen’s development).

A city of gentrification
Nowhere has the redevelopment of an area been more clear-cut than it has in Vesterbro, the area I have called home for the past six years now. A walk down its streets on any given day is a journey of juxtapositions: old vs new, classic versus modern, and creative class via authentic hip. 

Take it all in with a communal dinner at Absalon, a former church that today is a cultural bastion and meeting point for Vesterbro’s residents young and old. 

About Kortbæk_Travels

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Welcome to Kortbæk_Travels. My name is Allan and I´ve travelled to 31 countries, some of which you´ll find content for on this site. 

I’m a published author with The world’s largest publisher (Penguin Random House,) award-winning photographer, journalist and marketeer.

My fiancee, Mette, and I feel that it’s only fair that we give back to the world by sharing our best tips and tricks for how to travel affordably – as individuals, as a couple and most recently, as parents to our baby boy, Tristan. We believe that everyone should be able to travel the world and indulge in it’s wonders but we also believe it is important to care for our planet – by travelling or living sustainably.

On this page you will find:

  • Travel Destinations (tips and inspirational videos & Images)
  • Photos (My portfolio of photos and artwork
  • Cultural Articles (A collection of the articles I´ve written over the years, mostly within Cultural Journalism)

Who am I? 

In my “work life” – I´m a Social Marketing Specialist at KAYAK / momondo.

I´ve been an integral part of our in-house agency on campaigns – such as The DNA Journey, The World Piece, The Passport Initiative, Dear mom and dad and others – many of which have been nominated for and won numerous awards globally, including Cannes Lions.

“Off work” – in addition to travelling – I love surfing, learning new languages (I speak 5,) writing and photography.

In 2002 I published my first book, for the world’s biggest publisher, Penguin Random House / DK Eyewitness;  Hardcover Travel Guide Book: Copenhagen Like a Local: By the people who call it home

The DK Eyewitness series has been voted the best travel guide book series by Wanderlust Travel Magazine, ahead of similar books by the likes of Lonely Planet, Time Out and others. Scroll further down in this post for links to where you can buy the book. 

I´ve done freelance Copywriting, Journalism, Video Production, Photography and more for over 10 years – working with clients such as Tourism Boards, National Newspapers, Large-Scale Publications, Hotels and more. My work has also been featured in several exhibitions across the globe. 

Other highlights

– Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark Verdensbilledlegat Scholarship winner,

–  Best per industry jury member- Snackable Content Awards (2019 / 2020, )

– Co-founder, Jengo – a Danish NGO that has raised over $100´000 for projects in developing nations.

– TED speaker, TEDxKEA

Sustainability

We live in a world that is being challenged by the way we live and conduct ourselves. You, me and generations to come have a unique opportunity to decide our future and the impacts we have on our world. 

As such, I am passionate about creating an impact within and outside of my work commitments. As an example, I co-founded Jengo in 2015 – a Danish NGO that has since raised over $100´000 for a portfolio of projects in Tanzania, centered on renewable energy solutions and the construction of schools. You can read more about Jengo and other sustainable projects i´m involved in under the “Sustainability” tab.  

Let´s Connect! 

Drop me a line at: allanm46@gmail.com

Instagram @Kortbaek_travels 

Linkedin

Twitter 

Buy my book here: 

Amazon UK 

Amazon.com 

William Dam (Denmark) 

Check out my hotel / restaurant and cafe reviews on Tripadvisor 

Listen to my podcast about what to see and do in Copenhagen, for DK Eyewitness, here 

Watch my TED Talk, here 

Watch my documentary film for The Danish Foreign Ministry, now used in education material in Denmark, here 

Buy prints of my work, here 

Featured Client Portfolio: 

Copenhagen Like a Local: By the people who call it home

Today, as ordinary a day in January as ever, I’m thrilled to share this video as part of the launch of my first book, with The UK’s largest publisher, Penguin Random House UK.

Watch a preview video of some of the places mentioned in the book below:

Buy my book here: 

Amazon UK 

Amazon.com 

William Dam (Denmark) 

I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t a dream come true – those who know me well are aware of the childhood I had. Writing was, in the imaginative mind of a young child, often the only thing I had – and it kept me sane when the world around me crumbled. 

As a young journalist in my twenties, I wrote thousands of articles for free, just because it was my passion but inwardly, I always hoped someone would take notice, for instance a publisher. 

Many years later, it all came full circle – Penguin contacted me last year and I wrote the book during the lockdowns, with unwavering help from immediate family, who I can’t thank enough. 

My Year 5 teacher, Fiona Wace, wherever she is would be proud, thanks to that pep talk that laid it out clearly for me and got me to focus instead of being the class clown, a day my life changed. 

In writing all this, I guess what I’m really trying to say (beyond “buy the book, it’s awesome” is that every kid out there that has a dream deserves a chance and everything is possible if you work hard – harder than everyone else around you has to work day in day out.

Allan Kortbaek Featured Scandinavian Podcasts You’ll Love by The Scandinavia Standard

Thank you to The Scandinavia Standard for featuring me in their top Scandinavian Podcast selection!

Original article available here; excerpt below.

THE WHERETOGO PODCAST: COPENHAGEN EDITION

Danish journalist and photographer Allan Kortbæk is sharing his must-sees in Copenhagen, taking listening through the new and old of the city. He traverses neighbourhoods sharing the best in where to eat, drink, and fun spots to visit as either a tourist or local. If you’re planning to visit Copenhagen, download this episode and take some notes!