Christiania is a drug paradise/shining example of communal living/home to bunch of hippies/prime real estate depending on the person you speak to. The self-proclaimed autonomous neighbourhood came into being in 1971 when Jacob Ludvigsen announced the community’s mission statement to be a ‘self-governing society.’ The area quickly became a beacon for anarchists, hippies and counter-culture. Christiania is probably most famous for the ‘legalised’ cannabis trade and the general open approach to soft drugs. Indeed the fourth most visited tourist location in Copenhagen is the Green Light District were cannabis is openly sold. Openly here meaning from men in balaclavas. The sale is still illegal in Denmark although the police reluctantly enforce the trade although I understand the police can stop and search anyone without due reason in the streets around Christiania.
Is this the Venga Bus?
Anyway, why the potted history of Christiania? Well, it turns out they have a football club called Christiania Sports Club (assume everyone was too lethargic to come up with something more exciting) or CSC for short. CSC have an early evening kick-off against second tier Helsingør so I thought I would pop along and take a look.
The game was listed to be played at Kløvermarken a large green space to the south-east of Christiania. There are no football pitches in Christiania, but this is about as close as you can get. I managed to take a lap of Kløvermarken before eventually stumbling upon the correct pitch. Kløvermarken itself has an interesting history being the first home of Danish aviation, a refugee camp for tens of thousands of Germans after WWII and a quarantine zone for Polio victims. Now it houses a large number of football pitches and a cricket pitch!
There were a few hundred people congregated around a roped off pitch next to a clubhouse. Not a bad turn out for this Danish Cup First Round tie including a good 50 to 100 Helsingør fans who had made their way down for this spectacle.
As close as I will get to restarting my football career.
It was interesting. A strong fug of weed enveloped the touchline as Christinaia extended its boundaries temporarily for the game. I got there just in time for the visitors to take the lead, which I thought would be game over. CSC (perhaps the only team to wear red and yellow halves in the world?) did sneak one bag slamming a ball home via a cross-bar to make it 1-1. But that was about as good as it got as Helsingør ran out comfortable 6-2 winners in the end (making it fifteen goals in two games for me!).
Did you know that the red and yellow colours of Christiania are due to a surplus of red and yellow paint in the area when it was liberated/occupied in the early 70s?
Double it and you are there.
I won’t bore you with any attempt at a match report. This was probably more about an afternoon in the sun than the football. And as I lay in the dipping summer sun with a Tuborg Classic in both hands, I thought life could be much worse. Perhaps I was experiencing some passive smoking as well.
Spot the ball. It is on the way to the back of the net for Helsingør’s third.
CSC are never going to win much, but much like Christiania itself this is more about the community than the competition.
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