The snow fell softly, as if it were too afraid of breaking the fallen snow beneath it. I sat in this winter wonderland, with no one in sight. I was in the Botanical Gardens in Copenhagen, Denmark, admiring the beauty of the Copenhagen winter (while trying not to freeze). The greenhouse in the garden dates back to the 1870s, and the garden itself has more than 13,000 plant species.
I was in total bliss. I had decided not to bring my phone, and was so happy about that choice. No one knew where I was, what I was doing, I didn’t even know what time it was. There was a small frozen pond, with plants surrounding it, all white. Birds flew around from tree to tree, causing some snow to sprinkle to the ground. There were a few statues throughout the gardens, all representing something different.
After a while, I noticed it had started to get dark. I saw what looked like a guard walking towards me, so I quickly got off of the bench and started walking away. When he noticed me, he shouted something in Danish. Great.
“English?” I said back.
“We are closing the Botanical Gardens now. Go to the gate in the front and push the button, which will let you out,” he said. Phew, I thought I was in trouble.
I walked towards the front, still admiring the plants covered in snow around me.
Then, everything went wrong. I was pushing what I thought was the button to the gate, but it was jammed. Of course it’s not working, did I think it was actually going to?
A crowd of three Danes (that’s more than enough to embarrass me) started to form on the outside of the gate, and watched me struggle to open it.
“You’re locked in!” One of them said, snickering to himself. I stared at him, not laughing.
“Yes I know! I don’t know what to do!” At this point, everything started to get eerily dark inside of the gardens. Plants seemed to grow in size, their shadows twisting and turning which way and that. I tried the button again and again, with no luck. I was shaking the gate back and forth, in hopes that the lock would suddenly open. Or break.
The crowd started to disperse, giggling to themselves about the American stuck inside of the gardens (I would be laughing too though if I were them- who get’s stuck inside of a garden?)
The lights inside of the greenhouse turned on, making everything else around it turn black. I walked back inside of the gardens, in search for the guard who told me to leave.
And then it started to rain. Now, the clouds were gray and heavy, ice cold rain was falling onto me, and the scenery around me looked like it was turning to life. And I was trapped. My heart started pounding. I would switch from either being completely afraid or laughing at the fact that I managed to get myself trapped inside of a garden.
After about 10 minutes of looking for him, I couldn’t find him. He had disappeared. Where could he have gone?! I was in the middle of the gardens, stuck. I looked at the statues, completely freaked out. They all seemed to be staring at me, waiting for the perfect moment. Oh great, these statues are probably going to come to life, grab me, and throw me onto their platform to be stuck here forever. Guess I’m never leaving!
I started to jog around at this point, my toes numb. I was completely confused with what to do next.
And then I thought, why not just hop the fence? The gate at the entrance was too high, but the surrounding fence was short enough to hop. However, it had spikes on it, obviously to prevent people from coming into the gardens when it was closed, and obviously to keep people like myself trapped inside.
But it was my only choice of escaping. I crawled through the bushes, pushing branches and leaves out of my way until I finally found the fence. A couple of feet to my left, on the other side of the fence, was a conveniently located bench. Yes, yes, I won’t be trapped in here forever!
I placed my foot through the space between the bars and on top of the bench, hoisted myself up, put my other foot in between the two spikes, and jumped over the fence onto the bench- just in time for a biker to bike past me, staring at me and almost crashing into a pole. And there I was, popping out of the bushes. If only I knew what he thought was going on…
I nonchalantly walked to my bike, hopped on, and biked away. I didn’t return to the Botanical Gardens until the spring time, when I actually ended up hopping the fence again, this time, to get inside of the garden. Obviously, the Botanical Gardens and I have an interesting relationship.