One month and twelve days.

That’s how much time I have left here in Denmark. It’s crazy to me how rapidly these past 8 months have gone…after meeting hundreds of people, seeing many new cities, and of course trying countless new things. I have to keep telling myself to simply slow down, look around, and spend each final moment here in the best way possible, because it will be gone sooner than I hope for.

To catch back up, I have taken a month and a half long break from blogging, and so lots has occurred since I last checked it. At the beginning to March, I flew to London in order to visit my close friend Angela, who is studying there this Spring. Angela is one of my closest friends at home from PLU, and we will be living together this summer and next school year. I had a week off of classes, so decided to go stay with her in her room at Goldsmith’s University in New Cross in London. Throughout the week, we caught back up on lost ground, ate lots of greasy pub food, went to different parts of London that I had never been to, like Greenwich and Shoreditch, but mostly just spent time together. It was nice to see a familiar face. We also took a day trip up to Oxford, where another of our friends, Jakob, is studying for the semester. He is also in the house in which we live, and all three of us are also in a band together called Housecats. It was so great to be able to have a British reunion and hang out by some really old buildings.

The weather has only been getting better and better as the months go by, and now, in early April, I am finally experiencing some warm temperatures and rays of sunlight (but also quite a bit of rain). With rain, however, come the flowers. My back garden here is absolutely thriving in flowers, and everywhere I go in Copenhagen I find more and more color, particularly in one of my favorite city parks, ørstedsparken.  With this warm weather, I have also had more opportunities to do more things with my classes, such as with my Danish conversation class. Last Tuesday, my class went to the apartment of the sister of my professor, where there is a lovely roof terrace that we sat on in the afternoon sunshine. Tasting påskeøl (Easter beer) and homemade guacamole, we spoke only Danish, and went to folkekøkken (like a community dinner hall) to have dinner together in Nørrebro. Det var en hyggelig aften og vi spiste lækker øl og drukke fantastisk øl! (It was a cozy evening and we ate delicious food and drank fantastic beer!)

More recently, I traveled to Amsterdam, the Netherlands, with my Prostitution and the Sex Trade class. This was the last week of March, and I had an amazing time studying such a topic in such a city. We went to several different organizations and lectures, as well as museums and events that posed differing opinions and stances in regards to prostitution, and it is safe to say that by the end of the week, my entire class was deeply fatigued, both physically and mentally. It was a phenomenal week and I got to do thing that I never thought I would have the chance to do. I went to the Red Light District every day or night, simply to take advantage of the experiential learning that I could gain by doing such a thing. Even just by walking around and experiencing my being present, I learned so much. We also had the chance to interview people of our choice in Amsterdam, to gain a more holistic perspective. One of my interviews was a man, roughly my age, who was born and raised in Amsterdam, and who has firstand experienced the transition of the city into one known for prostitutes and drugs. His perspective is probably the most important and memorable I gained all week. My class was also provided some amazing meals at different restaurants in Amsterdam, as well as cultural activities like a canal tour and the Van Gogh museum to alleviate the tense course matter that we spent our days speaking about. All in all, a hugely memorable week, filled with revelations and transitions, and more knowledge than I would have ever thought.

Immediately following my return in Amsterdam, I came down with a terrible head cold, and had to miss 2 days of classes while I recovered. Thankfully, I am now much, much better, and ready for my next travel break, beginning on Friday, in which I will be going to……

ICELAND!!!

I have been waiting for this moment for so long it seems! I will be going to Reykjavik, Iceland with a group of DIS students in my class called Viking Sagas. On Iceland, we will be seeing the major cultural sites for the country, as well as archaeological records from the Viking ages, which connects this trip to the class I am taking. Additionally, I will be having my 21st birthday the day after we arrive, so I can proudly claim that I probably had the most memorable birthday of any of my friends! On that day, we will be seeing multiple museums, but also going riding on Icelandic horses for about 3 hours, as well as eating traditional Icelandic delicacies for dinner, such as fermented shark and whale meat! It should prove to be a crazy birthday. Other things we will do/see, include Northern Lights viewing (hopefully!), adventures around the geographic area surrounding Reykjavik, testing out the beers and bars in the capital city, and taking a swim in the Blue Lagoon, the natural hot springs. I will absolutely take many, many pictures, as I consider Iceland to be one of the most beautiful places in the entire world. Get ready to see where I will be adventuring!

Alright, off to eat a delicious meal with my family :) Jeg håber det er noget lækkert! (I hope it is something delicious!)

Vi ses, og holde eventyr!

Nice view on the Thames from Greenwich.

Nice view on the Thames from Greenwich.

Masts and ropes.

Masts and ropes.

One tree hill, London.

One tree hill, London.

London, can I go back??

London, can I go back??

Our backpacks are distantly related.

Our backpacks are distantly related.

A usual spot of mine on bike rides.

A usual spot of mine on bike rides.

IMG_4292

The back garden.

The back garden.

Hunter, back at it.

Hunter, back at it.

Amsterdam, reflections.

Amsterdam, reflections.

A canal. Are you surprised?!?

A canal. Are you surprised?!?

A building in Amsterdam. Probably important somehow.

A building in Amsterdam. Probably important somehow.

Amsterdam.

Amsterdam.

Respect sex workers everywhere.

Respect sex workers everywhere.

A deluxe "condomerie", specializing in nearly any imaginable type of condom.

A deluxe “condomerie”, specializing in nearly any imaginable type of condom.

Massive urban green space: Vondel Park.

Massive urban green space: Vondel Park.

A church in the heart of the Red Light District.

A church in the heart of the Red Light District.

This canal really spoke to me.

This canal really spoke to me.

Bicycle, and canal. Best day.

Bicycle, and canal. Best day.

Look at this bike. So fresh.

Look at this bike. So fresh.

Made friends with a duck.

Made friends with a duck.

One of the most gorgeous things I have seen during my time in Europe.

One of the most gorgeous things I have seen during my time in Europe.

Flower blossoms at dusk.

Flower blossoms at dusk.

In Vondel Park. I need a day like this again.

In Vondel Park. I need a day like this again.

POOCH ALERT.

POOCH ALERT.

At "Humanity House" in The Hauge; life as a refugee.

At “Humanity House” in The Hauge; life as a refugee.

IMG_4450

What if YOU lived the life of a refugee?

What if YOU lived the life of a refugee?

Words and words and words.

Words and words and words.

Are words weapons, or are weapons our words?

Are words weapons, or are weapons our words?

Radioen har fan…

Radioen har fanget en fjern station
hvor et kor af børn
på et sprog som må være russisk
læser noget som må være poesi
og kunne lyde som en oversættelse
af digtet jeg altid har ønsket at skrive.

-Søren Ulrik Thomsen

The radio has picked up a distant station 
where a choir of children,
in a language that must be Russian,
read something that must be poetry,
and sounds like a translation
of the poem i have always dreamed of writing.

-Søren Ulrik Thomsen

Less than 3 months.

Hello again, sorry it’s been so long! As of 18 February, I have a bit less that 3 months left here in Denmark. What a year it has been. How fast it has gone by. The memories that I have made that I would never trade for anything.

Spring semester has proven to be very, very interesting. I absolutely love every class that I am taking, and the people that I have met are unbelievably generous and educated. I am very close with the other students in my Prostitution course, and we often spend time outside of the classroom getting to know each other better and building up friendships. My Scandinavian film class is very excellent; watching movies from Denmark and the other Nordic countries really makes my experience in this part of the world more worthwhile. We have watched 8 movies now, and will probably watch about 10 more before the end of the semester. My favorites thus far have been Festen directed by Thomas Vinterberg (the first Dogma film) and Melancholia directed by Lars von Trier, the current “big name” director in Denmark, and often considered a provocateur. I have watched several other von Trier films (Dancer in the Dark, Idioterne, Riget) and have been completely enthralled with his style and his themes. A bit too dark for American cinema, for sure.

My Gender and Sexuality and Pornography classes are all very interesting topics, and very important things that I believe all people should spend a decent part of their lives learning about. It really makes me think of my own knowledge of gender and sexuality prior to coming to Denmark, particularly considering the ways in which they are expressed/displayed here in Copenhagen. My Danish class is a lot more intensive than last semester, which is something that I very much enjoy. My professor, Mette, is a huge inspiration to learning the language, and she has taken us to amazing bars and places in Copenhagen, including a jazz concert during the København Jazzfestival. We have been reading Kongens Falde (The Fall of the King) in Danish, as well as poetry by Søren Ulrik Thomsen.

Academics aside, I have also traveled to Malmö, Sweden with my Prostitution Class for a study tour, and we got to see the city and got to get to know each other more. We have a wonderful time, touring the Malmö Chokoladefabrik (Chocolate Factory), eating a fantastic meal at Salt & Brygga, as well as staying in a country house outside the city, where we were provided homemade dinner, plenty of wine, and makings for the Swedish version of s’mores. It was a very memorable couple of days, and in the end of March, we will be on our way as a class to Amsterdam, The Netherlands, for a week! Definitely something to look forward to.

In the nearer future, this Sunday 2 March, I will be flying to London, England to visit my friends Angela and Jakob from my home university! Angela is living in the city, and Jakob is living in Oxford. I can’t wait to return to London, a city that I fell in love with last January on a different study abroad adventure. I will get to see amazing sights and places that I have previously seen, but I am most excited to spend time with people that are very close to me and that I haven’t seen since last July.

Back here in Taastrup at home, I have gotten to the point where I never want to leave this beautiful house and this amazing family! I keep thinking towards the future and my eventual departure, but for the meantime, I am fully content living here and calling this Danish house my home. I have been cooking more for my family this semester, including my first try at the typical Danish meatball, frikadeller. It turned out better than I expected! I have enjoyed cooking for them, and I have learned new techniques to take back to Washington.

I have also been cycling a lot more, becoming engrossed in the Copenhagen bicycle culture. They told me that biking in the city was frightening and difficult, but I actually find it very peaceful and efficient. If I could bike all the way to DIS every morning for classes, I absolutely would. But taking my bike onto the train also works :)

Anyway, thanks for reading my long-winded and a bit tedious post! I can’t think of anything else of note to mention right now, except that I have found a new love, and that new love is licorice! If you refer one of my previous posts from when I first arrived in Denmark, you will see my first attempt at licorice, which ended in disgust. Well, the tides have changed, and I love it! Every time I eat it, it makes me feel just that much more Danish :) Oh, I can wish…

Until March, keep adventuring!

The country house in which my class stayed.

The country house in which my class stayed.

Water is my favorite.

Water is my favorite.

On the ferry from Sweden to Denmark.

On the ferry from Sweden to Denmark.

The Danish sky never ceases to amaze.

The Danish sky never ceases to amaze.

Lights.

Lights.

At Louisiana Museum of Modern Art.

At Louisiana Museum of Modern Art.

Nails and white paint.

Nails and white paint.

Life under the ice.

Life under the ice.

At Louisiana.

At Louisiana.

Bike ride through 'The Meadow' next to where I live.

Bike ride through ‘The Meadow’ next to where I live.

On a bike ride.

On a bike ride.

That sky.

That sky.

Drowning in all these water pictures.

Drowning in all these water pictures.

:)

:)

New year, new adventures!

Hello everyone! Greeting to you once again from Copenhagen, Denmark. It’s a new year, sure to be filled with new opportunities, challenges, rewards, and adventures. Halfway through the month of January, I am still on a break from my classes until Spring semester begins (one week from today!).

I had the wonderful opportunity of spending my 20th Christmas here in Denmark with my Danish family, taking part in all of the Christmastime traditions and celebrations that occur here in Denmark (including the Julefrokost, or Christmas lunch, that relies heavily on fish, frikadeller, family, friends, and beer and snaps of course). I got a backgammon set from my Danish brother David, after he taught me back in August. Needless to say, I’m becoming quite a professional!

However, the best gift that I received was my mother and grandmother taking roughly 2 weeks out of their busy lives to come and visit me here in DK!! They arrived on the 29th of December, and I spend a few days leading them around the city and showing them my favorite bits and pieces while they had time. We saw all of the major cites and attractions, like the mermaid and Nyhavn, and I also took them to some of my favorite restaurants and cafés, like Soupa Natural, Grød, and Paludan Café. They also were lucky enough to be here for the spectacular New Year’s Eve celebrations, including Tivoli Gardens and their huge fireworks show, as well as the craziness around the Rådhuspladsen, where hundreds of people were lighting off their own.

From Copenhagen, we embarked on our journey into Central Europe, with Frankfurt, Germany being our first stop (just for the night). The next day we hopped on the train and made it all the way to Vienna, where we spent 2 nights, and got to see quite a bit of the Old Town, including St. Stephens Cathedral. Getting back on the train, we made the short journey to Prague, where we spent 3 nights in perhaps the best hostel I’ve ever stayed in, called Sir Toby’s! This city was fantastic, a great glimpse into the Slavic cultures that are found in that area. Plus, everything was so cheap, most notable the BEER, which I can honestly say I had my fair share of. Here, we saw the majority of the city that we intended to, like Charles Bridge, the castle and lookout tower on Petrin Hill, and the famous Astronomical Clock in the city square. After these 3 nights, we got back on a train and headed another short distance to Berlin, our last leg of the journey. Here, we spend 2 more nights, and saw such things as the Reichstag (including cityscape views at night!), Brandenburg Gate, the Holocaust Memorial, Checkpoint Charlie, the Jewish Museum, and the vibrant, robust culture of one of Europe’s greatest capitals. Even after my second time to Berlin, I still feel like I must return to continue seeing what this city has to offer!

Back to Copenhagen, mom and grandma had 3 more nights before the flight home, so we just relaxed for the most part and saw a few more parts of this great city I call home. We got to venture North of Copenhagen on their last day, where we saw the castle in which Hamlet was based, as well as the spectacular modern art museum, Louisiana, that was having an exhibit on artists Asger Jorn and Jackson Pollock, as well as an exhibit dedicated to the world North of human civilization, the Arctic. All in all, I had such a wonderful and fulfilling time with two of my favorite people in the world, and I’m so glad that I got to see these breathtaking cities and places of the world with them! (I love you guys!!!)

Well, now, onwards. With this last week dwindling down, I have to get back in the mindset of academics, as my new classes begin. I will be taking Prostitution and the Slave Trade, Pornography in Scandinavia, Gender and Sexuality, Danish Language II, and Scandinavian Moods in Cinema. Should definitely make for an interesting semester filled with lots of discussion!

The new DIS students will be arriving this coming Sunday, fresh off their long flights and eager to see the wonderful city of Copenhagen. I look forward to meeting new people and having new adventures both around this city and around Europe!

Until next time, do something adventurous!

Mom and Grandma with the lovely Mermaid.

Mom and Grandma with the lovely Mermaid.

Lit-up botanical gardens in CPH.

Lit-up botanical gardens in CPH.

A coming sunset on the Lakes.

A coming sunset on the Lakes.

Hamlet's castle, North of CPH.

Hamlet’s castle, North of CPH.

The crashing waves of the North Sea.

The crashing waves of the North Sea.

Another necessary candle pic.

Another necessary candle pic.

My hyggelit Juleaften.

My hyggelit Juleaften.

Danish life.

Danish life.

St. Stephen's Cathedral, Vienna.

St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Vienna.

Viennese candles.

Viennese candles.

My good friend, Mozart, in Vienna.

My good friend, Mozart, in Vienna.

Men on horses, a repeated art form.

Men on horses, a repeated art form.

The history-rich buildings of Vienna.

The history-rich buildings of Vienna.

Theatre in Prague, also, clouds.

Theatre in Prague, also, clouds.

Jetstreams above the National Museum in Prague.

Jetstreams above the National Museum in Prague.

River in Prague.

River in Prague.

Countless statues, countless spires.

Countless statues, countless spires.

IMG_3835

Another good friend, Antonin Dvorzak.

Another good friend, Antonin Dvorzak.

Peeking.

Peeking.

Old Town Square in Prague.

Old Town Square in Prague.

The famous, wondrous astronomical clock.

The famous, wondrous astronomical clock.

Because who doesn't like bubbles?

Because who doesn’t like bubbles?

Another statue, Charles Bridge, Prague.

Another statue, Charles Bridge, Prague.

View from the Charles Bridge.

View from the Charles Bridge.

I just like the sky, okay?

I just like the sky, okay?

Proof that they actually DID climb all the steps to the castle.

Proof that they actually DID climb all the steps to the castle.

Colors.

Colors.

Cathedral on the castle grounds.

Cathedral on the castle grounds.

Door.

Door.

View from the Lookout Tower on Petrin Hill. PRAGUE.

View from the Lookout Tower on Petrin Hill. PRAGUE.

I was breathless seeing this sight. PRAGUE IS THE BEST.

I was breathless seeing this sight. PRAGUE IS THE BEST.

Wall dedicated to John Lennon, Prague.

Wall dedicated to John Lennon, Prague.

Brandenburg Gate by night.

Brandenburg Gate by night.

Eerie.

Eerie.

Chilling.

Chilling.

Holocaust Memorial by night.

Holocaust Memorial by night.

Down into German Parliament.

Down into German Parliament.

The Dome.

The Dome.

The Reichstag.

The Reichstag.

The last Kremlin flag in existence.

The last Kremlin flag in existence.

Fantastic architecture of the Jewish Museum.

Fantastic architecture of the Jewish Museum.

Lights on water.

Lights on water.

The Julekalender

Here is an example of what I have been watching every day of December! In this clip, the 3 nissemen express their feelings on how it feels to be a nisse. Lyrics are in the description of the video on YouTube. Enjoy!

Christmastime is Here!

Hej alt! Hvordan går det? Julen er her!

Hello all! How are you? Christmas is here!

I hope that everyone is doing great, getting settled in to the holiday season and getting into the yule spirit. Here in Denmark, everything has been transitioning  slowly into Christmas, beginning on the first of December. My classes have all ended, all of my finals have been taken, and my final papers were completed (just in the nick of time!). I feel very confident about this past semester and all of the courses that I took. So now I can check Fall semester/my environmental studies/sustainability semester off my Copenhagen list! On to Spring semester, where bigger and better things await me.

But first, I have a 5 week break! With Christmas approaching quickly now, I am in full swing of Danish holiday traditions. Beginning on December 1, my host family and I began watching the traditional Danish television show, called the Julekalender. A new show is made for each holiday season, but the one that my family watches every year is about three nissemen (elf/pixie-like creatures) who must “save Christmas” by finding a key and fighting off the evil nåsår (difficult to describe the full plot, when the script is in a mixture of Danish and English, aka Denglish). It is a fun show, with 10-15 minute installments, one for each day up until the 24th. We also have a real julekalender, which is essentially what Americans call an Advent Calendar. Every day up until the 24th, we get to open a box and receive a little treat inside. The holiday season has also brought the famous Christmas Markets to Copenhagen. I have been to three different markets: one at Amagertorv, one at Nyhavn, and one in Christiania. The markets have really gotten me into the holiday spirit, and so many people go to them! The lights in the city have transformed the city into something from a fairy tale, and I love it! Also, served during this season is æbleskiver (doughy balls flavored with apple) and glögg (a mulled wine spiced with raisins, almonds, and snaps). It has been so different but so amazing to experience a Christmas season in a completely different culture, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

I have also been given a room in the city for the break between the semesters, but I am only using it after the holiday season is over. It will be nice to live closer to the city center, however, and meet other full-year students that have decided to stay in Denmark between the semesters like myself. The room is on the 5th floor of a building in østerbro, one of the districts of Copenhagen. It is just about a 15 minute bike ride to the main train station, so it’s in a great location!

Also, the days keep counting down until the day that my mom and grandma will finally be here to visit me! Arriving on December 29, I will be more that happy to show them around the city, to all my favorite places of this place I have been living the last 4 months. We will begin in Copenhagen, but just after the New Year, we will catch a train and make our way down to Central Europe. First, we will be going to Frankfurt, Germany, followed by Vienna, Prague, and finally Berlin before returning to Copenhagen! It should be an amazing 2 weeks while they are here visiting…I can hardly wait!

Meanwhile, I will continue watching the Julekalender, eating æbleskiver, and spending wintry times with my host family! Har en glædelig jul og godt nytår! (Have a merry Christmas and a good New Year!)

Vi ses!

The famous hearts on the walking street, Strøget.

The famous hearts on the walking street, Strøget.

A star in the night.

A star in the night.

A taste of the magical Christmas lights.

A taste of the magical Christmas lights.

Lights, cont.

Lights, cont.

Amagertorv Julemarked.

Amagertorv Julemarked.

En julebolle.

En julebolle.

More lights to decorate the streets.

More lights to decorate the streets.

Candles: how to survive the dark season.

Candles: how to survive the dark season.

A wave of cloud, a seen from my bedroom window.

A wave of cloud, a seen from my bedroom window.

A fabulous Christmas display, complete with characters from The Nutcracker.

A fabulous Christmas display, complete with characters from The Nutcracker.

Nyhavn Julemarked.

Nyhavn Julemarked.

My fancy high-rise room in Østerbro.

My fancy high-rise room in Østerbro.

Keeping warm, in any way possible.

Keeping warm, in any way possible.

A colorful taste of Christmas.

A colorful taste of Christmas.

Danish "Christmas Hearts"

Danish “Christmas Hearts”

Lights, as seen in Frederiksberg.

Lights, as seen in Frederiksberg.

Candles again, because this dark is a heavy one.

Candles again, because this dark is a heavy one.

Æbleskiver og glögg! YUM.

Checking back in.

Hello all!

Greetings once again from Copenhagen, Denmark. November is truly setting in here…with the sun rising at 7:30 in the morning and setting at 4:30. In other words, lots of candles lit to illuminate the dark and make it feel perhaps a bit cozier (the elusive Danish term hygge). All is well, however dark & however cold.

Probably the largest piece of news I have to offer you is that I just returned from Lisbon, Portugal! I decided to spend 5 days in the warmer climate, what with the increasing dark of Denmark. Instead of 4-5 degrees Celsius, Lisbon was a beautiful 20 degrees, and the sun shining bright every day! Some of the things that I did there were: take a huge walking tour of the oldest part of the city, called the Alfama district, go out on a nighttime tour of the traditional Portuguese music called Fado (which started with Portuguese women lamenting at the absence of their husbands who as sailors had gone out to sea), and take a little journey to a city just outside of Lisbon, called Sintra (one of the coolest places I have ever been to, with a very fairytale-like atmosphere, and where I had the opportunity to sample traditional port wine, a sour cherry liquor called ginginha out of a chocolate cup, and adventure around caverns under a palace). I also got to see what was called the “Thieves Market” which was a huge flea market, sample the delicious custard pastries called Pastéis de Belém, and go on a really enjoyable pub crawl through the nightlife district of Bairro Alto. Also, I got to go to a really cool beach town just outside of Lisbon called Cascais, where we spent the afternoon laying in the sand and walking through the water. All in all, a very enjoyable adventure in Portugal.
We also recently had what was considered the worst storm in Denmark’s history! For about 4 hours, roughly 80 mph winds came through Copenhagen, falling trees and roof panels littering the streets, people stranded in the city due to the trains not running, and rain flooding the streets. It was exciting, however frightening, to say the least.
Also, I went to a concert for a band I love called Local Natives, who are from Los Angeles. Actually, before the concert, I was simply walking to my train to catch to get home after class, and I ran into the lead singer walking along the street, so I decided to go up and talk to him. He was such a nice guy, and convinced me to go to their concert! So I went, loved it, and afterwards, the same guy gave me his guitar pick! A very crazy but awesome day.
Other than those exciting things, I’ve just been adjusting to the weather, having a cold or two, but still getting out there to do new things. Thanksgiving is coming soon as well; it will be very different to not be surrounded by family and instead having a Danish Thanksgiving, but at least I will get most of the same foods!
Until next time, keep adventuring!
Rossio Square in Lisbon.
Rossio Square in Lisbon.
The narrow streets of Alfama.
The narrow streets of Alfama.
One of the best views in the city (with Arabelle).
One of the best views in the city (with Arabelle).
Walking tour in Lisbon.
Walking tour in Lisbon.
I love these colors.
I love these colors.
Natural water fountain in Sintra!
Natural water fountain in Sintra!
Sintra.
Sintra.
Tiles, tiles, tiles.
Tiles, tiles, tiles.
Flora and fauna of Sintra.
Flora and fauna of Sintra.
My snail friend in Sintra.
My snail friend in Sintra.
The lovely view in Sintra.
The lovely view in Sintra.
Sunset at the Westernmost point of continental Europe.
Sunset at the Westernmost point of continental Europe.
Words can't describe this.
Words can’t describe this.
Never thought I would see this in person.
Never thought I would see this in person.
Arabelle and Luke.
Arabelle and Luke.
I could get used to this place.
I could get used to this place.
Cascais, amazing beach.
Cascais, amazing beach.
Can you tell I love the ocean?
Can you tell I love the ocean?
R.I.P. jellyfish.
R.I.P. jellyfish.
Too scared to take pictures outside during the storm.
Too scared to take pictures outside during the storm.
Obligatory picture of Hunter.
Obligatory picture of Hunter.

 

I have returned.

 

Long time, no post.

It’s been a good 3 weeks since the last time I posted on here, so I figured I would bring everything up to date; all the adventures and experiences I have had.

To start…I went to Germany! Hamburg, followed by Berlin. It was an amazing week filled with speaking to influential people and organizations in the field of sustainable development, visiting historic and memorable destinations, and of course getting my fair share of German beer. I was even lucky enough to be in Berlin on Reunification Day (the anniversary of when the Berlin Wall came down). I had the pleasure of going to the DDR Museum (about the socialist era in Berlin), Topography of Terror museum (about the SS and Hitler’s secret police), seeing remaining pieces of the Berlin Wall, Brandenburg Gate, eating lunch at the top of the Reichstag, and much more. It was for sure a memorable trip, but I need to go back to see even more!

I also had the opportunity of seeing with my own eyes the world’s largest ship: a shipping container carrier owned by the Danish company Mærske. I’ll attach a picture….it’s almost unreal to believe a water vessel can be that large!

I also made my way over to Malmö, Sweden for a couple of days, seeing as it is accessible by bridge, with the train from Copenhagen only taking about 35 minutes. While there, I explored the city parks, ate delicious Mexican, Indian, and Greek foods, sampled some tasty Swedish micro-brews, went to the Modern Museum, and just simply experienced the 3rd largest city in Sweden.

Besides those more exciting things, I have been busy with schoolwork, but also dedicating quite a bit of time to socializing and seeing new parts of the city. A couple new favorite places that I have encountered include a tiny restaurant called Grød (specializing in local foods, most notably porridge) in Nørrebro, a cute little café/culture house called Beboerhus (so hygge!) in Christianshavn, and a wonderful café/bar in Nørrebro called Retro, in which I applied to volunteer as a bartender because I love it so much! If there is one thing that Copenhagen is good for, it is the small, cozy, completely hygge cafés and restaurants. (A lot of places for us to go when you visit, Mom and Grandma!)

From here, I’m just continuing my studies and my adventures around da Cope. I have a couple concerts coming up in these next couple weeks, so that is always fun! Also, on November 10 I’ll be flying to Lisbon, Portugal to spend 5 days during one of our travel breaks! Completely excited, you must know.

Farewell for now, sending my love from København, Danmark.

Hej, hej.

Group from class, about to climb to the top of a wind turbine!

Group from class, about to climb to the top of a wind turbine!

The fancy get-up for the turbine.

The fancy get-up for the turbine.

Soaring.

Soaring.

Sea & sky.

Sea & sky.

Which one is the reflection?

Which one is the reflection?

Hamburg: adventuring.

Hamburg: adventuring.

Hamburg: notice all the towers.

Hamburg: notice all the towers.

Hamburg flowers.

Hamburg flowers.

Urban flowers.

Urban flowers.

Potsdamer Platz, Berlin.

Potsdamer Platz, Berlin.

Really old piano, Berlin.

Really old piano, Berlin.

An aerial view of Berlin.

An aerial view of Berlin.

And another, different perspective.

And another, different perspective.

Deutschland!!

Deutschland!!

On top of the Reichstag.

On top of the Reichstag.

In the Reichstag's dome.

In the Reichstag’s dome.

The lovely Brandenburg Gate.

The lovely Brandenburg Gate.

To Astrid: Maybe someday we will be together. (On the Wall).

To Astrid: Maybe someday we will be together. (On the Wall).

The Holocaust Memorial...haunting.

The Holocaust Memorial…haunting.

Within the Memorial.

Within the Memorial.

Frankie at Reunification Day.

Frankie at Reunification Day.

The live concerts during the Celebration.

The live concerts during the Celebration.

Autumn is here (in Berlin).

Autumn is here (in Berlin).

Swedish ducks.

Swedish ducks.

Puddle jumpers in Malmö.

Puddle jumpers in Malmö.

Swedish trees.

Swedish trees.

Forgotten pacifier and rose, Malmö.

Forgotten pacifier and rose, Malmö.

One of the many gorgeous city parks of Malmö.

One of the many gorgeous city parks of Malmö.IMG_3001

The world's largest water vessel.
The world’s largest water vessel.

 

Hi everyone!

Here I am, checking in again after a bit of an extended absence. I regret to tell you that I don’t have any new photos for you to examine as of right now, but surely more photo opportunities will come up soon!

Let’s start right where I left off:

I’ve been continuing all of my classes at DIS, trying to find time to create a balance between studying, exploring this culture-heavy city, and spending time with my host family. Studying has taken up quite a bit of time, what with numerous readings and assignments per night, but I like to think that I am keeping up. In my Renewable Energy Systems class, we had our first exam covering general energy and renewables information, and I got 95%! My first academic success in Denmark.

In my How Plants Changed World History Class, we have been continuing talking about different plants that have affected the course of history (tobacco, sugarcane, spices, tea, etc.). For instance, did you know that the concept of “Tip Jars” originated during the era of tea houses in Britain, in which small boxes lay on each table stating TIPS (To Insure Prompt Service)? Or perhaps that wheat and grains were used to make beer before they even made bread? Additionally, in this class, we travelled to Kellaris Vineyard last Wednesday, which is located just north of the city. You may be thinking, “A vineyard? In Denmark?!?!” But yes, a vineyard. There are only about a hundred vineyards in all of Denmark, and Kellaris only produced anywhere from 4,000-9,000 bottles per year. It was nice to see that such things as vineyards existed in this tiny country, especially seeing as I grew up in “Wine Country” in Washington State. We also got free wine tasting, so I can vouch for Denmark’s ability to make great wine. 

My Danish language class has been progressing as well, with us learning how to say things like “I like pizza” (Jeg kan godt lide pizza), “I would like a large beer” (Jeg skal have en stor øl), and “I love you” (Jeg elsker dig). All the essentials. And tomorrow, my language class is going to the district of Nørrebro in København (Copenhagen, duh) to visit a cemetery called Assistens Kierkegård. This is the cemetery where Søren Kierkegård, Niels Bohr, Hans Christian Andersen, and other famous Danes are buried. (We are also ordering food at a café….in Danish!!!)

Other than classes, I have been spending time with my host family that consists of Jørgen, Maggie, myself, and Hunter, the very important cat. Last Sunday, we travelled 1 hour south of where we live in Tåstrup to Vordingborg, where my host brother David is going to university. I also got the chance to meet my other host brother Alex as he was there as well in order to celebrate David’s 20th birthday. Besides that, we have eaten nearly every meal together, including homemade pizza (!!!), pasta al fiorno, a millet salad with chicken, and tonight was pumpkin soup. We also frequently watch a delightful British comedy called Yes, Minister, and we are currently watching Season 5 of the TV show 24. We all find the drama and brutality and scowling quite enjoyable. 

As far as my free time, I have done quite a bit. I went to a concert for a Finnish punk-rock band called French Films with my friends Lizzie, Nick, and Frankie which was a nice way to spend a Thursday night. I also went to Roskilde University’s beginning of the year party/festival (a university about 30 minutes away from Copenhagen city center) with Lizzie, where we partied with thousands of Danes and saw my favorite Danish musician, Mø! It was a blast! I have also gone out several times with additional friends, seeing more parts of the city and returning to parts that we have taken a liking to. 

And this Sunday, I will be journeying to Germany! Hamburg first, and then Berlin, my European Sustainable Development class will be going for our long study tour, examining different ways in which these 2 German cities have implemented sustainable initiatives and renewable energies in these last couple decades. We will be there until Friday, and then the long journey back. 

Thanks for reading! Until next time, hej hej!