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!