Friday, May 18, 2012

Vi Ses Denmark!!!

My study abroad experience is coming to a close as I'm leaving Denmark tomorrow and heading back to the USA. My departure comes with lots of mixed feelings- I'm looking forward to being back home with family and friends, but at the same time I don't want this amazing chapter of my life in Denmark to end. Here's a list of what I'll miss most about Denmark:
- my host family!!! (I could never have imagined being so close to another family. I'm so fortunate to have had this close bond/relationship and I'm looking forward to staying in touch with them 
- Everything DIS = classes, staff, study tours, SAC events...
- walking around the streets in Copenhagen
- hygge weekends with morning breakfast spreads and tasty cakes with coffee/tea
- my yellow bike 
- movie nights with Danish subtitles
- The Black Diamond Library
- seeing the Danish flag everywhere
- casually spotting the royal family on a monthly basis
- talking about the "States" 
- Birthday family dinners
- modern, Ikea-like Danish homes
- Danish laid-back lifestyle in general

The list really could go on because these past four months have been absolutely amazing! I'm so happy and lucky to have had this opportunity and I've definitely learned something about another part of the world and myself as well- I hope you enjoyed reading my blog just as much as I enjoyed writing it :)

This is not "Farvel" (goodbye) Denmark, but "Vi Ses!" 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Little Mermaid

So here it is... my Copenhagen tourist photo! Since I'm in a course on Hans Christian Andersen, taking a photo with this iconic statue was definitely on my "to-do" list. Hopefully, this little visit will provide me with some inspiration for my final paper...

Vis Ses Snart

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Labor Day = Field Day

May 1st marks Labor Day, which for Danes is a cause for a huge celebration. Every year, more than 50,000 people flock to Faelledparken in Copenhagen-- a large, open field just outside of the center city. While politicians make speeches, the gathering has been overrun with vendors and live music.  The weather today really could not have been better and I certainly enjoyed soaking up the sun with my friends on our picnic blanket. Why can't Labor Day in the States be this much fun!

Vi Ses Snart 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Fun Fact: Royal Cakes

Founded in 1870, La Glace is known for their elegant, delicious cakes. The confectionary shop was recently honored with the responsibility of creating the Crown Prince's and Crown Princess' engagement cake. In honor of my friend Megan's birthday, I visited La Glace with her and a few friends yesterday. Since each slice of cake costs 52 DKK, we decided to split a piece amongst the three of us.  The hardest part, of course, was deciding which cake to choose! After staring at the cakes in the window, we went with 'Lucky You'-- a chocolate mousse style cake with raspberry, chocolate ganache, and garnished with salted pumpkin-seeds.... it was heavenly!

Vi Ses Snart

Monday, April 16, 2012

Happy Birthday Queen Margrethe II!

Today the Queen of Denmark, Margrethe II, celebrated her 72nd birthday. As part of the annual festivities, the Queen and the entire royal family stepped onto the balcony of Amalienborg at noon and waved to the cheering Danish crowd below. As you can imagine, it was a pretty exciting day for both the Queen and Denmark.

Here are just a few photos that I was able to take of the event- I was really surprised by how close my friends and I were able to get to the balcony!

Entire Royal Family

Queen with her Grandchildren

Crown Prince and Princess with their children

Danish Crowd


Vi Ses Snart

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Spring Break: London, Edinburgh, Dublin

Hello Again! I'm back in Copenhagen from my travel break and as promised, here's a brief synopsis of my wonderful adventures...

Myself and two of my best SLU friends, Bailey and Josh, arrived in London late Monday (April 2) night only to discover that our hostel was not very luxurious to say the least; the hostel was currently undergoing construction which meant that besides waking up to workers in our hallway, the bathroom facilities were pretty sparse and grungy (I mean there's no need for a toilet paper holder right??).  Oh well it is definitely an experience that we can all laugh about now and luckily, we weren't in the hostel for very long as we busily spent our three full days in London sightseeing. We took advantage of a free walking tour that was offered in each of our travel destinations. This was a great way of seeing the sights, getting a brief history of the city, and learning our way around. In London, we signed up for a traveling card called the London Pass which allowed us to visit multiple attractions at a cheaper rate. With this card we visited the London Bridge, Tower of London (including Britain's crown jewels), Shakespeare's Globe Theater, Westminster Abby, and Kensington Palace.

Bailey and me in front of London Bridge

My favorite part of London, however, was seeing Les Miserables on Broadway; I've seen a few Broadway plays before in the USA including Mary Poppins and Wicked, but I've never seen a show where the entire show was singing! We also were able to take a group bus tour to Stonehenge and Bath through a Groupon offer that I had found before our departure. While the three of us were the youngest of the mostly middle-aged tourists, it was great to get outside of the bustling city for the day and see two of England's historic sites.

Listening to the Audio Guide at Stonehenge

From London we traveled to Edinburgh, Scotland via a train from King's Cross Station-- yes, don't worry I managed to visit 9 3/4 platform at King's Cross before our departure :) When we arrived in Edinburgh, we were immediately charmed by the quaint town and it's impressive castle. From the Hogwarts-like castle to the graveyard containing several of the characters names (i.e. Professor McGonagall and Tom Riddle) to the nearby stone school originally used for orphans and now educating the wealthy elite, it was erie how Edinburgh related to the fantastical world created by J.K. Rowling.
Edinburgh Castle

JK Rowling's Cafe: The Birthplace of Harry Potter
I had no idea that Rowling wrote the first Harry Potter book in one of Edinburgh's coffee shops until one of my friends in the DIS Positive Psychology core program traveled to Edinburgh on her long study tour and told me about her trip. Apparently, it was cheaper for Rowling to buy a cup of coffee at this cafe and write the whole day than it was to heat her small apartment.  (If you can't tell already, I'm a Harry Potter fan and being able to spend time in the city that inspired Rowling was truly a unique experience). Besides walking in the steps of Rowling, we tasted our way through traditional Scottish cuisine, which meant buying porridge at the Saturday farmer's market, treating ourselves to sticky toffee pudding, having lunch at a restaurant devoted to loaded jacket potatoes, and eating meat pies for dinner.  Edinburgh was definitely a great weekend destination between the bustling streets of London and the of Dublin.

While Josh had to return to his study abroad program in Austria, Bailey and I started the second week of travel break by continuing to Dublin.  I visited Dublin this past summer for a few days through SLU's summer study abroad program in Ireland, but it was wonderful to return to the city and visit some of the attractions that I wasn't able to visit during my last visit.  Dublin's most popular attraction is of course the Guinness Factory with the top floor showcasing a 360 degree view of the city and the opportunity to pour your own pint.  And while Bailey and I are now "certified" to pour a Guinness, we both realized that we don't particularly like the beer's bitter taste! 

Pouring the perfect pint at the Guinness Factory
My parents were also on a traveling break to Ireland during this same week and we were able to stay at the same hotel as them during our time in Dublin. It was great to spend time with them and for Bailey and I to share some of our abroad experiences with them. Together, we were able to see the Book of Kells at Trinity College, eat lunch at the famous Bewley's Cafe on Grafton Street, and visit Trim Castle and the Hill of Tara.  

This spring break was by far one of the best vacations ever! Not only was I able to take in the sights with some of my closest friends, but I made memories that will definitely last a lifetime. At the same time, it's great to be back in Copenhagen and I'm looking forward to my last weeks here in Denmark.  

Vi Ses Snart

Friday, March 30, 2012

A Brief Hiatus...

So today is the official start to our 2 WEEK spring break!! I'll be traveling to London, Edinburgh, and Dublin with my good friend from SLU who is also studying at DIS and another close friend studying abroad in Austria.  This means that I won't be able to post anything until I return to Copenhagen... but don't worry it will definitely be worth the wait :)

Vi Ses Snart