This last week has been full of adventure around Denmark! A lot of my posts have focused on my travel outside of the country, so I thought it’d be fun to walk you through a week in my life here!
Saturday, November 9th
On this day, Elinor and I went over to our Farmor’s house (which means dad’s mom in Danish) for a cozy day in Fredensborg! She lives right down the street from the Queen’s summer palace so it’s always a beautiful place to visit. We started the day with breakfast, consisting of breads and pastries from the local bakery, and got to catch up with Farmor, as a lot had happened since we last saw her!
After a lot of fun conversation, talking about my trip to Ireland and about how excited we all are for Christmas, we started to make jewelry. For the last couple of years, my Farmor has been very interested in making jewelry and we got to share in her passion for a couple of hours! I made myself a necklace and also made some great Christmas presents!
After a wonderful day with Farmor, El and I hopped on a bus and a train to head back home to good ol’ Copenhagen.
Once we got home, we made the apartment cozy and fun, cranked up the music, and had a dance party to end our night!
Sunday, November 10th
I started my morning out bright and early, grinding out some homework before the day truly began. This is honestly what a typical Sunday looks like for me here in Copenhagen!
Luckily, I didn’t have too much to do, so I met up with my friend Zach and headed out to Elsinore, the town that houses the Kronborg Castle!
After about an hour on the train, we had finally made it to the castle, which is also called Hamlet’s Castle, as it is one that is referenced in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”!
It was BEAUTIFUL! We got to wander around the castle grounds and walk around the inside of the castle, walking through the history of the building.
By the time we got out of the castle, the sun was shining! The sun! Was shining! In Denmark! In November! It was glorious.
We eventually made it back to the train station and headed home, ending our royal afternoon.
Later in the day, Zach and I met back up, this time with Elinor and Will (Will is in my core course with Zach!) and spent the night out in Vesterbro, which is the neighborhood in which El and I live! We took the boys to some of our favorite spots and got some good quality time together, as it was the first time El had met either of them!
That was the end of our Sunday!
Monday, November 11th
This day was a special day because it was my dad’s birthday! While he wasn’t with us in Denmark, El and I kept him in mind all day and Facetimed him during his birthday breakfast back home with our mom.
On another note, this day was also a Monday, so I had to head to class. Because my bike was stolen (I’m a true Copenhagener now), I take the new metro to school everyday! There’s a stop super close to my apartment, so it’s very convenient.
I only had one class on Monday, as the other was cancelled, and it was my Urban Ecology class. In class, we had Sandra Høj come in and speak to us about saving the urban trees! She was very passionate about her work, which was inspiring, and opened our eyes to the realities of the relationship between green space and Copenhagen government.
While many people have a beautiful picture of Copenhagen as a super green and sustainable city, in reality, a lot of people within the municipality don’t make enough of a conscious effort to protect the trees in the city. Sandra’s work is very admirable as she works to save the planet and does it without any pay! If you want to know more, check out her blog.
After class, El met up with me in the city and we went shopping for some warmer clothes! Other than that, nothing too exciting happened on Monday!
Tuesday, November 12th
I started out my morning heading to class! I have a class at 8:30am twice a week, which has been one of my favorites. My Muslims in the West class has only 6 of us (plus Michael, our professor), so we are all super close and don’t mind the early mornings!
After class, I headed to a post office to buy some stamps for some postcards that I wanted to send to my friends and family back home! I have been sending lots of postcards out from Copenhagen as a way to keep everyone in my life updated on and involved in my life abroad!
I also managed to fit in a quick thrifting sesh at Røde Kors Butik before my next class!
Around lunchtime, I had my New Nordic Design class, which was another guest lecture! We spoke with Janis Granger about Nordic Noir, which is a crime fiction genre in books, movies, and television! While I hadn’t heard the term “Nordic Noir” before, some of the titles she mentioned were very familiar, including The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Bridge. Her lecture was very fun and interesting, giving us another perspective on what it means to be Nordic!
After all of my classes were over, my day became BUSY. I headed to a nearby store to buy some more winter clothes (as I have a very winter-y trip next week, which you’ll hear more about soon) and also went to a craft store to buy some materials for a final project. After hopping on the metro, I dropped my new clothes and materials off at the apartment and headed to the grocery store.
I was on a mission. I had a plan. To make. Guinness bread!! This was something that we saw a lot of in Ireland and Northern Ireland, and so I was inspired to make some on this cold, gloomy day.
When I got back home, I started to make the bread (which turned out a-ma-zing)!
As soon as the bread was out of the oven, El and I headed to Stempel, which is one of our favorite restaurants in our neighborhood. We celebrated our very productive days and enjoyed a wonderful meal together!
This basically ended the day, as we just came home and worked on some stuff for school!
Wednesday, November 13th
This day started out really early, as I hopped on a train out to the Hareskoven Forest, which is about 30 minutes outside of the city. I met up with my friends, Emma and Harry, so we could get all of our research done for our research project for Urban Ecology!
The forest was beautiful! It had all of the fall colors and the sun even came out to help us as we stood outside for two and a half hours. Our research question is “Does plant species biodiversity decrease as proximity to train tracks increases in Hareskoven forest?”, so we wandered around the forest, taking data from right next to the train tracks and from the inner forest. While we were technically doing work for school, we still had a lot of fun getting it done!
After the project, I made my way home to rest for a little bit before my field study!
For my Politics and Ethics of Food class, we had Afton Halloran come in and speak to us about New Nordic Food and what that means! She discussed the locality, sustainability, and cooperation that all must be present in these kinds of discussions. We also talked with her about things we had seen in the news or around us that showed signs of global dietary changes.
After a long day full of work for school, I headed home and spent the rest of the night relaxing and preparing for the next day ahead of me.
Thursday, November 14th
This day started out with my first class of the day, Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism from the European Perspective. In class, we just discussed our final papers and projects, bouncing ideas off of each other and our professor.
Afterwards, I went to my second class of the day, which was Urban Ecology. In class, we summed up a previous field study and talked about Sandra Høj, who was the woman that came and spoke to us earlier in the week.
After Urban Ecology, I had about an hour and a half before my next class, so I did some studying in a nearby cafe. November is a crazy busy month here at DIS, so I’ve been cramming between all of my classes to work on projects, papers and readings.
Later in the afternoon, I had my Politics and Ethics of Food class, in which we talked about Danish food culture, the New Nordic Kitchen, and our final paper for the class. This is the class that I only have once a week, which means it’s a three hour-long lecture. Normally, that can be a little tough to get through, but our professor gives us breaks and switches up her teaching style so we can stay focused!
After all of my classes were done, I hurried home, because El and I had an old friend over for dinner. Our friend, Calvin, is our dad’s business partner’s son, so he’s been a friend of the family for a really long time! We got to catch up over gnocchi and garlic bread, enjoying a cozy evening in the apartment.
Friday, November 15th
I started my day with my Muslims in the West class, which basically consisted of us talking about the history of Islam in America. While it was all interesting, we were all pretty tired from the week and were ready for the weekend.
After class, I found a spot in a DIS study room and prepped for my presentation in my next class.
Around lunch, it was time for the presentation of my final project in my New Nordic Design class. The project was to discover what the “New Nordic Mood” is and then portray it on a poster. Mine discussed how people in Nordic countries are able to push out the darkness of the long winters in the North with their emphasis on the importance of community and belonging.
In class, we had people present, four at a time, to the class and to four critics, who gave us feedback on the design of our posters.
After class was over, I was super relieved, as that was our last graded assignment for the class! The semester is flying by.
I then headed over to a cafe in my neighborhood to meet up with El and two of her friends, Lina and Felicia. We all sat and did schoolwork for a while over some coffee, until El and I went back to our apartment.
After a couple of hours, we went to our Farmor’s house and had a lovely evening, full of a beautiful dinner and lots of card games. She’s the BEST!
While it was very busy, I had an excellent week, full of great classes, family dinners, and time with friends!