Hej alle! This past week was a relaxing break from school work. I stayed in Copenhagen mostly, but I also took two day trips to Malmö and Aarhus with my handy-dandy Eurail pass.
Two Saturdays ago, my host fam’s grandma invited me to a Danish Christmas dinner. I love hanging out with them and trying to speak Danish. I’ve found that it’s fun to make mistakes because it provides some entertainment for my host family. Having a visiting host family is one of the best parts of being in Copenhagen. My host fam are really nice people and I learn a lot about Danish culture from them. They treat me like part of their family. It’s also wonderful to have a home-cooked meal. It’s very hyggeligt!
Yesterday, they drove me to Dyrehaven to witness the Danish tradition of Hubertusjagt. It was traditionally a live fox hunting event only for nobility, but now anyone can go. People on horseback chase the “foxes” (two people wearing fox tails on their coats) and jump over hurdles to win the race. The crowned prince and princess were there to award the winner.
That was yesterday, so I’ll work backwards for the rest of the post. Why not? I met up with my friend from Wooster who is studying abroad in DIS Stockholm. We went to Torvehallerne, aka the Glass Market, and compared our observations about Sweden and Denmark. It was so great to catch up with a friend from home. We discussed the pronunciations of Danish and Swedish words and differences in cultures. I don’t have any pictures from that day because I was so in the moment (it was also raining).
On Wednesday, I took a day trip to Aarhus. I had a Eurail pass, so I didn’t have to worry about booking the train in advance. I saw so many beautiful views from the train through Fyn and up the coast of Jutland. Vejle and Skanderborg were especially breathtaking. I went to Aarhus Street Food for lunch. It was like Copenhagen’s Reffen in that it had a lot of different cuisines to choose from. Then I walked to ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum. The museum had about 8 floors of art! Afterwards, I walked around Aarhus. It is so fun to explore a new city. I learned that you don’t have to spend much money in the city to get a good feel of it. Going to Aarhus was a much needed change of scenery and I got to see more of Denmark.
I couldn’t pass up seeing Malmö since it’s only a bridge away. My friend from class, Natalie, and I took the train over to Malmö for the day. I geeked out when we were on the train because I’m a big fan of the show, The Bridge (Bron/Broen). In the show, a lot of crazy things happen on the bridge between Denmark and Sweden. We did not have a plan, so we just wandered around most of the time. We went to the free art museum, Moderna Museet Malmö, a vegan Chinese buffet (I’ve never seen one of those before), the famous library, a church with a funeral going on, and a cemetery.
Last week, the MIX LGBTQ+ Film Festival was taking place. I had to take advantage of that while I’m here. I wanted to see five more films, but I saw one feature-length film and 5 Scandinavian short films. I love watching indie films. My goal was to watch films that I couldn’t watch anywhere else. I believe it is important to support film makers who don’t have the big names and the big production companies to back them. I saw Being Impossible (Yo Imposible), directed by Patricia Ortega, about an intersex person in Venezuela and Nordic Lights, a series of Scandinavian short films about topics such as queer people seeking asylum, masculinity, and religion.
That was a long travel week! I didn’t talk about everything that I did. There are so many options for people who don’t want to travel around Europe on their week off. Copenhagen has many things to offer, but it was nice to see a different part of Denmark and travel to Sweden. Solo traveling has helped me clear my mind and explore places on my own schedule. This is for DIS prospective students: Whether you travel with a group, travel alone, or stay in Copenhagen, I think you’ll have a lot of great experiences on your “travel” week.