Tuesday, May 5, 2015

A Belated Update

As per usual, a lot has happened since I last posted.
Tour de Samso
I suppose I should begin with my weekend to Samso. To start I should explain why it's so special. Samso is one of Denmark's many islands and it lies right in between Zealand (the island containing Copenhagen) and Jutland (the only part of Denmark connected to the continent). What's so cool about this island over all the other 75 billion islands that Denmark has is that it's carbon negative. That's right, it's about to get super nerdy environmentalist up in here. So, I'm sure you're dying to know what a carbon negative island is. Well, it doesn't matter if you care or not because it's my blog and I get to tell you whatever I want.
A carbon negative place is a place that produces enough clean energy to fulfill its own needs and then, this is where it gets super fun, it ships out the extra and sells it to the grid. And since the wind turbine shares are owned by the residents, they get the profit. That's right, they're frickin getting paid to own a windmill. That's, like, one the coolest things you could possibly own.
On top of a turbine
Anyway, I went on this weekend trip as an additional program with DIS and it just so happened that four other people from my house (shocker that residents of the Green House would go on a sustainability trip). The first day, we biked around the island, saw a small district heating plant run with straw (Samso’s economy is largely based in agriculture), saw an old-timey windmill and climbed up a new-timey windmill, also known as a turbine, and generally just looked super put together after an entire day of biking.
The day after we went to the largest labyrinth in the world (It’s Guinness official!) and then we went to the tiniest little town in the world and had a fantastic lunch at a brewery, obviously we got ourselves a pint too.
Then we headed to the ferry and back to KBH.  
Fast forward a week (or two, I can’t remember now) and we find me boarding a bus on Friday evening to the Czech Republic.  Now, you may say, “a BUS to Czech from Copenhagen? Wow, I didn't realize they were that close.  I should probably look at a map…” Well, stop right there.  No need to look at a map, because I’m here to inform you that COPENHAGEN AND THE CZECH REPUBLIC ARE NOT CLOSE. Not at all.  Which is why the bus ride consisted of a two hour ride to southern Denmark, a two hour ferry, and then ANOTHER EIGHT HOURS on a bus driving through Germany.  I don’t know if you know this, but that mean I spent 12 hours traveling. 10 of these hours were confined to a very cramped bus seat, attempting to sleep through the night and blocking out the tunes of Frozen to get some shut eye (I was very unsuccessful).  At one point the bus driver took a break, and I spent 45 minutes staring at a German parking lot at 4 in the morning.

Anyway, moving on.     
So we got to the area of the Czech Republic, Cesky raj (in English it means Bohemian Paradise), at 9 or so in the morning (this is Saturday, now).   We had ourselves a breakfast and instead of letting us sleep, like kind and caring people would do, we were subjected to ice breakers and archery (ok, i know I shouldn't complain, I did archery in the mountains of Czech but I was tired! Very few things trump sleep for me).  This is where we met our tour guides: Tom, Suzanna, Honza and Honza.  No, that is not a mistype. Yes, we had two tour guides named Honza (actually, it was a total of 5 Honza tour guides by the end of it. I don’t have an explanation for you).
Our Castle from afar
Anyway, the first day was pretty low-key compared to the others.  We would take day trips from our castle, yeah you heard that right. A frickin castle. It had a name too: Hruba Skala, because you gotta have a cool name for a castle. Google it, tell your friends.  The second day was a little more intense with rock climbing in the morning followed by a lunch in town (which was a side salad for me, since vegetarian isn’t a well understood concept) and then caving in the afternoon.  That night, they also set up this silly little treasure hunt with a ghost story and stuff and the winners got chocolate and wine.  Alas, we did not win :(.  The last day in Cesy raj we were on the castle grounds and the Honzas and Tom had set up rappelling and a zip line for the morning activity and a “trek” for the afternoon.  It was a hike, but since the name of the trip was “Czech Trek” I think they felt it was required to have a trekking expedition.  In between the two activities, my new friends and I made a trek of our own, something I have just now decided to call the Chocolate Trek (get it?).  We took a walk into town and bought but loads of chocolate at the convenience store right after stopping to freak out over some baby sheeps (I'm aware the plural is 'sheep'. It just sounds cuter this way).
The last day we woke up early, had one last meal at the hotel/castle and spent a day exploring Prague.  Which was such an awesome city and I was totally unprepared for warmth and spent the entire day sweating in an all black outfit with my sweater and fur lined hiking boots.  I’m sure I looked very cute.
Regardless, Prague was beautiful (and ridiculously cheap) and I’m really excited to go back when mom and dad get here.

The bus ride back was much more comfortable, since more than half the travel group had left to go on other travels after Prague.  Everyone got an entire row to themselves and provisions of chocolate and wine, an ideal mix for sound sleeping.  When we got back in the morning I walked straight home and promptly collapsed in my bed and didn't emerge for a day and a half.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Solo Travels: Athens and Aegina

This is Greece!
Now I have momentum on my blog writing, so I figure I should keep it going and jump straight into relating the last leg of my trip in Greece.  Again, getting into our hostel for the most part went smoothly.  There was a wrong turn here or there and Alana and I were both tired and cranky but we made it.  This hostel, however, was my least favorite.  The accommodations were fine, clean sheets and all that but, I mean, 3 plugs for a six man room, are you serious?!
Regardless, our first day in Athens we were up bright and early and our hostel (despite the plug situation) was actually located in an amazing area.  We were only a short walk away to the ruins of the Temple of Zeus and from there it barely took us five minutes to reach the Acropolis.  We knocked both out before even eating lunch.  The weather in Athens, unlike the gloomy and cold Hungary, was beautiful (a little too beautiful, Alana and I, in our paleness, are both suffering the consequences of some serious sunburns).
Alana and I in front of some pretty cool rocks
The stones left standing were incredible and sometimes looking at them you had to remind yourself how incredibly old they all are, but my favorite part about the Acropolis was the view of Athens.  It was really, truly incredible.  It was so weird walking around the Acropolis and hearing all the American voices around me, it had been so long since I had heard that out in public.  Obviously my house and classes are filled with Americans, but the streets of Copenhagen are rarely filled with anything but Danish.  It almost felt uncomfortable not being surrounded by a cacophony of foreign languages, I felt weird and out of place.  And dear God, have American accents always sounded that obnoxious? Funnily enough, I think Greece gave me my first real taste of what it's going to be like going back to the US.
Pensive look on the Acropolis
Barring that disturbing thought for the time being, we had this really amazing lunch from this restaurant we'd found on trip advisor (our constant companion and life saver).  The waiter was so sweet the food was freshly made and the produce was locally grown and there were so many vegetarian options, a welcomed change from Hungary.  Seriously, if you're ever in Athens I highly recommend Makalo.
After lunch, we took a walk around the park and found the Olympic Stadium that hosted the "first" Olympic Games.  I thought it was a little dishonest to call them the first in Greece, since the stadium was from the 1896 games and not the ones dating back to the BC years (776 BC exactly, according to Wikipedia).  After that, we made our way back to our hostel and had dinner at yet another wine bar.  Also fantastic, also highly recommended called Kiki de Grece.  Again, our waiter was super nice and helped explain everything on the outdated English food menu and explained all the Greek wines (interestingly, he gave us two of the more expensive options for us to choose from...)  After this dinner and trip in general, I think our bank accounts were and are sufficiently wiped and we decided that there should probably be minimal wine bar-ing in the near future.
On top of the Acropolis
The next day, after the suggestion of my dad, we took a day trip to Aegina, an island not far from Athens.  Honestly, Athens has a lot of really incredible history as a city, but it does kind of lack in the European charm that we'd grown so used to.  The roads are jam packed with cars, bumper to bumper and the smell of gasoline was something that I did not miss and don't look forward to going back to.  Aegina was really beautiful, and I would say that Greece is one of the view countries I've been to where the best trips would be had away from the cities.  After a minor panic of my alarm not going off, I woke up at 8:45 and we were meant to leave by 9 if we wanted to make the 10am ferry (and we still made it out the door on time, dammit!).  The trip to Aegina took a little under two hours, we had to take a train and a ferry and the trip only cost 23 euros round trip,  There wasn't too much to do on the island, but it was so incredibly picturesque that taking a walk on the coastal road was good enough (though it would have been better had we been doused in sunscreen).  We had the tiniest lunch and a very large dessert of baclava (me) and gelato (Alana) before getting back on the ferry.  The rest of the day was spent relaxing in the hostel, until we were forced out by our awkwardness (these two really cool girls checked in to the beds next to us and asked us what we were doing in on a Friday night.) We grabbed the cheapest possible dinner of a veggie pita (1.40eur!) and then went back to our hostel, praying that the two girls had left so we could be bums in peace.
View of Aegina from the Ferry
The last day we flew out at night, so the morning was spent using our remaining euros at the central market to buy fruits and dates as well as another veggie pita for lunch (I had less than 10 euros to get me through the entire day.)  We went to the Acropolis museum and hung around the neighborhood until we felt it was acceptable to leave for the airport.
And we were finally, finally back in Copenhagen.  The more I leave, the more coming back to it feels like home.

And now for some overall reflections of the trip:
Planning is so stressful.  And not just planning, oh no, when you're done with fretting over planning then you have to move on to the execution of said planning.  How are you going to get to the airport? How about to the hostel? How much money should I take out? How much am I going to spend?  How much should I spend? etc, etc, etc. It almost takes away from some of the magic of the trip since you always have to worry about the next thing.  However, it's so much more fulfilling when you complete them successfully.  Yeah, all the mistakes are your fault but all of the successes of the trip are also yours!
The Central Market
Travelling as a young, (mostly) solo adult is so much different! I mean, other than the fact I got to buy drinks and stay out until 2 or 3 in the morning, I also got to do the things I wanted, and only the things I wanted.  Sorry, Mom and Dad, travelling with you guys is always amazing and I know and appreciate that you're always very considerate of what I want to do. Not only do I make the trip my own, but I also have so much more confidence in myself and my abilities to be independent and survive. I also gained an appreciation for all the planning that my parents have to do when we travel.
Getting to travel with Alana was so helpful and eye-opening for me.  Having someone there with similar interests was always so nice, but it was wonderful to travel with her specifically since she hasn't traveled much at all.  I've realized that, despite my love of travelling, sometimes I don't get as excited or enthusiastic about some things.  Having Alana there looking at all these things with new eyes, so to speak, allowed me to take a step back from my cynical self and really appreciate what it was like to be at this place, at this very moment, at this point in my life and take it in.  Her enthusiasm rubbed off onto me and made me appreciate the smaller things, as cliched as that sounds.

There are so many other things I could say, but I'll leave it at that for now.  I'll try to write soon (maybe a post on some travelling horror stories or my upcoming weekend in Samso, Denmark, we'll see!)

Solo Trip Part II: Budapest, Hungary

Well, now that it's been a few days for me to recover and reflect, at least a tiny bit, I suppose you guys want to hear about the rest of my awesomely planned and incredibly luck-filled trip.
Ok, so it wasn't so much luck as it was that everything that could go wrong, didn't go wrong.  I suppose I'd heard, and continue hearing, all these horror stories from friends and classmates about their travels and Alana and I never ran into the kind of things that could have happened.
View from the Danube
Seriously, the majority of our trip was spent exclaiming "OH MY GOD, we're so--nope. Never mind. Not gonna say it." and then we would share a look that said we both knew what was about to be said and we were in silent agreement to never utter it for fear of jinxing the rest of our trip  (whether or not I believe in jinxing and karma is up for debate, but no reason to start experimenting with luck at that point).
Anyway, on to the things you actually want to hear.  And I promise, I will write more about those horror stories later because if they weren't true they would be almost comical.
Hero's Square
So, when I last wrote here, I had typed up a blog on my phone in the Bergamo airport and reflected on the past two days in Italy.  Landing in Hungary went very smoothly, despite some violent turbulence in the beginning.  I don't know what it is about budget airlines, but I think I get more scared on their flights than I would on any other airline even though they have to go through the same inspection and vetting process for their air crafts and pilots (I hope?).
On the bus ride to our hostel in Budapest, or more specifically Pest since we were staying in that side of the city, I could already see a marked difference from Italy.  I don't want to say it was greyer, but...definitely a bit more rundown? Not in a bad way, but more of a "I could see this country used to be in the Soviet Union" kind of way.  The city itself definitely didn't reflect that though, and it was absolutely not what I expected it to be.
Inside Matthias Church
I had either expected it to be a grey, ugly-ish sort of place with no real individual personality or a tiny, quaint sort of city like Copenhagen.  To be honest, Budapest kind of falls in the middle.  It is most definitely not a tiny place with cobblestone streets and bright houses.  There are large roads and tall, grey buildings. The city definitely didn't lack personality either. I mean, with one look down the Danube or view on the top of one of Buda's many hills you could still see the beautiful and impressive landmarks that make Budapest different.
Our hostel itself was nice, the building it was located in was...not.  It was located on the 3rd floor of an apartment building whose lobby was run down and graffitied and they had the tiniest elevator I've ever seen.  The rooms were nice, though, and the hostel had free breakfast so we couldn't complain.
We got in around 6pm or so and were so tired all we did was eat a dinner at this tiny cafe down the block and took a night walk around town before passing out.  Our walk was actually incredibly beautiful, we made our way to the Danube after stumbling on to Szent Istvan Bazilika (St. Stephen's Basilica) and saw a lot of the important landmarks prettily lit up at night.
Ceiling View of Szimpla Bar
 The next morning, our first full day, we took a walking tour which was great.   Our tour guide was funny in the stereotypically corny sort of way you'd expect from a tour guide and after all his jokes would say "sorry, that was bad."  We saw many of the landmarks of Buda and Pest and he told us a lot of history while also plugging for the other tours the company offered.  After, we ran back to our hostel and grabbed a lunch around the corner.  The place was super nice and the chef came over and told us all the vegetarian options they had, since it's a bit hard in eastern Europe to find such a thing as a non-meat meal.  We walked up Andrassy ut, a main boulevard that leads to the Hero's Square and into city park.  For dinner, we were still so full from whatever it was we had eaten that day that we ended up going to a wine bar and split a bottle and had some Hungarian scones, basically tiny bread balls with a little melted cheese on top.  We then walked to the most famous ruin bar, Szimpla, and stayed only for a little while to check it out before going home.
Dat view tho
Our last full day in Hungary was my personal favorite.  In the morning we went to the Fisherman's Bastion and Matthias Church to get incredible views of Pest and go inside the former mosque-turned-church.  After, we walked to the Rudas baths and, despite it taking longer to get there than anticipated, we spent THREE AND A HALF hours there.  It was absolutely incredible, and necessary for anyone travelling to Budapest to go to the Turkish baths.  Any Turkish bath.  Seriously guys, do it.  After spending the majority of our day in glorified hot tubs (I'm absolutely not complaining, though) we went back to the hostel with wobbly limbs.  Honestly, the only reason we left was because I nearly fainted from hunger and I was still willing to stay.  I was willing to give up food. For those that know me, they will agree that this happens very rarely.  We met Alana's friends at the hostel since they had randomly decided to book the same hostel as us (and ended up in the same room! Crazy right?) and had dinner, showed them around (since we were basically Budapest aficionados by now) and headed yet again to Szimpla bar.
St. Stephen's Hand
The last day, we had some time before our flight so we went into Szent Istvan's and took a look at what apparently was his preserved hand and then to the House of Terror, a museum dedicated to the communist and fascist regimes of Hungary and also acts as a memorial for the victims of the regimes. Then, we packed up our things and left for the airport where we caught our plane to Greece.

More on that next post.

P.S. If anyone is planning on going to Budapest, it's a wonderful trip and I highly recommend it.  But please be warned, their escalators move super fast and will either traumatize you or ruin you for all other escalators (I mean, really, who decided that the standard speed of escalators should be so slow??)
P.P.S Hungarian is impossible, do not attempt.

Sunday, March 29, 2015


 Wow. Sorry it's been so long. The past two weeks have been totally hectic with catching up with school work. Whoever said study abroad was no work lied.
Anyway, all my work is finished for now and I'm taking a well deserved vacation! My first ever planned and executed by myself (ok, my travel buddy, Alana, helped too). I have to say that so far it's worked out brilliantly! At the moment I'm taking the free time on this bus ride to Bergamo airport to draft this blog post. After spending two sun-filled days in Milan I'm totally exhausted but so excited for the coming cities. It was so gorgeous here and I can't even grasp how well this part of the trip went.
We got into Milan past midnight on Thursday night (yes, we did skip Friday classes but the flight was so much cheaper. And really, is it actually a competition for classes vs Italy?).
 The next morning we woke up to go on a free walking tour. Our tour guide never showed up which was disappointing BUT we met two girls from France and the Netherlands who had met each other studying in Aarhus, Denmark! Crazy how small the world can be sometimes. We bonded over our shared annoyance and made plans to meet up for drinks that night. Alana and I spent the rest of the day basically following the tour route sans guide. We climbed to the top of the Duomo and saw the most incredible view of Milan's rooftops and the snow capped mountains in the distance.
We walked to Sforzesco castle and sat in the park there after a quick lunch/gelato break.
Honestly, if we had done nothing else but sit in the park and soak in the sun I would have been perfectly happy. Copenhagen has been particularly dreary these past weeks so the fact that we didn't have to wear any sort of coat was good enough for us.
We met up with the two girls in the Brera district after a very traditional Italian meal of what I like to call "a lot of pasta". At first we went to a crappy cocktail/cafe thing and talked to some German guys who were entirely uninteresting. After, we went to an area with a lot of clubby bars and throngs of people which we promptly left to go to a wine bar. We didn't get home until 3 am.
The next day, Saturday, we woke up late and went to the southern part of Milan and got ourselves utterly lost, but we found some really cool old churches and basilicas, and another park (we couldn't get enough of the sun, despite our ultra pale skin. Sunburns are definitely being experienced now).
We had a late lunch of pizza right outside of Basilica San Lorenzo Maggiore and sat in the park with gelato. After wandering aimlessly to find a train station we made a quick trip to the hostel (formerly a monastery) and left again for dinner on the Navigli canals with aperitivos and met our new international friends again for a drink and more late-night gelato.
And now, finally, we're currently on our flight to Budapest.
Ciao for now!
P.S. Pictures to come once I get to a real computer.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Germany Part I

I forgot to mention some things about the DIS study tours in my last post: they absolutely spoil you.  These trips to Sweden and Germany weren’t just full of lectures and tours on sustainable development projects, but they also have a great deal of cultural activities as well. 
Normal Sustainability Meal
In Sweden, we had nearly three hours in Lund to explore the Cathedral and get a feel of the town.  In Malmo, we went to the most bizarre modern art exhibit I have ever seen (which is probably saying something, seeing that the intrinsic nature of modern art is bizarre in general).  Just to give you a taste of how weird it was, the exhibit was entitled “Action Painting Baby Splash!” So yeah.  Google it.  Or don’t.  Either way, it’s at your own risk. 
We were also treated to one of the best hot chocolates I’ve ever had at the Malmo “Chocolate Museum”.  I put that in quotes because it was literally just a chocolate shop with a video on cacao beans playing on the back wall.  I’m certainly not complaining though because free chocolate. 
Lastly, we were given curling lessons.  I am absolutely abysmal at curling.  It was one of those things that I thought, with absolutely no evidence backing me up, that I would be a pro.  These are the same misguided feelings I had about archery (which I’m also terrible at), so I don’t really know what I was expecting.   
On top of the Reichstag.
Also seen: back of friend's heads.
Also, another thing to mention is the food.  Since we’re on a sustainability trip, most of the restaurants we ate at were organic, some were strictly vegetarian (yay sustainability!), and, maybe it’s because I have been cooking for myself with food from Netto (one of the crappiest grocery stores I’ve ever been to), all were the most incredible things I had ever tasted.  Also, free wine.  So that was pretty cool of them. 
Ishtar Gate
In Germany, our days were jam packed with cultural events.  Honestly, it was more of a cultural visit than a sustainability tour. The food was delicious, if not more so, and we got to eat in the coolest places.  In Hamburg, we ate at the most German place I could possibly imagine.  It was in a long cellar and we all sat at these old wooden tables, the meat (because it’s not uber German unless the meal is strictly meat, potatoes, and sour kraut) was served on wooden planks and the beer was served in barrels.  In Berlin, we ate lunch in the dome on top of the Reichstag and had a view overlooking the park. 
Sign at Checkpoint Charlie
We were also taken on a fat tire bike tour of Berlin, got free entrance into the DDR museum, toured a modern art gallery that was located in a former Nazi bunker and that was just on our scheduled time.  We were given hours of free time each day to explore the city (made super convenient by the metro pass, also courtesy of DIS) and the nights were our own as well.  With friends in my class I saw the gates of Ishtar at the Pergamon Museum (inwardly crying with art love), went to the East Side Gallery which is a large section of the Berlin Wall still in its original placement and decorated by artists (this was probably my favorite of all the things we saw)

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
East  Side Gallery
I feel like there’s so much to talk about from Germany, and I feel like I’m rushing through it all.  It’s so hard to choose one thing to focus on, since all of them were incredible.  Needless to say, Berlin is a really amazing city with so much culture and diversity.  I think I’ll probably post another blog soon to talk about some of the sustainability tours I went on and a little bit more about my experience in Germany.  

Looking Back

Feelin' right at home in Malmo
It’s been kind of a crazy past week.  I barely had time to recover from my Germany trip before being thrown back into school work.  And now, as I’m writing this I don’t think I ever properly talked about Sweden, so I’ll try to tackle both trips in this one blog post.  We’ll see how this goes.
The great part about DIS, as my eccentric Environmental History professor put it is that “DIS is essentially a travel agency”.  This means that instead of following a traditional college schedule of 15 weeks plus a week of spring break, I have 4 weeks off where I can potentially travel plus any weekends (like this next weekend coming up: Farvel Kobenhavn, Bonjour Paris!).  Two of these weeks are reserved for going on study tours with my class and the other two are mine to do with what I want. 

Lund Cathedral
I went to Sweden nearly a month (!!) ago with my Sustainable Development class.  We spent one day in Lund, a small college-type town, and Malmo as well as another night in a tiny little town of 800 before going on a hike in Söderåsen National Park.  It was a really incredible trip where we ate some really great food, and toured around to a few organizations, companies, and neighborhoods in Malmo that were addressing sustainability in different ways. 

Despite the absolutely miserable weather (It was Sweden in February, what would you expect?), I had so much fun and learned so much.  We visited an afterschool program in Lund that taught kids about permaculture and how to care for animals and they even had a smithy that the kids could use! A frickin’ smithy! I didn’t even know they existed any more.  Even though the program was really cool, I think everyone was more interested in the animals that wandered around the property.  No one ever tells you that when you go to college, there is a distinct lack of furry creatures.  But I digress.
This is a green roof!
We also toured around two different neighborhoods in Malmo, the Western Harbor was a wealthier neighborhood where architects were invited to build these incredibly interesting and sometimes downright beautiful buildings that were creating sustainable solutions for living.  They had an electric car-sharing program that was run by PV cells and these chutes that took organic waste (I think it was then sent to a biofuel plant, but I can’t remember exactly).  The other neighborhood was in close association with the Green Roof Institute.  The neighborhood had become a bit of a slum a few decades back and now has become a model for the city of Malmo in sustainable communities.  At least, I think it has.

Maybe it was because the tour guide was really engaging, or maybe because the concept of trash incineration has interested me for the past two years, or maybe it was simply because our tour was conducted on a bus, instead of out in the elements but my favorite place on the tour was Sysav.  It was such an incredible company with a really interesting business model—they rely on trash to keep them running, but their advertisements are all about decreasing personal waste.  It was astonishing seeing the amount of trash that was collected and sorted.  The sheer magnitude of the trash piles everywhere really forced me to take a step back.  But although the trash was depressingly immense, the way that the company seems to approach it was not all doom and gloom (like most environmental issues).  But I think the best part of the entire tour was that they had the largest sanctuary in Sweden for sand martins that was started completely by accident.

Söderåsen National Park
Finally, the part I was looking forward to the most was the hike in Söderåsen.  It had been such a long time since I had been out in nature, and the park was so beautiful despite there being no leaves on the trees.  It was the perfect end to the trip, and reminded me of what exactly it is I want to work towards.  A lot of times when studying environmental issues, you can get bogged down by all of the problems and depressing statistics, but being out in nature really helps to clarify and put things into perspective.  It allows you to take a step back from the numbers and put a real, visceral connection to what it is exactly that makes it worth it.
View from the Top

Something to look forward to in the next post
And I think I’ll end on that inspirational note.  A little bit more on Sweden and Germany next time.

**I apologize for any and all spelling errors, I didn't read through this very carefully before posting**

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

[Written earlier today at Rosenborg Slot and typed up at Cafe Paludan]

The view from the bench 
I didn't realize how difficult it would be to keep up with a blog!
And now that it's been so long, so much has happened it's hard to know where to begin.
A picture from my walk
Well, I've found that one of my favorite things to do here is just walk.  Leave the house, pick a direction and just go.  Just turn when you want to, stop and read some interesting menus, just get yourself as utterly lost as possible.  Maybe even find yourself drafting a blog post on a wet bench in a park, feeling your hands go numb and listening to music you haven't heard in years, and perhaps occasionally look up at the castle directly in front of you.  It's really one of the best way to get to know the city.

This weekend my house went to Svanholm, a co-housing community north of Copenhagen.  It was a really special little community, and definitely something I've never experienced before.  The property itself has a history going back to the 1300s, but the community started in the 70s. It was a bit run down and deserted in a start-of-a-horror-film sort of way.  Yet, despite the original cult-y vibe, we had a really fun time building bird houses and eating, quite possibly, the best meal of my life.  It wasn't that the food was anything extraordinarily special but it was just felt that everything had come together so perfectly and there was this incredible atmosphere of warmth and peace (the only word I can use to really describe it is hygge).  As a friend of mine said, while munching down on ice cream made with Svanholm cow's milk, "People who go in search of the best food in the world will never find it, because it's in places like this."  There was also some Tanzanian dancing involved on this little excursion, but there's no need to relive that experience.
The gate at the Carlsberg Brewery

Other than this past weekend, I went to the Viking exhibit at the National Museum with my class, toured the old Carlsberg brewery with some friends and two weeks ago I went to Sweden with my Sustainable development course (mre details to come).  This coming week, I'm going to Germany with the same class to check out all the sustainability stuff they have going on there.

Despite (or maybe because of) all this, I feel like I've barely had time in Copenhagen and with all the traveling I'm doing independently in the coming months, I'm not going to get much more.  I feel like I'm not going to get enough time to see Copenhagen, to really become a part of it.  I mean, I've only rode my bike twice, for God's sake!