Some photos from the final weeks in Copenhagen!

From final dinners with my core course, to the keops trip to Tivoli, to final outings with my closest friends that I made there :)

Some photos of places we went when my mom visited!

My mom came to visit :) I’m so lucky that I was able to see both of my parents during this abroad experience. 

It was so fun to show my mom where I have been living for the semester and all of my favorite spots. Luckily, we even got some really nice weather for all of it I think. My mom never really got to see the Copenhagen that I lived in - she saw the ideal, “warm” (in comparison to the weather I had had) city. 

I tried to take her to some of the ‘must-see’ places in Copenhagen. Of course there was not enough time to do everything, but we did have a really great time and saw a lot. I took her back to Nyhavn, which is my favorite spot in the city. It was even more beautiful with the spring sunshine. We ended up going there a lot. We also did the Round Tower, a canal tour, Christiania, the Rosenborg castle wandering through various parks, and Tivoli. We also went on Stroget a lot, just kind of wandering around, picking out our favorite cafes and all of that.

For the first part of her trip, my mom stayed at the adorable flat in Frederiksberg which is one of the nicest areas of Copenhagen. But for the second part of her trip she came and stayed with me in Norrebro (not at all like Frederiksberg to be honest - it has its own charm but very different). It was fun to explore Frederiksberg because I hadn’t really spent a lot of time there. But it was also great to be able to show her all of the places that I had gotten to really get to know. I liked doing that a lot, trying to explain a few random Danish words (when I could) and just being with my mom who I hadn’t seen for so long. 

My 21st in London!

One thing that I could never get over while abroad was how easy it is to just travel around Europe. An example of this is how I got to spend my birthday with one of my best friends in London :). For a while our schedules were not at all working out so that I could visit her, but then we saw that both of us were free on my birthday weekend which was perfect!

Originally I had planned to try and go there for all of friday, but because of a final exam I had to stay in Copenhagen for much of the day and take a later flight. Just as soon as I was in London I was being rushed by Rena to get ready to go out. Despite the fact that it was around 11pm, I was still going to be celebrating my birthday on my birthday. We went to this fun bar/club and met up with a bunch of Rena’s friends there. They were all super nice and went out of their way to make sure I was having a great time on my birthday. 

I’m gonna be honest, we did a lot of drinking in London. Fishbowls Friday night, pitchers of sangria the next day and then endless drinks on Saturday night. But Rena made sure to take me on a tour of London so that I could see all of the important places. 

London is a very cool city. It feels bigger than Copenhagen and not quiteeee as expensive. It also was surprisingly and uncharacteristically good weather for London which I was so happy for. We also had such good food, I don’t know if London is known for its food at all, but Rena took me to all of the good spots. We originally had planned to do some cooking ourselves, but of course we got too lazy and just ate out. Not at all surprising to me really. 

I had so much fun on my birthday weekend. Not only did I get to spend it with Rena, but my friend Jasmine was there too! On top of that, I really liked spending time with the friends that Rena has made while in London, they’re such good people and really fun.

One of my favorite things that we did was Rena took me to high tea. It felt quite British and entirely necessary. We got dressed up nice and then we went to the Wollseley which was very ritzy and had ourselves tea, little sandwiches and cute desserts. I thought it was such a fun time. Apparently some very famous people have dined there as well which made it feel even more special. 

Being in London with some great friends made turning 21 feel special despite the fact that the big thing is that I can now legally drink in the US - something that I had been doing for an entire semester while abroad. I was so glad that I got the chance to go!

This is a little bit late, but here’s a post from the end of my time in Europe!

Here is a post of my dad and I’s trip to Rome. 

It started off a little rough because I was meeting him at the hotel because we arrived at different times. Honestly, I should have gotten over my cheap-college-student self and just taken a cab, but for some reason I thought that I could manage to navigate the streets of Rome on my own. So what should have been roughly a hour and a half trip from the airport to the hotel doubled. I was very much so lost and at certain points about 3 miles away walking distance (obviously not so good with luggage and no sense of direction). Finally after arriving at the hotel and getting together with my dad, we went and got some dinner. From there the trip went up for certain.

The location of out hotel was pretty great, we were moments away from the Vatican and the furthest site from us was the Colosseum which really wasn’t so bad as far as the walk goes. 

We had a lot of fun just hitting all of the most famous spots. I think being touristy is underrated and being in a place like Rome you HAVE to go to all of the famous spots. Plus, my dad hadn’t been there before so there was no reason not to. 

We also did a lot of shopping, of course.. knowing us. We couldn’t help it and my birthday was approaching so I was given enough of an excuse. 

Rome ruins food, namely pasta, for everywhere else in the world. I had some of the best food I have had in a really long time in those few days. You can’t really compare to the food in Rome. It’s too good. I couldn’t even say that I had a mediocre meal — everything was SO incredibly good. 

The trip went so fast, but it was so nice and necessary to see family. Even though at that  point I only had a few more weeks left, I was really missing everyone at home so spending a trip with my dad was really nice. :)

I have three weeks left as of tomorrow

How crazy is that!?

I can’t believe all that I have left to do in comparison to how much time I have left. 

Blows my mind.

BarcelonaBarcelonaBarcelona

I can’t even say how nice it was to go. 
First thing’s first, it was SO warm. After a semester in Denmark, it is so nice to be somewhere with reasonable temperatures! Now that I’m back in Copenhagen I’m just relieved that it isn’t too cold otherwise the shock would be horrible.

I don’t even think I can capitalize on how beautiful Barcelona was. With all of the sunshine and bright colors everywhere, it was so refreshing. 

For most of my trip I stayed at my friend Anna’s cousin’s apartment which was right near the Sagrada Familia and a bunch of restaurants which was super convenient.

On my first full day we went to the beach. How could I not? It was a beautiful day (there was this moment of grayness early on but we stuck through it, and the weather did change in our favor). Going to the beach in Barcelona is so funny. There’s TONS of salespeople strolling along the beach selling sarongs, mojitos, pieces of coconut, offering massages, selling sunglasses and more. At times it was kind of irritating, but it was a part of the whole experience. And quite honestly, I was a sucker for a lot of the things that they were offering.
Of course, after all of this time hiding from the sun in Denmark, it was no surprise to anyone that I got a sunburn. But it was kind of worth it considering I got to finally spend some time in the sun and in April!

The next day Anna and I went to Parc Guell. It was amazing. Gaudi is all over the city and I love his work. I think the style is so cool. I don’t even know how to describe it, but it’s so massive, colorful and creative. It’s almost like he creates these skeletons on the buildings and yet he makes them look so romantic and beautiful with all of the colored glass work. It was a pretty long walk from the apartment but that also meant we were able to see a lot of the city.

On Saturday Elice was back and so we went out to a late lunch together to her favorite place. The food was so yummy, we had a three course meal which I always enjoy. I left feeling quite full. 
After lunch we went to see some MORE Gaudi. Still impressed. On my way there the funniest thing happened, I ran into someone from Truro! He had been studying in Madrid and happened to be in Barcelona in the exact spot as me. I thought that was pretty funny considering how small Truro is and how BIG Barcelona is.

Anna then had to go to the airport, after we dropped her off. Elice and I got some tapas for a light dinner. It was the perfect way to end the day.
After that, I packed up my stuff and went to my friend Larosey’s apartment for the night. It was too bad that I had an early morning flight because I really wanted to be able to go out with her and her friends. It was nice that we got to catch up a bit though.

Barcelona was incredible. Everyone had told me that I needed to make my way there. I am definitely glad that I did. 

For the first part of my study break (Saturday-Tuesday), I went to Krakow, Poland with my class: Auschwitz, From Genocide to Memorial. 

In general it was a really nice trip but I feel weird saying that. Krakow as a city was beautiful and active. We had really nice weather which made walking around and exploring quite fun. I had a really good time going to restaurants and bars there with some of the friends that I made on the trip.

DIS does a really good job of providing for us. All of the meals that we had as a class were really good. I of course had my fair share of pierogies.. which were obviously delicious. On our own we ended up finding a burger place that turned out to be a major favorite. Even the standard sized burgers were HUGE.  

The true purpose of us being there though was quite heavy. Going to see all of the memorials of the Holocaust were at times too much to take. But my professors did a really good job of checking in with us and making us feel at ease emotionally. 
We went to:

  • Auschwitz 1
  • Birkenau
  • Shindler’s Factory
  • The Jewish ghetto
  • A large Jewish mass grave

The Camps:

Auschwitz 1 was interesting because of the way that it was converted into a museum. This is the more famous and visited of the two camps that we saw. There were so many people there that we had to have a guide. I can’t really say how the whole experience made me feel. A part of me felt numb in a way to everything that was on display because that was what it felt like, a display. But at the same time, we were exposed to a lot of images that had a lot of intensity. There were a number of photos and recovered items that made everything feel very real. 

Birkenau on the otherhand felt less touched by the modern hand. This massive camp was crumbling to pieces, and yet it felt alive still. There was at least still some large components of history in existence. We saw everything that day, despite the fact that it was around 6 miles to walk the camp. There is still so much there, and it becomes very apparent very quickly that we were walking on graves and ruins. That was hard to swallow, it never felt as if you could sit on any grass or stand anywhere for too long.
There was something sort of … magical about the area. It seems that nature is starting to take over the camp and that makes me wonder what they are going to do with it as time goes on.  

My professor insists that after a long day at the camps that we all go out together and spend time together. It’s healthy to cope like that. So he came with us to the bars which was really cool of him and super fun. Considering it was a Monday night, we were the last ones in the bar and got kicked out at closing time. 

That evening when I arrived home after being at the camps all day I was given the news about the bombings in Boston. Julia had been running in the marathon and knowing that made that information difficult. I was really relieved to know that all of the people who I knew in the area were safe, but dealing with this tragedy over here felt really overwhelming. 

It was comforting to have people around and to be able to reach people at home. I guess you just never expect this kind of stuff to happen. I also liked that Krakow was so new and beautiful because it gave me different things to focus on or learn despite the heaviness of the trip.

Overall, I really enjoyed Poland. Even more than I had expected to. I didn’t quite picture it to be the way that it was, but I was happy with how it turned out to be.

Some photos from the Ellie Goulding concert at Vega!

She was super fun to see :)

Speechless.

Speechless.

Totallllly excited for my upcoming week! The weather alone puts a smile on my face.
Saturday-Tuesday: Krakow, PolandWednesday-Sun: Barcelona, Spain

Pretty much going to spend my night packing and clearing my memory card to prepare for these two trips! 

Totallllly excited for my upcoming week! The weather alone puts a smile on my face.

Saturday-Tuesday: Krakow, Poland
Wednesday-Sun: Barcelona, Spain

Pretty much going to spend my night packing and clearing my memory card to prepare for these two trips! 

I am going to Krakow, Poland this weekend

I’ll be there for a few days for my course: Auschwitz from genocide to memorial.

My professor has been trying to prepare us for the very emotionally heavy trip for the last few classes and I think he had some really interesting things to say:

  • [In reference to the Jewish-Polish conflict on the grounds]
    Why do we predominantly focus on the Jewish suffering (with good intentions and good reasons), and yet arrive in Poland without really learning about the fate of the polish?
  • Cultural issues exist [currently] on the grounds of Auschwitz, everyone feels entitled to be remembered
  • My rules are this: [referring to on the site etiquette]
    There has been enough hunger out there; if you are hungry you eat, if you’re thirsty drink. This is no longer a concentration camp. This is a museum.
    No body can speak on the behalf of the dead. Increasingly we see the religious being asked to speak on the behalf of the dead. … I do though believe that this is what they would have wanted, to be remembered.
  • [quoting a pastor from a past visit] If there is one place on earth that needs the children to play on it, this is it.
  • One thing that my collegues say is that it is okay to cry. That goes without saying. The thing that does not get said enough is that it’s okay not to cry.

Vienna, Salzburg and Prague!

Last week I went to Vienna, Salzburg and Prague with two of my friends Anna and Morgan. It was a fun and beautiful trip. 

We started off our trip in Vienna, I thought it was very pretty but small. I found that we were filling a lot of our time with museums and activities because it almost seemed that we got our exploring done pretty quickly. Vienna is a particularly special place to visit if you are passionate about music or german - which was not the biggest draw for me (although I wish we could have gone to an opera). The sites were absolutely gorgeous, unfortunately it was snowy for most of our trip but it wasn’t so bad. Plus, there was bubble tea!! :)

Anna’s cousin Elise happened to be in Vienna for the week that we were there which was cool. She has been living in Spain for quite some time and for work has to travel to Vienna quite a bit (rough life huh?). It was so nice to talk to her, she had a lot of interesting ideas about traveling and studying abroad. We were able to get dinner and drinks with her a couple times during the week which was so fun. The food was really good (although my most memorable meal there was probably a cheese infused sausage - so unhealthy I know, but it was so good!) and I liked actually being able to treat myself to a sit-down dinner as opposed to cooking for myself like I do in Copenhagen.

Another favorite part of my stay in Austria was our trip to Salzburg for the day. Anna has an old friend from home who has been living there. She studies music. I liked this the most because even though the city was so tiny, it didn’t feel as slow or touristy as Vienna. We were going around with someone who lived there, eating a local cafes and just spending a lot of time enjoying each other’s company in a new environment. 

On Wednesday we got to Prague. While not initially as tourist-friendly, there isn’t English plastered everywhere like in Vienna. But once I got over the initial shock of being tired from our bus ride and a little lost in Prague, I loved it. Our hostel was so so so nice and its location was perfect. Even though it seemed that Prague was bigger than Vienna, we could walk pretty much everywhere that we wanted to go. 

Pros of Prague: everything is so cheap - especially the beer.
Cons of Prague: beer is so cheap that it’s cheaper than water. 
Everywhere that we went to eat in Prague, we were provided with these HUGE beers, so you end up leaving dinner tipsy no matter what. Not necessarily a bad thing, but drinking is just such a big part of their culture which I did not expect - it became very obvious very quickly though.

When we were in Prague a lot of what we did was more about exploring the city and seeing the sites as opposed to museum-hopping which I preferred. The city is gorgeous! I loved the buildings and how it is perfectly situated on the water. Plus it was a little bit warmer than Copenhagen has been which was a nice change (and then CPH warmed up a bit for when we got back - how nice!).

We also went on a pub crawl in Prague, that was pretty fun to say the least. The bars are so interesting because you want into this tiny hole in the wall that looks like the smallest bar until you reach the back and suddenly you’re walking into another room, and then another - it’s like three bars in one!

In another post I’m going to include photos about the sites we visited since this one is mostly just shots of us around the three cities.

Julia came to visit for a week!

It was super fun and really nice to have her visit for a billion and one reasons. But one of them was that I got to do some of the fun ‘Copenhagen’ things with her that way I was sure that she got a good taste of the city (if you asked her I’m guessing she’d say it would be flavored baresso).  This meant that we explored the streets forever, hit the Carlsberg factory, the Copenhagen zoo, the Rosenborg castle, Christiania, and the Church of our Savior tower. I’d done some of this stuff before, but a lot of it was new to me - or at least better for me because this time I wasn’t totally lost (at least not all of the time) and she was with me.

Despite Copenhagen being its typical cold self, we got some decent weather which I was really hoping for. Otherwise I think Julia’s visit would have been slightly less fun. 

A funny thing happened. One of Julia’s friends from Smith who has been studying in Scotland happened to be visiting Copenhagen for a part of the time the Julia was there. Which was great because while I was in class Julia was able to spend time catching up with her - on top of that I got to hang out with her a bit too. It’s always nice to see a friendly, familiar face - especially in a place so random like Copenhagen.

I loved showing her what has now kind of become my city, what I’ve been doing for all these weeks away and to be able to have her share some of my every day experiences with her. :)