Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Sankt Peders Bageri

After class today Rachel and I were on a mission to find Sankt Peders Bageri (Saint Peter's Bakery, which I'm sure you could figure out). I had been there once before, and I needed to bring her there. It has some of the most delicious baked goods I have ever eaten. After one wrong turn, we found the adorable little bakery. We entered and were hit with the heavenly smell of freshly baked bread and pastries. The woman behind the counter was very friendly. She smiled sweetly and was genuinely thankful when we told her we had trouble deciding what to get because everything looked amazing. Everything. Utterly overwhelmed, we stared at the trays and trays of pastries for a few minutes. We finally made our decisions, paid, and settled in to enjoy our tasty treats. If you're ever in Copenhagen, go to Sankt Peders Bageri. Seriously. Book your ticket, land at Kastrup Airport, and get yourself to Sankt Peders Stræde (the street where you'll find this wonderful, wonderful place). You won't regret it. You might want to hit the gym afterward, but trust me, it is definitely worth it.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

A Quick List

It's been a few days so I should probably make a new post, but to be completely honest I have not done anything of great consequence. I suppose there are a few quick things I can mention in the form of a list. I do love list-making. I usually have at least three different lists going at once: things to do, groceries to get, places to see. The list goes on. Yes, the list of lists. I have a problem. Anyway...

1. On Thursday, I happened to come across Hans Christian Andersen's grave. It was actually pretty interesting to see. I was on my way to the after-school program that I will be going to every Thursday, and I needed to walk through what I thought was a park in order to get from the bus stop to my site. This park turned out to be a cemetery. A very nice one, too. I saw a sign for "H. C. Andersen," and because I was early for my meeting anyway, I decided to check it out. On my way back, I saw a sign for Søren Kierkegaard and although I tried to find his headstone, I could not. I'll have to try a little harder next time.

2. Last night, Tim and I went to visit Denise. She is living in a host family and it was really nice to actually get to spend time with her, as well as meet some of her family and, of course, her dogs! Her family has two Samoyeds. Their names are Nova and Vigga and they are mother and daughter. I got some very necessary dog therapy, and spent most of the evening sitting on the floor cuddling with the two of them. Needless to say, I was immensely happy and content. 

3. This morning I went on a brief tour of Rosenborg Castle, which was the home of Christian IV. The Crown Jewels are exhibited there, and they are amazing. Once again, it was too cold for my camera. I have now been informed though that a different kind of battery may help my camera brave the freezing temperatures of good ol' Copenhagen. I really hope this is true so I can start posting some pictures again soon.

But until then, here is a photo of a few buildings in town. I see them every day, and I absolutely love the colors. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Who ever said Danes aren't friendly?

Today, Rachel and I decided to venture down to Nyhavn and take some pictures. We figured out which bus to take to get close, but as soon as we stepped off the bus, we weren't sure in which direction to walk. We pulled out the map (if the cameras hadn't pinned us as tourists, the map sure did) and within seconds a Danish woman walked up to us and asked if we needed help. She was very nice and pointed us in the right direction. (Hence the title of this post.) Once again, my camera soon proved to not be cut out for the frigid temperatures of Denmark, but I still got some pictures. A few people asked us to take pictures of them, and one returned the favor. After wandering for a little bit, we decided we needed food. After looking at the menus outside some restaurants, we saw a sign for Danish pancakes and the final decision was quickly made. We entered the tiny little restaurant and ordered ourselves the pancakes, complete with chocolate sauce, jam, ice cream, and almonds. (Yes, I took a picture. I had to.)

After our wonderful lunch (much more of a dessert really, but totally worth it), we made our way back to the shopping street and went in a few stores. We both got new scarves. That is something I have quickly learned here in Copenhagen: you can never have too many scarves. Trust me on this. We are now back home relaxing, with our lanterns glowing in the window. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

"Here comes the sun..."

This morning I woke up with the sun (which sounds impressive, but let me remind you that the sun rises around 8:30). This was the view from my window, and I couldn't resist taking a picture. 

Today has been an overall good day. I witnessed a beautiful city sunrise, attended two classes, met with Denise for an early birthday date because her schedule is too busy tomorrow, came home, met with my Danish class at this cute little cafe/restaurant, and did some homework. Once again, it's already midnight, and I have no idea what happened to the day. Back to this Cafe Night: My Danish Language & Culture class was given an address and a time. I stepped off the bus and met two girls headed to the same place, so we found it together. Luckily, it was easy to locate and close to where I live. I met some really nice people and the professor is wonderful. We ate traditional Danish sandwiches, and our professor told us that if we wanted to eat them the Danish way, we would use our knife and fork, which we all chose to do. When in Copenhagen... Doesn't quite have the ring to it that "when in Rome" does. My favorite had meatballs, red cabbage, and other veggies. I ordered my first beer here, and it completed the meal.

It doesn't feel like I have been in Copenhagen for only a week. I've gotten used to the buses, the bustle of the city, and even the language barrier. I am in love with the city, and I can't wait to be even more comfortable in it. I look forward to exploring more as well as learning Danish so that I don't have to stare at people blankly before shaking my head and apologetically saying, "Sorry...?" People mistake me for a Dane, but as soon as I open my mouth it's a different story.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

An Attempt At Being Touristy.

Christiansborg Slot: The Parliament Building

Inside Christiansborg Palace Walkway
 Today Tim and I wandered around the city, hoping to stumble upon some good sites where I could take some pictures. Unfortunately within seconds of taking my camera out, it protested against the cold and went to sleep. I wish I could do that sometimes: Nope, too cold for class, I'm staying in bed all day. So I managed to keep the camera warm between sites and take a few pictures before the batteries couldn't take it anymore. We went to Rosenborg Slot, but I am taking a tour of that next weekend (I'm so excited!) so I'll have better pictures then, and Christiansborg Slot (or Palace).  Today was definitely one of the colder days, so essentially it was just barely tolerable. It was one of those wear-two-pairs-of-pants-thick-winter-socks-countless-number-of-tops-gloves-scarf-and-headband kinds of days and I still felt like my nose was going to fall off or I was seconds away from turning into one of those cartoon blocks of ice. Luckily I am mostly thawed at this point, wrapped up in my blanket with a cup of tea. 
On a lighter note, we got asked for directions today. Twice! We must look like Danes. I am perfectly alright with that. Carrying around my camera, had it been functioning, probably would have ruined the image. Hey, there's a positive side to everything. The glass is half full, right? Have I mentioned I'm studying positive psychology here...? I think I chose the right program.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Danish Hygge.

The closest translation that the Danes can find for their word "hygge" is coziness. I love this word and what it represents. And now Rachel and I have some of our very own hygge in our little room. We took  a trip to Ikea today and along with the many bargains we found, we also bought candles and lanterns. Paired with our new duvet covers, our room is already looking much more homey. 
At Ikea I couldn't pass up the traditional lunch of meatballs, mashed potatoes, sauce, and lingon- a little taste of Sweden...even if it is of the Ikea variety (Ikean?). At some point I'm sure I will go to Sweden and get some wonderful food. I've already been tempted to buy all the things in the grocery stores that I recognize from Sweden...but that's mostly candy and chocolate so I should probably resist the urge. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013


Grocery shopping has proven to be a challenge on multiple occasions. Today was one of them. I went with Tim to pick up a few things, one of which was milk for cereal. We knew the word for milk: mælk. Pretty easy to figure out. But it's all the prefixes that are confusing. We picked one up that said "Kærnemælk" on it, figured it had to just be normal milk, and didn't think much more of it. We walked back to Tim's apartment, sat down in the common room with some of his friends, and he went to pour himself a bowl of cereal. The "milk" was really thick. We checked the date. It was fine. Then we thought maybe it was cream or half-and-half. Not quite. His friend used Google Translate and discovered that we had, in fact, bought buttermilk. That does not go well with cereal, let's just say. Clearly we need to do a little more research before grocery shopping. Lesson learned.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Homework, Candy, And Wine.

Grocery shopping trip number two resulted in wine and candy... among other things that are actually in the main food groups (don't worry Mom and Dad!). I cooked pasta and chicken for dinner- see, real food. And then Rachel and I came back to our room intending to do some homework (luckily just some reading), made slightly more enjoyable with a glass of white wine. We've gotten a little distracted in between but we're going to buckle down and then go be social. 

And because I relish distraction and not so much homework, I'll just write a little more...
Today I had two more meetings, one of which was for my core course Positive Psychology. I met the class that I will be traveling to London with in March and it seems like a fun group of people. Hopefully that impression is correct. Classes start tomorrow but I have it pretty easy because Thursdays are the days I would go to my Positive Psychology Practicum, which is an after-school program with little Danish children. We just have a two-hour orientation tomorrow from 10:00-12:00 and then I'm done for the day! I'm thinking about bringing my camera into town and being embarrassingly touristy for a little while. If so, stay posted for some wonderful (hopefully) pictures of København.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Travels Update and The Amazing Race.

Sunrise on the way to Copenhagen from Reykjavik, Iceland

The flights from Boston to Reykjavik and then from Reykjavik to Copenhagen were rather uneventful. Same old, same old when it comes to long flights: can't get comfortable, can't sleep, hungry, exhausted, sore. The only thing I didn't have to endure was sitting next to a stranger which, although in some situations can be interesting and fun, it's more probable that you get stuck next to someone you would rather not be stuck next to for any extended period of time. We'll just leave it at that. I sat between Denise and Tim on the first flight, and I got the window seat, next to Tim, on the second. We then collected our bags (no lost luggage!) and ventured to the Hilton where DIS leaders welcomed us, and we waited for buses to take us to our new homes. The buses took much longer than expected so we ended up sitting there for about three hours. But eventually I got to my apartment and after a quick meeting, I let myself into my room. Unfortunately, I woke up my roommate, Rachel, who had gotten in earlier and was taking a much-needed nap. Luckily, she is wonderful and is not holding that against me. We have had a few adventures together between trying to find our way around and our first grocery shopping trip, which was a success by the way! And I'm sure many more to come, such as tomorrow morning when we have to find our way to our classrooms completely on our own. We have been studying maps and googling bus schedules for a while now. Wish us luck. We're going to need it. 

Today we had our Opening Ceremony (a welcome from DIS speakers) and then something called the DIS Amazing Race. Essentially we were divided into groups of six, given a map, and told to go find five specific landmarks in Copenhagen. Sounds like fun, right? I agree! Although not so much when it is freezing and windy. We completed this activity about seven and a half hours ago. I am still cold. There's no escaping it. I'm going to have to visit the bakery across the street a few times so I can get some blubber to keep myself warm. Alright, maybe not, but I do really want to check out that bakery. One of the places we visited on our walk around the city was Amalienborg, which is the royal palace. Apparently the royal family was all in residence, as was shown by the flags flying above their respective buildings.
Amalienborg (the royal palace)
The guards at Amalienborg

On our way to the royal palace, we passed through Nyhavn. This caught me by surprise so I took some quick pictures but it was too cold to linger for long so I'm sure I'll return to take more. But for now...
The well-recognizable Nyhavn

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Thirty-one Hours Later...

After being awake for 31 hours, I would say it's about time for bed. I am completely exhausted but happy and excited to see what tomorrow, and the rest of the semester, brings. Unfortunately, tomorrow is an early morning because we have to catch the bus to go to our Opening Ceremonies and then it's a day of running around Copenhagen. No, but seriously. We are doing something called the amazing race. Trust me, I don't know anything more about this than you do. So I will make another post soon when I have more to tell, more brain capacity to do so, and when I haven't been awake and traveling and being surrounded by brand new faces for thirty-one hours. Goodnight. God nat. (I hope that's right...you can't always trust google translate.)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Packing: Take Two.

I WIN. One step forward, two steps back, but I got there. I completely unpacked both suitcases, decided against bringing only a few more items of clothing, and then repacked. I was much smarter this time around and used every single compartment and pocket on both suitcases. It made a huge difference, and my stress level was significantly decreased. Thank goodness. 

I have a few last things to do before my flight tomorrow evening, but I am mostly packed. The fact that I will be in a different country and a different continent in a little over a day has definitely not sunk in yet. It might seem more real once I am at the airport, but right now, it is still very surreal. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Packing. Ugh.

Do you know how to pack for over four months in a country you have essentially never visited? No, but really. That is not a rhetorical question. Please. Help. Me. 

A few days ago, I made numerous piles of clothes to pack. Tonight I attempted to shrink those piles, and even though I did indeed remove quite a lot (mostly shirts...I have a lot of them), it seems like I still have way too much. My boyfriend Tim, who is also going to Copenhagen, is facing the daunting task of packing as well right now. Let's just say, he's winning. But I will argue that it is easier for boys. They need less types of clothing and other miscellaneous things. Another aspect that makes this hard is that I am going to Denmark during the coldest months of the year. Warm clothes are bulky, let me tell ya. It all adds up quickly. Too quickly. Fighting through the frustration (and losing), I packed almost everything to see how it fit, grumbled, and frowned at my two suitcases, one raspberry-colored and one black. Both suitcases were full. They weren't bursting at the seams, but there wasn't too much space left over for what I will inevitably buy while I am abroad and traveling. I decided that the best way to tackle the problem was to not tackle the problem. I have given up for tonight. I have waved my white flag of surrender. I have retired to the couch where I am blissfully ignorant of everything that I have to do tomorrow. Hopefully, I will awake in the morning to find that the packing elves have paid me a visit and reorganized and repacked my bags. Hey, I can dream, right?

Thursday, January 10, 2013


This is Nyhavn. It is probably one of the places I'm most excited to visit in Copenhagen. 
Just look at those colors.
Nyhavn, Copenhagen, Denmark

Hello. Pleased to meet you.

Hello! Or perhaps I should say hej. My name is Hannah, and I attend Saint Michael's College in Vermont. However, for this upcoming semester I will be flying across the pond to Denmark. It's a switch from good ol' Vermont dirt roads to the bustling city of Copenhagen. Luckily I have experienced the what I consider to be transition step between the two: Burlington. A "city" full of non-city-people. I love it. And I will definitely miss it and my amazing friends and family, but studying and living in a foreign country was an opportunity I could not let pass me by. I plan to share my thoughts and experiences on here, along with lots of photos. Enjoy.