This past week has been one of my favorites while at DIS, most importantly because my boyfriend was visiting me for the whole week! I had been looking forward to this for weeks and it was so great to come back from study tour and have him visit.
**** BEWARE long blog ****
The previous night, I stayed up until 3:30 in the morning to write a paper for the lab I worked in the past summer. I had procrastinated finishing it and decided to get it done before Nick arrived so I wouldn’t have to worry about much work while he was here.
To get ready for Nick’s arrival, my host family had the best idea to make some signs for him in the airport to greet him. EJ and I both made signs with his name, but my host dad made a sign that said “Alicia’s Boyfriend Nick,” which was quite hilarious. It took him about three times to get the poster right, because he ran out of space and spelled “boyfriend” wrong…haha!
Everyone but my host brother got packed in the car and we headed to the airport around noon. Nick’s plane landed a little bit before we got there and I didn’t want him to miss our greetings so I told him to check out some of the cool restaurants and stores inside the airport to keep him occupied. When we got there, we lined up at the arrival door and started cheering when we saw him! It was so great to see him after two months 🙂 I visited his home in Denver a few months ago, but it’s nice he was able to visit. We had huge plans for Nick for the rest of the day so we immediately got started on our itinerary…. even though Nick had just been on a plane for over 9 hours! Yikes!
We first started by walking around the Queen’s castle, Amalienborg Palace. We were allowed to walk so close to where the Queen lives, which is so interesting, the royal family wanted the people to be able to visit their home. I also learned a lot about the Queen and WOW is she a cool lady. She designs and makes costumes for the Royal Opera/Ballet and she’s translated the Lord of the Rings into Danish. Next on our plan was a canal tour at Nyhavn and we were able to see a bunch of Copenhagen’s great sites like the Opera house and the Church of Our Savior. We also went to the Round Tower to get a view of the city. There is a kyssebænken or “kissing bench” located on the walk up the tower so Nick and I definitely got a cute picture.
Very relaxing and it gave Nick a glimpse of our city! After all of this, everyone was getting pretty tired so we decided to go home and order pizza instead of eating out. We ended the night with a family movie and then headed to bed!
Today I had a day full of classes–I had H&G and a MPP double lecture. SO instead of Nick following me to classes, he hung out with my host dad and brother and they explored Hillerød. They went to the castle, made smorrebrød, and got my host brother Mario Kart!
My MPP class was super interesting today. We met at the Gentofte hospital for a clinical skills session. We learned how to insert an IV, insert a catheter, and do sutures! I really loved how we were able to learn all of these skills through this class. Some of us actually got to try inserting an IV into one of our classmates! I was the volunteer patient, but the person who was inserting it missed! Only one of the people who got to try it was actually successful. Our teacher told us 1/6 people get it on their first try…
After our session, I traveled to one of my host mom’s friends where they were all having dinner. I also got to meet another American who had lived here a few years ago and was visiting again so her son could see his friends. Nick and I also got to play some Mario Kart with her son and my host brother (my team ended up demolishing the competition if you were wondering). After dinner we all headed home and I immediately crashed because I had such a long day.
We had a more relaxed day today. My host mom drove Nick and I to school that day and he found a cafe to see what he should do for the day while I was in school. He actually ended up renting a bike for two hours and biked all around the city. He went to Amager, saw the waste ski mountain (a waste plant where you can ski on top up in the winter!), and just explored for awhile. I had my three back to back classes, which went by pretty quickly. We had a review session in my Immunology class, because we have a test scheduled for next week. Our teacher got to talk to us in smaller groups so that we could ask her about specific topics we were unfamiliar with. After class, Nick and I met up and had brunch at a popular cafe near DIS called Paludan. It was super delicious, I got a burger and Nick got a brunch plate with bacon, fruit, bread, eggs, and so much more.
We ended up heading back to Hillerød after lunch to chill and nap. This i where we stumbled into a problem. We realized Nick didn’t have a commuter card to take the train and getting a round trip ticket every time he wanted to go to Hillerød would be a $30 round trip each time, which is not good. So we did some research and we found a “City Pass Large,” 72 hour pass, which allowed him to travel to Hillerød and back as much as he wanted. I’d highly recommend this to anyone who has friends visiting. It was a little pricey, but in the end it was a lot cheaper than buying individual tickets everywhere–the tickets can really add up.
We hung out at home for a little while and watched one of the Spiderman movies. But we wanted to head back into town for dinner and hang out with friends, so we headed into the city and ate at Bolten! This is the food hall place I went to a few weeks ago and I got the same exact thing because it’s so good (Pad thai!). After dinner, Nick and I went to my friend’s RC and we all went out later that night. Super fun day all-in-all!
Today was the ultimate lazy day (mostly). I got up at around 7 am to go to a field study for my Immunology class. We were visiting Herlev Hospital to speak to an immunologist about his research. It was very interesting research, he is currently discovering new ways to target cancer with immunotherapy. He gave us a tour around the labs and the hospital. We were able to see some pretty cool behind the scenes stuff. We even got to look at some cancer cell arrays he was working on.
When I got back home, Nick and I were feeling pretty lazy because of our late night with friends, so we mainly lounged around the house until we had dinner! Dinner was super exciting tonight because we planned on eating with my host grandparents!! My host morfar (grandpa on the mom’s side) picked up around 5 and we all headed into Copenhagen together! My host mormor (grandma on the mom’s side) had prepared the most delicious dinner of Tarteletter. This is a kind of pastry that you fill with chicken that’s covered in a creamy sauce. You can add shrimp to it too, which I loved! I also getting to visit my host grandparents, they are so sweet and love to travel–they just got back from France, where used to live, and are going on another trip now! We also had dessert, which was a kind of applesauce with whipped cream and “cat tongues”
They are super funny and amazing (because they read my blog. Hej!!). I found these funny cartoons in their bathroom, and we spent a lot of the evening going through them and translating them into English. It was super funny, so I might have to get one of these before I go home. There’s one cartoon for every day of the year! It was sad to say goodnight, but we headed home. This was such a great way to end a relaxing day!
Today I only had H&G, because of our double lecture in MPP on Monday. BUT when I arrived to class, our professor said we could use this time to ask him questions about our final research paper OR we could leave…. so I chose to leave early. No class today, YAY! So I met up with Nick and we had coffee at a local coffee shop and then headed out for a day of adventures!!
Nick and I were absolutely famished, so we finally got to cross off one of my places I’ve wanted to eat since coming to Copenhagen (visit my “Where to eat” page if you wanna see some of the places I’ve tried and liked!). We went to Torvehallerne aka the Glass market. It’s two different glass building filled with a bunch of different food stalls with local produce as well as some small ‘restuarants.’ I got some empanadas with pork and beef, Nick ended up getting some kind of ham sandwich that looked super yummy! We also stopped by Flying Tiger, a Danish variety store where you can get a bunch of cheap, fun things, and we got some Läkerols, which are kind of like some mints you can suck on. Everyone in Denmark loves them and they have a bunch of cool flavors. We got three: strawberry lime, apple elderflower (Nick’s favorite), and raspberry lemongrass (my favorite)
After lunch, we headed to Christiania to look around, which Nick found super interesting. Compared to Copenhagen, which is so clean and pristine, it so SO different because it’s filled with graffiti, you can see trash on the ground, and people are smoking weed everywhere. There’s nothing wrong with any of it, but it’s just so interesting that a place like this exists in the middle of Copenhagen.
Next we headed to Islands Brygge, where we thought we would be getting some gelato, but unfortunately the gelato place was closed due it being “Week 42“– a time where a lot of Danish people have the week off. So we took the time to walk around the area. I showed Nick the canal that you can swim in during the summer and we also visited the Black Diamond, a modern public library that is by the canal. Really beautiful place–we went up to the very top and got a cool view. We also were both getting pretty hangry before dinner and had to stop by their cafe to get some carrot cake and a hot dog-ish thing (I’m not exactly sure what it was, but it was a hot dog inside of a roll)
Then we met up with my friends and we all headed to Reffen! This was the last week it was open so I had to show it to Nick, unfortunately I didn’t get any pictures, but Nick got some Indian food and I got a grilled cheese with parmesan fries (again, I know). Afterwards, we all went back to my friends RC and played “BANG!”–a board game one of our friend’s brought back from Amsterdam. It’s originally an Italian game, but this board game was in Dutch and then we were translating it into English, which was funny and interesting. Definitely wanna bring one of these back to Bowdoin, it’s kind of like playing the game mafia.
Then Nick and I headed back to Hillerød for the night!
Today was Nick’s last full day in Copenhagen, so we jam-packed it with activities! I woke up and headed into the city early for my Danish class, where we learned some more Danish grammar rules, and also my photojournalism class, where I got to present my photos of the ballerina I was following for my final project! Everyone loved the photos, and it was nice to get some feedback for the next shoot, which will be next week! I’ll put some of the photos below!
I didn’t have my Immunology class, because she gave us the time to study on our own, which was super nice. So Nick and I decided to head over to Nørrebro and get lunch, because we wanted to visit the Assistens Cemetary. We ended up going to Bæst which is one of the best pizza places in Copenhagen. They ‘supposedly’ get all their ingredients from their farm every morning, which could be true because their food tastes so fresh and yummy. I think what made their pizza so good is their dough is sourdough bread, which I loved. Nick and I shared a margherita pizza and we also got some gelato! One of the best parts about the meal is that we sat down next to another couple who lived in Copenhagen–the man was originally from Scotland and the woman was from Copenhagen. We talked to them almost the entire time about where else we should visit, living in Denmark, traveling, and politics. They even let us try some of their food, they were so nice!
When we were through eating, we said goodbye to our new friends and then headed off to the cemetery. Nick is currently taking a philosophy class back at Bowdoin and he wanted to visit Søren Kierkegaard‘s grave, a famous Danish philosopher. I visited this cemetery at the beginning of the semester and it was still, if not more, beautiful. So many people were on walks with their children or going on runs. It’s so amazing to see this be such a welcoming space for the public, compared to the US. Also on our way to the cemetery we found a cool playground that had a huge slide and some cool swings!
After exploring the cemetary, we headed back home to Hillerød to relax for a bit before heading out again. We had decided to go to Tivoli for dinner and maybe ride a ride. When we went back into town, we went to the food haul at Tivoli, where I got a burger (I’m starting to realize how repetitive I am at restaurants) and Nick got a burrito. It was super crowded before we got food, but luckily it started pouring rain so most of the people cleared out of the park, which left it pretty empty for when the rain stopped. Nick and I decided to ride one ride–Vertigo–which was absolutely fun and terrifying. I had heard that not many of the rides at Tivoli were as thrilling as the ones in the US, but this one was definitely as scary. We then headed out to go hang out with some friends and ventured out into the city for night!
Here I’m gonna complain a little bit, so buckle up and get ready. This ended up being one of the longest nights ever, not because we were out clubbing, but because of the train system. We got to the train station around 2:20 am and realized a train didn’t come until 2:40, so we waited, but over the speakers (in Danish) they announced there were now replacement buses. We then had to go find the replacement bus that would take us half way home and once we got to the half-way mark the bus only gave us a few minutes to get to the train station. We ended up sprinting to the train and missing it by literally 5 seconds. This meant we had to wait another 30 minutes for the train to come and when it did we had to sit on the 30 minutes train ride and then bike 5 minutes home. In the end we didn’t get home until 4:30, which was super late and we were extremely exhausted. I apologize for putting a negative part in the blog, but I think it’s important to show the not so happy side of being abroad sometimes…
In the end we got home safely and went immediately to sleep 🙂
Today was Nick’s last day, which was pretty sad, but we had a lot of fun this past week! My host mom drove us to the airport around 10 am, and we dropped him off at the “kiss and fly” section of the airport. So sad to see him leave, but at least he was able to get some sleep on the way home!
After my host mom and I got back home, we immediately went on a walk in the forest with my host brother and Bertram, because the weather was so nice. We also went out to the store and bought some ingredients for a dessert I always make for my family’s Thanksgiving! My host brother and I had a fun time making the treat and we served it for dessert that night at dinner. I was inspired by the walk in the forest, because it reminded me of the cool weather and yellow leaves from back home around Thanksgiving time. I could tell the dessert was a hit because it was gone in the day! It’s a sort of toffee cracker. The only ingredients are crackers, brown sugar, butter, and chocolate. Oooo, so yummy!!! I know my family back home is gonna be jealous when they see this 🙂
This was such an exciting week and I had so much to say, so forgive me for the long post and the radio silence—I just wanted to make sure I included everything!!
This past week hasn’t been super busy, so I promise the next post will be a lot shorter 😉