Denmark Europe Study Abroad

Copenhagen: Christmas in Christiania and Tivoli

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Word Count: 15,105

And with that I’m done with all of my finals.  This was my last week of classes with DIS, and my last full week in Denmark.  It’s hard to believe, but this time next week I’m going to be back in Colorado.  It’s been a whirlwind week, with essay writing, classes, and trying to spend every spare moment with the wonderful people I’ve met in Copenhagen.  After the past four months, it’s sad that I may never see some of my friends here again.  I’ve had amazing adventures with them, and they’ve helped to make my study abroad experience wonderful.

Friday, Paige and I celebrated the end of classes by going to Christmas season at Tivoli!  It was a little cold and rainy, but we still had fun.  Christmas is my favorite holiday, and Tivoli decorates with fake snow and trees and lights everywhere.  They also have an adorable Nordic themed market where I found some decorations to bring home so that I can bring a little bit of Copenhagen back with me.

Christmas continued when Emmy and I went to the Christiania market today.  It’s in a giant room where all of these stalls are set up and people are selling handmade scarves and artwork and jewelry and other fun things.  I also ended up having a conversation with a Danish man, who was telling me how Christiania has its own Christmas celebration for people who are hard on their luck.  He said it’s a really cool experience.

Tomorrow, I’m leaving for Berlin.  It’ll be my last trip during this amazing semester, although unfortunately it isn’t going to be exactly as planned.  For now, though, I’m going to make the most of the short amount of time I have left!

Vi ses!

Denmark Europe Study Abroad

Copenhagen: Sculptures, Suburbs, and Christiania (again)

A few things I’ve done in Copenhagen since getting back from Russia:

1. Met my visiting family- they live in this gorgeous suburb called Holte and back up to a lake.  Having dinner at their house was great, although it was unfortunately scheduled the evening I got back from Russia so I was proud of myself for not falling asleep at their table.  They’re really nice though!  They made me a Danish dinner (for those of you who have seen me eat, I did better than one might expect) and then told me about their grandkids and the classic car convention they went to.  They even lit a fire, so it was very hyggeligt (a Danish word meaning cozy, more or less).

2. Went to the sculpture museum- whoever designs museums in Denmark needs to get a new job because I swear they’re all mazes.  It’s free on Sundays so I went in and wandered around for a long time.  I snickered to myself throughout most of my exploration because at some point during my Russia trip we talked about some author who’s friend wasn’t very…well endowed… so the two of them went to an art museum and the author pointed out that all the statues were smaller so it was fine.  I of course forgot this story until I was in the museum.  It made looking at the art more entertaining though….

3. Toured Christiania- I’ve mentioned Christiania before because I went one day with a few friends, but this time I went with my Danish class and got a guided tour from someone who had lived there for around 15 years I think.  Quick recap: it was founded in the 70s by a bunch of homeless hippies and is now pretty much just a communist society in the middle of the city.  You can build a house and live there but you don’t own it.  They’re big on street art, a sense of community, and nature/gardening.  Part of the reason that it’s well known is Pusher Street, which sells marijuana.  Since I’m from Denver this doesn’t seem like as big a deal to me, but it is still illegal in Denmark so you’re not allowed to take pictures.  Also something we talked about in Danish class is that there was a court case a few years back against the state over the land that Christiania is on, and the state won which means Christiania had to buy the land from the state.  They sold “people’s stocks” and so some Danish people put in money to finance Christiania, and now Christiania owns the land that it’s on.  It’s a pretty fascinating area!

Hej hej 🙂

Denmark Europe Study Abroad

Copenhagen: Classes, Churches, and Christiania

It’s almost the end of my third week here, and classes are starting to get busier!  Next week we have Core Course Week, where we just focus on one class and travel to Western Denmark.  My core course is A Sense of Place in European Literature, and we go to the island of Fanø.  We got the itinerary today, and it should be an interesting experience (although a little rural for my tastes I think).

On Tuesday, we had a movie night for criminology, where we watched the movie R.  It was fairly depressing, as it focused primarily on two characters in Danish prison who got caught up in gangs and the prison drug trade, with some unfortunate endings for them.  Afterwards, our professor brought in the screenplay consultant and one of the main actors.  The screenplay consultant had been to prison ten times, evidently for low level assault, so his stories and opinions on the criminal justice system were fascinating.  He advocated for creating working education programs in the prison to help prevent some of the impressionable youths from ending up in a life of crime.  I also learned far more about the prison drug smuggling techniques than I ever wanted to know….

 I had another class activity Wednesday morning.  My Hans Christian Andersen class went on a walking tour of Copenhagen.  Unfortunately, we didn’t go to the really relevant spots like the Little Mermaid and his grave, but we walked around the city center and our teacher pointed out some spots where the buildings were the same as they had been during the early 1800s.  At the end, we saw the oldest building in Copenhagen and went in a beautiful church that was somehow affiliated with Copenhagen University, I think.  It was a good day for a walking tour, since the sun was actually out!

After the tour, I went to lunch at a café and then met up with some other friends.  We headed to the Church of Our Savior, which you might remember I climbed about two weeks ago.  They climbed the spire while I checked out the lower part of the church.  Again, lovely sculptures, as you can see above.

We headed over to Christiania next.  This is Copenhagen’s hippie commune, where basically it’s fenced off and relatively separate from the city.  They have their own laws, and people basically construct their own houses and live where they want.  One street, called Pusher Street, is where people who live there can sell marijuana and hash.  As I’m sure you could guess, they’re not really big on pictures, so I don’t have any to show.  Main takeaways: it was a lot bigger than I would expect for a hippie commune, I’m impressed when people are that good at using spray paint to create art, and it’s somewhat surprising that the Danish government doesn’t really interfere with the sales of drugs there.  I’m going back with my Danish class later in the semester for a guided tour, and I might try to buy a pair of the earrings one guy was selling there because they were really cool.

The picture of the view from that pretty glass building is at the Black Diamond Library, which is a decently long walk from class but is also gorgeous.  I’m not usually the type to study in libraries but I’m pretty sure I would make an exception to go to this one.

I tried to post this last night, but our internet in the kollegium died.  I’m very glad they fixed it, because the lack of ability to do homework, search things when I wanted, and communicate with anyone was fairly frustrating.  Hopefully this isn’t a regular issue…

Danish word: smørrebrød (pronounced smur brull) is an open faced sandwich that usually has herring of many varieties or other fish.  Apparently smoked eel is a delicacy on this.  Not my kind of food but we discussed it at length in Danish class today.