I return again from my heap of school work to share all the little and big exciting stories that happened this past month.
Advent Sunday celebration
November 27th marked the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day. Our German friends hosted a late afternoon gathering to celebrate the first Advent Sunday. Advent is the period of four Sundays and weeks before Christmas.
The gathering couldn’t have come at a better time. Admist the stress of school and project work, it so nice to just be together. And not be together to discuss work, but to enjoy baked goods, enjoy lots of Glühwein (hot or mulled wine). This hot spiced wine is a staple at the Christmas festivities in Europe in the month of December.
It’s so interesting to hear about the different Christmas and holiday celebrations! Everything from what is eaten, what is drunk, what is gifted/received, how they invite/host, even what movies or songs that they have to listen to.
What a wonderful city.
I had an opportunity to take a mini-getaway from Kolding and travel north to Århus for the weekend. I was hosted by a lovely girl I connected with this past summer (when she was traveling in Canada). She’s Danish and was born in Århus. Having her local perspective and show us her home city was such a joy!
I realize there are so many lesser-known Scandinavian cities that are probably being overlooked by tourists, this definitely felt like one of those cities. Though, happy news for Århus is that it will receive the titles of ‘European Capital of Culture 2017’ and the ‘European Region of Gastronomy’. Hip hip hooray for Århus!
We visited a local Christmas market in the cozy courtyards of Aarhus School of Architecture – the students of the school crafted everything from ornaments to jewelry and other alternative gifts and design.
We walked next to Dokk1 or Dokken, which is a building, public library, and culture center.
ARoS Museum was a highlight. The rainbow-coloured panoramic circular skywalk stands out, but it’s the art inside the walls that make the museum worth a visit. It was first opened in 1859, considered the oldest public art gallery in Denmark outside of Copenhagen
Late lunch was at an indoor Street Food Market. I love the concept of food markets because there’s usually something for everyone – so many options! It’s also nice to be able to sample different types of food and gathering to eat together.
Our evening stroll in town was warm with Christmas lights hung above us like stars. The Europeans sure know how to make this season extra cozy.
Last day of class!
It’s hard to believe my semester in Denmark is coming to an end. To say that these past few months have been an adventure would be an oversimplified way of trying to bring to light the new experiences and learning that has changed me.
My classmates, now family, is what I’m most grateful for – for their inspiration, motivation, their commitment to being shakers and doers of positive change. They bring and create stories that foster empathy and understanding for other cultures, places, and other ways of life.
Two weeks left of Scandinavia, then I’ll be wandering a small part of the world before finding a new home in Slovenia.
“Places in and of themselves are important, but it’s the confluence of the important people in my life with those places, and the experiences we share there, that make them particularly significant.”
Copenhagen & Tivoli Gardens
I had a very special visitor fly a long way to visit me!
I am so grateful that she has taken time out of her schedule to make a trip to see where I study, how I live, and meet my friends. After a day in Kolding, we are now spending the rest of her time here in Copenhagen together. I am really looking forward to making the most of our time in the city.
We arrived at Copenhagen in the afternoon, around 4pm, but the sun was already setting. By the time we walked to Tivoli, which was our first stop, it was completely dark! It was perfect for the Christmas lights.
Opened in 1843, Tivoli Gardens is the second oldest amusement parks in the world. Only second to another Danish amusement park.
We enjoyed traditional Danish dinner of roast duck and duck thigh confit, served with red cabbage, potatoes, and sauce (like a gravy). As well as pork roast with red cabbage, also with potatoes and sauce. It was such a satisfying meal – I’m happy just thinking about it.
After dinner we strolled the Christmas market stalls and enjoy aebleskiver (or Danish pancake balls), which are one of the most famous Christmas dessert. Ours were topped with jam and icing sugar.
Gløgg like German Glühwein, is a mulled wine. All Scandinavian countries have their own Gløgg. There’s nothing more cozier than bracing the cold weather, but being warmed up from the inside with hot wine,Gløgg, Glühwein – whatever you call. With all the different namings I’m not sure if there’s different secret recipe, but nonetheless hot wine + cold evenings create the perfect pair.
We’re excited for our remaining time in the city!