Springtime in Denmark

Greetings from a (surprisingly) sunny Sunday in Copenhagen. Today it is going to get up to 60 degrees F, temperatures the likes of which I haven’t felt since I left California. When my Dad originally told me that Danish winters were harsh and cold, I though yeah yeah sure, I’ve lived in Maine, I know what a harsh winter is. But even Maine didn’t prepare me for Denmark. What makes a Danish winter especially brutal isn’t the darkness or the cold which is comparable to Colby, but the wind and the lack of sun. I was not entirely prepared for the amount of grey days there would be and how the lack of sun actually affects your mindset and productivity. Any cold day is made 10-15 degrees colder just by wind which seems to never stop blowing here. Needless to say I am very grateful that spring finally seems to have reached Denmark.

A couple highlights from the last month have been using these warmer temperatures and some time off to get out and see more of Denmark. A couple friends and I have had the chance to go and visit Møns Klint a couple weeks ago. Møns Klint is a long stretch of white chalky cliffs on the eastern island of Møn in the Baltic Sea. The cliffs were originally part of the sea bed that was pushed up by a glacier. The sea bed was full of fossils that give the cliffs its chalky white texture. It was nice to get out the city and spend some time relaxing with friends.

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The following week I went up to Skagen, the northernmost point of Denmark that divides the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. Like Møn, this is a place that was sculpted by glaciers with a lot of geological and cultural history. I spent the week with my grandparents and aunt uncle and cousin in a summerhouse. Abroad has given me the unique opportunity to spend more time with my Danish family who I would normally only see around once a year at best. I am still working hard at learning the language. My Danish family insists on speaking to me pretty much exclusively in Danish which is definitely an incentive to learn as quick as I can. I am finding Danish a ridiculously hard language to learn. Even growing up with a mom and dad who both speak Danish and hearing it spoken around me a lot, I am pretty much guaranteed to be pronouncing things wrong. The language barrier here can be frustrating at times since I am pretty much the only person in my family and among the people I live with who does not speak the language.

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As the sun has come out and the days have gotten longer- the sun now sets at 9pm!- the city is starting to come alive. I think that it will become even more alive considering restaurants, bars, classrooms, stadiums, and most other things are opening up this Wednesday. In more ways than one it feels like we are coming out of a long period of lockdown and winter to a more social and open summer. Border restrictions have finally lifted allowing the rest of the American students to come to Denmark for the remaining 3 weeks of our program. This means that in the next weeks there should be around 100 more DIS American students in Copenhagen. I am excited to have some time to enjoy a newly opened Copenhagen and some new people to enjoy it with. That’s all for now!