A Stop in Scotland

If you recall nearly three months(ish) months ago two of my best friends from Bucknell came and spent the weekend me with here in Copenhagen. This past weekend I decided to hop the pond to visit them in Glasgow, Scotland.

With Copenhagen being Copenhagen, the flights weren’t ideal and I ended up in Edinburgh, Scotland 30 minutes past the last bus to Glasgow, very very sad. Luckily, Bucknell has provided me with plenty of friendships and I was able to crash on the floor of a freshman hall neighbor’s room for a mere 4 hours before I caught a train and ~finally~ reunited with my two friends. The true definition of being adaptable when abroad.

Anyway there were really two key events of my weekend.

1. Seeing my friends

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It is a big change going from seeing your friends every day for ten months of the year and only seeing them on rare occasions or through a computer screen. Let’s be real, we struggled with the transition from being next door neighbors to living a floor apart. So it was extra special to travel to see what life is like for people I know literally everything about. The two of them also provided excellent commentary, suggestions and a semi-okay tour of two cities in Scotland (you know I’m kidding you two)

2. The food

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The real reason we’re friends is because of our love for food, and of course being blindly forced to live with each other freshman year, but I digress. Knowing people in a different country provides you with the best suggestions of where to get food, and these two have dined well this past semester.  We started with pancakes and ended the day with a burger on a donut bun, so although I need to run another half marathon, I had a delicious food filled weekend.

Of course, we did more than just eat, such as strolling through their university campus, seeing their own living situations, and exploring Edinburgh castle.  But, the most interesting thing was seeing how other study abroad students live their semester outside of the Bucknell bubble.  We all came from the exact same schedule, town and even dorm and now are all over the world with friends in Costa Rica, the Galapagos Islands, Rome and more, visiting friends is one of the best ways to see the world with an insiders perspective and of course a good laugh.

So Amber and Monica, thank you so much for a wonderful weekend

Cheers

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A Week With (my real) Family

Finally my real family (to clarify from my host family) made it to Copenhagen! After a long flight and an early morning call for me to the airport, I reunited with my Mom, Sister and Aunt. Although they brought some unfortunate weather with them (unusually cold weather, rain, wind and a little bit of snow) we had an extraordinary week!

We did all things tourist in Copenhagen; Amelianborg Palace, Nyhavn, Rosenborg palace and even a day trip to Malmo, Sweden! They also got to experience the Danish lifestyle I’ve been living by having dinner with my host family!

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But two of the most important things to note are

  1. Tivoli
  2. Restaurant Honey

Tivoli

The renowned gardens and amusement park literally in the center of the city of Copenhagen is a must if you visit Copenhagen. Despite being here for 3 months, Tivoli just opened April 6th so even I hadn’t been there yet. But it was truly an adventure. The park is absolutely gorgeous with flowers and greenery to please the eye, and the rides are just as much fun.  Many of them give you incredible sights of the city, although we went on a sunny day it was windy, cold and snowed a few times. Two rides to note (and highly recommend going on) is the miner ride and airplane ride, which have their respective names in Danish. Both provide a valid adventure between water effects (which is a surprise until you go on the miner ride for yourself) and going 100 km/h (60mph) in a circle and rotating while feeling like you’re going to throw up on the airpline, Tivoli is a great stop while in Cope.

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Restaurant Honey 

My sister had the pleasure of celebrating her birthday in Copenhagen, although we didn’t celebrate the Danish was (singing the Danish birthday song to her in bed to wake her up) we did have a lovely dinner to celebrate. Restaurant Honey is a trendy restaurant in Indre By. We got the set menu which is served family style, and we even had to set the table for ourselves! The food was unbelievable, it ranged from fish with dill sauce, braised lamb, celeriac with truffle butter, gnocchi with browned butter sauce, fried apple with cottage cheese and fennel. Served family style included appetizer of smoked salmon, arancini, poached egg and potatoes. Finished off with homemade ice cream. You basically had to roll us home.

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Overall, it was a great week spent with my family, only one month left, it’s gone way too fast!

 

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xoxo

Margaret

 

Novelties of Norway

I booked this quick trip to Bergen, Norway not really knowing what to expect and in return I got one of my favorite trips so far.

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Bergen is a small city in Western Norway known for Bryggen, a small wooded shopping area on the harbour, as well as its prime location near the fjords of Norway. After advice from a friend I booked a fjord cruise tour to Mostraumen Fjord, and it was quite possibly one of the most beautiful tours of my life.  Even though it was incredibly windy, and my rain jacket and hood covered all but my eyes (which were profusely watering) and I couldn’t feel my fingers, I was truly in awe of the natural beauty around me.

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After leaving the Bergen harbour we ventured through the water with views of some small towns, I decided to venture to the top, outdoor deck with only a few others because I knew these would be the best views.  After finding the least windy spot, I was able to take in some small waterfalls and high mountains thinking that this was the peak of the trip.

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Was I wrong! After a little while longer we were surrounded by cliffs and being misted by the waterfalls only meters away from the boat. After we cleared the very small passageway, the view was snow capped mountains and waterfalls, once again, I was in true shock from the beauty.

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Eventually we pulled up nice and close (literally hitting the rocks) to a waterfall where we sent out a bucket to retrieve some fresh water for everyone on the boat to try, it was truly refreshing!

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It took quite a while to defrost from the top deck, but the views were beyond worth it, and I wish I could do the cruise 10 more times.

 

 

5 of the Best Things About Living in a Homestay

1. A huge dose of Danish Culture

There’s nothing like waking up at six am to sing a Danish birthday song (that I don’t know the words to) to my host brother on his 10th birthday.  Living in a host family has provided me with a true Danish immersion. There are so many things I have seen and done that I never would have if it weren’t for a host family. Between gossiping with my 15 year old host sister about her life in school and talking to my host mom about family life or even just grocery shopping for a family of six I feel like I am learning way more about being a Dane than my Danish Language and Culture class could ever provide.

2. A second family

The day after my phone was stolen, I was up until 4 am changing all my passwords and accounts, I woke up at a bright and early 12pm and my host family was all smiles and support with breakfast ready and a phone for me to use in the meantime. This is just one of the many examples of the love and support I’ve gotten from my Danish family.  I’ve met my ‘host grandparents’ and have had brunch with all my ‘host cousins’ and I truly feel like part of the family.

3. A place to call home

Everyones definition of home is different, I personally have had many many homes since I haven’t ‘lived’ at home with my parents for more than a few weeks at a time between living at Bucknell and working at a sleep away summer camp.  So having a place to call home for four months and come home to after a long day of classes or a weekend away and relax and be comfortable in is something that just adds to the study abroad experience.

4. The food

I would consider myself a fine cook (feel free to ask my host family as they’ve enjoyed all the meals I’ve prepared for them) but after a day of classes from 10-5:30 the last thing I want to do is cook myself a healthy meal. Cue my entire host family who are all amazing cooks (including my 10 year old host brother). It is great to come home to dinner made, and a fun family dinner table. I’ve even learned plenty of new cooking habits, specifically soft boiled eggs which I eat (and now make on my own) roughly every day.

5. The network

I have met SO many Danes thanks to my host family.  Besides their relatives I’ve met friends and friends of friends and other families with hosts. All together I’ve been able to interact with a wide variety of Danes. Without a host family, I have no clue how I would meet Danes.  Since we all take classes together with American students, we befriend Americans and so we do everything with Americans.  But with a family I am able to meet so many natives and they have continually showed me what it is and what it means to be a Dane and I am so grateful for that.

As a whole, I am so thankful to be in a host family, but more importantly, I am so thankful to be with my specific host family. I could not think of a better match.

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xoxo

Marge

An Amsterdam(n) Good Weekend

IMG_0468Sometimes it takes laying by a random canal in the Nine Streets of Amsterdam looking up at the sunshine and moving clouds to really remember why you study abroad in the first place. I came to experience the Danish culture but also to explore Europe and open my perspective of the world wider than it was before. Although seconds later I sat up and continued my MCAT studying and reality hit again, it’s the moments I’m lost in the experience of traveling that I am beyond thankful for this experience.

Amsterdam is an interesting city to say the least, my friend and I equated it to the Las Vegas of Europe because as we walked around the inner city and especially the red light district it seemed as though we were surrounded by bachelorette parties and guys weekend.  Although we didn’t participate in the ~wildness~ of Amsterdam we had an incredible weekend there.

From tasting every cheese possible, strolling along the plenty of tulip markets and flea markets, questioning everything about prostitution while walking the red light district and even waiting two hours in line for the Anne Frank House it was an experience we’ll never forget.

This week is much more relaxed now that my exams of the week are over, and I am able to finally enjoy the warm(ish) Copenhagen weather especially when the sun is out, and this weekend I am spending with my host family traveling in Denmark. And the count down begins until my real family comes to visit me (in 11 days)!

Until next time

xoxo

Margaret

 

5 Reasons I Love Sunsets

My week in Greece has made me appreciate the sun way more than I ever have. Probably because the sun rarely comes out in Copenhagen, but we’ve spent almost every night somewhere to watch the sunset and I’ve realizd how obsessed I am.


1. My Mom (I know you’re reading this) – one of her favorite things to do is take pictures of sunsets or walk out on the pier to watch the sunset or capture it in any way possible,  so I guess you could say it’s inherited.

2. Everyone loves them for different reasons – there’s so many reasons to love sunsets, the calmness, the colors, the meaning, and plenty more, and I love hearing about what they mean to each person

3. They force you to embrace them in that moment – unless you’re a professional photographer (which is not me) a picture will never ever do it justice, so it forces you to take it in “the old fashioned way” with your eyes.

4. A scientific phenomenon – during my dreaded year of physics, we learned the actual scientific background behind sunsets and it made me even more amazing at our ability to see it

5. They’re visible everywhere – whether in in Rochester, Keuka Lake, Denmark (occasionally), Greece or wherever there is always a chance of seeing a sunset and it creates a sense of connectability no matter where in the world I may be

A few more days on this amazing spring break embracing the sunset every day.

Spectacular Santorini

After being in shock from Athens I wasn’t sure how it could get better. After movies like Mamma Mia and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants I have been obsessed with the blue and white cliff houses on the islands of Greece as well. So here we are in Santorini, the island known for these views.

After a wild ride up the cliff from the port, we arrived at our lovely hotel with views of the blue and white already.


We then were able to watch the sunset from a point in Fira over the sea with a great view of exactly what I was expecting.


The next day we traveled the island to black sand and red sand beaches. Although it was pretty chilly, it was still warmer than Copenhagen and it was nice to have my feet in the sand (that wasn’t artificial from the fingerlakes).


In the evening we went to Oia, the exact picture you see when you think of Greece. The small passageways and white buildings. Once we got to the very top, I was once again in awe and in love with the moment of staring into the sunset.

Next stop Corfu!