Here’s the breakdown of my study tour: 26 students, 2 teachers. 3 days 2 nights. 3 cities in Western Denmark– Odense, Skanderborg, Aarhus. 4 lectures, 3 museums, 2 hostels, and 1 big party!
Although I know you want the play by play, that would be long and tedious, so I’ll just give you the highlights. A big portion of the trip was me attempting to sleep on the coach bus from place to place, freezing to death because all I brought was my Villanova sweatshirt (trying to pack light, and underestimating the wind), and getting to know my Positive Psychology classmates. Other than that, we have a few high and low points.
The first day (Thursday), we went to Odense, which is home of Hans Christian Andersen in the day. (Click for a bio & selected stories!)
Later that day, we found the StudentHouse in Odense and attended a massive Welcome To School concert with a supercool Danish band! It was so interesting to see Danish college kids and such a big show for free. After that, we slept in a hostel where there was an orchestra music light show in the park in the front yard, so sleep was… well… impossible.
Friday saw a few lectures and meetings, all informative. The real story, though, lies in the country town of Skanderborg, where we stayed in a cabin-style hostel on a scenic lake. All the students decided to go canoeing.
The thing is, no one told us to begin our journey with paddling INTO the wind, and boy was it windy! Long story short, we all got stuck on the lake because we couldn’t paddle to the shore in the wind. My partners thought it would be a genius idea to paddle into the brush by the shore and pull on the reeds to move the canoe toward the dock. I was horrified and totally chlostrophobic, but looking back, it was hilarious.
At nightfall, we had a gigantic bonfire, where we made the Danish version of smores (using thinner chocolate and Digestive cookies, which are the Danish equivalent of graham crackers). THE STRANGE THING was, they also brought out two enormous buckets of raw dough, which we were supposed to twist around our sticks and roast to make a roll. I never mastered it. Mine was raw on the inside every time I tried… oh well. You caught me being a Fane (fake Dane)!
The last and final highlight may be my favorite–the art museum called Aros in Aarhus. This museum was designed to be like Dante’s Divine Comedy, with a basement level signifying Hell, 9 floors in all white with spiral stairs signifying Purgatory, and finally, Heaven. If you’re wondering how Danish artists and architects pulled off Heaven, it’s no big deal–they just made a GIANT SEE-THROUGH RAINBOW CIRCLE going around the roof of the building and called it “Rainbow Room.” Still not impressed? Check out my photos, which will be in a separate post following this one because WordPress is giving this tired lady an issue right now!
Overall, this was a really fun trip, although I am now totally exhausted, completely out of food (except oatmeal) and in desperate need of laundry service! Good thing my mamma taught me to work hard and Nancy taught me to drink tea! Anyway, this tour gave me the opportunity to see parts of Denmark I never would have known about, and get to know classmates that I will be going to Milan with. If these three days were fun, I can’t imagine a week… in Italy…