Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The End.

So I'm sitting at home for the first time in 4 something months, so sad and so jet-lagged, but I'm back safe and sound in VA. I have had the most amazing semester abroad and cannot wait for the chance to return, which I'd want to be tomorrow. But before I talk about how sad I am, I have to wrap up my last week in CPH and the adventures I had!

So on Friday, Alex and I flew to Denmark from Barcelona for my last week in Copenhagen. We were super duper tired from the day of traveling, we got to the airport way to early and I dragged Alex to all the airport shops to kill the time. Well, he wasn't too happy with me but it stuck it out. I promised Karina and Rasmus I would make my favorite cupcakes so after doing all of our laundry. Then we had a super late dinner with the family and hung out; we sat up chatting until 12! 12 is basically unheard of, Karina poops out way before that unless Peter's around and we're watching a movie. But seriously super rare.

Then Saturday, we had breakfast with Karina to prepare for our trip to Tivoli later that day. Tivoli is the theme park/garden/concert venue in CPH based on Roman gardens. It is super popular especially when its nice out, but it wasn't really nice out. But it was still AMAZING!! I mean awesome minus the crazy weird ride, that made me feel ill, but I was the one that volunteered to go on it, woops. It was awesome and everyone was there, Kara, Taylor, Elena, Katie, Alex, and Kara's friend Gracie. The flowers had bloomed and the building were pretty plus the rides were fun. I made Alex get a Danish hotdog with the hole in the bread  roll that was a must-do Danish experience. Of course it poured while on our last ride and we decided to head home before doing anything else. Alex and I dried ourselves off and went to Dalle Valle, my favorite restaurant in CPH, which has the most amazing entrĂ©e price specials on Sat, Sun, Mon, and Tuesday nights. Thank goodness it was a Saturday and the meals were half price, yay yay yay. I got a delicious salad and Alex got a saffron, beef pasta dish and loved it. After an amazingly delicious dinner, we headed over to Kara/Katie/Elena/Taylor's kolllegium and decided to party. We had champagne and the Eurovision singer contest was on so we watched the end of that, plus the Danes on Katie and Taylor's floor were rocking out to the Backstreet Boys and we had to join. It was a ton of fun; we joked around and it was super duper awesome.

Tivoli Gardens

Kara face.

Backstreet Boys singers

Sunday was another amazing day. We got up a bit late and had Danish danishes and Karina picked Rasmus up at the airport from a trip to Berlin. Alex, Karina, and I then went to Fredriksborg Castle up in Hillerod. It was built by the father of Christian IV as a residence for the Royal family; it's now a museum and there are beautiful Baroque gardens on the grounds. The Danish kings did a lot of castle building in their time, there are so many to see. After the castle, we picked up Rasmus at the house on our way to dinner. We had the most amazing dinner at a little place in a harbor near our house. I had a veal dish with this amazing rhubarb thing with chocolate cake. It want to go back already. We then had a traditional hang out on the couch and watched some tv. I then made Alex watch Jersey shore with me because I needed some trashy American tv, I was wanting America but wanting to stay in CPH at the same time, thus the need for a good laugh. 

Fredriksborg Castle

Baroque Gardens

Monday was another adventurous day. Alex and I ventured into the city or some Cafe Paludan coffee with my friends Laura and Kylie. We were having a sad goodbye get together; however, I ran into them several more times before we really left (Kylie was on my flight). After that we went and got yummy sandwiches, then for a CANAL ride. I hadn't been on one and though it was rainy, it was great to see the sights and the waterways. Also, Alex got a little less of the tour guide Kristina and more of the hang out with friends before you leave kristina, so I wanted him to be able to get all the sights in without spending all day trekking about. This way, many crucial things were hit and our feet weren't dead at the end of the day. After canaling, we met up with Kara and hung about the city until it was dinner time. I didn't want to miss out on any family dinners before I left, they were the best. We would chat for forever at the dinner table, which I feel like we don't do enough of in the States.

Alex in Nyhavn

Canal Tour

Alex at the flat, he came!

Tuesday, the last day=super sad day, but no quite, I had so much planned I couldn't focus on being too sad for too long. I spent the morning packing and trying to find earrings I bought in Venice, which I finally found at like 1 in the morning but they're found. We went to return my books and to see the changing of the guard at the Royal Palace at noon, again I was annoyed because the queen wasn't in, but then again she is a busy lady. After that, we went to lunch and got traditional smorrebrod, I made Alex try the snaps too, which is a traditional Danish shot taken at lunch time. It's gross. My last smorrebrod was delicious, though I really wanted frikadeller. (Then Agnes cupcakes!) Then we attended the DIS closing ceremonies and had some free champagne at the reception afterwards. We then just sat and chatted, we moved over to Paludan before Alex and I went home for dinner. After dinner we met up with the girls at the DIS closing party/rave and got to say goodbye to the all the girls before tucking into bed for Alex's early flight and my not quite as early flight.

We caught them marching to the Royal Palace.

The actual event

Alex and the traditional smorrebrod.

Mocha cupcake and Pistcahio cupcake and Blueberry mini cupcakes!

The famous Cafe Paludan.

My semester in CPH was one of the most amazing experiences in my life. My family was so generous, my classes were new and interesting, and the food and parties were great. Danishes are delicious, liverpaste not so much, but regardless I've tried it all. I've never been quite as adventurous with food as I have been in CPH. I cannot wait to see Karina, Rasmus, and Peter again, hopefully we'll be able to reunion again. (hopefully soon because I'm already missing them dearly). I love the friends I've made; I don't know if renewables would have been any fun without Kara. Basically, I loved it all and thank you CPH for the most amazing spring. I already miss you.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Spain & Alex!

So I really didn't give much notice about my spur of the moment trip to Spain or that Alex would be actually waiting for me at the airport when I got there, BUT it really happened and it was this past week. I finished my last paper on Sunday night and embarked on a Spanish journey after pit-stopping to turn it in Monday morning. And as promised I'm blogging on a Friday night because we literally were eating dinner/dessert until midnight, so we'll have to postpone a real Danish night out until tomorrow. But back to Spain:

I got in at 2 something to the Barcelona airport and guess who was sitting on his luggage waiting for me? Alex, what a nice guy to come and meet me. So stared into each other's eyes for a couple of minutes and then headed toward L'Eixample where our rental apartment was; instead of staying in a 16 person to a room hostel we got a much nicer pad for the same price. It was a really nice set up, though I had to get ear plugs after being woken up by several ambulances that drove by in the middle of the night. We decided to do a little dinner in the apartment; it was really because our key didn't really work in the lock and we had to wait for the guy with the keys to come back so we could actually adventure. It turns out the key did work, it was just the most temperamental thing ever.

Day 1 adventure: So we got off to a great start considering there was a bakery right under our apartment building and a fresh muffin is a really good start to the day. (And of course, I found the nearest Starbucks, like every other American in the place, to get an iced coffee, because I haven't had one in so long).We ventured towards Las Ramblas. On our way we hit the Pl. de Catalunya,it was amazing and so open. After that we got a bit lost trying to find Las Ramblas, aka I probably went in the wrong direction buttt we found this awesome little open area/kids play area/statue/OLD MEN PLAYING BOCCE BALL AREA! It was so cute, a huge group of men in their 70's and 80's maybe playing al together with a couple of women watching close. So freaking cute. Then we got to Las Ramblas and had the most amazing time. We went to the market and got freshly squeezed juice (thanks Lindsay and Mary) and CANDY and not the fresh fish, though they had it there too, oh and goats head which are disgusting. We decided to wander down to the coast and sit around in the sun because I dearly needed some arm tan. Then we got really really lost trying to find Les Quinze Nits, it went super duper recommended and so we had to find it. However, our guide books maps were not so detailed and finding it from where we were on the coast proved difficult. I was probably also difficult, I was super stubborn about thinking I was going in the right direction and well I wasn't. Butt we found it and got some super delicious soup and got serenaded by some guys with accordions and just loved the little square. We took some pictures and decided to head back tot he guesthouse for some rest before dinner. We trekked back tot he apartment and showered and got dressed for a proper dinner at this awesome tapas place not too far from out place. We went to Cerveceria Catalana, which was this super Spanish , we even had to wait 40 minutes for our table, at 10 pm! So crazy, but so worth it, the best tapas ever and of course a pitcher of Sangria, it was amazing.

Pl. de Catalunya

The market!

Candy! (We also bought fruit, promise)

Huge, really tall McDonald's

Square where we had lunch


Gaudi Palace

Day 2: We decided to make the trip up to Park Guel and see Gaudi's crazy weird art first hand. After walking around the first day and seeing some, we had to have more. We spent the majority of the morning haning out in the park, it's big and sitting listening to a guitarist while sitting in the shade is sometimes nice to do, I don't think I've ever done it before, but it's nice to do, when in Spain, in the Parc Guell. After our park adventure, we decided to turn to the guidebook once more and do lunch at a little Mexican place close-ish by, well at least in on the same map square int he book. The place was so good, the food was so tasty, if you're going to do Mexican food in Spain you have to go here. Anyway, we then decided to shower and rest until dinner, poor Alex was super jetlagged, but we made it out to a bar for a bit of a Barcelona game and a burger! I have been craving burgers and well this is not the best one I've ever had but it hit the spot for at least another week!

Parc Guell

In the park

Weird Singing man, played the same chord on his guitar the whole time.

View from the park

Amazing lunch!

Day 3: We had to go to Gaudi's Sagrade Familia, which is the amazing unfinished super duper cathedral of Spain. We were told the top is an awesome view so we did it. And got several pictures at the top and ran into a Boston Red Sox loving couple, so Alex was pleased too. We decided to do the Montjuic park and strolled around forever. I was told we had to see the fountain so we walked forever trying to find it, seeing the stadium and everything before I got super grouchy about not finding it, well it was turned off so there was nothing to see, so we didn't miss it, it was just super anti-climatic. We then got lunch at this little place on the side of Parallel Ave. and had the tastiest lunch. I got a pear, avocado, cherry, pepper, lettuce, with balsamic salad and Alex got gnocchi, and it was so tasty. I was pleasantly surprised consider it didn't look like a real fancy place, but the food was so fancy. We then went back to Las Ramblas, needing some more fresh fruit drank to sit and enjoy the our last afternoon in Spain. We decided it would also be awesome to tour the inside of one of Gaudi's crazy masterpieces, the Casa Batllo. It cost a fortune, sort of, but was well worth it to see the inside. The outside is just the beginning, there's a weird light tunnel in the center of the building and an awesome patio/courtyard. I also got a really awesome mug from the museum shop, I cannot wait to drink my tea next year from it, though I've become quite the coffee drinker these days. After the tour we got dinner at this bar near the apartment on accident because we didn't see the restaurant right around the corner. So silly, but we had the most amazing bar food tapas and just go desserts at the restaurant, a perfect solution.

It still needs a bit of work

The final plans

The view from the top

And the stairs going down.

Amazing interior

Olympic Stadium

Gaudi Gaudi Gaudi

Casa Batllo

The inner light hall

Back view


The attic.

Then today we hopped on a plane and came back to the awesome CPH for a couple of days until I leave this amazing semester behind me. We have some fun plans for tomorrow, going to Tivoli, the theme park/gardens in the city center.