My second week in Copenhagen has consisted of a lot more pastries, a lot more exploring the city, and starting to feel comfortable navigating while feeling very excited for the weeks ahead.
On most Wednesdays, I’ll have study tours for my classes where we will meet up somewhere else in the city to explore a place or talk to an expert related to class content. I didn’t have anything scheduled for this past Wednesday so I took advantage of the free time by exploring the city. My first stop was St. Peter’s Bakery, which bakes fresh cinnamon rolls every Wednesday morning. Not only are they delicious, but they’re cheap at only 15 kroner (just under $3 US dollars). I had heard this was a must have and they certainly lived up to the hype!
Afterwards, we headed towards Christiania, which is a sort of self-declared commune on the east side of the city (they don’t allow photography, but picture ) In the afternoon I caught the view from the top of Christiansborg Palace, which is the meeting place of the Folketinget, or Danish Parliament. This building was nearly burned down twice and has been rebuilt each time, so there are relics from older eras on display as you walked towards the top of the tower. It was very windy and cold at the top of the tower, but the view of Copenhagen was still stunning!
Something which has surprised me quite a bit is the amount of construction that is going on in Copenhagen. There are numerous smaller changes and renovations to buildings throughout the city in addition to large scale construction for two new Metro lines that are planned to be opened in 2019. I expected Copenhagen to be a lot more static and established in terms of the built environment, but it maintains to be the site of a lot of innovation and growth. I have also been surprised by the number of pigeons around the city, as I am not particularly fond of birds and they usually come way too close for comfort!
This weekend, I visited Rosenborg Castle with my host family, which was built as a summer house for Christian IV and is now a museum which has the Danish crown jewels on display. It was a short stay since the wind made it quite cold, but I’m looking forward to gradually warming up since every one keeps insisting that I just wait until the spring to make a weather judgement. Over the course of the day out my host brother has been quizzed me on Danish pronunciation by asking me to say almost every sign we walked by as well as subtitles on Netflix when we got home: he says I’m doing pretty well but I’m still skeptical (but at least this should make my Danish class a breeze?)
I’m happy to be settling into a routine, and feel confident walking around the city center and navigating the train and metro. I’m also enjoying how my classes take experiential learning seriously, where the whole city becomes the classroom for much of what I’m doing at DIS. This kind of hands on experience is really good for me feeling a bit trapped at a crossroads of grad school and career choices, and I definitely think I’ll come out of the semester with a little more clarity than I had coming in. Check in soon for a recap of Hamburg, the first of many travels throughout the semester!