Goodbye KEA

Yesterday was my last day at KEA. I haven't actually had school for about two weeks now, but my oral exam final was yesterday morning. I had never had an oral exam (and let me add that this was my ONLY exam and ONLY grade for the WHOLE semester) so there was a lot of stress leading up to this final hour (or half an hour). I won't try to explain the European grading system, but I got a 12 and that's the highest grade there is - ending the semester on an awesome high note. I cried at the end because I had spent so much time preparing for and thinking about the exam that I wasn't ready for the moments after and how sad I would be to leave KEA. 

There is a unique sense of teamwork and lack of judgement studying at KEA. I respect everyone I worked with at school and am confident that my studies here are sending me home with academic and life lessons I couldn't get anywhere else. It's also very easy to be positive now that it's June and the weather is up-lifting. None the less, it's going to be very surreal to go back to FIT. I will definitely miss the rhythm in Copenhagen. I'm sharing some pictures of KEA main campus to show a little of the whole lot that I'm leaving behind. 

Pros and Cons of Spending the Day Alone

So there's this huge music festival that happens every year in Copenhagen called 'Distortion'. Yes, that can be interpreted as everyone getting completely distorted. Danes already love to drink (seriously, it's 5 o'clock every hour of every day here if they feel like it). Distortion is a giant five-day party of random rappers and DJ's in the streets of the city, AKA the perfect excuse to get completely wasted. While my friends were participating in the 'fun' (I'm not bitter, I just have a very different opinion of fun) I decided to spend some time visiting quieter parts of the city because I can only study inside for so long. Here's a few pros and cons of my solo day yesterday:

PRO: I can spend too long deciding what I want to order at a café.

Skyr with granola and fruit - Café Det Vide Hus

CON: It's awkward taking pictures of food when you're eating alone.


PRO: I can make friends with the people I'm crammed next to while climbing the steep stairs of a church spire to see all of Copenhagen.

Church of Our Saviour - Copenhagen

View from the top

View from the top

CON: Everyone's sweaty and the (dumb) people at the top of this church that are terrified of heights really don't want to talk. 


PRO: I can randomly jump off my bike to take a picture of a pretty wall.

CON: There's no one to watch my bike and bag if I want to walk away on a quick photo mission. 


PRO: I can also detour just to buy candy (I belong in Denmark because I'm obsessed with licorice). 

CON: I'm alone eating candy. OH WELL.

Torvehallerne

I still don't know how to pronounce the name of this market. When I hear a native pronounce it, it sounds something like tor-hellen. Regardless, Torvehallerne is a really cool market in city center with over 60 shops selling everything from fresh fish to gourmet chocolate almonds (they're amazing). The market is almost always packed because locals go grocery shopping here, and tourists come for a bite to eat or to pick up something special. 

Everything is always fresh. Most of the mini eateries inside also have shops located elsewhere in the city, but at Torvehallerne you can have the best of all worlds. If you're with friends or family, everyone can get what they are in the mood for. There's traditional open-faced sandwiches, juices, and coffee from The Coffee Collective (they ONLY sell coffee, so you know they know what they're doing). The Coffee Collective blends are also found in many other cafés throughout the city because their coffee is just that good. I'm also a little obsessed with the design on their cups. Another shop is called Grød, which means porridge. I'm an oatmeal fanatic (there are worse things to obsess over), and I've been to Grød's actual café, but it was prime to enjoy their oatmeal with a cappuccino from The Coffee Collective. 

Charlottelund

I've really been making the most out of my last weeks in Denmark. Today was no exception, but everything about the day was somehow 'not what we expected', but in a good way. I sort of felt like Alice in Wonderland, only 'Charlotte in Charlottelund'. Curious.

My good friend Roos (Rose) and I went to a sample sale in city center this morning (the same one we went to yesterday haha..) and then had cappuccinos on a nice bench outside. I also had some oatmeal because I went to the gym at 6am and by 10am it was time for breakfast #2. We stumbled upon a recycled clothing market on the way back to our bikes but there was so much stuff for sale that it was too overwhelming to find something worth the time. 

Our plan for the day was to bike to Finn Juhls Hus, a house museum in Charlottelund, North of Copenhagen. The bike ride was supposed to be about 30 minutes but it felt more like 30 miles. When we FINALLY got there, it was - not what we expected. The house was just part of a whole park with interactive art pieces, another museum, and a restaurant. Finn Juhls Hus was actually a bit expensive, but the park was free, so we peaked inside the house and then had fun looking at the giant misting circle and the mirror maze. Yep, that's the best I can describe them. 

Afterwards we biked into the town of Charlottelund to see the castle and grounds built by Princess Charlotte Amalie in the early 1800's (obviously I pretended that the castle and the whole town belonged to me). The palace grounds were so calm, especially compared to Copenhagen. We weren't expecting Charlottelund to feel like a ritzy beach town, but main street was quaint and full of designer shops, and we walked all the way to the water where people were BBQing and sailing. It was really a different kind of day and I loved it.

Stranded and Loving It on Paper Island

My friends and I have been trying to find a day to hang out at Papirøen (Paper Island) together. It's a magical place where everyone chills out, eats food from a different culture, and possibly jumps off the pier if it's hot enough. 

Today's mission was work first, then food and fun. Some of the girls had their final exams this morning, and some of us had to spend the morning prepping for the exam we have two whole weeks from now (can I plz just get it over with). Anyway, we all met at Copenhagen Street Food, which is synonymous with Paper Island and Papirøen in case that was confusing you. It's hyped up to be an awesome, but very crowded destination. However, on this gorgeous Wednesday it was practically empty compared to some days where it takes 40 minutes to get food and every table, chair, and pier-side seat is taken. 

Roos, Dakota, and Lulia in the bottom left :)  - Full Album  HERE

Roos, Dakota, and Lulia in the bottom left :)  - Full Album HERE

Seating might have gone smoothly, but deciding what to eat is a serious challenge. I walked up and down the aisles of food trucks 3 or 4 times. First you have to see all your options, then you have to see what's popular and decide what you're in the mood for, and even then you've only narrowed it down to probably 3 trucks. Then you just have to make up your mind and say you'll try the others next time. I had plantains that were smashed into circles and fried like patties, served with guac and salsa. Lulia tried a Moroccan flatbread and Dakota had a surf and turf burger with sweet potato fries. Casual Wednesday lunch. 

After we ate, it was time to chill. We sat on the very corner of the pier for the rest of the afternoon getting tan, taking pictures, and waving at the boats and canal tours going by. I really cherish the times I'm in the moment with my friends, enjoying the weather, just talking and laughing. 

 

 

 

 

Fro'yo in Frederiksberg

I woke up at 5:30 this morning, which sounds extremely early for a Sunday except the sun rose at 4:45. I'm use to waking up at dawn so when I wake up to full on daylight I already feel behind for the day. I had a few (few is always up for interpretation) cups of coffee and worked on end of the semester stuff. I worked until 10, which felt like forever but I am most productive in the morning and it felt good to cram in some work right away. 

I decided to venture out by myself today because it was 70 and sunny and I needed some fresh air. There's a southern part of Copenhagen called Frederiksberg that's a bit ritzier, has better grocery stores and cuter boutiques, but is most famous for Frederiksberg Park. I actually had never made my way to this part of town, but remember reading about a frozen yoghurt place in the area that is amazing because their yoghurt is actually skyr, which is delicious Icelandic yoghurt that is low in fat and high in protein. SO, I made a pit stop on the way to the park. 

The fro'yo was on point. I mixed original, vanilla, and coconut yoghurt (after taste testing the other 7 flavors) and put granola, licorice pieces, kit kat, and melon on top. I don't know where that combo came from but it worked. 

I headed to the park with my bathing suit on under my clothes and my towel and book in tow. The park was so much more than I expected. I don't really use the word 'lovely' but this park was lovely. And grand. The paths were canopied by giant, old trees and there was a winding river throughout where ducks were swimming and people were rowing small boats. I walked into an opening where a fountain appeared, and I could see the magnificent Frederiksberg Palace sitting on a hill in the backdrop. The palace had rows of what I think are English sycamores in front and the Danish flag waving on top. It felt royal. And peaceful. I continued walking and found my own sunny spot to read and nap for a few hours. 

We Have to Go to Botanisk Have

The highlight of today was finally visiting Botanisk Have, Copenhagen's botanical garden. I only have three weeks left in this wonderful city and I want to make sure I see everything I need to see. All of my housemates are also international students and we joke about having a 'Copenhagen Bucket List'. You can tell we're a wild bunch when visiting a garden is on the list. 

My housemate Dakota and I went out for lunch at one of my favorite spots in the city, Kalaset, that she had never been to. I told her to order the pancakes because many people rave about them, including my Mom who had them during her visit. Mom's thumbs up for pancakes says a lot considering she runs a pancake house. After lunch we bought some gifts for loved ones and headed to Botanisk Have. 

The park outside the main green house is full of walking paths surrounded by shrubs, cacti, flowers and waterfalls. The indoor garden is in a beautiful old white structure that actually adds to the outdoor scenery like a delicate grandmother watching over the garden's activity. The center of the green house had giant palm trees and other tropical plants which explained why it was SO humid. There was an old white spiraling staircase that led to an indoor balcony around the top of the palms and it was even HOTTER up there because heat rises. You know, science. I'm so happy we went because it was very peaceful after shopping in the city on a Saturday. Well, there was one other peaceful moment when we had ice cream and sat by a fountain.. I had pistachio in case you were wondering. 

I love this Neighbourhood

Actually, I'm gonna talk about how much I love pizza. From Neighbourhood.

First I'll say that I haven't been out for pizza the whole time I've lived in Copenhagen.. WHAT. It's not actually that surprising because at home my family just has pizza nights and we make our own pizza. We're a picky pizza family and we make it just the way we like it. We also like to shamelessly pile raw garlic on top and throw every piece in the oven a second time so the crust gets extra crispy and we burn the roofs of our mouths. Anyway.

I went out for pizza at Neighbourhood in the Meat Packing district here in Copenhagen. It was seriously delicious. Neighbourhood serves killer pizza combinations on ultra thin and airy crust. I went with my mom last week and we tried the potato brie with olive and rosemary and the garlic shrimp. You can check out the full menu here.

They also had some very tasty nonalcoholic drinks. Many quality restaurants in Copenhagen can be quite cramped, but Neighbourhood had a lot of seating and a relaxed atmosphere. Overall it's a fun dinner experience for friends or family. Maybe not a first date though because it gets a little messy. 

Beats, Beets, and Boating

Sad to say I don't have many weekends left in Copenhagen, but this one started out great! After working alone at school for a few hours in the morning, I was like, 'it's 70 and sunny outside and that's more important because I'm in Copenhagen and that's a MIRACLE.' 

My neighborhood has a long park in the middle which I haven't taken much advantage of until this Friday. I grabbed my iPod full of new songs and went to lay in the sun. It felt a tiny bit awkward being the only one laying in a bathing suit, but honestly I don't think the Danes give any second thought to an attempt to soak up the sun.

Afterwards I biked to town. I was really hot at that point and craving something sweet so I went to Joe and the Juice to get something healthy. I had a 'sweet beet' which was beet, fennel, and apple juice, so yummy! The real reason I went to town was that KEA (my school) set up a free canal tour for students. There were 115 spots but only about 30 people showed up, and coincidentally almost all my friends/housemates were there which was so much fun :) 

Humble Abode

You know when you have a new friendship or relationship and for some reason you form a vague mental image about what the other person's residence looks like, but you really have no idea? I remember it being a much bigger deal in middle school or high school, but seeing someone's room was like adding a piece to the puzzle that makes them who they are. I really didn't have a choice of rooms in Copenhagen, but for this semester I am quite content with my little yellow box that I have all to myself (unlike the dorms at FIT, where I share a bathroom). Enough said. 

A little home aesthetic..

 

 

Something About Sunday



A lot of my days turn out to be all or nothing. Either I wake up and start being productive or I make excuses all day. We're starting a new project at school this week, so I wanted to get another full day of me-time in before my focus turns elsewhere. One of my biggest projects lately is marketing myself, and I've started with my website. 

When I really want to focus, I usually need a change of scenery. I spent some time yesterday finding a great café with cute work space and a menu with skyr and granola because it's my fave. On my bike ride here to Parterre, I stopped all through the city to take pictures for my Paint the Town project. It's another cloudy but beautiful day in Copenhagen, and a perfect Sunday for getting some work done with a cappuccino. If my motivation prevails, i'll be grocery shopping and hitting the gym later for a leg workout. Wish me luck.