Sun and Scooters

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After roughing it through our first overnight train to the south of France, Albecpeta got to experience something we haven’t seen in Copenhagen for ages: the sun. With current Copenhagen sunsets around 3:55 after a nice cold day, I had forgotten what it felt like to be warmed by the sun, and boy had I missed it. Seeing the Mediterranean for the first time was just as beautiful as I had imagined it. The smell of the salty beach air reminded me just how much I loved the ocean.

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Some parts of Nice looked so similar to what I always pictured Greece to look like. The shore was filled with green sea glass. It was absolutely beautiful. After a day of wondering around the pebble beaches, ocean boulevards, and outdoor markets, we ventured to the top of Castle Hill to get better views of the town. At the top, we enjoyed the sunny day with some ice cream and a visit to the playground.

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We definitely got in tune with the “beach mentality”, and enjoyed relaxing at our awesome hostel, which included the cutest balcony. A few naps, as well as group cuddles on all of our beds pushed together to watch movies, took place here.

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Albecpeta decided to treat ourselves with a nice dinner. After being told we couldn’t do our usual of splitting two expensive plates four ways, we decided to cheers to anxiety and order up. Good thing we did, the food was delicious. I especially liked how well mannered Pete agreed to order the lobster pasta in hopes that he would spontaneously start liking seafood. It didn’t work out so well for him, but at least it was a cute gesture. Thanks to Aleah, I got to learn how to crack open a lobster all on my own! In true Albecpeta fashion, we decided to spend our funds for the day on food rather than partying. Hey, you have to make scarifies somewhere.

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We soaked up the sun during our last day in Nice with a picnic on the beach. What followed was something that will probably scare me for the rest of my life. While my Yankee friends (besides Alana…who is crazy) gallivanted in the cold waves of the November Mediterranean water, I decided to play “camera woman” in order to avoid that situation all together. However, after Pete decided to spontaneously throw me in for everyone’s amusement, I felt the shock of some of the coldest water I’ve ever felt. I had to hold on to everyone just for warmth. Even though they said this was pretty normal water to them, I’m used to scorching hot Myrtle Beach water…. and I still think they are crazy (southern beaches rule).

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We ended our trip to Nice with some extreme sports along the coast. We started off with rollerblades, which are a lot more difficult on a busy road versus skating around at the Jellybeans skate rink. I don’t think I had touched a pair of rollerblades since 5th grade. However, with Pete’s help from past hockey experience, we all survived. I was pretty proud of my technique, and in true friend fashion I even cushioned a fall for Alana after crossing the street. After we were done with rollerblading, Pete got a skateboard, Alana got a long board, and I decided to show off my middle school scooter skills. Let me just say…I was pretty impressive.

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After a great few days, I have to admit that Nice was probably one of my favorite stops. I hope I can go back someday.

København…the big city

Today was my first day actually going into Copenhagen! (The Danish way to say it is “København”.) Although figuring out transportation with all my new Folkehøjskole friends was pretty hilarious…the morning didn’t start off too great. With a mix of being jet lagged and having a cold I was already feeling not too great. Feeling sick when your trying to explore somewhere new and foreign is probably one of the most stressful things ever. I randomly got sick in a Danish bakery bathroom. This would be my luck. (Leaving my mark in Denmark already..?) Kind of sucked but at the same time I felt so much better afterwards, which was in perfect timing for the beginning of our city traveling. I was really proud of myself for powering through, and all my friends in my travel group were perfect for the extra comfort!

DIS sent us in groups on an “amazing race” around Copenhagen. Our group definitely added our own spin with some extra leisure time and ADD adventures, but it was a really great way to see a glimpse of the city. I hope I can fit everything in before I leave! It’s also so hot here; yesterday broke a record for the hottest day in Denmark. It was a whopping 80 degrees, a little different from the south, eh?

We’ve been taking advantage of the unusual warm weather with canal tours, picnics, and we have plans to swim in the canal and kayak sometime this week. The heat almost got too much…we had to cool off in every fountain we passed during our long walks today. It took a lot not to jump in.

Denmark is the perfect place to continuously feed my castle obsession. It’s the oldest monarch ever, and has the most castles in Europe. We saw where the current Danish Royal Family lives today. So breathtaking. Denmark is known for their architecture. The city is mixed with buildings dating back to the 1600s built by King Christian the IV and then modern buildings known for their environmental sustainability. Since it’s my first time in Europe, I’ve never been around such history that dates back that far. I absolutely love it.

The more I learn about Denmark, the more interesting the country becomes to me. They are extremely liberal…just found out today that they were the first place to legalize pornography and same-sex marriage. Also crossing the street is extremely dangerous…they don’t warn you by a “count down” that we find in America before the sign says don’t walk. Hopefully I can get the hang of that? Don’t step in the bike lane or you will LITERALLY get run over. And I was kind of surprised but there is hardly any English, if any, on signs or menus. Ordering food is definitely interesting.

After a long day defeating my sickness and exploring Copenhagen, some of us decided to continue to enjoy the nice weather in the city by ordering some drinks and appetizers at a cute outside cafe.

It’s a little quiet back at the Folkehøjskole since the Danes haven’t moved in yet, but we have been having so much fun getting to know our small group of Americans better! I still have no voice from my cold…so my roommate Aleah has been calling me “Vivian” until my “sexy” raspy voice disappears.

Study Abroad Inspiring Quote

Found a really great quote while reading “The Happiness Project” the other day. It really connected and eased a lot of my anxiousness towards spending a whole semester on the other side of the world. And hey, what better way to start off a travel blog than with some inspiration?

“We seek to control our lives, but the unfamiliar and unexpected are important sources of happiness.”  

Can’t wait to discover what unexpected adventurous Denmark has in store for me in exactly three weeks. I’m excited and nervous all at the same time. But I bought some snow boots today…so this southern girl is getting prepared!