The Chronicles of Copenhagen

no wardrobe necessary

The dazzling Dutch and some time at home

How is it already November?? I spent the last few days of October celebrating Halloween, one of my favorite holidays. Even though it’s not as big of a deal in Copenhagen, there are a few places that get in the spirit. One of those places is Tivoli, which is the second oldest amusement park in the world, and the place is decorated for Halloween.

I started off November right by traveling with my Graphic Design course for a week through the Netherlands to Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Utrecht. There, we focused on learning more about Graphic Design in different parts of Europe through seemingly unending (in a good way!) museums and personal design studio visits.

 

We started the trip in Amsterdam, which is definitely one of my favorite cities I’ve visited. It’s as charming as Copenhagen but quite a bit bigger.

A perfect rainbow over the old houses of Amsterdam!

We went to many museums, one of which was the Van Gogh Museum, which I’ve been wanting to visit since my childhood. We also went to multiple visits of different design studios, including the publishers of Frame Magazine, an international design magazine based in Amsterdam.

A visit to the Stedelijk Museum

We did do some non-design related activities, including a nighttime canal tour and some incredible food. A highlight was a multi-course meal from a place that called itself not a restaurant, but a design studio for the culinary arts. We were even able to plate some of the courses! Thank you to DIS for these wonderful experiences because they planned so many amazing activities to really round out our trip to the Netherlands.

Our multi-course meal was centered on the theme of the importance of water in Amsterdam

STROOP WAFFLES ARE LIFE <3

Next we moved on to Utrecht, which was a quick stop to visit an incredibly interesting studio that works with intersections between design and technology, and a museum where we learned about children’s character Miffy, whose creator was from Utrecht.

Lastly, we headed to Rotterdam, the second biggest city in the Netherlands. The city was destroyed during WWII, so it has been completely remodeled since then. Because of this, it’s very modern in comparison to most European cities so it almost looked American. It’s also in the middle of being built up which gave it a unique feel because the city has so many plans in the near future. There, we visited a few different museums, including one of my favorite museums I’ve seen so far called Kunsthal. We also did a workshop where we had to make a poster, and it was nice to do something hands-on.

me n my poster!

A Yayoi Kusama infinity room at the Kunsthal

 

The best part about the trip was being able to meet people from across Graphic Design, as well as get closer to people in my class. I also was able to have more personal time with the professors in the design department and was able to hear about their previous careers before they were teachers (all of the DIS professors have real-world experience in their field).

 

I was able to spend both weekends before and after the trip in Copenahgen, and there was even a sunny day! Kind of like Ithaca, Copenhagen is used to rainy days, so it makes sunny days all the better. As much as I enjoy traveling and experiencing new places, I love coming back to my Copenhagen home.

A constant adventure through Europe

Wow, the past few weeks have just flown by!! I have been traveling every weekend for the past few weeks, so it was great to spend this weekend in Copenhagen.

 

A few weeks ago, I went to Munich for Oktoberfest! Oktoberfest is a huge festival that happens every year (in September, not October) and the original is in Munich. People dress up in traditional dirndls (for women) and leiderhosen (for men). Millions of people go for delicious sausages, carnival rides, and lots of dancing. I met so many people who were from all around the world, including many Germans. I was also able to meet up with a fellow Cornell Hotelie, Max!

Hotelie for life!

I was only home for a few days and then I was off on my giant European trip from my abroad trip. Everyone at DIS gets a full week off classes in the middle of the semester, and most kids take advantage of the opportunity to travel throughout Europe. I went with one of my friends who I met here, Olivia. Together, we traveled throughout France and Germany.

 

We started in Paris, where I got some good use of my high school French. On our first day, we were taking a (free!) tour of Montmartre, the artists’ neighborhood of Paris, when our tour guide told us it was the White Night, a cultural celebration where many museums were open up late for free. We ended up going to L’Orangerie and we were able to see an intimate classical music performance in the room of Monet’s Water Lilies—it was absolutely incredible and definitely a highlight of my time abroad so far.

I’ve never been to a more amazing performance!

A picture of the Eiffel Tower sparkling at night because how could I not 🙂

We did classic touristy things like visiting museums and eating tons of cheese and even snails. We also took a side trip to Giverny, where Monet lived and painted his water lilies. Being quite the art nerd, I may have had a huge freak out.

Next, we went on to Tours, which is a city in the Loire Valley of France. It was only a few hours away and truly a beautiful side trip if you have a bit of extra time in France. We visited the incredible Chenonceau Castle and we also toured some vineyards.

Next we went on to Munich after an overnight bus ride (a cheap but definitely not luxurious way of getting around). It’s a beautiful city with a lot of food markets and gardens to walk around. We even took a day trip to Salzburg, Austria. This is the town The Sound of Music is set in, but we spent the day going up an incredible mountain (and eating some delicious strudel at the top).


After going back to Munich, we visited Dachau Concentration Camp, which was fascinating and a really valuable experience to me.

Okay and I have to post a few pictures of some of the incredible food I ate…..

We couldn’t get an affordable flight out of Munich, so we flew out of Cologne, which meant we had a morning to spend there. We randomly decided to go to the zoo and had the best time! Finally, we went home to Copenahgen—although we had a great trip, I was so happy to be back in the city of hygge!

 

I never realized how hard and tiring it is to travel, especially being on a college kid budget. We did get very lucky with our Airbnb’s which we stayed in throughout our trip, which were all wonderful. And by now, everything that was stressful or scary in the moment is now just a funny memory—including the day we went on a bike trip and got lost as the sun was setting. I definitely suggest being careful when it comes to traveling around when there isn’t public transport around where you are! More importantly, if you make a mistake, don’t dwell on it and let it impact your trip. When we missed a train for one of our day trips, instead of getting upset, we bought the ticket for the next train in a few hours and visited a nearby church.

 

All of my courses have also been going really well, and I’m excited about where they’re going. I had a big presentation last week for Creative Industries. For the project, we had to create a real-life product that could be sold by the DIS Front Desk. I was able to design a set of postcards using my skills from Graphic Design—it makes me realize how much I’m learning in all my classes and am able to apply those skills to real-life. This week, I’ll have a presentation on Michelin star restaurants and the system’s implication on the future of the culinary industry—very up my alley.

 

Next week, I leave with my Graphic Design course to Amsterdam and Rotterdam for a week to learn more in depth about design. I can’t wait to update you on it!

Core Course Week & a Housing Retreat

I’m already a month in to my adventure and time has really flown by! I’ve been keeping very busy—I’m always doing something here.

Last week was Core Course Week, which is a week dedicated to learning and working with your core course. My core course (graphic design) started the week with workshops about visual journaling and critiques of our most recent projects. We then started on our adventure through Western Denmark! Because my major at Cornell is not graphic design, I am in a foundations course; but, we traveled with all of the graphic design courses. It was great to escape the city (yes, when you leave Cornell, “The City” is not always in reference to the Big Apple) and explore areas that consist more of locals.

We visited a few different towns, and stopped at so many museums along the way. We also visited a design school and a reenactment town. By far, my favorite was Aros Museum in Aarhus, which is the second biggest city in Denmark. The town was charming and the museum had such incredible exhibitions, with an emphasis on installation art.

I’m sorry for the agressive amount of photos of the rainbow panorama, but it was one of the most incredible things I’d ever seen–and walking around it really made me understand color in a new way. The sculpture on the right of the boy was also amazing–it was so huge that my 5’2 height barely reached his ankles. The trip also gave me a chance to get to know the people in my class better and meet more people with similar interests in design.

This weekend, I had a retreat with my house. Living in a house that is culinary themed is always an adventure, and encourages me to practice something I love to do!

Our retreat began on Saturday, and in the morning we went on a walking food tour of Nørrebro, a suburb of Copenhagen. It’s interesting to see a more residential area of Copenhagen and see how local people live. And if you know anything about me, I can’t resist a whole bunch of delicious things that I have to try (although I did have to try a licorice candy, which is very popular here and is definitely not my choice of candy).

A food tour of Copenhagen wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Grød, a porridge place that is one of the trendiest spots in Denmark.

When we came back, we began to prepare our epic dinner. We made a brisket (which has to cook for a few hours, so definitely not an any night kind of meal), a vegetarian coq au vin, and a kale salad—all incredible. And how could I not Instagram story the whole thing??

Sunday was a day of house bonding, and everyone who lives in our house went on the canal tour, which is one of those things that you have to do if you visit Copenhagen, and I hadn’t had a chance to do yet.

I even made time recently to visit Tivoli, the second oldest amusement park in the world.

This coming week is very exciting for me! I am visiting Noma, which is the best restaurant in the world!! They are based in Copenhagen, but closed down the restaurant to move to another city. Lucky for me, there is a pop-up going on under a bridge here. Also, I am visiting Munich this weekend for Oktoberfest—such a unique experience that I can’t wait for. I can’t wait to update you all on it!

 

 

A hygge kind of welcome

Hej! I have been in Copenhagen for three weeks and I’m already starting to realize how easy it is to call this place home. While it’s been a crazy and packed few weeks, let me start from the beginning.

The packing process was not the easiest, but I decided to bite the bullet and check two suitcases—a decision that I have by now realized paid off. I’m trying not to buy too much here but I have decided to buy one pin from each place I visit. At the end, I’m going to pin them to a piece of fabric and hang it on my wall to remember everything I’ve done this semester!

My program is called DIS, and we have a ‘core course,’ which is a subject that you dedicate the most time to. It allows you to really go in-depth with the subject. Although I’m in the Hotel School at Cornell, my interest in design led me to choosing Graphic Design Studio as my core course. I also am taking primarily design-related courses, and having to access a different style of learning has been incredibly exciting.

Class field trips include visiting Scandinavian design stores

I have not left my Hotelie life completely behind, as I’m living in a Culinary Living & Learning Community, which is a house that hosts different culinary-related events each week. This week, we made a traditional Danish dish—savory tarts!

The person who organizes our house events, Linn, is a full-time food blogger and recipe developer!

And what would a European abroad experience be without some excursions? Last weekend, I went with some friends to Bornholm, a Danish island between Sweden and Poland. Although many people who study abroad in Europe tend to travel only to the biggest cities, it was so interesting traveling to a place that is primarily European tourists looking for an island getaway (we compared it to Cape Cod, but a lot more charming). We biked at least 25 miles the first day to get to a rustic cabin where we made a bonfire and visited the nearby town. We spent our weekend eating ice cream, biking around town, and admiring the architecture and colors.

While it’s easy to talk about only the best experiences, it wouldn’t be a full picture without also discussing some of the challenges. Adjustments have been easier since mostly everyone from Denmark speaks fluent English, but little slip-ups are dramatized since I’m in a completely new place with people I’ve only known a few weeks. To give you a hint of my mistakes: holding up a bus full of locals as we navigated Bornholm transportation, getting a nose bleed in the middle of a supermarket, and visiting the bike rental shop three times before I could get a bike that was small enough for me.

I can’t wait to highlight the most exciting parts of my semester here, and share some photos and stories of what my life in Denmark is like.

 

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Class Blog: Voices from Cornell Abroad

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