Friday, July 3, 2009


Well, I'm exhausted but I know that if I don't get to posting things from Hrvatska, Croatia, now, I'll never get to it. I can't believe that I'm heading home first thing tomorrow morning, but I'm about travelled out right now and being able to settle in to home will be nice.

Altogether, it was a great week--I'm definitely ready to be traveling on my own now rather than with a group of 28 other students, but I'm so grateful to have been able to spend time in Zagreb & Split. Since I have 5 days of travel stories to tell, I think this one will be best as a photo post--It'll be a long one, but I promise it's worth it if you'd like a little taste of Croatia.

When we arrived on Sunday, we went on what we thought was a forest walk. It ended up being a treacherous downhill slide on mud with hopes of finding a cave. We eventually found the cave, but not without getting terribly muddy and wet and dirty. I was grateful for my chacos, but since we thought it was a forest walk many of us were in flip flops. Not so nice.

Here's just a little taste of our terrain.
Kayla was not so much a fan of the mud--especially when she ended up with it on her hands after slipping.
Despite the muddiness, I did enjoy this little outdoorsy fix!
Hey, we found the cave...eventually.
By the end our feet were just a bit muddy...
We were, however, HIGHLY rewarded after the hike with an amazing dinner. Because I don't eat red meat, I was served a vegetarian dinner at this restaurant. It may have been one of the best meals I'd ever eaten--all the veggies were cooked to perfection and we were really full at the end. YUM!
Monday, after recovering from the CRAZY walk, we got a chance to really explore Zagreb on our own. The outskirt areas were very different from the center of the town with old, 10ish story apartment buildings. These buildings were very much the remains of a communist society. Throughout town there were also more old, unkept buildings like this one below. Then there were gorgeous areas like the other pictures show.

Statue of King Tomislav, Croatia's first king who ruled in the 10th century AD.
After being in flat, flat København for 5 weeks, these hills in Croatia were a bit of a struggle, but they provided an absolutely beautiful look at the city.
Old government building
View of the city from atop the hill
Tuesday, after a lecture in the morning about Croatia's social structure and history, we had a guided tour by our lecturer who was a 27-year-old researcher from Zagreb. He was super knowledgeable and had a lot of great connections, so we were able to see some really neat places. Among those places, we visited 4 different places of worship--a Jewish Community Center, the Roman Catholic church, the Serbian Orthodox church, and the Islamic Center. The majority of Croatia is roman catholic; however, there are many minority groups and religions represented in Croatia due to the history of the region.

These two towers of the Catholic church can be seen from pretty much anywhere in Zagreb.
This cathedral is extremely ornate--pictured here above the crucifixion scene is ancient Croatian text telling the story of Jesus' death.
We had a quick peak inside the Serbian Orthodox church.
The outside of the Islamic Center--if you look closely you can see the moon, which was really neat because it was almost aligned with the tip of the temple, which also has a moon at the top as the moon is a symbol of Islam.
That night we went out for a few drinks. As far as drinks go, Zagreb was about 4 times cheaper than København, which was pretty crazy to fathom! The exchange rate from US Dollar to the Croatian Kuna and the Danish Kroner are about the same--in Zagreb we were getting two drinks for 17 Kuna and in Denmark we'd be able to get two beers for about 50 Krone.
Wednesday afternoon we flew to Split for just under 24 hours. It was a little disappointing that we weren't there for longer, but I made the best attempt to enjoy the time that I did have there. Hey, maybe I'll go back some day...

View from our hotel room's window
Diocletian's Palace in Split. Diocletian--former ruler of the Roman Empire & "son" of Jupiter--had this palace built around 300 AD. It was pretty outstanding to walk around here.
Split by night
Split by day. We didn't really have any beach time because of our jam-packed schedule, but we did at least get to enjoy the sunshine & views this morning.
Layover in Budapest--we saw Hungary, right? Okay, maybe not.

So, now, after a terribly long day of traveling, I'm back in København for one more night before heading back to Raleigh. It's so difficult for me to fathom that 6 weeks has already passed since I began this journey, but I'll definitely take a lot of wonderful things with me--namely the travel bug. I'm already thinking of where I'd like to go next. The only problem is that there are too many places I want to see! We'll see what the future brings :)

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Ovdje sam!

Hi everyone,
Ovdje sam, I'm here, in Croatia, Zagreb specifically. Our days have been jam packed and very long, so of course I've been exhausted and unable to post at the end of those days, but I'm going to try to make it happen very soon! Don't worry's been beautiful and we've had lots of good times and good food (duh), so we're in great shape! I'll write back soon...promise!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

hej hej

It's hard to believe that my adventures in Denmark are actually coming to a close. In 12 hours, I'll be leaving DIS for the last time and heading to the CPH airport to catch a flight to Croatia. After those days in Croatia are up, we'll have one night at a hotel in København by the airport, so it won't really even feel like we're back. Crazy! Well, we've been checking off our lists and making sure we get the most important things finished before we head off to Hrvatska.

One of the things I really wanted to do was to see Nyhavn harbor by night...and to take some pictures of course. Kayla and I went down there Tuesday night for midsummer celebrations, but I didn't bring my good camera and when we got there we realized that both of our other cameras had died...therefore, we knew for certain that another trip was in store.

Last night, Kayla and I had an AMAZING dinner at the harbor with two girls from our class and we got the opportunity to take some awesome pictures. We decided that since it was our second to last night, we deserved to splurge a we got fancy dinners and a bottle of wine. It was nearly $40, but for the dinner & atmosphere it was totally worth it!

The Harbor by night - 8:15pm
Kayla & me at dinner
My amazing dinner: Smoked salmon salad--with a honey dijon & sesame sead dressing.
After that, we grabbed some ice cream, another drink, and then went back to the harbor to take some night time pictures. It was stunning. The harbor is just beautiful every time of day, and again, I could not stop taking pictures.

I had to balance the camera on a flat-ish surface so that I could get some good nighttime pictures...this one turned out really cool.
This was at about 11:15pm
View past Nyhavn into Kongens Nytorv
Gorgeous boats

Today, we started the morning off right with some fresh pastries from our corner bakery. Then, Kayla and I went back out for a bit to grab lunch and finish up some shopping, and along the way we said goodbye to many of our favorite places. Then we came back to pack up the majority of our things so that they can be stored at DIS while we're on our study tour. Fortunately, I think i'm in good shape on weight this time...I hope, anyway! It was an interesting experience having to lug our huge wheeled suitcases down the cobblestone streets of København...but we succeeded. We came back tonight & enjoyed fixing our last dinner together. It was a good one, despite the fact that we were cleaning out the fridge.

Our morning pastries. Delicious!
My amazing sandwich from Vero Italiano--Smoked salmon, avocado, cucumbers, lettuce, tomato, & lemon pesto sauce on wheat bread.
Our last supper--whole wheat pasta with chicken & veggies.
It seems like our lives have revolved around food here...but at least it's been good food!

It still hasn't hit me yet that we're really done with Denmark because we're getting ready for Croatia. Every time I've left this apartment for a trip I've been able to come back and settle in for another night in my bed here. That's not the case this time. As I went through the motions of the day today, I kept thinking to myself that Kayla and I were doing so many things for the last time. We walked to Nørreport from DIS for the last time. We walked from our Amagerbro metro station to our kollegium for the last time. We fixed our last dinner in our little kitchen tonight. We're going to sleep in these little comfy beds for the last time. Tomorrow morning will be so strange to lock our very empty apartment's door and say goodbye to Øresundskollegiet for good.

But that's enough sappiness for one night, I believe. Tomorrow at 8:45 we're heading to the airport to fly Croatia Airlines to Zagreb. We'll stay in Zagreb for 3 nights, then go to Split for one night. Fortunately we'll have internet at our hotel in Zagreb so I'll definitely be able to update! I'm really looking forward to being in this country, mostly because it is going to be SO much different from both the US and Denmark. So, hej hej, goodbye, for next post will be from Zagreb!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

min yndlings ting

It's sad to say, but my time in København is very much coming to a close. Sunday morning, we leave for Croatia, leaving behind our apartment and this life to which we've become so accustomed. Kayla and I are trying to race to the finish, getting everything done that we've wanted to do. Of course some things will not be completed, but we're doing our best to get the most important things in. With that in mind, I've decided to compile a list of min yndlings ting,my favorite things, about living in København. Unfortunately, I've realized that the majority of those things involve food, but've gotta do what you've gotta do.

1. Kayla Stanley
Kayla has been the source of so many fun times and laughs throughout this trip. It's funny how often we're on the same page...even if it takes us several days to acknowledge that thing. I'm a little disappointed it's taken me this long to get to know her (we go to school together at Meredith but weren't even facebook friends until a couple months ago). Better yet, she enjoys all the same foods I do. It's a rarety... We're already planning Denmark reunion events so we can give our friends a little taste of our life here.

2. Oscar Bar Cafe
Oscar is our favorite fancy lunch spot. We stumbled upon it the first week of classes, and I am so glad that we did. Every time I've eaten there, I've had an omlette with spinach and goat cheese. It's too good not to order again. Also, I need to add that it's a gay bar. We didn't realize that when we went the first it explains some of the strange looks we got.

3. The Metro
Riding the metro from Amagerbro Station to Nørreport every morning before school or hitting the town just makes me feel like a real person. That may sound silly, but I just think that it's really nice that we actually get to live on our own in København, and we don't have to live in a DIS commune. I also really appreciate the slight Danish lesson we've received from listening to Metro the voiceover woman saying the names of the stops. I'm pretty sure Kayla and I can at least say those pretty well...

4. My blonde hair
This dye-job was probably one of my better decisions here. Really, it just makes me happy. That's enough of a reason, right?

5. Onions & Mushrooms
Kayla and I decided that the theme to our cooking has been "let's cook anything we can put sauteed mushrooms & onions in". For some reason, these HUGE mushrooms and little baby onions we've found in the markets here just taste SO wonderful with everything.

6. Avocado sandwiches from the bagel shop by DIS
This has been my lunch on several occasions...and I've devoured it every time, I think. Multigrain bagel with cream cheese, avocado, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, arugula, and pesto sauce. I'm probably going to need to figure out a way to recreate this at home...too bad the bagels at home aren't as seedy & delicious as this one.

7. My practicum
It's been such an awesome opportunity to be able to have a practicum as part of my regular course work & studies here in Denmark. It's really awesome to see what goes on here, but also to be appreciated for being with the kids. Tomorrow I'm going to the school for one last time to say goodbye to the kids & pedagogues, especially one of the kids who has become a friend.

8. Cooking in our Kitchen
Kayla and I have thoroughly enjoyed all of the cooking endeavors in our kitchen here. I know I've already mentioned this fact a few times, but I feel a need to reiterate it. Monday we sauteed up onions, mushrooms, blackbeans, artichokes, and sundried tomatoes and served the concoction over wholewheat pasta. It was delicious and beautiful.

9. Blending in
Okay, so this picture doesn't exactly depict me blending in, but it's one of my more "danish" outfits. I'm pretty proud of it, myself. I have this natural desire to blend in wherever I go and it's hit me hard here. There have been several occasions lately where people have asked me questions in Danish (such as for directions, etc.). That's a good sign, right? Now, hopefully my new danish clothing items/style will translate into my NC wardrobe well enough...

10. The charm of this city
København isn't actually that big of a city, but every day I love seeing a new bit of it. I love that people bike everywhere. I love the mustard and red houses. I love that everything is so green. I love all the city squares. Basically I just love it.