Thursday, June 30, 2011

Old School Scandinavia and Boat Touring

As an introduction to the city that is hosting us for a summer abroad, the good people at the Danish Institute for Study Abroad arrange for us to take a boat tour around the city.  

Great Brandini

Old Submarine Station converted into Apartments

Luxury Apartments built on existing silos

We had our first study tour today to an open museum just north of the city of Copenhagen.  We had a 4 hour, crash-course/refresher in freehand sketching this morning and then we were bussed to this large plot of land that contained some very old Scandinavian buildings.  

School's In!

Well we're off to the races.

School has started here in Copenhagen.  We are 4 of roughly 150 students from across the US and other countries that have an interest in design and wanted to study abroad.  So far school begins at 8:30AM and goes straight through until about 5 or 6PM.  Long days.

Our school in Copenhagen (like most places in Copenhagen, in fact) either does not have air conditioning or chooses not to use it.   Our first couple of days in Denmark were rainy and cool, but lately it has been very hot and humid, so sitting in the same classroom for the majority of the day get's pretty old pretty quickly.

Our first studio project, which assigned on Wednesday, is due this coming Monday.  We work in groups for this first project, and come Monday, we will be given our assignment for the rest of our time here, where we'll be working by ourselves.

We have definitely settled in nicely, finding the cheaper places to eat, drink and socialize.  They have this liquor called Fisherman's here which tastes like cough medicine, and Akvavit (sp?) which is just straight up dangerous.  Hot dogs must be the Danish "go-to" for food...they're everywhere and it seems Tim has developed a little bit of an addiction toward the Danish delight.

It seems our little vacation before school has come to an end, and the business side of our trip has begun.  Entertainment and adventure still awaits us though I would assume...

Monday, June 27, 2011

So This Was Promoted at Orientation Today

Today was orientation, and after meeting some of our other classmates, we were instructed by those working at the school that this was the best way to enjoy the rest of our day...I leave you with this.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

It's a School Night

Yup.  That's right.  School starts tomorrow.  And I think myself, the Great One, Lynchy and Timbo are all ready to start.  We self-admittedly had it easy the last quarter at NewSchool in San Diego but now it's time to get going.  We are looking forward to meeting students from all over to study and travel with and see what kind of perspective we get from Danish instructors.  This Could Go Anywhere.

The last bit of our weekend was spent walking around taking in a little more of this city.  We actually ate at a Thai Festival...go Copenhagen.

How Many Americans Does it Take to Work a Danish Washer and Dryer?...

...Four.  The answer is four.  After 2 days, several google searches, trial and error, and eventually the insight of some very nice Danish ladies...we finally have some grasp on how to use our washer and dryer.

So on Friday, my birthday, we decided to check out this "celebration" at one of the most interesting places I have ever visited...Christiana, a self-declared independent nation outside of Denmark.  A hippie commune.  We were told by many locals we needed to check out the events there so we assembled our crew and walked over.  Wow.  All I can say is Wow.  Words really can't begin to explain the scene we walked into.  Hippies, drugs, booze, crazy people and rock and roll.  Photos were no allowed within the limits of this insanity or else you better believe I would have made a flip book out of them.  My only description is it wasn't the place I had imagined spending my we left pretty early.  And not a minute too soon as we walked by what seemed like half of the Danish Police force who were in the process of raiding the joint...Happy Birthday Steve.

We emerged unscathed and decided to grab some beers for the walk across town.

Birthday celebrations continued as we found a bar close to our apartment that had a Brooklyn Brewery neon sign in the window...need I say more.  I'd like to say we closed the bar down but it's almost impossible to in this city as bars seem to close whenever they feel.  Also since the sun rarely sets here, you kind of just keep going.  Looking at a clock saying it's 3:30AM with the sun up is something that is beyond bizarre.  All in all, good birthday though.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Copenhagen...well alright

Copenhagen.......a very interesting place indeed.

We're still new in this foreign city and it shows.  The locals haven't necessarily been too receptive of us yet...probably because we have been bumbling around and complaining about how expensive it is here.  We're getting the hang of it and finally have left the hostel to our apartment.  And it couldn't have happened any sooner.

Living in such close quarters, even with some of your best friends can be a bit trying.  We have definitely been a bit snappy and tired but are learning to deal with it and we are all very relieved to be settled in preparing for school on Monday.  We have been testing the local bars, walking around in awe to how old this freakin city is compared to anything we have seen in America.

-Why is your weather so chaotic?  It rains on and off and temperatures are high and low all in one day.
-Why does the sun rarely go away?  Yesterday, on the Summer Solstice, (which the freaky-deaky Dutch celebrate like it's the 4th of July) the sun was up and shining until sometime after midnight...and was rising around 4AM in the morning.  Really?
-Why do your cab drivers drive Mercedes?
-Why do you put marinara sauce on your cheeseburgers?
-Why does your Burger King's compliment your order with mayo and hot "cheese" sauce?  No complaints, just didn't see that one coming.
-Why can't you convince America to allow it's citizens to walk around freely and drink?

Anyways, tonight there is some "event" in one of the neighborhoods here.  A neighborhood which is a hippie commune that apparently has little to no laws/regulations, and no street lights...stay tuned for whatever else Copenhagen is trying to tell us.

9 Time Zones, 40 Hours

Finally in Copenhagen...

After 2 days, 3 plane rides, 2 train rides and a lack of sleep we finally have all met up in Copenhagen.  Tim and I successfully met up with the other 2 guys we're going to school with, The Great Brandini and Shauny Lynch the Canadian.  It seems Brandon had a relatively easy flight on his magic carpet.

Tim and I for sure thought that we had the roughest travels...not true.

Shaun left San Diego on Tuesday, connecting through Chicago and Amsterdam.  While in Chicago he was grounded for countless hours because of high winds and a tornado warning...and VP Joey Biden decided on a pop-in to the Chicago area.  This delay caused ol' Shauny to miss his connecting flight in Amsterdam where he had to purchase another ticket from there to Copenhagen....oh yeah, and the airline lost his bag.  


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

London in 24hrs

Our stop in London is brief and really only a longer layover...but a combined 7 hours of sleep, some coffee and our American determination would prevail...

Day Wasters

I think we found out how we got such cheap airfare from San Diego to London...ladies and gentlemen, seats 34E and 34F on American really can't beat that view.

After a quiet and scenic flight into one of my personal favorite cities, Dallas, we had the fortune of killing a couple hours before our connecting flight to London.  On the runway, we were notified that the left engine of our plane was non-responsive and malfunctioning, and we all agreed that perhaps we better get that looked, more time to spend in Dallas.  Winning.

A 30 minute wait, led to a 90 minute wait, to an even longer wait.  Instead of leaving Dallas at 4:50PM their time, we got going closer to an 8:30PM departure.  Tim had a window seat and had the pleasure of sitting next to Howard, a big man with an even bigger heart.  I was one of the lucky SOB's to got to ride in the middle of the middle section of the plane and ended up acting as a pillow for both the man to my left and girl to my right.  It's ok, that plane ride was only 8.5 hours long.

We eventually made it, with all of our luggage successfully joining us on the trip, and a rather painless ride from the airport to our hostel.  

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Last Day In San Diego

First attempt at blogging...again, this could go anywhere.

After talking with another travel buddy, we're in agreement that we're both borderline on having mental breakdowns...who would have thought that planning and waiting for a trip like this to arrive would be so nerve wracking?

T-Minus 23 hours until "leg 1" of the trip to Copenhagen and...
Packing = incomplete
Errands = incomplete
Last bit of schoolwork for the quarter = incomplete

But on the plus side, I have 3 pairs of underwear that claims I need only wash it once a I got that going for me.

Last full day in sunny San Diego...yikes.