Thursday, July 16, 2009

home sweet home copenhagen.

last night we finally arrived back in denmark, after traveling from finland, to sweden, to denmark within 24 hours. quite a feat, i must say. all thanks to jasper, bus driver extrodinaire.

stockholm was pretty amazing, we got to walk around the city and do some exploring by public transportation. later that night we went out with some 'b' team members to a local bar, met some local swedes, almost got into a fight with the local swedes, and then finally made it in for the night. the next day we were off to a huuuuge cemetary, a modern museum, an architecture museum, and then a viking museum. let me tell you, the viking museum was the most impressive and fun, probs just because we didn't have to worry about design or architecture anymore, even though i did point out some interesting points about the architecture of the building. they had some bones and skeletons there, and that deff. interested me the most there. after all the museums, it was off to our first over night ferry/viking cruise. we spent hours on the top deck just watching the scenery pass out, enjoyed the wonderful weather, and finally made it to open waters. after taking a shot with our teachers of oringinal BLĂ… (a vodka with a strong hint of menthol, disgusting), we went downstairs to get ready for our huge viking buffet, where the wine was on tap and unlimited, enjoyed the house wine, went to open mic night and got a few more drinks from the boys, went to the dance floor, and danced the night away.

the next morning was an early one, but the day was totally worth it. we got to visit alvar aalto's home and studio/office, and ended the day looking at showrooms around helsinki with more aalto furniture. we checked in to our HOTEL in helsinki which was absolutely amazing, and it was the first time i had seen a bath tub since i left the states. allegra, brekke, and i ended up going to dinner at a place called 'amarillo' which was a very americanized restaurant. felt nice to kind of feel 'at home.'

the next morning was another early one, we went to an auditorium, hvittrask (the home and studio of eliel saarinen), paimio (the tb sanatorium designed by aalto), and ended the day at korhonen (another furniture manufacturer). we then checked into our second over night ferry/viking cruise, ate our last viking buffet, and i ended up going to bed early because i had been feeling sick all day. which i'm glad i did because i felt better the next day, but i did miss out on my teachers dancing that night. oh well, i at least got to see the videos and pictures of it.

finally, our last early morning (aka 5:30am), we drove a total of 10 hours on wednesday, made a two hour pit stop at ikea where we saw part of their testing site, part of their prototype site, and then finally the museum. we made it back to copenhagen at 7:30pm, where i just immediately wanted to get 'home,' eat some dinner, so some laundry, upload my pictures, and then get to bed. i'm glad i got to talk to you before bed last night, it's so good to hear your voice...

today we have class for a few hours, then i need to go 'home' and work on my paper, clean my room, do some more homework, and then a bunch of us are going to the midnight viewing of harry potter here in copenhagen. well, i better head out of here so i can finish getting ready for class. hope this update was enough to keep you all entertained. pictures will be uploaded onto my facebook sometime soon, so check there in the next day or so. i'll be back in a few days, don't miss me too much, 36 more days until i'm back in the states.


Friday, July 10, 2009

"interesting fact, we are on a bridge."

so today we arrived in stockholm, sweden after riding in a bus for nine hours, a ferry for two hours, and spending one hour in a showroom. we did get to eat at a huge, fancy manor house with some delicious shrimp and salmon for food. it was a nice surprise. the food has been very much appreciated on the trip so far. tomorrow is going to be a busy day as we are going to take the train around stockholm to see a couple showrooms, a culture house, the city library, a museum, and an old city church. we also get to meet up with the 'b' team which will be nice to see those people on the 'other' side again. another thing that i've been impressed with is the hostels that we are staying in. i will be posting pictures when i get back to copenhagen, as i was not smart enough to think to bring along my connector for my camera to start uploading pictures; as there will be hundreds and possibly thousands of pictures to update. i was, however, a smart one to bring along my computer to at least gain internet access, and also i brought along my pillow, in which many are upset/jealous. what can i say, i'm one smart cookie.. sometimes.

but overall, this trip has been absolutely amazing. one more night in stockholm, off to helsinki by ferry for a couple days, back to stockholm for a couple days, and then finally back to copenhagen. it'll be nice to finally get back to my room, relax, get everything back in order, and then get started on my project. i am also excited to get back and hopefully get some nice, warm copenhagen weather that we had before we left. well i should probs get off seeing as i am next in line for the shower, and i have to be up early, once again. so long, farewell, and i will see those in the states in 42 days. not like i'm counting down or anything.


ps. i read your card every night before i fall asleep...

Thursday, July 9, 2009

pink beer?

well, wednesday we left for our 8-day excursion to western denmark, sweden, and finland.
we're hitting up skanderborg, aalborg, stockholm, helsinki, and turku.
we will be attending two overnight ferry cruises which also have saunas and viking buffets on board.
we will also be visiting ikea in stockholm.
the weather has been nice and sunny and warm for the most part, so i'm crossing my fingers that the rain and the cold doesn't come out to play any time soon.

wednesday we left for western denmark at 7:00am sharp and went to skanderborg where we went to a metal manufacturer, a church with a cemetery around it, and also a veneer manufacturer.  after a long day of picture taking and sketching and walking, we finally made it to our hostel destination in the middle of the woods.  it was really pretty because it was surrounded by a lake and lots of trees, so the nature was beautiful and it was nice to just take it all in.  we got served with a most delicious dinner, with delicious dessert that followed, and proceeded to have a camp fire with many drinks and laughs and again, more pictures (some with our teachers).  such a long day.

thursday morning (today) we woke up early and again, had a most amazing breakfast, made our lunches, and got on the road again.  we went to a danish art museum that featured a bunch of chairs that we've been studying, a university, townhall in aalborg, and again, another church.  we got to go on top of the townhall where the bell tower was, and we also met the mayor.  many more pictures and sketches were taken and drawn, and we ended up the night driving to our hostel and watching a danish film.  this hostel was again by water, and we were served another amazing dinner, with more amazing dessert, and we ended up walking to a bar about half an hour away from our hostel with our teachers where me and allegra had pink beer.  yup, that's right, we had raspberry belgium pale ale beer and it was amazing.  

by this time tomorrow we will be in stockholm sweden.  we have an early breakfast, then we jump on the bus a couple hours to get to our ferry, and then take our ferry to sweden.  once we get in sweden we will be going to a furniture showroom, dinner with the 'a' team, and then we have the night to ourselves to go explore.  

i can't believe that already tomorrow i'm going to be in sweden, and then two days later i'll be in finland.  it's such an unreal feeling that i'm going to three countries within three days.  so much to do and we still have six more days left on this adventure.  i am honestly having the time of my life seeing all that i see, meeting new people and having new friends, and just being in europe is such an unbelievable and exciting journey.  there will be more to come, but i must head off to bed because again, i have to be up in about less than six hours.  this waking up business does not fly with me, but i know as soon as my head hits the pillow i will be out.  early morning and long days, along with long nights has been crazy, but it's been worth every minutes.  i miss all my friends and i miss my boo, but i'll be back in 43 days.  it is going to go by so fast (for me at least), and before you know it, i'll be back in all your lives.  miss you all!


Monday, July 6, 2009

double two's.

so today was my twenty second birthday.
and it was deff. all i could ask for and it was so much fun.
i woke up and went to lectures.
ran some errands.
had some amazing pastries and cake with some of my good friends.

went back and took a nap.
worked on homework.
talked to my boy...
and then got ready to go out.
we went to the australian bar.
where the 'a' team proceeded to lose every game in pool.
but that's okay, i got a free drink from the bartender.
and took two shots.
plus a vodka cranberry (classic kim).
and we finished it with food from burger king.
overall, it was so much fun, and i'm glad i have the friends that i do here.
of course, it was a little different being away from all my family and friends and him...
but i made the most of it.
and i'm glad i did.
because it was amazing.
so thank you jerry, ari, nick, christian, sara, and dave.


Sunday, July 5, 2009

i guess it's time..

so i've been in europe for over a week now.  i flew out of chicago friday night, june 26th and left someone behind that i wish i didn't have to...  but so far, europe has been amazing.  it has been everything i thought it would be, and more.

saturday afternoon, june 27th, i arrived in london, england around 12:00pm. being there was just a surreal feeling, just knowing that i was in another country, away from family and friends, and about to have the time of my life.  after getting my luggage, taking a train and a taxi out to my cousin, and dropping off my luggage at her place, we immediately went to go sight seeing since i didn't' have that much time there.  in about three-four hours out in london, we saw wesminster abbey, big ben, the eye, tower of london, tower bridge, and oxford street.  walking around in london was just amazing to me, just all the architecture, the environment, the people, it was all just a whole new experience.  i'll admit it, my favorite part was while i was on the tube, i sat a crossed from two asians who had the thickest british accents ever, and i was loving every second of it, so cute.  i thought chicago downtown was busy, but i was quite shocked to see all the people in london.  i'm glad i wasn't the only tourist taking pictures at everything.  after walking around to all the places in london, we went back to her flat to meet up with some of her friends, and then we went out to go to a pub (that didn't serve food after 7pm, strange), so we went to a thai place instead.  by that time, it was around 11pmish and although i wanted to go out, i knew it probs wasn't the best idea since i had to be up at 4am to walk back to the train to catch my 7am flight to copenhagen, denmark.  so we called it a night and i couldn't sleep at all that night because i was nervous, excited, and ready to be in denmark.  after almost missing my train at paddington station, i made it to the airport, buy my london shot glass, get on my two hour flight, and arrive in copenhagen, denmark, where it was 80 degrees, warm, and sunny.  such a pleasant surprise.

my first experience in copenhagen wasn't the greatest only because my taxi to my hostel was around $50, which anywhere i go in chicago is no more than $20, so i wasn't expecting that.  at this point of arriving to my hostel, i just wanted to take a breather and relax for a bit.  my hostel room has eight beds, so i claim a top bunk, rest for about an hour, and then go out exploring around the city.  and i was surprisingly shocked at what i was seeing.  again, the architecture of the city was amazing, the people, my surroundings, just everything.  i lived right by the harbour, i was a two minute walk away from this amazing place called tivoli, and about a five minute walk from the city center.  i walked up and down the main shopping street and then headed back to the hostel for a nap. after that i did more walking around, down by the harbour, and just took it all in, and was being just another tourist, taking pictures, of everything.  the next day, i did more walking around the harbour, more exploring in the city, found out where my school was, where the central (train) station was, read my book down by the harbour while the sun was setting (ps, the sun sets around 1030pm here, and it still doesn't really get dark until about midnightish or so), and ended my day listening to open mic night at my hostel while enjoying a $10 glass of wine.  one of the songs the guitarist played was 'sweet home chicago' and it brought a tear to my eye.  crazy.
after that night, i went to the airport to meet up with some people flying in for the program, went back to the city for orientation, and had another walking tour around the city.  it's just, so unreal that i'm here, seeing all of these amazing buildings and architecture, and i still pinch myself to make sure i'm not in a dream or anything.  the next few days went by so fast.  

tuesday = orientation, city walk, and then we went to our kollegiums (dorms).
again, surprised at how nice my room is, where it's located, and how nice everyone is here.

wednesday = introduction to our programs, welcome to copenhagen, the history of copenhagen, and then a boat/canal tour of the city.  again, more picture taken  after the tour, we had to have mexican food, which i spent $30 on, but totally worth every cent/ore.

thursday = field study tours around the city.  we got to see two churches, two manufacturing plants, and a showroom.  more pictures, more mind blowing experiences. so many pictures.

friday = first day of lectures, all day long.  9:00am-5:00pm.  long day, but totally worth it.  after that friends and i went to the opening premiere of 'public enemies' in copenhagen.  totally worth my $15.

saturday = lectures most of the day, 9am-3pm.  we tried our best to find fireworks, but they're illegal in denmark in july because the only time they have them is for new years.  so after that fail, i made dinner with my friend sara and then we headed to the city for drinks on the street.  met up with some friends and went to a few bars, and then headed down to the harbour to finish our last beers and just relax.

today, sunday the 5th is our first day off, so we all decided to just sleep in and relax for a bit.  in a little bit i will eat my frosties (frosted flakes) with 1.5% milk, take a shower, and then we are off to our first museum in the city.  

i have made so many new friends already, and i'm sure there is only so many more to come.  i have also taken so many pictures, and i'm scared to show them all in fear that you will all get sick of them/jealous that i am here.  haha.  but alas, i will probs post most of them on my book of faces, so have a look there.  i could go on forever and ever about everything so far, and could go into so much detail about what i've all seen so far, but that would probs be boring for most of you.  this post has already been long because it's of the past week, but i promise it won't be this long next time around.  i'll post pictures to give you highlights of my days and whatnot.  tomorrow is my 22nd birthday, which we only have class 9am-11am, so we plan on celebrating it the rest of the day.  ha.  wish you could be here with me for it, but it won't be long until i'm back now... wednesday we leave for our 8 day study tour to west denmark, sweden, and finland.  not sure how much internet access i'll have, and i deff won't have phone access, but i'll update as much as possible so i can make most of you jealous of where i've been and where i'm going.  well i should probs end it here on that note, i'll be back in the states in approximately 47 days, so don't you miss me too much, i'll be back before you know it and then you'll hate having me around.  i will say this, the seven hour time distance will take some time getting used to, but it hasn't been terrible so far because i still have internet to keep in touch with most of you, and i still get to hear your voice almost every day now... well, everyone, i hope you enjoyed your fourth of july in the states, and i am sure you will hear from me soon.  i miss you all, and i will be back in a few weeks, but for the time being, i am enjoying every second i am here and will never forget this once in a life time chance that i have over here.  

the end.