This will be my last entry in Denmark. Even though I was in the country for 4.5 days, I didn’t really go out much because all my relatives had to go to work and I was too unfamiliar with the public transportation system in Skjern and Copenhagen (I previously lived in Aarhus) to really go off on my own.
But anyway, where did I leave off yesterday? Ah, Skjern. Skjern is a very small, quaint town. A lot of stores and shops have popped up since the last time I visited, but it’s still very peaceful and quiet. So peaceful and quiet that I have a hard time writ– yawn – sorry, where was I?
They really love their red bricks and roofs here:
My uncle let me tag along while he went to get his computer fixed. Skjern is so small that we had to drive to the next town to get to that computer store. On the way we saw some scenery, and I have to warn you, they get pretty exciting…
Just look at this grass:
Ooh, a peek at the ocean:
Oh look, the famous Danish turbines:
Too much for ya?
Fun fact: The majority of the world’s wind turbines are produced by a Danish company, Vestas. I learned this last time when my journalism class assigned students to go to Copenhagen for a week and write an environmental story.
Funner fact: after that class trip, I was transcribing my interview, accidentally pressed something on the camcorder and recorded over most of my interview footage.
Edit: OK, because I didn’t really have a lot of photos this time around, and I’m feeling nostalgic, I’m going to add some old ones from 2008:
These are some photos of my classmates island-hopping from Aarhus to Copenhagen:
A photo of us sitting by the canal, eating our dinner.
Isn’t this gorgeous? Doesn’t this look like a beautiful scene right out of a Hans Christian Andersen story (you know, before all the usual tragic, gruesome and dismembering stuff happens)?
During the summer, they usually have outdoor movies. We watched “No Country For Old Men.”
Our orphanage-like hostel:
Anyway, enough about me. You’re here to learn about Skjern and its awesomeness:
This is the Skjern train station:
Here is a statue of a grumpy Viking in front of the train station:
Here is a Fakta grocery store. I have good memories because this is the chain that I relied on when I lived in Aarhus:
At around 4:40 in the afternoon, my mom and I (my brother had gone to Odense to visit my cousin) boarded the train to go back to Copenhagen. We had a one-hour layover in Esberj, and finally arrived in Copenhagen at 10 p.m. Quite of a journey for a country that has only 10 percent the land mass that California has. But as I said before: islands.
A restroom sign at the Copenhagen train station; ooh the Danes and their cheeky humor:
The next morning, I woke up with a slight cold. My other uncle and his girlfriend took us grocery shopping. I’ve previously noticed that the Danes love their fresh-squeezed orange juice a lot; they don’t really care for that pre-bottled “made from concentrate” stuff. (By the way, note to Americans: the comma and decimals work the opposite way in Europe. For example, 1,5 liter means 1 point 5 liters and 4.000 means 4 thousand. That mix-up caused me grief when I was paying my rent here).
I thought this was like the coolest thing ever:
Then there was this, a fish market on a truck. Say what?
Yes, I know these are not that exciting nor representative of a Danish vacation, but when you’ve been cooped up in the house all day, you take what you can get. At this point, you can show me an outhouse and I’ll post pictures of it.
That night my cousin threw a lovely dinner party with Danish food. My cousins made roast pork with potatoes and pesto/parsley sauce. My uncle’s girlfriend also made a bunch of food, including baking a cake. She’s a whiz with food and she doesn’t use shortcuts at all. She makes everything from scratch, including pasta (like she made the dough and everything). Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures of those foods.
That night my cousins wanted to go out clubbing. Normally I would say “yes!” but 1) I was feeling sick and 2) our flight was the next morning and we still hadn’t packed yet.
So instead, I just said “yes…” without the exclamation mark. Luckily I had a long nap during the day because I was bored. After my brother and I finished packing at 1 a.m., my cousin drove us downtown:
We waited in line for some club named Flamingo:
But my cousin, Vivi, was turned away from Flamingo because she’s not yet 21. Seriously, Denmark? In a country where people can legally drink at 16, where teachers brought us a keg as an orientation present, and where our college had a beer vending machine…going to a dance club is where you draw the line?
Luckily nearby was a club called Miami (I really don’t know how they pick these names) that was 18 and over:
My cousins got us a bunch of Jägerbombs:
I’m usually a beer and sometimes Long Island iced tea kind of guy, I’ve never had Jägerbombs before (especially since I once wrote an article about the dangers of mixing alcohol with energy drinks), but they were delicious. But I only had two because I was feeling sick and nauseated.
Then we headed to the dance floor. I took more pictures because at this point I feel I owe it to my amazing audience of 4 to 5 people who read these blog entries:
Some fire drink thing going on over here:
After that we went outside for some fresh air, and I felt my nose running. I wiped it and it was blood. I was bleeding, and I guess, sicker than I had thought. So at 3:30 a.m., my cousin the designated driver and I left the club to go home early, and the others stayed behind an hour more.
At 6:30 a.m. we all woke up and had breakfast, then we headed to the airport around 8 a.m. This time, to be safe, we weighed our carry-ons and my cousins helped us re-distribute the weight, and we paid for two extra check-in luggage, and what do you know, the airport staff didn’t even weigh our carry-ons.
At that point, I was full-blown sick. I had a fever and when you’re sick, your ear pressure changes, so during the short flight to Sweden–not going to sugarcoat it–my ears and brain felt like they were going to explode. My ears popped but wouldn’t unpop.
I tried to distract myself by taking some pictures through my window. This is the Øresund Bridge, the longest combined bridge in Europe, and at one point, the world:
Oh look, pretty clouds:
Then we had a four-hour layover, and during that whole time I was mostly deaf. I googled all the tricks, like yawning, to unpop my ears but none of them worked. Luckily on the long flight to Oakland, we boarded the Dreamliner, which has a high-tech artificial cabin pressure system, so my ears didn’t feel as bad. I was feverish with a bloody nose, and yet for some reason I was mostly worried about grossing out any other passengers.
Here are some nice photos I took from the window. You can’t tell from this perspective, but the engine was MASSIVE, like the size of a house:
We crossed over some amazing sights, including this frozen underwater mountain range:
And ah, back to Oakland.
This was my first time flying through the Oakland Airport. The Oakland Airport might be less pretty and popular than its glamorous sister, the San Francisco Airport, but I loved it for one reason: we just zoomed through customs! Usually at SFO, when I disembark an international flight, I have to spend at least an hour going through customs. But at the Oakland Airport, we American citizens got to stand in this short line that took probably 5-10 minutes and the customs agents were so nice and friendly to us and said “Welcome home!”, while all the non-U.S. citizens had to stand in this long, winding line so they can be asked stuff like “Are you a terrorist?”
Yay for being American! Normally I feel bad about privileged stuff like this, but hey I was so sick, I didn’t mind cutting in line.
Well…that ends my 2014 Eurotrip. I hope you have enjoyed reading my entries.