Posted by: Meghan | April 16, 2010

Copenhagen, Strasbourg, and homesickness

Dana and I went to Strasbourg last weekend, and it was simply wonderful!  We rented bikes on Saturday afternoon and rode all around the city.  Strasbourg is in Alsace, which is right on the border of Germany (there were several wars and times it went back and forth between France and Germany in the past), and there’s a lot of German influence.

We had some traditional Alsacien food- tarte flambee for lunch on Saturday, which is kind of like a very thin pizza with no tomato sauce, but with cheese, vegetables and/or meat.  Quite delicious.  On Sunday for lunch  we had spatzel (which is actually pronounced schpetzel) apparently, which is a traditonal German pasta- also delicious.

(I’m starting to get a little tired of cathedrals…)

We went to an open air book market, biked to the botanical gardens and took a boat tour.  (Dana was sick this weekend- she still is a little sick- and we had gotten up early to get the train, so she fell asleep on the boat tour.)

Back to Easter weekend in Copenhagen-

We took a canal tour on Saturday, right after I arrived.  Unfortunately the Little Mermaid statue that usually sits in the harbor was not there- it left a few days earlier for an International Expo in China (and it’s the first time it’s ever left! Just my luck!) We walked around the city a lot on Saturday, climbed up the church I mentioned in my last post, and visited Freetown Christiana, which is a section of Copenhagen that has declared itself independent of the Danish government.  It used to be a lot wilder than it is, with drugs and violence, but know it’s just sort of a little hippie commune that attracts a lot of tourists.

We saw this weird looking bike on our walk on Saturday afternoon.

On Easter morning, some of Elizabeth’s friends from her Danish class hosted an Easter brunch, and they had everyone bring traditional Easter foods from their countries (the 3 guys that hosted it were Polish.)  So on Easter I had Polish sausage and bread, Swiss rolls, an Austrian coffeecake/breakfast bread, Russian pancakes and of course, eggs.  So much food!  It was a lot of fun, and definitely delicious.  The girl from Austria, Claudia, was from Innsbruck, and she was very surprised that I had heard of it- and thought it was weird that I knew it because of the Olympics, since they were in the 60s and 70s- little does she know how much I love the Olympics!

We happened upon this store while walking to the cemetery. (I have no idea (neither did Elizabeth) why they used the name Tim).

Monday morning (France has the Monday after Easter off), Elizabeth took me to the cemetery in Copenhagen, which was really beautiful.  Hans Christian Andersen, Kierkegaard and Niels Bohr are all buried there.

A few things about Denmark- they all speak English really, really well.  And they’re really very friendly- I had several people smile at me on the street, just because, which really never happens in Paris.  Also- everyone bikes, and everyone pushes their babies around in these giant strollers that look like bassinets on wheels.

It’s a little hard to see, but this is “The Sports Bar” in the Copenhagen airport, which as you may be able to see on the bottom the sign, means the Bruins, Red Sox, Celtics and Patriots- again, no idea why they chose Boston teams- but I like the idea!

I’m mostly down with my traveling until the very end- I’m planning on taking a few day trips over the next few weeks- to Giverny and Mont Saint Michel, but no big overnight journeys.  I can’t believe it’s so close to being over- Dad will get here on May 6, which is exactly 3 weeks from tomorrow- crazy!  To be honest, I’m kind of glad- homesickness is definitely setting in.  They warned us at the beginning of the program that after a few weeks, we’d reach a saturation point and just be tired of French and France- and I really didn’t reach that point earlier.  Now, however, I just want an English newspaper (which I could find, but they’re expensive), a bagel, and a shower that doesn’t involve a nozzle I have to hold.  I guess I’m lucky that this didn’t happen earlier (although there are a few things I’ve been missing all along- Cheerios! Peanut butter!), and it’s really not that bad, especially knowing that I’ll be home in a little over four weeks.  Also, Dana’s mother was so sweet and when she sent Dana chunky peanut butter, she sent me some creamy!  So that’s going to be a big part of my diet for the next few weeks!  Also, I know that missing things now means I will enjoy them even more when I get back (and that doesn’t even take in to account missing all of you!)

P.S. I wrote this a few days ago, and since then have received my Easter package from Mom- and let me just say, Girl Scout cookies do wonders for homesickness!

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