One of my favorite things about traveling in one place for an extended period of time is befriending locals who want to take you under their wing and even home with them if you’re lucky. Helle, who I’ve talked about a fair amount—and who has come to visit me in California and New York and Tennessee—is such a friend. In the eight months I lived in Denmark, I feel like I spent more time at her dad’s house in Kolding than I did in my own flat in Aarhus.
It was this weekend four years ago that I made my first visit to the Danish seaport, the seventh largest municipality in the country. In Denmark, for Christmas and Easter, there is a feast of mammoth proportions that you cannot even believe—sometimes as many as 13 courses, maybe more, each accompanied by a shot of foul-tasting schnapps. Although we’d moved to Denmark just after Christmas, Helle’s father Jan held a belated celebration so a few of us could partake in the traditions.
As you can imagine, largely due to said schnapps, I can’t really regale you with what happened the remainder of the night (mostly because after puking in the snow and returning inside the bar for more tequila shots, I don’t remember a whole lot)—let’s just say it resulted in me passing out in the local supermarket the following day—but the following days of exploring the quaint Danish town were lovely, hangover or not.
One of the things I loved about living in Denmark was the winter. (Simultaneously, one of the things I hated about Denmark was the winter.) Growing up in the South, I was never accustomed to a whole lot of snow; we would miss an average of one week of school a year, and it was often for frozen rain, not even powder. I was, however, used to temps well below freezing, and while I don’t prefer they stick around for a long while, I do like the shock to the system every now and again. Even as I write this from snowy Tahoe, I must say I miss having defined seasons.
I had heard Denmark’s winters weren’t as harsh as one would think. In fact, the Tennessee alum who went on my program the year before said he rarely saw snow and that the spring thaw began in early March. I’m sure it comes as no surprise then that I rarely saw a day without the white stuff—or black slush as it would turn into in the city—until early June.
But get out of the city, and the snow and ice were always oh so beautiful.
I miss Denmark. I miss the carefree days of no worries, no responsibility. I miss its simplicity.
I miss the fairy tale-like beauty all of its small towns seemed to possess.
Most of all, I miss the people with whom I shared it.
(Lucky for me, the most important one of all will be with me for many adventures to come.)
*Pre-DSLR days, so shot with a Canon PowerShot A590.
**For more Photo Friday fun, visit Delicious Baby.