We take the short cut
or the scenic route?
Let’s take the short cut.
But the scenic route is so much prettier.
Okay, let’s take the scenic route.
It’s actually slightly quicker anyway.
Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)
The realisation that summer will soon be ending always awakens a certain urge in me. This little voice telling me to enjoy these rays of sunshine while they are still there. So of course I started lobbying for a trip to the beach on that wonderful summer afternoon, and with the help of some great weather and the proximity of the beach I got my way.
The cold water, the great company, some naturalistic Danes, … It all added up to one of those memories you like to recall on cold winter days.
p.s. I hope I don’t infringe any privacy law with this photo, hence the censorship.
Since Aarhus University was nice enough to provide us with some free tours, I had the chance to discover that these can be quite the adventure…
You can get lost in ancient tombs with strange religious artefacts,
ambushed by ginger paparazzi,
see wild animals in their natural habitat,
stroll through the green fields that were once viking territory,
get eaten alive by a metallic whale,
or meet a bronze hermaphrodite that is missing an arm.
So as you can see, being a tourist is far from boring.
P.S. these pictures were made possible by the asian photo power stance,
A surefire technique for great photo’s derived from the ancient art of sumo wrestling.
On our second day in Aarhus it was time to get the keys for my dorm room. My cousin suggested we should be there a bit early because we we might not be the only ones wanting to get the keys. It turned out we actually were, everything went smoothly and by the time we thought we would get in the office, we were at the address on my newly acquired contract. Hence, the rise of my faith in the Danish system.
I saw these huge social blocks appearing in the distance…
Although the cultural enrichment would be extremely valuable, I secretly wished we made a mistake and my dorm was 3 km further to the centre… After a quick chat with a local gardener we learned that my dorm was indeed in this area, but it was separated from the social housings by a fence. So basically my dorm is in this gated community. Some people might feel safe inside a fence, but to me it is kind of provocative to the outside and it indicates that there is something to be protected from.
So you probably think by yourself, this must be the fall of his faith then, right? Wrong! The location turns out to be quite nice, I have two stores nearby and I have had no incidents whatsoever. Even though the bike ride to the city centre is 24 min by bike, this counts as my exercise and I have found a scenic route to my campus (more about that later).
So anyhow, after trying all the keys (there are four of them) on several locks we found this
The contract promised me a fully furnitured room, and the only thing in there was the luggage we had just put down. I’m sure you can understand my devastation as I wondered how I would ever get so much stuff from Ikea to my little room in the gated community. Yes folks, this was it, the dreaded fall of my faith.
But you didn’t think I would finish this story with a sad ending, did you? No, we called the housing office and in less than two hours the place was fully furnitured and they were already on their way to the next student in need. So as the phenix was reborn from his ashes, so was my faith in the Danish system, or at least the system of the housing office of Aarhus University.
Thank you for wading through the dramatics once again.
After a quick dive in the Elbe we were well on our way again towards my very own erasmus adventure. Because this trip was merely a prelude to what was coming, the many experiences that had to come, but I digress.
Basically it went like this: We drove, we ate, we drove some more and all along the likes of Sparkle Horse, Gorillaz, Hint, Noah and the Whale, Seasick Steve and many more fulfilled our musical needs. As time ticked away, so did the remaining distance on the display of the GPS. And then, before I knew it, BOOM we were there.
The ominous dark clouds could be an omen for trouble on our way…
(Or just a taste of what weather is like in Denmark.)
To find out, stay tuned 😉
So that was it, it was time to leave. After some last checks and final goodbyes me and my cousin were finally ready to start our road trip to Aarhus (thanks again Free). As the car drove away from my home town I felt this calm taking over, for I knew that whatever it is that I forgot (and oh there were so many things), there was nothing I could do about it anymore.
So then it was basically a lot of this,
some of this,
and the occasional wild German giraffe.
We finally arrived here,
a camping at the shore of the Elbe with this beautiful view.
So that was it for now, stay tuned for the epic third part of the “The Trip” trilogy.
Even though people were constantly reminding me that my erasmus was coming up, I was strangely unaware of the fact that I would be leaving soon. That is until I finally — after a lot of postponing — got to packing. The stress of forgetting something made my pile of stuff to bring so large that a brand new wave of stress swelled up, for it would never in a million years all fit in my two bags. Yet, by some miracle we (that is me, my sister and her boyfriend) somehow managed in our sleep deprived state to filter out some things and squish all of my junk into the bags. And never let anyone tell you otherwise, sitting on your suitcase helps tremendously in getting it closed!
Om af te sluiten nog een dankwoordje in het Nederlands aan iedereen die mij gesteund en geholpen heeft. Waaronder mijn zus en Domien voor de het meegaan in de hele inpakstress, mijn ouders voor alle last-minute winkeltrips en mijn vrienden en familie voor de afscheidscadeautjes en reiswensen. Tot over 5 maanden 😉