This weekend was the first short study tours for all DIS (Danish Institute for Study Abroad) students. My Sustainability In Europe program went to a variety of different places on the mainland of Denmark. On Thursday we went to Energinet.dk (a company who maintains the operation of the market for electricity and gas in Denmark) and the Nordic Folkecenter for Renewable Energy. My favorite part about Energinet was the use of natural light throughout the building and the awesome buffet style food. The folkecenter had a bunch of windmills, solar panels and other environmentally looking things. Once you’ve seen a solar panel, you’ve been ’em all.
On Friday, we went to Thy (Denmark’s first national park) and Aalborg University. The park had a number of sand dunes and apparently next week surfers from all over the world were going to participate in a sailing competition. Our guide told us the area was called “cold Hawaii.” I agree with the cold part but the Hawaii reference was questionable. Aalborg had a number of intelligent international students, all who were interested in environmental management. For dinner, we had a BBQ consisting of beer and massive amounts of hot dogs. We went out in the city of Aalborg later in the night to partake in beer from 7-11, soft ice cream, clubs with creative names like Kristin and Manhattan and late-night window shopping. I continue to be disappointed that the mannequins in the store windows have highly superior senses of style.
The Danes function on a totally different time schedule than we do. At 10pm a friendly biker stopped to invite us to a Latin dance party. He informed us that people don’t really start going out until 1am….aka it is so early my grandmother is probably still awake so it was be really great if you could try to be a little less American.
Saturday consisted of an eco-village where a bunch of people own or rent houses and try to live sustainably. At first, I got the impression that it was a little hippie village but it was actually a structured organized community with a lot of great ideas. All their agriculture and meat were grown organically and much of the building materials were dried clay bricks that used very little energy to produce. Then we went to ARoS Art Museum in Århus to see the I Love You exhibit before our 4 hour bus ride home. Saturday night was ended with a giant party at the Folkehøjskole (where we live) in the form of a giant reunion for former students. Live Beatles cover band + beer + drunk foreigners = success.
Other life moments:
- Finished reading Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Not bad but could have been 100 pages shorter.
- Met my Danish buddy Pricilla today. By Danish I mean half Costa Rican and half Finish. Really sweet girl.
- The toll for going over a bridge yesterday cost 220 kr or app. $45. No wonder the minimum wage is $20 an hour.
- Over 20% of Denmark’s energy comes from wind power. I must have taken 4000 pictures of wind mills in the past three days and that was probably 3999 pictures too many.
If you are still reading and would like to further stalk me and my life feel free to look at pictures from my sailing trip at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/studyabroaddis/sets/72157624901074844/