A summer in Copenhagen. Four long weeks on a study abroad trip in a beautiful city in the summer. But no one warned us about the "wet cold." Yes, you read that right. The thing about Denmark is that it rains almost 80 percent of the time and is cloudy for another 10 percent. That remaining 10 percent is sunny and the entire city comes outside to soak up the goodness and warmth, no matter what they are doing. On those days, we would sit in the park and have a cold beverage, which was a change from the hot ones we had throughout the week to keep us warm. So, what I remember most fondly are the few days of sunshine, not being hit by drunk bikers, and learning to be a better, more informed, weather-wise traveler.
Let me illustrate.
We had just finished touring Denmark's biggest waste plant, Copenhill, and our group of students sat down along the canal, in the sunshine. One would think that at 3 p.m. people would be at work or resting in their homes from a long day. No, everyone was outside. The sun was a sweet treat.
Today, with the sun, was an extra special day: It was one of my classmate’s birthdays. Lauren was turning 21 in Europe. She is such a kind and caring person; I was not surprised that the sun decided to show its face today out of all days. For Lauren, our class wanted to celebrate in the best way we knew how: going out into the city!
The sun beamed down on us. The clean air filled our lungs after breathing in waste at the plant. And the wind whipped our jacket tails to remind us that we were still in the northern hemisphere. People sat along the canal almost dipping their feet in the water, the smell of cigarettes and beer afloat around them. I could smell chocolate from a nearby shop, the Lagkagehuset, and decided this would partner well with the sunshine. I bought Lauren the most chocolaty cake I could find to surprise her.
Our group followed along the canal to find a small park on the outskirts of the city center. We sat in a circle together sharing stories and learning more about one another. The cake and clean air paired perfectly with our laughs and birthday songs.
And that’s where I end this memory. Sitting with my friends, along the canal, eating our chocolates, listening to the song of bike bells, and of course, basking in the sun.