The Ultimate Aarhus Guide

AarhusOne of my friends recently moved to Aarhus to start the Mundus Journalism program, so I thought I’d pen down some tips for her. That list has now expanded into this blog post because I have too much to say. And after all, sharing (travel tips) is caring.

I am going to preface this post by saying this: I didn’t realize how much I liked Aarhus until I left Aarhus. It’s easy to find yourself complaining about the expensive prices, cold weather, steep hills that break your back while biking, the fact that everything closes at 5pm and nothing is open on the weekends, lack of daylight… you get the point! But, it’s been over six months since I left Denmark and what I remember the most isn’t any of the above; it’s the hygge, the coffee culture, the live music scene, awe-inspiring art, breathtaking scenery and the clean air.

So, if you find yourself in Aarhus, and aren’t sure how to navigate this little big city, then check out my tips: Continue reading

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The Last Danish Chapter

GuidebooksGoodbyes are never easy, especially when you are leaving behind an exciting country where you have countless memories with a lot of interesting people. (However, the pain can be eased with the knowledge that I am trading the cold Danish climate for a beachside apartment in Sydney.)

While I have been somewhat diligent in blogging about my travels within Europe, I haven’t written much about my day-to-day life here in Aarhus, Denmark. However, I have been reporting From the Field for Verge: Travel with Purpose magazine as a guest blogger. Over the last six months, I have written about how I adapted to a small city, my struggles with the language, getting used to a new (and weird) grading system, and more recently my biking adventures. If you haven’t checked them out already, here are my favourite articles that are worth a click:

Falling in love with Aarhus

I ditched the big city exchange experience and ended up in Denmark biggest village. One can bike across this city in less than 20  minutes. In December I wrote, “Naturally, I had my inhibitions when moving to Aarhus. Most people are nervous about moving to a bigger city, but I was really worried about moving to a smaller city. There is something about rush hour traffic, packed TTC subways and perpetually angry nine-to-fivers that makes me feel at home.”

How did I learn to love Aarhus? Find out! Continue reading

God Jul: Christmas spirit in Scandinavia

Living in Canada, this is what I used to associate Christmas with: vacation pay, boxing day, Home Alone marathons, and postcards from friends. If you haven’t been raised celebrating Christmas, it’s pretty easy to escape the holiday fever in Toronto (except when I worked in retail and Christmas carols were even playing in my nightmares).

God JulBut, not in Scandinavia. You can try to be the Grinch, but the Christmas spirit will make its way into your home and heart.

Denmark kicks off the God Jul celebrations with J-day on the first weekend of November by launching the annual Christmas beer. It’s a strong brew that’s modelled on a luxury beer. I am not surprised to see that the launch of a beer is a national event in Denmark – bars are brimming, trucks are distributing free beer and swag on the busy streets, and everyone is having a jolly good time to get the mood for God Jul.

Soon after the that, the Christmas lights start popping up and just last weekend, Aarhus’s official Christmas tree made its debut outside of City Hall.

Here’s how my friends and I have been getting in the festive spirit over the last month: Continue reading

Befriending our bikes

One of the first things I did when I moved to Aarhus, Denmark was get myself a bike. For the first few days of school, I’d bike alone (read: I’d walk my bike uphill and pedal some of the way) and then eventually my housemates got themselves adorable bicycles too. Thus, started a quest to find bike lights, baskets, fix tires, find seat covers and familiarize ourselves with the best routes. It took some time, but we slowly became really good friends with our bikes (and each other).

Here is a glimpse of one of our mornings as we set off to enjoy Aarhus (or go to school, more likely).

Featuring my pro biker babes: Fanny (France), Sonja (Serbia) and Nina (Canada? Germany? Malawi? I don’t even know!)

Vegetarian in Europe

Oh boy! Post-graduation is hard.

Essays and presentations every week are part of the reason I haven’t been able to post anything this month. While I do intend on blogging more religiously in the coming weeks, here is something else I’d like to share in the meantime.

I started a new blog called Vegetarian In Europe, because I am a a vegetarian in Europe! So check that out, bookmark it if you like and stay tuned for more European updates, food and travel.