“Rainbow Houses and Pancake Balls” by Elizabeth Chaney


“Why are you going to Denmark? It’s cold and the people are mean”.


That was the first statement I heard when telling one of my professors about my upcoming trip to Copenhagen. However, I’m glad to report that he was very wrong! Although not a common destination for study abroad students, I decided to make my way up to the most expensive place on earth to visit my dear friend William who is studying abroad there, (even though he took HIS trip to Rome before I even arrived in Europe.. but it’s fine I’m not bitter). Upon arriving, I was promptly greeted by some wonderfully cool weather that was a welcomed change from the sauna that Rome usually is (despite the fact that it’s NOVEMBER). I immediately decided that I liked this place because the men are beautiful and in accordance with my aversion to colorful clothes, the danes wear all black! After taking the metro into the town center, the first thing I saw was a Christmas market! I know that everyone in America is always salty about stores jumping the gun on Christmas decorations, but in Europe it’s acceptable because Thanksgiving doesn’t exist. I also quickly learned that it gets completely pitch dark in Denmark by about 4:30 p.m., so in order to keep themselves from getting seasonal depression and jumping in front of the subway trains (actually though), the Danes set up extravagant Christmas markets and surround themselves with the wonder that is Christmas spirit! The best part of these markets though is not the beautiful Danish men walking around them, the endless amounts of sparkly christmas goods, or even the mulled wine, IT’S THE PANCAKE BALLS. Yes, you heard right. Offered at countless numbers of Christmas market stands are wonderful little fried balls of pancake called “ebelskivers”, all of which I’m pretty sure have a highly addictive drug filled center. After paying for my first (of many) round of ebelskivers with the freaky Danish currency called Kroner (their coins have holes in them!), I promptly shoveled them all in my mouth and began preparing for the next round of pancake balls, to be consumed as soon as possible. Later, Wiliam took me to a pop-up shop called Coffee Collective and tried to convince me that it was the proven “best coffee shop in the world”. I think he forget’s that I’m studying in Italy. Forgiven though, because that night, after picking Morgan up from the airport, he made us a delicious dinner all with fresh ingredients from the local Danish farmers market!

Saturday morning, we promptly headed down to the only two things I was really interested in seeing in Denmark: the rainbow houses and the street trampolines. I snapped some really trendy rainbow house pics for Instagram, and afterward headed down the street, mowed down a couple of four year olds, and got a street trampoline all to myself. After about 2 minutes of jumping, upon which I realized that all the pasta I’m eating is affecting my physical fitness more than I’d like to acknowledge, we headed down to the second oldest amusement park in the world, Tivoli! Tivoli was an absolute winter wonderland! Just having opened that day after their Halloween to Christmas turnover, I immediately consumed more pancake balls and went on a wild hunt for apple cider (which I never found). We spent the rest of the day at Tivoli, even at the risk of Morgan becoming an amputee because of her boots rubbing her feet so bad.

And then comes the highlight of the trip: our bike ride to dinner. In order to fit in with the rest of the Danish population and get a true Copenhagen experience, William decided it would be prudent of all of us to ride our bikes to dinner at the Copenhagen street food market. After acquiring two bikes for Morgan and I from some of the girls on his program and me repeatedly reminding William that I hadn’t ridden a bike since 2012, we set off. Hilarity and pandemonium ensued. A summary of the events is as follows: Drunk man stumbles out in front of Morgan, leading her to crash into my bike, Morgan runs into dumpster, Elizabeth tries to take scarf off while riding bike and gets scarf stuck over her face, William rides gracefully in front of the two stooges. After what seemed like 35 miles (but was actually about 2), we reached the street food market. Summary of the entire trip to Denmark as per result of the bike ride: Morgan and I will probably never be able to bear children.

All in all, I had an amazing weekend spending quality time with old friends in a new and beautiful place. I loved catching up and getting to hear about all of our crazy experiences studying abroad in three different countries. So to sum it all up, Denmark was beautiful, the men were beautiful, and the pancake balls were the most beautiful of all.

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