Vikings, Handball, Trampolines!

Posted by on Sep 16, 2012 in Danish Adventures, Danish Adventures Gallery | 4 comments

It’s been so long since I’ve written anything because my life has been full of so many new adventures!  …Some more academic than others, but interesting for sure… But, I pinky promise I will not wait so long to share them with you next time.  So for now, bear with me and my proceeding novel.  Let me break it down for you.

At Danhostel in Aalborg. What a gorgeous harbor!

1. Short Study Tour to Northern Denmark (September 3-5)

DIS is such a unique program in that the curriculum incorporates academic excursions to different areas of Europe.  Last week, my core course class (Medical Practice and Policy) traveled to Odense, Horsens, Århus, and Aalborg, working our way to the Northern parts of Denmark.

To reach these cities, we had to pass over a large, architectural bridge, recently built within the past ten years.  It was such a cool site.

Great Belt Fixed Bridge connecting the Danish island of Zealand to Funen

At our little lunch picnic by the bridge.

One of my most favorite visits was to the Hans Christian Andersen Children’s Hospital in Odense.  The hospital itself was magnificent, with the sleek architecture and technology, but even cooler, we got to meet two sets of premature infants.  Back home in the U.S., I’m pretty sure allowing a group of undergrads gawk around day old babies isn’t too common in the public hospital system.  It was awesome.

In Århus the next day, we visited two awesome museums, the Steno Museum and the ARoS Art Museum.  The Steno Museum exhibited more scientific artifacts and displays.  One of the most interesting displayed how body perception has changed throughout history.  The goal of the exhibit was to teach younger Danes to be comfortable in their own bodies.  My favorite, however, was the pregnancy exhibit (yeah, I know, so many baby related stories in the span of 24 hours haha).  We had to take our shoes off to fully experience the message (the room was lined with fuzzy carpeting, and it was actually kind of nice…I wasn’t complaining).  This exhibit definitely categorized as engaging.  We had the pleasure of trying on a pregnancy vest (you know, the one from “10 Things I Hate About You”…that Bianca’s dad makes her wear to scare her from that whole dating thing).  We also got to sit in a giant uterus, complete with a silk, lined interior and the sounds you would most likely be hearing.  It was definitely not something you’d normally experience at a science museum, but it was actually really cool.

To the Body Image exhibit at the Steno Museum in Arhus.

Progression of body perception throughout history.

Dylan with the Pregnancy Vest

The carpeted Pregnancy Room – Here you see a giant egg with giant sperm heading towards it.

Me and The Boy at the ARoS Art Museum – He was so realistic looking! Despite how big he was…

Tony Matelli’s exhibit at the ARoS Art Museum. It’s called ‘A Human Echo’ and displays Matelli’s interpretation of mankind’s litter and traces.

Another Tony Matelli interpretation. It was pretty cool how you couldn’t tell how the pot was standing upside-down.

ARoS Art Museum – The rainbow Heaven is part of one of the museum’s permanent exhibits, Dante’s ‘Divine Comedy.’ The bottom floors display more dark-themed art work, symbolizing Hell. As you ascend to the top floor, you reach the rainbow exhibit, symbolizing Heaven.

After an academic visit to a General Practitioner (more on Danish Health Care later….I’m working on an article for ya), we enjoyed a rather manly meal at the “Pub of the Year,” Søgaards Bryghus (bryghus –> brewhouse) in Aalborg.  This place makes their own super delicious beer, and we started with tasting the lighter summer ale.  It was super tasteful, not too heavy.  Of course as dinner progressed, we sampled darker beers, and then they brought out a wasabi beer!  What??  That was definitely new, and surprisingly good.  The sharp zing of an aftertaste effectively cleared the palate.  For dinner, we enjoyed a whole rack of bar-b-que ribs, accented with pineapple cole slaw and potato wedges lathered in olive oil.  I probably wouldn’t have picked ribs out from a menu if I had the choice, but these were SOOO GOOOD.  I was satisfied.

Søgaards Bryghus – Pub of the Year

The waitresses brought around slabs of delicious beer.

Enjoying my complimentary glass of summer ale at the Pub of the Year.

Beer tasting round 2 – Just a little darker this time.

And now for the manly rib dinner… YUM!!


The next morning, we visited Lindholm Høje – a viking burial ground, the Northern part dating back to 5 AD and the Southern part dating back to 1000-1050 AD!  The museum was full of cool artifacts and exhibitions about the Iron Age and the Viking Age (two important eras of Danish history), showing how the Lindholm people lived and how they traded with or raided other countries.

It’s definitely appropriate to display the sheep of the burial ground for comparisons sake– they are so much more massive than ours! Viking sheep!

Between 1952 and 1958, this burial site was excavated to reveal 700 viking burial sites. It was customary to bury the dead at a location with a magnificent view, and this definitely fit the criteria!

The shapes of the graves depend on whether they contain a man or woman. And the method of burial varied from covering with a mound in the Iron Age to cremation in the Viking Age. This depicts a ship shaped grave for a viking man. He would have been placed on top of a fire inside these stones to symbolize the setting free of his spirit from his body and its voyage to the gods.

Here I am amongst the ancient Viking graves!


A few artifacts that were excavated from the burial site.

We visited a specialist that day as well. Here is some of his research on removing cysts.


2. And What Exactly Is Handball?

So, last weekend, my host mom, Birgette took me to watch my host sister, Christina, play handball!  As we rolled up to the sports center, I confessed my immediate confusion…”It’s an indoor sport?!”  For some reason, ever since I played a little handball with Casper, Christina, and her friend Sofie out in the backyard, I had it in my head that this sport was played on a field.  Well, I was surprised to learn that it’s played on a court, similar to that of basketball but with a square net goal at each end.  And to get a good understanding of the game itself, picture basketball, but with a much smaller ball, tree sap for sticky hands, and a lot more intense physical contact.  It was exciting to watch!  And congratulations, Christina, on the win!

Seriously…it’s pretty similar to basketball.

Christina is in white on the left. She’s so good!


3. Trampoline Sidewalks

Can you say, yes please??!!  I heard about these briefly in passing a couple days ago, and I was hoping to randomly come across them at some point.  Well, on Wednesday, my friend Alisha and I went out for a nice sushi lunch (not very Danish, but we were craving some yummy sushi…and it was VERY yummy) and then wandered around Copenhagen for a bit.  We actually brought up the weird trampoline thing in conversation and decided that we’d have to go searching for them some day, when suddenly…. “What are those black net things in the middle of the ground over there? …… Waaaiiiiiit a sec… Oh my gosh we found the trampolines!!!”  ….  Yes, that’s exactly how it went.  And so like the playful kids we will always be, we jumped on them. And we took pictures… and jumped on them some more.  I was loving it!  So if you ever travel to Copenhagen, please find the sidewalk trampolines and tell me how much fun you have.

These don’t really look like trampolines, so you have to be a very curious sole to run up and start jumping on them. But here you are — the sidewalk trampolines of Copenhagen.

Weeeeeeee!!!!! The slight blurriness of this pic is just to symbolize how fun this was.

Alisha liked jumping on the trampolines just as much as I did.


Okay, deep, long recovery breath.  That was a lot of adventure for one post, but I’m telling you, the adventures here are never ending.  It’s like being at one of those conveyer belt sushi restaurants.  The surprises just keep coming at you!  And, yes, I am learning.  I am working very hard and being a studious student…I promise.


  1. WOW!! This is an amazing blog! It’s so cool to learn through your eyes and adventures! Keep it up and THANKS!!

  2. Those trampoline sidewalks officially look like the coolest thing ever! Though the museums seemed to have some interesting stuff as well. Seriously, viking graves, trampolines, twin babies, beer, handball, and sheep, sounds like you are having a trip of a lifetime over there! Keep working hard and keep having fun!

  3. They say one is never too old to learn. I am learning so much through your eyes. Can’t wait till the next chapter. Thank you so much for sharing. Your reporting makes me feel like I am there.
    Love and miss you, Grandma

  4. It’s like watching the discovery channel or national geographic in freeze state. Can I come to visit? Luv ya, G’pa

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