Hello and welcome everyone,
my first travel days in 2017 takes me to the nice Danish city Aarhus at the East coast of Denmark. Since my year in Ireland travelling has become part of my DNA and I can barely imagine a life without some days out on the road, in a train or on a plane – just the feeling of starting a journey and travelling somewhere is just amazing.
on a train again…
Similarly, I’m quite excited for my first days of travelling this year and despite the worries of getting up early enough to catch my 5.45am train, there is still plenty of time to wait outside in the freezing cold morning when I arrive at the train station. My last longer train ride in October 2016 brought me down South in the opposite direction to the Bodensee….
…however, the last trip in 2016 and this first in 2017 have one thing in common: I’d like to get a glimpse of the place I might be studying and living for little while to do my postgrad. 🙂
The Bodensee region is next to the Alps and close to the Austrian and Swiss border. The stunning landscape with the great lake and the mountains close by as well as the variety of nations offer a diverse mix of activities. It’s a lovely area to take a few days off and relax from the cities full of cars, the loudness and the smoggy air. Although, I enjoyed my time at the Bodensee, I’ve always felt more comfortable in a city at a river or the seaside sensing the special atmosphere, the moving water creates.
Anyways, my train ride to Aarhus that Thursday morning in January had finally started and I am looking forward to approximately 10 hours on the train (including one stop over in Hamburg) until my arrival.
Exploring Danish life
It’s already afternoon when the little folding-bike and me finally work our way through the streets of Aarhus looking for the right streets to find my couchsurfing host. Cycling through the city centre, along the harbour and the famous cultural centre of Aarhus DOKK1, I get a first impression of what this city is like. Besides many roadworks, one of my first findings is: the Danish know how to build bike lanes and streets including signs and traffic lights! This is really great and compared to Germany it’s already incredible, compared to Irish street conditions, however, it’s completely unbelievable.
On the other hand, though, taxes are quite high and living expenses are not so easy to manage for students as well. For example, in contrast to other countries, dumbster diving is more or less approved in Denmark. It enables people to reduce garbage by using food which is still good to eat but not fresh enough to sell in the store. Furthermore, it saves a lot of money. The average high price and income tax level allow Denmark to maintain a good quality network in terms of the infrastructure, social support, education and health care – there must be a reason, why the Danish people are some of the happiest in the world.
Cycling around the hills of Aarhus
After a nice pub quiz at night, the next morning is still cold outside but the sun is out as well. Considering the fact that it’s January, those are the best conditions to be out and about all day exploring the city by bike. There I go with the little folding bike (thankfully borrowed from my current job at Verlagshaus Gutekunst, Bonn). The only tricky thing about this fellow is: it has just one gear change… generally this works but as I will find out rather soon, there is quite a number of hills and the Danish wind can be rough as well. Anyways, since pictures can tell way more than my words, here you go. Enjoy! 🙂
After two days and night in Aarhus, my overall impression is very well – I like the Danish student city at the seaside. The general atmosphere is great and they have a nice mixture of natural and living areas, factories and cultural institutions. Especially the current status of it being the European City of Culture 2017 gives it an exciting touch and will have many events and occasions around the city.
As in most student cities, housing is a struggle in Aarhus as well. In the end, it’s doable though and the costs won’t be easy on me either, but at least I’m saving tuition fees.. Another fun fact is, that even though I’m only travelling to a German neighbour country, it takes me about 2-3 hours longer to get from Bonn to Aarhus rather than from Bonn to Maynooth.
In the end, I think, there’s a great chance for me to apply for my masters in Intercultural Studies and give it a try. So we’ll see how this goes…
If you want to know how things evolve and how my future travels work out, follow me on my facebook page or send me an email via my contact form – there will be a newsletter soon.
This week, I’ll be away with work and the family and there’s big trip coming up in March… I’ll let you know soon!
Cheers and take care, Anna