Wednesday, October 31, 2012

This is Halloween...

...and I am sitting at home with no candy, and no costume. Halloween in Denmark is not the most popular holiday, but it's been getting more and more attention over the past few years.

On Culture Night Copenhagen, DIS had a pumpkin carving event with s'mores and even a haunted house!

You have no idea how happy this made me...

Okay, so Denmark doesn't have graham crackers or Hershey's bars...but this Danish s'more was still delicious

I wish I carved a pumpkin :(

Also, Tivoli decorates its grounds the two weeks before Halloween for the Potato Holidays when Danish and Swedish students are out of school.

I think they have the right idea...

Unfortunately Tivoli is very expensive so I didn't go inside, but you can still see the jack-o-lantern lined pathways!

It was weird walking around tonight and not seeing anyone dressed up in costumes on the train, but as soon as I got back to my host family's house, I saw lots of kids dressed up for Trick-or-Treating...or in Danish: Slik-eller-Ballade "Candy-or-Trouble"

I'm having some intense nostalgia thinking back to my Trick-or-Treating days. I remember walking around with a pillow case (usually dressed up as a witch) and once my bag got full, I would go home, dump everything out on the floor, and organize all the candy into piles. I wish I could still go Trick-or-Treating now...but unfortunately I have no costume...and I'm 21 years old. Shouldn't I be out at some swanky Halloween party right now?

Nah, I think I'm just gonna watch The Nightmare Before Christmas and relive my childhood.

Off to Iceland tomorrow where apparently 80% of the population believes in magic, so maybe I'll get a little taste of Halloween there too :)

Hej Hej,


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

My Guide to Prague

Prague is magical city... The whole time I felt as if I was walking through a medieval fairytale, if only the tourists would disappear (I know that's hypocritical considering I am one). However, the first night I arrived in Prague (the night I was left to fend for myself) there were absolutely NO tourists. After checking into my wonderful hostel (Hostel Orange), I decided to wander around the city since everything in Prague is so close together...

The Old Town Square is virtually empty at midnight on Thursdays

After my short, solitary walking tour of the city at night, I definitely got my bearings down and was prepared to take on the city by day!

Here's a list of recommendations that I suggest you do/see/eat/buy/etc on your visit to Prague, as well as some things I WISH I could have done:

1. Eat at one of the many 24 hour fast food stands- They line Wenceslas Square and even though I didn't buy anything from the food carts, I have been told their sausages and fried-cheese sandwiches are to die for. Plus, McDonald's is everywhere...try something a little more unique when you get the late-night munchies

2. Buy a mini-astrological clock- Definitely a unique souvenir to Prague, and they look just like the real one. Also, you should see the real Astrological Clock! It performs every hour on the hour

The real clock

The mini clocks :)

3. Visit the Jewish Cemetery- or buy a ticket for the Jewish tour of Prague. You get to go in beautiful synagogues, and there is a wonderful museum dedicated to the Jews from Prague who died in the Holocaust. The cemetery is really interesting because bodies were buried on top of one another since there was not enough room in the ghetto to expand the cemetery, creating an oddly shaped hill in the middle of the city. Plus, some of the grave stones date back from the 14th century.

All of the red lines are the names of the 77,000 Prague Jews that died during WWII

The Jewish Cemetery

The Spanish Synagogue. Considered the most beautiful synagogue in Europe, but unfortunately you can't take pictures inside :(

4. Go to the Beer Museum Bar- This pub has around 35 different Czech beers on tap. The Czech Republic is the world's capital for beer (It even surpasses Ireland), and has some of the best pale ales in the world. If you like beer, you will love this place. If you don't like beer, this place will change your mind.

This was my personal favorite, but they also have Raspberry and Chocolate flavored beers that came a close 2nd and 3rd

5. Find your cafe- This goes for every city, but when you are wandering around on your own, take the time to scope out a little hole-in-the-wall cafe. There you will be sure to find great coffee, great pastries, great people, and a "hygge" filled atmosphere. My cafe in Prague is Kavarna Modry Orel (or the Blue Eagle Cafe).

Words cannot describe how wonderful this place is, but I can tell you it is a must-see.

Traditional, freshly baked Czech pastries

The coffee/tea bar

Truly "enchanting"

Homemade chicken stew with a caffe latte. Best foam in a latte I have ever tasted...she is a barista magician

An apple-chocolate cake...probably one of the best desserts I've ever had as well.

6. Go in the Strahov Monastery Library- And try the beer. The monks who live here have been brewing their own beer since the 12th century... it's safe to say that these guys know what they're doing. Even though I didn't have the time to try a pint, I wish I would have... and I wish I could have seen the inside of this gorgeous library.

What I got to see (The huge line should have clued me in)

What I didn't get to see inside...

7. Try this- I don't know what it's called, but it's sold on street corners almost everywhere. If you need a quick sugar high, this cinnamon-roll like thing is the perfect fix. So yummy

8. Take a day trip to Czechy Krumlov- or to Kutna Hora to see the cathedral made of bones!! Either way, day trips are awesome, especially for the Czech Republic since the landscape is gorgeous.

9. Go to the Lock Bridge and see the John Lennon Wall- For all you hopeless romantics, Beatles lovers, or aspiring graffiti artists...these two sights are well worth the visit. This street art gives you a little glimpse into Prague's renegade art scene. Buy a lock and mark your spot or just splatter some paint on the wall, either way you should leave your mark.

So many locks...

The Wall


"You may say I'm a dreamer..."

10. Bring bread to feed the swans- There are so many swans that hang out on the banks of the Vltava River. Another perfect way to relax your feet after a long walking tour would be to find a park bench and feed the swans. Just soak in a little bit of the city because before you know it, your trip to Prague will end too soon.

Of course there are hundreds of other things to see in Prague like the Prague Castle (whose lights that illuminate it at night were donated by the Rolling Stones), walk the Charles Bridge, do a Pub Crawl, and try the goulash...but these were definitely my highlights.

Up next: Budapest!!

Hej Hej,

Mishaps, Lost Items, and Tips for Travel

On my Central European Adventures this past week, I visited Prague, Budapest, Vienna, and Ljubljana. All of these cities were spectacular, and they were all so different from each other. When I visit a city, I love to go off and explore on my own and find little cafes or shops that aren't necessarily on the tourist guides... I think the best way to experience the culture of a city is through it's people. My 10-day adventure taught me so much about these countries, and even though I only got a taste of every city (two days is DEFINITELY not enough for Vienna...), that taste now fuels my hunger to go back.

A European Adventure can't be complete without a few mishaps though...

The night I flew into Prague, my friend was supposed to get there an hour before me. When I got to the airport, I couldn't find her anywhere, and then I checked my Facebook...she missed her flight. Reality sunk in that I would be spending my first night ALONE in Prague, that is if I was lucky enough to figure out the public transportation system and find my hostel first. Thank God my superior navigation skills kicked in (thanks Grandpa) and I made it to my hostel safely. I spent the evening wandering around Prague, which was surprisingly void of tourists, and I just soaked in the tranquil beauty of this fantastic city.

Moving onto Budapest...the day we were supposed to leave for Vienna, we missed our train. Being the geniuses that we were, we were looking at the arrival time on our tickets and not the departure time...yeah. **Begin panic mode** As much as I love Budapest, there was no way I was going to be stuck in Hungary for the rest of the trip. By some miracle, when we got to the train station, the ticket lady said we could use our tickets for the next train without any extra charge!

In addition to these travel issues, knowing me, I can't go anywhere without losing something. Here's the final tally at the end of the trip:

1. Water bottle- left in the Central Market in Budapest
2. Black scarf- Pretty sure is on a train to Vienna...
3. Piccell phone- I think it's on that same train...
4. Cheap black boots I got in Kosovo- Well, technically I didn't lose these, but the soles were basically falling off and they weren't worth the extra weight in my backpack

At least I didn't lose my passport, right?

When you're traveling to so many places, figuring out hostels and transportation can be difficult, and then little things like what to pack or what to buy in the different countries without blowing through your bank account just complicate things even more. So here's a quick list of travel tips that I've learned:

1. If you're going on a long trip, try to find cities that are close enough to get to by train

Train tickets are much cheaper than flights, bottom line...and they really aren't sketchy at all! We took an overnight train from Prague to Budapest and it was very safe, but they did wake us up four times to check tickets. Trains might not be the most comfortable option, but are planes really that much better? Also, most trains have a Dining car or a snack cart that comes around with food :) Another plus is that you get to see the countryside!! On the way from Vienna to Ljubljana, we rode through the Alps...and it was breathtaking.

2. Try to fit Day Trips outside of the city center into your schedule

Even though you might not have that much time in the city already, taking a day trip to see the countryside is worth it. In Slovenia, we decided to take a day trip to Postojna and see the Postojna Caves. The caves alone were incredible, but getting to visit a small town and getting to see the natural beauty of the country really maximizes your visit. I wish I had time to visit Český Krumlov outside of Prague because it's nice to get away from the tourists for a while.

3. Use a backpack!

I managed to fit everything I needed into my regular hiking backpack and a purse. It can be a little like Tetris trying to fit everything into the backpack by the end of the trip, but for traveling purposes, it is incredibly convenient. My backpack fit as a carry-on and I didn't have to drag it down cobblestone streets like you would have to with a huge suitcase. Also, some flights don't charge for one checked bag (I's an anomaly but they do exist) so just ask the ticket lady at the baggage counter when you get to the airport if you want some extra foot room on the plane.

4. Don't be afraid to wander on your own

With that being said, first off, be safe about it. Walking around by yourself in a sketchy city at night is not safe, but in the daytime if you want to visit some museums or go in the really pretty churches or find a cute cafe for a latte, then you'll be fine. The cities I went to were tourist-friendly and I always felt safe. In Prague I found the best cafe that I would have never stumbled upon if I hadn't decided to do my own thing for a couple of hours. **Also, hostels have tons of pamphlets and maps about locals restaurants, shops, cafes, and tourist sites, so take as much info as you can!!**

5. Pick a theme or get creative for souvenir shopping

If you're like me and are a trinket fiend, souvenirs are like kryptonite. It's impossible for me not to by the cute little troll statue that will just sit on my desk, collecting dust, for the rest of my life, and your excuse for buying it will sure enough be, "But it's cute!!" I have to admit, I did give into my temptations, but it is okay to by souvenirs, just don't go overkill. If you are going to give in, try to buy things that are unique to every place you go. You can get magnets or keychains anywhere, but what about a spice bag of Hungarian paprika? I also decided to do a sort of souvenir "theme" In every city I bought a small book on the country's folk or fairy tales. I think my Hans Christen Anderson class is going to my head...or maybe I'm just unleashing my inner child. But in all seriousness, books are great because they will last you forever and they are much more meaningful than a snow globe (even if it is pretty)

That's it for now, but my next few blog posts will be about the top things to do/see in Prague, Budapest, Vienna, and Ljubljana so keep a look out!!

Hej hej,

Thursday, October 18, 2012

At the Airport...

I'm sitting here at my gate in Copenhagen, waiting for my connecting flight to Brussels to get here, while creepily listening to French people have a conversation that I'm desperately trying to understand... I really miss French, it's so much prettier than Danish... I have to go to France ASAP. Technically I will get to say I've been to Belgium...and to confirm that I will definitely be purchasing a Belgian waffle at the airport...and probably some chocolate. After an hour in Belgium, it's off to PRAGUE!!!

I have been planning this 10-day trip around Eastern Europe since this past summer when I created my Excel spreadsheet of "Things To Do in Europe" (categorized by country **NERD**)... but I have been dreaming of going to Prague and Budapest long before that. My infatuation with the Carpathian mountain area of Europe really set in when I read Bram Stoker's Dracula. No I didn't read it because of my Twilight-phase...which I admit I went through...and no I don't want to talk about it... For about the first 100 pages, Stoker describes the landscape of Eastern Europe. He made every detail come to life and he created a mysterious and enchanted world of dark beauty. His literary language is probably why it's one of my favorite books.

I can't wait until I see those mountains as a travel by train from Prague to Budapest...

...and then back closer towards modern civilization to Vienna, with a short journey through the Julian Alps to Ljubljana, Slovenia (a country that's a combination of all the best parts of the Alps, the Balkans, and Italy).

No pictures in this blog post, but get ready for updates after every city because I brought my computer!!! 

Time to get on the plane!

Hej hej,

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Just a Normal Wednesday...

Usually my schedule for Wednesdays includes: sleeping in until about noon-ish, running, watching TV in bed while eating cereal, napping, and maybe doing homework. AKA, Wednesdays are my "Do Nothing of Any Importance or Have Any Excitement" days. However, this Wednesday was a little different.

Today I had a Field Study with my Danish class to the Danish WWII Resistance Museum. We were supposed to meet at 8:15am...totally throwing a wrench in Step #1 of my regular Wednesdays. Not having a choice in the matter, I forced myself awake around 6:30am and layered up as much as I could to brace the bitter morning cold to bike to the train station. Obviously not being in the best mood, I turned up the volume on my iPod and tuned out everyone at the station...but then I looked up at the sky.

And I immediately lost all sense of grumpiness and smiled. Maybe I should get up early on Wednesdays more often?

On the train, I again blasted my iPod, avoiding making eye contact with anyone on the train. Silence and introversion are key personality features when using Danish public transportation. Plus, I just downloaded the new Ellie Goulding, Macklemore, and Mumford & Sons albums, so obviously my priorities rested in absorbing music rather than failing to create small-talk with the Danes around me. Here are my top favorite songs so far on the three albums:

Below My Feet- Mumford & Sons

Atlantis- Ellie Goulding

Same Love- Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Also, I found an online Sudoku website that sucked me even further out of reality than I already was... When I finally seemed to break out of the audio/mental mind-warp entrancement I was under, I realized that I had missed my four stations...

I was only a few minutes late to my field study, where breakfast and a movie were waiting for me.

Apparently pastries are significantly discounted on Wednesdays... reason #2 to get up early? Our professor, Nina (all of my professors have us call them by their first names, it's awesome), had created quite the spread of fresh bread and jam, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and a variety of wienerbrød, INCLUDING the most amazing thing I've ever tasted, and possible known to man: The Snegle

This picture doesn't even come close to capturing the true beauty of the Snegle ("Snail" in English). Basically imagine the best cinnamon roll ever, covered in chocolate...yeah. Jealous?

After our fantastic breakfast, we watched the movie: Hvidsten Gruppen

The film is about a family from Jutland the helped with the Danish Resistance movement. It's a real tear-jerker, but it provided the perfect prelude for our museum visit. I had already been to the Danish Resistance Museum once before, but we went on a guided tour that kind of sucked. This time Nina showed us around and we got to explore the museum on our own, which was a lot better.

Reason #3 to get out of the house on Wednesdays: most museums are FREE on Wednesdays

When our field study was over, I headed back to DIS to meet up with the girls going with me the Prague-Budapest-Vienna-Ljubljana in a week!! We booked our hostels and all of our transit now it's official. Eastern Europe better be prepared. Around 5pm I had another meeting for a presentation in my Human Rights class, and by now I was exhausted and in severe need of food. The sugar high from the snegle only lasted so long...

By the time I got on the train, I was so hungry that I could've eaten 50,000 snegles...but when my hunger pains temporarily wore off, another painful realization set in... I didn't change my transportation pass. Since I live with a host family, DIS gave me a transportation pass that allows me to use any form of public transportation within my 5 zones. The pass has two parts: one for August-October 9th and the other for October 10th-December. During my Wednesday morning haze, I forgot to notice the date today... If a train-pass checker person (I'm sure that's her official name) came by and asked to see my pass, I would be fined like $200 for not having the right one. Initialize freakout mode.

Of course, with my luck, the train-pass checker lady would just happen to come by and check in my train car, 2 stops away from my destination. I was on the brink of hyperventilation when she walked by and started checking everyone's passes. I had three options:

1. Pretend like everything was normal and that my dates were correct...and pray

2. Start crying hysterically and play the "Dumb/Ignorant/Confused American Student"

3. Get caught and kicked off the train

What happened next was a sheer act of God. I must have been wearing an invisibility cloak or something because the train lady DIDN'T EVEN SEE ME. I was getting out my pass while she went around to everyone else in the car...but she just walked right past me. Halle-freaking-lujah. I made eye contact with the Dane across the aisle from me, he also noticing she didn't check my pass and probably sensing my fear, and we shared a slight head-nod-laugh. Successful interaction in the Danish public transportation wildlife = Check.

I got home around 7:30pm and my host family had already eaten dinner... starvation mode quickly set back in. However, instead of stuffing my face with the first piece of leftover sausage I could find in the fridge, I decided to create a meal and have a Mini-Foodie Wednesday.

The Entree for the Evening: Prosciutto and Parmesan Tortellini, with spinach, mini potatoes, onion, garlic, and tomatoes; sauteed in a red wine and balsamic vinaigrette reduction; tossed together with oregano and pepper...and a little more parmesan cheese 

Step 1- The veggies

Step 2- The pasta

Step 3- The "Mezcla"

Step 4- The Final Product

Isn't it amazing how a day can turn around? Who knew Wednesdays could ever be so awesome? Now the challenge is to make every day like this Wednesday...

Knowing me that won't last long, but I'd rather have random days of spontaneity and surprises than hundreds of days expecting the same things.

Here's a link to this cool website about Danish food that has everything you would ever want to know about traditional Danish food culture...and what my host family had been feeding me for the past two months: 

There are still a lot of things on here I haven't even tried yet...guess I have more cooking to do...and more snegles to eat...

Hej hej,

Monday, October 8, 2012

One Week in Kosovo!!

Oh boy...what a whirlwind of a week.

On Saturday morning, I was supposed to be at the airport at 5:30am to meet my Justice and Human Rights class for our flight to Pristina, Kosovo at 7am. However....lucky me didn't wake up to my alarm that was set for 4am and instead woke up at 6am. HOLY CRAP. I frantically panicked to throw all of my stuff together, and since it was way to late to take the train to the airport, I woke up my host parents and thankfully Johnny was able to drive me. We left at 6:10am and probably got to the airport at it only took us 20 minutes, I will never know, but I am eternally grateful to my host dad for saving me. Getting to the airport, I made it just in time to check my bag and ran through the airport to get to my gate. And I made it... to everyone's shock...including my own...what a fantastic way to start my adventures in Kosovo.

When I was finally able to breathe, I realized we arrived in Vienna for a short layover and then onto our second flight. As I looked out the windows as we were lowering over the Balkans, I could see green, rolling mountains and golden fields dotted with little farm houses. Immediately I fell in love. We finally landed in Pristina and the journey officially began!

We had a guided walking tour through the city, and our guide pointed out a lot of famous landmarks and interesting buildings, as well as different artistic forms of youth activism. 50% of Kosovo's population is under 25, and 70% is under 30. With such a young population in a country that is technically on been independent since 2008, there is so much potential for growth.

Yes, that is a statue of Bill Clinton. They also have a street named after him. Clinton was president during the 1999 Kosovo/Serbian war and the US has supported Kosovo since then. Needless to say, they love Americans here.

An unfinished Serbian Orthodox church that has remained "under construction" since the late 90s. It's located in the middle of the university's campus, but no one really knows what to do with it. Politics still getting in the way...

Takes the words right out of my mouth.

The ugliest library in the universe. It looks like some post-apocalyptic, distopian architecture.

One example of passive protesting. All of the colors are supposed to represent the importance of diversity within the country.

A 1950's styled diner...I told you they love America

Students creating another artistic form of protest. I think the faces are meant to represent the people who have been missing since the war.

"Newborn"- Kosovo's motto. This country is definitely in the process of rebirth and revolution.

Here is a picture of Kosovo's president. Yes, she's a woman! This cardboard cutout is another act of protest against how much the government spent on a conference abroad. I don't know if she's very popular...but it is interesting that, under Kosovo's constitution, at least 30% of government representatives have to be women. Progressive or forced equality? You decide.

Bet you didn't know Mother Teresa was Albanian? About 95% of Kosovo is ethnically Albanian, so they regard her as a national saint...even though Catholics are a very small minority.

Inside a 13th century mosque in the heart of Pristina. Since 95% of Kosovo is ethnically Albanian, 95% of the population is Muslim. The ethnic Albanians are all Muslim, but religion here is less strict than in other Muslim countries. Their way of practice is actually very similar to Christian Danes: more of a cultural identity than a religious one.

Over the next few days we went on academic visits to various government organizations and NGOs around Pristina, including the ICO (International Civilian Organization) and the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees), and we actually got to meet the Minister of Defense of Kosovo...let's just say this man was pretty intimidating. I wouldn't want to get on his bad side.

View of the city from the former ICO offices. A little smoggy...kind of reminds me of L.A. Oh, and did I mention it was sunny all week? And the temperature was around 75 degrees every day? Nice break from 50 degree Copenhagen...

Our fancy lunch with one of the former ICO officials. Traditional Kosovo food is (in my opinion) a mix between Italian, Greek, and Middle Eastern...aka de-licious

UNHCR offices

Oh hey Dallas? Talk about completely random...

More randomness at the Ministry of Defense: Iowa and Kosovo? Who knew?

On Tuesday we went to the Northern city of Mitrovica. Mitrovica is one of the only cities in Kosovo where an existing conflict is still evident. The city is separated, North and South, by a river. The Southern half is made up of ethnic Albanians, while the smaller North is mainly ethnic Serbians. Two years ago, there was a violent protest on one of the bridges separating the city, leading to the death of a couple policemen and ultimately the creation of a small blockade on the bridge. Today, the blockade stands and KFOR officers patrol the bridge to quell protests if any arise. Besides the tension, Mitrovica is a gorgeous city (a lot cleaner than Pristina). Hopefully peace will come soon.

On top of that mountain are the ruins of a 11th century Byzantine castle...geez this country has so much history

OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) flags. We met with 3 officials: one Pole, one French, and one Kosovar Serb...what a blend!

Strolling through the streets of Mitrovica

The blockade on the Serbian side of the bridge. Notice the Serbian flags in the background?

Standing in the middle of the bridge. Both sides so separated, both sides technically apart of one nation, yet it appears as though peace is very far away.

And the graffiti is an everyday reminder of this tension.

Wednesday was our NGO day. The class was broken up into small groups of about 5-6 people to go visit different NGOs in Kosovo. My group chose to visit the DRC (Danish Refugee Council). The DRC is an international NGO, with obvious roots in Denmark, that works hands-on trying to rebuild the lives of refugees in various countries. The woman we met with was from the US, which was a relief because the language barrier was difficult to get used to...nobody really speaks English in Kosovo. The DRC seems like it's doing a lot of good, but she admitted that every year funding goes down, and at the current rate of decline, the DRC's mission in Kosovo will come to an end in about 2 years. Hopefully the Kosovar government will start taking control of refugee issues so that when the DRC leaves, these people will still be able to receive the help that they need.

We also met with KFOR (Kosovo Force) officers. These military men are from all over the world and they are here to be "peace keepers" until tensions in Kosovo come to an end. However...I asked the guys we spoke with if KFOR has an exit strategy for Kosovo and he said, and I quote, "Hell no." So I think it's pretty safe to say that they'll be here for a while.

After the KFOR meeting, we went to a small town just outside of Pristina where the Serbian and Albanian communities have integrated very well. The mayor is even an ethnic Serb, which is rare to find. There we visited a 13th Serbian Orthodox Monastery. We weren't allowed to take pictures inside, but here is how gorgeous it is on the inside.

Fun fact: St. Nicholas is the patron saint of travelers. I should definitely pick up a pendant of his with all the traveling I'll be doing this semester!

Thursday was our cultural day! After sooooo many academic visits, it was time for a little break. Destination: Peja

Peja is a gorgeous city in western Kosovo that is (obviously) backdropped by mountains that are actually a part of the Alps southern range.

We took a walking tour through the city, and then went to visit another 13th century Serbian Orthodox monastery, but this time I got to take pictures!! And boy did I... I love old churches. When ever I walk into one, I'm overcome with a sense of calm and tranquility. Maybe it's just the candles or the pretty frescos, but for some reason I feel at peace. It's probably just the history nerd inside of me recovering from the sensory overload...

Inside another beautiful, medieval mosque in Peja

The beautiful mountains behind the monastery

The 13th century church. All the stone was mined from the surrounding mountains

The intricate ceilings. It took 20 years just to paint all of the frescos

The OCD in me wishes the lines were straight in this photo, but it's not my fault! The monks should really spend more time on alignments than praying (that was total sarcasm). Also, fun fact, the monks brew their own brandy :)

Sup Jesus?

Our monk/guide in traditional Orthodox garb

Prayer candles :)

The day wasn't over yet, and now it was time to venture into the mountains to visit a tiny little mountain village, and the adorable family that lives there. Our guide's best friend and his family live on a farm where they harvest apples, honey, and milk (for the most part), but many other vegetables as well. I could definitely see myself living here...

The gorge between the mountains. If you keep heading west, you end up in Montenegro!

Our guide and the family! You can tell the wife wears the pants...

Fresh honey!!

What a feast! Everything is made from scratch at the farm

Just the most beautiful mountains ever.

The PERFECT apple. I dare you to challenge me. Plus, it was just picked from a tree. As fresh as it gets, folks.

The sun setting over the mountains...I'm going to miss this view.

The trip to Kosovo couldn't be concluded any better than with a GIGANTIC bottle of Peja (the beer). Probably in my Top Ten most amazing beers list.

Look at those Danes, eyeing down the beer. I bet they could finish the whole thing between the both of them...but seriously. Never try to beat a Dane in a drinking contest. It's a lost cause.

Everything about the trip is still sinking in. In my entire life, I would have never thought that I would be able to say that I went to Kosovo. It's not the most touristy place, or the most beautiful, and definitely not the cleanest...but its history and its people make it a completely unique European country. After hundreds of years of war, being able to preserve the culture and identity that is "Kosovo" is an amazing feat...and the people still have so much hope for the future. It makes you realize what you're truly grateful for in life, and how much potential you have to succeed.

If they can do it, anyone can.

Now I'm back in Copenhagen, and it certainly does feel good to be home (Yep. That's right, I called it home)

Hej hej,