Dogs are by far my favorite animal, and while in Scandinavia I noticed how many dogs there were. It seemed as if you could find an owner walking their dog on every street corner. Dogs were welcome in places that they are not in the US. Scandinavia has some of the happiest countries in the world, and I can’t help but think the prevalence of dogs plays a role in that.
Just like the United States, dogs seemed to be a part of families in Scandinavia. While in Sigtuna, Sweden, I talked to a man walking his dog. It was evident how much he loved him, just like we do in America. However, there were some differences. He talked about how most people in Scandinavia like to train their dogs. His three month old dog already new lots of basic commands. In the US, I do not think there is as big of an emphasis of training our dogs. He also told me that there are over 700,000 dogs in Sweden. That is a lot of dogs for a mid-sized country.
Sadly, when I came home yesterday, my dog Ginger passed away. It was so sudden and unexpected. She was an amazing dog and a member of my family. She showed me what unconditional love and joy look like. What this trip and Ginger have taught me about dogs is that world-wide dogs teach their owners about love. Whether they are better trained in one region than another does not matter. They bring so much happiness into our lives no matter where we are. We are universally connected through our pets who find their way into our hearts and become a member of our family.
Dogs in Old Town
Dogs in Old Town
My dog Ginger.
Food has always been one of my favorite ways to experience different cultures, and luckily in Copenhagen I tried so many great foods. From ice cream to liver, Copehagen had unique flavors that added to the overall experience.
The first nights dinner were very original and were something that I wouldn’t have gone out and ordered on my own. I enjoyed meat and a fish trays with various sides. The first tray had fried fish, pickelled herring, and smoked salmon. I really ended up liking the fried fish and the pickelled herring was something I had never tried before! The second plate had pork with a berry-type jam, along with cabbage, and liver with bacon. I liked the pork and jam, and I tried the liver as well. It had a very interesting texture and I’m so glad I gave it a try. This dinner was really cool this night because it was a very traditional meal from Denmark!
Actually, one of my favorite meals we had was at a Spanish restaurant in Denmark. We had various tapas for our entire meal and shared them around the table. They ranged from Spanish omlettes all the way to calamari and croquettes. What I loved about this dinner was that we got to try a bunch of different foods!
On the last day, we ended up going to “Paper Towns,” a food truck park across the canal. They had so many different options for food there. Walking around I noticed a lot of people eating something that looked like a giant crepe and I knew I wanted to get that. I found the stand inside, and it turns out that it was actually Mediterranean food. It was a flatbread that came with chicken, hummus, mozzarella, spinach, tatziki, and chili. It was the best thing I ate in Copenhagen! For dessert I tried a creme brûlée donut with ice cream on top. It was the best dessert I have had on this trip! They even torched the donut right in front of you!
All the foods that I have tried on this trip have been phenomena, but Copenhagen has given us all a taste of traditional food and culturally infused foods. It was so neat to see how other types of food added to the cultural diversity of the city. They had the best food!
This week we went to Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen and it was so much fun! Being from Orlando I kept on thinking how similar and different it was to the many theme parks in my hometown.
Just like Universal and Disney, it had many thrilling roller coasters but they were more quaint then the ones back home. The workers seemed very relaxed about bags and safety which was a huge contrast from Disney. Being the second oldest theme park in the word, it was very well maintained and cared for.
The rides were smaller than a major theme park, but were still super fun! We ended up going on the airplane ride which spun us around in a giant circle in the air, but at the same time spun our airplane in a circle. It was so crazy! It was the most fun I had ever had on a ride, even on the ones back home in Orlando!
I was amazed to see how much fun this smaller scale theme park was and its similarities to Disney. On our walking tour, we were told that Walt Disney actually came to Tivoli and was influenced to model Disney after the park. There were some similarities, such as parts looking like “It’s a Small World After All.” It’s amazing that I got to find a place in Denmark that was so close to home for me. I’ve been going to Disney since before I could talk and I finally got to see where Walt Disney pulled his inspiration from.
Tivoli Gardens was the highlight of my trip so far. I’m so happy that I had the opportunity to go and visit. It really showed me how our whole world is connected in ways we don’t even know.
I can’t believe I’m actually in Norway!! I have loved getting to be immersed in their unique culture and humility.
One of my favorite things to do in a new country is to go exploring and try their food. From meatballs to seafood we have had the opportunity to try it all and it is so delicious!! The food seems very hardy and warm, which is probably due to their hard winters.
I absolutely loved the tour of the Royal Palace and found it fascinating that the Norwegians decided to choose royalty for their country that are not originally from Norway. The palace is beautiful and I think its very reflective of the friendly Norwegian culture to let people like us take tours of the palace during the summer. It’s such a great opportunity!
I’m still adjusting to the time schedule but its getting to see pretty normal. We only have one and half more days left in Norway and I can’t wait to go to the ski jump tomorrow. Oslo has been great and I have loved every second of this fjord city!
Hi! My name is Victoria Guvenc and I am a pre-business major and psychology minor from the beautiful Orlando, Florida. I am so excited to go on this amazing adventure with 15 other incredible people!!
I never thought that I would find myself here about to embark on a trip to Scandinavia. I always thought that if I were to study abroad I would go to one of the more “typical” (yet still special) places, like London or Paris. However, when I heard about the opportunity to visit Norway, Sweden, and Denmark I knew that this was a unique trip that I just had to experience.
Growing up I have always been surrounded by many different cultures with my mom being from Paramaribo, Suriname and my dad from Istanbul, Turkey. I feel that having such a different cultural background and upbringing has given me a deep appreciation for other cultures and has constantly pushed me to want to learn more. In every city that we go to, I want to learn more about cultural customs and really immerse myself in a different world. One of my favorite ways to to do this is through food! I have grown up trying unique foods and I can’t wait to eat lots of seafood and smørrebrød. I also hear that Scandinavia has quite the coffee culture, so I hope to start every day off with some of that. With so many museums I want to learn about the deep history and tradition that have made these countries what they are today. Sometimes when I think of Scandinavia, I think only of vikings, but I’m sure I’ll see that its so much more than that.
Along with my cultural background, the recent tragedy in my hometown has also lead me to see the importance in understanding and accepting different cultures. Now more than ever we need to learn to appreciate those who are different than us. I am looking forward to going to one of the most liberal and accepting areas in the world, and hope to see the world through a different set of values and gain various perspectives on life. At TCU we are so fortunate to have opportunities to help us gain global perspectives, and what has happened in Orlando has shown me how important that is.
I can’t wait to explore Scandinavia and learn so much along the way!!