Geography lessons, gentrification and unexploded ordinances: a weekend in Aarhus

After more than a year away from Denmark, I took a weekend trip away from Hamburg to visit my friends in Aarhus.

Aarhus has changed, and it hasn’t. After a 4-and-a-half hour train ride due north, I found myself downtown in a city which I had once called my home. It was a surreal feeling, with everything at once so strange and so familiar.

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Downtown Aarhus. The gray clock tower in the middle is City Hall.

The EU has designated Aarhus the European Capital of Culture for the calendar year 2017, which means the city will be organizing a series of cultural events in order to draw visitors and make a name for itself.

According to Wikipedia, Preparing a European Capital of Culture can be an opportunity for the city to generate considerable cultural, social and economic benefits and it can help foster urban regeneration, change the city’s image and raise its visibility and profile on an international scale.

You know what another word for “urban regeneration” is? Gentrification. And the gentrification was hard to miss.

Continue reading “Geography lessons, gentrification and unexploded ordinances: a weekend in Aarhus”

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The Old City, the Moesgård Museum and church service at the Cathedral

After a Skype conversation with my parents made me realize that I’ve been getting into the habit of drinking and clubbing and not so much experiencing the culture and attractions of Aarhus, I set out one weekend with a newfound determination to enjoy the city. The result? I went to an open-air museum, a traditional museum, and a church service.

Den Gamle By (The Old City)

A part of the canal runs through Den Gamle By. Sometimes there are geese.
A part of the canal runs through Den Gamle By. Sometimes there are geese. The picket fence is the edge of the museum – those buildings to the right and in the background aren’t part of it.

The Old City is a collection of well-preserved historical houses from around Denmark that show you what life was like back in the day. When a building is bought by or donated to the museum, it is painstakingly un-assembled, brick by brick, documented, transported, and re-assembled at its new home. Little signs on the buildings tell you what they were used for, and many also had little gardens where people would grow their own food. Though the gardens weren’t much to look at in the middle of January, the houses were pretty cool Continue reading “The Old City, the Moesgård Museum and church service at the Cathedral”

Erasmus Mundus: A Whole New Adventure

My senior year of undergrad, I was looking for all sorts of ways to go back to Europe. I applied for a Fulbright in Germany and Austria, a DAAD study scholarship, and a couple of journalism fellowships. I didn’t receive any of them, so I started applying for journalism jobs. But since I wasn’t ready to relocate outside of Washington, my options were pretty limited, and I dunno if you’ve heard but journalism isn’t exactly a growing field.

Comm majors getting ready for graduation! I'm third from the right.
Comm majors getting ready for graduation! I’m third from the right.

Continue reading “Erasmus Mundus: A Whole New Adventure”