Midsummer in Copenhagen

Ben Wierschem: AU CADC – Environmental Design Program in Copenhagen, Denmark Summer 2022

The beautiful thing about the ENVD abroad program to Copenhagen is I was not very close with anyone that was going originally. The program was designed so that there was a 2-week studio before leaving and then 2 weeks of break before leaving for 3 weeks. During these two weeks of class at Auburn I began to become much closer with people going on the trip which made me much more excited about going abroad with some familiar faces that I now had created a bond with.

The first day of class in Copenhagen started June 20th, 2023. 4 Days into our program on June 24th it was one of the biggest holidays in the summer celebrated in Scandinavia, Midsummer. Midsummer is known as the longest day of the year so the sun is out for almost the entirety of the day. Copenhagen is not in the Arctic Circle, so it does not experience 24 hours of light on this day, but it was only truly dark for about an hour or two. 

A group of students from my program wanted to experience the celebration of mid-summer and we found out that multiple locations throughout Copenhagen have large events and celebrations. We chose to go to one that was known as the most famous one in Nyhavn which is probably the most photographed place in Copenhagen. 

We arrived in Nyhavn around 9:00 pm which felt like 4:00 pm in Auburn. Nyhaven is an area that has a small canal running through it with small boats and sailboats lining the edges. The buildings following the canals are vibrant with colors and have bars, restaurants, and stores on all of the bottom floors. The streets were filled with people eating and drinking together preparing for the main event.

We went to every restaurant nearby and it didn’t seem possible to get a seat with how crowded it was so we opted to go sit in a small grass park that had hundreds of bikes parked there.

Around 10:00 we made our way to a large wooden dock that overlooked the main canal in the city. Soon after we sat down we noticed a large wooden platform with piles of wood on it. Shortly after sitting on the bank of the canal a boat went over to the floating pile of wood and lit it on fire creating a large bonfire that everyone gathered around. We all sat around eating food till around 11:00 when they put it out. Even on our walk back to our hostel at this time it was only twilight.

Auburn Abroad

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