Saturday, November 20, 2010

Il neige à Aarhus (again!)

Last night we got our first snowfall, naturally out of the blue (grey?) since Danes keep telling us that "it never snows in Denmark" or that "snow is exceptional". Hmm, well, we did not really believe that before moving, as snow seemed to be on the ground in several versions of Hamlet including this one. But OK, in such stories it could still have come from the imagination of moviemakers and storytellers, who would have taken a poetic license for the sake of intensifying drama. But when we were told that "Spring and Summer are beautiful here" and indeed experienced a nice Spring and Summer that lasted from June until August, we were not too surprised any longer to see again snow fall from the sky last night... Threw us right back into the chill of our first days in Aarhus, although we did not dare to go by the sea to see if it was frozen!

But in any case, wasn't it fun to watch snow fall last night! Q went outside a few times, just to turn on the automatic exterior light and lighten up all these snowflakes. Sascha did not ask to go out on his usual night adventure though ;-)

Although it snowed overnight, there was merely an eighth of an inch on the ground by morning, which had mostly melted by mid-day today. We still spent most of the day inside, experiencing in our own way what Danes refer to as "hygge", which could be translated into "coziness": Baby, it's cold outside, so why don't we stay home and enjoy the snow covered backyard throughout the window from our comfortable chairs... It was Sascha's hair removal treatment again, so it is fair to say that it also snowed fur balls today...

So after our first two or three weeks into the darkness, with daily dinners by candle light, this arrival of snow marks the official beginning of the holiday season. Right on time for our upcoming Thanksgiving celebration a week from today. Oh yes! C plans to celebrate Thanksgiving just as usual, albeit for the first time outside the US. We will have some of our American expat friends over at our place a week from today, so it'll be just like home!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Not much to catch up on

As our silent blog indicated, not much travel blog-related events happened for us here in the last 2-3 months. In mid-September we moved to a new place, a nice house further away from downtown. It’s almost twice the price of our previous place (11,000 DKK instead of 6,500 DKK), but we did not have a choice, as it is definitely difficult to find a place that would welcome our cat! Incidentally, it is easier for smokers without pets to find apartments than for non-smokers with pets. As we did not contemplate leaving our cute & smart Sascha or picking up on smoking, we decided that this house would do, right upon touring it (people with similar interest in the house were already lined up after us). After all, this would end up being only for 6 months.

We are enjoying the much larger surface area (from 750 to 1050 sq ft), and the privilege of having our own house with a reasonably sized backyard, including a tiny apple tree that was loaded with deliciously red apples when we moved. Having our own washer and dryer (both new) was also a welcome “luxury” after the shared washer and dryer at our previous place, which was so smelly probably because of mold growth as described here.

Right now, halfway through November, the month is absolutely living up to its reputation of being rainy, grey and gloomy. Today again, we were reflecting on how opposite Colorado and Denmark can be weather-wise. For us, November used to be the month of the first ski days. The first snowfalls and the sunshine were calling us on weekends, and sometimes even during week days ;-) But here, we wake up on Sunday and the attraction is to stay home, to light up a few candles, and maybe to bake some apple pie (as C is doing right now). Quite different!

So how do we manage? Well, we now wake up to a lamp that mimics the sunrise, and we contemplate buying a light for light therapy, if our intake of vitamin D supplements and our strategy of “walking to work on the “sunny” sidewalk” aren’t enough. We’d considered to get away for a week in some sunny place, but we lack both money and holiday time for that. We did however enjoy some warmer and sunnier weather during a trip to Virginia for Matthew and Mary’s wedding, around mid-October. And if we keep our fingers crossed, we might see the sun at some point during the next week...

Although our move and work have kept us rather busy, we went on a few trips, most of them for business (C: London, Paris; Q: Lund, Sweden) but also for fun. In particular, we enjoyed discovering Copenhagen at the end of August, so stay tuned for an upcoming post on our weekend in Denmark’s capital city!