The First Day

It’s been one week!

Well, alright, not officially one week – not until about 2:30AM – but it’s close enough that I think I can call it that. To be honest, it feels like it’s been a lot longer. There’s a lot to tell, so I’m going to break it down over a few posts.

Getting here was interesting. We arrived at Billund airport just before midnight, and found that there was a bus into Horsens that arrived in an hour. We’re both exhausted, and would rather sleep, but what do we do? We wait for the bus because why not. We’d already traveled 24 hours by that point, might as well get to our destination. While waiting in the airport, we book our hotel and check things out.

The first thing that I notice is it’s quiet. Okay, it was midnight, but it was dead silent. Everything was closed. A car rental place was open, but it shut down not long after. Odd, I thought, for an airport.

Our bus pulls up and Greg talks to the driver. His spoken Danish is much better than mine – though he just asks if she speaks English, but that’s more than I can say. Together they determine that our best route is to get off at Vejle, and take the train into Horsens.

So, that’s what we do.

After a couple mishaps, (not being able to find how to get into the station, wandering around for fifteen minutes, not figuring out the ticketing system) we finally are on the train and by this point, I’m so tired I could cry. The train is quiet, except for a group of people around our age playing Heads Up behind us. Their conversation was a mixture of Danish and English, which was interesting.

Once in Horsens, we find a cab and get to our hotel. Everything is still dead silent. Another odd thing – the front door is locked. By now, it’s 2:30am and I just want to crash for at least the next three days. We ring the bell, and a very surprised night clerk lets us in. Initially I think she was a bit annoyed by us, but after learning where we were from and how long we’d traveled, she was much more sympathetic.

There was an elevator, but according to the clerk it was outside. I was beginning to wonder what kind of strange place we’d come to, but I didn’t have time to wonder for long – we had to haul two big suitcases, two carry-on suitcases, and two messenger bags up three or four flights of stairs – honestly, I lost count.

We get to our room, and though we’d booked a double bed… well, I guess it was technically a double bed. They were two beds pushed together. I had expected this for our dorm room – which, is exactly what we got – but it surprised me to see it in the hotel. The bathroom was “normal” looking (and by normal, I mean what you would expect to find in North America), with the exception of the shower. I’m used to a shower being inside a tub, or being separate and keeping water contained. Here, it’s just a shower head and tap mounted on the wall, with a drain in the floor.

Easy enough to figure out though, and then we promptly fell fast asleep.

The next morning, that’s I think when it really set in for us.

We decided to wander around, and found that we were in a shopping area. If you’re a North American reader who’s never traveled, let me just say that it looks exactly as you would picture Europe to look like. The buildings are very old, and beautiful. The sidewalks are cobblestone and if you’re clumsy like me, you may stumble and trip a few times. There are little stands selling pastries and coffee and hotdogs everywhere. I keep telling Greg that I want to try a hotdog from one of these places but as of right now, I still have not had one.


There’s something really intimidating about walking into a little kiosk to get coffee. Everyone who’s already inside looks at you, and suddenly you’re trapped. There’s no walking back out, you have to order something. We went in looking for coffee so of course we were going to anyways, but you suddenly feel very small and out of place and you wish there was a Tims and you’re wondering if your Danish is good enough to ask for a coffee (though coffee is just kaffe so it’s really not hard) and the friendly little woman is smiling at you waiting to hear what you want and… It’s very overwhelming.

Like most people here, she spoke English. But it’s hard not to feel overwhelmed.

I wasn’t feeling too great, so I barely ate that first day. We got a roast beef and horseradish sandwich from a place at the mall and the few bites I had were delicious. The mall itself was small, and looked much like you’d find back in NA, the biggest difference being that there was no food court. We even found a cell phone repair shop! (Something Greg was thrilled about. [He used to work in one])

The rest of the day was filled with walking to the University, and testing out McDonalds. McDonald’s was more or less the same, but there was something… off about it. I can’t quite put my finger on what though.

Another thing we discovered when we went to get dinner around 7:00 – everything shuts down at six.

We found a place open that made cheeseburgers, and so we got one to share. It was delicious as well, but same thing as McDonalds – something was just different. Greg says the beef was a bit tasteless, which could be it. We’re used to Alberta beef.

We decided to have an early night because we were both still drained, and we had an early morning the next day. The rest of the evening was spent watching Netflix on Greg’s phone, and I think a bit of wondering what we’d gotten ourselves into.


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