Summer’s Almost Here!

Finally we’re seeing some sun in Denmark. We were in Copenhagen last week and had beautiful weather the whole time, which is a first. Usually it rains nonstop every time we’re there. Though it’s a little cooler and cloudier here in Aarhus, I can finally glimpse summer around the corner. So in honor of the coming summer, I thought I’d make a little list of what this turning of the seasons means for someone like me living in Denmark:

  1. Light! June 21st is the longest day of the year, and every day we get closer to that date we’re seeing longer and longer nights. We get almost 3 minutes more sunlight every day, to be exact. Tonight, the sun isn’t supposed to set until 9:47pm, and the twilight lingers until 10:30 or so. After a dark winter and gloomy spring, this extra light is very much appreciated.

    A picture of Marselisborg Lystbådehavn.

    A picture of Marselisborg Lystbådehavn at sunset. This was taken at about 9:40pm over the weekend.

  2. Parties in the park. The sun is so much appreciated that the minute work is over people flood the parks of Denmark to hang out in the sun. I’m in no way exaggerating. It looks like people waiting for the fireworks to start on the 4th of July. In Copenhagen we stayed near the King’s Garden by Rosenborg, and at 2pm people started trickling in. By 5pm, the park was PACKED. Of course, we were right there along with everyone, enjoying our pizza al fresco.Partying in the Park

    Mmm, pizza.

    Who puts salad on a pizza?! 

  3. Late night walks. Because of the light nights, we’ve started taking more walks after dinner, even as late as 9pm, while the sun is setting. It’s really fantastic.Sunset Walk
  4. Sunglasses. (Is this really the fourth item on the list that has to do with the increased sunlight? Why yes, yes it is. It really is that important.) I don’t know if this is just me, but I swear the sunlight here is stronger or brighter or something. I noticed this when we first arrived last summer, too. As a result, if I go outside for a few hours without my sunglasses, I’m guaranteed to get a headache. So now my sunglasses, which I never used to wear in the US, go on as soon as I leave the house. It has the added benefit of making me look really cool.

    Yep, super cool.

    Yep, super cool.

  5. Flowers. They enjoy the sun, too, and they are everywhere right about now and soooo pretty.IMG_1961
  6. Strawberries. The coming summer means that we’re starting to see more variety in the produce at the grocery store. I actually saw whole pineapples the other day! (And bought one immediately.) And bing cherries. Those are my favorite. I can’t wait until later in the season when they arrive really ripe. But the one most important fruit for a Danish summer is the Danish strawberry. They’re really big on strawberries around here, and I have to say that I don’t blame them. I bought this batch just the other day, and they are without a doubt some of the best strawberries I’ve ever eaten. Yum!The Delicious Berry
  7. Softis. It’s like someone took your everyday soft serve ice cream, stirred in a healthy portion of whipped cream, and served it to you on a cone. It’s the traditional Danish ice cream and a special summer treat. And it’s delicious.  But the Danes love ice cream of any kind, and the minute it is even a little warm and sunny outside you’ll see people lined up out the door to get some. The only kind of ice cream I’ve had trouble finding here is the harder kind that’s more typical in the US. We’ve pretty much had to buy some (veeeery expensive) Ben & Jerry’s cartons at the store if we’re craving that texture. But it’s not really necessary because the soft ice cream (resembling gilato) that is all over in Aarhus is really yummy.
    Nom nom nom. The strawberry swirl is our favorite flavor.

    Nom nom nom. The strawberry swirl is our favorite flavor.

     

So that, so far, is what late spring/early summer in Denmark means for us. Hopefully soon we’ll get to try some other Danish summer traditions like grilling outside and visiting the West coast for a dip in the ocean. But we’re pretty happy with what we’ve got so far.

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12 thoughts on “Summer’s Almost Here!

  1. As a Dane living abroad your article makes me miss the sumer evenings and – of course – strawberries with sugar and cream!

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    • Sorry to make you a tad homesick. 😦 The lyse nætter are really something amazing. And I don’t know why I didn’t think of doing strawberries and cream earlier! I’m definitely going to eat my next batch that way 🙂

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  2. Yummy looking strawberries. 🙂

    You mention more variety coming in the warm months and this is obviously normal, but is there anything you miss from back home that you don’t often see there?

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    • Well we had these reeeeeally good, locally grown peaches that came out at the end of the every summer. Those were amazing. Mostly I miss the variety. Usually here there are only one or two brands of any given thing in the grocery store. I kind of miss being able to choose the one I liked best. Also, we had more produce available all year round, but that’s up to debate whether that’s better or worse.

      What about you? Is there anything you guys miss from home while living in England?

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      • We’re not in England? why did you think that? lol
        The time we were abroad was in Aarhus. Actually the possibility of relocating there is still very much on for the end of this year, fingers crossed.

        On the 2 months we spent in Aarhus i wouldn’t say i noticed a lot missing. Most produce/brands were obviously different from what we have here but had enough variety for what we expected.
        The biggest issue for us was the labels only in danish. We had just arrived so had no knowledge..first trip to the store was fun:
        Trying to buy natural yogurt for toddler…looking at the boxes and labels..finally pick one out…hmm this looks good…but lets ask this young girl also with baby at the store…her reply: that’s not yogurt it’s cream…..ok…help please…lol

        She then proceeds to recommend the one she gives to her young one…nice friendly lady…thank you…got home and it was so strong in flavor that none of us could eat it lol
        Different cultures different tastes 😉

        Thinking back what we did miss seeing was maybe fresh fish on sale..the places we went to only seemed to have frozen variety..but maybe we weren’t going to the right places.
        Also buying fruit by the unit was a bit odd, it’s only sold by weight here.

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      • Sorry André! I must have gotten my wires crossed to think you were in England. I have heard that comment about the yogurt before. They have either a yogurt that comes in a carton and is more liquid-y than most people are used to (though it tastes normal) or they have a sour yogurt called skyr, which sounds like what you bought. I’ve seen fresh fish, but I think only at the bigger stores like Bilka. But yes, all the Danish and new brands do take some getting used to 🙂

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  3. Those glorious summer nights in Denmark. I can’t wait ( I will be there in a few weeks – yay!) You are right about the strawberries, they are the best I have ever tasted. However, the light doesn’t usually bother me in Denmark, even in Summertime, yet I am grabbing for the sunglasses when I return to Australia…

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    • I can’t figure out what it could be about the sunlight. The only thing I can think of is that it stays low in the sky for so long so most of the day it’s right at the right angle to shine directly in my eyes 🙂 Hope you enjoy your trip to Denmark! Where will you be visiting?

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  4. Yes, I also think that Danish strawberries are excellent. I never imagined that they could be that good because I thought that bad weather = bad strawberries. They are so good, though, that I even think that they top the strawberries from the south of France where it’s sunny most of the time.

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