Torrig to Cologne

Time flies. Especially when you look forward to something for so long, then before you know it, it’s over and done with and you’re onto something new. We arrived in Europe for our first time on Oct. 24, and we’ve already finished the first of many adventures. We played the last show of our tour with YFC yesterday night (feels like days ago!) in Torrig, Denmark at Pederstrup Efterskole, a boarding school out in the country. We got to do a workshop with the students in the afternoon, even though it was a Saturday, and then played after dinner for them and students from a neighbouring boarding school. It was a really great time! Unfortunately we had to rush off right after the show otherwise I’m sure we would have been hanging out all night.

From Torrig we drove to Rødby where we caught a ferry to Puttgarden, Germany and continued to Hamburg from there. We had anticipated a really late night drive, but we ended up getting to Hamburg at 12:30am. Our train was leaving at 5:41am and Jon and Aaron’s flight home was leaving at 8:45, so we thought about getting a hotel room so we could all get some sleep before our respective travels, but Ebbe and Mathilde wanted to get a head start back to Arhus, so we went our separate ways.

Zoltan and I got a little room at this hotel near the train station and it was comfortable enough, but didn’t have a bathroom! There was a shared bathroom down the hall that everyone used. But we only had to be there for a few hours to get some sleep before our train, so it didn’t really matter anyway.

The train ride from Hamburg to Cologne was about 4 hours through German cities and countrysides. It was a beautiful ride, but we slept away most of it! It’s hard to believe that all this happened in the same 24 hours, and it was just this morning! We spent the morning and some of the afternoon walking around (with all our luggage….my back is really sore!) and found a 5 euro breakfast buffet at a hostel and some really tasty tiramisu next door. (And in the meantime Zoltan got us guest list tickets for the Switchfoot show tonight…no big deal!) We started to head back downtown to meet some of Zoltan’s friends from camp and met these two guys, Louis and Andreas who helped us get train tickets and carry all our stuff. We love travelling and seeing different places, but it’s the best when we get to meet people and hear their stories and make really random connections! That’s what it’s all about.

So that brings us to now, sitting in Starbucks, taking advantage of their free wifi and giving our feet a rest before we check out the most incredible cathedral I’ve ever seen. I think I have more pictures of churches on my camera than anything else, but these old European churches are absolutely incredible!

Anyway, hope you’re enjoying reading about our adventures. Love to all our friends and family in Canada!

 

Lauren

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The team.

Jon and Aaron playing Settlers of Catan at the Amsterdam Airport.

 

Jon in fighting mode. There's a story behind this one! We played a show at Cafe Retro in Copenhagen, and our accommodations for the evening were the shared basement room of an apartment building. I guess it's common in Denmark for apartments to have a room that everyone can share for parties, guests etc. This particular room was in the basement, all concrete and unfurnished, except for one bed and a few tables and chairs. So we got out the foamies, and used some chair cushions and set up camp! In the one room, there was this old military helmet, which seemed oddly fitting, since this basement room seemed like the perfect environment to plan historic battles. Besides the fact that it was a little weird, we were all very grateful for a roof over our heads and I think we all had a really nice sleep.

 

Reconnaissance mode.

 

Yours truly on top of Church of Our Saviour in Copenhagen. All the stairs made me a little woozy!

 

Aaron outside of our AWESOME tour bus. We're the last band to ever get to tour in this. That's how awesome it is.

 

Ebbe and Aaron.

 

Ebbe, our fearless tour manager who loves Jesus, metal music, and makes delicious spaghetti.

 

Walking through Copenhagen. This city has captivated me.

 

Ebbe and Jon in the Church Of Our Lady.

 

We are tourists.

Narrow streets and passers-by in Copenhagen
Bicycles on the street
Aaron, Jon, Ebbe in downtown Copenhagen
Midnight in Copenhagen after our show at Cafe Retro.
Looking down from the Vor Frelsers Kirke (Church of our Saviour).
The gate to the church.
Taking a picture of the Church of Our Lady. This one looked very Greek with its pillars outside and statues of the twelve apostles inside.
Inside the Church Of Our Lady.
Danish Politi instructing the crowds for the changing of the guard ceremony at Amalienborg Palace.

Things seen, things learned

If you haven’t traveled to a far away country, you really should.

It’s an amazing thing to be immersed in a culture that is in some ways very similar, but in most ways completely different than the culture we are familiar with. It has, for me, brought me out of my North American culture box and has really opened me up to how another 5.5 million people live.

Denmark is a really interesting country with LOTS of history and a really neat culture. I thought I’d tell you a few things I’ve found really cool and different than Canada, and maybe some things that are similar.

1. State Church. Denmark has an evangelical lutheran church run by the government, which has lots of implications, both good and bad. All kids around age 13 take part in Confirmation classes to learn about the history of the church and most of the politics of it. It’s an amazing opportunity for the church to show God’s love to the young generation, but unfortunately most churches don’t take this opportunity and kids grow up thinking that church is just a religious duty and have no idea of what it’s like to have a relationship with God. We’ve been able to connect with a few churches who are using the confirmation classes to teach kids about having a relationship with Jesus, and share about how our faith has affected our life and how we live it out on a daily basis. Usually the kids we speak to are quite shy, so it’s hard to know what impact our words are having but we’ve had some good conversations with some of the kids and I’m trusting that we’re planting seeds that will be watered by other YFC bands or by the teachers and leaders.

2. Bicycles and Fashion. One thing’s for sure. EVERYONE here owns a bike and there are almost as many bikers on the road as there are cars! It’s actually crazy. Aaron’s been loving it because he’s a huge proponent of bikes as sustainable transportation and I also think it’s pretty neat. We’ve gone down a few walking streets (outdoor mall type streets) and outside stores and in the squares are SO many bikes. And lots of really cool looking ones too. It’s like hipster paradise. 🙂 ALSO, people who ride these bikes, and people in general are so well dressed. I guess that’s what happens when there are FOUR H&Ms in like 1km. It is definitely inspiring. Unfortunately, everything in Denmark (and Europe) is more expensive so I don’t know if I’ll be purchasing anything.

3. Boarding Schools. We’ve played at a few boarding schools so far and have a few more to go to this coming week, and it’s been one of our favorite places to visit. Boarding schools (or efterskøles) are quite common in Denmark for grades 8-10, and sometimes 11 and instead of being something dreaded, where the “bad” kids go, it’s something Danish kids look forward to. They get the experience of living away from home, and they get a really great learning environment because they get to build relationship with their fellow students and teachers.

4. History. In our first week of tour, we played in a church that was built in the 1200’s, and stayed at a house that had a straw roof! It’s crazy to see such an old history still apart of the day to day culture. There’s LOTS of brick, everywhere you look, and lots of very old churches with bell-towers. It makes for a very romantic looking country that kind of brings you back in time.

5. The Danish way of life. I heard once that Danes are the happiest people in the world, and after being here for two weeks already, I can see why that is. Contrary to North America, life is slower and people are in less of a rush. I would say that more than once, that’s frustrated us while on tour because we’re so used to things getting done instantly. It’s an interesting thing to have to adjust to. Full-time schedules are also only 37 hours a week, and people usually take an hour or so for lunch, and get 5 WEEKS of holidays, even in their first year of working for a company.

Those are just a few things you might not have known about this lovely country. I could talk more, but I’ll save that for other blog posts. I promise photos are coming soon! Zoltan’s making them look pretty so it’ll be worth the wait.

Love to all our friends and family, near and far.