Days 30-36: More work, more castles

Its been a long and awesome week here in Copenhagen!

Quick Hits:

  • I am exhausted every night
  • I can already tell the sun is setting earlier
  • The amount of traveling planned for the next month of my stay is insane
  • I have also overdosed on Lana Del Rays new album (its fantastic) and I have felt so many emotions that I am now incapable of being emotional anymore
  • My apartment is adorable!!
  • I got caught in a proper rainstorm today
  • I accidentally went to a nude open water swimming club (or was the universe sending me a sign???)
  • My friend told me all about Copenhagen at christmas time and I now wish it was christmas way too early (typical Paige behavior)


On my way back to Copenhagen last Sunday I made a friend, Seb, who was going to Copenhagen for a couple days and traveling up to Stockholm after. We had a lot of awesome conversations comparing UK to the US and talking about how much we have learned on our own journeys this summer. On his way out of Copenhagen Monday night we went to dinner at Copenhagen street food (now becoming a habit of mine) and no surprise it was a beautiful night and the place was packed to the gills.

To be honest, its getting a little difficult to distinguish all the days of the week, especially when I have work Monday to Friday.


Some other highlight of the week include spending the night at the beach, Amager Strand Park. Yes, I said beach. Yes, it is a beach. Yes, the waves are nonexistent, but the sand is sandy and there are shells and lots of people there to enjoy the sunshine on a spectacular night. I live pretty close, 5 min by bike, and the water is as clear as day. Its perfect to unwind after work and just watch all the clouds moving in the wind, and of course, to swim.


Saturday I thought I’d take myself on a little adventure. I will admit, mistakes were made, the largest being not dressing accordingly for the weather, but ultimately I am glad I went. The castle I went to should have been two hours by train, but with some construction happening on the tracks, it took me about four. It was pretty, but nothing compared to Fredriksburg Castle I visited last month.


Today I went for a run to the beach and stumbled upon a nude swimmers club! Will I be joining? As of right now, its not really my scene, but I did admire their dedication in the wind at 7am on a Sunday, being truly at one with mother oash.

Later I got coffee with Theodora, who is one of my good friends at work. We talked for maybe four hours, and when we got up to leave, it was pouring. It started to die down, and we made our exit, but as we were walking, we got into another really interesting conversation, and before we could cover significant ground it was pouring again. So we eventually just had to cut our conversation and part ways. I came home soaked head to toe, my sundress was wet but I had the keen idea of bringing an umbrella just in case. In the long run, all it did was keep my purse and my hair slightly dry, but im still thankful I had it.

It has been a fantastic week, and all the work I have been doing has been exciting as well, but honestly, I’m exhausted, so you’ll just have to take my word.


Days twenty six to twenty nine: Bavaria and the boys

Some of our oldest family friends moved to Munich when I was about 9. Although we go years between seeing each other, somehow when were all together it seems like not much has changed between us from 2002 to 2017. Grant and I had the pleasure of staying in their home outside of Munich and taking in this beautiful region with the comfort of having family just a call away.


Quick Hits:

  • trains can get you anywhere in Europe it seems
  • stamps are only $1 in Germany (postcard anyone?)
  • tap water dosent cost anything in Munich (finally)
  • Koingsee is the most beautiful place I have ever been
  • i am sleeping on a king sized bed (there is no position I can sleep in where I will be off the bed)
  • I realized I have seen nighttime only a handful of times in the past month…
  • German pretzels remain king



Some of my oldest childhood friends live in Munich. My brother and I played with Arno and Thomas from the age of two or three, and in fourth grade they moved back to Europe. They have been in Munich ever since. To stop and stay here was an obvious choice.

Tuesday Grant and I ventured out into the city and explored some museums in Munich. By far the coolest we saw was the Egypt museum. We grabbed some drinks with Arno and headed home.



Wednesday Grant and I went shopping, and I remembered how much I hate shopping. I went into a Zara and almost lost an arm. It was wild. I got some sweet postcards (shocker) and some earrings. We did the stereotypical Hoffbrau house dinner and I got my fill of german pretzel, which I will dearly miss in Denmark.




Thursday Grant and I ventured out to Koingsee. We took a bus, then a train, then a train, then another train, then a bus, and then a boat but IT WAS ALL SO WORTH IT. Because we messed up one of our connections we didn’t have much time once we got there but honestly, koingsee is the most beautiful place I have ever seen on this earth, and I will be back. To make it back home in time Grant and I had to run to our bus, and barely had time to grab some dinner before getting on the train. We got Burger King and it was awful but a very triumphant moment in our lives having seen all we did in one day.




Friday we were pooped. We hung out and Grant planned the rest of his time in Europe. After dinner we got “predrinks” (how cute is that?) with Thomas’ friends before heading to a club. I have to admit, I am incredibly proud that I, Paige Hoel, managed to stay up till 6am dancing. I never thought I could do it, I considered faking sick, I thought of ways out, but at the end of the day (or the beginning of the next day) I fought to the finish, and actually had a really amazing time. Rest assured, if I did not have such a fun group, that would not have happened.


Saturday I went to Nymphenburg Palace, and Grant and Arno met up with me to watch me get my ear pierced (so metal) We grabbed dinner and went into this cool part of the city where you’re allowed to spray art all over storage containers. We didn’t get there till it was starting to get kind of dark so we couldn’t stay long, but what we did see was so cool (unfortunate day for me to wear a dress)


And today I am on a train from Munich to Copenhagen (12 hours) so I have some time to work on my Etsy store, read, listen to albums front to back, spill my life into my diary, write some postcards.  I brought a LOT of food, some people might say too much (but I’m not some people) Honestly, I think I am starting to get pretty good at train travel.

I am bummed to be leaving Germany. I forgot how much fun it is hanging out with our old gang. Although we have all arguably changed a lot, sometimes it felt like we never skipped a beat between being ten years old and now in our twenties.

It is so awesome and funny to see the transformation of such old friends over time. I remember thinking Thomas and Arno were way too into insects and constantly picking on each other, and now both of them are killing it in their respective schools and jobs. I feel very thankful to have had them in my life and to still be able to tag along as the girl of the group, constantly talking, wearing a dress and slowing everyone down.

Days twenty one to twenty four: Berlin has GRIT

My brother and I had the pleasure of traveling through Berlin on this beautiful weekend and are currently enroute to Munich. It wasn’t cute, but I completely understand why it was so highly recommended to me for my summer travels.


Quick hits:

  • train travel is fun (especially from Berlin to Munich)
  • $48 can get you a massive rooftop room in the center of Berlin
  • Berlin has been destroyed like 5 times (ouch)
  • Not all cities can keep their parks as pretty as Copenhagen
  • Berlin smells like trash
  • Germany is all about cash
  • Investing $10 in groceries can get you four days of lunch for 2 people
  • eating big carrots whole is the best
  • trains can go on ferries and cross the ocean
  • I had an iced cappuccino that changed my life


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Berlin is gritty. I understood why Berlin looks the way it does a lot better after our full day walking tour on Sunday and I am not going to do the city the injustice of trying to summarize what I learned. I can boil it down to a couple things: you should learn about the history of Berlin, the city has changed so much in the past 30 years its hard to imagine that so much has happened there in recent history, and Berlin is the master of the bounce back.

We spent Friday traveling by train from Copenhagen to Berlin. We were delayed and it took about 9 hours in total, but I had a great time! Our airbnb was crazy cheap, and I am so glad that I was able to snag it. We had a really beautiful view of the city and on the second night I figured out that there were multiple ways to open the window, and we could sit on the roof and admire the sunset.


Scared from the prices of eating out in Denmark, we got some groceries and made sandwiches for the rest of our lunches while we were there. Turns out Germany has normally priced food (yay) and money was no where near an issue like we thought it was going to be.


Saturday, with our lunches packed and spirits high, we headed west of the victory tower to Charlottenburg palace. Any palace is hard to follow after some of the ones I have seen in Denmark, so I am trying not to be too bias. Virtually everything in Berlin was destroyed in WWII so its amazing that they could even preserve and of the structure, style or furniture. The gardens weren’t well kept (but I totally get it, Berlin has bigger fish to fry) but the tour was cool! Easily the coolest part of the tour was NAPOLEAN CROSSING THE ALPS (You know this picture, anyone that has read a history book in their life has seen this picture) Neither Grant nor I were expecting that and to be honest I am still pretty shocked that we were able to see a piece of art that famous that close for like $9


For dinner we headed to a beer-garden along the river spree and had a grand old time people watching. To get ourselves in the mood for our Sunday tour we watched Indiana Jones after dinner.


Sunday was our walking tour. Berlin is gritty. I understood why Berlin looks the way it does a lot better after our full day walking tour and I am not going to do the city the injustice of trying to summarize any facts or historical movements. I can boil the meat of what I learned down to a couple things: you should learn about the history of Berlin, the city has changed so much in the past 30 years its hard to imagine that so much has happened there in recent history, and Berlin is the master of the bounce back.


DSC_0229.jpgWe had a great tour guide and again enjoyed the bounty of our pre packed lunches. The holocaust memorial and Berlin wall were extremely powerful and easily my favorite parts of the tour. After, Grant and I stopped into a cafe and got some coffee. I got the iced cappuccino and it was the BEST COFFEE IVE EVER HAD. I attempted to make it to a flea market at 5pm, but most people were packing up and to be honest I don’t really need antique spoons or old soviet money.


Dinner was again along the river spree. My brother and I have had some great conversations on this trip but one of the best was at dinner when we were predicting what kind of person each-other will marry. Grant called me out on my udder fear of being an inconvenience or causing confrontation when I was having a nervous breakdown trying to ask for the check, and made me do a spit take because I laughed so hard. (really wish I had it on video)

The sunsets both nights were absolutely insane. Totally hot pink and fluffy and beautiful.


Currently its Monday. Grant and I are on a U-Bahn from Berlin to Munich and were passing through Lictenfels as I type this. This train through the north of Bavaria has been so beautiful. There are castles tucked into hills, green trees everywhere, sheep, fields of sunflowers, and charming little postcard towns. Its raining on and off and its really making this whole trip appropriately magical and melancholy.

Grant and I realized we actually have first class access with our Eurail passes (score) but I would feel a little guilty now whipping out my full sized carrots and tub of remaining hummus around this crowd…

Hope you all had a great weekend! Auf wiedersehen!

Days seventeen-nineteen: the park lifestyle

Gwen is on a plane somewhere over the Atlantic ocean right now and I already miss her. Within the last three days she was here our appreciation for Copenhagen reached a new level when we realized this city was actually made for us.

Quick hits:

  • we have walked an obscene amount in the past four days
  • there has yet to be a bad park in this cuty
  • River boat tours cost as much as a load of laundry and they’re awesome
  • Geology rocks
  • Art is everywhere
  • if ur Nikon D90 is having memory card errors just buy a new memory card DONT BOTHER TRYING TO FIX IT


The park of choice Day 17 was Havselkabes Have, which is slightly northwest from the city center. We began the day with some delicious coffee at Central Hotel and Cafe which is one of the coffee shops that will appear on pinterest when you search copenhagen. Gwen and I picked up Grant from the airport and we spent a while walking to Havselkabes Have, which was a really massive park. It is removed from the center and it is a little less youthful but very beautiful. Unfortunately my SD card gave up and I lost all my pictures.


That night we came back to Copenhagen street food and I got my sweet potato fry fix. We were in bed by 11:00, I call that a successful day.


Day 18 was a fantastic boat tour around the harbor AND flunky ball in Kongens Have. The weather was incredible, and the choice was made to rent bikes. We hiked to the top of Vor Freders Christianavn and Gwen remembered she hates heights but stuck it out for some adorable pictures. We tried a boat tour, which I think everyone in Copenhagen should do. It was so fun and really cheap.


We saw the palace where the queen currently lives and enjoyed the ultimate leisure of biking to the park to picnic. Flunky ball was a success and we seemed to be in great company at the park.


Day 19 was a huge voyage to Stevns Kilnt AND wine in orstedparken. Stevns Kilnt is reachabe by two hours in a car but gwen and I opter for the very metal one hour of biking and a 6km walk through the countryside option. I cannot express how insanely beautful this was. This trip really gave Gwen and I a chance to see how 95% of Denmark looks on a perfect blue sky day. We ate massive sandwiches on the walk and got ice cream on the way back.3836EF14-103E-42A6-9189-34D99C9B06B3

The beach itself was very cool. In the limestone outcrop there is a layer containing asteroid dust from the meteor that brought the end of the precambrian era. We could also see a massive offshore wind farm in the distance and lots of sailboats. There and back it was 12km and I can say I slept great last night because of it.


Gwen’s last dinner here was at a cute little cafe along Pebble Lake where people rent paddle boats and swans patrol with a firm hand. I had a steak salad that actually contained a good amount of steak, a very pleasant surprise.


I already miss Gwen so stinkin much but I am ready for the rest of this adventure. Right now I am in Berlin with my brother Grant and we will be leaving for Munich Monday! Many updates to come!


Days fourteen-sixteen: Fredriksborg Castle & Sweden sucks

I already feel like I am falling behind documenting all of these adventures! Gwen and I have been getting the most out of every hour she has had here and I am so thankful for all the time we’ve had. How cool is it that I have a friend that would do all this with me??

Quick Hits:

  • Fredriksborg castle is insane
  • most ice cream gets whipped cream on top
  • Gwen is slowly making me less uptight at museums
  • Laying on the floor and staring at a beautiful ceiling is really the best way to take it all in
  • picnics are life
  • Flunkyball is the worlds next great drinking game
  • Efficient public transit continues to blow my mind
  • Malmo Sweden is lame. Gwen and I give it two thumbs down



Saturday Gwen and I spent a breath taking day in Hillerot touring Fredriksborg castle. I think the pictures do all the talking.



hope this kid turned out okay


I have pictures from Sweden, but the whole city was so lame that I don’t even feel like uploading them.

Thankfully Gwen and I salvaged our day by getting some china boxes and heading over to Kongens Have which is a beautiful park right beside the palace where the queen currently lives in DenmarkIMG_8395.JPGWe saw these kids playing Flunkyball, which I am not going to bother describing but I promise was super cool and I will be playing it soon.

Lots of adventures to be had the next three days with this kid! Have a happy fourth of july!

Days nine-thirteen: diving into CPH life

What the heck? How has it already been two weeks? I’m SHOOK.

DSC_0415.jpgQuick Hits:

  • Today I realized I forgot the bachelor existed for the past month and I’m not mad about it
  • I have friends that are youths at DONG!!
  • Made a trip to the laundromat and it was superbly charming
  • Offshore wind energy is truly uncharted territory and being involved with it right now is SO COOL
  • Gwen is coming to visit tomorrow morning (so stooooked)
  • I decorated my desk
  • Congratulations in Danish is “Tillykke med fødselsdagen”


DSC_0380.jpgThis week I have been beginning to get into a work flow. Because the company is under a very large restructuring process, everyone takes vacations in July, and I have a very diverse range of interests, my designated task here has definitely been up in the air. Fortunately, this is a great opportunity to meet a lot of people and work on a wide variety of things.


My assignments can vary by day, and in between tasks I have begun a synopsis of the development of offshore wind energy here at DONG Energy, how GIS is used to streamline this progress, and all the methods in which GIS could be utilized to crunch big data as the field grows worldwide. I don’t know if I will ever be in a situation again where I have access to information to this degree, so I want to take full advantage while I can. This also gives me an excuse to interview some really cool people with great ideas.

DSC_0605.jpgI found a facebook group by chance this week of DONG Energy students. This was a game changer. I like all the kids I’ve met thus far and a lot of them are living really close to my new apartment! My stoke level is increasing by the day.

Screen Shot 2017-06-26 at 6.58.27 PM.jpgAfter work on Monday I suited up and walked to Islands Brygee which is a swimming pool inside of the harbor. The water was cold, I got a headache after about 15 minutes. I really wanted to put my Norwegian blood to the test and I think I did okay. Everyone else was in a wetsuit so I felt super cool (proud kook moment). The HARBOR WATER was amazing. I cant even believe I am saying it but its true. It felt so good to swim and when the water is just a couple degrees warmer I am so excited to get back to swimming every day.

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By the way heres a free little pro kook tip. Don’t waste your money on a go pro mouthpiece mount. Buy the floatie foam thing and once you have attached it, chomp down on it as if it were a mouth piece. You will look horrible but also who cares? As long as you’re the kid with the gopro you really gotta commit to it- embrace the lifestyle.

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aggressive shaka in the Baltic Sea

Tuesday I had no underwear left so I couldn’t put off laundry any longer. The closest laundromat to me thankfully happens to be the Laundromat Cafe, which is the cutest place ever. I mean come on, look at that VINTAGE DANISH MAP WALLPAPER are you kidding me??? The place was popping and the food looked great. The machines had soap preloaded in them and they were pretty decent relative to the cost of literally anything else in this city.



I may not have a lot to write about this week, but it feels like a new beginning. I am not a professional, but I am getting a lot closer to becoming one, and that’s really exciting. Its great to have friends at work now that are also still in school, still a little confused, but doing a great job at whatever it is that they’re doing. To be here, this summer, at this company, working in a field that I believe in wholeheartedly, helping with projects that perfectly combined many of my academic interests, is out of this world. I can not understand how I of all people landed an opportunity like this, but I intend to just be thankful, take advantage of this incredible opportunity, and enjoy every second.DSC_0459.jpg


The food I get to eat here is very healthy (yay!) tons of carrots, cabbage, salads with no dressing, fresh ingredients and clean lean protein, and its all delicious. The only issue I seem to be having is staying full. I am actually having a hard time getting enough carbs. After dinner I eat rice cakes to try to become full.

Another thing I have noticed here in Denmark is that the plates are actually smaller (The coffee cups too…)

Thursday they have desert at lunch- today it was carrot cake. They serve it like a sheet cake and the servings are maybe the size of half an iPhone 6 (hope thats a nice unnecessary reference frame for ya) Everyone grabs a piece and brings it back to their desk. The “when will I have accomplished enough to feel worthy of this cake” suspense is KILLER. Some people go for it the second they sit down, some wait for their 3pm coffee break. I haven’t decided my strategy yet. This is a fluid situation and I will update you on my decision after my next Thursday cake. It cant go without mentioning that carrot cake is one of my favorite things in the world. It was a very good day.

Hope everyone is having a great week! I am so amped for two weeks of adventuring with Gwen and Grant. There are surely lots of awesome stories and pictures to come.

I will have a permanent address starting on the 6th of July if anyone wants to send me mail, but I’d prefer not to post it, so send me a message if you’d like it!

Glad Torsdag!

Days six-eight: The end of my first week!

The end of my first week has come and gone! I cannot believe it has been eight whole days in this beautiful city. I am dangerously full of emotion on this beautiful rainy Copenhagen afternoon.


Quick hits:

  • I went to a zumba class in the park and felt like my life changed (dance brings the world together)
  • Weather can change on a dime in Copenhagen
  • I have conned my way into having a world class dinner every night for 25dkk ($3.50 ish)
  • My job gives me the incredible ability to listen to lots of music (so if you want to recommend me some or make me a playlist I wouldn’t be opposed)
  • I have met like 20 Jakob’s (pronounced Yakob)
  • I am living in the worlds cutest apartment for the next two months I am here (thanks DONG Energy)
  • Danish keyboards seriously impede my typing ability
  • I realized I brought 10 scrunchies on this trip
  • I am on official Yelp boycott (live in the moment ya know?)




I am beginning to feel like a young (semi) professional on my commute to and from work. I have my morning routine dialed in and I know how to reach two of the offices where I work. After getting the swing of things this week I had a meeting with my bosses on Friday and we outlined the rest of my work this summer. Clear eyes, full heart, long thoughtful list of internship objectives, cant loose!!


Just to give you an idea of the work I am involved in (to a tiny tiny degree) I look some pictures of the databases I get to look at. I didn’t realize that I was the last person at work Friday until someone asked me while I was still there. The maps are just so cool I could look at them for days (and I will so that’s a very good thing) I’ll be detailing all of my work as the weeks go on so I’ll spare the details right now.


Yesterday was midsummer, which I thought would be a big deal here but was kind of subdued as far as I could tell. The tradition is to get a barge, pile up a bunch of wood, get a fake witch and put her on top, and just let that puppy BURN. I saw the end of a burning and it didn’t look that cool but the bar that was on the canal in front of the barge was happening. I will have to go back soon.


Today I slept in till 8am!! (If you are at all close to me you would be incredibly proud) After my standard workout, shower, breakfast routine that is the same no matter what country I am in, I walked across the city to go to Zumba in the park. I showed up like 5 min late,.

Little aside – One of the most beautiful things about this summer is that I have (to a certain extent) lost track of time. I walk around the city trying to soak it all in, theres never a sense of urgency, unlike school where I am constantly holding coffee and my phone, frantically skating from class to class. I had no idea the walk to this park, which I have done before, takes 50 min. Back to the story


The Zumba class was awesome. I have considered getting Zumba certified for a while and this class reminded why. Dance brings people together in the greatest, sweatiest way. During the last routine of the class it almost on perfect queue started raining. We were all too sweaty for it to even make a difference. I definitely will be back for the rest of these classes.


IMG_8164.jpgNow that it was raining pretty hard, I decided to take my kindle to a cutie pie little coffee shop and just savor the afternoon. I am starting to learn what it too expensive and what is reasonable for food. I got totally shafted on my cup of coffee, 35dkk, but the location was nice and I didn’t really realize what I had done till she was pouring the cup. On my walk home I found a cool thrift shop, which apparently is not very hard to do in this city. There are cool thrift shops everywhere and their prices are what thrift shop prices should be. If my brother could potentially take home some of my unnecessary work clothes I might go and do some professional grade thrifting.

I listened to a really great podcast on success while I was walking around today. It reminded me a couple things that I like to keep present in my life:

  1. smiling is seriously powerful. Its not just good for you, but for all those around you. I try to smile as much as possible but walking around the city I’m going to try to make a more conscious effort to really look people in the eye and give them a genuine smile. Not a smirk, not a glance, a full on sun shiney smile.
  2. Gratitude is more than telling someone you love you are thankful. Gratitude should include the world around you, the people around you, and youself. I am going to kick my gratitude journal back into gear this July so if anyone wants to join you are more than welcome! In fact I would love it if you would J (I’ll be making a printable to help so stay tuned)


Nothing very exiting to report on this front. The food at work is always great and I eat the same breakfast every day. My snack of choice in my hotel room is rice cakes and fruit. (trying to get back into that #fitfam lifestyle ya feel)

I hope everyone has an incredible weekend! If theres something you would like to know about my adventures here that I’m not covering please let me know!