This was a 9-day school trip for my choral group in Sweden and Denmark. We explored the many streets lined with colorful houses in Copenhagen and experienced marine life in Copenhagen and Karlskrona.
Europe8 days / April 2019
Highs & Lows
The highlight was living with my host family and learning how to cook Swedish meatballs with gravy.
The first day we got there, we already had to adjust to jetlag and we had a tour set up which everyone was tired for.
The group flew into Denmark first. The first day was the hardest day, mainly because there was a 6-hour time difference that we were unprepared for and had a whole day of museum tours and sightseeing. Many of the students could not function with the jet lag and cultural shock.
The second day we arrived, we explored the city of Copenhagen and noticed the intricate, colorful houses that were perfectly built around the water.
On the third day, we took a bus to Karlskrona, Sweden, and were invited to sing at a church and participate in a Sunday Service. On this day, we also met our host families that we would stay with for about two days.
On the fourth day, we visited the MarinMuseum in Karlskrona, which was full of ocean artifacts.
On the fifth day, we took a 7-hour bus ride to Stockholm. This was mostly a travel day, but we got an experience at the rest stop that almost resembled a five-star hotel with five Michelin star food.
Early in the morning of the sixth day, we rode the subway to Gamla Stan (an island) and visited the Nobel Prize Museum. There, we had a workshop with a renowned Swedish singer.
The seventh day was full of tours and free time. Some people visited the ABBA museum, others went on a bike tour around the city. At night, we had our final concert at Eric Erickson hall.
On the last day of the Sweden trip, we took a high-speed train to Uppsula and sang at the Maundy Thursday Mass. We returned to Stockholm for a final farewell dinner.
Q & A
What would you have changed?
I would have avoided most of the tours and just traveled based on recommendations from the natives. However, that was not possible as this was with a school and I could not plan anything independent of the group.
Anything go wrong during the trip?
I don't recall anything going wrong on this trip. It went swimmingly and according to plan. I think that was because we had adults on the trip to supervise and keep us on schedule.
How was the food?
The food was delicious--especially the Swedish meatballs. I feel as though much of their cuisine consists of bread, berries, and pork/fish.
What tips would you give a friend?
Some tips I would give a friend would include bringing more cash than card because many of the stores/restaurants only accepted cash (or króna). Another tip would be spending your money wisely because it is true-- Sweden and Denmark have very high standard of living but that also means everything costs more!
It was important to pack comfortable walking shoes because most of the time we were walking (I think that is the case with most of Europe). In addition, the weather in April was unpredictable so we had to pack layers-- which included packing hats, gloves, and a warm coat.
I would utilize the subway if walking is not an option. But walking is nice because being outside in these countries was refreshing (especially with the nice air).
One of the big surprises was when they offered us a "mysterious meat" which many of us ate for dinner. They eventually revealed that we had just eaten moose- which was a surprise to all of us.
The school booked all of our stays for us.