NorthSide Festival

By Alexandra
Repost from Copenhagen or Bust

There is no summer before NorthSide festival. It’s a thing I’ve come to learn every year at the beginning of June, when my (then) city would prepare to host what has grown to be one of Denmark’s greenest festival. From sleep deprived nights, to chaotic shifts and amazing musical experiences, NorthSide festival has been the mark of the beginning of the summer holiday. This year, I visited it once again as a volunteer…

11647428_10153476092559797_477707773_nFor five years now I’ve been involved in Aarhus’ very own music festival. I’ve seen it grow and with it I, myself, have grown. It all started in 2011, a year after I came to Denmark and since then it has been marking the beginning of the summer holidays. It was a challenge I was willing to accept when the opportunity to run a bar at the new festival hosted by the city of Aarhus arose. Around 15,000 people, some rather solid Danish and international artists and the promise of an extraordinary experience.

It was indeed extraordinary – from the amount of male and female intimate parts resulting from people not being able to hold their bladder because of the limited number of toilets and the outstanding number of drunken beers, to the festival running out of the same beer alongside other alcoholic beverages well before closing time, to crowds trying to find shelter by the bars during the (now) traditional Saturday showers cooling down the audience.

Since then NorthSide became one of the most appreciated festivals in Denmark, and it was sold out in the past three years. From 15,000 guests it now accommodates 30,000 over three days of really good music. And not only music – the food is overwhelmingly organic, their main sponsors produced an exclusive organic beer for the festival last year, it is known to be one of the cleanest festival with a clear focus on sustainability – everything is recycled.

I know it’s not my place to sell the festival – but I’ve got a warm spot for it – I grew with it and every year I’ve been a volunteer, giving away time and experience towards the making of it. It’s far from being perfect – but so are many things these days. Being there made me somewhat melancholic.

11637931_10153476092544797_303679860_nA strange feeling of being at home took over while waiting for a concert in front of the Green Stage – the sun was shining as usual and people were laying in the grass, beer in hands. I knew that the night would be long behind the bar, the tablets would probably crash at least once (and they did) and the next day (Saturday) the traditional shower would come. And it did – nothing to do with the prognosis, it just really rained every Saturday at NorthSide since I’ve been there – not quite as this year, but nonetheless… It’s a safe feeling to have – there will be stress, there will be good times, and there will be rain. Kind of like my life in Denmark. Nothing really changed since I came to Copenhagen, and NorthSide remained the same – there to announce the summer, it pretty much marks the opening of the festival season in Denmark, and for me is a reminder that no matter how good you’re doing there’s always place for improvement.

And, of course, this year there was The Black Keys. They rocked. I’ve been hoping to see them “at home” for three years now. I guess third time’s a charm.

Run for Friendship

You can’t force friendships, but you can give it a push, or in this spectacular case; give them shoes, to boost it. 150 students, both international and Danes, are participating in Run for Friendship where the goal is to run a half marathon.

How Run For Friendship impacts a person, a personality and life: An on-going story

By Jens Tilma
caterpillar runPeople were Running For Friendship. That was the  original name of the running club of the Student House. I didn’t even know, they existed. Word came from my sister, who noticed the initiative while studying abroad, and I requested to join the exchange student-integration running project just around Easter 2013.
rff back logo (1)I’ve always just been me. After joining the running club, I still am. Now it includes being a runner and all that follows and supersedes this. The name of the club has changed; it’s now a call to join the movement: Run For Friendship! And so we did…
start berkeleyIn it’s basic form, running is kind of easy. Just put one foot in front of the other. And fly in between. I did run before joining RFF. What’s hard about running, is to get out the door and to push on when it gets tough. Starting in RFF made these obstacles disappear. I suddenly had a regular running schedule twice a week and coaches telling me what to do. What I lacked in self-discipline regarding doing intervals and pushing on alone, I had in stubbornness and competitiveness. The improving running condition was obvious. But that’s just about the physical factor. RFF is a social running club and that might sound as a contradiction, but it’s quite unique. True, other running clubs have social aspects as well, but usually they are grouped by running level.
10417722_10152919298334062_6812793251377254107_nBeing social as a running club isn’t self-explaining. It includes high-5s and cheering, it includes a beer after training or other occasions. Sometimes, it’s going sailing or biking. Always, it’s paincakes after racing. Just by showing up, you have something in common; you’re part of something. There’s the running, and if breathing permits, the small-talk and getting to know other people and potentially meeting up besides running. RFF is a strong community. You involve at the level you want, and you get what you invest. That’s basically how life works.
high5rffI’ve gone from running introvertly round the streets and paths 10945372_10152601445607201_685589321426894757_nof Aarhus to feel at home in running and working out with other people. I feel more comfortable meeting new people in running shoes and sports clothes than at any other events. I’ve always been shy regarding new people, and I might still be. But I now have something in common with runners that I meet. Here in Aarhus, at races close by, and even in the great abroad. Thanks to social running, I got a social network in the states, while going there for months all by myself. A major game-changer from keeping to myself. The horizons are a little wider.
NPSF finish gateRunning is sometimes tough. But I find happiness in enjoying nature and the fresh air. Even in pushing hard, in taking it easy. In feeling my speed, strength, energy levels, and health improve. Improvement and well-being together with meeting fellow runners regardless of caterpillar runthe experience and level are my motivation. Some days are sun and excess energy, some  are rain and pain. Always, I look forward to running for friendship.
I hope to be contributing to the club and community giving back some of the memories and improving personal and physical development together with all of you!

Morning reflections on Danish elections

I recommend you to read a little about a lot when it comes to being an international in Denmark on Alex’s blog Copenhagen or Burst.

I was lucky to get to know Alex while she was still a student at Aarhus University and I really enjoy reading her blog now she moved to Copenhagen.

– Mona Louisa F. Madsen

Morning reflections on Danish elections

Repost from

By Alexandra Ionescu

Almost four years ago while waiting for a bus in Aarhus I’ve been presented with a red rose, accompanied by a bun and butter by a fellow campaigning for some political party. It got me thinking of how unoriginal and trivial political campaigns are, irrespective of the country. The socialists give you a bun, the liberals a fist – you can buy your own effing breakfast. Now it’s that time of the year again – Danish elections are coming and I have excitingly noticed that I pretty much understand everything that people say…

11329553_10153408983824797_1487435481_n (1)It all happened yesterday as the Prime Minister came out with the date for the elections – which are bound to be in three weeks’ time. An hour later, as I was biking through the most liveable city in the world I noticed how it was taken over by ugly-ass campaign posters. Efficiency could be observed at its best as eager volunteers hung up signs – some got the top spot, and latecomers just hung two posters, with no regards to the obnoxious effect it produces. I must admit my first thought was – if I were campaign manager… But then I thought how much fun it would be to be less invested and more observant.

It’s curious to see how in only three hours campaign posters (including ads on buses – that was the most impressive one) took over the city. And after an evening stroll in my (red) neighbourhood an overused phrase came to my mind “You’ve got my curiosity…now you’ve got my attention.” I noticed how my area was covered in left wing posters, with no “blue-block” representative to cast a perfectly trimmed smile upon the by-walkers. Now I always joke about living in an artsy hipster multicultural free-spirited neighbourhood, but I never really noticed how true that was until now. And, since we’re at the topic of stereotypes – I am very curious to take my bike and ride through Copenhagen in search of a pattern.

11348498_10202943558828296_299101833_o (1)Now I know I’ve never engaged in writing about politics – nothing romantic about that – but I’m curious of the Copenhagen pattern. Back home in Aarhus we would have a joke – that as you come up the hill from the business school towards the main campus of AU (going through social science and ending with humanities) you’d go from (light) blue to purple and red. So I am obviously curious whether Copenhagen has its own colour wheel or whether it was only the eagerness of the volunteers that painted my neighbourhood red (and green) before any shade of blue could sneak in.

“Objectivity hat” will be taken on and I’ll launch into analysing the numerous shades of blue and red taking over my city, my neighbourhood and my Facebook feed.

Bad or good, campaigning took over Denmark and now I am an entertained by-stander. I’m not going to lie – I’m thrilled about the outcome, I have secret sympathies and I take those “Who should you vote for tests?” for fun. But this is a story for a later time…

Read more on Alex’s blog; or like hit like on Facebook HERE!

Rainy days – What to do?

By Mona Louisa F. Madsen

Spring is amazing in Denmark; everything transfers from boring, greyish colors into joyful and happy green. But the spring also transforms snow to rain, and especially the spring and early summer has a lot of rainy days. Denmark actually has around 134 rainy days in a year! – and a few days ago I noticed someone asking for suggestions on what to do on a rainy day in Aarhus, which inspired me to write this post.


I guess I can be tough to see the beautiful side of a rainy day, but when you’re from a Nordic country or have lived here for a long period you learn to somehow appreciate the spring and the summer rain, and I’ll give you a few reasons why to love the rainy days:

  • The smell of grass and blooming trees and flowers combined with rain are a unique fresh smell.
  • Go for a walk in the forest and listen to the rain against the leaves on the treetops – it’s actually very peaceful
  • Find rainbows. When the sun’s rays hit the raindrops it will deflect and reflect the to form a rainbow.

So do yourself a favor: put on your rubber boots and go for a walk in the rain– It’s the best feeling!

If you’re not into nature and being so much outside when it’s raining here is a few suggestions for indoor amusement.

  • Watch a movie with the window slightly open so you can hear the raindrops. If you want to go all in The Telegraph has made a Top 10 films with rainy scenes – Find it here!
  • Visit the rainbow! – I haven’t seen it myself (yet) – but I have heard that it should be awesome to walk around in the Panorama Rainbow at ARoS when it’s raining.
  • Take the train – It may seem kind of stupid if you’re not going anywhere, but if you are it brings back childhood memories to watch the raindrops run horizontal on the windows.
  • Go to a café – I prefer Løve’s bog og vin café placed at Nørre Allé – you can both hide away in the back of the café or sit at the window and watch people walk by.

As I lived in Egypt where it’s always hot and never rains I learned to appreciate the rain and the fact that Denmark is a country where you really feel the differences of all the seasons.
noah21 four-weddings-phot_2849649b jurassicpark1 singing-in-the-rain1

Get a great and cheap breakfast

By Lene Nørby Skaarup Sahl Knudsen

Skærmbillede 2015-05-09 kl. 08.57.17Then I suggest that you pay a visit to Café Ziggy Sidewalk. It’s located at Åboulevarden 58, 8000 Aarhus C. Probably one of the most visited areas in Aarhus C during both spring and summertime. The café has tables both inside and outside, so if you enjoy the calming sound of water rippling right beside you – well then this place is perfect. They serve breakfast from 8.30 to 10.30 from Monday to Friday for only 39 Kr. You will actually be able to afford a breakfast buffet downtown while living on SU. The food is also very good even though it seems almost too cheap. They serve different varieties of homemade bread with lots to put on it, Greek yoghurt and homemade muesli among other things. You should definitely try the very typical Danish thing called “leverpostej”. It is chopped pig liver, but I promise that it tastes a lot better than it sounds.

My recommendations would be to bring your Friendship Ambassador match and enjoy a morning with a beautiful view of the city and also the huge mall Magasin. Of course it has to be a morning where you guys can take a morning off from your studies 😉

Skærmbillede 2015-05-09 kl. 08.54.50Ziggy Sidewalk

Åboulevarden 58

8000 Aarhus C

A perfect place for relaxation

By Christina Merz

Brabrand Sø and surroundings

Spring is here! So pack your picnic basket, grab some friends and head out into Denmark’s beautiful landscape. You do not even have to go far, Brabrand Sø is just about 5km from the city center and offers you a perfect place for relaxation: A blue lake surrounded by woods, picturesque allotment gardens and wildlife.


View on Brabrand Sø

The Brabrand Sø is part of Natura2000 which is a project from the European Union aiming at nature and biodiversity. Therefore, you can watch a lot of different birds, enjoy natural meadows and the half shadow of woods. A lot of the land surrounding the lake is privately owned and therefore not publicly accessible. However, there are paths leading to public spaces where you have a beautiful view on the lake.


Bikeway along Brabrand Sø

But the area around Brabrand Sø does not only offer a nice landscape and relaxation, you can also do sports around it. Irrespectively if you prefer jogging, biking or in-line skating, most of the parts of the “Brabrandstien” are asphalted. The Brabrandstien is a pathway that starts in the inner city of Aarhus and runs upstream the river Å and along Brabrand Sø. The pathway is relatively flat and especially during spring time very interesting because of the green flora and changing landscape. It also offers you the opportunity to get to know the namesake of Aarhus better – river Å.

Blue route

The blue route – for further information visit

If you are up for more, just continue the blue route around the Årslev Engsø and extend the roundtrip to about 25 km. To finish off the perfect day, you can stop by one of the cafés along the canal on the way back and enjoy the last sunrays of the day.

5 Danish dishes you have to try

By Mona Louisa F. Madsen

All countries have some national dishes, some are delicious, some weirder and some more unappetizing than others. I selected a few from the Danish cuisine, some I love and some I really hate. Enjoy!

stegt-flaesk-med-persillesauceStegt flæsk

Are actually king of thick slices of bacon best served with potatoes and parsley sauce. If this dish is on today’s menu most Danes will most likely be very happy. Find the recipe at HERE at – Not in my taste – however it’s the national dish. (picture above)


Directly translated: Apple cake. This old-fashioned dessert brings out the best childhood memories for most Danes. Apple porridge, macaroon crumble and whipped cream – Heaven! Get the recipe HERE at – Love it!

dyrlaengens_natmad_small_01Dyrlægens natmad

Yes you read it right: The veterinarians midnight snack – Excellent for lunch! Rye bread, lever pate, sliced, salted leg of veal and ‘sky’, which is jelly made of clear gravy. Best served with a few slices of raw onion and some cress. It sure tastes better than it sounds. Find the recipe HERE along with other kind of smørrebrød.


Tuna pate is a traditional Danish dish, which was very popular around the 80’s. It’s served as a starter and the original recipe includes a whole lot of butter. – But it is indeed very delicious! Find the recipe HERE. – I don’t have any words for the deliciousness of this one.



This is a dish that is primarily served for toddlers, but also old people. It’s a kind of porridge made from rye bread and beer. In older days this was a ‘left-over dish’ people made from rye bread. Top it up with some whipped cream. Either you’ll like it or you’ll hate it. Find the recipe HERE along with other kind of porridge at – My mum loves it- but please do not serve it to me!


What is your favourite/most hated dish from the Danish kitchen? Feel free to comment.