Polar Plunge in Copenhagen

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Open Campus Block

Authored By:

Elizabeth H.

Hi friends!

I just wanted to share about one of my favorite memories from my time in Copenhagen. CIEE offers a lot of fun activities throughout the week so students have opportunities to get involved and learn more about the city. One of the activities was doing a polar plunge (or cold swimming as some like to call it), in the harbor. It was in our last couple weeks in Copenhagen, so we had all been hoping the weather would be getting warmer by that time. Sadly, we were wrong.

It was around 50 degrees fahrenheit and cloudy, and the water was only colder. We all held hands, ran, and jumped off the dock. The second our skin touched the water, we rushed to the ladder and tried to get out as quickly as we possibly could. It was FREEZING. We talked about how our skin felt like it was on fire, and decided now would be a good time to get a warm coffee. Then, we ran over to a corner to change back into warmer clothes and headed into the cafe. It was just such a fun memory because it was a group of us who didn't know each other well, and all people I hadn't even gotten to spend much time with, all bonding over how freezing we are, but how much fun it was. We all got warm chai lattes or cappucinos and talked and shared from stories, just getting to know each other. I feel like that day was a great example of hygge, a Danish concept of togetherness and coziness. We just sat in our warm clothes and got to know each other, and no one had anywhere else to be except in that cafe. I just loved this concept so much about my time in Copenhagen. Everything felt so much slower paced and chill all the time, and things were just based on getting to know each other and spending time together. We left that cafe after over an hour of talking, and some of us got on our bikes and began the 3 mile bike ride home, while others got on the metro. It is such a freeing feeling to explore a new city on a bike, and I have tried to incorporate biking more into my everyday life since returning to the US because I thought it was so special how many Danes bike everywhere, and it was such a special experience. Me and my roommate rented bikes for the entire time we were there, and I rarely went anywhere without it, and I feel like it helped me fit into the culture more. 

Overall, this day was one of the core memories I have from my time in Copenhagen. It was just so fun and special, and seems like a day that really encapsulates all the best parts of Denmark and my time there.

- Liz