Introducing Denmark 101: The Podcast

Hear ye’, hear me!? After creating Denmark 101 videos on youtube for the last couple of years several of you pointed out that it would be much more convenient if you could consume my Denmark 101 series in a pure-audio/podcast format. So, after sitting down and chewing on a traditional Danish licorice pipe for a bit, I realized that you were, of course, absolutely right.

From there, it was only a matter of figuring out just how to make it happen.  These days in addition to running VirtualWayfarer I also work full time with a standard 37+ hour work week and creating content is a fun passion, but also incredibly time consuming.  Just for quick reference, let’s say I’ve shot 2,500 photos during a trip like my recent jaunt to Myanmar and Thailand. I’ll cut that to 1,000 which then get edited. I can edit most shots in, let’s optimistically say, about 45 seconds a piece on average.  That means I’m looking at around 11-12 hours of pure editing time before I make the final cut and then spend an hour or two uploading, tagging, and labeling those photos. That’s not even beginning to discuss video and then writing the actual content here on the site.

This left me with a conundrum. How to make Denmark 101 more accessible for you, but without having to re-record 50+ episodes on top of the content I’m already committed to creating for you. Luckily, I’ve been working closely with my Dad to launch his podcast, Insights into Education [iTunes, Android], which provided me with a great excuse to flesh out my skills and learn just how Podcasting works before progressing with the Denmark 101 podcast. I also had the benefit of being able to pick Evo Terra‘s brain a bit who quite literally wrote the book on the topic and is a prolific podcaster.

The end result? The Denmark 101 podcast which is a hybrid that splices audio-pulled directly from the Denmark 101 videos, carefully edited and re-mastered, with added context and added structure.  While the Denmark 101 video series is already at Episode 50, I’ll be posting one (or more) Denmark 101 Podcast episodes per week. As this post goes live, the first 9 Episodes of Denmark 101 are already available on iTunes and Android.

 

Wait, what’s Denmark 101?

 

In recent years Scandinavia, and in particular the Danes, have been the focus of a lot of attention. The Danish approach is unusual, it’s creative, and has a wonderful mixture of traditions and novel approaches to things which the rest of the world finds absolutely fascinating.  Denmark 101 was initially launched as an effort to share my experiences and observations as a traveler, sojourner, and quasi-expat with a heavy cultural communication oriented background with new arrivals and visitors.

Over time, it’s evolved to be an exploration of Danish culture, traditions, and society that is often viewed more often by Danes curious about an outside perspective, than visitors preparing for a visit to Denmark. Topics that will be covered include the Danish approach to nudity, how to make Danish friends, how to meet Danes, Danish manners, and even a look at Janteloven.

My goal with Denmark 101 has to educate, and make observations, but to avoid the pitfalls that often plague expat narratives and commentary about their adopted cultures. I also seek to deep-dive into Danish culture far beyond the most casual and high level narrative which you’ll normally find on top 10 lists and basic guides scattered across the mediascape.

 

Ready to listen?

Sound interesting?  You can find Denmark 101 in your iPhone’s podcast app where it’s free to stream. To jump to iTunes just click here. If you like what you hear please make sure to subscribe to the podcast to ensure you’re updated when new episodes are posted.

If you’re on your Desktop, use an Android device, or any other type of podcasting device you can access the feed directly via Libsyn here.

Denmark 101 is 100% free. My only request is that if you listen to and like the podcast, that you leave a review in iTunes or consider sharing it with friends, co-workers and family. You are my best advocates and are the key for helping the podcast take off.

A Road Trip Through Denmark in Fall

If you crack a guidebook for Copenhagen you’ll find a number of great (and not so great) suggestions.  Everything from a visit to The Little Mermaid (yuck) to the incredible vista out over the Sand Buried Lighthouse or Skagen’s world famous light. One thing missing is a suggestion to see Denmark, in Fall, as the leaves change.  This past fall I had the pleasure of, mostly by happenstance, taking a week-long road trip with family through Denmark at the end of October. The results were a complete, and utterly enchanting, surprise.  Of course, if you’re somewhere with four distinct seasons, the beauty of fall is a given.  But, there are some places that are better equipped to charm your socks off and, after my road trip, I’ll happy add Denmark to that list.

What makes it special? A large portion of the Danish countryside uses buried power lines. Fences are also usually less-than-blatant, or artfully done where present. This creates rolling farmland, with fresh fall/winter cover crops sprouting (or blooming), with a sporadic mixture of small stands of trees and large forests. The forests themselves range in density and plant life fairly significantly throughout the Danish landscape. With a wealth of islands, exposed coasts, and inland lakes Denmark’s forests are also typically heavily blended with many types of trees thrust together in a veritable tree-bouquet that adds rich texture, depth, and in fall a brilliant array of colors.  All of which is dotted by small one and a half lane country roads, brilliant coast line, charming old farm houses many of which are brightly colored and have thatched rooftops…and then of course, brilliantly hygge historical Danish towns.

If you’re visiting Denmark from abroad, another great incentive is that depending on how and where you book, the country which is famous for its 180% tax on new vehicles has tax-free rentals specifically available for visiting foreigners which results in drastically reduced rental prices and in many cases unlimited mileage. These rentals require that you and your drivers don’t live in Denmark and are not Danish citizens. If you meet these criteria, renting a car suddenly becomes a very affordable way to see the country.

So, without further adieu, here is a mixture of color photos taken during my week-long road trip through Denmark, including visits to the island of Fyn, Sjaelland, and Jutland. Don’t miss the full album on flickr here.

The Back Roads of Jutland

2014 – A Year of Travel In 65 Black and White Photographs

As 2014 comes to a close it is time to look back over the year and to highlight some of my favorite photography. In 2014 I traveled less far-afield than during previous years but simultaneously spent more time familiarizing myself with the intimacies and breadth of texture present within Denmark. The image above is of the abandoned lighthouse at Rubjerg Knude in North Western Jutland. Upon the sand berm the individual posing is my younger brother. One of my goals this year was to work on my portrait photography and to add people into some of my shots. Hopefully you enjoy the result!

2014 – A Year of Travel In 65 Color Photographs

As 2014 comes to a close it is time to look back over the year and to highlight some of my favorite photography. In 2014 I traveled less far-afield than during previous years but simultaneously spent more time familiarizing myself with the intimacies and breadth of texture present within Denmark. The image above is of the the Sand Buried Lighthouse, Rubjerg Knude, in North Jutland, Denmark. I’ve started this post with it because it embodies the spirit of this post; the re-discovery and excavation of memorable photos that might otherwise get lost beneath the persistent march of the sands of time. With this post I’ll be dusting away the sand and re-visiting highlights from a gorgeous year. I hope you enjoy the photos.

Fancy Danish Smorrebrod

Fancy Danish Smorrebrod

It’s delicious, it’s distinctly Nordic, it’s relatively healthy, and it’s surprisingly more complicated than one would think.  What is it?  It’s Danish Smørrebrød or “Smorrebrod”.  In the past I’ve written about local Danish cuisine and more specifically the every-day variety of Danish smørrebrød while suggesting several local hole-in-the-wall venues around Copenhagen where cheap and delicious smørrebrød could be found. Today I want to talk about the other end of the spectrum – fancy Danish Smørrebrød.

Fancy Danish Smorrebrod

In recent years Nordic cuisine has exploded onto the international stage led by restaurants such as Copenhagen’s world famous Noma restaurant.  These foods are known for using fresh, local ingredients in innovative ways to create flavorful plates that are both a delight to taste and a feast for the eyes.  One incarnation of this push towards fancy Nordic food has been a re-visit of one of the staples of the Danish diet.  In so doing, modern high end restaurants have re-worked smørrebrød while capitalizing on the food’s inherent inclination towards color, attractive appearance, and diverse use of ingredients.

Fancy Danish Smorrebrod

I recently had the opportunity while in Aalborg to sample a mixture of re-imagined modern smørrebrød at Utzon Restauraunt.  The venue is situated in a gorgeous center that overlooks the city’s fjord while providing a great modern-Danish backdrop.  The food served consisted of beautifully colored and portioned pieces of smørrebrød which used ingredients such as steak tartare, herring, various fish fillets, giant capers, beats, giant asparagus, shrimp, fish eggs, pickles, dill, fresh onions, Danish remoulade, and of course the cornerstone of it all – Danish rugbrød.

Fancy Danish Smorrebrod

While all of the smørrebrød we sampled was fantastic, I think the most unusual was the steak tartare which had raw ground beef and used fluffy white bread in place of the traditional dark rugbrød. Accompanied by sauce, onions, pickles, giant capers, potato chips and greens it had a light, fresh, flavor which nicely accompanied the meat without being overpowering.  During previous meals I had encountered more basic versions of the other variations of smørrebrød we tried, but in the case of the steak tartare it was the first time I’ve seen raw meat used. While not for the feint of heart, I can say I eagerly await my next opportunity to dive into a similar variation on traditional smørrebrød.

You can find my previous post on budget smørrebrød in Copenhagen here.  Have you had any experiences with smørrebrød?  I’d love to hear what you thought of it!