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    Posted December 8, 2012 by
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Travel photo of the day

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    After spending six months in Kosovo this year as a Fulbright Scholar, I decided to take a scenic route back to the U.S. that would include cities (and countries) I had never visited before. Three weeks of planes, trains, and automobiles took me slowly northward through Italy, Spain, Germany, Poland, Norway, Sweden, and finally Copenhagen, Denmark, where I took this photo.


    My goal was to experience the people, architecture, and history of each stop as fully and inexpensively as possible, which meant lots of booking in advance and then discovering where the locals, rather than tourists, ate and recreated. The further north I moved, the more everything cost, be it a bottle of water or a trip to the bathroom. Scandinavia surpassed all: breathtaking scenery, fascinating buildings, and absolutely unbelievable prices.


    My favorite days were spent without agendas, just wandering about with my map and camera…here a nosh from a bakery, there a rest at an open church, and sometimes even a brief chat with a tourist or local. No rush. No worries.


    On my last full day of vacation, while walking around Copenhagen’s seemingly endless waterfront, I spotted a barge hosting an international sand sculpture competition. I paid my entrance fee and entered. For me, this exhibit (and this piece in particular) was the perfect metaphor for my months spent abroad: unfamiliar but welcoming, beautiful because of its contrasts, profoundly immediate but soon to dissolve into memories.

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