Thanksgiving Dinner

Hi, everyone! ๐Ÿ™‚ Erin, again.

We had a wonderful night in a beautifully decorated city! Lund was glowing with Christmas lights and decorations. ๐Ÿ™‚ We enjoyed a delicious turkey dinner, apple crumble pie, and after-dinner drinks! The turkey had some lemon and pepper flavor to it, the potatoes had some good seasoning, the baked apple went nicely with the turkey, and the warm apple dessert with cold vanilla sauce was delicious! I need to get every recipe. Below are a few pictures of the meal. Yum! ๐Ÿ™‚

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After our nice dinner and conversation, we roamed Lund with other students and visited a Christmas market about 15 minutes before closing. We are definitely planning on going back (and to other Christmas markets), but couldn’t help but purchase a bottle of a traditional holiday beverage, Svagdricka. It’s slightly alcoholic and sweet like Julmust, which is the non-alcoholic, root beer-like beverage with a sweeter flavor. It’s popular here in Sweden during the holiday. We also saw booths with creative artists who make little animals and characters out of a type of sugar dough, hand-made Christmas decorations, home-made marmalades, and more. I have a feeling that this is where we will be buying most of our Christmas gifts.

The walk home was very nice. Lund is so charming. Even in cold and wet weather, the historic buildings, cobble-stone streets, and Christmas decorations warm the heart. ๐Ÿ™‚ We will be posting pictures from these markets very soon. Until then, enjoy the Christmas planning! I hope you all have started your Christmas shopping! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Antiquarian Book Fair in Copenhagen

Hello, all! Erin, here. โค

We hope you had a beautiful Thanksgiving holiday. It was nice and calm for us. We will be having our dinner with other exchange students tomorrow. As for today, we visited Copenhagen to see one of the largest antiquarian book fairs with international sellers, book binders, and conservators. It was fantastic! So many gorgeous books from different countries dating back to several centuries ago…Mike and I were hypnotized and we kept envisioning our library we want to put together! There’s something about a book on science or religion from centuries ago…it’s similar to the affects that archaeological sites and artifacts have on me. I go into this trance and I feel an indescribable connection to the past creators and users. It’s nerdy, I know. Everyone gets their kicks in their own ways! ๐Ÿ™‚

Here are a few of the pictures from the fair.

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The fair was held at Rundetรฅrn (The Round Tower), which is a combined church, library and observatory built in 1642. We climbed all the way to the top to find a breathtaking view of Copenhagen and a freezing wind that has a mind of its own…an abusive one, at that. We soaked in the stunning views of the city and went back inside before my body temperature dropped to a painful low.

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Copenhagen was great! We plan on going back a couple more times before we leave. We miss you all! โค ๐Ÿ™‚

50 days left!

We’re returning home in 50 days! Erin has less than a month left of classes but we have the apartment for a few more weeks. A couple events we’re still looking forward to are the Thanksgiving dinner and the antique book fair this weekend. We’ve just been doing our normal daily routine lately, nothing special enough to take pictures of. But this weekend we’ll be sure to put some fresh photos up on the blog.

One grade posted!

I am super excited that my grade for one class has been posted! I received an “A” in Viking Age Scandinavia! ๐Ÿ™‚ I really enjoyed the course and I will definitely be taking lessons home with me. The other classes I’m currently taking are running through December 13th…so far, so good! ๐Ÿ™‚

Upcoming papers include analyses of the historiographical development (the “construction”) of the “viking” in the 19th century, transitions from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle to sedentary agriculture throughout Europe, and the use of metal for social statuses during the Bronze and Iron Ages throughout Europe. Very interesting topics!

Once I get this work completed, I’ll be studying some more Swedish and brushing up on my Arabic. As far as the Arabic goes, I’ve lost a lot of it, but thankfully I can still read (provided it is vocalized text [short vowels/consonant length indicated with small, added marks, as seen in the Qur’an, for example]) and write it…I realized I need to take advantage of the fact that I’ve already worked hard to get to this point. I should take it further. If any of you have spent time learning a language, stick with it! ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s another refreshing, beautiful night in Sweden. โค


Museums and Halloween!

Hello everyone! Erin, here. I recently had the opportunity to take a couple tours of museums in Lund. A couple of my professors took us through the exhibits and brought everything back to life! Here are some pictures.

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The visits taught me not only about Scandinavian Stone Age and Iron Age practices, but also about the organization and presentation of these artifacts. I was surprised to find that both professors were quite critical about the exhibits. The exhibits lacked cohesiveness. The presentation was kind of spread out all over the place. There was no chronological order. They also imposed modern day beliefs about cult practices by the way they created the dark tone…by the way they set the ominous mood. An objective mindset, crucial to the field of archaeology, was missing. What’s funny is that I would’ve never realized this if it weren’t for my professors. So much for all the “critical thinking” I’ve been trained to practice! I suppose I’ve just made a bad habit of visiting museums and accepting everything they have to offer in the way they choose to offer it. If we were dealing with art museums, then that perspective would be ok; but archaeology is about striving to be objective while we understand and accurately teach about past cultures. These visits have definitely benefited me! ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy Halloween! We visited a Halloween party…complete with ghosts, ghouls, music, and food! …MEXICAN food, I might add! The enchiladas were pretty good…strangely combined with white rice, but still good. ๐Ÿ™‚ We had quite an adventure after we left! Lund, in all its historical glory, is hypnotizing at night. It makes me uncomfortable to use this comparison for some reason, but it felt like we walked right into a movie! A Sherlock Holmes movie! The castle towers, massive canopy trees, and autumn leaves on the ground were transformed in the thick fog that glowed in the orange streetlights. Walking away from the street into the trees was something I would have loved to capture on video. Mike tried, but the camera couldn’t capture the light. All you would see is what looks like a forest of trees, dirt ground covered with fallen leaves, and scattered glowing light throughout the area. We walked to the cathedral and looked up to see the top of the tower fade into the fog. Words fail to describe the enchanting environment. What a strikingly beautiful environment and perfect for Halloween! ๐Ÿ™‚ As far as the adventure goes, we basically got lost trying to find a rescheduled transport back to Malmรถ (because the trains were not operating) and met a couple awesome Swedish guys. We were all roaming around Lund together and having conversation before we found (to our surprise) the luxury charter bus that would take us back to Malmรถ! It was a great night.

We miss and love you all!

Free Archaeology Journals online for Open Access Week!

Click here and Here to check out free and open scientific journals on archaeology, anthropology, archaeometry, and conservation! Many of these will only be available until Nov 4th so download whatever you find interesting before then!

The holidays are coming!

The holidays are getting closer and Erin and I are excited to see how Swedes celebrate. We’re going to a Halloween party on the 29th in the basement of the AF Borgen building…

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On Halloween night we’ll probably watch that disney movie Hocus Pocus and/or Nightmare Before Christmas. Those seem to be our Halloween traditions now.

Obviously Swedes don’t celebrate Thanksgiving but the university puts on a dinner for the American exchange students, so we’ll be going to that.

We want to see Christmas Eve mass in one of Cathedrals in Lund…or maybe both. Who knows? I can’t wait to hear that beautiful choir music echoing around the vaulted ceilings.

Christmas day we plan to spend a nice quiet (and hopefully snowy) day alone inside. If there is some sort of free out door Christmas event going on in the city we’ll probably go to that too.

It’s our first Christmas on our own and hopefully it will be our first white Christmas!

EDIT: Erin, here. ๐Ÿ™‚ We forgot to mention the Christmas markets! Living in Malmรถ, we are fortunate to be so close to so many of them. During this time of year, shops compete in their window Christmas decorations! I hear it’s a sight to see! There will also be a ceremonial Christmas tree lighting in one of the Christmas markets, here. We will also take a 30-minute train ride to Copenhagen for a popular Christmas market in an amusement park. Another one on our list is Scandinavia’s largest Christmas market in Gothenburg! This one has more than 60 holiday booths with seasonal decorations, traditional food and drink, rides, ice-skating, and millions of lights! We are so excited to bundle up for our first white Christmas and browse Scandinavian Christmas markets. ๐Ÿ™‚