The Bucknell men's soccer team is spending Spring Break in Denmark. In addition to seeing the sights and learning about the history of this beautiful country, the Bison are also training and playing games against good competition. Goalkeeper Ryan Ott and midfielder Nick King are sending back their recollections on the trip.
Saturday, March 10 (Ryan Ott)
When we got off the plane, we were all incredibly excited to start our journey. Upon landing, we met our friendly tour guides, Alex and Michael, who took us to our tour bus. Then we met our bus driver Christian. While riding to our guest houses, Christian told us some of the history of the landscape as we drove by. Eventually, after settling in, we headed to dinner at Schou's in Nykøbing. We had a fantastic steak dinner and headed home to the house, where we relaxed and tried to fight off the jet lag. We took advantage of the pool and ping pong table, and we’re really looking forward to the next week!
Sunday, March 11 (Nick King)
Today began with a breakfast of yogurt, fruit, juice, bread, cheese, and meat from our hosts Alex and Michael at the guest house. After getting ready for the day, we loaded up the bus and headed towards the town of Køge. Køge is one of the oldest cities in Denmark, and our first stop was in the town square. The architecture of Køge’s old town was very distinct and was exactly what I imagined from an old European town. After eating a lunch at a local cafe, we headed to a nearby field to watch a first division game between HB Køge and Thisted FC. The game was at a random turf field, as Køge’s normal home field was unplayable due to the recent cold and snow. The game was very physical and even, and Køge came out on top 3-2 with a game winner in the last 10 minutes. After the game, we headed out to the port by Køge, where we explored the port area until our dinner at Slagter Stig Co. We were treated to an amazing dinner of two courses, with prawns, charcuteri, croquettes, then pork cutlets and steak for the main course. After dinner, we headed home to the guest house to relax after a long day.
Monday March 12 (Ryan Ott)
The day began in the usual way, with an abundance of fruit, yogurt, and breads given to us for breakfast by our guides, Alex and Michael. We set off for a day filled with exploring the history of this country. We first arrived in Vordingborg, where we realized pretty quickly we were in for a treat. It was time to take a tour of the Danish Castle Center. As we maneuvered around the grounds, our passionate tour guide introduced us to some history of Denmark, and the importance of castles in the country. Some of the castle was actually destroyed over the course of history, but we were able to see many structures still standing. Most impressive being the Goose Tower, which stood at 36 meters. We even were allowed to walk to the top of it, where we saw beautiful views of the city. What an amazing experience! But we weren't done yet. After eating at a small, yet quaint café in the city, we took off for Møns Klint. This was one of the most impressive views I've ever seen. As we stood atop the tall cliffs, we overlooked the Baltic Sea. This day in particular was very foggy, which led to a very eerie, but also captivating view of the sea. To end off our day, we traveled to Nykøbing, where we ate a delicious dinner at Ritz. We even had the pleasure to meet up with fellow Bison soccer player, Chris Thorsheim. It was an amazing day!
Tuesday March 13 (Nick King)
Today we woke early to get on the road after a quick breakfast. We left our house in Nykøbing, which was a great place to stay and where we will take many memories. We got on the road to Odense, where we headed to play our first game of the trip. On the road to Odense, we saw the Great Belt Bridge, which cost 21 billion kroner (3.5 billion USD) to construct. The cables on the bridge weigh 50,000 tons. After crossing the bridge onto the mainland of Fyn, we drove into the town of Odense, where we had a very nice lunch of sandwiches and burgers at Bryggeriet. After lunch, we toured the town of Odense, then took the bus over to Odense Boldklub’s training facility to play the Odense u19s. The game started fast, and the Odense team’s technique and skill showed. The game was very even early on, but Odense scored a rebound goal after 15 minutes. About ten minutes later, Odense struck again on a well-placed free kick from 22 yards out. After the second goal, we started to put some pressure on and scored soon after. After an interception in the midfield by Danny Hallowell, Stefan Gollisz played an inch perfect chipped through ball to Matt Thorsheim, who finished on the full volley past the keeper. The score remained 2-1 at halftime. In the second half, the game was very even again, with chances for both teams. Odense found two more goals off of special individual efforts, and the game finished 4-1. Although the score didn’t show it, the game was a good start to the spring season to help shake the rust and begin to figure things out. After the game, we had a two-hour bus ride to Copenhagen, where we came to our hotel, AO Hostel. We went out for a late dinner, then got some rest.
Wednesday March 14 (Ryan Ott)
After a relaxing night, we woke up and took on our first full day in Copenhagen. Complimentary breakfast was served by A&O, which consisted of meats, cheeses, cereal, and yogurts. For many of us, we experienced something for the first time. It was time to start our bike tour of the city of Copenhagen. We started downtown and made our way towards many of the parliamentary buildings. I realized two things at first. The first being that it had been a long time since I’d been on a bike. Second, and more importantly, that Denmark had an incredible amount of history. One of my favorite stops was a spot along the water, where we learned about the brand new opera house. It was such a beautiful view. After biking over 10 miles, we returned back and were treated to a large Danish buffet. It was a great meal, especially after all of that biking! The rest of the day was left up to us. We had the luxury of doing whatever we wanted. Many explored the rest of the city, while others relaxed in the hotel. Afterwards, we all branched off to different restaurants and had some more authentic Danish food. We learned so much about a city that I never realized.
Thursday March 15 (Nick King)
Today began with several train rides taking us into the city of Malmö, Sweden. In the city, we had free time to roam, where we ate and explored the city’s landmarks, such as old churches and military forts. After exploring the city, we headed back to the hotel to rest for a while before the game. At 3 p.m., we headed to the suburbs via train to play FC Nordsjælland’s u19 team. When we arrived, we were informed that we would be playing in the Right to Dream Park, which is FC Nordsjælland’s professional stadium. In the game, we were clinically beaten by their side composed of their top youth players, many of whom have or soon will be capped with the full FC Nordsjælland professional team, which is a top team in Denmark and often competes in the Champions League. After the game, we enjoyed a nice dinner with the opposing team and their coaches in the FC Nordsjælland hotel next to their stadium. We were joined by alum Eric Davis and his wife Michaela, who helped support us in coming on this trip. After dinner, we headed home to the hotel to rest and prepare for our final full day and final game tomorrow.