Walking the same streets: Hannah’s postcard from Copenhagen

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Why I went…

I have been in love with Hans Christian Andersen and his fairy tales since I can remember. While the movie I was, and am, obsessed with is not exactly an accurate depiction of his life, Hans Christian Andersen, directed by Charles Vidor, sparked my interested in Andersen’s fairy tales. I recalled his most popular stories by singing the songs Danny Kaye sings in the movie. His stories always left me happy, sometimes confused, as he was a unique author. Hans’ travels to Copenhagen inspired me to do the same at a young age, and my opportunity at Harlaxton College allowed my dream to come true: I got to walk to same streets that Anderson walked in the 1800s.

What I got out of the experience…

From visiting Copenhagen, I was able to expand my knowledge on Andersen’s life. I did not realize he traveled as much as he had or that he was in fact such an awkward person! His overwelcomed stay with Charles Dickens made me laugh because I could imagine this happening just from listening to his sometimes awkward and seemingly incomplete short stories. I learned that he was once named the Greatest Dane and was highly valued by the public. I felt connected not only to him but also to my childhood self, which helped reawaken my silly side. This experience truly was amazing. To say I sat on Hans Christian Andersen’s lap makes me smile days after the fact! This particular pilgrimage only enhanced my appreciation and love for a childhood favourite (and left me singing some of my favourite songs from the movie!).

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