I've got to tell you that when I first went to Denmark with the Center for International Understanding, I was a bit ticked. You see, the agenda that they had set for us was full from the crack of dawn until the crack of dusk.
We were scheduled to get up at 7 each day, get on busses at 8, get shuttled around to meetings (which were almost always held inside colleges), sit and listen attentively for hours and hours and hours, and then be free around 6 pm every night.
"You're kidding!" I shouted when I saw our schedule the first time. "I'm not going to Denmark to sit in college classrooms all day for 10 days. I want more free time to explore. I want to check out Danish restaurants, visit Danish shops, meet some Danish people. How am I supposed to do that if we're stuck in meetings until 6 pm every night?!"
Little did I know that the "crack of dusk" during the summer months in Denmark is COMPLETELY different than the "crack of dusk" here in the good ol' U.S. of A! Instead of stumbling around in the dark for hours after getting out of our sessions, I had at least 4 or 5 good hours of daylight to explore.
No joke---it didn't get dark (in the creepy Halloween evening kind of way) until about 11 pm---and then daylight came back again by 3 am! Even crazier: There were literally HUNDREDS of people hanging out long past my typical bed-time. The town square in Copenhagen---where I spent a bunch of my time each evening hanging out with friends---was constantly crowded with people enjoying the Great Outdoors!
Don't believe me? Then check out this video:
So how would having an extra five hours of daylight change your life? Would it make things better or worse?
Better question (for all those science oriented folk out there): Why, exactly, do countries further north on the globe have long days in the summer and long nights in the winter?
That's something I've never been able to figure out!
Image retrieved from http://www.typepad.com/t/app/weblog/post?blog_id=1341986 on February 7, 2008.