Last night's Midsummer/"Sankt Hans aften" (St. John's eve) celebrations landed me walking back to the house at around 11:30pm, but a.it was well worth it, b.Denmark's northern latitude yieds more extreme lengths of day, on the freakishly long side of the spectrum in the summer (so it was still relatively light when we left at 11), and c.the town - and country as a whole, apparently - is certainly safe enough to walk without danger of serious mishaps beyond accidentaly stepping on a snail or one of the absurdly large slugs often spotted crossing a pathway in the 'burbs.
The day was spent researching the latest push towards the Unified English Braille Code (UEB or UEBC) - which, by the by, is yet another example of Americans stubbornly sticking with our own system, and almost reminds one of the League of Nations in terms of its being an American suggestion accepted by many others before we actually join the bunch. After this reminder of American stubbornness, I made my way over to Lars' and, joined by his family and one of the other fellows from the office, Saju, we enjoyed the excellent weather with a barbecue and delicious dinner, followed by fresh strawberries in cream and sugar (score!) as the kids struck out to socialize downtown and Saju and I joined Lars and his wife Annemette in continued top-notch conversation until it was time for us all to wander down to the castle lake, where we met with a large, talkative crowd, a live band, and a bonfire in the middle of the lake.
Sadly, we missed the lighting of the fire, as it sounds like it's been quite the production in the past- one year the duty of local archers, who unfortunately (but hilariously) failed to sufficiently strike the thing with their flaming arrows, forcing someone to hop in a boat and do it the easy way. So, while I hope it wasn't left to the archers once again, the bonfire was already in the prime of its life by the time we arrived, followed soon after by fireworks set off near the gardens on the opposite side of the lake. After applauding their appreciation, the audience wended its way back to the main square around 11, where we parted ways in the directions of our respective homes.
This afternoon brought further noise out of local youths as they held their own celebration: last day of school. At last, the kids who have been walking around town with odd little white hats, which mark them as gymnasium (high school) graduates, can continue the tradition by riding around town, blaring music and horns joining their voices in assuring Hillerød that they have, in fact, been unleashed.
Tomorrow morning, Lars and I will drive into central Copenhagen, where he'll drop me at the train station with backpack and sleeping bag in hand in preparation for a week of camping at Synscenter Refsnæs. ...Which means I'll more than likely be incommunicado until my return on July 2, so until then, hasta luego!