A Small Update

For lack of discipline and concentration on my part, rather than do a blog post on a specific topic I’m just going to do a general update. Because I feel like there’s a lot going on recently, and my thoughts are a little scattered.

First, this Monday we just saw my parents off to the airport after a two week visit with us here in Denmark. It was so fun to have them finally visit and see where we’re living. We got to share with them where we shop and where we take walks and all kinds of little things that we’ve been saving up over the 8 months we’ve been here. (Um, 8 months already? How did that happen??)

It’s hard, though, because you run out of things to do in Aarhus for two straight weeks of sightseeing. It just is a smaller city. But that’s not to say that we don’t love it. Every time we’re in Copenhagen, some Danish sales clerk or waiter finds out we’re from Jutland and says basically, “Oh, I’m so sorry for you.” And we have a really hard time convincing them that we would rather live in Aarhus than in Copenhagen. But it’s true! It’s just so much more manageable in size and scope, although we acknowledge that we are probably missing out on some resources. (Not to mention the awesome gaming stores!) There are noticeably more foreigners in Copenhagen.

So while they were here, we did all the touristy stuff like visit Marselisborg Slot, the beach, Den Gamle By, and ARoS.

Marselisborg Slot, the royal palace where the royal family stays for Easter, Christmas, and I think summer, too.

They picked a great couple of weeks to come. We had so much sun!

At Den Gamle By.

The obligatory ARoS a Rainbow picture. I like the warm colors better.

But, once we ran out of those, we just started taking walks around the neighborhood, which I like almost as much if not more as the touristy stuff.

And we even got to visit the best game and LARPing store in town! Just look at all those crazy costumes!

 

The other thing happening is that Brian and I are finishing up Module 2 of our Danish lessons and taking that test. I could do a whole post on LærDansk and its budget cuts and our various frustrations with them (and I probably should). But overall, we’re getting these lessons for free, and we don’t loose sight of that. The first part of my test is on Monday, eek! With the oral part of the test following probably a week later. So I’m busy prepping for that.

Plus Brian has a bunch of courses for his PhD coming up, which for him means a bunch of time spent in Copenhagen and traveling back and forth on the train and for me means a bunch of time watching all the cheesy romcoms he won’t watch and chain-reading YA novels like a boss. So, you know, there’s that to plan.

Hopefully I’ll have a more pertinent post soon, but until now here’s this small update.

 

The Queen is a LOTR Nerd!

 

I found out the coolest thing today. Queen Margerethe II is a total LOTR nerd! (In the best possible way and coming from someone who owns The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game.)

Well, at least she was at one time. Because Queen Margarethe is an official, Tolkien approved illustrator for The Lord of the Rings! How cool is that?! According to io9.com:

When she was still Crown Princess of Denmark, Margrethe II sent her own illustrations for The Lord of the Rings to Tolkien, and according to one of the queen's biographers, Tolkien was struck by how similar her illustrations were to his own. After ascending the throne, Margrethe II would become an official Tolkien artist, with her illustrations appearing in a 1977 Danish edition of The Lord of the Rings under the pseudonym Ingahild Grathmer.

Awesome.

Apparently, the Queen is quite the artist. Those illustrations are good. And there's even a show at ARoS right now featuring her own paintings and her husband's sculptures.

Here's a link to more of her images for LOTR.

I wonder if she calls it LOTR in private? Or if she saw “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” in high frame rate 3D?

 

The Weekend’s Adventure: Biking and Art

Since most of our adventures happen on the weekend, it’s looks like I’m going to have reoccuring posts titled “the weekend.” Lets just make that a thing, shall we? From now on, I shall post on Monday about the adventures we had over the weekend.

This past weekend was filled to bursting with fun activities. I finally got out on my bike, and on Saturday Brian and I rode up north to Risskov along a bike and pedestrian path that runs right on the edge of the shore between Risskov forest and the sea. It’s a beautiful ride and quite flat since you’re riding along the shore the whole way.

Taking a water break.

Taking a water break.

A view of the shore on the way back.

A view of the shore on the way back.

A view of the shore on the way back. You can see the harbor.
Hi there!

Hi there!

Hi there!

It seemed like we were the only ones in Aarhus wearing helmets, apart from the people out long distance riding on their road bikes. But none of the people just biking into the city center for the day or running errands seem to wear helmets.

Then yesterday we went to the ARoS art museum.

Well, first we made a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and took it to a coffee shop:

At Baresso.

At Baresso.

The view out onto the pedestrian street.

The view out onto the pedestrian street.

Since it can be quite expensive to eat out, even for lunch, we thought this was a good compromise.

Then we went to the art museum. Brian gets free tickets from work, so we’ve waited to go until he could arrange those. The building is one of the most distinctive features of the Aarhus skyline due to the permanent art installation, “Your Rainbow Panorama” by Olafur Eliassons, on top of the building.

The view from the front entrance.

The view from the front entrance.

The rainbow from on top of the museum.

The rainbow from on top of the museum.

It’s a rainbow colored walkway that guests can walk through to experience a panoramic view of the city tinted many different colors. And it’s lots of fun!

Aarhus caught in a rainbow.

Aarhus caught in a rainbow.

A study of Brian in purple.

A study of Brian in purple.

A study of Brian in Orange.

A study of Brian in Orange.

A study of Allison in pink.

A study of Allison in pink.

A study of Allison in yellow.

A study of Allison in yellow.

The actual museum is also really interesting. They currently have an exhibit called “Guld” which takes you through paintings from Denmark’s Golden Age in the 19th century. The exhibit pairs paintings with explanatory text that really helped us to understand more about Denmark and that turbulent period in the country’s history.

They also had an exhibit called “The Director’s Cut” where the art director chose to display specific unrelated artworks together because of the tone or feeling that they created when placed together. It’s a rather creative approach to museum exhibits, and I totally loved it. It meant so much more to me as the viewer (the audience?) than just wondering through pieces chronologically that don’t have anything to do with one another. I feel like all modern exhibits should be done this way!

Here is some of the fun and interesting art we saw:

Allison Viewing

These are some paintings from the Guld exhibit.

These are some paintings from the Guld exhibit.

Brian +Art CollageThat giant boy is a famous sculpture – titled, wait for it, “Boy” and created by Ron Muecks – and is a permanent feature at ARoS. It’s really realistic and actually quite creepy in person. There was also an interactive exhibit (bottom right) with these balls on a track. When a person entered the room, one ball was released onto the track. You were supposed to follow your ball around the room as it spun through the corse. And then the person on the bottom left is a living statue. She stayed in that exact position for the 3 hours that we were at the museum! I have no idea how people do that.

So those were our adventures this past weekend. Well, we had a few others, but those will be included in posts to come. I’ve got to keep you wanting more!

Weekend Fun

This weekend was a weekend of flea markets and street food.

Saturday, Brian and I wandered around the city center, looking for rain jackets/wind breakers. We found this flea market in Bispetorv. (“Torv” means “square” in Danish.)

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And these shawarmas. mmmmmm meat.Image

Then Sunday we went out for lunch and found this flea market just across the street from us in Mølleparken. (That’s the ARoS art museum in the background.)

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And these very yummy hotdogs

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Mmmmm meat.

Of course, neither Brian nor I are really flea market people, but it was fun to wander through. And the food was yum.

And we found this: the brand new Starbucks, the first Starbucks in Jutland. It’s housed inside a department store called Salling located on the pedestrian street.

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We, of course, did not partake having found the Danish version of Starbucks, called Baresso, which we like better. They still make their espresso shots by hand! But check out the crazy line!

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Apparently, Denmark was ready for Starbucks.

Sunday afternoon we also went over to the house of one of Brian’s coworkers for coffee and cake, and we got to meet his wife and two young children. Two young Danish children who were totally adorable and had no idea why these strangers were in their house speaking all these unintelligible sounds.

So all in all our third weekend here was a good one. We should get our bikes on Tuesday, so next weekend will be full of biking fun. Yay!