Posted by: awynne | July 21, 2011

Ecology of Residency part 2

So yesterday in the afternoon Terry did a talk with us about the geology of words.  It was fascinating!  Mostly it was Terry talking about her writing style.  We did an exercise with choosing a random crayon from a box and writing about the color, which was interesting.  That evening after dinner a few of us went on a geology hike up the valley with one of the interns from the refuge that surrounds the land the Tafts own.  It was really interesting.  Apparently the centennial range of mountain is young, but it exposes rock that is millions of years old.  Some of the mountains are from the same rock, and are essentially the younger sibling to the Teton mountains.

This morning we got a chance to walk around a lake and enjoy the scenery.  Then one of the teachers also brought some home made looms and we all attempted to weave sort of a belt.  It was more difficult than I would have thought, and yet far more simple.  The challenge was in making sure that the entire contraption doesn’t get tangled.  It didn’t go so well for me, but I want to try again.  In the afternoon the writer Rick Bass joined us and talked about his writing style.  He had a much more ordered and steadfast way of thinking about things.  He even presented a few rules to always go by in the editing process.

Tonight Rick is going to read from one of his books for a while and then we are to read one of our pieces pf writing from the course.  I have rarely been so nervous.  I would hate to disappoint these people, and I’ve tried my best with this work.  Wish me luck!  I’ll update with more pictures again soon

Hello Everyone! So I am restarting this blog to tell about my experiences in the Ecology of Residency class I am taking in Montana for 10 days this summer. It’s a class through the University of Utah’s Environmental Humanities graduate program. The class is taught by the Utah writer Terry Tempest Williams as well as several other environmental writers as well as environmentalists in the area.  The class officially started on July 17th.  We are in a gorgeous valley not far from the Idaho border called Centennial Valley, and we are also very close to Yellowstone National park.  The area couldn’t be more gorgeous.  We are in an east to west valley, one of the few in the country.  There are so many wild flowers out right now and the fields are gorgeous.  The valley is surrounded on both sides by epic mountains.  The valley is filled with mosquitos unfortunately.  One of the other students framed mosquitoes really well the other day.  They are specialists in high blood pressure, and they go after the spots on your body where you have a high blood pressure.  Apparently in some parts of the world they use mosquitoes for blood pressure therapy.  At this point the view is still worth all of the itching.

I am the youngest student here by a good 6 years, which is crazy.  All of the other students are in the Environmental Humanities graduate program, and most of them took a class together with Terry last spring so they are really close.  Everyone here is so amazing and friendly.  Last night after dinner we did what is called a check in where everypne talked about what interested them about the class, what they are expecting, and what they have done with their summer so far.  The stories were fantastic.  One guy does river rafting trips and did a stretch of river that companys are refusing to do commercially because the water is so high and fast.  He did it in a boat that he made with his buddy, and got all the way through, despite being nervous, and nearly tipping once.  Another guy has literally spent the summer hanging with his family and adventuring around the US.

Terry Tempest Williams is an amazing and inspiring person as well.  I hope to have her life when I grow up.  It seems to, for the most part, to be filled with traveling to amazing places, meeting fascinating people, and generally appreciate all of the little things in life.  I hope I can have the same view of the world and appreciate all of the wonder in the world.

Yesterday we got a tour of the valley which was really nice.  I got to drive with John Taft, the man who preserved the ghost town we are staying in, and hear a different viewpoint on all of the issues in this valley.  We hiked and saw water falls, went canoeing, and enjoyed the scenery.  While on the lake I picked up a swan feather just sitting on the water so that was cool.  This morning we talked about the geography of self.  We looked at a variety of types of maps, from geographical representations of the land to cultural and personal maps.  We also all drew a few maps about where we are as individuals and as humanity.  This afternoon we are going to talk about the geography of words with Terry.  I am super excited.  I’ll update again soon, with more pictures next time.  Thanks!  Hope you are all having a good day

Posted by: awynne | December 6, 2010

Excuses, excuses . .

instead of giving them, I’ll just say sorry for not having posted in a long time.  I’m a slacker, I know and accept it.  Anyway, I think eventually most stories will get posted but for now, here is a “brief” overview.

In October I had midterms.  There were a lot of essays to write, tests to take, and last minute trip planning to do.  In the tail end of October and the first two weeks of November we had a free travel break.  Everyone could choose to go on prearranged DIS trips or go on their own free travel adventures.  I opted for the later, mostly.  The first few days of the break I went on a farm excursion trip to the Fagerholt Farm in Denmark on the island of Zealand, the same one Copenhagen is on.  It was lovely, and a nice chance to relax.  Technically we were supposed to help out on the farm, but it was too wet to do so, so we just got to hang out, walk around the farm, and eat delicious food.  It was pleasant to sit and relax before jumping into exciting European adventures.  For the first week I went to Munich and Salzburg.  In Munich I was on my own for a few days, and then I met up with Becky a friend of mine from Redlands.  Munich is a beautiful small city, and I enjoyed the museums and cathedrals.  After a day in Munich together she showed me around Salzburg Austria, where she has been studying this semester.  It’s an absolutely gorgeous town, and happens to be where much of the Sound of Music was filmed.  I went and saw some of the locations.

Week 2 of the break I traveled to Rome, Florence, and Milan (but only for a night) with four friends.  We essentially ate our way through Italy.  We spent much of our time eating long relaxing lunches and dinners, not to mention frequently getting gelato.  I think there was one day when we had gelato 3 different times, and we had it at least once every other day.  We saw many of the standard things in Rome like the colloseum, the sistine chapel, and the vatican (excuse my spelling).  The hostel we were staying at, while not the fanciest place, was nice enough, and the little old man running it was very friendly.  In Florence our hostel was beautiful, the rooms were nice, the breakfast they provided everyone morning was delicious, and the staff were really helpful.  Florence was gorgeous.  I went to see the David and other examples of Michelangelo’s work.  One afternoon we went to see the leaning tower of Piza.  Didn’t have quite the slant I thought it had from pictures, but still and interesting thing  to see. Then, on our last day in Florence, and Italy for that matter, we went on a wine tasting tour.  We visited the town of Sienna, among others, and went to a small vineyard.  That is not quite a good name for it though because they grew olives and made olive oil, made wine from their own grapes, and cured various meats like proscuitto and salami from pigs living on their land.  It was a cool place, and they did an entire tasting for us of food as well as wine.  We spent the night in Milan because that was the airport we could get the cheapest flight out from.  Our hostel reservation didn’t go through, but after some wondering through the streets of Milan we found a small hostel with room for us, and everything worked out.

The past 2 weeks have been fun.  There has been lots of homework, a ridiculous number of group projects (for example a group research paper, silliness in my opinion), and fun adventures.  I took a Danish Christmas dinner cooking class, where we made and got the recipes for the classic dinner.  There is roast pork with very crispy skin, potatoes, red cabbage, apples, and potatoes ( I meant to say it twice.  the Danes love potatoes . . and salt).  I also tried to quintesential Danish drink of winter, glogg (I think that is how it is spelled, but I’m probably missing some letters).  It’s hot mulled wine with almond slivers and raisins in it, and it is quite tasty.  I played a role playing game for my European Storytelling class.  It was actually kind of fun, but I think that was due in large part to the guy narrating our story.  Dad, I came as close as I’m going to get to accomplishing your two requirements of what I should do while in Denmark.  This past Saturday I went with DIS to a Christmas market in Lubeck, Germany.  It was a nice town and the markets were lovely.  We ended up walking around 3 of the 5 in the town, and finding delicious food as well as various crafts and gifts.

It’s hard to believe it, but this is my last week of classes.  Next week I have a few finals and lots of time to explore and shop.  Two weeks from today I’ll be at home in Salt Lake, and in a little over a month I’ll be back at school in southern California.  It’s so strange, and yet I’m kind of ready for.  I’m enjoying Denmark, but I miss people at home and school.   Next week I’ve got a long to do list of Christmas shopping (it’s all getting done here), last minute sight seeing and exploring, and getting caught up on blogging, so expect lots of long due updates.  Anyway, I’ll talk to you later and see you relatively soon.  I hope everything is going well for you all!  Happy Holidays!

Posted by: awynne | October 27, 2010

Kultur Natten and a Wedding

Last Monday I went with Christian to the Fredericksbourg Castle (sorry about the spelling, it’s Danish therefore it doesn’t make sense).  The Queen and her family were staying there so we couldn’t go inside, but we walked around the property for a while, and found some dinner befoer calling it a night.

Wednesday Night I had my last cooking class for the semester.  The theme was Autumn comfort food, so we made vegetable soup, rosemary bread, and a green apple crumble.  There was lots of waiting around, but that was nice, as I won’t see the other students much during the rest of the semester.

Then Friday night there was a big even in Copenhagen called Kultur Natten or Culture Night.  Various museums were open and there were many different performances.  Just had to buy a ticket for 85 kr (which is about $17) and the whole evening, including transportation is free.  That’s the bussiest I have ever seen Copenhagen.  The streets were mobed by danes and tourists alike.  There was free food stands random strewn around downtown plenty of lines for the museums.  Christian joined me and a bunch of friends from the hojskole.  We managed to go to the Botanical gardens, up the Round tour for a beautiful view of the city, and go to the zoo to watch to lions get fed, and see a few other animals.  There weren’t many lights around so we had to stay by the entrances to see anything.

To be honest I can’t handle hearing much more about copper roofing and the air force from Christian, and those are his two favorite topics of conversation.  I think I’ve heard all of his stories three times at least, as well as quite a bit of bragging about his accomplishments.  I can’t tell if he is trying to impress me or what?

Saturday there was a theme party at the Hojskole.  A few of the students wrote up roles for everyone to play, and we had a wedding.  All the DIS students were British.  So I was an artist who dressed in bright clothing, and blamed people for dressing too boringly.  Some of the other characters were hillbillies, wedding crashers, lesbian lovers of the bride, and a war veteran.  All in all it was a ridiculous night, and everyone played it until after dinner.  Then there was the usual party until 5am.

So, there are pictures for both of these posts, but I haven’t had time to add them yet, and I won’t for a while, so here is the text bit at least.  This week and last week have been uneventful and home work filled.  Then starting this Friday after classes are done, the long travel break starts.  The first few days I’ll be on a farm excursion with DIS (I’m not really sure what we are doing but it sounds fun.  After that I’ll go to Munich and Salzburg to visit a friend, and the second week I’ll be in Italy.  Anyway, see you in two weeks, I hope everything is going well for you all

Posted by: awynne | October 27, 2010

England!!!

So Sunday we set out early with an 8am plane into London, and a bus from there to the little town of Totnes in Devon.  There we stayed at the Sharpham Estate.  We couldn’t have had better weather in England, and the food we had was delicious.  When we finally got in on Sunday, we had some time to relax before dinner.

All Monday morning we had an introduction to the trip and specifically the organization that was hosting us and giving us the tour, called Transition Town Totnes.  It’s a conglomeration of people who are not experts, but who became worried about climate change, and decided to look into things.  They have a good understanding, and their mission now is to inform anyone who is willing to listen, in the most open communication possible.  In town one idea they are focusing on is what they call “re-skilling” meaning teaching people how to garden, do simple home repairs, and the like, so that people can be more self sufficient and less dependent on goods and services coming from far away.  There are very optimistic people, who don’t get paid for their efforts.  A man named Hal showed us around for the few days we were there, transporting us on “Bob the Bus” (the town’s private bus company, because other bus companies refuse to drive on their small, windy, and steep streets).

After the introduction we enjoyed a simple and tasty lunch made all the better by persistent sunshine (who knew sunshine was possible for some many days in a row in England, even when they told us it was supposed to rain :)).  That afternoon we went to Occombe Farm.  A small place focused on getting the community involved and invested.  There is a lovely community garden with lots of flowers and walking paths, a learning center and kitchen for kids and adults, a small box scheme which also utilizes other local producers, and many walking paths that are always open to the public.

After some more good food we watched a Cuban film about the peak oil situation they faced there.  Peak oil is when the highest amount of oil has been discovered and used and there will only be a decrease in available oil after that, as I understand it.  Cuba was cut off from oil and most other imported supplies, so they were forced to become self sufficient fast.  Farmers are very well off, and I think most of their food is now locally grown. Sleep was well needed by the time we finished for the day.

Next morning we went out to the Dartmoor estate early and hiked for a while amoung the hills, jagged rocks, and sheep.

For Lunch we went to Riverford farm.  They have a big box scheme, with farms throughout England that supply the local community.  It was interesting to see a more commercial method of connect people with their food, and they are quite successful.  They are also helping the local community with a kids garden patch, and they make the cafeteria lunches for a nearby school.  They also have a highly acclaimed restaurant (equivalent in England to Chez Panise (sp?), and inspired by that restuarant) where they use the gardens produce to make lunches and dinners.  There is a limited menu for the day, and you must reserve a table for your party.

Stuffed to the brim we went to another part of the estate for the afternoon.  The Dartington estate is run on trust money and on part of the estate that money is used to support small organic farmers and mushroom growers do what they want to do, without having to worry quite as much about turning a profit.  We saw their facilities, and they were interesting and cool projects, and hopefully someone can find a way to make them work on their own.

We had dinner on our own that night, so naturally we went in search of a fish and chips place, and found a gem in a little alley.  After walking around for a while we watched Pride and Prejudice (it couldn’t be helped when staying in an estate in the English countryside), and played Sardines (backwards hide-and-go-seek).  TTT’s main message is that communities are key, and I must say I agree.  It’s one great way to get people to care about climate change.

Wednesday morning we headed back into London.  We stayed at the Royal National Hotel, essentially a massive hostel that provides breakfast.  After getting settled in we took a walking tour around the sites of the facilities for the 2012 Olympics.  London has said they want to make it the most sustainable Olympic games.  The building materials are light, and as far as we know there is a plan to involve the local commmunity by giving them the many new jobs, and by assuring cheap housing in the area after the games.  It was a bit frustrating because the woman giving us the tour was simply a walking tour guide and couldn’t give us any real answers from the olympic committee.  Though, I felt bad because she hadn’t expected such a big group with so much knowledge on the subject.  That night we went to an Italian restaurant as a group and had my least favorite meals of the week, not badly cooked, just not my style.

We started Thursday off with a visit to Transport for London, the company that runs or manages most of the public transportation in London.  Quick note: I’m not a fan of the tube.  It’s crowded, ridiculously hot, and and a very small space.  Literally nothing else can fit in those tunnels when a train is going by. For lunch we went to a french restaurant where we had french onion soup and poulet frites, again it was delicious.  So far I don’t agree with the statement, the british can’t cook.  Quick note:  Jamie Oliver put out a new book recently accompanied by a timer, and to help promote these items there are posters up all over London.  Unfortunately the timer is shaped like Jamie Oliver’s face, and it has a very creepy smile.

After lunch we went up in the London Eye and got an amazing view of the city.

The free time for the rest of the day.  First I went to afternoon tea at The Orangery with a few others.  It was a lovely building and a lovely meal.

That evening I went to see a show called Avenue Q.  If you haven’t heard of it, it’s sort of sesame street for adults.  Some of the characters are puppets and others are people.  The main character, Princeton, has just graduated college, and this is about his entrance into the real world.  It was absolutely hilarious, and I highly recommend seeing it.

We wondered around the city for a bit, and then I decided to try to find Platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross Station.  Platforms 9 and 10 are separated from 1-8 and, contrary to common sense, 9 3/4 is on the 1-8 side.  Sadly, I didn’t find this out until after I had come home to Copenhagen ( I like that it is home now, it’s good), so I wasn’t able to visit hogwarts :(.

Anyway, Friday we woke up early, packed up, and went to the Imperial War Museum to see the Ministry of Food Exhibition.  During the World Wars the British government put a lot of promotion into growing your own food to supplement the rations and well as to reduce food waste as much as possible.  Most of the exhibit was the posters the government used to promote this, as well as the videos.  I hadn’t realized this was such a big part of the war effort in England, and it was interesting to see.  After wondering around a few other exhibits in the museum we got some lunch and played ping pong in the park with a passing Japanese business man.  It was a nice last day in London.  While it’s definitely not one of my favorite cities, I have every intention of coming back to see the sites closer up, and go to more museums.  It was a little embarassing because throughout the trip I couldn’t help slipping into a british accent from time to time, and sometimes it slipped in during conversations with the other American students.  In any case it was a really fun trip, and I’m glad I finally got to go to Britain.

Posted by: awynne | October 2, 2010

Sorry, I’ll get my act together, promise

I really will be more on top of posting.  After a weekend of relaxing, on Monday night I went with some friends to a concert at Tivoli called The Voice.  Most of the bands were Danish pop bands with catchy songs, but nothing great.  Then the last one to come on was the Strokes, which was great.

On Tuesday I went out with Christian again, having 3-4 hour dates on Tuesday is becoming a tradition for us.  We went to a viking settlement in a small town near where I live.  We walked along the coast line of a fjord.

A view from the Viking settlement

Wednesday I was actually in the hojskole for lunch, and frankly the lunch served everyday is huge, and delicious, I’m so glad I finlly got to try it.  Unfortunately I have no pictures, but I’ll try to remember to document it at some point.  The danish isreali fusion food we made in cooking class was interesting.  The danish part was beef patties (I know I was expecting something at little more danish too, but I’m not really sure what that would be, pork maybe)  and an isreali dish, the name of which I can’t remember.  It was tomatoes, onions, peppers, and lots of spices, with a poached egg.

So good, and so spicy

Friday night we went out to the Swan Lake ballet.  It was beautifully done, though I thought the story was a little different.  It’s really nice too because tickets for students are 50% off which is amazing.

Opera house from the water bus

Gorgeous sunset also from the water bus

Too pretty not to put the picture up

The wooden exterior of the main stage

At 6 am on Sunday I leave for England!!  The first few days I’ll be in Devon and after that we go to London.  I just miss Mom and Dad, but what can you do.  Vi ses (see you)

Tuesday evening, just as the sun was setting, Christian and I went to the park with the royal deer again.  It was an amazing experience, though I was not able to get any pictures.  As we entered the park the deer smell and their calls filled the air.  Their bellowings, which were near constant by the time we left, are somewhere between the calls of a very large cow and sounds of a sink disposal and other machinery.  One huge buck walked not more than 15 feet away from us, and couldn’t have cared less that we were there.  We saw many others, just paroling their territory, and trying to sound as large and strong as possible.  As we left we were passed by a doe and a buck not far behind.

So this summer I watched a good bad movie called Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus.  There is massive destruction, romance, and scientists and marine experts mixing neon chemicals in a laboratory.  I highly recommend it, for a laugh.  Anyway, to the point, when I read in a guide book that Danmarks Akvarium has a giant octopus, I had to go see it.

The building the signs pointed to as the aquarium

The actual Aquarium, a ways past the first building

fishes!

The giant octopus!! . . squished in a corner

At cooking class we made a vegetable curry, which was delicious, and nicely spicy.

mmm . . delicious

Posted by: awynne | September 24, 2010

Fodball!!!!! and other adventures

So, sorry in advance for the lack of pictures this week, there are a few but not many.  Also, this is last week, I’ll be more on top of it, promise.  Last Monday I went with Christian to a Mensa meeting.  He joined a few months ago and loves it.  The meeting was just a bunch of people in the organization coming together to talk about anything and everything.  Of course it was mostly in danish, and generally an intimidating (is this the right spelling?) situation, and I was well reminded that conversation is far from being a strong suit for me.  Anyway, it was interesting and I met some very nice people, and the members seemed only to share a high IQ.

Unfortunately my camera battery died before cooking class on Wednesday, so I have no pictures of the deliciousness.  We made meat lasagna and a no-bake vegetarian lasagna, both of which were delicious, and again there were huge portions for everyone to take home as left overs.  Brilliant idea to take the class in the first place.

Then Thursday after class I got my nose pierced.  Random, I know, but this is the time in life to do it, and honestly I’ve thought about it for a while.  Why I didn’t post these pictures right after telling Mom and Dad I don’t know.  It itches a lot now and I’m still getting used to it, but I’m glad I did it.

Here is your proof Ciaran and Kate.

Plenty of hanging out with friends and generally relaxing this weekend.  On Saturday we went to Sweden for the day and ate a delicious pizza and wondered around town looking in shops and such.

Sunday was doing homework and in the evening I got to go to a fodball (soccer) match between two big danish teams, FCK (copenhagen’s team) and Gruntvies (I think that’s how it’s spelled, but it’s danish so there’s probably five silent letters I didn’t write).  FCK (they say it F. C. and then the sound K makes) scored a nice goal in the first 5 minutes of the game.  FCK had great communication throughout the game, it was nice to watch.  Their second goal was beautiful, it went right through the goalies legs.  The gruntvies team was not on top of things and their fans were crazy.  Quite a few fireworks were set off and fires started in their section of the stands.  It was really distracting, but my camera couldn’t quite capture it.  Anyway, it could have been a lot crazier and I’m just glad I got to see a fodball game in Europe.

White-FCK Yellow-Gruntvies

Posted by: awynne | September 13, 2010

Adventures on Aero and an other tale or two

/this is going ot be a food filled post, because I have eaten very well this past week.  I signed up with DIS for a cooking class every Wednesday night for a little more than a month.  Every week there is a theme, last week was easy but impressive, and we cook and enjoy a recipe or two.  Some of the other themes are Danish Isreali fusion and autumn comfort food, which I’m excited for.  For this first session we made roasted chicken with onions and tomatoes and a pesto pasta with pine nuts, tomatoes, and mozzarella

Mmm . . delic0ious

The batches we made were big enough that everyone got to take home a ton of leftovers, it was great.  The next day we left on the first study tour for my core course, which took us too a small island in the south of Denmark (we were practically in Germany) called Aero (pronounced like Arroo with a very guttural and abrupt ending).

This is an add for the town we were in

It's cute and small, but frankly seemed deserted while we were there (it is a tourist town in the end of it's season though)

It’s one of the most sustainable islands in Denmark and it produces a lot of sustainable energy which is put into the grid. We talked to a man who works at the energy company, specifically planning the windmills.

They are actually pretty quiet

They also use solar power, and burn whatever waste is made on the island (throughout Denmark they burn their trash instead of putting it in a landfill)

That night we went to a local organic restaurant.  During the off season the restaurant hold pizza and favorite food nights that are great for the community as well.  The food was absolutely delicious, and I definitely ate too much.

Starting at the front left there is roast pork (a classic in Denmark, apparently there are more pigs here than people), spinach tart sort off, pan fried fish and rice with a spicy sauce, roasted potatoes and carrots, some sort of sour cabbage something or other, and a green and white bean salad

I also had this delicious organic beer, but we'll get more into that later

The next day we took a walking tour, sort of.  It was more the woman in the picture below telling us about being in the family of a fisherman and the history of that in Denmark.

Her stories were interesting and we saw some beautiful areas on the walk

The town as seen from the dock

After the walk we had some champagne and pretzel sticks on the dock.  All in all a lovely morning.  We were actually put in the newspaper briefly with a picture of us enjoying the snack.  If I get a digital copy maybe I’ll post it.

After that we drove to an organic farm owned by a man named Niels.  Niels is extremely enthusiastic about all things to do with his farm, nature preservation, or sustainability.  There is a danish word which translates to “fire soul” that is a perfect description of him.  Niels made us a delicious meal from things from his farm and other local farms.

Apple cider, an olive bread, and stew with beef from his farm and assorted vegetables, it was sooo good

homemade ice cream finished the meal off. Thick, rich, and very creamy, it was delicious

We walked around his farm while Niels summarized his beliefs (he is rather radical in many ways.  He kind of has the NIMBY (not in my back yard) mentality but at the same time he thinks we should do everything possible to keep the nature surrounding us healthy.

Niels is avidly against the windmill pictured here, simply because of it's location

For the most part he keeps cows. This pose was too perfect to not take a picture of

After the tour we went to Niels brewery, he is enthusiastic in everything he does.  We got to see inside briefly, do a tasting, and buy some beer if we chose to.  I have two bottle in my room.

Niels next to a line up of his beers. Yep, there is the one I drank the night before. It's all good stuff, and Niels is having success, particularly with the organic line (on the bottom shelf).

It was a fantastic weekend filled with delicious consumables.  Just one more random thing, I think only locals know this but Denmark is home to a huge population of giant spiders.  They are everywhere.  I’ll leave you with a few creepy pictures.  Until next time

This is one of the bigger ones I've seen

Posted by: awynne | September 5, 2010

So many Adventures

Hej (hi in Danish)!  Danish is a strange language.  I found out this week that it takes young danes a long time to learn how to read and write because there is such a disparity between how a given word is spelled and how it is pronounced.  (about the title, I don’t actually have anything against the Nordic people, it was just silly)

So lets start with Saturday, after finishing the blog I decided to go with some friends to the Frederiksborg Castle which is right in the town of Hillerod.

Frederiksborg Castle, it's gorgeous and ornate

the little town of Hillerod from the bridge over the moat

The entryway to the castle from the bridge

a beautiful fountain, that wasn't running, in the courtyard of the castle

This is the inside of the church, there was actually a wedding in here that day. They were totally conservative when they built this place . .

lots of lovely windows

The only people picture I have in the post, these are some friends from the Hojskole

Not really sure what this star contraption is but it's interesting

here is the inside, in case you are interested or have any ideas of what it could be

After leaving the castle we barely got inside before the rain started. Fortunately a few minutes later this beautiful scene came up.

All the castle exploring, there were many ornate hallways to walk down and twisting stairs to climb, we decided to try the local “Mexican” restaurant.  As I’m sure you would have guessed, it was bad and less authentic than tex-mex.  Despite this experience I still have every intention of trying the Indian and Chinese food restaurants around Copenhagen.  That night we hung out together enjoying the last time we had to cook our own dinner.  On Sunday I went with some other friends to Bakken, which claims to be one of the oldest theme parks in the world.  Depending on the guide book you read it either says that Bakken or Tivoli is the oldest.  How such a failure of communication continues I don’t know.

Dakota standing in the entryway of Bakken

Diane on her trusty stead

It was the last day Bakken was open for the season, so there was free admition.  We had an interesting buffet lunch and of course had to do the bumper cars and a wooden roller coaster.  The roller coaster was surprisingly fast and quite rickety.  That night all the Danes had moved in and we had our first dinner with them.  Everyone was super nervous but it went well.  Classes continued as usual, but homework is hard to do here because it feels like I’m on vacation.  Anyway, Tuesday night I went to a cafe with my Danish class and had a delicious salmon sandwich, I’ll be more on top of taking pictures of food I promise.  Thursday afternoon I met up with Christian again and we went to a huge park near the outskirts of Copenhagen.

A hunting loge for the royal parties when they rode into the park.

As we walked through we came across a man for New York who has been living in Denmark for 40 years, he still has a strong New York accent.  He told Christian and I all about the park and the amazing things that are just beginning to happen there.  It’s the park where the royal deer are kept and they are treated very well, there are about 2,000 living in the park, and the deer are well regulated.  Each year about 700 of the weakests and oldest deer are killed.  Mating season is about to begin and will last through September and a little into October.  As hormone levels rise the deer care less and less about people and you can get very close to absolutely huge males and normally skittish females.

Just under the trees, he is massive, and we nearly walked right past him, except that he smelled very bad. Sorry I didn't want to get any closer

This is asclose as I could get to these younger males. The albino was pretty amazing

I could have reached out and touched this little female. They have several varieties of deer in the park.

It was amazing and I have every intention of going back soon to try to see more and hopefully capture it on Camera.  Christian and I got along well and were able to talk for a long time.  Danes seem to have a very ironic sense of humor and he is no exception.  Saturday we hung out around Hillerod and did some shopping.  That night we had a nice two course dinner with the danes.  After which we had a party with the professors here and all the students.  There was music and it was all pretty relaxed.  Anyway, let me know how you all are doing, I’m off to try to do some homework . .

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