Saturday, October 31, 2009

Time for a good hunt!

On the first Sunday of November (tomorrow), the Danes celebrate St. Hubert, which marks the end of a hunt of 2 months in Sjælland. It is held in Dyrehaven, a forest north of Copenhagen.
That day, the riders in red costums perform an obstacle course through the Deer Park. The race starts at 10 am near the park entrance, close to the Peter Lieps Inn, and ends at noon at the castle of the Hermitage, where a member of the royal family awards the prize to the winner.

Last year, drenched, huddled in the large crowd, I admit that this was not a fantastic day. We had trouble understanding the concept of the race, the route and duration of tests, all of which was quite obscure for the non-initiated and we had to endure the incessant rain ...
I do not know if we are going back tomorrow but hey maybe it won't rain this time!

some clever spectators (and well equipped!)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Juleøl - Christmas beer

In a few days, the Christmas beer will invade the store shelves again. Every year, we have to try some of these specialties. Some are not bad at all: Jacobsen, Tuborg, Carlsberg Semper Ardens Winter Rye ...
The release of the Christmas beer is a national event in Denmark. Carslberg (which also owns Tuborg), which is the leading brewer in Denmark, is the chief organizer of the event marketing that takes place every year. All bars gets the beer that day at 20h59. It's a bit of a Beaujolais Nouveau type of operation.

In 2009 the J-day is happening on the last Friday in October, so tomorrow! Cheers!

Some bottles from last year, just to make you wait until tomorrow...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A little cup of æblekage?

Some time ago, at the coffee shop, a nice picture catches my attention: a cup of apple sauce that looks homemade. The name on the card literally means apple pie, but hey my Danish was not terrible yet ...

Yummy, knowing that here a good apple sauce is very rare, I decided to try it. Surprise, it's much more than a sauce, as I discovered a layer of cake at the bottom and a layer of whipped cream on top (it was not the picture!).
Verdict, a good dessert a little more caloric than a standard apple sauce but well, we will not be grumpy for that! So now, let's admit it, I am an addict!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Copenhagen International Wood Festival

Copenhagen International Wood Festival (CIWF) 2009 was held in August. For those who could not attend, a mini-session to catch up might still be possible. Indeed, 4 of 15 sculptures for the festival have been displaced and were still (at least end of September) displayed on a vacant lot close by the subway station DR-Byen (metro line towards Vestamager).
Hurry because there is a high risk that they will disappear quickly. Otherwise, you can still visit the website with a lot of pictures and videos to discover the great works of all participants. Unfortunately the site is in Danish, so I'll announce the winners for you: Team 13 won the first prize, followed by Team 7, Team 12.
See you next year at CIWF 2010!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Halloween again

A few extra photos of Halloween in Tivoli ...
... for example a pumpkin cutting workshop for children (scary!)

... even the orchestra was dressed up!

... and at night, you can see illuminated pumpkins (and our camera batteries died, so no more pictures)!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Let's go...

Here, in Denmark, everyone rides a bike. When I say "everyone", this is not really an exaggeration. From Granny to the young dynamic environment, including large families ... everybody seems to appreciate this healthy mean of transportation, and this is true whatever the weather conditions are.
There are a tremendous amount of different models of bikes here, for all tastes, all needs and budgets. One of the most surprising is the bike equipped to transport children (up to 4!) and sometimes when some adults have drunken too much, they can also serve as a improvised vehicle to go home safely (in that case of course, you still need a sober friend to drive the bike) ... The inside equipment depends on the model and brand: small bench, seat belts, ...
One of the most popular is the Christiana Bike formerly manufactured in the famous Christiania. There are also more modern models, from which the trailer can be detached after arrival to serve as a stroller (a little too big to go into stores, but practical enough not to wake baby when you arrive in town).

Monday, October 19, 2009

Halloween bis

A few more Halloween pictures...
The Danes are very addicted to the Halloween spirit from what we have seen see in the previous years: pumpkins everywhere, enormous spider webs covering houses, decorative witches, full of people dressed up that night (including a sexy vampire nurse which I think would have pleased some of my buddies... sorry but no photos).
We even found a pumpkin with a candle by the door of our neighbor on the second floor (on a beautiful wooden floor, not dangerous at all!).

Saturday, October 17, 2009

La Glace

Your crazy day of shopping in town got you exhausted? To regain strength in the afternoon, discover La Glace. This "konditori" (tea room) installed in a semi-basement is - apparently - the oldest in Copenhagen (1870).

In addition to a selection of seasonal lagkage, the place offers a great choice of pastries, macaroons, kransekage, chocolates, and good beverages.

Here you order at the counter (and there is sometimes a very long waiting line, as the place is really famous) and then you are served at table, but do not expect to find one easily if you arrive after 4pm! The tea room is stormed by a crowd of Danish and foreign customers, attracted by the reputation of the place or by the sight of the cakes on display.

A classic: lagkage + hot chocolate with homemade whipped cream... Hello calories!

Lagkage 42 kroner the slice. Delicious but do not imagine eating two without a prior intense physical preparation.
Despite its old age, this is a modern konditori: the assortment of cakes is available on their website (in Danish and English)!
Skoubogade 3, very close to Strøget.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Copenhagen 7/12/09

Today is Blog Action Day 2009...
Climate change affects us all and it threatens more than the environment. It threatens to cause famine, flooding, war, and millions of refugees. Cop15 (United Nations Climate Change Conference 7-18 December 2009) is now just around the corner.
Given the urgency of the issue of climate change and the upcoming international climate negotiations in Copenhagen this December, the blogosphere has today the unique opportunity to mobilize millions of people around expressing support for finding a sustainable solution to the climate crisis.
In Denmark, it is great to see that so many people have such great views on environmental issues. But still in everyday life, it sometimes doesn't feel like it matters so much. Like the use of electricity, I live in a place where the neighbours find completly normal to let the commune lights shine all night long and don't want to be bothered to switch it off, ever!! Come on, let's get a grip and just get used to use a switch, it is not that hard.
To end the day, just pay a visit to the Time for Climate Change
website where you can download the song "Beds are burning".

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Don't miss the game!

Denmark is in the fever of the playoffs of the World Cup 2010 (especially after winning against the eternal ennemy Sweden!!).
Carlsberg is of course everywhere. In case you had a little amnesia, the well-known brand of beer made things big and has fully branded the train station Norreport (one would have believed it was St. Patrick day), and they nicely remind you the dates of all the games. Practical, isn't it!
So don't forget the game tonight!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The City Hall square stone

Second interesting item located on the square of the City Hall (Rådhuspladsen), a sculpted granite stone that indicate the "entry point to the city" (actually the city a long time ago). It also served as a "kilometer zero" indicator, defining the distance from Copenhagen to major cities. You can also see the insignia of the city (with three towers, the sun and the moon).

There are others of those cornerstones, located at other "doors" of the city.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Nice fountain!

In the middle of all the tacky neon lights of the City Hall square, you can find a much nicer piece: a fountain. Nothing so special so far ... Yes sure, but I quite like this fountain. In fact, with all its fantastic animals, the look is very "gothic" 8-). It represents a bull fighting a dragon on a pedestal decorated with skulls, surrounded by fantastic weirds "bugs" (if someone has a proposal for a name, I'm interested).

Note that the statues have been replaced. The original stand guard in front of the TownHall.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Pumpkins are back

Like last year, Tivoli (the famous amusement park in the center of Copenhagen) will celebrate Halloween. It starts this weekend. We must admit that the decor was really nice! Never seen so many pumpkins! The alleys of the park were also invaded with shacks selling a whole bunch of stuff (including costumes, pumpkin soup, pumpkin bread ...).
If you can't make it next week (hurry up, it is just one week), mark it in your calendar for next year!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The City Hall square

Since we are now just outside of the City Hall again, take a few seconds to look around a bit. The City Hall square host some interesting old buildings.

Tussaud Museum, just around the corner of Tivoli, is a Flemish-inspired architecture.
On the other side of the square, the hotel "Palace" has more of a "1900" style.
A third building, a little more modern, attempts to compete with the city hall with its small tower.
Apart from these buildings, the square is surrounded by uninspiring modern architecture buildings. Everything is covered with neons ads signs that makes the place looks like a Christmas tree at night. Some says it is "interesting" I myself would stick to "quite ugly".
To make matters worse, the pavement has been renovated in a sad grey colour. Add to that a few sausage salesman (in their little cabins) and this potentially the square of Copenhagen which has the least charm ... (although some might say that the sausage cabins improve the place!)

Comments on this picture: yes, it is a neon thermometer! And this is not the worst building ... However, if one ignores all this and digs further, a few interesting details are worth a look ... (more to come)

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