One of the benefits of connecting in London is the incredibly cheap flights
which are now being offered out of Stansted airport. I made the trek from Limerick to
London Heathrow and then via London Stansted to Denmark to start my travels.
(Click on the smaller pictures for slightly bigger pictures, or click on the 'Full size'
link for the full resolution)
I took the Tube to Piccadilly Circus where my buddy Jon Bowes met me. He and his wife Des are living
in London, which is one of the reasons that I try to connect in London whenever I can. This is a fountain
at the Circus, which is actually similar to Times Square but different.
Another shot of Piccadilly Circus.
My friend Des at their neighbourhood pub - the Shakespeare's Head. Make sure you tell her that
you like her new hair cut because I do and she got really self-conscious when I mentioned it.
Des and Jon at their local.
The three of us. Jon and Des were nice enough to let me crash at their place prior to hopping
a flight for Denmark.
After flying into Aarhus airport (which of course knowing Ryanair means that it's 1 hour from
Aarhus proper), I wandered the little town of 300,000. It had a really fun air to it, and I
quickly discovered the Danish love of sausages, hot dogs, and pølse (means hot dogs). This trip
I travelled with a Rick Steves guidebook and I'm going to quote his entry for "pølse":
The Famous Danish hot dog, sold in pølsevogn (sausage wagons) are fast, cheap, tasty and -
like their American cousins - almost worthless nutritionally. Even so, what the locals
call the "dead man's finger" is the dog Danish kids love to bite .
I took a picture for my mom, who has an almost-unhealthy love of hot dogs. Yes, this hot dog has
pickles and fried onions on it. Yum!
When I go camping, I frequently take along my MEC thermally insulated booties, much to the
ridicule of my friends, but they keep me warm. Even my friend Jeff, who often starts the
"booty laughing" secretly wants a pair. So, here I am walking down the main pedestrian street
of Aarhus and what do I spy? A pair of booties!
One of the things about traveling without a plan is that wherever you are - that's EXACTLY
where you're supposed to be. As it turns out, Aarhus was having a big festival and I ran right into
the middle of it. This show wound up being Danes pretending to be Canadian Air Force pilots called
Corpus Canada - A Flock of Flyers. It was all in Danish and really odd, but they had great hats on
and were singing in terrible English, so it was entertaining. Did I mention this performance was free?
Inside the Aarhus Cathedral I found something dedicated to some guy named Erik. I knew I was in
Scandinavia because they actually spelled it with a 'k', just like my buddy Erik Olson.
As it turns out, the Cathedral actually had a giant model ship in one of the wings. I guess these
people don't screw around with their ship-building - even the church gets in on it!
I thought this was awesome on the side of the altar. I think the painting is from the 1500s, but it
shows not just one hanging, but a little kid above him! I bet this is what my sister Renee will do
to her new grade 1 class...
I have no idea what this section of town is, but any area that has a swooping naked woman with wings
in plaster seems like fun to me!
I stopped in at Den Gamle By, an historic recreation of an old Danish town, in Aarhus. Apparently, this is
what the kids used to play on - baby Viking ships!
These original buildings are what is called "half-timbered" houses. The walls are literally half made
with oak timbers and half bricks.
I don't think this video does it justice, but one of the loudest sounds I've heard for awhile
was this cannon that they fired at Den Gamle By: VIDEO
One of the best realizations I made was that whenever a store has a golden pretzel outside the door
it means that it's a BAKERY!! I visited many a bakery while in Denmark, because hey, that's where the
Danish came from! Actually, what we call a Danish, they call a wienerbrød.
I have no idea what is in this store, but I thought the sign was fun. I'm sure they get a lot
of confused Americans wandering in, looking for a urinal.
A view from the Aarhus Art Museum into the town. I like the orange tile roofs.
The Aarhus Art Museum was quite nice, and while I don't consider myself an art "connoisseur" at all,
I do enjoy meandering through one for an hour or two. I call this painting - "I think your fly is open"
Possibly one of the strangest things I've seen in an Art Museum was this sculpture by Australian Ron
Mueck. You can see by the person standing there that this sculpture is literally 15 feet high
and yet it's incredibly life-like. It's actually really weird just to stand there and look at the
boy. The title is Boy
Close-up of Boy
One of my favourite artists is Japanese Takashi Murakami. The Museum commissioned 20 artists to
do some work to commemorate Hans Christian Anderson's (Danish children's storyteller) 200th birthday.
Murakami did a sculpture of the Emperor from the Emperor's New Clothes.
If the Boy is strange, then this is downright weird. It's supposed to somehow honour
the strength of humanity, but it just weirds me out. The couple is hit with pretty much everything
from a trowel and a brick to a sword and a piano.
I took this for my friend Carl Norum. Carl, this is in Aarhus, Denmark. Note that I couldn't
find an Analog Devices dealer. Therefore, your company is cooler than mine.
I love this place. Pub Crawl for all they say?
It's times like these that I really wish I could speak Danish. Otherwise, all I'm left with is
my imagination to sort out what they're actually saying on this van.
It turns out that Legoland is nowhere near any real city or even a traffic hub. From Aarhus
I needed to take a train to Vejle, hang out for an hour or so, and then catch a bus to Billund.
This picture is from the pedestrian shopping area in Vejle on a Sunday morning.
I don't know why, but this just seemed really funny to me.
While I took the above picture, this Dane thought I was taking one of him so he
started "representin' ". His homies would be proud.
Legoland, Billund. Possibly the happiest place on Earth
As I entered Legoland, this is what I saw. This is what Lego is all about.
I took this for Carl Lynn. I thought the Danish flag art was quite nice. If you look closely, you'll
realize that it's entirely made of Lego (as is most of the stuff you'll see in this photo set)..
The front gates of Legoland Billund.
Lego camera people interviewing other Lego people with Lego cameras and Lego microphones (isn't
A Lego climber with an actual harness on.
The LEGOTOP tower takes people up and gives them a view of the park.
The Lego Concorde. I didn't check if the tires light on fire though, so I'm not sure if it's
lifelike or not.
The Neuschwanstein Castle. I don't remember the scale, but it looks pretty realistic.
I wonder whether the Master Lego Builder included all of the queer swans inside the castle as well.
Original Neuschwanstein Castle in South Bavaria, Germany: HERE .
The Lego Statue of Liberty taken from the LEGOTOP tower.
Some of the rest of the park from the tower. You can see Mount Rushmore and Sitting Bull,
as well as some of Mini-land (the original park only had Lego scale buildings. Then they added rides)
Mount Rushmore from a little closer.
I thought this guy was great. I actually bought a fridge magnet with him on it. He's
about 6 feet tall and standing on top the bank. I don't know if this means that he got
robbed or that he's just a weirdo. I thought the chest hair was a nice touch.
This was the only pirate I ran into on my trip, despite my sister Renee and Erik's
best wishes. This was in Pirate Land, naturally.
I love how everything is just relaxed. The poses that the Master Builders chose are funny
in a lot of cases. For instance, why would this soldier have a cask of powder on top of
a cask of rum? No idea, but it looks funny!
I enjoyed this moat dragon in the Knight's Kingdom.
This was a scene inside the castle, as I was waiting to get onto the roller coaster
called the Dragon. Again, I love the life-like poses of the guy covered in boiling tar
and the dragon with spinning birds since someone tossed something over the castle at him.
"And there, if you look off in the distance... HOLY CRAP IT'S A LLAMA!!". I was just walking
around Adventure Land and saw this thing and just started laughing out loud.
Even the garbage cans are Lego blocks (or bricks as the Danes call them).
Of course I was the oldest kid at Legoland walking around the miniature towns and having a blast.
But, naturally, I had to check out the rides. This one was pretty cool as you actually decide
what you want the ride to do. You get a small memory card at the little kiosk. Then you
select how fast and which motions you want the pneumatic arm to throw you. Then you empty
your pockets, take off your glasses, and give 'er hell. This was called Power Builder
and I screamed like a girl.
I literally laughed out loud when I heard this noise. I immediately thought: "Tickle monster?"
This is for you Paul Dehaan: VIDEO CLIP
Lego elephants in the zoo.
I think this was something like 2.5 Million lego blocks.
A Lego Statue of Liberty. I wonder whether terrorists have tried to bomb this one.
I took this picture for Natalia. It's a Lego guy who also loves ice cream.
You wonder whether each one of these are unique or not.
One of the model villages that is done in Miniland. I think this is Copenhagen.
The Mann Chinese Theatre in LA.
The Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen. This has 900,000 Lego blocks and 40,000 windows.
If you can believe it, they actually have Harry Potter Lego sets.
I took this pic for my sister Renee.
This was actually ridiculous. They've modified the original Star Wars game so that
all of the characters are Lego characters. Yoda is the coolest.
I think this is supposed to be Hans Christian Andersen.
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