Tuesday, April 20, 2010


I'm embarking on another trip this weekend. Well it's really two trips back-to-back. Saturday through Wednesday I'm going to London. Then on Friday I'm going to Spain for 10 days! It's basically a two week long trip.

Trip planning is really time-consuming! I feel like I spend a good part of my time in Århus planning trips rather than enjoying my time here

So that's my excuse for not updating my blog.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Travels: Monuments

Two summers ago I interned in Washington D.C., during which time I made the rounds of the memorials and monuments in the capitol. The WWII memorial was one of the newest additions to the Mall. It was also criticized for the ugly, pompous design, especially in contrast to the understated but affective Vietnam War memorial.

To quote from its wikipedia entry:
A critic from the Boston Herald described the monument as "vainglorious, demanding of attention and full of trite imagery." The Philadelphia Inquirer argued that "this pompous style was also favored by Hitler and Mussolini". 
... And maybe also Stalin...

Two weeks ago I was in Berlin, another city of memorials and monuments. Most of them I found very tasteful and thought-provoking. But there was one that immediately reminded me of the WWII memorial and not in a good way... It's the Soviet War Memorial. It was built in 1945 by the Soviet Union, who occupied part of the city along with the Americans and the British, to commemorate its soldiers.

Both have curved columns with a taller tower in the middle. The Soviet Memorial has a giant soldier on top of the tower. The WWII memorial has a giant bronze eagle in the archway under the tower. The Soviet soldier looks heavy enough to collapse the tower he stands on and the eagle looks like it could never take flight. It's just too much bronze.

Actually the WWII memorial is more bombastic than the Soviet one. It has more pillars because there are two sets of pillars forming curving around a circular fountain. Each pillar represents a state, so they had to make a lot of them...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Danishize: rugbrød and leverpostej

Foreigners detest it, expatriate Danes crave it.

It's rugbrød.

It was the first loaf of bread I bought when I arrived in Denmark two and a half months ago. I had no idea what it tasted like but I bought it because was one of the more common types of bread in the bread section.

Rug means rye so it's literally rye bread, but it's not like what we normally call rye bread in the States.I still wouldn't mind if it wasn't sourdough, still. But I really like the grain kernels in the bread. The texture is very dense and chewy.

Danes also eat a lot of leverpostej, a pate made from pork liver, spread on rugbrød.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Travels: On the doorstep

From my travels over the week-long Easter break:



Monday, April 12, 2010

Travels: Americans Abroad

I spent the weekend in Oslo, where I was surprised to see a few other Americans.

First I saw Lincoln in Vigeland Park. This bust of honest Abe was given to Oslo by the people of North Dakota in 1914. I came around from the back of the bust and thought I spied a familiar chin. And I was right.

The next day, I was near Akerhus Fortress and saw this. I saw the name carved beneath the sculpture first. Otherwise I'm not sure I would have recognized it was FDR. I think the likeness needs a bit more work...