Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Swedish Pop I Promised : )

The band is Gyllene Tider. Song is "Sommartider" which means "Summertime."

Monday, April 27, 2009

Last Post from Denmark

We've had some great final adventures here in Denmark. Yesterday we went to the Dansk Architectural Center and saw an incredible exhibit on building design called "Yes is More!". The design of the exhibit had a comic book feel to it. We really loved the futuristic building designs.

We also climbed to the top of a tall church dome here in the city. I've never been in such a long, narrow stairway--it was a bit scary, but lots of fun. The views were wonderful, of course. This city is very photogenic.

We finished up the day at the Christiansborg Ruins and Palace. This is the building where the Danish Parliament meets and the Queen has offices here as well. The current building dates from the early 1900s, so it isn't very old. However, this is the sixth castle to be built on this site. The first one, built in the 1100s was torn down by an invading army, another one was torn down on purpuse to build a bigger, better one. Two of the grandest versions burned in huge fires, within 60 years of each other. But, they just keep rebuilding the dang thing right back up on the same site. The current version is lovely.

Today we are off to catch a bit more art and hike up another church spire. We will be back stateside tomorrow!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Little Mermaid

As you may or may not know, one of Denmark's favorite sons is Hans Christian Andersen, writer of semi-questionable children's tales such as The Little Matchstick Girl, The Girl Who Trod on a Loaf, and The Red Shoes. On that note, today we went to see one of Copenhagen's most famous landmarks, Den Lille Havfrue (the little mermaid). The statue sits on a rock on the edge of a canal, is just over life-sized, and is widely considered to be entirely underwhelming. In 1998 in the middle of the night, someone took a saw and decapitated the bronze statue. The next day international news services spread the gory scene around the world as divers search waters around the statue for clues to no avail. Three days later the severed head turned up in a box outside a Copenhagen TV station--and it was speedily reattached. That wasn't the first time the statue had been attacked. In 1964, the original head was lopped off and in 1983 an arm was sawed off, neither of which were found again. Both had to be recast and welded back on. Various paint+splashing episodes have also taken place over the years, and in 2003 she was 'loosened' from her mooring and shoved into the harbor. All that said, we thought she was alright.

Now we are going into rest before heading out to Tivoli, Copenhagen's famous amusement park.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Greetings from Sweden!

Today we went to Lund (pronounced Lewnd) and Mälmö, Sweden. In Lund we saw a cathedral with a fancy clock and a giant in the crypt (who apparently helped build the church?). Then we went to an open air museum and got to tour around some authentic old Swedish homes. In Malmö we went to another castle. This one was made of brick and looked a bit like an old factory. It was used as a prison for many years after it stopped being a castle. Inside the castle was the strangest set of museums I have ever seem. There were exhibits on castle history, complete with grisly stories of beheadings (with recorded sound effects), an aquarium, a dinosaur exhibit, and something involving a scary black cat that talked to us in Swedish and was quite frightening. We will probably have nightmares. Also in Malmö, we saw another beautiful church and a cool old apothecary.

In other news, I bought a Swedish pop cd today. I will post some music later, so you will all be subjected to it : ).

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Art, History, and Sparkly Things...

Today we went to the botanical gardens and saw the tiniest frogs ever. Then on to the crown jewels! We went to Rosenborg Slot (castle) to view the stately rooms, royal trinkets, and funny old-fashioned portraits (seriously, why don't they ever smile?). Drew, we saw one old Danish king that looked just like you! Underneath the castle we toured the royal treasury where the queen's crown and jewelry are kept when she's not wearing them. So sparkly.

We spent the afternoon with Jens Juel, C.K. Eckersberg, Edouard Munch, Anne & Michael Ancher, Christian Kobke and other bigwigs in the Danish art world at the Statens Museum for Kunst. Also had a great time at the Geologisk Museum, though the displays were all in Danish, so we had to make up stories to go with them. Good times.

Having a great time here in Copenhagen. Wouldn't say no to a blog comment or two though. If you miss us that is.

Love to all,
Jaima and Jillian

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Hello from Wonderful Copenhagen!

First of all, for those of you who didn't hear, our trip was delayed for two days due to airline incompetance. So, we have only been in Copenhagen about 24 hours now. (For those of you with a color-coded itinerary, you can through that out the window--we had to rewrite the whole thing). But we aren't complaining because we now get to stay an extra full day here.

The weather has been gorgeous. Yesterday we explored the area around Tivoli and the Radhuspladsen. We stepped into city hall to view the Jens Olsen Clock. This clock displays not only the local time, but also solar time, sidereal time, sunrises and sunsets, firmament and celestial pole migration, planet revolutions, the Gregorian calendar and even changing holidays such as Easter. Of the many wheels, the fastest turns once every ten seconds, while the slowest will finish its first revolution after 25,753 years.

Today we are visiting the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek to see Greek, Egyptian, Roman, and Etruscan sculpture and art, plus paintings by Cezanne, Van Gogh, Pissaro, Monet, and Renior. We will also visit the National Museum to see displays on Danish history.

It seems we aren't able to upload photos from here, so you will have to wait until we are home to see them. I will upload some next week.

Caitlin, thanks for the letter. We are working on our assignments.

Love to all,
Jaima and Jillian

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Little Denmark Primer

People of Denmark are relaxed, casual, and modern. Copenhagen usually scores in the top 5--if not number 1--on "most live able cities" lists. Fewer than 5% of the Danes are regular church-goers, but the country has a state-supported national church called the Danish People's Church which is a sort of Evangelical Lutheran affair. About 50% of the population goes on to higher education after high school. Danes have a high degree of social responsibility and are involved in many social clubs and organizations. They take health and fitness very seriously. The classic Danish meal is smorrebrod--an open-faced sandwich on rye bread topped with meat or fish and an endless variety of garnishes. The Danes drink often, but not usually to excess. Citizens enjoy a high standard of living. Denmark was the first European country to legalize same-sex marriage, in 1989. The Danish government is a constitutional monarchy. The Queen, Margarethe II, has been ruling since 1972. Her signature is required on all legislation. Copenhagen is at a similar latitude to Moscow, central Scotland, and southern Alaska, but has a relatively mild climate.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Dreaming I am More Important than I Really Am

Last night I dreamt that Gordon and I were at a church in our neighborhood. It was Sunday, so we were there for the regular service, but we were really just there to hear the sermon, which was going to be given by some famous visiting civil rights speaker. We are waiting for the service to begin when I get a text message on my phone. It’s from Michelle Obama. She says they (she and Barack) are in town and were planning on attending a different church service, but are now considering coming along with us to hear the civil rights lecture. She wants to know if we would be okay with them dropping in. Of course, I am pleasantly surprised to be receiving text messages from the First Lady and I tell them to come on over. They do, we all hang out. It’s very cool.

So I plugged all that into an online dream dictionary, and here is what I can make of the interpretation:

*To see the inside of a church in your dream, signifies that you may experience some minor setbacks. However, what seem to be nuisances will turn out to be a blessing in disguise. (Sounds ominous, but not entirely unpleasant)

* To dream that you are in a lecture may serve as a continuation of your intellectual thinking carried over from your waking hours. (I am just heading into my second week of grad school, so this makes sense)

* To see or use a cell phone in your dream, indicates that you are being receptive to new information. It also represents your mobility. (My mobility?)

* To dream that you are pleasantly surprised, indicates that you are open in acknowledging and confronting your unconscious feelings. (I think the fact that I am trying to interpret a funny dream through a cheesy online dream dictionary pretty much confirms that I am open to acknowledging and confronting my unconscious feelings)

* To see the president of your country in your dream symbolizes authority, power and control. It may also represent your own personal views and opinions of the president and his actions. (Wait, does it mean I have authority, power and control or someone else has authority and power and control over me? Seems like a pretty important distinction. Oh, and my views and opinions of the president? Love him.)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Here are photos of the new addition to the family, my sister's kitten Cassius!