Thursday, September 15, 2011

tombstones, riots, and spiraling staircases

What a busy week it has been! On Tuesday afternoon I met with my Buddy Network for some exploration of Norrebro (the same place I went for the international cooking festival). Our first stop was the Assistens Cemetery, where many famous people are buried. The most popular gravesite is that of the most famous man in Denmark, Hans Christian Andersen.  His beloved fairy tales are enjoyed around the world, and include stories such as The Princess and the Pea, The Little Mermaid, and The Ugly Duckling. While his gravesite was interesting, my favorite site is that of Nobel Prize-winning physicist Niels Bohr.  Being both a science nerd and an extreme lover of owls, you can see why I found his tombstone extraordinary.

Tombstone of Niels Bohr

graffiti at site of old Youth House

Our second stop was to the original site of the Youth House (Ungdomshuset), which served as an underground scene for music and varying leftist groups from 1982 to 2007.  Reclaiming the building, the government ordered all occupants to leave. However, when the youth refused to leave, the building was scheduled for demolition.  This led to mass protests by the youth activists, resulting in riots in the streets with fire, broken glass, and general chaos. You can see for yourself the street riots: The Last Days of Ungdomshuset. Now, the old site has turned into an unofficial dumping site, covered in colorful graffiti.

After walking around the immigrant neighborhoods of Norrebro, we decided to stop and eat dinner at a great Arabic restaurant called The Arabic Madhouse. I wasn't feeling too adventurous, so I stuck with the good old standby beef burger with potatoes on the side. Perhaps when I return I will try something a bit more exciting. 

On Wednesday I ventured into the city for the first rehearsal of the Copenhagen Business School international choir. The group is a good mix for Danes and international students (mostly Americans). We sang through a song called "Joga", which had emotional melodies and haunting lyrics. We also sang Michael Jackson's "Heal the World." I am not sure yet if I will be returning next week due to scheduling conflicts, but it was a fun night singing with some Danes. 

Round Tower spiral
After class today Cara and I decided it was time we visited The Round Tower, which was an architectural project of Christian IV. The tower was built from 1637 to 1642 as an astronomical observatory for scholars of the time. However, the equipment soon became outdated and a new observatory was built. The view of Copenhagen from the top of the tower is simply breathtaking and definitely worth the ascent up the towers spiraling walkway. 

view from top of Round Tower

Cara and I at the top!

After a long day of school and exploring the city it is very nice to relax on the couch with my host family and a good cup of tea.

1 comment:

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