19 August 2001

One hell of a weekend

I somehow managed to get up at 5:30am on Saturday morning (that would be the 18th) and after showering and getting ready I caught a quick breakfast (mental note - I have run out of food for breakfast. get more cereal. block of cheese is poor substitute for breakfast.) and was out of the door by 6am. Nature had put on some of its most spectacular special effects and there was this fantastic rolling fog all over everything. It looked really cool over the fields opposite the dorms and inbetween the grass and trees near the highway. Anyway, this early in the morning the buses aren't going so I start plodding my way down to Lyngby station (about 40 minutes walk). Halfway through the walk I pass by the cottage I stayed at, but I don't stop and I hurry along down the road.

The weather on Saturday was absolutely beautiful and by about 6:30 am I took of my jacket as it was pleasantly warm. Anyway, I was strolling down Lynghojvej (the main street through Lyngby) when all of a sudden a car on fire rolled past me, collided into a building and exploded. Well, it didn't, but this part of the story is pretty bland and I thought I might spice it up a little.

(It just kind of careered into the sidewalk and exploded)

Anyway, I got to the station just before 7am where I met Katy whom had just gotten off the bus (she's another person on the project, visiting from the US). The ticket office didn't open until 8 so we got a ticket from the machine and hopped on the 7:26 s-train (thats the name for local trains here) into Kobenhaven H (central station) and got a ticket from there to Billund, where Legoland is located. It was pretty expensive - 556 DKR, which is a touch over A$100! Anyway, we got on the 8am Intercity train to arrive in Vejle at 10:30, and there would be a bus connection from Vilje to Billund to get us to Legoland at about 11:17.

The train journey goes West across Zealand, across a huge big bridge to the island of Funen...

(big huge bridge)

...across Funen where there are lots of massive huge wind powered generators (lets call them windmills)...

(enormous windmill power generator thing - it must be at least 90m high, since the blades are 70m across!!!)

..across another bridge and on to Jutland, the part of Denmark connected to mainland Europe.

One of the train stops was called 'Middelfart'. I was tempted to break out into hysterical giggling because of this, but I got a good photo on the still camera of it so there :P Vejle is a very pretty town. I wish I could have spent some more time there; there is this enormous bay that goes into the town and it all looks very cool; especially on that day since the sun was shining and it all looked very neat :) Here is a cool photo that someone else took:


There are plenty of fields and stuff so it all looks very rural :) The town itself, from the little I saw, was made up of quaint little coloured houses, churches and narrow streets, which was all quite, um, 'European'. The 40 minute bus-ride fro Vejle took us to Billund on lots of narrow country roads through a lot more quaint towns, disappointingly bereft of exploding cars or marauding beasts.

(what you are unlikely to see in Central Jutland. A shame, really).

The bus trip took about 40 minutes and we arrived at Legoland. It was a beautiful day near the end of summer, so it was packed with families with children, and punctuated by the occasional excited engineer. We queued for a while, got in and quickly realised that it really is a park for small children - we were literally too big for most of the rides in the park. However, it still had plenty of cool stuff - I mean, this *is* legoland, of course its cool!

What was particularly neat was the little scale lego thingies of towns and places - here are some scaled down cows (really realistic I thought):

And here is me looking ugly in front of a scale model of Christinhavn (this neat little part of Copenhagen with lots of canals - more on that later):

(me looking exceptionally silly)

Anyway, that said they had some other stuff like a huge scale models of some of their technic sets, and a couple of play and fiddle areas with big bins of lego to play with :) All said and done, another feature was their weird star-wars stuff (I got some really cool gear):

(big model of Darth Vader)

(I call him - mini-Vader!!)

So that was legoland :) Hopefully I'll have a bit more when I sit down and edit the video properly :)

Today (Sunday the 19th August) I did some sightseeing in Copenhagen with Katy, Dorthe and Britt - on, as I previously mentioned, Kayaks. On the water. With a paddle. One guy runs the whole operation and he's an advertising machine (go see www.kajakole.dk) and we went for a 1 1/2 hour trip around the canals in and around central Copenhagen.

So it would have been simple. I put on over my clothes a pair of long rubber pants to keep my trousers dry, and put on a life jacket, grabbed a paddle and got helped into my kayak. I get told - stick to the right hand side of the canal and you'll be OK. First thing that happens is that I paddle like I should and head over from the left bank to the right - and hit the wall. At this point I hadn't figured out that you have to paddle on the *opposite* side of where you want to turn and I'm pointing in the wrong directon. I do a big, big u-turn in the water and I finally end up pointing in the correct direction (yay!).

So we paddle on, down one of the canals looking at the sights as we go along. Its quite pretty, and doing the tour self-propelled in a kayak is a unique experience. I was enjoying the tour so much I forgot about the big, ugly tour boats.

(big, ugly tour boat)

Thats right, big, ugly tour boats. A couple of minutes into the tour, I still hadn't quite got the hang of steering and one of the big ugly tour boats was fast approaching on the left hand side - thats it, paddle on the right to get away! I realised my mistake too late, my brain screamed out for me to yell out a viking roar (which came out something like 'eep'), I fixed my eyes on my target, yelled 'RAMMING SPEED' and I collided with the tour boat. I hit it so hard that it splintered on contact and there was tourists and panic everywhere.

(ramming speed!!!)

The sad reality was that I kinda bounced gently off the slowly moving tourboat and I learned to steer a little better after that. The tour was very cool anyway; we even stopped for coffee at a floating restaurant - we just hung on to the side, sitting in our boats, balancing paddle, coffee, boat and ourselves :) It was probably the strangest coffee I've ever had in my entire life :D

We crossed the water into Christianhavn (see the green line at: http://www.kajakole.dk/ruter.htm), and had a look around - its a real maritime sort of country, and a lot of people were just kind of sitting around realaxing in their boats and house boats moored at the numerous kind of mooring-place-type-things :) I only have still photos for today - I got some neat photos from where I was sitting in the boat :D

laters ppl :) will update again soon :)


Well, finally made it to Copenhagen :) The old CSE account has died so here is the new page at a new place, and, as I promised some people, pictures and videos. I haven't finished editing them all yet mind you, so some more is on the way :)

Don't mind the shoddy camera-work; I'm afraid it doesn't really get much better :/

You'll need realplayer to watch the videos.

Introductory video :)

This is Lyngby, the suburb of Copenhagen in which I am staying. Its about 12kms from the city centre. You can't make it out too clearly in the pictures, but there are specialised cycle lanes that run alongside nearly all the roads in Copenhagen.

This is the little cottage I stayed at for my first week in Copenhagen.

Video of Lyngby

This is Radhuspladsen, the main town square just next to the Central railway station in Copenhagen. The big red building is Radhaus, and its got all sorts of weird gothic gargoyles and stuff.

These are some of those weird gothic gargoyles, dragons and fountains littered around Radhaus.

This is the statue of Hans Christian Anderson on the southwest corner of Radhauspladsen. He wrote a couple of successful childrens books, but his main achievments include his stint as a dashing fireman and being the first Dane to be launched into space in a barrel.

This is the front of Tivoli, a small amusement park in the middle of Copenhagen. Its pretty cool at night, but I am yet to go in. I will, one day.

This is Stroget, a very long pedistrian shopping mall. In the summer, its packed with people strolling up and down, eating ice-cream and hurling fistfuls of rotten fruit at bad performers. In the winter, to celebrate the advent of football, a large crowd of unruly Danish sailors kick a pigs bladder from one end of Stroget to the other. Well, probably not, but the street sure looks like it could handle it. There are also a lot of good pubs right up and down the length of the street.

This is Nytorv, one of the big open areas that opens off to the side of Stroget.

At the other end of Stroget, there is Kongens Nytorv, which is a big elliptical roundabout surrounded by lots of old but very cool looking buildings.

This is a statue of Christain V in the middle of Kongens Nytorv. This dude designed the roundabout and many of the buildings around it. Rumour has it that if you rub the nose of Christian V's horse, the statues give way to reveal a series of nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles pointed at every major city on Earth. This apocalyptic disaster scenario has been avoided by the thoughtful placing of a fence with pointy things on it around the statue.

This is the Royal Theatre, which is closed during the summer.

Video of Rahaus, Stroget and Kongens Nytorv - see the famous Christian V missile defence system being tested!

Next: Nyhavn, the Little Mermaid and hordes of ravenous ducks savaging innocent loaves of bread!! - I'll try to get this done as soon as I can.