Thursday, December 22, 2011

lindymegan's photostream

IMG_0424Delivering Hoegaarden from HoegaardenLeuven Center SquareCPH1CPH2CPH3

Travels thus far in full Photographic Glory

Hello to Berlin

Reading the history of a place you're visiting always does make it a bit more exciting and meaningful. Four years ago when I was headed to Berlin, I was reading 'The Fall of Berlin 1945'. The vivid descriptions of fighting in the last year made the visit to the Reichstag all the more impactful.

Now I'm reading 'Berlin Diary'. The journals of a radio correspondent stationed in Berlin beginning in 1934. It's about the run up to the war and the thick of it, before America entered into the fray.

Agh, the haunted-ness of Berlin. It was delightful to hear the stories of the Danish coming together to outwit the Nazis and save lives when I was in Copenhagen. It’s a horror reading about the slow fall into destruction of Germany. How stupid the people were at first to allow democracy to be done away with, and then how complacent they were to allow war to start again. One ray of niceness is that Berliners tended to be a bit smarter than the rest, having the highest number Communist party members (hence anti-Nazi), voting in the largest numbers against the Furhrer in elections, not wanting war, most listening (illegally) to the BBC, trying to hold on to their days of debauchery between the world wars. And of course, now the new Berlin, united in Democracy, holds that period of their history in shame and aims to create a new path. That's why the city is so exciting, alive, artsy.

Most disgusting is the use of propaganda. The outright lies of politicians. Is it so far off to call what Fox 'News' and the Republican party does the same? One is to uphold a dictator, the other is to promote a regime that makes them more money. The National politics of America really does disgust me hugely. How can one say that the rich can't afford to pay more taxes and the stimulus didn't work when most economists (at least the ones not paid by the Republicans) say otherwise? How can they say that global warming isn't caused by human activity when every scientist (and usually they themselves a few years ago) say otherwise? And even sillier things like Obama is a Muslim, or gay parents make their kids gay.

It's a bit more believable to think that the Germans swallowed everything Goebbels was selling when you think a good percentage of Americans are swallowing what Fox sells them, even when there are other sources available to negate them. ( anyone?)

In any case, I'm still excited to go. Would have rathered Barcelona, Lisbon, Rome, or anywhere else warmer, but somehow Berlin was by far the cheapest ticket on the menu, so away we go.

Time to brush up on my German . . . .

Monday, December 12, 2011

CPH Memories

So yes, the one reason and one reason only I was in Copenhagen was the blog CopenhagenCycleChic. And yes, it was worth it. Turned out to be quite an expensive trip and a bit unnerving since no American credit cards work over there, but some of these should turn out to be funny stories in a year or so, no? Here's my memories in list format since I'm a bit lazy, being on vacation and all:

Nørrebro Brewhouse

Funny mustachioed bartender, drinking with Danish designer, leaving all the glasses on the table, riding on the back of the bicycle, then loosing the bicycle : (

Free tour with an Irish Guy

seeing the oldest street, being the only American on the tour, the rich Aussie girls in min-skirts and berets, 'What am I going to show you next? . . . Oh yes!", Nyhavn ships getting stuck, Amelie palace and the guard stories, stories of the Danish resistance to the Nazis, the opera house support of Chistiana

Little Mermaid

Getting locked in the bathroom


A nice dreaded guy on a bike showing me the way to the gate, walking alone on the ramparts, stampeding horses, petting dogs

Vor Frelsers Kirke golden tower staris


Bike shopping. . . to replace the one I lost

80% of children being in snowsuits, even though there was no snow

Peacefulness fo Kongens Have and Botanisk Have and the rows of trees

Assistends Kirkegard

H.C. Andersens and Kirkegard's graves, a forest-like atmosphere with plants growing across graves, people going for walks, biking to work, pushing strollers around the graves

Being part of bike rush hour : )

Bikeing Slotsholmen at night

the tower of Børsen

København Museet free!

Getting to my bus two hours to early and then heading here, the exhibit on trash

The 16 hour bus ride there and home . . . and the ferry!

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Back in Belgium

Yipes! Three months flew by fast, and here I am, in Belgium with Chris. Living in a sparse, artless room that's best used for meditation (because there's not much room for anything else). We've finally figured out how to angle the twin mattress and move it away from the floor so we can sleep somewhat comfortably.

We've settled into a sort of routine. I work most of the day at a nearby bar with free internet, sipping one beer very slowly. Chris is off to class, reading or writing. I nip out to walk down a street I've never been down before. Today it was the Groot Begijnhof - a 13th century monastic community of women. Another day it was the M Museum. Another we wandered through the Christmas Market and ate chocolate.

Overall it's a pretty sweet deal to get paid to be in a foreign country. (Thank you generous vacation package!) More travels soon . . .