Loose Ends

Last day in this run of Denmark’s biggest city. There are a few things we haven’t had time to do so this is a clean up day. Two galleries that are on our list do not open until noon and the last few days we had passed by them before opening. There are a couple of stores specializing in Danish designed furniture and products we most definitely want to walk through. I set out a route that would have us walking to the most distant gallery and then take the bus back. We need a little time to sort out what we are going to pack for the Germany leg of this trip. Without bikes and riding gear we should be able to get all we need into a shoulder bag each.

The first gallery has one exhibition we most definitely do not get. During the evenings it is a performance piece with actors that interact with the audience. In Danish, so it would not be of much use to us. During the day it is an installation with the remnants of the previous evenings performance. Only thing is it is all in Danish and we don’t get it either. The other exhibit is more accessible and we spend some time reading and wandering and analyzing.

Light/sound installations are popular in art galleries these days. Most are ho hum and I spend a couple of seconds in the area and walk on. The one in the second gallery we visit catches my attention and we spend 15 mins. or so in the room listening and watching. The other show is fascinating. With a single sheet of paper the artist depicts a 2 dimensional drawing and then by tearing the paper to construct another part to the composition and photographing it, the result is a 3 dimensional illusion. I found this really cleaver and spent a goodly amount of time looking at each and every picture.

In Copenhagen like any other big city, the variety of food available is vast. You can eat whatever your heart desires. I manage to try a couple of traditional Danish meals. The first is a roast pork sandwich. Not too unusual except the pork is roast with the rind on and the rind is very crisp. Tooth breaking crisp. It was OK. Today I had (sorry I don’t know if it an ‘a’ or if this is the general classification) Smorrebrod. Basically it is an open face sandwich. They are on display in a glass case and come with a variety of different toppings, shrimp and boiled egg, salmon and egg salad, roast pork, and, and, and. I had a smoked salmon with egg salad on white bread. Again, OK but not something I would search out on a regular basis.

Although surrounded by water, albeit salt water, and in a country that has more than it’s share of rain therefore a lot of fresh water, water, even tap water costs in restaurants. I’m guessing that is why everyone drinks beer.

One thing Debbie noted on our touring about the last few days is the size of the cars in the big city. All throughout Denmark we noticed the people drove little cars. Here, although only one 1/2 ton truck, the cars are at least a size bigger. The roads are actually quite wide here and there is not much street parking so it is possible to maneuver the beasts around and they are still not on average as big as at home but they are definitely bigger.

When I was in architecture school it was generally thought that paving stones (cobbles) are preferable to concrete and/or asphalt. They are more in scale with humans, they provide texture, they break up the unsightly uniform expanse, yada, yada. It is easy to buy into the rhetoric. After all concrete sidewalks, and asphalt roads are not the most aesthetically pleasing surfaces. I mentioned riding on the cobblestones and how it is not very nice. Well, after spending 3 days on foot they are not all that great to walk on either. The unevenness of them makes for tough slogging. Each step you have to be sure to lift you foot high enough so as not to kick the stone that is laid next to the highest of it neighbours. The ladies with any kind of heel whatsoever have to tip toe for blocks. Every step, ones’ ankles have to be able to roll in any direction and at any angle enough so as to maintain balance. They are wicked slippery in the rain.As each step is uneven when they are wet, balance can be even more precarious. Again because they are uneven the dips collect water and there are small puddles everywhere. And when it snows, not too often here, they are impossible to shovel. The preachers of the gospel in architecture and urban planning schools around the world should spend some time on the streets.

Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen

Tivoli Gardens – Goodbye Copenhagen

Off to Germany tomorrow but we shall return for one last foray into the Danish world in a couple of weeks.



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