May 2012

Aalborg Karneval

During the five years I lived in Aalborg I only missed the annually carnival once (it was the second year, where I’d forgotten all about it and had said yes to working). Although every year it was just before the deadline of big projects, we always took the day off to join the parade. By now it has become tradition that I don’t want to be without, and the more recent years where I’ve been away from Aalborg I have managed to find excuses to visit on the carnival weekend. This year the excuse was my girlfriend whom had never seen it before, nor had two friends from the office.

It is an unique event, where everyone in the city are friends for a day. The energy level is high, like the music, and the creativity can be surprising. And last but not least, there are so many good opportunities for taking photos – even of people that on any other day would run away from the camera – that I ended up at 825 files on the memory card. Here’s a few of them:

It was also, a bit unexpected to be honest, a nice experience to visit the city again. Before I moved out of the city I couldn’t wait to leave. Too small, too boring. But I do have a lot of good memories from the place, which I guess have been slipping out of my mind. And to be fair, on a nice spring/summer day, it does has it appeal (and people with less of an attitude than in Aarhus).

Margueritruten: The Jelling Stones

Today we’ve been continuing our little bit-by-bit exploration of the Danish countryside, having now officially decided to stick to Margueritruten (or here), a country small-road tour covering all of Denmark and going by many of the culturally significant sites. I even ordered and received the book.

Today we went south of Århus, taking the coast to the Jelling stones, known as the birth certificate of Denmark. It took us about four hours to get there (and half an hour to get back via the motorway), not least because of the swell countryside and small town churches:

Sct. Oluf, Aarhus

A month ago when we searched for a restaurant to bring the family,  we came across Sct. Oluf in Mejlgade but couldn’t get a table that night (instead we ended up at Restaurant Latin which was great). Yesterday however, we again had the pleasure of visit from the family and decided to make a reservation at Sct. Oluf. This seems to always be necessary there by the way.

When we entered the restaurant it was mostly empty, and was hence a bit confused when the waiter apparently pointed us in the direction of the kitchen. As it turned out, we had to cross the kitchen – getting a smile and a “welcome” from two of the chefs on the way – in order to get to the second dining room. It seemed sanitary enough, and interesting to see the backside of the stage where the magic has yet to appear; in particular, a chef was preparing dessert plates (which looked great when later served to us at the dining table) on an old kitchen table in the dark room filled with big cans and containers.

Our dining room was kept in an old living room style (perhaps out of laziness?) but created a very persuading homely atmosphere. We all ordered a potato soup starter, I ordered the beef for the main dish, and went back home for dessert (cake from my mother; how could the restaurant compete?). We had a bottle of red wine to go along.

The food was simple but good. It was a solid meal not unlike those a mother prepares for when her son makes his monthly visit. For the price (I believe it was 129 DKK for two courses) it was very good value. The waiters were kind, and diverse; a few times it gave me the impression that it’s a place run more by passion and fun than by profit.

Notes for the future: highly recommended; food solid, good price, ok selection of wine. Very cosy and friendly. Option of sitting outside in backyard.

Much Needed Weekend In Paris + The Thermals

I just came home from a much needed weekend in Paris. My girlfriend had a few things to take care of in the city, and I managed to convince her that this was the best weekend to go. Why? Because The Thermals were playing! As it turned out, they weren’t there to promote a new album, but as part of the Keep Portland Weird project taking place at the new La Gaîté Lyrique. I brought the small compact camera to capture a few shots:

The concert was of course good, but given that it was not “their own” it didn’t match the one they gave last year, nor the year before. The crowd was also very different, appearing to be there less because they already knew the band and more because of the whole Keep Portland Weird thing. Anyway, as always I had a blast and managed to peep a few tricks on how to play their tunes on the guitar. Two things keep striking me about these guys: 1) they genuinely seem like they are having fun together (on stage), and 2) they seem to be very down to earth and nice. This is definitely not something I’ve noticed in a lot of bands.

Naturally, we also spent some time wandering in the city. I got a few snapshots from around the city:

and a few from the never disappointing passe-temps, people watching from a cafe:

It was raining at the time, and hence it partially developed into a survey in on umbrellas, bow wow!