Picture of the Week

29 July 2014

Week 29: mostly Aarhus

Filed under: — Administrator @ 22:54

Following my travels to Rome and Munich the preceding week, I came home Friday night, but Sunday morning I was off again, this time on vacation in Denmark. I spent a week cycling around the country with my friend Lars, as I do every summer now. The tour is documented elsewhere; the pictures I show in this blog are mostly from the Sunday before we set out and the Monday when we came back.

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I arrived in my hometown Aarhus around lunchtime. After relaxing a bit, Lars and I walked to Den Gamly By. Den Gamle By (“the old town”) is a unique open-air museum on the edge of Aarhus Botanical Gardens, where several streets from a 19th century town have been recreated, complete with streets, houses, shops etc.:
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But we had gone there to see something else. A new section of Den Gamle By is devoted to the decade of our teenage years, the 1970s. On the one hand, it is depressing that one’s youth is now judged fit for a museum; but on the other hand it was truly fun to see and relive those years. This is a small grocery store, with the actual products (not for sale) and the prices of back then:
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There was also a hifi shop with the stuff I drooled over in 1974 but had no way to buy, as this turntable cost almost four times my mother’s monthly net salary:
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VCR, anno 1974. Here we are talking SERIOUS money:
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The two shops were on the ground floor of an apartment building. On the upper floors, several apartments have been recreated in a very thorough manner. This one belonged to an elderly couple, so the furnishings were old-fashioned already 40 years ago:
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This is a young family’s living room, not too dissimilar from what I remember:
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Although we did not have THIS on our walls:
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The apartment next door was a gynecologist’s practice:
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The doctor’s waiting room–note the ashtray:
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The examination room; and no, that’s not a real patient behind the curtain:
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One floor up there was an apartment that had belonged to a kollektiv, or commune. It was not uncommon for young people to live like this back then, motivated not merely by a desire to pool expenses but just as much by ideals about communal living. The bed with an old wooden beer case (used to hold 50 bottles) is a classic. I too had such a night table in my bedroom:
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A poster of Karl was standard equipment as well:
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Typical student’s desk:
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Toilet with Chairman Mao’s little red book:
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The living room. Interviews with former members of this commune are shown on the monitor:
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There is also a museum of classic Danish posters, some of which would probably fail today’s PC tests:
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Everyone who lived in Denmark in the second half of the 20th century has seen Karoline the Cow a million times:
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Finally, there was all the great music. This poster advertises a concert in the dorm where I lived in the late 70s and early 80s, by a very popular Danish group called Delta Blues Band. They were later joined by American guitarist Billy Cross and changed their name to Delta Cross Band, before splitting up some time in the 80s:
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Lars looks at an interactive map of Aarhus where the most important bars and music places are indicated. Some of them still exist (often in different incarnations), other do not:
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Having got our fix of nostalgia, we went back to Lars’s apartment. After dinner, Lars skyped with his 1-year old grandson Lauge, whom we were going to see the next day–he and Lars’s daughter live in Odense, 144 km from Aarhus, and our first stop on the tour:
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About 24 hours later, we are with Lars’s daughter Marie, her husband Jonas and baby Lauge in their house in Odense:
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On Tuesday, we had lunch in the workshop of Jørn Svendsen, a friend of Lars and an utterly delightful and fascinating man. He is Scandinavia’s premier bronze caster, analogous to a photographic printer; the artists come to him with their works in ceramic or wax and he turns them into bronze sculptures:
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Another work of art in Svendsen’s workshop:
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It is Thursday afternoon, and we have arrived in the centre of Copenhagen. Lars took a picture of me on Langebro, a bridge linking the “mainland” of Zealand with the smaller island of Amager, which among other things contains Copenhagen Airport:
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Friday morning. The sun is rising over our tent:
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Morning dew:
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Sunday evening. We are back in Aarhus, and Marie, Jonas and Lauge have come to visit. Lars gets down to Lauge’s level:
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Jonas trying to communicate with his son:
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