Prowling my world, camera in hand

30 April 2013

Week 17: Aarhus and Copenhagen

Filed under: — Administrator @ 07:37

The week continued in Denmark, first in Aarhus where the previous week left off, and then in Copenhagen.

On Sunday Lars and I were going to participate in a fairly grueling bike event, a 90 km race in the valley of the Gudenå, Denmark’s longest river (which is not saying much), including a hill with 14% grade which was to be climbed four times. So the night before Lars prepared a healthy, pasta-based pre-ride meal:

The morning of the race. We have paid our entry fees and are just relaxing at the starting point, the school in a village called Ulstrup:

Yours truly at the start. About 300 cyclists participated:

The landscape was pretty and the weather was good. The route was 22.5 km, to be repeated four times. The only problem was the wind. As the day went on, it became stronger and stronger, and in the wrong direction–we had headwind when going uphill and tailwind when going downhill, not very useful. This is the river Gudenå:

After we returned to Aarhus, I went for a brief walk in the neighbourhood. Lars lives right in the middle of the old part of the city. This is Aarhus Theatre, with a statue of wartime king Christian X in the foreground:

During the same walk, along Guldsmedsgade, a poster with the question “Who has the biggest penis in Aarhus?” I never found out what the context was:

Monday morning it was time to take the train to Copenhagen. The walk from Lars’s apartment to the train station is a pleasant 15 minutes along the pedestrian street. Along the way, I enjoyed one of my favourite views in the city, the Aarhus river from Clemens Bro:

About 3 hours later, I arrived in Copenhagen. The first order of business was to meet up for lunch with some old friends of my parents. I left my suitcase at the train station and walked out. The weather was good if a bit chilly. This is Copenhagen city hall; on the right is the newly renovated headquarters of the Confederation of Danish Industry:

Old reflected in new. There has been a tremendous amount of renovation of existing buildings and new construction in Copenhagen in the past 10-15 years:

I walked along the main pedestrian street Strøget, passing the flagship Lego shop:

Marek and Tamara are in their 60s, recently retired. They devote most of their free time and energy to the Polish-Jewish community in Copenhagen and were good friends of my late parents. We met up for lunch at Ankara, a Turkish restaurant where I used to come with my father:

After lunch, I walked to the bus to go to the cemetery to visit my parents’ graves. On the way, I passed the canal at Gammel Strand with its famous underwater sculpture. The water level was unusually low:

A bit further along the canal, a new piece of street art. Every time I walk the streets of Copenhagen, I discover something new:

At the bus stop across the street from Christiansborg, Denmark’s parliament. The distinguished-looking old lady is asking the two younger women about the bus schedule:

At Vestre Kirkegårds Allé, a quiet street leading the cemetery:

Copenhagen’s Jewish cemetery. This is the monument to the victims of the Holocaust donated by the association of Polish Jews in Denmark. Every year, a ceremony is held here to commemorate the uprising in Warsaw’s ghetto in 1943. This year, the commemoration had taken place a few days before my visit. When my father was alive, he used to give a brief speech on this occasion. The inscription on the stone means “Never Again”:

The Jewish cemetery has a kindergarten as one of its neighbours. I noticed the somewhat humourous disconnect between the cemetery and the sign in the background. “Børn i bevægelse” can be loosely translated as “children at play”:

In late afternoon, I went back to the train station, retrieved my suitcase from left luggage and made my way to my friend Beata. Here she is with her son Astor, now in 2nd grade:

Astor has appropriated Beata’s new iPad:

Taking advantage of the long days in Denmark this time of year, I went for a walk in Beata’s neighbourhood, a residential area north of the centre. This is Sortedams Sø, one of three rectangular lakes which are among the city’s most popular recreational area:

I sat down for a beer at an outdoor café:

While having my beer, I enjoyed watching the human traffic passing by:

Tuesday afternoon I flew back to Alicante and did not take a single picture the next several days–just work, work, work. But then came the weekend.

Sadly, the weekend was rainy in Alicante. Still, I managed to find a couple of hours to cycle along the beach. The parking lot at this beach was flooded but it did not matter much, the weather was not exactly inviting anyway:

But the rain is good for something, I guess:

And thus ended a busy week.

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