Monday, August 15, 2011

a storm is gathering its folds on the horizon, above a molten sunset. Cold wind licks the face of the building and whispers through the open window. The trees stir and toss, restless and sleeping. Gold fringes of dying sunlight gild the swollen surface of the clouds, glossing over the gray and scudding base of the storm. The first whistling drops of rain sound out on the tile roofs of this foreign city, hissing through the leaves, tousling poplar and birch and oak. A magpie launches itself from the garden, raucously objecting to the rain. Its cry and the flash of its blue feathers the only thing for miles and miles.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Behind with the times

We last left our heroes on a bridge. And that bridge leads to a castle!

Yes, that's right, I went off to check out one of the awesome castles that are part of Denmark. More specifically, I wanted to see the ruins beneath Christiansborg Palace. Apparently, Christiansborg is a palace built on the tops of the ruins of 4 other palaces, dating as far back as about 1150 A.D. The first was built by a bishop named Absalon, and as such he gets this big statue of him outside the current palace.



The Gauls whom the bishop spent his life hasseling came along and disassembled the bishop and the palace in vengeance. Eventually a guy came along and unified the bits of Denmark into a kingdom and built his own castle at the same spot, which is rather ideally located on the ├śresund Strait leading into the Baltic sea and lots of trade routes. This was initially called Copenhagen Castle, and bits of its walls are visible amongst the ruins of Absalon's Castle, all well below the ground level of today











hehehe. jordklump




Two more palaces were built there, first by the famous architecturally-inclined king Christian the IV and then by Frederick the VI. Both of them lasted about 50 years and burned down due to overheating stove pipes that were part of the heating system. The current palace was built in around the 1900s and looks something like this:



Of course it was not only to visit the ruins that I visited. Beforehand I wandered around that part of the city and the isle of Slotsholmen. It's a very beautiful place--I think I am in love with Danish architecture.







While I was meandering through the streets I encountered a display from the World Wildlife Foundation about various endangered species spread throughout Europe. Walnuts took offense because the seal is laughing at him.



Slotsholmen is a beautiful island. It holds a lot of the governmental buildings (including, I believe this was the stock market or something similar--check out the awesome tower made from 4 twining dragon tails) and a gorgeous library.




The weather was pretty gray and blah, but I found this gorgeous garden outside the Danish Jewish museum.






Finally, I ducked into an armory museum. Most of their exhibits were closed for remodeling (so I couldn't check out the awesome swords) but the cannon/artillery room was open. It was... disturbing. Have you ever read Dirge for Sabis? It's an incredible book, powerful, well written, and deeply indicative of a society torn apart by war. Staring down the barrel of some of these beasts sent a frisson down my spine and made me want to cry. I cannot imagine having to face one of these items when it was actually in use.







Finally I stopped for lunch and finally tried sm├śrbrod. That translates literally to butter and bread, but really what it is is an open-faced huge sandwich on a slab of bread loaded with toppings and vegetables.


Of course I went yarn-shopping while I was out. *cough* Actually that's kind of what inspired the whole trip in the first place. It was after I'd found the store (yarn store in copenhagen are hard to find sometimes, it's called Sommerfuglen) that I noticed the whole underground ruins thing. I picked up some DK-weight yarn for a light cardigan that I haven't started knitting yet, and had a hard time not buying more stuff for mittens. I absolutely love making mittens and I can't wait for it to be cold weather again so I can make a dozen pairs. Or at least to get back home to where all my different worsted-weight multi-color-fuzzy yarns are.