Saturday, July 30, 2011

Back in the CPH

(FYI-This is a longer post)

Well the western Denmark study tour has come, and gone.  Busy schedules, no internet, and basic Danish-ing has delayed the update process.

7:30AM came very early Thursday morning, but me and the roomies made it to the bus in plenty of time.  Again, Tim and Brandon had to say goodbye to Shaun and myself, and it wasn't really too emotional, go figure.  Off they went, but we had a delayed departure due to some missing students who held us up due to drinking-induced hangovers.  Party on.  Eventually we took off.  And as usual, it was an interesting ride out of the city; a city that was not designed to accommodate a large tour bus.  I have to give the bus drivers in Copenhagen a lot of credit.  Tight streets, pedestrians, bicyclists, cars, tourists, and the occasional horse...good work.

Our first leg of the trip consisted of a long bus ride to the main land of Denmark;  Jutland.  Taking us over the world's 2nd largest/longest suspension bridge and crossing the very flat, green and cultivated landscape of Denmark.  We stopped in a town called Kolding, and got to tour the Koldinghuset, a very old castle that was semi-destroyed but re-finished by a Danish architect.  It was a very cool combination of the old and new of Danish architecture.

We also stopped at an art museum with a chair exposition.  We got some solid sketching in and even a quick nap and cartwheel demonstration on the back lawn of the museum.

Oh yeah.  Shaun dressed in a Canadian tuxedo too.

After some lunch we boarded the bus again for another journey up to Ebeltoft, a quiet retreat along the water.  Very nice.  Here we stayed in a very nice hostel and got to explore the town.  Even squeezed in a game of volleyball and some limbo with the locals.  Fact.

Oh yeah...and then these 2 showed up.

An early wakeup call again got us up and out early to look at some old churches and other buildings around Ebeltoft and then it was on toward Aarhus with a few stops at some buildings along the way...

Just walking around some fields.

Old-ass church

One of my favorite squares

An old silo converter into high-end housing

Aarhus was awesome.  A smaller city, centered around a University, much younger crowd, nice people, awesome buildings, good food and the weather was great.  We walked along the city's river walk, up to the Aros Art Museum.

I'm not usually the biggest fan of museums, but it was a lot of fun.  There was an exhibit with interactive art installations (a room filled with heavy fog and neon lights-causing you to navigate around with heightened senses.  It was disorienting and fun.  You couldn't see more than a couple feet in front of you).  There was also the iconic rainbow elipse on the roof to walk around to give colorful perspectives of the city and the people within.

Borderline creepy

 What up, Scott?

Where'd you come from Shaun?

Aarhus.  Aerial.

We bumped into Tim and Brandon here, who were getting ready to leave Aarhus and continue on with their trip.  They suggested some places we needed to check out, and warned us about the hostel for the night.

The hostel we stayed at was terrible. Forced you to buy sheets and towels, no outside food and drink, only 3 keys to a room of 6 guys, and only 3 toilets/showers for the entire group.  Epic fail.

We went out in Aarhus on Friday night, and bumped into our guide, and my studio instructor, Bo, who was having drinks with a friend he knew.  Next thing we know he was telling us we needed to go out with him...and since Bo knows all, and hasn't steered us wrong yet, we followed him and had an awesome time.  Long story short, me and a group of people decided to walk back to the hostel.  Another Fail.  We got lost and 2 hours later we rolled in and called it a night.

Today we, again, woke up early, had some Bfast, and hopped on the bus for some sightseeing around Aarhus.  We saw a crematorium (a bit much for 8:30AM but what can ya do?), the university, city hall and then had the afternoon to ourselves.

Aarhus Crematorium

Sketchbook review session in Aarhus.

City Hall Chambers

Just hanging out in the bell big deal.

Oh.  Hey Aarhus.


Aarhus was surprising and I'm glad we made it there and spent a day there.  We bussed back from Aarhus to rainy Copenhagen.  After some talk about going out for what might be the last "free" night until our final reviews...we all decided against making moves, grabbing some food and calling it a night. It's good to be back in our place to get some good sleep and feel a little more at home.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Let's go to Western Denmark, shall we?

The day is upon us for the departure for our last traveling study tour of our study abroad program.  This tour is much shorter and keeps us within Denmark.  And booze cruise this time around.  Damn.  Tomorrow the wake up call is quite early, as both groups have to be at the busses by 7:30AM (yes, they've separated us again - time to say goodbye to Tim and Brandon for a few days...sad faces all around).

To be completely honest...I have no idea what the schedule of this tour is...they've been keeping that quite a secret.  All I know is the route that we are roughly following throughout Denmark.  Tim and Brandon follow a similar route, but make an additional stop, God knows where, so we'll see if they make the mistake of allowing all of us to bunk together in the hostels that we're staying at.

Oh I can't wait to spend more time on a bus.

We were all assigned a case study project when school started, and throughout these tours, we travel to each case study and the group that researched the project and built the model, has the pleasure of presenting to the group an overview of the project.  Now I have the pleasure of giving a quick rundown of the Aarhus Crematorium in Aarhus, Denmark (winning).  

The weather report looks just marvelous.  Rain on Thursday.  Maybe rain on Friday.  Rain on Saturday.

It will be interesting to see what the rest of Denmark has to offer and I am looking forward to getting out of the city a bit.  As the web address of this blog states, ThisCouldGoAnywhere, so check back for updates while we're on the road.  

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

36 Days in...

Wow.  Time has absolutely been flying by.  It feels like just yesterday we were packing up and saying our goodbyes in San Diego.  There hasn't been much to report as of lately since we have been bombarded with school assignments and are already in the beginning phases of the end of our study abroad here in Copenhagen.

Since returning from our study tour to Norway and Sweden...

Shaun got a euro-cut.
Brandon got a regular hair cut.
Steve has not cut his hair yet.

But overall we have spent most of our days working at home or at school.  Shaun and I are in the same studio, designing a bike pavilion for the busiest metro stop in Copenhagen, while Tim and Brandon are designing a kayaking pavilion on the harbor.  I personally have been using my schoolwork to keep me occupied and busy as my future travelling plans have been creeping into my mind and getting me quite excited.  I wouldn't consider myself homesick by any means, but thinking back about being outside of the States for over a month is crazy...and pretty awesome.  What I wouldn't do for a California Burrito, peanut butter, or a good American hamburger though.  Damn.

On a serious note, days after we left the city of Oslo in Norway, domestic terrorism hit the peaceful city that we just visited.  It was a bizarre feeling.  We have the unfortunate knowledge of what it feels like for an attack to happen on our country; and for us, it felt like for them, it was a loss of their innocence/isolation, and a harsh push into the world that we as Americans know.  They're saying it's the greatest loss of life and most traumatic event to happen to Norway since WWII.  We shared in a moment of silence on Monday, along with the rest of Scandinavian countries, and paid our respect to those who died on Friday.

Alrighty, on to more positive things.  We leave for our short, Western Denmark study tour on Thursday morning.  Copenhagen is on the very east coast of Denmark (we haven't really been outside the city of Copenhagen since we got here), and we will travel by bus (again) and spend 3 days and 2 nights seeing the rest of the country that we have been calling home for the last month.  It should be interesting, since you can drive across the entire country in about 3 hours.  And, we don't need to exchange money for foreign kroner!  Danish Kroner all the way this time.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Euro...

...not the currency.

The Euro.  It's a fashion statement.  It's everywhere.  It's a haircut.  It's a topic of discussion on almost a daily basis here in Copenhagen.

Yesterday, fellow compadre, Shaun Lynch decided it was time to Euro himself out, and our friend Kelsey was more than happy to assist in the transformation that is, the Euro haircut.

For almost the entire time we have been in Copenhagen, being around the Danes, who sport this aforementioned haircut, I have received daily, almost constant, pressure from my SD buddies to get a haircut, in the Euro-way.  I have resisted their pressure so far.

It seems that they have a new technique.  If they get Euro-cuts, then naturally I will follow suit.  The Euro-cut is a simple cut...leave everything the way it is, just shave/buzz/cut close the side of your hair on the side of your head (see below examples).

And these guys "pull it off".

Shaun has already made his transformation and there's talk that The Great Brandini will be getting the Euro haircut as well.  I can't say I'm happy about it, but if the current trend continues, there's a fairly good chance I will have to cut my hair in the European way, and see what happens.  The plan is to give it a shot, and if it looks how I think it will (terrible), I will just cut my hair short like I usually would have it... you can see, it has been relatively tame and quiet since returning from our this is all I really have for you today.  Who knows where this week may take us.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sweden, Continued

We have been enjoying our time in Stockholm for sure.  I think we all can agree that we are feeling a better vibe in's more metropolitan, more history and an abundance of water.  Our 6th and final full day of the study tour is jam packed with sketching stops and opportunities for photo ops.

We awoke to a rainy day in Scandinavia but we pressed on anyways.  Our first stop was the Stockholm City Hall; also the building that holds the Nobel Peace Prize Award Ceremony.  It is a heavy brick building right along the water and a huge tourist destination.  We were unfortunately unable to enter into the building but from the outside it was still impressive.

Next we headed to the Stockholm Library, another pretty impressive structure that had a huge, circular space to house the books.  Like all other stops, we got a quick tour and explanation of the space and then were encouraged to take the remained of the stop to sketch.

Next it was lunch on our usual, I ate my pre-made sandwich that I made with leftover breakfast foods and snuck out with.  Delish, but I don't think I can eat anymore ham, salami and cheese sandwiches...I feel it is all they serve here at our buffets, but it could be worse I guess.

After lunch, we were told to be on the bus at 1:30 sharp to depart for the remainder of our day trip.  At 1:25, I boarded the bus with a delightful Asian called Issac.  While sitting waiting to go, we saw a few of our comrades getting onto the bus with some wine and liquor.  Now, you may be asking yourself, "So what?"  Well, in Norway and Sweden, the government owns and distributes the liquor and monitors alcohol content levels in the beers (the max. containing 3.5% alcohol).  Liquor stores close at 6PM, and we're never back from our trips until, at earliest, 8PM.  Throughout the entire trip we have been left to purchase "the standard" Carlsberg (which we're all pretty much over at this point) at a whopping 3.5%.  So, we ask our classmates where they got such things...and they point a block away.  Without exchanging words, Issac and I sprinted off the bus, past classmates and chaperones in the complete opposite direction to the liquor store.  At 1:26 we arrived out of breath and sweating.  At 1:27 we couldn't decide between vodka or whiskey.  At 1:28, we decided to get both.  At 1:29, we saw 4 other classmates running in as we were paying.  At 1:30, with no bags, just booze in hand, we sprinted down the street and onto the bus.  At 1:31, we felt like winners.

Now, with everything squared away, we pressed on to check out a church and then it was onto a 3 hour tour of Woodland Cemetery.  By this point in our trip, we're all exhausted and take any opportunity to relax and why not on the front lawn of a cemetery?

It is a huge, well manicured plot of land outside of Stockholm that is home to several chapels, a crematorium, cemetery, and other things.  It was creepy.  Not exactly my idea of a fun place to spend an afternoon but, what can you do?

For our last dinner in Stockholm, dinner was on our school at a very nice restaurant where we ate, yup, Swedish Meatballs...booyah.  They were delicious.  It was great to eat all together and recap our trip a bit.  We were told by some of the girls working for the school that there was a free concert going on that we needed to check out.  Long story short, we ended up being a lot more tired than we expected, and the group that I was with, never made it but instead decided to find a square to hang out in and people watch.