This blog is a translation of my original blog, written in French (publication dates are kept).

May 24, 2010

The carnival of the Swedish students

This year, I stayed away from the carnival in Copenhagen, and I crossed the Øresundbro as I often do, to see how it was in the country of our dear neighbors. Because at Lund, a university town located about twenty kilometers from Malmö, is holded every four years a completely delirious carnival organized by the students. Luckily, it fell this year, I couldn't miss that. I had already visited Lund several times, it is a cute medieval town, but a little bit tiny. And that day, it seemed that all the inhabitants of the region had an appointment here, the streets were tremendously crowded. Having showed up a little late, I missed the beginning of the parade, but I saw things that din't make me regret the trip:

I saw dancers...

other dancers...


a pirate boat...

a truck full with anarchists inside...

some alternative culture...

the float of the medical students...

a float to make fun of the SJ trains (Swedish national railway company), 
with the sign "The Upsala of 1:65 PM never comes"...

some guys sliding on an Icelandic volcano...

But my favorite was unquestionably the Svensson float, filled out of blonds

All around, were jumping around typical elements of the Swedish folklore, the opportunity to review together the basics of the culture:

the true Swedish girl

the moose, the animal emblem of Sweden

 more difficult: this guy is dressed in Dalahästen (Dala horse), a traditional figurine

 no, this is not toothpaste, but kaviar (infamous mixture to spread)

and this is a köttbulle (meatball), a basic of Swedish cuisine
(They are consumed in Denmark as well, where they are called frikadeller)

Personally, I would have completed the picture with a potato (present in absolutely ALL Swedish meals) and with some knäckebröd (Wasa crackers) ... Have a good carnival!

May 11, 2010

What happened to the Little Mermaid?

Oops, disappeared! The mascot of Copenhagen is actually in China for the moment for the Shanghai Expo. She won't be back before November. In the meantime, see what is provided for mermaid-sick tourists:

"Mermaid Exchange-Remote" is the name of this piece of art,
by the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei

It's supposed to be a live broadcast via the Internet of the Danish pavilion. Well, I don't recognize the Little Mermaid there, and then if you look at the picture carefully, you will notice that the video has... crashed!

If you want to surprise your friends, bring them instead along the Frederiksholms Kanal, on the little bridge leading to Højbro Plads. Bend you heard on Christiansborg's side, and you will see this:

This is a sculpture in the water on purpose. When the water level is low, you can see the skulls  showing on the surface, it's scary. It's a creation of the Danish artist Susta Bonnen, and it was installed in 1992. The label on the edge of the bridge indicates "Agnete og Havmanden". English translation:  The Mermaid with 7 Sons (?), inspired by a tale from the one you all know now.

May 5, 2010

The one who was living in a giant beetle

One day I was wandering without asking anything to anyone on the docks of Christianshavn around the old warehouses (today a delightfully restored area), I came across a weird object:

Yes, a cabin with paws

Information taken from the young man who was inside, it is a scientific and artistic project called the Walking House, made by a collective of Danish artists called N55, in collaboration with engineers from the MIT. Yep, it moves itself, watch the video if you don't believe me:

That gizmo being supposed to be green, uses therefore solar and wind energy. It has a bed, a mini living-room, toilets (composting system of course), a wood burning stove and of course a lot of electronics. Its paws have hydraulic cylinders that allow it to reach the kick-ass speed of 5 km/h maximum. Suddenly you wonder if the project really has an ambition other than purely artistic (or if it's just coming from a big engineers'trip).

But in fact this is done on purpose, because I quote: "It is a common fact that walking often helps a person concentrate their thoughts and creates a mental state that enforces mobility of the mind. The Walking House is constructed to move at human muscle speed for exactly this reason".

It seems to me that the guy told me that the House was to be shown in an exhibition soon, but I do not remember where. Anyway, if you have the occasion, have a walk in this area, it really worth it.

And at a time, you will inevitably come across to the famous restaurant Noma, who was ranked "best restaurant on the planet" last month by British magazine Restaurant Magazine. If you feel like to have dinner there, the waiting list for a table is several months!

May 3, 2010

No, I haven't forgotten you!

I know I know, it's more than a month since I've not written anything. That didn't mean that I was running out of ideas, even quite the contrary, but it was rather a lack of time. I was on vacation, then I came back, I left again, for being trapped by the famous volcano. After a long journey to return to Copenhagen, I again flew for a short weekend, well I haven't stopped. In addition, I was looking for a new job, because my contract in Denmark ends in a month. Yes, that's official, I'm going back to France in a month, in a new area for me (and with a good weather, big change for me). This will  not prevent me to continue my articles, don't worry, I have plenty of stock!

And to make it up to you, I share with you this video of the birthday of Queen Margrethe II, who celebrated her 70th birthday on April 16th (big party that I unfortunately missed because of that stupid Icelandic).