Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Alright, after an EXHAUSTING month of traveling, entertaining, and cramming for midterms (nothing lower than a B+!!!) I have decided to finally upload my pictures from Copenhagen at the beginning of the month. Before Andrew, Austin, Spencer, Hilary and I went on the trip we had heard that Denmark was too cold, the food was horrible, everything was expensive, and that the people were mean. Talk about a pleasant surprise! Copenhagen was everything I wanted it to be, and nothing like what we heard it would be. I spent less money the entire weekend than I did in Barcelona and had an incredible time. We spent the first day walking around the city, getting lost and enjoying ourselves. The next day we got up and made a trip to the castle from Hamlet and then the Louisiana Museum, which was incredible. The last day we went to a beer tasting at the Carlsburg brewery and then took the long, long, long way home before catching our plane back to Paris!
The first place we stumbled upon was the Copenhagen Town Hall, near Tivoli.

I was really blown away by tradition Danish decoration. Very clean and simple compared to what I'm used to in Paris.

The combination of colors was odd to me as well. In Paris, everything is basically gold. In Copenhagen, greens, dark blues, and reds seemed predominant.

This was the interior of a church at the bottom of a huge tower. Though the organ looks like it could be Parisian, the white vaulted ceiling seems like a signature of Danish architecture.

Oh, Northern Europe!

This was a huge, free museum that was unfortunately closed when we found it. It was right next to the harbor and made me feel like I was in a classic European port.

The Copenhagen Opera House (I think that's what this is) was so interesting to me! It started on the harbor and jutted out over the water, so the walkway around it seemed like a harbor. We walked by it again at night and it was so, so beautiful.

The harbor by night!

Elsinore, as Shakespeare called it, the town in northern Denmark where the castle Kronborg was located- about 20 minutes by train.

Entrance to Kronborg (check out Spencer and Austin getting their walk on)!

So many swans and this guy let me take a close up. Sup, baby?

Sitting in Denmark, looking at Sweden.

Tah-dah! Kronborg!

Does this look familiar? (Barcelona)

Interior- quite the opposite of Versailles! So bare, so clean.

Early Danish furniture.

The castle was originally built for diplomatic relations with neighboring countries and for defense because of it's proximity to the shore. Most everything in the castle seemed as utilitarian as a castle can be.

I'm not sure who this is supposed to be, but the castle's church had a bunch of wooden characters like him inside of it.

The castle also had a maritime museum in it and this was my favorite bow (is that what it's called? i'm not going to pretend to know/care about boats).

After the castle, we headed to the Louisiana Museum. The building itself was very mid century modern and felt like a house. It was located on top of a steep hill overlooking the shore and boasted some impressive views. I'd highly recommended making the trip to see visit it if you ever make it to Copenhagen. This sculpture is Juan Munoz "Half Circle."

To my delight, most of the museum was an exhibit dedicated to color. I spent hours looking at Stellas, Kleins, Rothkos, and just about every other 20th century artist who used color in some way. Unfortunately, photography was forbidden so I don't have many pictures. This large scale painting is by Sigmar Polke and is called "Hyperborean." Reminds me of the 19th century Japanese prints that influenced Impressionists.

Me in front of Sam Francis' "Big Red II" in the Louisiana theater.

View from our hotel, this was the "bad" part of Copenhagen!

We got lost in a neighborhood on the walk to Carlsberg and a friendly Dane heard us speaking English and helped us find our way- not kidding, Denmark rocks!

Serious Charlie and the Chocolate Factory vibez.

A sign of prosperity before the war!

Largest collection of unopened beer bottles in the world!

Oooh baby...

Master Brew was my favorite. Not going to lie, I got it because it had 10% alcohol by volume but I was pleasantly surprised that it tasted marvelous!

We returned to Tivoli to find this! Soccer fans rallying in the center of the city! Interesting way to say goodbye to Copenhagen.



Sunday, March 7, 2010

Barcelona 2

So, after dinner Colin and I met up with some of the girls from the hostel and went out to a bar a few blocks away. The beer in Barcelona is cheap, and it was really fun getting to hear about everyone's travel experiences. We were super exhausted from all the walking so we went back to the hostel to relax. Our roommates made it back an hour after us and we all preceded to talk in the bedroom, and by talk I mean laugh because every one was pretty "tipsy." When we woke up the next day, all the rain was gone and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. After Colin FINALLY got out of bed (teasing!) we made it out to an even more impressing day!

Sculpture we walked by! I tried to figure out what it was for, but had no luck! If you know, let me know!

Damn. View from the top of Parc Guell.


Ahhh! The mysterious egg! More about this later.

Sangrada de Famillia by Gaudí. I'm upset that this is the only picture I took of it!!

Cathedral on top of the one hill we didn't climb. Hopefully Colin and Kyra did it this weekend and can tell me what on earth that building is!

Colin in the Gaudí cave. Giddy!

Close-up of the walls of the cave. What was so interesting was how it seemed like all of this could've been created by natural forces. I think Gaudí's genius lies in how he could manipulate nature and make it seem familiar, but also alien. Very strange!

Another one of Gaudí's trademarks is using broken ceramics. In some places he used a mix of traditional tiles broken into pieces and mosiaced onto benches. Very beautiful and, at about 100 years old, very avant garde.

Entrance to Parc Guell

Close-up of the waterfall

Feelin' like royalty! After we finished at Parc Guell, we walked back down the hill, caught the metro, and took it to what we thought was the beach. We ending up getting lost/finding a bunch of cool, empty places! I realized from this vacation that the best thing to do in a new city is just get lost. There's no way I could understand the culture in such a short amount of time, so I might as well just see what it's created, eh?

Barcelona has some strange/freakie playgrounds. This was a ladder to a slide that was made of ropes! Clearly, Colin and I had to have a pHoToSh0oT!!!1


Colin meditating...

YAYUH (part deux)

Crazy pavillion! It was right by the public harbor and we couldn't tell what it was until we got next to it and realized that it was solar panels! Looks like something from Star Wars, eh?

Down by the water.

There were kids skate boarding on this weird wall thing, but I was too geeked out to take a picture. Instead, Colin and I ran up and down it 5 times and then I took a picture of him brooding.

Colin always says that I'm a lush, but this is photographic evidence of what Europe has done to mon petite nugget. Chicagoans, be afraid. You never know whose going to kick the windows of a Rob and Stucky now!

Barcelona was made for skateboarding. No guard rails and crazy architecture/parks. Sheriff, this one's for you.

I thought these boots had sentimental value before Europe. I don't know how I'll ever part with them now!

SO COOL! I think watching Spanish surfers made Colin and I want to quit life and move to Brazil. It was getting kinda dark out, so we decided to head back. On our way, we saw the aforemention egg and decided that we needed to figure out what it was...


tah dah! The Torre Agbar, one of the most magnificent modern buildings in Barcelona and the home to the Barcelona water company (and the Barcelona water company only). Stunning, strange building. I hope the future of American architecture looks more like this marvel!

Back to the hostel! These were some of our roommates who were studying in Sweden. They were all reall nice and funny. Colin and I sat in on their cheese and wine party while we chugged Judas beer. Classy, huh?

Chelsea! One of my favorite people from Loyola is studying in Barcelona this semester. She was sweet enough to meet Colin and I for Paella and drinks! She speaks perfect Spanish and took us to an amazing bar called Soda- you must go if you're ever in Barcelona!

Ah! At last, the Paella from the restaurant. It was so delicious, though I may have liked the Tapas a bit more!

Barcelona souvenir! Wacky canvas shoes! BYE-CELONA