Thursday, February 19, 2009
It is estimated that the memorial is seen by 3.5 million tourists each year, approximately 10.000 people a day. 490.000 individuals visit the underground place of information each year, 40% of these being non-Germans. It is definitely a site to see. Wonder around the blocks of concrete, descend into the Place of Information, and when you emerge the blocks will never look the same.
Nu jeg er hjem og går igen i skolen, men har jeg mange ting at skal jeg lave. I marts, besøger min kusine mig. Efter hun rejser hjem, måske går jeg til en anden skole på en uge og efter rejser til Tyrkiet på en uge. I april har jeg påskeferie. Under påskeferie, rejser jeg til England at besøge min familie. Jeg skal være der på ni dage! Efter april har jeg ikke så meget at lave. Jeg skal rejse rundt Danmark fordi har jeg kun to måneder tilovers. Jeg skal tage hjem til USA i slutningen af juni.
Now for a change. I'm not sure if this will be right, but I'm going to try to speak a little danish (up above, this is just a translation of what I attempted to write). Now I have only four months left! In the coming months I will reflect on what I have done and what I will do. In the first two months I lived with another family in Rugsted, close to Egtved. In the third month, I had the autumn camp and I changed families. Now I live in Mølholm, but you already knew that. In November I celebrated Thanksgiving with my family, friends from school, and another exchange student from the USA. Christmas was in December and I celebrated that with my family. It was hard to be in Denmark for Christmas, but I can like a danish Christmas. In January I went to Heslev to live with another family for a week. It was good to see how another family lives. Week seven was winter holiday and my family and I went to Berlin for the week. It was a lot of fun!
Now I am home and go again to school, but I have a lot of things that I will do. In March my cousin will visit me. After she goes home, maybe I will go to another school for a week and after travel to the Czech Rebulic for a week. In April I have Easter holiday. During Easter holiday I will travel to England to visit my family. I will be there for nine days! After April I have not so much to do. I will travel around Denmark because I have only two months left. I will go home to the USA in the end of June.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Monday, February 16, 2009
We saw the church during the evening (excuse for poor pictures) and were lucky enough to be able to sit through evening mass. The alter is flanked by three vaulting enclaves that lead the eye to the stained glass dome. Scenes from the bible along with the apostles are carved in and along the walls that lead up to the dome. Between each enclave by the dome stand a selected few of the biblical figures who look down upon the pews. This church is by no stretch of the imagination, simple.
Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!
U.S. President, Ronald Reagan
The Berlin Wall is probably the most notable tourist attraction Germany has to offer the world. People far and wide come to bare wittness to this graffitied cement block which once cut Germany into two halves. I was no different.
The erection of said wall lasted from the beginning of its construction on 13. aug 1968 until its destruction on 9. nov 1989. During thoes 21 years of division, an officiated number of 136 were killed while attempting to cross from the east to the west (promient organizations say a sum of over 200 were killed).
Four versions of the wall were constructed, the fourth being the most sophisticated. This version was 45,000 sections of reinforced concrete 3.6 metres tall, 1.2 metres wide, topped with a smooth pipe, and backed by mesh fencing, signal fencing, anti-vehicle trenches, barbed wire, dogs on long lines, "fakir beds" under balconies hanging over the "death strip", over 116 watchtowers, and 20 bunkers. All graffiti that can be seen over the wall is actually done by West Berliners because the East Berliners couldn't even get close to the wall.
It is incredibly interesting to see this divide. The lengths some people went to inorder to gain their freedom is amazing. What we lack in America by way of history is completely made up in Europe and probably just Germany alone. Often times I find that we just aren't taught enough of the past in school. It is up to the individual to seek out the answers to the questions. Being able to say ''Yes, I have seen and touched the Berlin Wall. Yes, I have been to multiple museums and learned from the source the history that is skipped over in school.'' is just something special.
Some interesting facts about the Space Needle of Berlin:
- It was built in 1964 and took 4 years to build
- It is sometimes referred to as the Telespargel, "tele-asparagus", by East-German journalists
- Bloggers (apparently) have begun referring to this tower as Death Star from Star Wars (I like golf ball on a stick personally)
- When the sun shines brightly on the observatory, the glass reflection appears as a cross. This phenomenon is referred to as the Pope's Revenge because the communist government suppressed the church during its atheist regime
Technically we saw this on the second day, but seeing as our Monday arrival was darkened by the rising moon, it was really the first thing we saw. Two elevators take observers up to 204 metres. People then proceed to press their noses against down-slanted pains of glass for views of the intricate labyrinth of Berlin's infrastructure. Most all buildings worth their weight in tourist attraction can be viewed from the tower and if you don't have the eye to find them, maps along the railing clearly point them out in German, English, and French.
The tower also offers a cafe hovering a mere 3 metres higher, a gift shop by the toilets, and a bar for the husbands who were quite clearly dragged there by their busy-body wives. Fog covered the city during our visit so extremely distant sights where hidden from our optic nerves, but non the less, the view was spectacular. The city layout is nothing of a grid-block American city. Buildings are rounded to fit the winding streets and nothing is shorter than 5 stories. Tourists also get to view the milling-about fellow tourists down on the court area in front of the tower. Besides the view, the largest attraction to the TV Tower is the location of a Starbucks in its base(my personal favorite because Denmark lacks the existence of the five-dollar coffee wonder we call Starbucks).
Friday, February 13, 2009
Nicknamed the Divided City, Berlin is home to about 3.4 million people over an area of 344 sq miles that dates back to 1192. This city has seen almost 1000 years of history, most notably WWII and its involvement with the Soviets. Creditable landmarks which distinguish this city from other European metropolitan areas include the reminisce of the Berlin Wall (Berliner Mauer), the Brandenburger Gate, the Reichstag building, the Berlin Cathedral (Berliner Dom), the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, Schloss Charlottenburg (largest palace in Berlin), the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church (the Old Tower), the Zoologischer Garten Berlin (home to Knut), the Berlin Hauptbahnhof (largest crossing station in Europe), Siegessäule (the Victory Column), Alexanderplatz, Gendarmenmarkt, and Potsdamen Platz.
All in all, mix together almost 1000 years of history, 170 museums, 108.509 dogs, 424.590 tree lined city streets, and more graffiti than LA and New York City together could handle and out pops Berlin, the capital city to Germany – Denmark’s source of cheap liquor.
Each day I will be doing a post on each of the 11 new photo albums I have posted in order to better display the over 300 photos which I took. This starts tomorrow so be on the lookout each day for something new and inspiring from yours truly.
A/N: this is my 100th post!!! *pats self on the back*
Saturday, February 7, 2009
I most likely will not have internet so I'll do my best to order my pictures and write boring ol' Word documents so I can get my trip up to you quickly upon my return.
Also, here is a basic outline of my coming adventures in the dwindling months I have left.
- Week7 - Berlin
- Week12 - Rebbecca's visit
- Week 14 - possible trip to Czech Republic (this is way up in the air)
- Week 15 - holiday in England
- Week 22 - holiday (Jyllandstur even though I'm not going)
- Week 22 - Jelling Music Festival (3 days)
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Can you give an example of American culture?And honestly, I couldn't. It wasn't later that someone gave me the suggestion of Thanksgiving or the fact that we tend to excentuate our holidays, but in truth, it got me thinking. Truely, what is American culture?
Wikipedia devides the Culture of the United States into literature, television, dance, visual arts, theater, cuisine, fashion, and pop culture. Wikipedia also divides society into; social class and work; race; group affiliations; technology, gadgets, and atutomobiles; rugs, alcohol and smoking; sports; food and clothing; education; languge; religion; housing; gender relations; death rituals; household arrangements; and regional variations. Are all of these things culture or just a part of culture? What is culture? Can such a thing be defined? Does it change? Can you generalize?
The answers (as stated by my opinion): All of thoes things are merely a part of culture, it is what makes up culture. Culture is just a way of life. In all reality, it can't be defined. Of course it changes. Generalizing can only be done to a certain extent.
So, American culture; a delectable mix of cultures around the world. Imagine every country's culture being a colout. Now mix all of thoes colours together. Chances are you will recieve gray - one big blob of gray. That gray - the culture of America, or at least as seen by my eyes.
Monday, February 2, 2009
As you would imagine, school wasn't a priority for me especially seeing as I was 30 min south of my home, where Kyle lives. It was worth it though. Our day didn't begin until noon and was begun with a long walk to Vejen, where the train station is.
People are fish and air is water. Swimming up stream:
difficult. Walking upwind: impossible.
Odd thoughts, thoes are, but completely fitting to the walk we walked. I don't ever think has there been a time that wind has been that cruel to me. It was strong and constant and chilling to the bones. My body spent the entire train ride home warming up. I'm just glad I didn't have to walk that hour home like Kyle. Hopefully you didn't loose any fingers to frostbite in the endeavor, Kyle.
*spelling errors, I know. Just pretend they were right and move on.