Sunday, August 20, 2006

last few days in denmark and london

i am now in london and in 2 days will be back in canada. it's really exciting. so the last few days in denmark were great. i saw a lot of family members that i hadn't managed to see previously. cousins in both sides of the family and family friends that go way back, like the grandson of my grandmother's brother's bestfriend or my mom's cousin and kids and grandkids, or my mom's cousin's son's very pregnant wife (another kid who will be bigger the next time i see her).
but i think that my favourite thing was going for a ride on a viking boat. well the reconstruction of one discovered in the roskilde fjord that dates back to the 10th century. a family friend is on the crew of one of the ships and every so often the ppl on the crew go sailing for fun in the evening. it worked out perfectly that on my last evening in denmark i was on a viking boat. the thing is rather impressive as in it sails so nicely, not that i've sailed before. and it has to be made using the same method as a thousand yrs ago. to cut the wood, axes are used. the wood used to build these things come from oaks that were planted nearly 200 yrs ago. during the napoleonic wars, britain stole the danish navy b/c they didn't agree with what denmark was doing while it was 'neutral' in the conflict. so the navy planted oaks to rebuilt the boats and the country joined napoleon. the result was that denmark lost norway to sweden and there is wood to build these viking ships. so we sort of meandered across the fjord. and even got to row the boat back to the dock.
london so far has been really nice. everything here is really expensive but luckily there are free museums. on the first afternoon, i saw the british museum, just across from the hostel where i am staying. yesterday, i took a guided tour of the parliament, saw the outside of westminster abbey (will see the inside tomorrow), visited the science museum (they had a section on materials and i could identify graphite and diamond just by looking at the structural representation of it, and i thought i wasn't really a chemist). the museum is really close to the royal albert hall so i went to see it and turns out there was a concert starting in 15 minutes. so i got in line and got a cheap seated ticket. it was shostakovich and tchaikovsky. rather insteresting. and the hall is rather impressive. so today it will probably be the tate modern and some other free museum. off to sight see.


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