Saturday, 14 August 2010

Day 226, on which John returns from Denmark [14.8.10]

Dag to hundrede seksogtyve. And, funnily enough, I know how to pronounce that now. Why? Because, as I can finally say, I've been to Denmark! WOOOOOOOT! We'll get onto that later, but now for the main news of the day. OK, there isn't really any. I got inspired by Zack's latest interior work (which is exquisite, might I add) and I'm going to try an architecture/interior, even ahead of the stuff I've been preparing for John Collection 3. Wish me luck.

Ah, Denmark. Wonderful, wonderful Denmark. I actually miss it now, it's several leagues ahead of everything in the UK. And not only because they all speak Danish. Pretty much everyone I saw in Copenhagen dressed stylishly - big thick-rimmed glasses, leggings and jeggings, and something similar to Topman but better. I'm no fashion guru, and maybe it was just Copenhagen Fashion Week going on at the same time, but it was awesome. When you saw someone from behind, you'd think by the way they were dressed they were 16, but in fact they were 60!

I saw the Queen at a parade of the Danish navy in Copenhagen! Woot!
So, I think we've worked out that Danish people are awesome. But Denmark is great too. I went all round Denmark, and I've seen the three main communities. Copenhagen, with its city-slickers, even slicker architecture, and thriving shops on Stroget (Illums Boglihus is my sort of place), is a world away from rural Jutland.

One of the ships parading in front of the Queen. There were ships from lots of countries, and at night all the soldiers went for a drink in Copenhagen and had lots of barfights!
Quick geography lesson: the biggest part of Denmark is Jutland, a section stuck to the European mainland. That's where all the farms and countryside sights are. I stayed for a night in Billund, the home of Lego, to check out the Danish Legoland. Billund was barely a village, barren and quite empty. We'll talk more on that another day. Copenhagen is on the eastern tip of a large island called Sjælland (Zealand) to the east of Jutland.

So naturally, Jutland and its rural towns is a world away from Copenhagen. It's all countryside, with the sort of zoos, museums and country walks you'd expect in the West Country of England. It was all very picturesque, in a flat sort of way.

And the third type of Danish town I saw was the suburbs of Copenhagen. They say leave the best 'til last, but this was the worst. We (being me and my Dad) travelled out of Copenhagen to a small suburb called Ishøj. Like Billund, it was very empty. The countryside was quite dirty, despite the sea view. Whilst Ishøj town centre was clean and had some good shops, the town is clearly not somewhere that the residents use for anything other than commuting to the city.

However, the art museum we saw in Ishøj, Arken, was very interesting. It had a lot of art that provoked a large reaction in me, which I haven't really had before. I think it's to do with the mood of the museum - Arken was silent and vast, with large windows showing a long panorama of the foggy grey sea. 'Arken' literally means 'the Ark', and the museum had large metal bolted doors as if it was preserving the pieces of art inside, things which are being kept safe. It gave the art a very sacred feel. There was also a atmospherically engrossing film from Jesper Just about a woman going insane. That moved me.

I'll have more Denmark discussion tomorrow - I need to stop for now, sadly.

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