The Round Tower

Trip Start Aug 25, 2007
Trip End Dec 20, 2007

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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Today I had my first class.  Hans Christian Andersen and the Danish Golden Age.  Basically we get to read fairy tales like the Little Mermaid and the Emporer's New Clothes.  Tomorrow I'll start 3 other classes.

Before class I headed to the kommune.  Like everywhere in Denmark, you have to take a number rather than waiting in line.  Then, with just a form and my passport, I got a CPR, the Danish equivalent of a social security number, and was assigned to a doctor about two buildings down from my own.

In the afternoon, I visited the Round Tower, a very touristy attraction offering one of the best views of the city.

The whole complex consists of the tower, a library and a church and was used when the university of Copenhagen was founded.  It's 50 meters (I think) tall.  Unlike most European buildings it's built with a spiral ramp, which I think is much more characteristic of Middle Eastern architecture.

Since the ramp was so shallow, it takes a rather long time to go to the top.

Luckily the old library has been converted into an art gallery with changing exhibitions.  This exhibition was about African clothes designers, popular artists, and architecture firms working on low cost sustainable housing for Africa.

After the ramp came two very steep and narrow staircases.

And then one more spiral staircase...even more narrow.

And finally I got to the top.  On the very top of the building is an observatory, still in use today.

And of course I got to see the view, along with a lot of French tourists.

If you enlarge the following picture, look for the big church on the left hand side with the green dome.  That's the plaza where we meet for any field trips.  Right behind that about a block are the main school buildings.

Going back down I noticed one more awesome thing.  They had renovated one of the original latrines halfway up the tower.  Your butt can touch the exact same place as many famous Danes from way back in the day including Hans Christian Andersen, himself.  Read the pamphlet I photographed to find out more.

I also visited the church but it wasn't as fun as the latrine so click the photo album above if you want to see it.

Other random things about Denmark:
-Mannequins are everywhere displaying the trendy clothes, even on the sidewalks outside the shops.  Sometimes you think it's a real person when you turn the corner.  They also have very very realistic boobs and really pointy nipples on them that stick out through the shirts.
-Netto...the budget grocery store...sells Pringles sour cream and onion potato chips for $3!!!
-The Danish language is pronounced differently than it's spelled.  Norwegian is the same written language with totally different grammar rules.
-The danish word for a Danish (ya know...the pastry) is something like weinersbrod.  That translates to pastry or bread of Austria.
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