Tag Archives: denmark

Whirlwind Copenhagen.

This brief fieldtrip report will be a short one, since I was in the Danish capital in all just two-and-a-half days, and was busy with work mostly: four public speaking appearances, a slew of meetings, a dinner with clients… oh – and there was also my 56th birthday, which I managed to celebrate a little. As for micro-tourism, we’d two or three hours set aside for this in the itinerary, but, as luck would have it, it was raining cats and dogs and a gale was blowing at the allotted time: result – no micro-tourism; result of that – little to write here I’m afraid folks…

So let’s see. Ah yes – I’ll start with a few… curious photos of me up on stage during my first presentation:

My next speech was to a Danish CISO club. It was in a very swish, clearly very old, classic-imperial hall with Roman columns and wood-paneled walls adorned with grand old paintings depicting significant (probably local/national) historical events. Very impressive. Thing is… I don’t know the name of the place! So if there’s anyone among you, dear readers, who could let me know (by checking the pic below) – in the comments, I’d be much obliged. I’d love to read up on the place’s history…

Here’s the pic of the hall, taken from the back:

When I took that, in 15 minutes I’d be up on stage addressing the audience. So how did it go? Splendidly! I said what needed saying (geopolitics get outta here + some of our success stories), and I joshed a bit (as I do; I can’t help it:), and the crowd… they weren’t just smiling, weren’t just chuckling… they were roaring with whoops of laughter! So much for skeptical! So, like I say – splendid ).

Sorry for the poor quality photos. My fault – I took the wrong camera 😕.

After my speech, I noticed a wooden… contraption, which, I was told, was once used for ‘collecting dues for the army’. No complaints there: Russia and Denmark have never been at war with each other ).

Here’s me and a good journalist from a good magazine. Check out our expressions and body language!

Btw – you see the painting in the background? All those top-hatted gentlemen – in the very hall I’d just given a speech in… Didn’t politicians all dress like that 200 years ago? Hmmm – I think I’m getting warmer as to the identity of this place: a former parliament building? Maybe even the government’s former premises (surely not current)?… Ok, I’m warmer; but could someone please… bring me up to the boil?…

Faroese football.

Football/soccer is in the air all around the world this summer – especially in Russia. So, sticking to this theme, herewith, a footie-post; but not even a mention of the World Cup…

But, since I was on the Faroe Islands recently, I just had to tell you about their national football team. Though the territory they cover is tiny, their national team, made up exclusively of non-professionals, does rather well against other – professional – national teams.

I was told how they once played Russia’s national team – and the half-time score was… 1:0 to the Faroes! Wait: so, the team of some small islands with a population of around 50,000 – made up of amateurs (i.e., folks who play in their spare time as a hobby, be they postal delivery workers, teachers, mechanics, students…) were at one point beating the national team of the world’s largest country with a population of 140 MILLION?!!

There are more Faroese tales of the unexpected:

From Wikipedia:

The Faroe Islands pulled one of the biggest upsets in footballing history when they beat Austria 1–0 in their first ever competitive international on 12 September 1990. The game, a Euro 92 qualifier, was played in Landskrona, Sweden, because there were no grass pitches on the Islands. Torkil Nielsen, a salesman for his local builders company, scored the goal. 32-year-old national coach Páll Guðlaugsson became a folk hero overnight, and is today remembered by his players as a fearless character who always believed that the Faroe Islands could get a result against the bigger nations. American sports magazine Soccerphile rated the Faroese victory number 10 of the all-time football greatest upsets.

On 9 September 2009, the Faroe Islands recorded their first competitive win since the 2002 World Cup qualification stage after beating Lithuania 2–1.

On 11 August 2010, the Faroe Islands came close to an away win in Estonia during the UEFA Euro 2012 qualifiers. The Faroes took the lead in the first half with a goal by Jóan Símun Edmundsson. The score was still 1–0 after 90 minutes played, but Estonia scored twice during stoppage time and the Faroe Islands lost the match 2–1.

On our stroll around the Faroese capital, in among houses with grass growing on their roofs, we came across another patch of grass, which turned out to be the football pitch of the national side!

In fact, there are two pitches side-by-side:

In total, I counted four football pitches on the islands. That is, one per every 12,000 inhabitants. Just to compare: to match such a football-pitches-per-capita in Moscow, the city – officially of around 12 million – would need a full 1000 pitches! That is, 20 times more than today’s 48 stadiums in the Russian capital!

Btw: that there pitch you can see is the very one on which the Faroe Islands were one-up against Russia at half time! ➡

That’s all for today folks. Back soon!…

Flickr photostream

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Instagram photostream

Up we goes, in a chopper above the Faroes.

Hej folks!

You’ve seen what the Faroe Islands look like down on the ground. Now, let’s have a look at them from up above in a helicopter.

Hardly any words today folks; just a ton of oh-my-green-and-glorious pics for your viewing pleasure…

This is the north-western edge of the islands; the best pics were taken in the morning – against the sun. But I think a sunset view of these parts needs to be checked too. That will have to be for another day though.

Off flies our ride! But he promised to return a while later…

Oh how I wanted to get up some of those clearly volcanic peaks for trek/climb in such clear and beautiful weather. Maybe I will one day…

Stroll time – on the westernmost island of the Faroes – Mykines.

I like paths; walked a great many; but I can’t recall one with views all around as breathtaking as this one!

‘Faroe’, btw, means ~’sheep island’ in Faroese. Well, as I can vouch personally, nothing’s changed in thousands of years!…

This is the westernmost point of the westernmost island of the Faroes. Further west: Iceland, then Greenland, then Canada…

In closing – a few words about the Faroese climate.

Though my first impressions were positive, it does turn out that the internet doesn’t tell lies: the weather here is pretty darn awful generally. We were just very lucky: a full day of bright sunshine is very much a rarity here. More often than not it’s rainy, foggy, windy, murky and bleak.

(Btw – those are birds up in the sky; we didn’t see a single mosquito)

Rainbow!

Windy, as per usual:

So if ever you’re heading here – take some good weather with you. Otherwise…

PS: the hotel we stayed at was wonderful. Highly recommend: the Foroyar. The food was outstanding.

Cattle sheep grid!:

Grassy roof!

Kunst in the rooms…

…And in the restaurant:

And that, folks, is it from the fair Faroes. Gotta get back here and get some trekking in. If only there was a season when it didn’t rain…

All the photos from the Faroe Islands are here.

 

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Legoland: Not Just for the Kids.

What’s Denmark famous for? Yes, it produces nice butter and bacon and beer and political dramas, and I do believe pastries were invented there. But what’s the one thing that’s the most quintessentially Danish like nothing else? Yes: Lego. So when in Denmark…

… go to Legoland! Here! Infinitesimal Lego! Constructions, installations, models, and all sorts of Lego-related amusements. If only I were 40 years younger I’d have stayed forever. But alas I can’t go back in time. Still, even at 50 I’d have wanted to stay a lot longer :)…

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Right at the entrance you come across an outsized Lego installation – meaning, made out of outsized pieces a lot bigger than the standard mini-pieces. However, most of the exhibits seem to be made of the standard ‘bricks’. In we go!…

Read on: Oh my Force!…

Hotel Peacock.

Hej!

One more report from the Nordic front

While we were in Copenhagen it turned out several conferences – maybe also exhibitions – were taking place simultaneously in the city. So I guess it was only logical that practically all the hotels were full, having been fully booked up months ago. So we had to be fitted in ‘somewhere, anywhere… main thing – the place has a roof’.

I braced for the worst, but needn’t have, for the only hotel my good offices found that had a few vacancies was the Nimb Hotel. As that Wiki-link tells you, hardly a dosshouse :). Also, incredibly handily, it was a mere five minutes’ walk to the conference hall where I was speaking. There’s just one problem: peacocks! Screaming their little heads off – right under our windows!

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The view from my window. Not bad at all. Recommend.

Read on: robo-rabbits vs peacocks…

Put Your Hands Up for Copenhagen!

Copenhagen, Denmark. Hadn’t been here in quite a while; last time was in February 2011. Back then, as could be expected in this Nordic capital, it was cold (and windy). This time though – suitably summery: sunny and warm and with long light evenings. Very ‘euro-cool’ too: folks lounging languidly at street cafes and restaurants, cyclists seeming to take direct aim at unaccustomed (non-European) pedestrian-tourists, and boats leisurely carrying folks about to and fro along the rivers and canals. Euro-cool? Euro-paradise!

As per the usual MO, after having finished our business in the current locality, it was time to head out for some micro-tourism. Scratch that. Nano-tourism: just three hours’ worth! I’m sure three days would be a more suitable length of time to check out this city more appropriately, but what could I do? I had to be back on the road come evening. Accordingly, the tourism-tempo was decidedly up…

Read on: Mermaids Seize Boat!…