Aalborg- the Movie(s)

July 19, 2010

Just under a month ago me and Zoe enjoyed a weekend in Aalborg, Denmark, courtesy of http://www.visitaalborg.com. I’d entered a competition to be a guinea pig. And I won! All I had to do in return was record our trip. I said I’d blog, and I did. If you want to read my Aalborg stuff and see the pics, just click on the Aalborg category down in the category cloud at the bottom of this page. (I know, category cloud, don’t blame me, that’s the future for you.) If you can’t be bothered scrolling down, just click here. And if that’s beyond you, just enjoy the films with their pleasing music.

Yes! I told them I’d make a film. At that point I didn’t even have a camera. I had my camera camera, a lovely gift from a very kind reader of my blog, and I know I could have filmed with that, but I’m old fashioned and don’t get these multi-purpose things. I’ve still not got used to music centres. And so Zoe very kindly bought me a Flip camera. What would I do without free holidays and kind friends?

Now the Flip thing is easy. Shoot, upload, click something and then it’s on YouTube. It’s easy. If you have a new(ish) computer. My computer is over 10 years old now. It has a 55GB memory. It is so slow it has taken me a month to upload a 30 second film.

They’re here now. They’re not much to look at. I’m maybe better at still stuff. I didn’t think it all through. I’ll never be given a free holiday again.

But at least they are accompanied by cheesy music. The music comes free with Flip. I used it because I was scared I’d get into trouble with the law if I used proper music. I was desperate to use Strange Animal by Sparks to accompany the zoo film, but I just didn’t dare. What if Ron Mael came after me, with his long arms and his ambiguous stare?

Here’s the films. First up, the Zoo film with a Woody Allen-esque jazzy vibe. Oh, and despite what you may have heard Whatever Works is funny.

Next, off to the art gallery with some low-rent Snow Patrol/Take That crap.

And Karolinelund, with a Flip piece called, oh I can’t remember, a Steel Band Calypso thing that just about drowns out the music of the arm wrestling machine man, but not, unfortuantely for you, my inane ramblings.

That’s it. Apart from the other films you’ll find under the cloud thing.

Oh, and I thought up a slogan: Aalborg- go there, it’s nice.

I hope I get sent somewhere else soon (other than prison or a loony bin… although either of those would be ok-ish, as long as I didn’t have to do any rude stuff or any fighting- it’d put a roof over my head).

Time to stop. I have to head to choir. I’m supposed to have learnt the words to The Time Warp by tonight. I haven’t. Bring on prison. Choir prison.

It’s astounding, time is fleeting, madness takes its toll…

Tour de Farce

June 22, 2010

The Kunsten Museum of Modern Art in Aalborg, Denmark, is home to the Bicycle Museum. It’s not a lot of bicycles, but rather a pedal-driven, human-powered exhibit that takes up to 10 minutes to cycle. We didn’t know if we were allowed to cycle it ourselves or if we had to wait for a museum guard. There was no one around; no guard, and, at the time, no other visitors. we clambered aboard and made a film. It’s nine minutes long. If you watch it all I don’t know whether I should be impressed or appalled. And my apologies to Zoe for… well, just for… this:

And thank you to Zoe for giving me a Flip camera as a gift. Without it none of this would have been possible. More films to follow. I’ll try and keep them shorter.

Arriving in Aalborg

June 17, 2010

So I’m here in the Happiest Place in the World;  Denmark. In Aalborg. If you are wondering why, please read here. But before I tell you anything about this place – and I don’t know much yet, it’s 12.30 now, we’ve only been here half an hour and we must drink beer – let me help you out with some do’s and don’t about travelling to Denmark. Well, let’s keep it to don’ts.

Don’t think you can get Danish Krone at Bluewater. You can’t. Don’t get it at the airport like we did. The exchange rate’s… heck, I don’t know. I’m, told it’s bad, but it’s just, well, it’s just all notes. And when I give a couple of hundred and get a few thousand back, hey, I feel pretty pretty good.

Don’t cat sit for three cats when the pollen count is at its highest and then run out of asthma inhalers on the day you are travelling and then try and persuade a weary chemist in Bluewater to phone your doctor and persuade them to say yes to your emergency inhaler. You know that scene in Magnolia where Julianne Moore waits for her prescription and the chemists mutter to each other and she gets tense and then she says How dare you!

Still, that’s behind me now and I’m having a beer and writing my blog whilst Zoe looks over our bag of goodies from Louise at VisitAalborg.Yes, the ever patient and lovely Zoe has forgiven me my inhaler fiasco, she’s tolerated me leaving my glasses on the plane (thank you nice Danish man for stopping me near the conveyor belt), she’s even ok about the currency thing. But listen folks, order your currency in advance. Please. You’ll get more. Oh, and don’t go to Bluewater, walk into the First Choice bureau de change and ask for Dutch Krone. I just confused them. And me. And Zoe.

A diversion. When the flight details arrived from Norwegian.com I had to contact Anne Sofie at VisitDenmark because I couldn’t understand them. They were all in Danish. She sent me an email giving me the gist (turn up, check in) and then politely pointing out that in fact they were in Norwegian.

Anyways, now it’s all exciting. We’ve checked in to the Quality Hotel, and it must be quality because the only other people drinking in the bar with us right now are the crew who flew us over here. And we have a big pack of goodies.

The bag of goodies includes info, maps, vouchers, our Aalborg cards, lots more, and a letter from Louise congratulating us on our prize. We were delighted, and excited. Particularly when we got to the paragraph that starts with “I have booked a table for you at…”

But more of that tomorrow. It’s ten past one now and I guess we are going to have a busy day ahead of us.

I love Aalborg. I have the perfect slogan for it:

Aalborg, better than Copenhagen… maybe.

I’m off to the happiest place in the World next week. So some surveys said, a few years back.

I’m off to the second most peaceful place in the World, according to the 2009 Global Peace Index. It’s slipped a bit this year; to number 7. That’s still way ahead of the UK which is way down at 31.

The most peaceful place on Earth is, apparently, New Zealand. But I haven’t won a holiday there.

I’ve won a holiday to Denmark. Yes! Won! Free! I entered a competition at Visit Denmark to be a guinea pig. I had to prove to them that I would be a good guinea pig. I had to show them what I would do if I won. I said I’d write about it on my blog and also I’d make a film. They liked all of that and contacted me to see if me and my girlfriend would be guinea pigs. We said yes.

So, we’re off to- no, no, no, not Copenhagen. We’re going to Aalborg. Aalborg, in North Jutland. And while we are there, as guinea pigs, we will be given tasks.

One of these tasks is the Aalborg Beer Walk. It was stressed to me by Anne Sofie Salling Rasmussen, the press and event co-ordinator, that this was NOT a pub crawl. I have said that we will NOT get drunk. But who knows?

We’re also off to the Utzon Centre, a cultural exhibition centre designed by Jorn Utzon (picture a slash through the ‘o’ of Jorn) the architect who designed Sydney Opera House. And we’re going to Kunsten, the new Museum of Modern Art.

And it’s all for free, thanks to the AalborgCard, some kind of magic-like Willy Wonka ticket that gets us in everywhere for free and enables us to travel around everywhere (well, not to New Zealand) for free. Should you ever go to Aalborg you can buy these magic cards for DKK 299 for 72 hours. It even gets us 20% off pool tables at the Kennedy Pool Lounge. This is information I have not passed on to Zoe yet.

I’ve also kept quiet about another place I’m sure we’ll visit. It’s not included in the itinerary, but how can anyone go to Aalborg and not visit the Aalborgtaarnet.

I’ll hazard a guess on this one and go for The Aalborg Tower.