Thursday, 10 January 2013

Vikings and bookshops

So the final week of the Christmas holdays went very fast, and was full of adventure.

Our first outing of the week was into the city to visit the Rundetaarn (round tower) and the stunning art gallery.
We started the day rather late, walking down multiple side streets searching for the tower. We even managed to find an amazing bookshop and a delicious bakery on the way.

Looking down one of the brightly coloured side streets.  

The amazing sci-fi book shop we found. 

mmm. Cinnamon rolls from the bakery. 

Then we saw Rundetaarn (the round tower) towering above the rest of the city buildings. We joined the queue to get in, and began our ascent up the steep path to the observatory.
The tower was built in the 1600's by King Christian IV. It was originally built as an observatory, and is one of the oldest in the world.
Instead of a staircase the path to the top consists of one long ramp. This was made so that the king would not have to walk up, but be driven by a horse drawn carriage.

The tower from the outside. 

The view from inside. (note the ramp)

The view from about half way up. 

Carvings on the windows date back into the 1800s (this one is from the year 1900)

The view from the top of the ramp. 

When we reached the end of the ramp, we took a small flight of stairs up to the observatory. When we reached the top we were met by a beautiful sight. The sun was slowly setting over the horizon and an orange light danced across the city. 
The view form the top of the round tower was spectacular, we could see the whole city form up there, and it made for some great photo moments! 

The sun silhouetting the city. 

The city view from the observatory. 

The city view from the observatory. 

Me with the city of Copenhagen the background. 

On the Friday evening Nina and myself were invited to attend a Scout meeting at my fellow Queensland SISEP Venturer Zoe's scout group. It was great to be invited to a Scout meeting, as i have not attended one (other than the camp). Since we are at a scout school, we do all of our scouting activities at the school, and do not visit a unit once a week for meetings.

When we arrived I was very pleased to see that quite a few of the SISEP Venturers on exchange in Denmark were there. 
We had a very interesting night. When we arrived we were informed that we would be having crocodile for dinner, thats right crocodile. I am in no way joking! 
It was rather amusing as not one of the Australian scouts had ever eaten crocodile, and of course the Danish scouts had not. 

The first challenge was how to cook it. 
We prepared the crocodile two ways. Both of course over the open fire. We deep fried some smaller pieces of the crocodile, and also cooked some larger pieces in a sauce. 
I was definitely hesitant about trying it, however both Zoe and I attempted it, and it was quite nice... Until we thought about what we were eating. Lets just say we left the crocodile alone after that!

After fulling up on crocodile and tortillas, we all sat around the campfire singing campfire songs, and before we knew it, it was time to go home.

Cooking crocodile meat.

On the morning before we headed back to school (we returned on Sunday evening) we decided to take a trip to the viking ship museum in Roskilde.
The museum was created when five viking ships were found at Skuldel. It was originally opened in 1960 to showcase the five ships, however now a boatyard and activity centre can also be found. The museum also hosts smaller more temporary exhibits.

Viking war ship. 

The Viking Runes.

Viking ship. 

Viking ship.

Doning the Viking attire. 

A Viking ship.

So once again I must leave you for the life of the scout after school, so until next time...

Monday, 7 January 2013

Scout Scoop

I have had a very busy past few days, so lets get started on Scout Scoop 2012/2013.

On the 27th of December roughly 35 scouts and about 10 leaders arrived at the train station to begin Scout Scoop 2012/2013.
We even got to meet an Australian Rover named Matthew who had participated in the SISEP program 5 years ago and was back visiting.

Straight away we were put into patrols, given a map, and sent off on a 20 kilometre hike.
Throughout the hike we continuously got lost, and all in all ended up walking about 30 kilometres.
We arrived at the scout hall meeting place at around 10pm that night and had some dinner. The staff decided it was far too late for us to go door knocking for a place to sleep, so we camped out at the scout den for the night.

During the evening I got quite sick, and was unable to complete the second day of the hike, and got driven to Houens Odde Spejdercenter (Houens Odde Spejdercenter) and spent the rest of the morning resting.

After lunch activities began, our first was an app race (like the apps on an iphone) we were sent to multiple different bases collecting letters to play the final game that would determine a winner, a giant game of scrabble.
We were extreemly proud of coming second for that activity.
That evening we had a night activity.
We donned our warm clothes and prepared for a night of fun in the icy rain. The evenings activity consisted of a giant game of cranium (as in the board game). In our patrols we went around from base to base collecting tokens, answering questions, and moving our piece closer and closer to the end. By the time we had finally rolled a cranium to finish the game, we had come in third, which we were quite happy with.

The nights activity was followed by a large indoor campfire (with an electric campfire and projector screen with lyrics to songs). We had a great night filled with challenges, singing, and lots of fun.

The next morning (the 29th) we were awoken nice and early by the staff playing gangnam style extremely lould. After breakfast we attended parade. The Danish parade was very different form that our an Australian one. As the flag was raised we all sung, and saluted, and then the flag was lowered, signifying the end of the parade.

Our next activity involved us going from base to base doing jobs, and collecting money to buy parts to build a chariot. Sadly half way through this activity I felt extremely unwell with the flu and spent most of the morning sleeping, however not before I got to participate in a few challenges including taking our shoes off while holding a bucket of water with out feet, building lego via a walkie talky, and a game where we had to get the whole patrol to the opposite planks without having two people of the same plank. It all turned out to be a great deal of fun.

We spent the afternoon creating an outdoor cinema so that we could sit back, relax, and watch a movie in the night to come. We spent all afternoon making it, and i have to say it looked pretty good by the time we had finished (though i still don't trust the giant platform at the back).

Tying lashings.

Our completed chairs (well without mattresses)

So that night after dinner and an evening activity of talking about what it takes to be a good scout, we set off down to our outdoor cinema to watch the kids film Brave, which was rather good. 

The next morning we had a great big sleep in (which was much needed) and after lunch set out on our activity for the day it was a tv and film race.

The challenge was a master chef challenge. We had to go from tv and film bases collecting ingredients. At our final base we would cook our dinner, and be judged on it based on creativity, presentation, and taste.
After spending the afternoon at bases such as Top Gear (racing remote control cars), Gladiator (hitting each other off a beam with foam sticks), Indiana Jones (hitting cans off a fallen tree with balls), and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (My favourite! receiving two blocks of chocolate per patrol filled with hazelnuts and having t suck all the chocolate off) we arrived last at the final Master Chef base.We were half an hour late, we missed out on a fire (and had to use a portable cooker), we also missed out on some of the ingredients we wanted, but it didn't matter, we had our recipe in mind and were ready to give the challenge everything we had.
Our plan was to make Aussie meets Danish burgers (since we hadn't had burgers on the camp), consisting of damper buns (damper is a kind of campfire bread made from flour and water) with meat patties, tomatoes, and of course beetroot. It was such a challenge to cook all the food in time, e even had to borrow another groups fire. However after a long day of challenges it was time to submit our food to be judged...
And we won!
we were so happy with all the odds being against us, and the large amount of effort we had put into our meal. We were exhausted and ready to head back to camp and watch a movie.

Our delicious burgers! 

So we sat down to watch avatar, and halfway through the movie I got stepped on a a member of staff as we were told to put on some warm clothes and head down to the activity centre as there was an emergency. We all knew the truth though. There was a night race (this was at about 10 at night).

We headed down to the activity centre, and were given our mission to find information out about a child murderer. Each patrol was sent to bases to try and find the clues to what happened to him. The bases were fun and this was probably my favourite activity! Our first activity was to head to the rabbit pen. Once there we found a code written on the stomaches of two white rabbits. The night continued like this, we went to bases such as a makeshift gay bar (where we found the australian staff member), climbing trees blindfolded, getting past lasers, and setting off fireworks.
By the end of the nights events everyone was exhausted and ready for the few hours of sleep we would get.

We woke up on the 31st ready to celebrate New Years Eve!
Today we had no activities planned, however were given the task of creating our own New Years Eve party. We split up into four teams. One for decorating, one for cooking, one for entertainment, and one for taking down the outdoor cinema. After breakfast we all got to work.
I was in the decorating team and we were given the dining room to decorate for dinner.
And that is what we spent the day doing. By the time we were finished the room looked like this!

We were rather happy with the final result, and were ready for a party.. we even brought out Maurice the inflatable kangaroo...

By 6 o'clock everyone was dressed in their new years attire, and ready for the last night of 2012.
We all sat down to a delicious dinner filled with speeches, strange dancing, and delicious food. We started with a carrot and orange soup, followed by tasty steak and potatoes, and finished with a delicious chocolate brownie, vanilla ice cream, berries, and chocolate... it was spectacular.

Aidan (one of my fellow Queensland scouts) playing games at the dinner. 

Some reminders of the dancing at the activities firm the previous night. 

We then moved out to the main party room where we watched the Danish queens speech, and danced into the night. We all had such a great time, and when the clock neared 12 o'clock we all sat down to the Danish tradition of watching the 1963 film 'Dinner for one'. We then climbed up onto tables and chairs, and when the clock struck 12 we all jumped into the new year.

People hitting the dance floor. 

Some strange photos i found of Maurice the kangaroo.

Breaking out the dance moves. 

The first official photo of 2013.

We then headed out to an area down by the lake to burn the numbers 2013. Sadly this didn't work too well in the rain, so we set off some fireworks aswell. And that was the end of our night, we stayed up talking for about an hour and eat some delicious marzipan cake, and then headed to ed for another early start to our final morning at the camp.

Burning the numbers.

Burning the numbers.

New Years Fireworks.

New Years Fireworks.

Traditional Danish New Years marzipan cakes. 

On the first day of 2013 we woke up at around 7.30 to finish packing our things, eat breakfast, clean up the camp, and at around 11, set off on a half an hour walk to the front gates of the camp to meet the bus that would take us to the train station. 
The walk was tough after a long camp, however i did manage to get some nice photos of the camp site on the way and of course a patrol photo just before we got to the front gates. 
I have to say Scout Scoop 2012/2013 was definitely one of the highlights of my trip to Denmark. I had such an amazing time getting to know new people, and just doing fun, awesome scouting activities. 

The stunning landscape of the camp site.

The stunning landscape of the camp site.

The stunning landscape of the camp site.

Our patrol 
(from right to left: Jeppe, Me, Anna, Mads, Anders)

And finally the Australians 
(right to left: Matthew, Natasha, Me, Aidan)

So i guess thats it for this post, thankyou to Natasha for letting me borrow a few photos. 
Well until next time. 

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

A very cold Christmas

So i know it has been a while since I have posted, but all for a good reason. Over the past few days we had had Christmas and I have been attending a camp called Scout Scoop. So I have had a very full on week.
I figure that if I put it all into one big post it will be ENORMOUS so I will post about Christmas and my tourist adventure tonight and tomorrow I will post about Scout Scoop 2012/2013.

Copenhagen at Christmas time. 

So lets begin.
Christmas was very excitinhg. After the guests arrived we sat down to a delicious Christmas dinner of potatoes, duck, cabbage, and duck sauce. It was spectacular.
This was followed by the traditional meal of rasalamande (it is like a rice pudding). A bowel of the rice pudding filled with chopped almonds and one single whole almond was placed on the table next to a bowel of Italian cherry syrup, and we were instructed to eat until nothing was left and the whole almond was found.

Nina finally found it and we moved on to the Christmas tradition of dancing around the Christmas tree, singing traditional Danish songs.
We then opened presents and spent the rest of the night relaxing with our gifts, and I spent most of the night calling, and wishing a very Merry Christmas to friends and family back home.

As Christmas eve (the 24th) is the day we celebrate here in Denmark, Christmas day is a very quiet day for the rest of the country, so we decided to go sight seeing as all of the shops are closed.

Our first stop was the little mermaid. The statue was smaller than i had expected and as we approached the small mob of tourists Lisbet (my host mother) explained to me that she had had here head chopped off three times over the years.

After taking our tourist photos we moved on to the Royal palace. Sadly we were too late to see the changing of the guards but we did manage to get a few photos of them anyway. On the flagpole, the flag to say that the queen was home was up, which was very exciting.

This palace, Amalienborg Palace, became the winter home to the Danish royal family after the original royal palace, Christiansborg Palace, burnt down in February of 1794.

Our next stop was the Frederik's Church (Frederiks Kirke), more commonly known as The Marble Church due to its architecture. The church is located just down the road from Amalienborg Palace.

The church was absolutely stunning and stood out among the dreary, grey buildings. It was made completely form marble  (apart from the later renovations made from limestone).

 We then went to have a look at the stunning old buildings of the trade centre and parliament house.

Parliment house. 

The trade centre.

And that was it for the day, after freezing in the cold day we headed home for some nice warm cocoa, and spent the rest of the day relaxing. 
So tomorrow i will post about my amazing adventure at Scout Scoop 2012/2013.