Just the photos

Tuesday, 23 Aug 2005

I arrived at Kastrup Airport and found the Tourist Info (wo)manned by a tall blonde (but of course). I found that my hotel was in a place called Valby, which is in the outer fringes of nowhere (the conference was in Frederiksberg, which is more towards the center of nowhere). I made my way there by public transport and checked in to the Hotel Rossini, acceptable but uninspiring, about what you'd expect from a 3 star rating.

There's not much to do in Valby, so I headed to the city center and into the famed Tivoli, realized I was starving, and promptly sat down to eat. By the time I was done, the place was closing down, and the fireworks display (that I could hear but not see) was done. So all I'd done really is pay a 75 kroner entrance fee to eat inside Tivoli rather than out. The meal wasn't cheap either. Denmark isn't cheap.

Wednesday, 24 Aug 2005

The next couple of days were at the workshop, which I walked to from the hotel, a good 2km but at least I could walk through a couple of parks. The workshop itself was dull as ditchwater, and I skipped the afternoon session to catch a little sleep and try and kick a cold that was threatening to escalate. Then I went for a swim at DGI-Byen behind the central station, at 49 kroner a pop not a bad deal by Danish standards. The main pool was donut shaped and you had to swim around counter-clockwise. I imagine after years of this, people get noticeably bigger right shoulders and arms than left. I was mildly annoyed by one old lady who wasn't familiar with the idea of lanes, and kept veering across me when I tried to overtake her.

Outside the DGI I saw a climbing wall and some little blond people aged 7-10 climbing confidently. Very impressive.
Later that evening walked along Stroget, snapping random street performers (I also did a video, but haven't figured out how to rotate it yet ...) and ended had dinner at "Peder Oxe" based on Lonely Planet recommendation. Good food at the usual steep Danish prices: DKK 400+ for a salad bar, steak, cheese plate, and wine. The house wine comes in graduated bottles so you only pay for as much you drink. This is cunning as you invariable end up drinking the entire bottle.

I walked around Stroget a bit more and saw a slightly crazy-looking guy sitting by the street, with a sign in Danish saying (I think) "I am an idiot". Also he a large cardboard cutout guitar on which he was playing air guitar while making strange noises with his mouth. I thought about taking a photo but I didn't want to disturb the magical moment.

Thursday, 25 Aug 2005

My talk was the last one before the industrial panel, and I was feeling pretty unenthusiastic (it was a very sucky workshop). The panel was though not so much discussion as invited speakers from industry. Nevertheless, the sounded a bit more grounded than some of the autonomic computing types from academia.

Then there was a banquet at the Louisiana, 20 km out of Copenhagen, for which we were inefficiently herded into buses. I'm told there is an amazing modern art collection there. I wouldn't know, I was a bit under the weather and anyway there was mediocre wine to be drunk and food to be eaten. I managed to chat with a couple of people including a girl from Newcastle. Or was it Glasgow. Somewhere oop north for sure.

Friday, 26 Aug 2005

Friday morning started slowly. I got lost a couple if times but finally made it to the Sophie Amalie hotel in Nyhavn, where I'd booked in for the weekend. Then, running a bit late, I caught a taxi to DIKU north of the city and gave a talk to Eric Jul and some of his students. There were only about 10 people in the audience but they seemed interested and asked many questions. I hung around for a while and then headed back to the Sophie Amalie, pausing on the way to photograph intriguing but useful signs and other stuff.

Saturday, 27 Aug 2005

Headed out at 7:30 to grab some breakfast. The only thing open was a nondescript bakery where I scoffed two pastries and a cappuccino, and took some more photos with water in them.

Then I went for a swim at DGI-Byen and a session at the hotel's sauna, and came out feeling much better. Strolled along the waterside from Nyhavn towards Kastellet in a snap-happy kind of mood.

And ended up at the famous Little Mermaid, which was a bit underwhelming. So it's a greenish statue of a woman with a fish's tail. Big deal.

I wended my way back towards Kongen Nytorv, where I was going to meet Robert (one of Eric Jul's students) and his wife for brunch ...

... and very nice the brunch was too, at a place called Zeleste just off Kongens Nytorv. Then the three of us strolled around for a bit, and Ella pointed out to me Tycho Brahe's observatory on top of the Round Tower.

After brunch I walked around a bit more by myself. You can walk up to the top of the round tower (for a fee, natch), so I did. There aren't any stairs for most of the way, just a wide spiral path allegedly built to accomodate a horse-drawn carriage, in which (or so I was told) the Tsar of Russia ascended when visiting Copenhagne. We are not told how he got down.

The big suprise of the day was running into Rune Jensen and his wife and a friend of theirs. We walked and talked and eventually had a nice dinner in the Latin Quarter. Rune claims this used to be the red light district (he seemed to know). So I never got around to doing the canal cruise on Saturday afternoon that I had planned.

Sunday, 28 Aug 2005

The next day I walked the couple of blocks to the bit of Nyhavn where all the bars are and failed to get breakfast. I did find out that I would just about have time to do a 1-hour canal cruise and (probably) still make my flight. So I did, and photographed many many things, only some of which I remember what they are.

This one I think is the new opera house.

and this is our friend the little mermaid, seen from the seaward side.

And dis ere is the Church of Our Saviour, built in the Olden Days to commemorate the victory of Christianity over the heathen aka taxi drivers. No idea what happened to the right-hand side of the tower in that last photo. Maybe some freak atmospheric effect, maybe a very strange lightning bolt, or perhaps just perhaps my camera sucks.