A is for Aarhus

Aarhus is about two hours away from Copenhagen by train, and the great thing about it is that Ryanair flies out of there, in keeping with their usual policy of using airports in places nobody really wants to go to (which must be great for those places, come to think about it).  Interesting fact: Danish trains have a ‘silent zone’.  No chatting, no laptops going ‘beep’.  Reading is ok I guess as long as you don’t move your lips.

Mind you, it’s not true that nobody wants to go to Aarhus.  The Churchills went to Aarhus and partied like it was 1969, which it probably was.  Who WERE the Churchills? I don’t know but they took some GREAT photos!

Filth and degradation in Aarhus

I have had cobbled streets up to HERE!  My shoes are going a funny shape (sort of wobbly and antique) and my legs ditto.  You need seriously thick shoes for European cities, even little ones like Aarhus.

However, walking around during my one day in this sweet, rainy little town, I find a very nice 12th century cathedral with a ‘leprosy window’.  These things were put in apparently so the lepers and other outcasts could peer in and hear the Lord’s word, without getting within a whiff of the rest of the congregation. This one is three metres high (but it’s the thought that counts).

My hostel window overlooks a warehouse and some container docks on a grey and wind-tossed harbour.  When I’m not pacing the streets in search of Sights or at least something decent to eat, I sit drinking my room mate’s packet soup (which she kindly gave me) and gazing out through my wet socks, which are hanging off the frame.  No wonder Hamlet was so dour – if he’d been born in Australia he would have been out surfing or picnicking instead of moping over skulls.

On the subject of places to eat in Aarhus, seeing as I was there on Sunday and not much was open, I went to an American Steakhouse.  To eat nachos. I’m a vegetarian.  Mostly.  It was full of really awful statues of cowboys and American flags and baseball memorabilia and signs saying things like ‘don’t complain about the food or the boss’ll whup your ass’, and the nachos had probably been made in Kansas and shipped over a couple of years ago.  Still sometimes a place is so tasteless it’s almost worth going there just to soak in the aura.

Somewhere in a quaint gabled shop on a cobbled side-street I find a shop selling ‘Sushi Chocolate’.  Chocolate wrapped up in rice paper rolls with anchovies? Chocolate served with morsels of fresh raw puffer fish?  But no…just weird spicy chocolates of various kinds with special hand-pureed sauce.  Bought some, to put with my camel-milk chocolate bar from Dubai.

I want that lingerie..

In keeping with the rest of Denmark, Aarhus overflows with the aesthetically unchallenged.  I saw a woman out shopping who looked just like Barbie, no kidding!  Anywhere else it would be probably feel really weird to look like a doll who doesn’t look like anyone outside Barbarella but here she’s almost just one of the crowd.

I shared my room with a woman who just comes here for artificial insemination.  Apparently it costs heaps on the NHS so it’s much cheaper to cough up the airfare from the UK once every few months and get it done cheap here.  It would be cheaper still I bet to hook up with some yummy Danish guy and do it the old fashioned way (but she had a husband to consider, too bad!).


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