Monday, July 27, 2015

Tivoli Gardens. Copenhagen

Part amusement park, part restaurant mecca, and part botanical garden, Tivoli Gardens beams with life. 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Afton Hotel in Berlin, Germany

When Michael Jackson stayed and dangled his baby over the balcony, he was staying in the very posh Afton Hotel, near the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany.

Berlin, Germany

The Reichstag with its clear dome
The Brandenburg Gate
Remnants of the Berlin Wall

The Viking Code of Honor

Additionally, Vikings bathed and groomed their hair regularly, unlike most societies of their era. 

Friday, July 17, 2015

Fjords of Norway

There are few lovelier sights than the fjords of Norway. I highly recommend that you visit Flam and Stavanger and sail up to Pulpit Rock. The waterfalls are uber abundant. 
In Flam, the scenery is most easily accessed via the train that travels up into the mountains. In Stavanger, one takes a tour boat. 

Wind Farms in Denmark

Denmark is situated at the confluence of the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. 
The location is ideal for shipping and also for a form of energy gathering: wind farms. Whether on land or on sea, Denmark makes good use of its windy climate. The wind is to Denmark what the North Sea oil fields are to Norway. Windmills: everything old is new again. 

Harold Bluetooth

There once was a Viking King named Harold Bluetooth, who was possibly in need of dentistry. 
He is immortalized by the company Bluetooth, whose symbol is an ancient Viking rune spelling out Harold Blietooth's monogram. 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Vikings: 400-1000 AD

Vikings were known to be fastidious and clean during an era when it was typical to bathe twice in one's life. Vikings carried combs wherever they traveled. They bathed every Saturday and carefully braided their beards. Women wore long braids. 
When the Vikings invaded the British Isles, English women were known to enjoy the cleanliness and grooming of the Vikings. 
Even Viking women carried flint daggers. 
Notice the lack of stereotypical horns on the Viking helmet above. Flint was naturally abundant in Scandinavia. Arrow tips as well as daggers were carved from the hard material. 

Alsborg Architecture

Sunny Aalsborg, Denmark could not be much windier. But compared to Norway, the weather is sunny and cheerful, as are the people. 
Citizens are allowed to have collective garden plots, where they can grow vegetables, flowers and herbs. The summer homes are off limits November through March. The construction is poor quality and the facilities are bare bones. Yet the garden plots are incredibly popular. 
Whereas Norway has a stunning topography of mountains and fjords, Denmark is flat and more reminiscent of Holland. The views cannot compare to Norway and its hundreds of waterfalls. 
Surprisingly, Denmark has so many inlets plus 400 islands, and thu
s shares the same amount of coastline as Australia. 

Half timber construction

Renaissance architecture

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Viking Cemetery in Aalsborg, Denmark

In the Viking Cemetary "Lindholm Hoje" in Aalsborg, Denmark, stones reminiscent of Stonehenge mark off individual cremation graves. Some are arranged in the shape of a boat. Others are triangles or circles. The Cemetary was in use from 400 AD to 1000 AD. 
The grass is clipped by free power: sheep!
Some say the graves only contain animal skeletons, as human bodies were burned.
 The leaders were burned on boats sent out to sea. The Vikings felt that being burned might get their souls to Valhalla faster, as they would not have to decompose first. 
Vikings had a very strong honor code of doing the right thing: ethics were all important. 

Alsborg, Denmark

 In this wind-blown country at the conjunction of the North Sea and the Baltic Sea is the happiest country on earth. Why? Because Denmark has a sense of the cozy: a feeling of safety and being cared for, called Hygge. It is a non-judgmental sense of warmth, acceptance and mutual respect. Decor can be messy and a hodgepodge. Hair can be crazy wild. 
There are no guns. Little crime. And there is Aquavit, a caraway-flavored spirit that means the water of life. 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Tonight's the Night!

Please join me tonight at my opening for my one woman show at River Farm, located on East Blvd. in Alexandria along the lovely Potomac River. The party is 6-8. Bring your umbrella, just in case!
Snacks will be served. The painting below is just one of 102 for sale. 
Be there or be square!
Your friend,

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Southern Stomping Ground

Dear Imaginary Friends,
A new restaurant in Alexandria celebrates the South and its foodways in a whole new way. 
"Stomping Grounds" on Mt. Vernon Avenue serves up delicious biscuits decked with tasty fried chicken thighs. They are served up two ways: the Classic serves up the above with pimento cheese and a few sweet pickle slices. 
The Un-Classic has a delicious non-traditional sauce.  It gets my vote!!
The Farmers Salad is not my fave. It is super healthy, but has a bitter taste. 

I love the mismatched china and the friendly owner. 

The service could really use some consistency. Sometimes it is great and sometimes non-existent. 

It is worth eating here, and you can also get take out. 

Bon appetit,
 Your imaginary friend Patsie