I won't feel like my Scandinavian voyage is over until I a) unpack b) do laundry c) write about it. Here are a few random movie-adjacent thoughts from my journey. Obviously movies weren't the focus but you know I can work them in to any conversation!
I'll always think of aurochs as the giant pigs that haunted Hushpuppy in Beasts of the Southern Wild but Copenhagen's National Museum tried to wrestle them away from neo movie mythology.
In Denmark the aurochs immigrated after the end of the Ice Age circa 9000 BC these bulls with the largest and most inner dangerous animals in the forest but they could do little against the hunters arrows. The aurochs weighed almost 1000 kg. Old scars on the ribs show that the old giants survived earlier encounters. Three arrowheads lying among the bone suggests that the bull was fatally wounded when I sought refuge in a lake around 8600 BC . A few thousand years later around 6000 BC the aurochs was extinct in Zealand . In Jutland small-stocks survived until the iron age and the last aurochs died in Poland in 1627
I also looked at a whole lot of ancient ships and weaponry but in 2013 København the constant fit blond beauties walking or cycling by remind me a bit less of the brutal scarred Nordic warriors from The History Channel's "Vikings"... and more like a sea of Alexander Skarsgårds (I realize he's Swedish) or, perhaps more accurately, a parade of handsome blond preppy villains from 1980s teen movies: perfect blonde hair, chiseled jawlines, moneyed physical ease.
This store window had it about right...
The most iconic of Copenhagen's tourist attractions are Tivoli Gardens (amazing amusement park) and The Little Mermaid statue... one and ½ of which we saw. Tivoli was a blast and even turns romantic at night with the change in the light but The Little Mermaid was a lesser experience. We only saw it from a distance on the canal tour (which I highly recommend if you ever go there despite it being a shamelessly tourist thing to do) but my friends refused to indulge me in visiting it to pay true homage the following day. Did they fear my I'm sure highly original urge to sing "Part of Your World" at it in a photo or are they just curmudgeons?
Still, the statue is, as you must know, hardly evocative of the beloved Disney movie. Instead it expertly conveys the lonely longing of Hans Christian Andersen's original this-will-all-end-in-tears-and-sea-foam tragedy.
I was exhausted by the time we got there (and feeling a little unfaithful since I wanted to go back to Copenhagen, a city I am now hopelessly infatuated with) but there was much to see. Despite the running on fumes final days of the trip, I can happily report that I never once felt as suicidal as a character in a Joachim Trier movie (Reprise and Oslo August 31st - see them immediately!) and again I ran into Wenche Foss idolatory. She wasn't on the tail fin of a plane this time but just a statue in the park.
Two little girls spoiled my fantasies of a nation devoted to actress-worship. They glanced at the statue disinterested all "hvem er det?" to their mom (Sigh). Indifference to actresses is a curse found all over the globe!
On the first day we walked on the roof of the newish Opera House (a stunning piece of art and architecture). On the second day we took a ferry and visited several museums including one devoted to the Kon-Tiki expedition, which recently got the movie treatment (twice over actually) to the tune of a Best Foreign Language Film nomination. I wasn't crazy about the new movie -- or the museum, actually, which was rather confusingly laid out and cluttered.
And yet, it was a treat to the see the actual boat. And you know I had to take a picture of me with Norway's first Oscar of sorts, which went to the 1950 documentary on the Kon-Tiki expedition.
The Boyfriend laughed about how the picture came out with the Oscar obscuring / reflecting all over my face "the story of your life"
My favorite part of the trip was the middle when we took it easy for a few days and just breathed in Norwegian beauty, fjord trips, train rides and the views from a lakehouse we airbnb'ed in Vestland.
I lept wildly into the North Sea / Norwegian Sea twice -- like ice water with moss -- but the most paradisical moment was hiking to the most beautiful stretch of unspoiled land I can recall ever spending an afternoon with. The trees were so green and the ground was so soft and spongy I felt like I could curl up and sleep on it like a lost child in some benevolent magical fairytale woods. When the trail opened up on the most pristine lake with the most swimmable water ever I could barely speak.
The only thing I managed to utter to break the silence in that idyllic moment was:
The loons Norman, the loons!
...in my best Katharine Hepburn. And then I dove in.