122 – Aarhus

When I say I travel a lot for work, I usually get a reaction of excitement and envy. And while a work where one travels often can generally sound appealing, the way I do it isn’t. More often than not I spend more time at the airport or in the aircraft than in the actual destination,  I know every shop, café and gate location without the need to look for indications in at least three major European airports, and there used to be time when the bartender of one bar at Heathrow T5 would pour my drink without even asking what I’d like. That may actually indicate a drinking problem, rather than being merely a frequent flyer. That, or I’m just unforgettable. There is very little glamour about the taxi-airport-taxi-restaurant-hotel-taxi-airport routine, especially as  most times I’m required to come back on the first morning flight, and in that respect, there is no glamour whatsoever about travelling with raging hangover or at least serious sleep deficit. By now I learned to avoid hangovers, or at least limit them to levels that don’t confine me to the aircraft’s toilet for the duration of the inbound flight (which is a really stressful way of travelling, especially the period during take-off and landing, when one has to remain seated, because convincing one’s stomach to hold its contents for a little longer is an exhausting affair). 10 years ago I used to shake off hangovers with a shower and an orange juice. These days I fight for my bare life. So I try not to get to that point, which can be tricky, as often a dinner with customers evolves into a bar crawl, but I learned to instruct the bartender that while others drink whatever deadly cocktail they wish, I’m having sparkling water with lemon and make it look like gin and tonic. It is a fine line. While it certainly is a challenge to stand (some of) the aspiring Gordon Gekkos sober, it’s also highly advisable that a woman keeps her wits about her while entertaining drunk traders.  Especially as she’s picking up the bill.

Functionalist Aarhus city hall

Once every now and then comes along a business trip that allows for some free time, usually because it’s such a pain in the arse to travel to that there is no other choice. And Aarhus is prime pain to reach from anywhere else than London or Copenhagen. Both close airports (Aarhus, which is a joke, and Billund) are rather far and with no train linking them to the city. While you’d expect the second largest city to have decent public transport service, it is sort of heartwarming to see that even in Skandinavia not everything works to absolute perfection. Other than that, the city is what you’d expect a northern European city to be: pleasant, clean, linear, leafy, spacious and full of modern architecture. Understandably, as most places in this part of the world were heavily damaged in the war and rebuilt thereafter.

While Madrid was still hot and summery in mid September, autumn with its beautiful colours was in full swing in Denmark. I had about 3 hours of leisure time overall, which I split between taking photographs of the stunning functionalist city hall (unfortunately it was after office hours – which in Denmark is 4 pm – so I could not visit inside) and ARoS, the local modern and contemporary arts museum, both within 10 minutes walk from my hotel. I am sure there are many more things to see (Aarhus was European capital of culture in 2017, and I bet when that happened, many people needed to look up where the hell the place even was), but sadly not enough time, so hopefully on the next opportunity. After all, Denmark gave birth to Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (European Brad Pitt, only better), so the country is definitely worth exploring, in case he has single brothers, cousins, or just fit AF friends.

First, the City Hall:

Random shots from around the city:

ARos: worth a visit for two reasons, the collections, obviously, and the rainbow walk on the roof of the building, that offers 360º views over the city, through multicoloured glass.

“Your Rainbow Panorama”:

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