Denmark via Deutschland
This last weekend was a whirlwind trip to Denmark with Kerrie Roberts. It accomplished two life goals of mine. First, to perform, in a professional capacity, on stage in Europe! Yep, it took awhile, but I finally did it. Second, I have now visited both lands of my ancestors, Germany being the other, in case that wasn't terribly apparent.
Denmark is a country of simple tastes, great food, and lovely countryside. Our journey's end was a small town outside of Billund, Denmark. Quaint, is the appropriate term for everything in and around the town. Unlike the American tastes for large cars, extravagant houses, and wasted space, European and Danish sensibilities are a result of their limited space. In the U.S., we take space for granted, our cars are huge, and homes are much less efficient.
The festival venue and our lodging were located amidst the slightly rolling agricultural countryside. It was such a peaceful environment that I really want to go back sometime and spend an extended bit of time there, if possible. The weather was very much like what you would find in early summer in northern Maine. The Danish people were just as calm and happy as I had heard rumored. No wooden shoes, but very friendly and welcoming to visitors (unlike the French).
One of the sights that I enjoyed most at the festival was a new form of entertainment that would never actually be approved of in the States. Two Danish 20-somethings pulled up a lift, attached a rock climbing belay system to the front, and started attracting a crowd. The first volunteer was our Lighting Designer. The goal of the activity was to get in a climbing harness, and then stack, climb, stack, and climb Coca-Cola crates. You would continue this process until the stack collapsed underneath you, then your turn was over. He was successful up till about 12 feet, and then, the inevitable happened :)
There were also amazing chocolates, coffee, tractor pulling, bratwursts, and great Danish baked goods. All in all, a great weekend, even if it was experienced through the haze of jet lag.
My final stop during this trip was Legoland! Billund is the home of the Lego research and design labs, as well as Legoland, the country's largest amusement park. While I didn't have time to tour the labs, and it was too early for the park to be open, my driver was able to swing by in the early morning before my departing flight, so that I could at least get a picture :) I spent an inordinate amount of time with those little plastic building blocks as a child, so getting to finally see their place of origin was amazing! I honestly doubted that it would ever happen!
Now I'm back in Nashville. Being back here in America is always culture shock, in a way. Unless you travel to other countries, it's hard to gain the perspective we need to appreciate what we take for granted. We live in a blessed country, but should take a lesson or two on contentment from the Danish. It is entirely possible to live comfortable lives without the need to oversize everything!