Heather and I just arrived in Paris! In typical travel from Aarhus fashion, we left our apartment at 9:45 this morning, took two buses, two flights, and another bus and arrived at a quaint little apartment (the second one on that page) that we’re renting for a week in the 1st Arrondissement. Since our adventure so far has involved mostly the inside of airports and various transportative vessels, we have little if anything to report about Paris. But actually, there was a motorcycle on fire in the middle of the road as we were taking the bus from CDG to the city center. That was…interesting. Oh, and there was a Syria-related rally. My French is insufficient to tell whether it was pro or con Assad.
So, with nothing to report about Paris, I’m going to give you something completely different. Heather reported in our last post about our two week trip to the US for my graduation and to visit family and friends. Since then things have been pretty quiet. Denmark pretty much shuts down for the month of July when everyone takes their state-mandated three weeks of holiday. I’ve actually been very busy at work starting a large survey about Denmark’s role in the European Union and finishing a paper for a forthcoming volume on political psychology. So, I’ve been glad that not too much has been happening because it gave me a chance to finish up those projects before we started our trip here.
But, one really big thing did happen! And it involved cannons! And Mexicans!
The Tall Ships Races 2013 (link mostly in Danish) came to Aarhus last weekend. It was pretty incredible. There were several days of activities but we only went out for the triumphant finale when all of the ships set sail from Aarhus Harbor out to sea. We made a surprisingly appropriate decision to watch the festivities from Aarhus Ø, a new part of the city being developed in part of the former shipping harbor. In addition to some fine contemporary architecture (see below), the area features a pop-up tiki bar that was full of people watching the ships as they took off for their next stop.
We were expecting the parade of ships to take an hour or so and involve a few big ships that we were able to see from a distance (being tall ships, they tend to be visible from a ways away). So we were incredibly surprised to learn that there were actually scores of ships in town for the event, ranging from smaller, single-masted ships all the way up to 90+ meter long, three-masted vessels. The entire procession took over three hours and involved some sporadic cannon fire from a pair of Swedish and Dutch vessels with crews in full period costume. The grande finale was the flagship of the Mexican Navy, the Cuauhtémoc, which sailed out of the harbor with the full crew on deck and masts, a giant flag billowing off the stern, and blaring Mexican music. It was pretty incredible. Some pictures below.
And after that, we had some quick sandwiches. This is what a Danish sandwich looks like:
More from Paris, as it happens.