The recent violence against Asians simply needs to stop!
I am outraged and saddened that one man’s words have rippled into hatred against a large part of the American population. My beloved San Francisco, once a beacon for tolerance and neighborly love, is now a hot bed for attacks against often defenseless elders. By calling Covid the “Kung Flu” or “China Plague”, an entire part of the country is now demonized and vilified and it is completely unacceptable.
Asia has always been a big part of my life. My fascination started with Shogun, the 70s series based on the book by James Clavell. My mother later took me on a trip to Thailand where I fell in love for the first time with a gorgeous Thai. In 1993, I started making yearly business trips to Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore and a love for the East was born which changed everything from food preferences, medical practices, music, self-care and religion. Yes, I am a proud Buddhist, although I do not consider it a religion, but rather a philosophy.
I chose to honor Asians with a collection of these beautiful people from all over Asia and some American Asians from San Francisco:
I admit it – I am totally in love with this Church! It is generally referred to as the Marble Church, but its real name is Frederiks Kirke or the Church of Frederik.
The church was designed by the architect Nicolai Eigtved in 1740 has the largest church dome in Scandinavia with a span of 31m. The dome rests on 12 columns.The inspiration was probably St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
The foundation stone was set by king Frederick V on October 31, 1749, but the construction was slowed by budget cuts and the death of Eigtved in 1754. In 1770, the original plans for the church were abandoned by Johann Friedrich Struensee (Interesting tidbit for those who enjoyed Mads Mikkelsen in “A Royal Affair”). The church was left incomplete and, in spite of several initiatives to complete it, stood as a ruin for nearly 150 years.
In 1874, Andreas Frederik Krieger, Denmark’s Finance Minister at the time, sold the ruins of the uncompleted church and the church square to Carl Frederik Tietgen for 100,000 Rigsdaler — none of which was to be paid in cash — on the condition that Tietgen would build a church in a style similar to the original plans and donate it to the state when complete, while in turn he acquired the rights to subdivide neighboring plots for development.
The deal was at the time highly controversial. On 25 January 1877, a case was brought by the Folketing at the Court of Impeachment, Krieger being charged with corruption over this deal. He was, however, eventually acquitted.
Tietgen got Ferdinand Meldahl to design the church in its final form and financed its construction. Due to financial restrictions, the original plans for the church to be built almost entirely from marble were discarded, and instead Meldahl opted for construction to be done with limestone. The church was finally opened to the public on August 19, 1894.
Right next to the Church is Amalienborg, home to the Royal Family and the Royal Guards who march through town every day at noon.
The adorable Spring/Fall Residence of the Royal Family and occasional hotel to VIPs (I hear George W spent a night there!)
“Fredensborg Palace was built as a hunting seat for King Frederik IV by the architect J.C. Krieger. Construction began in 1719. The main building was first used in 1722 and the chapel in 1726.
It was rebuilt and expanded during the reigns of King Christian VI and of King Frederik V and his Queen, Juliane Marie, by the architects N.Eigtved, L. de Thurah and C.F. Harsdorff.
After Queen Juliane Marie’s death in 1796, the palace was rarely used. It was not until the reign of King Christian IX and Queen Louise that the palace again became the setting for the Royal Family’s life for lengthy periods. “Europe’s parents-in-law” gathered their daughters and sons-in-law, all of whom represented many of Europe’s royal and princely houses, at Fredensborg Palace every summer.
Now HM The Queen uses the palace for three months in the spring and three in the autumn”.
The visit did not start so well, as I had managed to forget the battery of my Sony and could only use my Canon with its Paparazzi lens which meant having to get creative and concentrate on the details rather than the amazing surroundings. I am now aching to go back towards the end of the day with a tripod and some filters! This zen gem definitely deserves some more time!
The drive from Copenhagen to Roskilde is not a whole lot to write home about. Flat freeways with ugly landscapes and the entry into town reminds me of any American city with car dealerships on every corner – I instinctively started looking for the inevitable Target (pardon, Tarjaaaaaiii), BUT then, once the streets all have royal names, you step into a time warp!
It has now been almost two months of total lockdown here in Copenhagen, added to the 10 months spent on lockdown in California, and seeing nature springing back to life while we cannot quite is almost unbearable! Danes now spend their Sundays picnicking in public squares and My Lady Mother and I spent 15 minutes gazing at every restaurant menu and dreaming of being in a noisy restaurant again! A new, wonderful life starts and we are like fish in a tank counting the moments until we can start participating again! Zen……
I do realize that most people do not know much about Viking history, but if there is one name we all recognize, it is that of its Roskilde’s Founding Father; Harald Blåtand, or the more familiar Bluetooth!
According to Wikipedia:
“Roskilde, which developed as the hub of the Viking land and sea trade routes over a thousand years ago, is one of Denmark’s oldest cities. From the 11th century until 1443, it was the capital of Denmark. By the Middle Ages, with the support of kings and bishops, it had become one of the most important centres in Scandinavia. The Saxo Grammaticus and other early sources associate the name Roskilde (meaning “Ro’s spring”) with the legendary King Roar who possibly lived there in the 6th century.
According to Adam of Bremen and the Saxo Grammaticus, Roskilde was founded in the 980s by Harald Bluetooth. On high ground above the harbour, he built a wooden church consecrated to the Holy Trinity as well as a royal residence nearby. Although no traces of these buildings have been discovered, in 1997 archaeologists found the remains of Viking ships in the Isefjord, the oldest of which is dated to 1030. At the time, there were also two churches in the area: St Jørgensbjerg, an early stone church, and a wooden church discovered under today’s St Ib’s Church. Harald was buried in the wooden church he had built on the site of today’s Roskilde Cathedral.
In 1020, King Canute elevated Roskilde to a bishopric, giving it high national status.Absalon, the Danish bishop, had a brick church built on the site of Harald’s church in 1170. Today’s cathedral was completed in 1275 after five of Absalon’s successors had contributed to its construction. As a result of Absalon’s influence, many other churches were built in the vicinity, making Roskilde the most important town in Zealand. Coins were minted there from the 11th to the 14th century. In 1150, Sweyn Grathe built a moat around the city. In 1151/2, a religious confraternity was founded for the defence of the town against Wendish pirates. Under the command of Wetheman, it also took part in the Wendish Crusade. The Roskilde bishops owned large areas of land in the region including, from 1186, Havn on the Øresund which later became Copenhagen. By the time of the Danish Reformation in 1536, there were 12 churches and five monasteries in the city.“”
10 minutes from Kastrup, Copenhagen’s Airport, you find yourself transported to a different planet, seemingly dominated by yellow houses and adorable shops.
Dragør was founded in the 12th century and rapidly grew as a fishing port, further aided by the trade privileges granted by the Hanseatic League in 1370 and became one of the major fishing fleets in Denmark.
In the early 16th Century, King Christian II invited a group of farmers from the Netherlands to settle there. The Dutch were considered much advanced in agriculture and they were invited to produce food for the Royal Household. The first settlers were 24 families and their presence is still felt until this day. The Old Town still offers many well-preserved historical buildings and it is a compact maze of alleys with yellow-painted houses, red roofs and cobblestones.
Usually thriving with tourists, it was an eerie feeling walking around like Palle Alene i Verden (Childhood book about a boy who woke up and everybody was gone). Unfortunately, it was much too cold to stick around and wait for the sunset so here are some Tourist Photos, ugly light and all!
Copenhagen is usually a very busy city, but ever since I landed end of last year, we have been on strict lockdown with only food shops open. I cannot even open a bank account and who knows how long this will last with the new strains showing up everywhere? I am pleased to see the respons of the Government here and feel fairly safe, but will admit to some cabin fever during these dark days. Luckily, I can still take out the camera when it is not too cold or pouring down, even though my tripod has not arrived yet. The lack of tripod is reflected in the pictures, so these are just a few Happy Snaps:
These pictures are of The Royal Guard, the Marble Church, Strøget (the famous Pedestrian Street – now with Mounties?), Amalienborg (home to the Queen), Nyhavn and old downtown streets.
It is terribly frustrating to know that there are all these lovely spots out there to (re)discover while we have to stay as safe as possible until the vaccines arrive! As it seems to be the case everywhere, there are delays here and as a relatively young person, I am last in line and probably will not see it until May. It seems awfully far away right now, I will admit and it is hard to envision a world back to normal at this point in history. But there will be Spring eventually…..
One of the loveliest areas of Copenhagen is Langelinie which is home to one of the most famous, and smallest, statues in the world. It is usually packed with people, but I had the place almost to myself on Friday, as we are on total lockdown and can only shop for food and go for walks. The view is amazing and there are statues everywhere, one of them being the famous Gefion Fountain in front of St. Albans Church.
Unfortunately, my tripod has not arrived yet, so the sunset pictures are going to have to wait a couple of weeks!
Fall has arrived and the Ol’ Ghouls are now roaming the streets of Benicia. I am taking this opportunity to send good thoughts to Solano County, Napa & Sonoma which are severely threatened by wildfires this weekend. Millions of people are out of electricity and several highways are now closed down. Please keep people, critters and grapes safe!
A new discovery in my own backyard – The Pirate Festival of Vallejo! So impressive to see so many people and such elaborated costumes in the 105 degrees’ weather. Luckily, ice creams, drinks and water melons were available everywhere, but the parrots and pet monkeys had to stay home!
60 million people are currently displaced because of war, persecution, famine, climate and other disasters. For those of us who cannot grasp numbers of such magnitude, that is roughly the entire population of France or that of the US West Coast if we include Arizona and Nevada.
You may feel helpless or think that it is not your problem. I would like to be bold and say that it is everybody’s problem. Not only is none of us an island – rather, we are all interconnected as humans and have a moral duty to help each other. These people could be us, might be us sooner than we know it. I truly feel that we cannot ignore the fact that there are 60 million souls out there who are traumatized, desperate, hurt, afraid, hungry, and angry. Many of them are children who have been separated from their families and have not received any love or education for years. What kind of people do you think they will grow up to be? Balanced, loving people ready to take on a job and participate in a daily routine? How do you think they will feel about us, the people who turned their backs on them? We are creating a whole generation of children who are living through horrors we cannot imagine and who are in deep need of a future. We must help ensure that this future holds kindness and hope. Failure in doing so, and pardon my cynicism, may very well create an army of millions of angry people and disillusioned souls who may not think very kindly on us.
I sadly have no children of my own, but am fully convinced that children are our future and that nothing is more important than our kids. History will judge how we chose to ignore refugees, how we refused to treat this planet like their (and our) future home and how we are at risk of failing the kids in our own backyard.
Unfortunately, it would seem that we will be covered in most needed rain tomorrow and so I will not have the great photo ops that I had last year in the little town of Benicia. People get very creative decorating their shops on Main Street for the annual competition and it is a fun and colorful experience to stroll up and down the street.
Each year, the town of San Rafael in Marin County closes off a couple of blocks for artists to show their immense talent at street painting during a weekend in June. I visited on the first day and would probably opt for the second day next time in order to see more finished works, but it was still amazing to witness all the talent, creativity and colors on this extremely hot summer day.