A Lecture on Aggression


“I am so angry, I am hitting you in the face.” -my Social Brain professor


Christmas Before Thanksgiving

Last Wednesday my Social Brain class went on a field study to the Police Museum in Copenhagen.  If I remember correctly, it is the only or one of the only museums in the world created and funded by the police.  There is a fairly new exhibit in the museum called “Evil” and it is on all of the infamous murders that have occurred in Denmark.  One of the historians working told us three different murder stories, and some of the murder weapons are on display in the exhibit.  One of the murders involved the burning of a body, and then combining the bones with cement to create a new floor and get rid of the evidence.  Of course the criminals were caught, but the museum had a piece of the cement with the bones in it, and the historian talking to us passed that piece of cement around. The exhibit has been a great source of controversy because the families of those murdered are understandably very upset with it.  It is quite a chilling exhibit.  What made it even worse was that the day after we came back from Vienna, we had found out that there was a murder in the town I live in!  Ahhhhhh, to much.

On a much much more happier note, Copenhagen is all dressed up for Christmas!  After the field study, I went with a bunch of Carleton friends to Tivoli to see all of the Christmas decorations.  It was just like walking in a winter wonderland.  I just need some snow!  Jessica and I got some churros at my eldest host-brother’s favorite place to get them, and we also walked through the Christmas market.

Decorations up in Copenhagen. 🙂

The St. Petersburg of Tivoli

Beautiful ornaments at the Christmas market

They even had reindeer at Tivoli!

On Thursday night (happy belated Thanksgiving everybody!) Steen, Karin, Jessica and I started preparing for our Thanksgiving feast!  Karin bought a 4 kilo turkey!   We did not celebrate until Friday just because it was more convenient that way.  They don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in Denmark of course, so people unfortunately still have to go to work and school.  Boooooo.

I was hoping to get out of my medical class early on Friday so that I could come home and help cook before all of our guests were to arrive.  My class was on gynecology and midwifery and I learned how to give gynecological exams and deliver a baby!  I got out of class on time, but the Metro was stuck for a good 10 to 15 minutes because the door wouldn’t close for some reason.  That was pretty annoying.

I finally made it home and finished up some of the dishes.  And then everybody came!  We had 11 people in all because we invited our friend Annie and her host parents over too!  Our menu consisted of turkey, mashed potatoes, apple walnut stuffing, green bean casserole, brussel sprouts with capers, roasted butternut squash and sweet potatoes, my host grandfather’s breads, cranberry sauce, and Annie’s pumpkin pie.  We were definitely all full by the end of the meal.  It was pretty funny, because Karin and Steen did not know Annie’s host parents, but when the started talking they ended up knowing a lot of the same people because Annie’s host mom grew up where Karin’s mother was born.  It’s a small world!

Our Thanksgiving feast! Photo credit to the lovely miss Wu. 🙂

Maysi sitting under my chair just hoping for some crumbs, haha.

Now I’ve finished one of my four papers.  It’s hard finding motivation to work when you only have so many days left abroad and there are still so many things to do!

A Night at the Opera

On our last day in Vienna our first stop was the Danube Tower.  The signs were confusing, so we got lost for a bit again, but we found it eventually!  We didn’t actually go in the tower though.  Instead, we headed to Prater, an amusement park in Vienna.  The park was unfortunately closed until the Christmas season began, so we didn’t get to ride the ferris wheel like we wanted too!

As close as we got to Danube Tower

The ferris wheel at Prater that I wish we could have gone on!

Christmasy Christmas markets being set up!

Then we went back to the city for cake!  There is a place called Sacher Eck and it is famous for their Sacher torte, so that is what I ordered!  Afterwards we shopped around again until it was time to go back to the hostel to get ready for the opera!

The infamous Sacher Torte

Once we were ready, we went back to the city center and waited in line for a bit to buy standing room tickets for the opera Simon Boccanegra by Verdi.  They were only 3 euros!  But you of course had to stand for the whole 3 hour opera and we could only see half of the orchestra and the stage.  Thankfully, there were little screens where we could see English subtitles.  Otherwise, I would have had no idea of what was going on!

Practicing standing

There concludes our trip to Vienna!  It was amazing, but it is definitely nice to be in Copenhagen again. 🙂

The hills are alive, with the sounds of Salzburg!

On Tuesday we woke up at 4:30.  Gross, I know.  But now my going to bed around 9 doesn’t sound so strange, does it?  We had to get to our train to Salzburg, It was about a two and a half hour ride to Salzburg, and we were supposed to get there around 9 so we get to our 9:30 tour on time!  We turned the wrong way after leaving the train station, but figured that out quickly and then we got are tickets for the Sound of Music tour and were ready to go!  We had 9 people in our van including our driver, and headed out into beautiful Salzburg.  She gave us a tour of the city, but the first place that was Sound of Music related was the boat scene in the movie.  The house was not the house in the movie because the owner did not want anything Nazi related near the house.  The producer was able to go inside the house and take sketches of it so he could recreate the set elsewhere.  The gazebo used to be here too, but rowdy/probably drunk people would sing 16 going on 17 and annoy people in the middle of the night, so the gazebo was moved.  After that, we went to where the gazebo actually stands at Hellbrunn Palace!  On our way there, we drove past the Von Trapp house, or at least what they filmed as the front of the house.

Ready for the tour!

Who can remember this from the movie?

We are 16 going on 17. But, not really, at all.

After that, we had a very scenic drive up to a town called Sank Gilgen, the town where Mozart’s mother was born.  Then we were on our way to Mondsee because the church, St. Michael’s church, was where the wedding is filmed in the movie!

Me with beautiful Lake Wolfgang in the back

Outside the church

And inside the church!

We had an hour to ourselves while we were there, Jessica, Jenny and I had lunch and did a little souvenir shopping. Then we were on our way back into Salzburg.  Our tour guide was playing songs from the movie throughout the tour (her favorite is My Favorite Things.  It’s her pump up song :P), and the last song we heard as the tour was ending was So Long, Farewell.  It ended as soon as she parked, and she said that never happened to her before!  Then Jessica, Jenny and I walked over to Mirabell Gardens since it was right next to where the tour began.  This is where some of Do-Re-Mi was filmed!

Pegasus fountain

We! did some more shopping around Salzburg, saw where Mozart was born, and then headed back home!

River in Salzburg and love locks on the fence. Couples put there names on them and lock them on.  They were everywhere on the bridge!

Mozart’s birth place

To the City of Music- the Last Travel Break

Hey everybody!  It has been a while since I have last posted, so I had better do it sooner rather than later!  I had two exams yesterday, and now have four papers and 3 finals left until my semester abroad officially comes to a close!  The countdown on the side of my blog is kind of scaring me, 25 days left is not enough!

But let me tell you about my third and final travel break in Vienna!  Jessica and I left for the airport on Saturday, November 10th and met up with her friend Jenny at the airport.  Our flight was only about an hour and a half and although the flight was a little turbulent, we made it to Vienna safe and sound!  We arrived around 6:30, got some euros, and then got our tickets for the City Airport Train (it’s called CAT!).  Then we took the subway which was super shaky.  I thought there was an earthquake every time it started up again.  Finally, we made it to our hostel.  The lady working at the desk let me switch rooms so that I could be with Jessica and Jenny.  I couldn’t decide on where I wanted to go for travel break, so I made a separate reservation when I finally decided on going to Vienna!  That was really nice of her, otherwise I think I was going to be in a room all by myself.  We were supposed to have one more person in our four person room on our last night in Vienna, but she never came!  We were excited about not having to worry about another person being in our room.

Our view from the hostel on our first morning in Vienna

After breakfast at our hostel on Sunday, we headed out to explore at the Hofburg Imperial.  Our first stop was the Spanish riding school where they have the absolutely beautiful Lippizaner horses.  They were playing videos of the horse shows at the ticket stand, and they were simply amazing!  Unforunately tickets are really expensive, so we didn’t go.  I would love to see them sometime in the future though!  We also walked around the State Apartments, the Silver Collection, and the Sisi Museum.  The Silver Collection was so expansive.  There was fine china everywhere!  Now that I’m really into tea and keep looking for teapots, I think I loved it that much more.  All of the silver and whatnot were used in the imperial household.

The library at Hofburg

What a banquet that would be!

The Sisi museum was quite sad.  Sisi, or Empress Elisabeth of Austria, was to marry her cousin, Franz Joseph I when she was 15 or 16 years old.  The original plan was for Franz Joseph to marry Sisi’s older sister, but sister accompanied her mother and sister, Helene, on the visit, and Franz immediately fell in love with Sisi.  Sisi was known for her beauty, incredibly long hair, and her trim figure.  She dieted and exercised like crazy but still loved her ice cream. 🙂  She was often unhappy though and wrote many poems about wanting to be free and fly away like a bird.  She did not stay in Austria very much, and in 1898 she was murdered by an anarchist in Geneva.

After touring the museums and such, we quickly got pizza for lunch and then had a short visit at the National Library.  It was an incredibly beautiful library!  Then we walked to the parliament building, saw Sigmund Freud Park, and then St. Stephan’s cathedral.  On our way to the cathedral, we happened upon a Christmas market!  There were a ton of Christmas markets being set up while we were in Vienna, but this was the only one we saw that was opened.  It definitely gave me some Christmas spirit!  After walking around the bustling Christmas market, we walked inside St. Stephan’s cathedral.  The light effect inside was so pretty!

Me in the National Library

Christmas marketing.

Inside St. Stephan’s Cathedral.

We ended our day buying some ice cream and getting food at a grocery store.  Then headed back to our hostel.

Monday was another fairly busy day.  We were on our way to buy our train tickets to Salzburg and then we went to the Schönbrunn Palace.  But when we got there, I realized that I didn’t have my ticket which was terrible on my part.  But, I probably would have done it again if I had a do-over because I didn’t realize that I could use the same ticket for the Sisi Museum and the palace.  Jessica and Jenny were really nice about it though, and they came back with me to the hostel so that I could get my ticket.  I felt terrible though.  We went through the Imperial Apartments and had audio guides with us, as we did at basically every historic site we went to.  Sometimes I would just get tired of standing around, and would just sit in one of the rooms and listen.

Schönbrunn Palace

Our next stop was a visit to Belvedere, but we just looked at the outside of the baroque style palace.  It was very pretty, but in a fairly sketchy area.  We also went to the Austrian military museum, but only to the gift shop because Jenny wanted to buy something for her boyfriend there, and then we also walked by St. Charles Church.

With Jenny at Belvedere. They were putting up Christmas decorations and a market up here as well!

Our last stop of Monday was Mozart’s house!  It was already dark and around 4 in the afternoon.  We did a lot of walking to, so I was pretty tired.  But, I happily took my audio guide and listened to Mozart’s history.  He had quite the ego!  Afterwards, I was happy to be back at our hostel and eat my yogurt (we had gone to the grocery store again for dinner!).  I think I went to bed around 9ish, because we had to get up really early for our day trip to Salzburg!