Beer and Ballet

Hey everybody!  I know that it has been a while since I have posted anything.  I’ve just been so busy writing papers!  I finished my third of four papers and have written 26 pages so far.  I have one more ten page paper due on Friday and then I’m done with those!

Last Wednesday I had the best field study ever.  My Enemy Within class went to the Carlsberg Brewery in Enghave.  My professor sent an e-mail saying “Wednesday we’re going to Carlsberg, and yes, there will be beer in limited amounts + actual Cold War content (also in limited amounts).”  We were originally going to meet at 1:30 but then some people had field studies that conflicted, so he changed the time to 8:50 in the morning.  I left on the 7:43 train and arrived in Enghave with plenty of time to reach the brewery.  First I stopped by the Carlsberg business center because they were decorating a Christmas tree in front of the building!  Then I walked to the Visitor’s Center where all the touristy things are, and because that was where my class was meeting.  On my way I walked by Elefantporten, or Elephant Gate.  It was really cool!  Carl Jacobsen had the gate built to represent his four surviving children (he and his wife had 8 children in total), and he used elephants to represent strength and faithfulness.  The rug on the elephants has the New Carlsberg brand, and the initials of his children, Theodora, Vagn, Helge, and Paula.  You would probably initially thing that there is a swastika on it, but it’s not meant to be Nazi propaganda at all.  In India, it is a symbol for good fortune, luck, and well-being.  And that’s why Carl Jacobsen used it as his symbol.  I remember going to India when I was younger and not knowing why there were swastikas everywhere, but I eventually figured it out!

Christmas trimmings Carlsberg style.

Christmas trimmings Carlsberg style.

Elefantporten.  It's pretty darn neat!

Elefantporten. It’s pretty darn neat!

I eventually reached the Visitor’s Center.  There were signs for it everywhere since it is a big tourist attraction.  However, I did not see any of my classmates or my teacher when I got there.  I called my friend Loren because she told me that she was there too, and I asked her if she wanted to meet me by the Elephant Gate.  However, she thought I was referring to something else (there are a lot of elephants things around) so I ended up walking back for no reason.  At this point there were 10 minutes until the actual field study was going to start.  I walked back to the Visitor’s Center and saw my professor!  I was so relieved and he told me that the center actually didn’t open until 10.  But, since he had requested a guide, we got a tour of the brewery before it even opened!  I eventually found Loren along with some of my other classmates, but I swear, not even half of my class showed up.  There were maybe 9 or 10 of us altogether.  Our tour guide had just retired from Carlsberg 3 or 6 months ago (I can’t remember exactly) and was called in to be our guide for the morning.

Carlsberg was founded by J.C. Jacobsen in 1847 just outside of Copenhagen.  The Carlsberg Foundation was created in 1876.  J.C. Jacobsen ended up having a huge rivalry with none other than his own son, Carl Jacobsen.  Carl opened up his own brewery which he called Ny (New) Carlsberg, and then J.C. changed the name of his to Gamle (Old) Carlsberg.  Also, when J.C. past away, he did not give ANY of his fortune to his son.  All of his money went to the Carlsberg Foundation.  Eventually in 1906, years after J.C.’s death, the two breweries joined forces.  I also learned that Carl was quite an artsy fellow, and you can really tell because the style of New Carlsberg is pretty different from Old Carlsberg.

Apparently a new Carlsberg district is in the making that is called “Our Town.”  It is supposed to encompass 3,000 more flats, a university for nurses and technical schooling, cafes, shops, and everything you can imagine!  The buildings are going to be environmentally friendly and focus on sustainability.  There is a rule that you can only build buildings as tall as the buildings that are in the area, but an exception was made for this project.  Our guide sounded really excited about it because in about 10 years or so,, Copenhagen will have a skyline!

What the new Carlsberg district should look like.

What the new Carlsberg district should look like.

After touring the New Carlsberg brewery, we headed down to the cellars.  It was a bit creepy and dark, but still pretty cool.  Then we got to the part that was actually relevant to our class, a plotting station in the brewery!  You can only get in if you have the key, as it is not part of a regular tour.  I felt special. 😛 This was one of the many plotting stations where potential bomb threats were put on the map during the Cold War.  They had to use magnets on the map and move them with a hockey stick like thing because the image of potential had to be clear and not obscured with people’s hands trying to move the Warsaw Pact signs.  It was pretty cool to see!

Inside the New Brewery.  You can tell that Carl liked art because these are so pretty!

Inside the New Brewery. You can tell that Carl liked art because these are so pretty!

Uhhhh, where are you taking us?

Uhhhh, where are you taking us?

Better figure out where those nukes are headed.

Better figure out where those nukes are headed.

Then the class went to the Jacobsen Brewhouse & Bar and got 4 free drinks because a ton of people did not show up.  I only had one and it was a lemonade.  Lame, I know, but it was 10 or 11 in the morning!

On Friday I went to my first ballet every!  I went with my friends Jessica and Annie to see the Sleeping Beauty ballet.  We bought pretty cheap seats, but luckily some people either didn’t show up, or it just wasn’t a full house, so we got to move from seats where we couldn’t see very well, down a row so we could see the whole stage!  I was afraid that I would get bored during the ballet, but it was absolutely beautiful!  The end dragged on for a bit with a ton of solo dances.  I remember always thinking it was over after the prince and princess danced together, but it wasn’t.  That happened maybe 3 or 4 times.  There were little boys holding on to the king and queen’s long robe during the last dance sequences, and you could see them fidgeting because they had to sit there for so long.  It was pretty amusing.  After the ballet was over, I was humming Once Upon a Dream all the way home. 🙂

If you’d like to see the photo gallery from the ballet, check out this website!

Inside the ballet theater before the show!

Inside the ballet theater before the show!


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