Thursday, May 28, 2009


Mus and I were preparing for our test in Design of Integrated Circuits. We had a question, so we went and asked out professor, Flemming. He is a really nice guy who I had gone to before for help.

When we walked in, Mus and Flemming began speaking Danish. Flemming soon saw me and they changed to English. No problem. I commented how I thought it was cool that they could switch languages so quickly and asked how many languages [Flemming] knew. He said 11. I believe him.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Final Week. Exam 1

I had my first written exam today. It was from 9am-1pm. All aides were allowed, including computers. It wasn't like that helped much. You either knew the material or you didn't. I've never taken a test that long. Everyone was there for the entirety. I wish I had an additional two hours. I think I did well though. I had prepared hard, but, it was still a tough test.

I have my final exam on Friday in Design of Integrated Circuits. I will study hard for that one as well. It is going to be another tough test.

On Saturday, I leave Denmark. Sara and I are still planning what we want to do. I'm not sure what our plans are yet, but, we will definitely be celebrating, somewhere, somehow.

After my exam today, it was gorgeous outside so Paul and I went on a run around campus. There is a wonderful "nature trail" that runs around the entire perimeter of campus. It is a 5k.

After that, we went to Paul's boxing gym and hit the bags together for a little while. Then we went back home for dinner. It was a great way to unwind from a 4hr test in the morning.

Monday, May 18, 2009


Today was a special day.  I finally did something I've wanted to do for a while.  I made myself pig heart for dinner.  

I followed a recipe online.  I braised it for 3 hrs in beef broth and onions.  Near the end I added carrots, then tomatoes.  It turned out really good and I ate the entire thing.  The appearance and texture were different than that of a steak, but, the flavor was good.  I let a few of my Danish friends try it as well and they thought it was good as well.  

I will definitely make it again.  Not only is it higher in protein than regular steaks but it also offers a host of nutrients and amino acids.  It is also super cheap because most people probably can't deal with the "ick" factor.  I think I'm going to walk back to Super Best and stock up tomorrow.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Myself, Amado and Moose before the game

The mascot; a lion

Outside the stadium

I got the opportunity to attend a soccer match today.  A friend of mine from Design of Integrated Circuits (we call him Moose) invited myself and another kid from that class (Amado).  Moose is Danish, but, Amado is from Mexico.  We had a great time.  

 Moose told me that this is the "game of the year."  It certainly seemed that way.  Moose picked Amado and I up on campus at 3pm for the 5:30 game.  First thing we did was park near the stadium (I knew it was serious when we got out of his car and could hear the buzz from the stadium about 1km away; 2 hours before gametime...).  Then, we had a couple beers in the park next door.  That seemed to be the thing to do.  It wasn't so much "tailgating," with food as it was just casual drinking.  

 About an hour and a half before game time, we went into the stadium store because jerseys were on sale and Moose needed a new one.  It was very crowded in there because the sale was really good.  1 jersey for 40USD.  That is really good, so good that I bought one as well.  A jersey with Carlsberg on it is the only souvenir I wanted from Denmark so I decided to splurge and buy it here. That way I could wear it for the game as well.

 The stadium is relatively new.  It was built in the 90's.  It is the largest stadium in Denmark with a capacity of 42,000.  It was definitely filled.  Moose explained to me that this game will likely determine the champion.  There are only 3 games left in the season and these two teams were number 1 and 2 in the league.  Therefore, this game was for all the marbles.  Not only that, but, there is always some bad blood between these two teams.  They have the biggest rivalry in Denmark.

 The game was supposed to start at 5:30pm, but, it had to be postponed to 5:45 because there were still too many people in line waiting to get in.  If the game started with that many people still outside there could possibly be a riot.

A huge flag that we held up during their national anthem.

 The game was crazy.  Moose had the best seats in the house.  He got lucky to get his season tickets here.  All seats cost the same price in Denmark.  He is right at midfield, about 10 rows up. Perfect.  All his neighbors were really nice as well.  It is like a big family.

 This was my first professional soccer game and it lived up to my expectations.  You hear that soccer fans are the craziest and that did prove to be true.  The section I was in was certainly not a place for children.  It was just a lot of drunken people getting more drunk.  However, everyone was rooting for the same team, FCK (football club of Kobenhavn), so there were no problems.  In fact, they separate the away fans from the home fans by a distance and a couple fences and station all the police over there.

The opposing fans are in the top of this pic.  They had a bunch of flares lit.


I don't think the confetti ever stopped flowing the entire game.  Not to mention all the toilet paper.  We didn't sit down either; no one did in our section.  A beer shower accompanied every goal.  The final score was 4-0.  It was really cool.

When I got back to my room, I went into the kitchen and Thomas was in there.  He said "I didn't know you went to THAT soccer game!"  He was very impressed.


Thanking the fans at the end of the game.  Not my hand.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Belgium 2- Antwerp

View from outside the Hilton

Day 2 began for Sara and I when we woke up at 10am.  We were elated when we opened the curtains and saw a blue sky.  

In one of the main squares of Antwerp

We were only walking around the church when we heard that an English speaking tour would be beginning soon.  We jumped on that opportunity and were in a group of about 5.  Originally, we weren't planning on staying very long, but, the tour was so interesting that we stayed for the whole hour.  Much of the church is famous for the paintings that it houses.  There are three paintings by Peter Paul Rubens, painted in the early 1600's, that are the most famous.  

Our tour guide explaining Ruben's most famous painting

Another thing I thought interesting was that Napoleon was here and he wanted to move the church to Paris, brick by brick, because he thought it was so beautiful.  Although that never got completed, he did have all the artifacts moved to Paris (including the paintings).  Luckily, they have been returned.  In that period that it was not a church, it was a barn for animals.  

These oak walls seperated the two parts of the cathedral.  The carvings were incredible.

After the great tour, Sara and I were getting hungry.  Nearby we found a good looking restaurant advertising a 20% student discount.  Yeah baby!  We jumped on that and had a wonderful lunch outside in the sun.  It was very enjoyable.  Sara ordered a personal pizza and I got veal cooked with ham in a cream sauce.  We both agreed the food was delicious.


From there, we continued towards the river because we wanted to see the castle that houses the maritime museum.  This was a legit castle.  It looked like it was built for war.  We didn't get to go inside because it was closed for some reason.  However, we did get to walk around the outside of it. 

With the castle in the background

Infront of the castle

After the castle, we went and explored the city on our own a little.  We saw some spears in the distance and we headed for them.  The first turned out to be a government building, but the second was another church called Saint Paul's.  This church wasn't as large as the first one we saw, but, it was just as beautiful with its Gothic style.

As we entered, we saw a tour guide opening a door leading outside.  It seemed like he was doing it as an exclusive favor for someone.  We tagged along and what we found was one of the coolest things.  This excerpt is taken from another site:

"Inside the church gate, the Mount Calvary is situated, surround by houses from the beginning of the 16th century. It's a peculiar, spectacular open-air theatre of statues, built between 1700-1734.

It depicts the trial, torture, death and burial of Christ.

The Calvary garden was built from 1700-1734 and has 63 lifesized statues made of sandstone.

The idea came from two Dominicans who went on pilgrimage to Jerusalem and came back with the plan of making a "little Jerusalem". 

The "road of angels" shows ten archangels that show the artifacts with which Christ was tried and brought to death: sponge, thorn crown, whip, cross, ladder etc.
There are 4 great prophets and 12 small prophets. It is very rare to see so many prophet statues together.

The old houses on the right hand side show the 4 Evangelists.

The Calvary itself shows Christ on the cross and also as being mourned by Mary Magdalena. 

Four pastors of the St. Paul’s church are buried in this statue garden."

Here are some pictures of that.  It was really cool and Sara and I felt lucky to get to see it.  It was almost as if it isn't regularly open for viewing. 

It is actaully built into the side of the church.

From there we proceeded to tour the inside of the church.  It was equally as magnificent as the first.  We didn't get a professional tour guide this time.  It was ok though.  The splendor of these churches just blows my mind.  I love the Gothic style.  I think that is the coolest style for a church.

After leaving this church, we went towards the train station because we wanted to go to the ZOO!  We had heard that Antwerp has a great zoo, but, first, we had to get homemade ice cream. It was delicious.

After the zoo, we went back to the hotel room to meet Chris for dinner.  He had sent us a message that said he was going out with his work for dinner.  We were on our own again, but, that was not a problem.  Sara and I went back the square in front of the nearby church.  There, we found a nice little Italian restaurant again offering a 20% student discount.  

We decided to eat here and it was one of the most relaxing atmospheres I'd ever been in.  We were eating great food outside in the sun, looking at a 600+ year old Gothic church, where Napoleon and other famous people had been, WHILE a violinist played near the entrance!!!!  It was like paradise.

The violinist playing outside the cathedral.

Our dinner.  In the upper right hand corner is the violinist.

After the wonderful meal, we went back to the hotel for a little while and relaxed while waiting for Chris to turn up.  It got to be like 9:30 so we decided not to wait for him any longer.  We went to a convenient store down the street and grabbed some good local beer that we brought back to the room.  We drank and watched TV.  An hour later, Chris came home and he joined us.  We ordered Pineapple Express and watched that.

Afterwards we went to bed.  We all got up at 7am or so and Sara and I caught a bus to the airport at 8am for our 10:40 flight.  We were debating between taking the 8 or 9 am bus and it was good we chose the 8.  The bus got stuck in traffic for a while and then getting through security at the airport took a long time.  However, after that, we made it back to Copenhagen no problem.

Belgium was a great trip.  I enjoyed Antwerp more than Brussels but that could have been due to the weather difference.  Either way, Sara and I had a blast touring the cities together.  We are great travel partners.  I'm glad we got to explore Belgium before leaving Europe.  Now, it is crunch time.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Belgium 1- Brussels

Sara and I on the Brussels tour bus

Sara and I made it to Belgium safely. No problems at all. We had a nice morning. I got up at 5 and prepared breakfast for Sara and I. She came over at 5:40am and we had eggs and sausage and apples. It was a great start to the day.

We were on different flights. I flew with SAS and my flight left an hour before Sara's.  Therefore, I got into the Brussels Airport an hour ahead of Sara.  That was fine.  I killed the time walking around the airport.  It was a really nice airport.  She landed right on time.  We met up and then took the train to the center of Brussels where we began our sightseeing.

As soon as we got out of Brussels train station, we felt rain drops. In a matter of minutes it was raining pretty hard. Not pouring, but, raining. We didn't let it deter us. We found a tour bus and hopped on that. We were driven around the city while listening to a description through headphones. It was nice, but, the rain kinda ruined it. It was a good way for us to see the most of the city in the short amount of time we had. 

In front of the Atomium

The Triumph Arch

Saint Michaels Cathedral

By now we were getting pretty hungry (it was like 3pm).  We began looking for a restaurant.  Anyway, we found a nice little restaurant. It was just what we were looking for.  We had trouble reading the menu because it was in Dutch and French.  Those are the national languages of Belgium.  However, we were able to get an English menu so we did that.  

I had a chicken curry sandwich and Sara had a ham and cheese sandwich.  They were each very good.  Of course, we had to get beer as well.  This was our first experiment with the Belgian beer and we each thought it was very good.  We also had to get a Belgian Waffle.  It came with powdered sugar on top and was really tasty.  

From there, we continued to walk around the city.  We realized that most of the chocolate shops offer free samples.  We made the most of that and stopped into all the chocolate shops we passed.  It was great to sample all the famous homemade chocolate in Brussels.  Believe it or not, I didn't buy any chocolate the entire time in Belgium, but, I certainly ate a lot of it. It was very good.

In the main square

Around 6pm we made it back to the train station and took the train from Brussels to Antwerp.  It was a 40 minute ride.  Once we got off the train we had about a 20 minute walk to the Hilton, where Chris was waiting for us in the lobby.  Perfect timing.

 It was great to see Chris.  He was doing very well and enjoying his time in Belgium.  After dropping off our stuff in his room, we went out to dinner.  Finally, we decided on a little restaurant-bar.  It was interesting to say the least.  Anyway, I had the Goulash with a couple beers and it was alright.  There was nothing too memorable about that place.

 Then, we went out to a couple bars.  We each had about 4 or 5 drinks that night and we each tried to get something new every time.  Then we would share.  That wasn't hard because most bars had a list of about 100 beers to choose from.  I stuck with the darkest, heaviest, and strongest beers that were on the list.  They were great.

 We got back to Chris' hotel room and went to bed around 1.  We all had a long day ahead of us.

Monday, May 11, 2009


Sorry for the lack of posts recently.  School work has been getting in the way.  I'll write more about that later.
Everything else is going well.  Tomorrow, I'm leaving for Belgium with Sara!  More posts to come.  

Also, check out the new Mark's Daily Apple at:

I already ordered the book.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Labor Day

Our little DTU group.

Martin and his girlfriend Sara

On Friday, I went with a couple kids from my kitchen to a park in the city.  Apparently, it is the thing to do on Labor Day.  It was really cool.  The only thing I can compare it to is Log Bay Day; except there were 10,000 more people and it was in a park.  It was really intense.  Everyone was just hanging out, partying.  The weather was great for it as well.  

Me and Kezia.

After dinner finished, I thought it would be the perfect time to introduce S'mores to everyone.  They were a HUGE hit (Mom, you may have to send more).  We had enough supplies that everyone in our group of 10 or so, got 2 or 3.  

After the S'mores, we just hung out together for the rest of the night.  I wanted to take it easy.  Now, I have to do some real school work.  Also, the countdown till I leave has begun.  I don't really want to leave and wish I could stay longer, but, I am excited to start working in Pittsburgh for the summer.


I had a pretty good week.  It was pretty uneventful after Andrew left on Monday.  Friday is "Labor Day" all over Europe.  There were no classes.  As a result, Thursday night was really good.  There was a party on campus called the International Party.  At first, we thought that meant it was only for international students.  Instead, the theme was International and they would serve different drinks from all over the world.  

To their credit, they did a pretty good job.  The best part was the price.  They only charged 10USD to get in and then drinks were free the entire night.  I stuck to drinking beer that night, cause I wanted to take it easy.  There were a lot of people and it was really fun.  

I forgot, I attended a group dinner for my Introduction Week group before the party.  Thursday was a nice evening.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


In other news, I planned my last trip for the year.  I'm going to Belgium with Sara Laprade.  My good friend Chris Keenan (you've met him mom.  He came for dinner that night) works for Johnson and Johnson and is part of a team that travels to all the different JnJ locations.  He will be in Belgium for the first half of May, so Sara and I planned on visiting him from May 12-14th.  This is during the week, but, right after classes end and before finals.  

Also, everything is begining to turn green.  Check it out.