21. september 2005
Today was spent at the Aalborg Technical College and Technical Gymnasium
as well as an afternoon at the Aalborg Akvavit Distillery - what a day!
Louisa was really in her element during the morning as we were shown
around the technical college that covers all industries such as
hospitality, customer service, construction, technology, design etc.
It is one of the largest schools in Danmark and has close to 6500 students
undertaking a range of courses and is also one of the oldest - over 200
years old. 500 of these students are in the Technical Gynmnasium which is
a senior high school.
The college bases its curriculum and industries choies on the demands of the
labour market and begins all programmes with a pre vocational course that can
take individuals from 20-60 weeks to complete.
All students who continue from there in the college must then
sign up with an employer - so their qualification can be undertaken in up
to five years very much like an apprenticeship. The wages of the
apprentice is fully supplemented by the government.
The afternoon saw us all enjoy learning about the production of Aalborg's
famous Akvavit. The company was founded in 1881 but is now 100% owned by
the Swedish but still maintains its Danish Distillery name. We were al
given a very detailed description of the processes of making Akvavit and at
the end of the tour had the opportunity to sample. There were a few to
choose from. Akvavit is distinguished from schnapps by having to be no
less than 37.5% alcohol and also contain at least dill and/or cumin to
give it its unique taste.
Thank you to Michael from the Technical College and and Henrick from the
Distillery for your fantastic tours.
From the team
20. september 2005
Today was another fantastic day with a meeting with Claus Knudsen
a landscape architect with the county government.
He gave us a great overview of the county government and the projects he works in protecting
He also gave us a brochure on ' the snaps trail' similar to the gormet trail back home or the
whiskey trail of scotland.
The girls were keen on dropping the planned tour of the planned National Park
and head out on a bender on the akavit.
It was mentioned it is good for you with ingredients of St John's wort and Juniper,
we should find out more tomorrow on the Distillery tour.
We talked the girls around that work had to be done and jumped in a people mover for the
Little Wild Moore, Lille Vildmosen.
Claus demostrated how the raised peat bog had formed to 5m depth over thousands of years
and promptly jammed his arm into the ground to grab peat from 50cm down.
He explained this peat was older than white people have been in Australia.
We jumped around like horney penguins for a while on the peat as it is like a giant silicone
breast implant, as you go down the person standing next to you goes up..
We visited a new visitor centre being built and then an excellent bird hide with Kowa telescopes
and cool sliding windows. Best of all it is free to the public and more modern than any in Aus.
Marcus took approx a thousand photos and the girls tried to spot a rampant stag with no success.
In the evening we atttended a Rotary Meeting of Aalborg Østre, which consisted of a beer,
catch up with friends and Finn then a walk around an ancient lake with an expert nature guide.
Unfortunately the tour was in danish but we were sure it was more sharing of ideas for bush tucker
to place in snaps. There are so many secret recipies to get the best product.
We were then transported to the President Peters house for an excellent meal in a cosy setting.
Again a very busy but informative day in this wonderful country.
19. september 2005
Monday was a vocational day and I (richard) set off with Claus Midtgaard,
Rotary Club president for Aalborg Nørresundbyby to AVV a recycling and incinerator company.
Danes protect their ground water as it is used for drinking so all waste is recycled,
burnt of goes to landfill in Norway.
A cleaver incinerator used this energy to run a turbine to provide energy to 7000 houses
then the water is used after that to heat 4000 homes.
In the afternoon I visited the North Sea Centre and had a meeting with a
Fisheries Researcher we discussed fisheries management, pollution, quotas,
land use planning and of course politics..
After a wonderful 'flat fish' lunch we had a tour of the North Sea Aquarium/Museum.
It is an interesting story as the Aquarium actually burnt down a few years ago
and has only just reopened.
Unfortunately their claim to fame the 'clump fish' or Sunfish in english died and they have not
been able to replace it.
They now have many seals in captivity and have two feedings a day.
The oceairium was fantastic a huge pool with thousands of pelagic fish including heaps of
herring (of course) and mackeral.
It looked amazing but I hate to think of the running costs..
17. - 18. september 2005
The Rotary district conference for 1440 was held last weekend at the 'white house' in Aalborg.
The team attended the opening ceremony and it was fantastic to see DG Per and Kirsten GSE
Chair Finn and the Rotary Presidents and Rotarians from clubs we had already visited.
We had a fantastic lunch and then made the finishing touches to our presentation before tucking into
a sumptuous three course meal.
We sat with the the 2005 and 2006 GSE team leaders from 1440 and after had plenty of 'skol'
we danced the night away...
Sunday was fantastic as we gave our presentation then had the opportunity to steal ideas
from the 1440 team to Pennsylvania.
The 1440 team gave a great talk and this was followed up by various talents from the Exchange students.
Getting all these students into one room really made you appreciate the excellent
opportunities Rotary provides.
15. september 2005
The team spent another fantastic day together.
We started the day at Danish Military Barracks in Aalborg, where we were given a tour of the training facilities and
information on the different forms of technology used in the teaching and training of the military personal.
We had the privilege of being able to sit on the Nordic United Nations Military Police Course
(UNMILPOC) Visitor Days.
Here we learnt about the role of the Military Police and the training they receive for deployment in to
UN Operational areas throughout the world.
We were then briefed on the "Blue Beret" exercise which is used as a training exercise for the participants
of the course.
As all guys and girls want to do when roaming a military barracks and training facility,
SHOW US THE FIRE POWER: We were lucky enough to be taken to the firearm simulation centre,
where we participated in a firearm simulation exercise with M16 Assault Rifles, which was a lot of fun.
The girls looked very menacing holding on to these weapons.
Click here for more pictures
It was similar to laser games but 100 times more exciting and we discovered that the weapons are heavier
than they look.
All the teams shots were recorded via tracking data in the simulation computer and we learned that
we are all very lethal when given a weapon to hold ... scoring 100% in the exercise.
We shot during simulation in single fire rifle mode .. one shot per pull of the trigger ... but YES ..
it got the better of us later in the simulation .. and we all switched to FULL AUTO .. and went nuts.
After a great lunch in the military barracks mess hall and lots of laughs ... we were taken through the
equipment and weapons used by UNMILPOC.
They are extensively equipped from heavy packs, dressage, 9mm pistols, grenade launchers,
close contact assault rifles with laser sighting, grenades, Kevlar .. you name it they have it.
Now in the military, RANK still plays a vital role.
Unfortunately for some, when you are lower in rank .. you are significantly lower on the food chain...
so to speak.
Saying that, an unfortunate junior soldier was volunteered, or perhaps he volunteered himself,
for an important mission.
For our viewing pleasure, and that of UNMILPOC members, he became a live target for a live
Taser Gun demonstration.
The Taser delivers 50,000 volts of electricity through two barbed prongs that are fired into the body,
totally incapacitating the person.
The electricity stays active for 5 seconds.. or as long as the user decides to hold the trigger down.
The soldier didn't know what hit him and was sent to the ground in a convulsing heap.
You can always count on your mates to be around you in total support in your time of need ..
yes as great mates do .. laughing and videoing you becoming a human piece of roast beef.
The GSE girls were extremely shocked that someone would actually volunteer to be shot with the Taser,
but both of the boys wanted to be zapped for the experience.
Luckily we ran out of time, to Lynne's satisfaction... as the boys stayed in one piece. DOH!
After playing with more equipment and the part of toy soldiers for a day, we departed the barracks
and wander off in to the blue yonder of Aalborg.
After leaving the barracks we were driven to down town Aalborg where we walked through the older
sections of the town on a guided tour and shown some of the sites.
These included the "Aalborg Gråbrødrekloster" which is an exhibition/museum featuring Franciscan Friary,
containing ruins and skeletons of old friars that lived once beneath the city of Aalborg.
We were then taken to the Jens Bangs Stenhouse which use to be used by members of the Danish Resistance
against the Germans during World War II.
It was a safe house leading down below the city streets, but has been transformed in to an amazing pub....
a great place to unwind and have a drink or two. A perfect way to end the day.
A special thanks to Major Henrik Westen-Jensen of the Aalborg Military Barracks who arranged today's
activities and also a special thanks to Aksel Nielsen, for driving our GSE backsides around for the day.
We are all looking forward to our next adventure
Lynne, Louisa, Marcus, Richard, Theresa & Nerissa - GSE TEAM 2005
14. september 2005
Today we met at the business of Knud Engsig, which is a technology and furniture business working in all facets of business and home furnishings, office supplies and products and technology.
It is a 6th generation owned family business which is now run by Jesper ENGSIG.
Since it began, the company has quadrupiled in economic growth, earning well over 50 million Danish kronner per year.
We were given a tour of the company which was very interesting.
The furniture was fantastic and designed in house by architecs.
After our tour of the company, the Team were treated to a special day out with Jesper in his BMW 530i sedan ...
very flash car... and we were taken to the Svinkløv Klitplantage which is a costal dune and tree plantation area in North Jutland.
It lies on the Visgø Bugt (West Sea).
The weather was windy and raining in the morning and then the wind became stronger ...
in the two weeks we have been here, this is the worse weather we have had.
The weather has always managed to greet us with sunshine, but saying that .. without fail,
although the wind remained, the rain managed to stop and the sun shone, allowing us to venture on an
hour hike through the dune and forest area.
The scenary was gorgeous.
Richard was in his enviromental element, crouching down with the native flora and fauna like Russell Coight in
All Aussie Adventures .. ha ha ... Nerissa found a large toad on a walking path, but was reluctant to kiss it
to see if her Prince Charming was waiting inside.
Lynne maintained a vigilant presence at the rear of the group to ensure that none of us strayed from the path.
Thanks GSE mum :o) Marcus couldn't help himself, strayed from the path and played camo army soldier in the dunes.
Theresa and Louisa just shook their heads at the immaturity of the boys.
Ahh the Team Family enviornment. It's great! :o)
We worked up our apetites on the hike, especially for an ice cold beer ... ha ha..
and we headed back on foot to the Svinkløv Bade Hotel for lunch.
It is an amazing place and all the food is prepared from fresh ingredients.
We dined on breads, seafoods, rabbit, pork and salads. The hospitality, setting and food were outstanding.
An 'AAA' rating from the Team, that was for sure.
For those of you who travel and ever make it to the north part of Denmark, do yourselves the favour and head
there for lunch. Words can't describe it enough. The beer was also bloody great ... the right temperature ...
COLD for the boys, and the white wine for the ladies was immaculate.
We enjoyed ourselves that much that we actually arrived back in to Aalborg an hour late...
but luckily our schedules were free. A very enjoyable day.
Thanks to Jesper for the entire day and lunch.
Hip Hip Hurra as the Danes would say.
It was an outstanding day mate. Cheers!
Til next we meet.
13. september 2005
Today we had a team day looking at the Emergency Services within Aalborg.
We started the day visiting the Aalborg Politistation which was absoultley enormous.
We were given a guided tour by Commander of Politi, Jørn AABYE and Politikommissær, Poul TRADSBORG.
It was an interesting tour and the Aalborg Politi cover a district area of 1,348,98 km2 with 313 police officers.
We then moved on to the a tour of a large hospital in Aalborg and given a guided tour by Dr. Fleming.
A very interesting tour and especially for Theresa and Nerissa both being in the medical field.
We then visited the FALCK business which is a private business with their emergency services being hired to the government.
They provide Ambulance, Road Rescue, Animal Rescue and Security services to the township of Aalborg.
They are very well equipped and professional.
They work hand in hand with all other emergency services in the area.
To end the day we all attended at the Beredskabscenter (Fire station) and given a fantastic tour and lunch by Fire Inspector Peter REINAU.
The girls in the Team were a little star eyed with all the handsome firemen walking around ... haha. Just kidding girls.
We were lucky enough to see the fire truck rescue ladder in action which is 30 meters high.
We got a first hand experience in going up in the ladder bucket 30 mts in to the air.
Not for the faint hearted, but all participated and had some amazing views of Aalborg from that high in the air.
We were later given little red plastic fire fighter hats to wear.
We had another amazing day and the emergency services tour was interesting to all of us, not only those in the emergency services professions on the Team.
A big Team thanks to all who took the time to organize the day and devote their time to guide us around their work places.
A special thanks to Staff Senior Sergeant Fleming CHRISTENSEN, N.C.O.of the Danish Military, for being our driver today. Great sense of humour and we all enjoyed being in your company immensley ... "Cheers mate!"
We are all looking forward to the next adventure that awaits us. Til next time .. cheers
Lynne, Louisa, Marcus, Richard, Theresa & Nerissa - GSE TEAM 2005
12. september 2005
We met the next day at the Monestary of the Holy Ghost for a quick tour built in 1431.
We were given a wonderful guided tour by Manager Jens SCHULTZ.
It is not actually a Monestary in the correct sense, as there are no current monks or nuns working there.
However, there once was both, a co-ed fraternity of monks and nuns that roamed the grounds.
Although some creative architecture by studious designers ensured that the monks and nuns didn't fraternize.
The penalty of such liaisons was beheading for the monk and the nun was taken in to the dungeon and entombed in a brick pillar whilst alive. One pillar was quite noticeably larger than the rest. They say her ghost maybe seen haunting the dungeons to this very day....
Some amazing fresco paintings line the ceiling of the monestary still to this day and it is currently being used for housing apartments for the elderly.
Related guests of the occupants may stay in other rooms for 50 kronner per night (ten aussie dollars)
After the Monestary we visited Aalborg town Hall and were greeted by a sumptuous fruit platter and amazing artwork in the Council Office. Thanks to Anni WALTHER for her wonderful tour and the books on Town Hall and Hans Christen Andersen books (both in English .. thanks ha ha)
We later attended a lunch time meeting at the R.C. of Aalborg Vestre at the Aalborg Kultur Center and gave a short presentation and presented our R.C. banners to the club.
We were well received and looked after famously like always on this tour.
We also enjoyed a talk, although it was completely in Danish, by well renowned Chile Artist Marco EVARISTTI. Although we weren't able to understand the presentation he gave as it was in Danish, we believe he was quite funny as there was always laughter from the R.C. members.
A very provocative artist check out his website. http://www.evaristti.com/
We finished the day after the meeting and then went our own separate ways having free time with our hosts.
11. september 2005
Transported from Hobro R.C. to the R.C of REBILD, where we met with members from the club at Rold Storkro Hotel in Rebild for a greeting and small presentation.
Enjoyed morning tea with the members and after exchanging R.C flags we were given a guided tour through Rebild Bakker, the only national park in Denmark.
The park is approximately 330 ha and managed by a society. It was given to the people of Denmark from Danish Americans. It is the biggest American Independence Day (4th of July) celebrated outside the United States, with approximately 6,000 people attending.
The hike in to the park was steep and after 13 days in country with lots of Danish food and beverages consumed, the hike was a little hard for some. Beautiful views from the top of the surrounding country side, but you had to be EXTREMELY mindful of your step due to lots of stinking SHEEP POO.
Sheep are used to graze on seedlings to promote growth of Heathlands.
The park is also well known for the famous speakers that it has attracted during the 4th of July celebrations. Such speakers include, Walt Disney, President REAGAN, Walter CRONKITE and Thorkild
After the park tour we headed down to a local stream and in to our canoes.
Rumour has it that Marcus might make an appearance in his underwear due to his water experiences, but other team members were quite surprised to see him in clothing.
Around 11am we set sail in the wandering clear waters which were jam packed of fun and games on the water including stream racing and bumper canoes as we battled for the front position of the day. All participants arrived at our first stop to enjoy a sanga and ale lunch, although we became quite alarmed when the canoe carrying the much sort after Danish øl (beer) went M.I.A. thanks to CAPTAIN MUNK and Lieutenant WESTLAND on the Skøl Titanic.
We were lucky to wipe the sweat from our brow as they later appeared with the beer crate intact to quench a thirsty sailor. Lunch was magnificent and so was the weather. The trip last for quite a few kilometers and a few hours later we reached our destination.
All sailors survived the day without falling victim to the watery depths, except for one unfortunate police officer ... Oh and despite popular belief ... it was not the Aussie member, but a local Danish Politiman. Good work Kurt!
We later returned to the hotel and met with our new host families from the town of Aalborg, the biggest town in North Jutland and the third largest in Denmark with a population of approximately 170,000 people. Again as always our host families have taken on a large task with us Crazy Aussies ... but we were extremely well received and they are amazing as always.