Wednesday 29 June 2016

Karup Å koncert 2016

Yet again i went to the yearly event at Hessellund Sø Camping. It is a tradition in our family to go there every year and nothing is changing from year to year except the music.
My uncle and his fiancé came Saturday and my grandparents Sunday so of course i baked some brownies as usual even though it was in between my exams.

This year we had a pretty good lineup considered it was almost only Danish music (which i'm not a big fan of in general). I have never been a fan of Queen and thought i didn't knew any of there songs so i stayed behind when my family went down to listen to Queen Machine. I crawled up in the top of the tower on the playground on the camp site and watched them go on stage from there. It turned out that i knew more of their songs than i thought and i could sing along most of the songs. So i ended up crawling down again and went up close to the stage where i found some of my friends who is actually fans of queens. It was pretty good in the end and a awesome show! The ending where the frontsinger dressed himself as a king was priceless!

Later came Johnny Logan. I know i know... He is kind of old and sings Irish Folk but i actually kind of like it. My dad has always listened to Irish Folk so natually i know many of the songs already. I found a band called Celtic Thunder and they are all extremely talented singers and they pretty much sing alot of the songs that Johnny Logan sings as well. Of course we got all his songs from his entries at Eurovision and i 100% sure that the ladies next to me close to the stage was about to faint when Logan buttoned up some of the buttons in his shirt while singing 'Hold me now'. It was SO funny!!

As the final band came Lars Lilholt Band of course. Again this year they had now members with them and i can't keep up with them anymore. I was with my friends again and sang along to the old songs and was all nostalgic. The drummer was a lot better this year. He was new last year and it was like he hadn't found the real "Lars Lilholt sound" but he was nailing it this year and even gave a small drum solo. I love me some drums!

Friday 24 June 2016

5sos concert 28-05-16

About a month ago i went to the 5 Seconds of Summer concert i bought tickets for even longer time ago!
Not gonna lie; i am still wearing the wristband because Camilla and i had freaking Soundcheck tickets!

THe day before the show i met up with some friend i had never actually met in real life before. They are some other danish fans that i met on twitter. I have known one of them for a longer time because we were both Tokio Hotel fans and somehow became friends on Facebook without acutally knowing each other at some point. But it was super fun and we were kind of waiting for 5 Seconds of Summer to hit the town, because we knew they had a day off. Jokes on us when we had walked around Herning the whole day and we finds out they had been in Aarhus the whole day instead. *sadface*
But it was awesome to finally put some faces on the ghosts i have been writing with online for over a year now!

We were at the venue at 2pm to get in line to get out wristbands and lanyards which said VIP all over them. We were sat in a line on the floor - which was kind of annoying when you are wearing a corset - before we walked in and were sat on the 3 first rows of chair in front of the stage. Sadly Camilla and i were split up and we sat in each our end of the venue doing the soundcheck.
The boys came out and said hello and played Long Way Home which is my favorite song from the first album so the feels hit me so hard right from the start! After that they sat down on the edge of the stage and a microphone was giving around so we could ask them questions. I'm the kind of shy fangirl loser that didn't dare to ask them anything and just sat there ans questioned my existence on this earth...
But it was a nice experience to hear them talk and get kind of "personal" with them in a way that not everyone get to be. Also they were speaking directly to us and not a TV camera or something.

At the concert we were standing as close to the stage as passible in Michael site of the stage. He almost stole the whole show at times because he was dancing or running around the stage all the time. But as the Ashton girl i am, i was standing in the wrong spot! Even though i could not get any close to him, his head was hidden behind a crash the whole concert.

The whole show was awesome and it was nice to hear the new songs live, finally!! But there was two things that kept nagging me.
1. They didnøt play Safty Pin, which i think is weird now that they have the logo from the song all over the album and the internet.
2. The sound was really high pitch at times doing the concert. At first i thought it was only me and didn't mention it, but the morning after when Camilla and i woke up we talked about it and she thought the same. Maybe it was bacause we were standing so close to the stage? We will never know! But it was a good opportunity to take some great photos!

Shout out to my moms new camera!

Majesty of the Seas - my first cruise experience

I thought i wanted to start my post out with a majestic picture of Majesty of the Seas i took from the shore of Cococay.

As a part of our "studytrip" we went on a 5 days cruise with Majesty of the Seas. Officially we were there to study and we did do some tasks while on board but let's face it; It was a pretty awesome vacation trip.

We started out by checking in at Miami Beach and the ship is so big that the first time i could take a picture of the whole ship at once, was the picture above. It still amaze me that there are som many other cruises that are bigger.
When we got on board we were met with this dark and golden colours everywhere and my first thought was "I don't really fit in here, do i?" Because i came in my worn out sandals and a short dress while the other passengers were mostly families that was dressed really nicely. But there was a whole lot of "spring breakers" as well so it kind of made me relax a bit more.
It was awesome to sail out from Miami! We har just sayed at that beach for the past few weeks and seen all the big ships sail out, so it was fun to be on the ship and look down the beach and recognize all the places. I think all my classmates was trying to find our cabins or something so i spoke with a elderly couple that was use to go cruising and they said that Royal Caribbean was the best. Some of the other companies had a lot of very noisy parties while Royal Caribbean is pretty chill. Later we found out that they actually was for everyone, now that they had kids activities, some for everyone and well, some activities for those with a lot of money as well.

Miami Beach
The elevators, the shopping area and the casino.
On our cruise we were sailing at night and explored a new place at day. I don't know why but it made me more comfortable that i could not see how much 'out in the middle of nowhere we were when we were sailing. I will not say that i'm afraid of sailing but i feel more comfortable with driving and flying. It didn't really make it better that the restaurant we were eating on at night was (i guess) right above the motor or something. It was vibration non stop and i had to wear my sea bands while eating so i didn't get sea sick.

And now that we are at the restaurant. One of out assignment on board was to document their ways to do "an extra service" which i felt every evening. The first evening we got their we found the table that was ment for our cabins and the waiter was there immediately. I told him that i was allergic to milk products and he went out to the chef to find out what on the card that was without milk products. He continued to do this every evening before we even got there and could tell me what i could order from that days menu card the second i sat down. He even came with some special bread that was made without milk BEFORE everyone else got their bread. For the dessert he could not promise me something from the card so every evening he came with "what they could make or find without milk" which often resulted in 2-3 different dessert place in front of me before the others even got the dessert card. It was pretty awesome and their brownies without butter was the best thing i have ever tasted!!!
I will marry this brownie one day!
One of the days, after exploring Nassau, my friends went to the pool on board (salt water pool) and some went for a nap so i went to explore the whole ship. I wanted to find the Starbucks which i found out was disguised as a normal coffeeshop because they served other things than Starbucks. But i pretty much walked around and looked lost so one of the employees went up to me and asked if i needed any help and i told him that i was out exploring and i was looking for Starbucks. I ended up getting a full guided tour and the whole ship! The theatre, the casino and the different bars. He also showed me where the captain was sitting, which surprisingly was not on the top but actually at level 10 out of 12 and in the front. I asked the guy more than once if he really had time to show me around for so long and he said it was fine.

I the evenings there were a lot of entertainment you could watch or attend. They had some karoke in the theatre place and later a quiz that got really physical on some strange levels. I didn't participate much but it was freaking fun to watch. The spring breakers was crazy at that point. The last night they had some kind of dance competition on the upper deck that ended out in a Macarena. The waiters at the restaurant also made a show the last night and made a chain dance while some of them balanced thing on their heads; like winebottles! But be aware that it is a "tradition" to swing your napkins in the air if you are not dancing with them. Crumbs are flying everywhere!!!

All in all it was a really cool and fun experience. I would do it again for sure! I can nothing but recommend Majesty of the Seas!

Tips for the trip!
  • All the food is free on board unless you want something fancy like loster for dinner. Even in the small hours you go on the upper deck and get pizza! 
  • Only water, lemonade and stuff like that are included in the prize so i recommend that you buy one of their "drink deals" so you can get free soda and other good stuff! I chose the non-alcohol pack and got free Starbucks instead!
  • Don't be afraid of asking about anything on board! They are all really nice!
  • Attend the evening activities! Even if you are just watching, it is really fun and enjoyable.
  • Go to the upper deck and stand in the front of the boat. It is really windy, but it is so worth it! Also i have heard it should help if you are sea sick. 
  • Look out for sales at "shopping street". They pop up from time to time and you can get some awesome thing for small prices.
  • If you can avoid it, then don't bring the biggest luggage. We were 4 in each room and we could hardly get around in our cabin because of the size on our luggages.
  • Bring nice clothes! At least one of the evenings is "formal"!!! (Thank god for Orlando shopping!) 
The view from my upper bunk bed. Also i had a random mirror behind my pillow..
It's always nice to see your own ugly morning face as the first thing when you wake up.
My "formal" dress

Sunday 19 June 2016

Cococay - Royal Caribbean's own island

The second Island we were visiting in Bahamas was a small island called Cococay. It is owned by the cruise company Royal Caribbean so we were the only ones on the island which was pretty awesome. You had to get another boat into the island, because the water was pretty low around the island, so it took some time to get of the ship. Everyone wanted to get out at the same time, but the other boats were pretty small comparing to Majesty of the Seas.
The island is full of activity you can buy a ticket to at the cruise. My friends and i rented some snorkling gear and i went snorking for the first time.
I am an old professionel swimmer so i didn't think much of it at first because i know i can do that shit, but it was a whole other feeling to it, when you can only breath through your mouth. I got a hang of it pretty quickly but i didn't like to dive with the thing in my mouth. So when ever i wanted to get close to some of the colourful fish i took it out and just dived without it. I felt a little too claustrophobic.

A sad thing about my snorkling trip was that the corals was pretty much dead. They were very grey and colourless, so the amount of fish was also at a minimum. I actually adressed the issue in a short report i made for my exam about ethical tourism, you can read it here. But one thing i totally loved was the parts from a ship that was spread across the bottom of the sea. The fish that was left was all over those part. There was actually a small plane there as well. I guess they have been placed there but it was beautiful to see anyways. I'm still angry at myself that i could not find a underwater camera. Of course i found it at the small market as soon i gave the rental station their gear back. Typical!

One thing i absolutly loved was the fact that it was Royal Caribbean's own island so all the food and drinks was included in the cruise ticket, so you only needed your room card. There is some locals from other islands that takes a boat out there and sells stuff, so it could be smart to bring som money, but if you don't need souvenirs then you grab the free towel from the cruise and go on land.
The island can do it all. Lying on the beach all day or parasailing? You can do what you want!

The view of Majesty of the Seas from the shore.
Picture borrowed from one of my classmates. Taked with a GoPro.

Nassau - The republic of Pirates

As to compensate that we didn't get our spring vacation while we went to study in Florida, we went on a cruise in the end of the stay. It was a 5 days cruise, 4 night from Miami Beach to Nassau (The capital city of Bahamas), Cococay and Key West.

We went with Royal Caribbean's Majesty of the Seas which is a 268m long beautiful ship with a friendly crew and awesome food. Read more about the whole cruise experience here (coming soon).

As the history geek i am i started to do some research as soon i knew which islands of Bahamas we were going to visit. It is a good idea to start the resarch at home and bring it with you, because the internet on board is crazy expensive and the roaming deal you can get is often only in the US which do NOT include Bahamas, even though some think that Bahamas is a part of US.

The capital city of Bahamas is known for pirates. Lots of them! Popular movies like Pirates of the Caribbean actually takes place in Nassau at some point  because the area was once called the Republic of Pirates between 1709 to 1718 before the brits came and claimed it back. Lot's of famous pirates have been living there! And just to mention one that everyone knows; Blackbeard was one of the pirate captains to live in Nassau.
I found a lot of stuff to see but sadly we didn't have enough time to see much of it. I wanted to see Blackbeards Tower but it was simply too fare away from the port so we went to see The Queens Staircase instead. It was kind of hard to find because they don't have any sign that says "This way!" and when we passed a hospital we were sure that we were going the wrong way. Then suddently there was a guy in front of us. He was a voluntary guide and told as a long story about the place and how it was made my hand of slaves. He was really sweet and funny and we gave him a few dollars for the guiding.

When you reach the top of the stairs you end up near the water tower and Fort Fincastle that was build in 1793, same year as the Queens Staircase and build by the same bastard. As far as i remembered was the staircase build by slaves so that they could flee from the Fort faster when you got attacked, but they never got attacked! So it was kind of a waste of the slaves lives. The british queen freed the slaves and that's why they call it The Queens Staircase today. Simply to honor the queen. If you are going to visit the place one day, i hope there will be a guide that was as interesting as the one we had. He also told us about the best photo spots and showed us where you could see where the slaves used picks to make the huge gab into the rocky hill.
The one thing that annoyed me about the place was the market stalls when you get up the stairs. Some of the locals was selling god knows what and everyone was yell at you to come buy stuff. I'm the kind of person that just get scared of that kind of them and runs past them all, not even looking at their stalls. At least they didn't grab you like they do in some other countries.
Our guide at Queen's Staircase

Fort Fincastle
Nassau is the place where every cruise ship in Bahamas ends up and that does show in the kind of stores that are in the "main street" Bay Street right at the port. When you get past all the crazyness of people that want to sell you all kinds of souvenirs as soon you leave the ship, you get to a lot of shops only with jewelry, handbags and shoes. Even though it was cheaper than in the US - and everywhere else i guess - it is still not something that i could afford.
But at Bay Street you can find a huge old building called Straw Market which is kind of like Camden Market in London. It's a huge hall with small stalls that sells pretty much everything and the sellers are sitting in front of their stalls and calls people over. I think i got called Sweetheart a dozen times in there because they are not overrunning you like at some markets but they do want your attention.

A thing i want to add is that you can actually use your American Dollars in Bahamas but when they give you money back it is often Bahamas Dollars which you can't use i the US. They are really pretty though so if you collect coins it's worth just buying a small thing to get your hand on them!

Straw Market and Bahams cents

A fun little nerdy detail!
If you (like me) like to play video games, you may have run across the Assassin's Creed games. The fourth game called Assassin's Creed: Black Flag is about a pirate called Edward Kenway. The whole game is about the area and the Republic of Pirates. In the game you meet Blackbeard and he becomes your companion in the battle against the spanish and brits that want to take over Bahamas again. In the game you are running around Nassau and even though The Queens Staircase wasen't made at the time of the Republic of Pirates, the game developers placed it in the game anyway because it is such a big part of Bahamas history. Many of those who live there today are related to the slaves that was freed back then.
The Pirate King aka Henry Every that is now known from the game Unchanted 4, did also come across Nassau in 1696. He kind of made it a safe place for pirates to trade goods already back then.
My own picture vs my screenshot from Assassin's Creed: Black Flag

Thursday 9 June 2016

SOBE Wine & Food festival

Back in when i was in Florida we were so lucky to work at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival. We lived at the SoBe hostel and hat to walk from 2th to 16th where the volunteers tent was but i was working at the south tent so i had to walk almost all the way back again, just inside the festival walls.

The first day we were standing around a lot because they didn't really know what to do and (sorry) but the communitation was really bad between the leaders. We were all under a teamleader and mine kept disappearing? I only saw her the first day so i was kind of lost the next day but i ended up under another teamleader. We started to get the tables for the exhibitors and was not doing much anyway. The first day of the festival was also kind of slow because we could now really do anything. There is a low in US that says that we could not handle alcohol as volunteers so we could not ever lift the exhibitors boxes for them.

Saturday was the day where everything happened. It was more food now that wine and alcohol but they took me from the South tent and and put me in the welcome center. So i used my whole Saturday by saying hello to people and give them giftbags. There were so many people and we were running around and did get a really late lunch. I was a little pissed that i didn't get to be inside the walls and experience the festival because that was my job at first. There was a lot of awesome things happening inside that i really wanted to see and help with but the leaderes was sooo confused and ran around. Because those who send me in the Welcome center did not talk with my new teamlader in the South tent, so they thought i wasn't there at all. It was really confusing.

The last day i RAN into the festival and to the South tent so i did not miss it that day. There was not at much activity as Saturday but there was A LOT of people anyway. It was fun and i became somehow friends with some of the exhibitors i helped out. We had a lot of fun and i got to talk with some of the other students from FIU that volunteered. We talked about the different way we studied in Denmark vs US which we on the trip experienced. It was funny to hear someone else's opinion about random stuff and how different it is, just because you live in another first world country.

All in all a fun thing to try and academically we felt our models about working environment on our own bodies. You understood it much better, instead of just reading about it all.

Sunday 5 June 2016

Been away from the blog..

...for quite some time actually. I have had so much stuff to do because of the exams but they are over now and i passed 2. semester with awesome grades, so now i'm hopefully back to update from time to time. 

I have some old drafts laying around for this blog, so the things i will be writing about are stuff that happned looong time ago (not done with the Florida trip) and lots have been happening after that as well that i want to share with you guys.
One of my exams was actually about blogging/writing about the topics in the traveling industry so i did write about the topics like Sharing economy, terrorism impact on tourism, outbounding tourism and the ethics about traveling. You can find my small assignments HERE if you want. I got 12 for them (highest score in DK) so i guess they must be good.