Dyrehaven (Deer park) in Klampenborg outside Copenhagen

Dyrehaven (Deer Park) is a large, cultivated forest near Copenhagen, and very popular for nature lovers to walk, bike or horseback.

There are 13 different entrances to the park and the road goes through the famous red wooden doors. If you come from Copenhagen, there is a subway station and parking by Klampenborg station. True romantics take a horse-driven waggon to the picnic spot.

There are more than 1,000 hectares in Dyrehaven and here you can meet red deer, fallow deer and Sika Deer. In 1670 Frederick III appointed the area hunting ground for his son Christian V (not humanitarians obviously!).

In the 1760 the German forester Johann G. von Lange introduced new mixtures of trees. Many of the trees in Dyrehaven dates back to this time. Dyrehaven is known for the great plains, where you can see deers that grasses interspersed with small groups of trees of oak, beech and hawthorn.

In the garden’s southern end and within walking distance from Klampenborg Station you find Bakken. One of the world’s oldest amusement parks with both rroller-coasters carousels and a lot of other attractions as well as pubs and restaurants. Bakken is open from late March to late September.

On the above picture you see Dyrehaven on a beautiful day in September with deers in the background.

Correfoc – Mercé festival Barcelona

Insane. I’m lucky to be alive. There we were, standing in the middle of Plaça Antoni Maura with increasingly large numbers of people building up in front of a huge model of “the gates of hell”, complete with fierce-looking dragon. On the right was a huge collection of people beating out a very intimidating rhythm on a set of amplified drums…

Correfoc Barcelona

After a few minutes, I started thinking “Hmmm, we’re kind of penned-in by the crowd right in the middle of this area…” (I had an inkling what was about to happen), then people started whistling, and all the people around us started wrapping bandanas around their faces, dousing themselves in water, and pulling hoods (& welding masks!) up over their heads, and putting glasses on. I had two 3-4 year old girls on their parents’ shoulders in front of me, they also began pulling large hoods over their heads.

Then suddenly these ‘creatures’ dressed like devils poured forth through the gates of hell, held up all manner of explosives over our heads and lit them. It was absolutely insane. I had foot-long sticks of explosives exploding one metre from my head, I could feel the shockwaves hitting my head and my ears popped immediately. I tried to get out but couldn’t. Panic! People were trying to come towards us, others trying to escape, I though there would be a crowd crush and people would die…it was all a bit intense, but that’s the Spanish/Catalan way. Fun, fun…Except if you work in a hospital :-).

This video explains rather well what it’s all about:

Read more about the Correfoc on Wikipedia.

Bakken – the world’s oldest amusement park is in Copenhagen, Denmark


A short 15 minutes drive North of Copenhagen is the world’s oldest amusement park, Bakken. It is located in the middle of the forest and thus the location is wonderful for a visit any day. There is always entertainment and happy days, and to many Danes Bakken is the symbol of genuine Danish culture in line with allotment houses and cold beer.

Bakken has attracted people from the city for over 400 years. Originally as a Mecca for believers who thought that Kirsten Piil water source had a life-giving force. Soon all sorts of street performers and bag players lured to the pilgrimage place and eventually the numerous tents became permanent.

Pierrot was a sort of ambassador of Bakken since he arrived in 1800. Pierrot appears in front of his little green house every day in season and on Sunday he has guests on the outdoor stage.

Bakken has many of the amusement machines that other amusement parks have – like roller coasters, 5D movies, haunted house, race-cars, archery, darts, football, handball and many more things.

It is also possible to buy a picnic basket in several of the restaurants, and walk or ride a tour in the park (Dyrehaven/ deer park) with one of the horse carriages.

It is definitely worth a visit.

Price: There is no entrance fee to Bakken. But you have to pay for the amusement park rides that you would like to try.

Opening: This year Bakken opened with the big motorcycle parade on March 25 and close again on August 29. Bakken is open most days from 12 o’clock midday – midnight.

To get there: You can take the s-train from Copenhagen to Klampenborg. It is a short walk from Klampenborg station.

The official website: http://www.bakken.dk/

Fashion – but at what price? Your shoes are a dead animal!


If you are an animal lover (of just a person with a conscience) you should seriously consider not wearing leather shoes (and bags, jackets etc.).

Animal organisations worldwide such as Peta have documented horrible conditions for cows, pigs, goats, and sheep—and even dogs and cats—in the leather industry. Animals are condemned to deplorable living conditions, deprived of food and water, transported in small cages, and crammed onto trucks. At slaughterhouses, they watch as other animals are skinned—often while still alive—and await the same gruesome fate.

Most leather is produced in developing countries where there are no effective animal protection laws whatsoever. Six years after a Peta investigation into the Indian leather industry prompted the Indian government to promise to improve conditions for animals killed for their skin, many major retailers to turn away from Indian leather—yet so very much suffering still occurs. Animals are still grotesquely abused in ways that violate Indian law and all standards of dignity and humanity. You should not let this continue.

Peta’s investigators have seen cows have their throats cut with blunt instruments and be painfully castrated, dehorned, and branded—all without painkillers of any kind. At the end of their miserable lives, these gentle animals are hung upside-down, bled to death, skinned, and dismembered—for example, their hooves are cut off—often while they are still conscious.

But you can take important steps today to reduce this suffering. To start with, please stop buying or wearing leather products. Believe me, there are great alternatives available. Honestly, I think walking around in the skin of a dead animal is outrageous. Have a conscience – stop buying leather!

Destruction of El Palmar Beach – Vejer de la Frontera

I’ve just found out that some property developers are trying to push through planning permission to build some super-hotels on El Palmar Beach, near Vejer de la Frontera in Andalucia, Southern Spain. El Palmar sits on the Costa de la Luz (Coast of light), the Atlantic coast between Tarifa and Cádiz, and is one of the most unspoilt stretches of coastline left in Spain.

Please sign the petition at the top of this website: Save El Palmar Beach.

You can also join the Facebook group here: Save El Palmar on Facebook

El Palmar Beach, Andalucia, Spain



In December 2009, the local council of Vejer de La Frontera announced a deal with property developers to build a giant 600-bedroom concrete monstrosity of a hotel right on El Palmar beach. The PELP group, who set up the initiatives to prevent this (and whose links I have included above for the petition and Facebook group) strongly believe in the following:

…that the Playa del Palmar, and by extension, the entire Sea around Cape Trafalgar could become an international example of ecological and rural tourism of exceptional quality. An example of real sustainable development, responsible tourism and awareness.

…that the few miles of unspoiled beaches left in our country should not succumb to the concrete development that has already decimated the Spanish coastline.

…that the preservation of natural resources and virgin wilderness areas is of paramount importance.

Sign the Petition and Show Your Support.

Rent a house in Vejer de la frontera.

Copenhagen stops supporting counseling for HIV-infected in 2011

Currently the 18th International AIDS Conference is taking place in Vienna. The conference was opened by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon who praised the progress made in the fight against the disease.

He stressed, however, that it remains important to continue the fight and prioritize efforts. If the international community chooses to spend less money on the fight against AIDS, there is “a risk that we have reversed the progress of a recession,” said Ban Ki-moon as a comment to that one result of the global financial crisis is that some governments now choose to spend less money on the fight against AIDS than ever before.

But you don’t have to look out into the world to see that there is less money spent on combating the spread of HIV and AIDS. We can just look at Denmark and the capital Copenhagen which has already budgeted less money in this area.

Copenhagen Municipality health and care Committee has decided to entirely abandon the continued support for counseling for HIV-infected and their families (400,000 DKK in 2010) from 2011 – an advisory work performed HIV-Denmark.

This decision is completely counteracting a study from 2009 which shows that Denmark and Copenhagen in particular has had particular success in preventing a massive increase in the number of newly infected due to the personal counseling of the people potentially infected with HIV.

However, it is said that the politicians in Copenhagen in 2011 will continue to support distribution of free condoms. But seriously, I work within the field of HIV/AIDS and I have never noticed free distribution of condoms in Copenhagen and even if they exists it is the personal counseling of HIV that causes us/reminds us to use a condom.

I urge the politicians in Copenhagen to eradicate its decision on HIV-Danmark’s 2011 counseling work. The health of our people is a stake. Do you care?

HIV and AIDS in numbers

In 2008 two million people died worldwide of AIDS. It’s more than 166,000 men, women and children a month. Or 5479 deaths every day.

The UN estimates that 2.7 million people became infected with HIV in 2008. This corresponds to 225,000 every month – or nearly 7,400 new infections every day or just over five every minute.

Worldwide 33.4 million people are infected with HIV. That’s why I still work in this field!