Aal around Aalborg: music, shopping, event commemorating women’s suffrage, marathon (run and photo), clown race, international friends events, Friday bar, and food market

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My brother, who is a comedian by profession, commented on my Facebook status this week, when I announced the launch of a dedicated FB page for this blog, with a suggestion that I change the name of the blog to ‘Aalborg, Aal the time.’ It was a joke. Obviously. But now that I have a Life in Aalborg FB page and can post smaller news items (like the two I’ve published this week on parental satisfaction with daycares in Aalborg and the public consultation on urban development planning for Skalborg), I started thinking about the title of my weekly event series. Until last week it was called ‘Recent & upcoming’ because I occasionally included brief news stories after the event announcements (the ‘recent’ referred to the news items, in case that wasn’t clear.) Anyway, I had a little epiphany this morning: why not use a version of my brother’s suggestion to rename my event series? How about ‘Aal around Aalborg’? And I voted on it and it was unanimous – I’ll do it! So there you go: from now on that’s the title of the series and on the Events Calendar each event will be listed with an ‘AAA’ and date instead of ‘R&U’.

This coming weekend the number of events taking place in Aalborg and around skyrockets. Well timed with the change in weather. That a girl, Denmark! The Events Calendar has been updated (remember to check it out – there are recurring events on there that I covered weeks ago.)

Oh – and Aalborg International Friends kindly reminded/mentioned on their FB page that tomorrow, Grundlovsdag (‘Constitution Day’), you will see a lot of shuttered shops, banks, etc. So do your grocery shopping today so you can grill tomorrow!

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Recent & upcoming: Black Friday, markets, markets, markets, Christmas run, parades, music, trains, and art

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I feel somewhat like a broken record lately in my Recent & Upcoming series. The lead-up to Christmas continues to build momentum in Aalborg, and given that holiday-themed events dominate the calendar, I am obliged to include them. I hope you don’t mind, dear readers. The first story of today’s post is related: Black Friday. This is the first time since our September 2012 arrival that I have noticed its encroachment on the Danish shopping scene (somewhat like an insidious pest that has swum, floated, or flown over from the US). Or maybe I just wasn’t paying attention. In any case, information about it is included below. Happy shopping! (or avoiding stores entirely tomorrow). And try to enjoy something else if you can this weekend – there is a lot on offer! (Plus, don’t forget that I’ve covered in previous posts a lot of events still to come – see the Events Calendar for the best overview of everything…)

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Recent & upcoming: Halloween options, toy donation, food market, flea markets, ContiNEO, AAU sit-in, Chris Carter and Vestby exhibition

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Happy Halloween, everyone! The holiday has inspired at least a few events and promotions in Aalborg today. Have a good weekend, whether you celebrate the holiday or not. Lots of stuff also coming up in November (which starts tomorrow – are we really at the tail end of 2014 already?), so check out the events below and use the events calendar to keep track of all the opportunities.

Also, not to beat a dead horse while it’s down (disclaimer: I love anything equine, so I chose this saying only because it was the first that came to mind), but tomorrow is the day that all Danish government offices go completely digital in their correspondence with you. See my posts here and here on the subject, if you have not already signed up for Digital Post! Some help in English in setting up your mailbox online is available through the second link.


BonesChildren eat for free at Bone’s tonight!

All children who come dressed up in costume to Bone’s tonight will receive a free main dish, plate for the salad bar, and soft ice cream as part of the restaurant’s Halloween promotion. You have to make a reservation, I think (sorry for the late notice). There are two Bone’s restaurants in Aalborg – at Danmarksgade 27 (tlf. 98 17 10 00) and in City Syd at Nibevej 17 (tlf. 98 17 10 30). The promotion applies only to children 12 years and younger; maximum 5 children per table (so no birthday parties with lots of friends there tonight!). It does not apply to Lalandia, Nuuk or Take Away.

Zombie/Halloween Walk through Aalborg tonightzombie walk

If you are a little bit too old to qualify for free food at Bone’s but you still want to dress up, then get decked out as a zombie or whatever tickles your fancy and show up at Studenterhuset this evening at 17:30. At least 80 people have signed up (as of 10:00 this morning) to take to the streets as ghouls and goblins in Aalborg tonight. And it appears, on the FB event page, that those participating will be welcome at the Nordjylland Historic Museum for free from 19:00 to 22:00 for a night of ‘museum in the dark’, a sincerely spooky affair (see next event).

historiskmuseumMuseum in the Dark on Halloween

Aalborg Historical Museum is hosting a truly frightful event on its premises tonight. From 19:00 to 22:00 visitors can experience the museum in the dark and listen to the curators tell of the harsh punishments and superstitions of days gone by when people believed in ghost horses and werewolves. The brave can grope their way through the chains rattling in a veritable labyrinth of eerie passages and plunge their hands into buckets of brains, guts and other items. Entry is (for non-Zombie walk participants) 40 kr. You can also partake of free hot chocolate and other treats, if you dare! See here for more info.

Donate toys to the Børnenes Kontor via Aalborg Library during the month of November

Do you have toys your children have outgrown or no longer wish to play with but that are still in good condition? Then bring them to the Main Library during the month of November. The library will then donate them to the Børnenes Kontor. More and more children in Denmark, including Aalborg, experience a sad Christmas, and look forward to a Christmas package and toys from the Aalborg chapter of Børnenes Kontor. Last year many donated toys made a good number of children in Aalborg happy and gave them a better Christmas.  Please deliver your toys unwrapped; Børnenes Kontor will do the rest.

Monthly food market at Nordkraft tomorrow

Nordkraft hosts its monthly food market in the center’s main hall tomorrow, 1 November. Held every first Saturday of the month, the market offers cheeses, breads, and a variety of other foods produced in North Jutland to sample and buy. Doors are open from 10:00 to 16:00.

Contineo concert at Kirsten Kjærs Museum this Sundaycontineo

Ensemble ContiNEO is a co-operative collective of international musicians based in Northern Denmark and is the ensemble-in-residence of John’s Hall at the Kirsten Kjærs Museum in Langvad, Denmark. ContiNEO’s third concert of the season – but the first at Kirsten Kjærs Museum this season – takes place this Sunday, 2 November. From 16:00 to 18:00 the ensemble will play pieces by Martinu, Francaix, Brahms. The setting of Kirsten Kjærs makes for a lovely musical experience. Entry is free, though a donation to the museum is encouraged. Please note that this is a repeat performance of the group’s concert on 25 October at Musikkens Hus. Read more about Contineo here and here.

ModeBørs second-hand clothing market at Nordkraft Sunday, 2 November

ModeBørs, or Fashion Exchange, takes place this Sunday, 2 November in the main hall at Nordkraft from 11:00 to 16:00. ModeBørs is an indoor secondhand clothing event for women of all ages. Private individuals, hobby businesses and traders rent booths and try to sell their wardrobe items, which are required to be in good condition and freshly washed. This Sunday Kunsten’s ‘to go’ creative workshop will also be visiting, so you can try your hand at some art before or after shopping. Entry is free but don’t forget to bring cash for the treasures you find! (Incidentally, there is a Spar Nord cash machine at Nordkraft in case you forget.) Here is the event’s FB page and more about the initiative is available here.

CreateAAUAAU student 24-hour sit-in starts Monday, 3 November

As you may have heard, Danish Minister of Higher Education Sofie Carsten Nielsen has announced a sharp reduction in student places in institutions of higher education throughout Denmark next year. Known as ‘dimensioning’, the move is being made with the goal of shrinking programs whose students face high unemployment rates after graduation. This will disproportionately affect the humanities, although it is not limited to the areas of study that fall under this title. AAU is no exception to the proposed policy – the university will lose roughly 650 spots over the next couple of years. To protest this move by the Danish government, students around the country will be conducting a 24-hour sit-in in university buildings from 9:00 Monday, 3 November. In Aalborg, this will take place at the new university building Create on the harbor, near Musikkens Hus. The protest is naturally voluntary but many participants are expected. A program for the day is being honed and currently includes talks by professors and the mayor of Aalborg, a balloon-release at noon, banner painting, and musical performances. If you are interested in joining – or just stopping by to show your support – feel free to do so. The event’s Facebook page holds more information for those interested. Here is an article about the University of Copenhagen’s participation in the sit-in, written in English.

Best-selling crime novel author Chris Carter to visit Hjørring Library 6 November

Are you a fan of Chris Carter’s crime series about Detective Robert Hunter? Then come to Hjørring Library on Thursday, 6 November at 19:00 to hear the author talk about his work on the series and his most recent book, An Evil Mind. Carter studied psychology and criminal behavior in the United States, where he also worked as a criminal psychologist. He has studied and interviewed several serial killers with life sentences, work that has contributed to and informed his novels. You can read more about the event here and about the author here.

Fashion Reuse flea market 8 November

From 11.00 to 16:00 on Saturday, 8 November a Fashion Reuse second hand market will take place at Skydebanevej 25, Aalborg (not far from Marina Fjordparken). There is free parking on site; bus 13 goes right past the entrance. The focus of the flea market is used accessories, clothing, and shoes. Entry is free. If you would like to sell items, rather than buy, call 25795758 to book a stand (150 kr.).

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????New to Aalborg Fair 12 November at Aalborg Main Library

Are you new to Aalborg? Or have you been here a while but still have questions about things like taxes, your job search, learning Danish, healthcare, banking, child care, residency, etc.? Then come to the first New to Aalborg Fair on Wednesday, 12 November from 16:00 to 18:00 at the main library (Aalborg Hovedbibioteket). The event is informal and designed to make it as easy as possible for you to ask authorities the questions that pertain to you. Representatives of several public organizations will be present to speak with you (in English or Danish), answer your questions, and provide information about their services. See my previous post about the event here.

Exhibition of Vestby at Utzon Center until end November

Western town is a neighborhood of Aalborg in transition, and most residents who live there like their part of town. Although many parts of Vestby appear worn and outdated, there is a wide range of untapped potential, and several major new development projects are underway. The exhibition tells about Vestby – its genesis, the composition of the population and settlement patterns, and a number of projects in the area, including the area around Vestre Fjordpark, the light rail, which will connect Vestby with the university and hospital being built in Aalborg Øst, and conversion of Poul Paghs Gade School to youth housing. The exhibition also includes the winning projects of Europan, a European architecture competition for young architects under 40 years. The theme of the competition was the adaptive city and entrants were asked to submit proposals for new activities and ideas on how to increase urban and housing quality in Vestby. The exhibition is housed in Spidsgatter Hall, Utzon Centre, Slotspladsen 4 and runs from 4th October to the end of November 2014. There is free admission. See Utzon Center’s page on the exhibit for more information.


17 single family house plots nearly ready for sale in Aalborg

Seventeen housing plots in Hasseris will be up for sale soon, and Aalborg Municipality expects significant interest from buyers. About 200 families are registered to be the first to be informed when the sale starts. However, they must have a good amount of money readythe plots are being offered at prices of 1.1 million, 1.2 million. and 1.3 million kr., with an  additional 100,000 kr. in related fees. The subdivision will have the Morbærhaven address, an area located south of Ferskenvej. In total there are 97 individual housing plots in that area – 72 are on municipally owned land, while 25 plots are owned by Erik NorgaardPedersen. The site development is done in cooperation with the private provider and will likely be ready at the end of year, so that the plots can be claimed by the buyers around August 1, 2015. (Article courtesy of Midt-Vest Avis, 29 October edition, p. 14.)

Recent & upcoming: street festival, teddy bears and music, Utzon Archive exhibit, AaMAZE, Platform4-ASO concert, Aalborg i Rødt, ‘Give a hint’, and more

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With school back in session and people back from holiday, lots of events and activities are popping up in Aalborg and the surrounding areas. Per my usual manner of dealing with these, I mention them in chronological order and will repeat in future posts those events that are not taking place within the next week.


Street theater festival comes to Aalborgdiva_thumbs

Denmark’s International Street Theater Festival is taking place today and tomorrow (21-22 August) in various central Aalborg locations. Theater troupes from Sweden, Spain, Turkey, Austria, Belgium, France, and Denmark are taking to the streets to entertain audiences young and old – for free! Performances are primarily in the afternoon – check the program here to get more details.

Bear concertTake your teddy bear to a concert

Come and hear the musical fairytale of the three white bears! A combination of music and storytelling where the audience can expect a narrative experience beyond the ordinary. A musical tale composed by Michael Bøsdorf and performed by pianist Lili Olesen says Peter Søvad. For children (6 years and up) and adults. In the Obelske Auditorium at the Utzon Center on Sunday, 24 August at 15:00. Entry is free. More information available here (in Danish).

Sydney_Opera_HouseUtzon Archive: The Sydney Opera House

Did you know that the Utzon Center is named after Jørn Utzon, who designed the Sydney Opera House? New original material from the Utzon Archive, which consists of more than 10.000 drawings, sketchbooks, photographs, film material, letters, architectural models, books and other materials related to Utzon’s work dating from 1937, are on display at the Center until the end of this month. The focus of the exhibit is his masterpiece; in addition to the archive materials you can also view current photos of the opera house by Thomas Mølvig. The Utzon Center is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 17:00. Entrance to exhibits is 60kr/person (children under 18 free) while students pay 20kr. For more information, click here.

New cultural festival in Aalborg – get ready to be AaMAZEd!AaMAZE

AaMAZE is Aalborg’s new cultural festival that will take place the first time from 28 to 31 August. Over the four days budding talents from all over Norjylland will perform in different locations in downtown Aalborg. Many art, culture, and music genres will be represented – from hard rock to soft blues, from watercolor to spray paint, and from pole dancing to parkour you name it! See more here.

Aalborg Symphony Orchestra music manager to speak about orchestra’s upcoming season

Aalborg Symphony Orchestra’s Music Manager Jan Kvistborg will visit the Aalborg Main Library on Saturday, 30 August from 13:00 to 14:00 to talk about the orchestra’s exciting program for the new season at Musikkenshus. Come hear about the season’s highlights, the planning and the thought process behind the many, often very different concerts and socialize with other classical music lovers. The talk will take place on the main floor in the Glashjørnet. No registration required; admission is free. Information in Danish here.

“Aalborg i Rødt” (Aalborg in Red) begins 1 September

Stores in Aalborg will be rolling out the red carpet for the annual “Aalborg i Rødt” week at the beginning of September. For the seventh year in a row, shops and city planners have created a program to highlight Aalborg’s commercial and cultural strengths. This year’s program is broad and focuses on providing guests and locals with a fun assortment of events such as the Fjordmarathon, DM i Trial, Fashion Event, Company Sports Open, Children’s Culture Day, Aalborg Symphony Orchestra performances, Children’s Film Festival, International Market, and much more. The official events run over the four day period from 4-7 September (see program here). On Friday, 5 September, stores will participate in Day & Night, for which they stay open until 22:00. They will also be open on Sunday, 7 September, as it is the first Sunday of the month, so there will be ample opportunity to shop, says Aalborg City director Flemming Thingbak.

platform4Platform4 and ASO to play on Friday, 5 September – get your tickets now!

For Symfonien x Platform4 #7, Aalborg Symphony Orchestra and the electronic artists from Platform4 take on Stravinskij’s debut classic ‘The Firebird’. Based on Russian folklore the piece is a dramatic account of Prince Ivan and his catching of a strange magical bird revealing itself as both a blessing and a curse to its owner. Before the concert there will be a gathering in the foyer of Musikkenshus on level 0. After the concert the group moves to the foyer on level +3. The Platform4 dj collective will supply the ambience. Entrance is free but tickets must be collected at Platform4 or in Musikkens Hus and it is strongly suggested you order your ticket sooner than later; previous concerts have sold out before the day. About the event: From 2012 until Musikkenshus opened this past March, Platform4 and Aalborg Symphony Orchestra held concerts fusing symphonic music with electronic art in Symfonien in Kjellerupsgade and in Multisalen in Nordkraft. Their last collaboration was the first of its kind on the new stage in Koncertsalen in Musikkens Hus. The 1,200 tickets that were made available for the concert were all collected by concert-goers. For more information, click here.


‘Give a hint’ app encourages residents to tip off their municipality about problems on roads and cycle paths

If you see that asphalt is missing on a bike path, a tree has fallen over onto a sidewalk, or snow needs to be cleared from a road, it is now easier to let your municipality know about it. With a few clicks of the Give a hint” app you can send a message about the problem to your municipality directly, writes mobilsiden.dk. It is no harder than sending a picture message. With ‘Give a hint‘ you take a photo of the problem with your phone, provide the problem category and add any necessary comments. GPS coordinates are automatically downloaded, and the municipality knows exactly where to go and what they’ll need to do. The app is now nationwide and automatically selects the municipality to be tipped so you do not need to know municipal boundaries in order to send the hint to the appropriate municipality. However, not all municipalities are participating in the Giveahint” yet. (Aalborg IS participating.) The Giveahint” app is free and can be downloaded from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. A Windows Phone version is under development. You can read more about the app at givetpraj.nu. [Information reported in Nordjyske.dk on Thursday, 21 August.]

Recent & upcoming: Nordkraft, open air opera, Blues Festival, Karolinelund expansion and Digital Post contest ending

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There are a few things currently going on at Nordkraft, two of which end imminently. One is Legeland (Playland) in the DGI-Huset gym. Children and teens can use the trampolines and other equipment set up for them from 10:00-16:00 for a fee of 50kr./person. (Students from 4th to 10th grade who attend school in Aalborg Kommune can enter at a reduced rate of 30kr. with a coupon from Aktiv Sommer.) Legeland started this past Monday – today (Friday, 8 August) is the last day. Also at Nordkraft is the annual summer ‘Costa del Nordkraft’ in the main turbine hall, with sand, palm trees, beach chairs, toys for the kids and evening entertainment and Happy Hour. Entrance is free and open from 7:00-23:00 every day. However, this Sunday, 10 August, is the last day. Finally, an exhibit of Erick Øckenholt’s art entitled ‘Accumulation’ is showing in Nordkraft’s Kunsthal Nord until 31 August. Entry is free. For more information about the artist and his work, click here.

Opera in Rebild

This Sunday, 10 August from 13:00 to 16:30 Rebild Bakker will host the open air Opera in Rebild featuring Prinsens Musikkorps, the Jyske Opera Choir and Aalborg Symphony Orchestra. The program includes Puccini’s La Bohème and excerpts from Phantom of the Opera, Cosi fan Tutte, Carmen and Hoffmann’s Adventure. Soloists include soprano Yana Kleyn, soprano Louise Fribo, mezzo soprano Viktoria Vizin and baritone Lars Møller. Tickets cost 250kr. if bought in advance and 280kr. at the gate. Students and those under 25 pay 75kr. while children 12 and under are free. Click here for more information.

The Blues Festival

Den Blå Festival (The Blues Festival) will take place in various locations in Aalborg from 14-17 August. Entry to most concerts is free, while a few locations will charge an entrance fee. Locations include: John Bull Pub, Aalborg Slotskro, Duus Vinkjælder, Klaverstemmeren, Studenterhuset, Restaurant Kronborg, Cafe Frederiksberg, Kystens Perle, Søgaards Bryghus, Susan Himmelblå, Huset, Hasseris Kirke, Langes Kunsthåndværk, La Casa Latina, Zorba, Viva, and Andy’s. To see who’s playing and when, visit the festival web site here.


Karolinelund to expand

Karolinelund, which used to be the home of a small amusement park, faces changes for the better: the building on the south end of the park that has housed a casino, carpet store, and, most recently, a used car dealership is being demolished over the next week and new toilet facilities will be put in. While it is still unclear what the Kommune will do with the park in the long term, residents’ contributions to a public inquiry last year showed an overwhelming desire to maintain it as a green, recreation-focused space for the public.

Last chance to win by registering for Digital Post!

August 17 is the last day to register for Digital Post and get in on a chance to win such prizes as a hot air balloon ride over Aalborg with someone you love, an iPad, gift certificates, or tickets to one of AaB’s matches. Before 1 November all residents of Denmark over 15 years must have a digital mailbox. Read my previous post about this switch here. More specific info about the contest is available here.



Recent & upcoming: Voices of Refugees, yard sale, dual citizenship update, fashion outlet sale, Danish beach quality and weather and more

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Voices of Refugees concert at Musikkens Hus Friday, 6 June

A unique opportunity to hear refugees’ stories and thoughts through song will take place Friday, 6 June at 19:30 at Musikkens Hus. Danish singers will perform songs written by refugees from such countries as Syria, Iran, Iraq, and Bosnia about their experiences of war, trauma, and escape. Performers include Søs Fenger, Julie Maria, Sys Bjerre, Jeff Buckley, Freya, Ida Gaard and Sara Grabow. Tickets (205 kr + fee) are going fast, evidently, so buy yours soon if you’re interested. You can order them online or buy them at the box office tomorrow. Part of the proceeds will go to Amnesty International.

Yard sale in my neighborhood!

yard-sale3-600x365I am taking the opportunity as the writer of this blog to promote a yard sale in my neighborhood this Saturday, 7 June from 11:00 to 15:00. There will be at least six families taking part and lots of items will be for sale, from children’s items to women and men’s clothing to kitchen items. The sale will take place in the green space bordered by the Nørregade, Østergravensgade, and Søndergade streets in the center of Aalborg (click here for the map). There are several entries to the space – directly across from the main library, next to Amerikansk Diner; two entrances from Søndergade; and one from Østergravensgade. We’ll have signs up on the day indicating the entrances. Hope to see you here!

Fashion outlet sale at Aalborg Kongres- & Kulturcenter

There will be a massive outlet sale at Aalborg Kongres- & Kulturcenter this weekend, 7 and 8 June from 11:00 to 17:00 both days. Entry is free to the public. Steep discounts of 30-80% on all clothing, accessories, shoes, bags, etc. will be offered. Click here for more information.


Day and time: Thursday 12th June – 16.30-19.30
Venue: Aftenskolernes Hus, Kjellerupsgade 16-18, 9000 Aalborg

Do not miss this exciting and unique opportunity to network with some of North Denmark’s business people! Erhverv Norddanmark (Chamber of Commerce for North Denmark) and Trademark Future Lounge are inviting expats to meet members of Trademark Future Lounge on Thursday, 12th June from 16.30 to 19.30. A sociologist from Aalborg University will give insights into how Danes behave at work and when doing business – for better or for worse. This talk should enable an interesting and positive debate between the participants before they are divided into teams and work together to produce the fanciest version of the Danish national dish.

Trademark Future Lounge aims to create links to expats living in North Denmark and between professionals with different backgrounds, nationalities and professional skills. This is done through the traditional Trademark Future Lounge approach where professionalism and active cooperation go hand-in-hand.

Sign up by Tuesday 10th June by sending an email to Annica Gade Engholm (annica@erhvervnorddanmark.dk). The event is free of charge when you sign up. However, please note there is a no-show fee of DKK 220 + moms which is also payable in case you cancel after the deadline.

Kunsten offers art summer school for children 9-12

Kunsten is offering an art summer school for children ages 9 to 12 this year at Utzon Center and Karolinelund, as the museum is undergoing renovations until October 2015. I was unable to find more information about this on either the Utzon Center or Kunsten websites; perhaps it will show up soon. Stay tuned!


Liberalization of dual citizenship rules in Denmark receives political agreement

Yesterday the Danish government signed a broad political agreement with the Left (Venstre), the Socialist People’s Party (Socialistisk Folkeparti), Enhedslisten and Liberal Alliance parties to accept dual citizenship for both foreigners living in Denmark and Danes living abroad. The parties also agree that there should be a transitional period for former Danish citizens who lost their Danish citizenship when obtaining foreign citizenship. This autumn the government will, in light of the agreement, forward a legislative proposal to amend the rules on dual citizenship. The changes are expected to come into force in the summer of 2015. (See my previous post on dual citizenship here. I received the information for this update from the Ministry of Justice’s website.)

Board and card games at Aalborg Library

Did you know that you can borrow board and card games from the Aalborg library? I didn’t either – but apparently the library has just purchased a load of new games and made them available to play either at the library or at home. I saw one of my all-time favorite card games, Ligretto, in the photograph so I am tempted to go check out their other offerings.

Mødrehjælpen (Mothers’ Help) opens new advice center in Aalborg

Mødrehjælpen has just opened a new counselling center in central Aalborg at Boulevarden 30, 4th floor. A national Danish organization, Mødrehjælpen provides women and families with advice and gives economic, social and educational support; offers counselling on abortion and  abused women; and helps individuals build a social network so that there’s someone whose hand you can hold when you need it. They also provide legal assistance. More information about the Aalborg center’s opening hours, etc. is available here. While the organization has had a second-hand shop on Danmarksgade for quite some time, this is the first counselling center they’ve opened in Aalborg.

Aalborg beaches get top marks by EU Commission and Danish Outdoor Council

Studies of water quality and beach quality in Denmark by two organizations – the EU Commission and Danish Outdoor Council (Friluftsråd) – have given Aalborg Kommune beaches top marks. While the EU study focused on water quality, bacteria and health in its study, the Outdoor Council focused on toilets, parking places and beach cleanliness, among other things (there is some overlap between the two). Both organizations found beaches in Aalborg Kommune in excellent condition, as well as the ports of Nibe, Hals and Marina Fjordparken (included only in the Outdoor Council’s ratings coverage). Here are the marks by beach (blue flag is a top mark):

EU Commission rating of excellence Blue flag from Danish Outdoor Council
Bisnap X X
Dokkedal X
Egense X X
Egholm X X
Halkær Bredning X
Hesteskoen X X
Hou X X
Lindholm Strandpark X X
Møllestenen X X
Nibe X
Stejlgabet X
Vester Langeland (Mou) X

Denmark awaits a warm summer

Meterologists in Denmark, Germany and Scandinavia had already declared that this summer will be a warm one; now an American meteorological organization has chimed in with similar predictions. The U.S. weather service NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association) has studied what weather will look like in Europe throughout the summer, and estimates that the temperature in Denmark will be about one degree warmer than normal and that we will get about twenty percent less rainfall over the three summer months. While one degree does not seem much, it can evidently do a lot to provide stable summer heat.

Once again, thanks to Midt-Vest Avis for the bulk of the info!

Recent & upcoming in Aalborg: 1 May 2014

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Spring is in the air in Aalborg. The sun has been shining for over a week, trees and flowers are blooming, and it seems that the number of events and activities going on in the city has multiplied since winter. (Or maybe I’m just understanding more Danish as I browse newspapers and glance at posters as I cycle and walk through the center…) In any case, there’s plenty to do this weekend and it seems the weather is going to cooperate so let’s get out there and explore!

Aalborg tops the list of 79 European cities with the most satisfied residents

First, a small news announcement. If you are on Facebook, you may have seen this little item circulating already but if not…A recent survey by the European Commission found that the people of Aalborg are more satisfied with the quality of life in their city than those queried in 78 other European cities. Asked whether they were satisfied with life in their respective city, 41,000 survey respondents gave answers ranging from ‘totally agree’ to ‘totally disagree’. Here are the cities in which the most residents said ‘totally agree’:

Main finding
Responses to statement ‘I am satisfied with life in [city name]’

As you can see, 99% of Aalborgenses ‘totally agreed’ with the statement. (The lowest recorded percentage was Athina at 52%.) Aalborg also rated high on levels of satisfaction with: health services, cultural institutional offerings, educational facilities, public spaces, availability of retail shops, availability of affordable housing, safety, trust in others, and the efficiency and trustworthiness of public administration. In terms of their views on the environment, most Aalborgenses think the city has good air quality, low noise levels, is clean, and has enough green spaces but they do not agree that the city is doing enough to combat climate change (only 10% totally agree). Personally, most residents of Aalborg appear to be satisfied with the life they lead, the place in which they live, their financial situation and their job situation.

However, not all is sun and roses in Aalborg. When asked to what extent they agreed with the statement, ‘I am satisfied with available public transportation in my city’, for example, only 31% of Aalborgenses answered ‘totally agree’. Perhaps the planned light rail/BRT system will help boost that number? Another area that stands out is employment opportunities – only 31% of Aalborg respondents ‘totally agree’ or ‘agree’ that it is easy to find a job here. Aalborg also ranked somewhere near the middle when answering whether ‘the presence of foreigners here is good for the city’ – only 38% totally agreed with the statement. And only 9% totally agreed that foreigners who live here are well integrated. Why might that be?

Note: only residents of Aalborg and Copenhagen were polled in Denmark; those in Århus, Odense and other Danish cities were not included. To learn more about the results of this study, click here.

Hopping Aalborg harbor: Loppemarked (‘flea market’) and Sport in Progress

The harbor is going to be buzzing this weekend. There are two events happening – first, the first day of a recurring flea market – ‘lopper på havnen’ – on Sunday, 4 May from 11:00 to 16:00 in the area next to the Elbjørn. 60 stands will be manned by people selling all sorts of goods, and local musician Andri Sigurdsson will be there to sing and play guitar. Future ‘lopper på havnen’ dates are 1 June, 6 July, and 3 August.

The second event is Sport in Progress on Friday, 2 May. There will be sport competitions to watch, including a Cross Fit tournament, where teams of two women and two men will compete in endurance and strength, street football games and a Roller Derby race. But the day is not just about watching – visitors can try their own hand at a FIFA 2014 computer game, pole dance, or get a body-scan, through which they can learn about their health condition. On the water they can also test themselves in the rapidly growing sport of stand-up paddle boards, which can best be described as a combination of surfing, canoeing and fitness training. The event is the result of collaboration between Sport Management at UCN and Sports Aalborg University. Students from the two institutions are in charge of directing the activities, while sponsors and Aalborg Municipality support the event financially.

Test 5k and 10k runs offered in Aalborg this Sunday

MotionNord is offering a test run this Sunday, 4 May to those who wish to prepare for different races this season. Runners can choose the 5k or 10k route, both of which start at Skovlysning, near Stolpedalsskolen in Hasseris. Runners will be given chips that track their progress throughout their run. Second and third test runs will be offered on the first Sundays in June and August. The idea behind these events is to test the runners’ current form and shape improvements – both ahead of and throughout the race season. You can sign up for individual test runs or pay for all three at a reduced rate. The ultimate goal is the Fjordmarathon in Aalborg 7 September of this year. For more information about the test runs, click here.

Bellydance  presentation at Friis Saturday

In case you’re out shopping at Friis this Saturday, 3 May don’t be alarmed if between the hours of 13:00 and 15:00 you hear samba drums and come upon a bellydance presentation at the shopping center’s art wall. Vendsyssel Bellydance Association and the samba group Pocoloco will be giving a preview of their performances during Aalborg Carnival, complete with costumes.

Run for all on May 11

I posted previously about the Children’s Run on Sunday, May 11 at Karolinelund (please note: the registration fee for this race has increased to 110 kr + fee). However, I failed to mention that there are also runs the same day for adults. What used to be a 5k and 10k only for women has expanded to include men and teams of both sexes. In addition to a starting number runners receive a brand new, custom-designed Newline race T-shirt, a track bag stuffed with healthy and delicious surprises and, if you join the race with 3 other people, a large picnic bag filled with goodies to enjoy on the lawn after the race. There will also be plenty of support, pep and cheer along the route, so you might be carried to the finish line with your best time ever! Please note that registrations are coming in quickly and the course can only accommodate 2,500 runners; thus, please register soon if you want to join. Registration costs 230 kr. + fee and can be accomplished by clicking here

Cinema at Aalborg Library

Aalborg Main Library staff invite you to a repeat movie screening of Lykkevej in their cozy cinema tomorrow, Friday, 2nd May (last week’s showing must have proved too popular to accommodate everyone!) from 16:00-18:00. The movie tells a humorous story about different Danish cultures meeting one another.The movie will be shown in Danish with English subtitles. The event is free and there is no need to register – just show up and head upstairs to the cinema. Read more about the film here.

Children’s Day and Symfonien vs. Platform4 event coming up at Musikkens Hus

Another head’s up for children’s day at Musikkens Hus, which will take place Saturday, 10 May. Parents are invited to bring their children to a free music appreciation event led by musician and music teacher Annemette Juul Pedersen and Mette Mailund Strong, graphic designer, visual artist and orchestra member. A program for children ages 6 to 8 will be held from 9:00 to 12:00, while 9-11 year olds should come for the afternoon (13:00-16:00). Although tickets are not required, you must register your child/ren and yourself by calling or emailing Anne Rom Hansen (98 13 19 55/arh@aalborgsymfoni.dk).

[The following text come directly from the event’s FB page.] Also coming up at Musikkens Hus on Friday, 9 May is the debut of the audiovisual partnership between visual artists from Platform4 and Aalborg Symphony Orchestra in its new setting. The sixth night of symphonic music in dense, digital landscapes is going to be special. The event is the first of its kind in Koncertsalen in Musikkens Hus, which will be the project’s new stage. After a series of popular events and limited seating at Symfonien in Kjellerupsgade, the event now has 1,298 characteristically red chairs at its disposal in the new high-tech music hall.

Koncertsalen is the largest of the four music halls in Musikkens Hus. It has been acoustically optimized by the American consultancy firm Artec and drawn by the award-winning Austrian architects from Coop Himmelb(l)au. Together the visual and acoustic spaces make the hall an ideal frame for the total experience that Platform4 and the symphony orchestra aim to give their audience. ‘We’re excited to explore the new settings and the possibilities they offer. Koncertsalen inspired us to make it all bigger and wilder so that’s what we did,’ says Platform4 daily manager, Bo Nicolaisen.

The music played by the orchestra on the evening is the first and the last movement of Brahms’ »Piano Quartet No. 1«. Originally written for a four-man ensemble the piece has been instrumented for a full orchestra. For context, chief conductor Rumon Gamba will start off the event with a usually very entertaining guided tour around the piece before letting his musicians do the talking. Apart from the event debuting in its new settings, Platform4 will also give debut on the big stage to its new group of visual artists represented by Jean François Robin, Alf Andersen and Dragoş Boţcău this evening.

Doors: 20:30
Concert: 21:00-22:00
Meet-and-greet with the artists: 22:00-23:00
Entrance: Free (tickets must be collected at Musikkens Hus or Platform4 in Karolinelund)

Bird tour at Østerådalen

The Danish Ornithological Society in North Jutland invites children and their grandparents to a spring ‘experience with birds’ at Aalborg Kommune’s Infohus at Østerådalen off Overkæret this Saturday, May 3 from 13:00 to 16:00. The association will serve cake and lemonade to children and offer coffee/tea to the adults. Visitors can see a small exhibition of stuffed birds and buy bird boxes. The association members will also introduce participants to various books about birds. During a tour of the area the ornithologists will talk about the birds they see, and explain what it is they do when they go out into the wild to see or count birds. They will also tell stories about the birds – both true stories and tall tales. In addition, visitors will visit a shelter, where it will be possible to get quite close to many birds. Binoculars will be available on loan but if you have some at home, it’s a good idea to bring them with you. Registration is required by emailing nord@post.tele.dk.

Zoo sets record Easter weekend

Aalborg Zoo Director Henrik Johansen reports that 33,500 visitors chose Aalborg Zoo as one of their destinations during the Easter holidays, a 48% increase over the same period in 2013. 90,000 people have visited the zoo this year, compared to 79,000 in the first 4 months of last year. While the animals are still the main draw, another huge attraction is the enormous new playground in the middle of the zoo’s grounds.

2,700 parking places planned at new hospital

A couple of weeks ago I posted about the new light rail/BRT system that is currently under development in Aalborg. The system will run from the new university hospital in Aalborg Øst to Mølholm in the west beginning in 2021 and is projected to save 600,000 car trips a year. However, the Region Norjylland hospital project director, Niels Uhrenfeldt, has announced that there will also be a large enough parking lot built to the east of the hospital to fit 2,700 cars and ample space left to develop the lot should there be need for it. COWI has undertaken a study of current traffic patterns to the area where the hospital is being built and the consulting group estimates that the number of automobiles arriving daily at the new hospital, once it is fully operational in 2020, will be around 13,000.