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The next destination of this trip was Copenhagen.

Someone told me that the pastries were really good, and they were totally correct!!

This is the Danish Parliament building. They also allow a small number of people to go up to the top of that tower for free!! We did have to wait for about 20 minutes though, but I think that was a not so well known destination.

Everybody says that Nyhavn is a must-see destination. It’s definitely gorgeous, but everything around here is super pricey!!

Amalienborg is the home of the Danish royal family. Sometimes people see the Crown Prince of Denmark going in an out of the palace dressed like a normal person. The building with the dome at the back is the Marble Church.

These palace guards walked right by me!! Can’t imagine wearing the full uniform on a blazing hot day…

Next up, was a chill bike ride around the city going at a slow 10 km/h. The weather really cooperated with us! It was a weird change going from wearing a full bicycle kit while riding my roadbike to wearing street clothes and riding this commuter with a basket on top…

Randomly stumbled upon this really cool looking fountain, known as Gefionspringvandet.

We rode through this old school star-shaped fortress that has been turned into a nice greenspace!

North of there was the Little Mermaid statue that everybody talks about. Everybody says it’s a must-see attraction, but the most underwhelming. They make it look so big in the pictures but in reality it’s tiny.

We rode past a military installation and saw this interesting sign… They’re really up to date with this drone stuff.

I was in Copenhagen around the same time as Chester Bennington from Linkin Park passed away. He even left a mark on the people in Copenhagen.

There’s a reason why people say Copenhagen is the bike capital of the world.

The white buildings in the distance is Paper Island – a hipster place to hang out and eat food.

It’s so busy here…

To my surprise, I found an ostrich burger… It definitely had a light taste. I’ve heard it tastes a lot like beef, but I didn’t get that impression.

Next, we went to Freetown Christiania – an area that the people there self proclaim as autonomous. The area was formed by squatters on land used by the military. Today it is a kind of like area where the police in Copenhagen don’t really enforce their jurisdiction (although they can), and it is governed by the people who belong to that community who have created their own rules. All the houses have graffiti on them, the paint on the walls is slowly flaking off, and every house has tons of advertisement posters painted on them. The people in the community are either hobos or hippies and sometimes it’s hard to tell which – and they’re probably all high as a kite. If you’re looking for a wild party, you’ll probably find it here. It’s a shame that I wasn’t allowed to take photos inside.

Inside the city hall, there is an astronomical clock. The fastest gear completes a revolution every ten seconds and the slowest every 25,753 years. I have no idea what kind of information it shows, but I can appreciate the mechanisms as someone who studied mechanical engineering!

This was probably the best meal on the entire trip. A sampler of the most Danish food ever at Skindbuksen. When we went in, we were the only people inside who looked like tourists and everybody else looked local, which was a good sign, but we stood out. The owner of the restaurant came by with a giant plate of delicious food and loudly said to us, “this is what we eat in Denmark, you should try this!”. For a brief moment, our interaction with him gathered the attention of the entire restaurant, while it felt like all the locals were just judging us tourists… It was a tad awkward. BUT the food was absolutely delicious. There was pickled herring, deep fried fish filet, smoked salmon, roasted pork, and pork filet! The other tables were looking at our food with jealousy.

At the bar in our hostel, we met someone who was working in Silicon Valley as a software engineer who happened to be working and travelling. She told me she graduated at UC Berkeley and so I asked her if she had seen the Amazon store there (this). She told me how awesome it was to have something like that there and to her surprise, I revealed that I am actually one of the engineers who worked on it!

That’s it for Copenhagen!

Photo album: Copenhagen


Next destination: Oslo. There weren’t a ton of everywhere because a ton of Norwegians like to take their vacations during the summer!

The first place to visit was the National Gallery because it was Thursday that day, and on Thursdays this museum is free. Everything is super #%!*%& expensive in Oslo, so take advantage of all the free stuff when you can. Pretty sure the only reason I went was because of this:

The artist who painted this, Edvard Munch is a big deal around here.  He’s even got a fancy grave.

I certainly didn’t go to the art museum for this. This piece of art literally looks like some little kids just scribbled on the wall.

The food, while expensive as #%&$ was delicious.  Here I had smoked salmon, some shrimp, reindeer sausage, and WHALE!!!  Another animal crossed off the list. Surprisingly it tasted super gamey.

What a beer selection.

The inside of the city hall in Oslo is pretty whack.  This is also where the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony is held every year.

These toilets are clearly made of libery, equality and fraternity.

This is definitely one of the most memorable pieces of architecture I’ve ever seen.  It’s an opera house built like an iceberg!  It’s so white that people must be constantly cleaning it.

There’s even Mormons! They’re everywhere telling people about their most amazing book. Which one is Elder Price and Elder Cunningham?!

Oslo has these palace guards like the ones outside Buckingham Palace too, except these ones are allowed to talk. I asked one of them how he got the position and he said that he has to specifically apply for the job and meet specific qualifications! I had previously thought that having this position to stand guard all day was a punishment as opposed to a privilege!

I paid a lot for this reindeer steak… like $70 USD… and it tasted like a steak, but gamier. And the beer glass to the right, I asked the waiter if I could buy it from the restaurant, but the guy was so chill he brought me a new one and let me keep it.

What are these guys doing here? They kept asking me if I was Chinese and I have no idea why because as a Chinese person, I’d be statistically more likely to have the same negative views towards the Falun Gong.

Vigeland Park is super cool. It’s got a bunch of sculptures representing humans at different stages of their life. This particular sculpture for some reason, is in literally every single piece of tourist info literature about Oslo.

Then there’s this guy hulk-smashing like four kids.

Everyone says this chocolate called “Kvikk Lunsj” is the best, but really it’s just a Kit Kat bar with slightly better chocolate.

The coolest part about this chocolate is that the inside of the wrapper shows off a cool ski route/hiking trail or whatever. I actually don’t even know because I can’t read Norwegian, but it is kind of similar to German though! If I took some literature and had the German and Norwegian versions side by side, I’m sure I could learn a ton of Norwegian.

On the way to visit some islands in the Oslo Fjord, Akershus Festning was in clear view in all its glory.

One of the islands has an old abandoned monastery, which was pretty cool.

Another island has these cool colourful houses and their own private docks! Must’ve been all that oil money that Norway got that made them so rich!!

That’s it for Oslo!

Photo album: Oslo

Dublin, Belfast, and the northern coast

This year’s vacation destination was Europe again!  This time I started in Dublin.  It definitely felt a lot like going to the UK.  I mean it was part of the UK for a while.  I’m sure someone who knows more of the nuances of their culture would think otherwise.

I spent the first day travelling to the coast of Northern Ireland, the Giant’s Causeway and Belfast, and then the next two days in Dublin.

The Giant’s Causeway

Apparently, some scenes from Game of Thrones were filmed here, but I wouldn’t know because I am like the only person who doesn’t watch it!


The northern coast of Ireland reminds me of what the northern coast of France in Normandy looked like.  I guess maybe it’s because the Irish part used to be part of the main continent and broke off a long time ago.

Not sure what the big deal of this bridge is, but I guess it was scenic.  Apparently the bridge is famous or something?

The coolest part was definitely the Giant’s Causeway.  Not sure where the giant nor the causeway are, but still cool nonetheless.

It’s pretty amazing how these rock formations formed naturally.

On our way back, we stopped in Belfast for a brief tour.


In Belfast, the tour guide took us around to show us the history of the conflict between the nationalists (mostly catholics) and the unionists (mainly protestant).  Even today, there is still a clear separation between the two.

There’s even a wall painting of King William III, who was a Protestant who fought several wars against the Catholic king of France, Louis XIV.

Even today walls still separate catholics and protestants.

That night, we went back to Dublin.


What is a trip to Europe without seeing a cathedral of some kind? This was at Christchurch Cathedral.

The coolest thing was the preserved cat and mouse.  The story is that the cat chased the mouse into an organ pipe and got stuck, and was perfectly preserved somehow.

I visited yet another castle in Europe, but I honestly think these kinds of things are really getting old.

Not far from the castle is Temple Bar, probably a giant tourist trap, but it really does have a lot of cool bars and restaurants.

There’s also the iconic Ha’penny Bridge. Not sure why it’s iconic, but it is.

There’s also the Spire of Dublin (in the back behind all the construction garbage), which awesome nicknames like “the erection at the intersection”, or “the stiletto in the ghetto”.

Yet another touristy thing: going to the Guinness Storehouse… and having a Guinness.

… and enjoying the view.

That’s it for Dublin!

Photo albums:

Running Selenium Webdriver on Bash for Windows

Bash for Windows has been working pretty great for me until I needed to run Selenium Webdriver on it. I quickly learned that it wouldn’t work just work right out of the box, and the set up for it is quite convoluted.

You will need

Bash setup

Install Firefox:

sudo apt-get install firefox

Export DISPLAY variable in ~/.bashrc. Just add this to the ~/.bashrc:

export DISPLAY=:0

Xming setup

Just download it from the link above and run it.

Download geckodriver

Download geckodriver from the link above and put in the /usr/bin/ folder in Bash for Windows.

Running Selenium

Here is a piece of sample Python code I used to setup the web browser. It will setup the browser, open Google, sit there for 10 second and then quit.

import time

from selenium import webdriver
from selenium.webdriver import DesiredCapabilities

def execute_with_retry(method, max_attempts):
    e = None
    for i in range(0, max_attempts):
            return method()
        except Exception as e:
    if e is not None:
        raise e

capabilities = DesiredCapabilities.FIREFOX
capabilities["marionette"] = True
firefox_bin = "/usr/bin/firefox"
browser = execute_with_retry(lambda: webdriver.Firefox(
    firefox_binary=firefox_bin, capabilities=capabilities), 10)




Coca Cola Museum (Go there with a Pepsi shirt)

We had taken a super early flight out from Guadalajara that morning and had a short layover in Atlanta. Because of the early flight, I was still wearing the Chivas jersey from the day before, which was cool because randomly in the airport I’d see other people wearing the same jersey and we’d acknowledge each other in our mutual support for the Guadalajara team.

During the layover, we went to the Coca Cola Museum. At the ticket counter, one of the staff members randomly approaches me and asks me, “do you want a free T-shirt?”. When anybody offers anybody free anything, the first response is always skeptism and confusion. “What do I have to do?”, I replied. She replies, “WELL, you’ve got a Pepsi logo on your shirt”. The entire time, I never realized the Chivas jersey I was wearing even had a Pepsi logo. Kudos to her for picking that out (or maybe it was the red white and blue colours of the jersey that happen to be the Pepsi colours). At this point, I see the irony, and I take the free T-shirt and put it over my Chivas jersey. Pro tip to everyone going to the Coca Cola Museum: wear something with a Pepsi logo for a free T-shirt.

Inside the museum, they show off a ton of cool advertising/merchandise that Coke has made over the years in different countries. The museum was pretty busy and so it was pretty crowded in a lot of places.

Imagine decorating your living room like this!

This was probably the best part: drinking Coke branded drinks from different continents around the world.

For people into touristy things, then this museum would be a pretty cool place to go!

Photo album here

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