Thursday, April 4, 2013

Sonderborg Castle: The Wars, the Castle Evolves

A Handle on Danish History. So many memorials, so little background.
Updated to 2013

Denmark has endured / participated in numerous wars, as have all other European and other countries. Its castles and the decor preserve periods in time.  Sometimes the preservation is not optimal.  Take, for example, portraits in great halls that leave much to be desired.

Pick a pose like a peck of pickled peppers.  Is this Claes Ralamb, as shown below in the thumbnail -- Claes Brodersson Ralamb, the Swedish diplomat at a time when Denmark was under Sweden's thumb? At first look, we though so.  Visit Sonderborg castle,and see this commemorative portrait. It looks much like the pose of one Claes Brodersson Ralamb, Swedish diplomat.

Wrong.  Went back to my log, however, and had written that it was one Christian August of Lubeck 1673-1726, Herting Frederick IV's younger brother, and First Bishop of Lubeck by Anton Gunthen Hertig of Oldenburg or something, writing bad. Go to Images and find him there.  Note his pose, but the Sonderborg impossibly distorts the the right arm, the left hand so huge,  Somebody redid, or the original artist was inept.

Portraits:  Wealth does not always buy quality. Who knows the peculiar story behind this oil portrait, a seeming photo-shopped-looking travesty?

Keep careful notes.  This looked so like Claes. His real portrait (we believe from credits in Saudi Aramco World's article by Jonathan Stubbs, The Ralamb Mission, March-April 2013), hangs in the Nordiska Museet in Stockholm.

Fair use thumbnail of Claes Brodersson Ralamb:

Even the facial features look similar.  Perhapas someone could fund a proper copy of the Christian August portrait, after seeing Images and also at Wikipedia.  The absurdity at Sonderborg should be replaced. 
  • This Ralamb was a baron, a diplomat, one serving his Swedish sovereign(s) in the mid-17th Century, when Denmark was under the thumb of the Swedish Empire in the Baltic. He engaged in a fruitful mission to Constantinople when the Ottoman Empire was looming, got what Sweden needed;  and deserves better, even in Denmark when Denmark was under the thumb of Sweden.  Do read the article, and do a Google Images search.
  • So Ralamb was not a victim of malpractice by portrait, but Christian August was. Whoever copied this, or executed a very bad life-sitting, should be historically throttled. Whoever hung it in Sonderborg should be closely questioned. Revenge by portrait?
Or is it Johann Mathias Schulenberg, just found serendipity at, public domain at

The hand position must have been a favorite.

2.  Tracking history in castles.

Several stand out after the Medieval Era, however, as pivotal to their history in relatively modern times. For Danish Medieval History, customs, laws, see  Note especially in the culture area, the transition from blood feud revenge, to fees in law.  Not murder for murder any more, but one must pay the price.  When did capital punishment take over again?

1158:  Valdemar the Great began the castle structure with a Fortified Tower.  Later, the Blue Tower was added, King Christian II was imprisoned at the Castle, legend says in the Blue Tower, see  The Blue Tower was demolished, in 1755. Renovations? Why was it called the Blue Tower?

1538 -- Imprisonment.

A tower at Sonderborg was used as a prison.  Probably King Christian II, seen in the painting, was not kept in a place like this during his 17-year imprisonment here starting in 1538, and enjoyed mobility and fitting quarters, while being closely guarded. We were told not to believe the tale about his circling a table repeatedly, and wearing a groove around its top with his finger. 

3.   Sonderborg Castle by location was pivotal to the outcomes of important wars.

Two eras in the 19th Century stand out as relevant to Sonderborg, on the Southern Jutland peninsula, with German borders now nearby.

The old Schleswig-Holstein region disputes, there at the base of the Danish peninsula and with no natural boundary against Germany, were in 1920 resolved by referendum.  The referendum fell to Germany's favor.  There were years of invasions and counterattacks, with time passing, and a mixed population pulled both ways, finally just wanting resolution.

It was only with that referendum after WWI that lines were firmly redrawn, the invading forces from years ago getting what they wanted, with so much time passing.  People get tired. This buffer zone of mixed nationals, however, could have meant a less severe treatment of the Danish population and its Jews in WWII.

3.1. The first is the First Schleswig War, 1848-1850.

Look at a map: the peninsula that made up southern mainland Denmark is known as Schleswig-Holstein, with a border with Germany that ebbed and flowed with powers. Southern Jutland.

1848. Napoleon's wars seem to have sparked nationalisms elsewhere, and these areas got caught in the Pushmi-Pullyu of Germanic identification or Norse. The Germans to the south wanted a united area, united with Germany. The Prussians joined with the other more rural German identifiers, and this led to the war against Denmark holding those areas, see details at :// Denmark temporarily prevailed, but with conditions that left vague obligations with open doors to later changes.

How many were housed inside these domes with raised roofs. 

The ramparts are extensive, and the different areas are connected by below-ground open trenches, and also tunnels, for dashing about. Some have some sound effects on as you move about.

It is important to take pictures of things you don't understand.

3.2. Battle of Dybboel, or  Dybbel

1864. Without the 1848 war resolving anything seriously, issues arose again about boundaries and nationalism in 1864. After back and forth, the Second Schleswig War ultimately came to a head at the Battle of Dybboel, near Sunderborg. See :// The Danes lost, but celebrate the courage of their soldiers still.  Fine summary of the role of this suburb of Sonderborg, and the Castle itself -- see ://  Denmark lost all of Schleswig-Holstein but recovered the northern section after WWI, as part of a referendum.

4.  The Museum:  The Castle now is a huge museum.

Renovations often leave old useful structures in place. Water supply well, or oubliette for leaving unwanted prisoners to die, as in a dungeon far below? See  From the French, oublier, to forget.

Nineteenth Century Military uniforms and equipment to fit the thin and the portly.  The fashion for caps spread to the American Civil War, apparently.

GPS.  Be sure to get the actual address of any attraction before arriving near the place. Guide books, even the glossy ones, are in the Dark Ages on this issue.  Internet carries site addresses, but not enough of the planning materials do.  You need the address to use your GPS and save yourself some time.  Sweden and Denmark do not like signs to help tourists. Not even the "Centrum" or its variation road sign, to guide you to the old town.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Alken Enge, near Roskilde. Bog soldiers.

Archeology in Denmark, update:  Year 1AD, give or take.  Alken Enge, west of Roskilde.

An archeological expedition begun just after we were in Denmark found human bones in a bog there.  Bones in a bog are not unusual: see Silkeborg DK here, and other sites. 

This one, however, unearthed unbogged 250 persons, not individually dispatched, but apparently dead in a military catastrophe.  Which one? 

Roman army incursion.  Rome's army had reached a nearby point some 185 miles south of Alken Enge, with the indigenous people responding and fighting back against the expansion.  There are signs of wounds that resemble battle wounds.  The burial could have been en masse, ritual unknown.

There are about 100 acres that seem to hold further burial sites.  See magazine Archeology, Nov-Dec 2012 at p.14, article by Jarrett A. Lobell, "The Bog Army."  See website at, but online access to the public is not available.  Or am I just missing it? 

Year 1.  This archeological site, if it is related to the Roman Empire activity to the south, puts the army farther north from earlier boundaries.  See the Roman Empire in Year 1 at this site: Even by Year 100 AD, the Roman Army does not appear to have secured territory this far north. Still checking. See

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Cross, Maltese, HRE, Danish Flag; Bjernede, Order of St. John,

The Knights Templar and Teutonic Knights were not the only Orders on Crusade and preceding the Crusades in the Holy Land.  The lesser known Knights Hospitaller, or Knights of the Order of St. John, deserve equal attention. It was founded in 1133, see history at, that formal date marking its independence from other Orders, such as the Augustinian or Benedictine.  The Hospital at Jerusalem, however, had long been run by a Brotherhood, Brothers of the Order, now Order of St. John.  Blessed Gerard's work established it, and his grave shows the angular Maltese Cross, shown in the background of the site.  Scroll down. Find the cross on the flag of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta at, white Maltese cross, red ground, the standard of the Grand Master.

The quartered flag of the Order, with a traditional white cross on a red ground, looks identical to the Flag of Denmark except that the Danish flag has its interstices (white cross, red ground) to the left of center, see  The cross resembles that of the Holy Roman Emperor, but the connection (see is supposedly unresolved.  It resolves if we connect the dots to the Knights Hospitaller.  See History of the Knights of St. John on Malta.

Militant orders in the ages of the crusades were clearly part of Scandinavia as elsewhere.

How the Order lived; and how the institutional rulers live now.

Read the "Rule" by which the Brothers lived: at  
Is this so:  that life by the Rule, Benedictine, Cistercian, St. John Hospitaller, developed by a form of brainwash stress and intolerance of autonomous behavior, rather than following the choice method of JC.  Think about it.  JC never forced people, enforced punishments. Tried overturning moneychangers' tables once, but that obviously didn't work, and the occupation was even absorbed by the "Rules."  History.  Love it.
  • Poverty, chastity, obedience, prejudice for the patriarchy, humility, associating in travels with those the Master designates, holy conduct, but watch out for women. Guard your modesty! (oh, Temptresses all, to be reduced to lesser status in order to aggrandize the Male in this dogged patriarchy)  Don't let them wash your feet (oh, Jesus, how has thou offended!) or your heads or make your beds (good one!).  
  • Pyramid scheme:  the Master gets 1/3 of all the alms collected, all goes through the Master.  Religion and autonomy do not go hand in hand. 
  • Clothing?  No fur (good!) and no bright colors (lest the Temptresses be inflamed?). 
  • Bread, water, no meat on Wednesdays or Saturdays.  
  • Morals. If a Brother fornicates, he shall be severely beaten and flogged, hard rods or leather flongs, in sight of the others in the community. 
  • No quarreling, no striking each other, penalties prescribed; eat in silence and no talking when in bed. 
  • The receiving of the sick man raises an issue:  were any sick women received. Doubtful?  No.  Babies were born at the Hospital, and sick men and women were received, see  

Treatments, supplies, clothing, all given as prescribed.  The equivalent of basic healthcare for all.

Maltese Cross:

The island of Malta was rented out by the Holy Roman Emperor to the Brotherhood, the Knights of St. John who had settled there in 1530.  The rent was two falcons a year, see Financial Times article April 8, 2012 at

At the orderstjohn site, scroll down to the photo of the round church and the columns there.  Is that the "round church" pattern that is seen in Denmark and elsewhere, suggesting the militant Orders?

An Order of St. John in Denmark was instituted in modern times, see Den Danske Malteseorden,, but without reference to medieval orders.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Mysterious Bog People. Fear of Ambiguity

An imaginative draw for tourists is preserved human bodies in northern European moors, their condition leathered from tannic acid in bogs where they were found. The era spans some 12,000 years: Stone Age to the Middle Ages. Some display signs of foul play, untimely death, and then the speculation begins:  death as punishment, as offering to deities, what?  The degree of speculation concerned those at Archeology Magazine in reviewing a traveling show from 2006.  In the clear absence of proofs, with no definitive facts, no firsthand written record, the tale-telling begins. Find mottoes, little lessons, morality notes, made up and tacked on the exhibit. Bog fantasy, or "kitsch from the ditch,"says

National Geographic finds that some of the damage evident was inflicted by pressure or other means long after death, see Sometimes people even stepped with heavy clog on a body during the excavation process.

There are hundreds of such bodies: in Denmark, including Grauballe Man in Jutland; but also in Poland, Northern Germany and the Netherlands. Many cultures tossed items and bodies in bogs. Finding those reasonably intact is not evidence of human sacrifice, but of the conditions of tanning.

The display of the Tollund Man we saw at Silkeborg was responsibly non-committal in leaving numerous options open, but the visuals and suggestivity outweigh the technical non-conclusions, see; and But it is this very stress on needing reasons that is also of interest.
Spectacular finds! Write a book!  Why not lay out what we know and do not know, and leave it at that. Because there is marketing to be had. Abhor the vacuum and fill it up. Inconclusive circumstances bog deaths?  Make it certain. Then again, the sight of a noose-ish thing, or rope for tying people together around the neck, or other use invites speculation, and is hard to ignore. It is easier to explain away broken bones, gashes.

Tacitus, Roman historian, apparently referred to the manner of death as punishment for cowards, the unwarlike, and those who "disgraced their bodies".  And that is the only contemporaneous report we have. See the Archeology reviews site, and

Monday, November 7, 2011

Kalundborg. Womansaga. Birthplace, Sigrid Undset, Nobel Prize Novelist

Kristin Lavransdatter
Novel by Sigrid Undset
Nobel Prize for Literature 1928

Move aside, Moby Dick and the men's viewpoint of institutions, morality, tragedy, human flaw, and religious dogma words like redemption from the male perspective, sacrifice, all too monopolized in the watery setting of the whale. 

Here is its rival, by Sigrid Undset 1882-1949,  a womansaga that I think surpasses the mansaga of Moby Dick, even for modern professional women; and that is not limited to women's interests because the men are so deeply drawn,  The issues of Kristin Lavransdatter, transcend culture, just as Moby Dick, and even Gone with the Wind.  She was born here in Kalendborg, but moved as a little child to Oslo, Norway.

Sigrid Undset received the Nobel Prize for Literature for this novel in 1928.  Set it medieval Norway, 13th Century, the work was originally in three volumes, now in one thick but compact (small margins) version translated into English in the 1950's. See

As a small child, age two when she moved to Oslow, she would not remember the overkill of five steeples on the main church at Kalundborg, See the Church of Our Lady (count the steeples, and include the one barely showing at the left).

Still, what did this Catholic-convert experience, that brings her to offer in the novel a critical view:  the harsh and self-serving looks at the institution that  the militaristic and administration-oriented Rome brought, after its folk took over from the original earlier missionaries and monks of the contemplative sort.  Miracles and saints there are also, of course, but the foil is the acquisitiveness of the enterprise.

Christianity in the northlands:  after the Northern Crusades.  Undset as a Catholic.  Why?  That is one of the conundrums.  Is it a literal kind of Stockholm Syndrome, medieval style, where the forces at work on young girls set them to try in vain to please their captors.  Are you interested in finding out?  Not that everyone in a Reformation changes viewpoint, but which stay and which venture more on their own is a reasonable inquiry.

Oprah, if you are looking for a project, get Kristin Lavransdatter and sponsor a  film series for adults, and readings for book clubs, this is a thousand-pager.  Your channel will be set for life.

There is a film of only the first of the three books of the novel, Liv Ullman directing, see the very limited storyline at  The book is far more than a trite-sounding storyline.  It is epic, say we, and unusual for its delving into the female experience. This remains a book to be read, not a film to be voyeured.  Pans of the film are probably justified. Norwegians, how did you receive it? See

For us, the scope and depth of the topics do not fit a mere 1/3 of the work done in film, and how can any film enter into the mind the way a narrative can. It better fits, perhaps, 12 Sunday evenings, TV, of 1 1/2 hrs each until done.

Oprah, lend us your hands on this one. 

How did I read it?  The time was provided thanks to Connecticut's October snowstorm, wherein corporate power and cable and internet and phone sources left consumers out while they pursued other corporate takeovers with the money available, or just paid off shareholders while we are left in the dark.  For our family, intrusion was minimal.  Other parts of town, some 40% are still without power after 11 days.  We were without power of any kind for 3-4days, then just lacked for internet, cable and phone for another week or so, and are just now getting it back. 

Time for the Large Book of 13th Century Norway. No mere kindle or its ilk can contain this one.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Origin of the Danes - Danmark, Dan, Etymologies, Clues and Specs

Lost Tribe of Dan

A Melange of Legends, Name Roots, Symbols.
What happens with the Dan as Eagle is bitten by Dan the Serpent?

A favorite image with reference to the Tribe of Dan is this unhappy eagle being bitten by the snake held in its claws, from the Bremen, Germany Town Hall.  Bremen is not far from Denmark's borders, at Jutland. There are probably other symbols and legends at work here as well. Interesting things are ambiguous.

1.  Who and Where is Dan? The Search

Researching origins of population groups relies to a degree on tracing names, of people and places.  Whether or not anyone agrees with the tracking and speculation involved, it is a way to learn history. Start with Denmark, its King Dan, and see where the hunt leads.  What is the name, where was it from, can we draw any conclusions or not. See; and claims and denials, all requiring vetting. Names change in spelling: the Fridulfson in Swedish history-legend is probably the same as the Frode Frid Fridleif (or is it?) at the angelfire site. See Swedish origins, possibly

Start with a probably universal story to orient the beginnings of the Tribe of Dan: that there was once a great Flood, a near-global tsunami, or other earth-axis tilt event.

Some humans and some animals survived.
For the Western World, with the Flood localizing survivors in the Middle East according to the Biblical tradition, we ask where the missing Tribes of Israel went, those generations after the Flood.

Our interest is in that Tribe of Dan - Danmark - Dane - Danube, etc. Could it be so, that they migrated from Israel? Humans have migrated most everywhere, so the fact of migrating north would be consistent with the pattern of the spread.

Unfortunately, most sites about Dan present as evangelical-agenda (literalist Biblical) extreme garish attention-getters about damnation and idolatry rather than an academic look, with historic or archeological focus.

We start with the cultural focus in Palestine, Biblical tales, about the Hebrews descended from Noah, and a reasonable date for the Jewish Biblical flood at 2348 BC, his sons as Japheth, Shem and Ham.  Our initial bare-bones chronology reference:  Timechart History of the World, FN 1.

Looking at that chart, that makes all this so easy to follow (not so with words -- get the Timeline) start with Shem.
  • Our interest is in Noah's middle son Shem. Go down 8-10 generations, and find Abraham, sons Ishmael and Isaac, and Isaac's sons, Esau and Jacob.  
  • Jacob wins the inheritance, deviously (no wonder we are the same),and has 12 sons: in that number is Dan, the fifth son of the twelve. The sons became the Twelve Tribes of Israel. Let the wandering begin.
    • Most familiar of the Tribal heads who are the 12 sons of Jacob (Israel) is probably son Joseph, of Egypt fame, and the multicolored coat. 
    • Skip to Tribal head Judah, and his son Zarah - there are tales of him in the legends of the origins of the Scotti, via Hebrew-Eber-Iberia-Ibernia, speculate about Zahar's tribe's wanderings at  
    • Another son of Judah is Pharez, and go down the generations then to Jesse, David and Solomon and ultimately -- here's an oddity -- they list "Joseph", Victorian snerts as they are, when it is Mary who is the one descended, not old hubby Joseph at all.  Old charts tell us about the charters.
2.  Focus on Dan

Then move away from the Jacob-Judah line of Jesus, to another Tribal head, Jacob's son Dan, who appears to be lost, along with others of the lost tribes, but whose name is found along a discernible route through the Caucasus, Eastern Europe, and ultimately to Scandinavia -- names along the way include the Danube, and King Dan, see at a place and time recalling Beowulf, Lejre, near Roskilde, Denmark.

Or Leire.  For our purposes, it is enough to point out where some people's speculations go, see Tribe of Dan, Present Day Identifications at Tribe of Dan.

3.  Cultures claiming Dan

a. Ireland.

The Tribe of Dan's standard is the eagle, see it in the Book of Kells, see  That connects Dan's mystery tribe with the Irish mythical Tuatha de Danaan, of Ireland, and the site moves on with a connection to the ancient Phoenicians.

The eagle even today.

Dig deeper into the eagle symbolism, and find the eagle - still today for groups - grasping in its talons arrows, or olive branches.

b. United States

Look at the official emblem of the US - such an eagle.  Go, Tribe of Dan.

So, Irish are Israelites; according to that line; and that indeed follows Zarah and his group through Spain and up to Ireland; but how about the eastern group, heading through the Caucasus, the Scythians, etc. And the US also picks up the eagle and the arrows or olives.

c. Northern Germany -

Visit Bremen to see the legend of Dan the eagle, being bitten by a snake, see

Now, as for neutral non-agenda ideological sites, skip this one because the conclusion that a priest of Dan took with him some of his own possessions.  Those possessions includied some gods of the people he had worked among, that he was therefore an "idolator" and cursed, etc, etc.

Nonsense. I was in Africa and brought back carvings of gods, too.  Does that make me an idolator?  Possibly, since I think Gaia deserves some press.
  • Read that site not for fabricated ideology , only for the bones of the story, not the person's agenda in scaring everybody to death with made up connections.  When any of us move, do w take along familiar things also, and that does not mean belief in same.  Big deal.  
 See, if you must,  Tracts like that do prove how dangerous made-up dogma is -- some people will latch on.  Poor priest.  Just wanted something from home.

d. Sweden.

The Swedes also reflect Dan in word and place. Odan, Odin, see

Elsewhere, if you enjoy the paranormal (check it out) see the Danns and serpents and serpents' tails and red hair, and

4.  Refer to the possibly concrete.  Place names.

I prefer the concrete, so offer this compendium of names. This is an old site, Mapping Israel's Migrations, at

Danube or Donau
De Danaans (Hibernia, Eber, Hebrew)
Iberian Peninsula (look up Zahar and Zaragoza, Spain)
River Danapris
Dananris now Dnieper
River Don
River Donets

5.  Sing a Song of the Tribe of Dan

Oh, Dan, Jake's Boy,
The fifth son's Tribe left wandering.
Have you left traces, names, symbols: The Judge.
The years have gone, and shadows leave us wondering
Did you go north, northwest, or none of the above.

The Irish Tenors sing your song.


FN 1

Timechart History of the World, Third Millenium Press, Chippenham, England, Stream of Time portion in the British Museum panels 2-14.  See Google, Timechart History of the World

What is that?  A backbone reference. It is listed as juvenile nonfiction, but do not believe it.  Any adult needs a boost on history and chronology. This is from an 1890 effort, here as hardboard folding timeline, heavy posterboard with hardcovers, published as a wall chart and portions originally in the British Museum.  That has been updated and extended so it folds out to Year 2003.  As a Victorian work, the main focus is on Biblical chronology across the top and with the world's main cultures like ribbons laterally below, to show what others were doing at a given time.

Cenozoic Era, 2.5 million years ago, start. Some 6000 years of focus.  End, with the updates, at 2003. This is a phenomenal piece of work, 12 1/2"W  X  18"H  X  1/2" deep. Unfolded, 15 foldings = 15.62 feet long or 5.21 yds. Both sides are printed, so double it for 30 feet of history, and 400 illustrations. Spread that out on the dining room table and add card tables to get 2.6 yards before you have to flip. Or, just fold and unfold, like a great book.*

* Dear Bill Gates,

With your interest in transmission of information, please see that one of these is placed in every home in the world in the language of each family. Literacy classes to precede and follow. With this as a reference, all data can be vetted as desired, with the joy in finding errors, and put into a basic chronology.  Each adult and child, My culture was doing this in 2000 BC. What was yours up to? Imagine the conversations worldwide. It also creates jobs, promotes education and intercultural understanding.

Thank you.

Car-Dan Tour Company

Friday, July 22, 2011

Kastrup - Accommodating Airport for the Flexible. Copenhagen

Copenhagen: Kastrup Airport
Kastrup to a frequent traveler may look at first like just another airport. It has its twitches however.
1. Accommodations are not nearby.  If the several reasonable rooms at the Hilton are occupied, you will have to get on mass transit to another route a stop or two away, then walk to try to find a room.  There is no central bank of phones or shuttles to take you. The railway is just below ground, as are taxis.  The drill is: hop on a train and go 10 minutes back into Copenhagen somewhere, and start walking? Not handy. And how to get a taxi back at 4AM in time for a 6AM flight out?

Go back to the car rental, but the car is already processed through. Can't even get that back.

2.  Boarding pass. If your boarding pass is printed on hotel paper with the logo on the reverse, it may not go through.  At the airport, Dan's boarding pass went through, but mine, and we had printed out on the same printer at the hotel, but mine balked. Sorry, lady, just step aside here for another pat down, and another.

3. We ended up sleeping in Kastrup.

Our last good night's sleep:
  • Here's the hotel: wouldn't anyone trust it.

Trees in the hallways.

 But the printer ran out of paper. Run out to the lobby, run back with a stack, stuff it, and print and run.

Sleeping in the airport isn't so bad.  Food available.

Plan B.  No big deal. We always told each other on the Car-Dan Tour Company that if we couldn't find a place to sleep, we would go to the local police station, introduce ourselves, and curl up in their parking lot.

Next best thing is the airport lobby.  Doze until midnight when the doors open to get into the specific airway lounges (you can only go in on the day you are scheduled to leave).  Plan: Get through the inspections at midnight and find a nicer lounge area until 5AM boarding, perhaps even a place without arm rests.

 Clearance is challenging.

There.  It only takes three seats, and a bend at the top.  ZZZZzzzz.

You will not be alone. Many people sleep in the airport. Hotels are costly so why even bother with that?  We seldom get a good sleep the night before anyway - too much rifling around in the backpacks and throwing out stuff so you can get on without checking anything through. 

The thrill wore off.

If the boarding pass had gone through at midnight when we first went upstairs (noone is allowed into the boarding areas until the day of the flight), we at least could have slept on more comfortable lounge chairs up there.