Stockholm- A Culture Capital

Stockholm- A Culture Capital
“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine

Friday, March 26, 2010


The great city of London was originally founded by the Roman Conquest and was named Londinium, they believe it was a cosmopolitan area where merchants and trade was the base of society. Since then the city has slowly evolved into what it is today, one of the largest metropolitan areas worldwide and a cultural center like none other. I have been lucky enough to have spent the last 2 weeks in this great city and been able to see all of its modern glory as well as plenty of historical fare. I have been staying in Wimbledon (yes the tennis place) with my lovely friend Barbara. Since she has a job I got some to myself to rove the city and some of its touristy sites but also was blessed to have her and some other locals to show me the local vibe.

At Borough Market

A definite highlight of London was seeing the West End Shows and all of the live performances going on. I saw Wicked, Legally Blonde the Musical, and the quite literally spectacular Lion King. I also saw Sir Ian McKellan (Gandalf) live in the absurdist play Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett. The play was done masterfully, the script, character and humor were great; and Ian McKellan was as wonderful live as he is in the movies.

Reconstruction of Shakespeare's Globe

Just roving around the different areas and districts of London is an experience in itself; you come across great restaurants, plenty of shopping whether it is markets and boutiques or the huge shops on Oxford Street, and a variety of architecture. I went to Fleet Street where Sweeney Todd was from, the palaces, Parliament, St Georges Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and pretty much any notable or iconic building in London.

The museums and galleries in London are some of the best in the world and were a great source of often-free entertainment. In the British museum you see amazing exhibits of mummified cats, frescoes from the Parthenon, and the Rosetta Stone. They also have an extensive library with a giant reading room in the middle. The galleries hold works from Rembrandt, Picasso, Titian, and many of the Renaissance and post Renaissance masters.

Outside of Legally Blonde

London definitely has some great nightlife as well, they have something for every little niche. They have cocktail bars, clubs, pubs, and venues with live music of all kinds. Along side some great cocktails for me some of the best memories ‘surprisingly’ revolved around food. I did manage to try some local delicacies such as the Cornish Pasties or meat pies, banoffee pie, beans with tomato sauce and other pub fare. I also had some great Asian food, Spanish tapas, and good ol’ Starbucks.

The city was great to me and I will be missing it, the friends I made, and, of course my London girls Hanna and Barbara. London is a city of extreme variety and has so much to offer to anyone who seeks out adventure. Alas I am off to France once again and I will fill you in from there.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

La ville de l'amour

Well I have been such a busy beaver over the last weeks that I have not made the time to update. As usual while traveling the internet connections are variable at best so I will have to keep the pictures to a minimal.

So first off the 3-day crash through Paris with my brother and Danielle was great. We stayed right next to the Eiffel Tower and of course went to the top. We made sure to see all the sights, as it was my brother's first journey to Paris and remake some good memories for the rest of us. We did the tour route and saw Arc du Triumph, Champs de Elysees, Notre Dame, a variety of palaces, The Louvre, Tuileries Gardens, Champs de Mars and the works.

We of course delved into as many pastries as we could get our hands on and did some shopping in and around the Lafayette Galleries. However the biggest event of all was when I left the lovebirds to have a date night alone in Paris and my brother PROPOSED to Danielle at The Louvre, which ended in my brother being ENGAGED!! The city of love delivered and it looks like I will have some extended family coming my way. We then took the Chunnel back to London where I had a sad goodbye with my Family.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Week in Troll Country

Well I left London with my brother and his girlfriend Danielle and then flew into Aelsund Norway, which is on the west coast in the fjords. Once there, my Brother’s friend and Danielle’s brother (confusing I know) Brian picked us up from the airport along side his girlfriend Hanne. Upon arrival we sunk our teeth into some of the unreal delicious duty free chocolate and headed to their homes. We had a traditional Norwegian supper at Hanne’s that consisted of a variety of bread and crackers with cheeses, eggs, meats, and vegetables. This was accompanied with wine and tea. After a long night by the fire (the main source of heat in most Norwegian homes) we went to bed.

The next few days we spent relaxing, living the Norwegian life and touring the city of Aelsund. Aelsund was the first Nuevo-Art city in Europe and was built in this style after a fire took out many of the buildings there. We looked at some historic sights around the city, walked along the snowy bay and the lighthouse. We did some light shopping, eating, and managed to get into some wool socks and ear-flapped hats. It snowed quite a lot but that didn’t keep us from heading out to the tiny fishing villages where we saw people riding horses in the streets. Our last night in Aelsund we used Hanne’s sauna and sweat like crazy and then dashed out into the snowy night.

We then drove all the way across the country to Hamar, where Hanne’s family lives. We stopped at the UNESCO heritage sight Geirangar which is the most famous of the breath taking Norwegian Fjords. In Hamar we were welcomed by Hanne’s lovely family with whom we stayed and were fed some traditional Norwegian foods. (Read more on my food blog)

From Hamar we drove to Oslo to visit the country’s capital. Here we saw Viking ships and Norse artifacts, the Queen of Norway being ushered into her Castle, the Opera House, and the impressive sculpture park. We managed to get some trolls and other Norwegian goods. Then we went to dinner at Curry and Ketchup where we got Indian dinner in an eclectic and fun atmosphere. We spent the rest of our time relaxing and battling the plaguing colds I infected everyone with, I hoped to get more pictures up but the hotel internet was not very gracious.

Now we are off in Paris! Talk to you soon.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Alas! The Empire.

After Multiple Visits to Europe I have finally made it to the Empire! Here are some highlights from my 3 day crash through of London:

-The crazy underground world of the Tube-

-The many areas of the city, rich and ritzy, to artsy to dingy-

-The many famous sites all around London-

-Food from a whole array of places including Harrods-

-Markets (Covent Square below) full of clothing, food, people, and live music-

-Strolling through the Queens digs, NBD-

-Shopping in amazing shops of all kinds-

-Seeing a live show in the West End. WICKED to be exact!-

There was all of that and so much more. The nice thing is that the Canadian Dollar right now is 1.7 to the Pound and so we are not going flat broke right away. This city is bold big and wonderful and I will be back for another couple weeks in March. However right now I am off to Norway and will tell you more soon!