.All Trips / Europe / Sweden

A Visit to the Stockholm Cathedral

Storkyrkn 01

Stockholm has a fascinating medieval Cathedral known as Storykyrkn (the great church), which is dedicated to St. Nicholas.  It was built in 1279 on the highest hill in the old city, on an island called Stadsholmen.  Originally Catholic, the Cathedral has since 1527 been a Lutheran church.  It’s located next to the Royal Castle in Stockholm’s old town (Gamla Stan) and has born witness to many of the highlights of Swedish history.  It’s still an active church, with religious services and concerts, and places for meditation and prayer.  The wedding of  Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel took place here in 2010, as did her parent’s wedding in 1976….

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.All Trips / Nevada / North America / Southwestern USA

Anderson Junk Yard, Dayton

04 Anderson Yard

Dayton is a short drive from Carson City, Nevada.  We have some friends who live there and, as I’m prone to do, my wife and I wandered around the historic core of this small town.
A few blocks off the main road we came across this treasure chest of junk.  Acres and acres of great stuff sitting in the elements rusting and fading away.  A lot of it was quite old, like farm equipment, but what impressed me most was what a diverse collection of stuff this was — cars, trucks, toys, and so much more!
The sign said we were at  “Anderson Yard”.  The place was locked up when we visited, but we were able to walk around its fence and …

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.All Trips / California / North America / Southwestern USA

Yosemite National Park’s historic Cemetery

00 Yosemite Cemetery

I’ve traveled to Yosemite National Park at least a dozen times in my life, always enjoying each visit, but it was not until my latest visit that I discovered it had a small historic cemetery in it.  
Yosemite Cemetery (also known as Pioneer Cemetery) is located in Yosemite Village, near the Yosemite Museum.  It’s quite secluded and peaceful, shaded by cedars and surrounded by a low split-rail fence.  The graves were originally scattered throughout the park but after President Lincoln signed the bill creating Yosemite National Park into law, the remains were collected into this small cemetery.

Pioneer Cemetery, Yosemite National Park

Pioneer Cemetery, Yosemite National Park


It’s interesting to stroll through and read the grave markers for people who died here, many of whom played important roles in the development …

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.All Trips / Denmark / Europe

Denmark’s unusual Maritime Museum, Helsingor

00 Maritime Museum

It’s a little hard to see Denmark’s Maritime Museum until you almost fall into it because it’s located entirely below ground level, having been built into an old dry dock.  Because nearby Kronberg Castle is a UNESCO World Heritage site, approval for construction of the museum mandated that it in no way obstruct views of the castle, — hence this novel approach to its unusual architecture (which has won numerous awards over the past few years).  The Museum opened in 2013, its collection having previously been housed within Kronberg Castle.
You descend into the museum, pay a lofty admission (typical it seems of everything in Scandanavia, although admission is included with the cost-effective Copenhagen card), then you …

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.All Trips / Alaska / North America

Bald Eagle and Salmon, Alaska

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It’s the dream of every photographer to capture the classic image of a bald eagle plucking a struggling fish out of the water.  While we didn’t get to see that moment this time, we did see the immediate sequelae of this action while in Katmai National Park.
We came across this drenched eagle, its talons deeply embedded into the flesh of a chum salmon.  The eagle had clearly been in a struggle getting this hefty fish to shore, and the fish was still flopping about a little as the bird began to feast on his fresh sushi. 
This sequence of images shows the fish protectively eating his meal.  While our boat was probably 10 meters from him, that was too close and …

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.All Trips / Central Canada / North America / Saskatchewan

Rambling around Wolseley, Saskatchewan

one clue mystery (2) – Copy

A roadtrip across the Canadian prairies can be both interesting and boring.  There’s always something to see near the TransCanada highway if one looks — colorful fields, animals, etc — but much of the drive is across hundreds of miles of flat farmland where one mile often resembles the next, so it’s important to take breaks to keep from day-dreaming while driving.
My mind was starting to wander when I spotted a sign for a town in eastern Saskatchewan that offered two unusual sites :  1) a swinging bridge, and 2) an Opera house.  You don’t see many opera houses in small Canadian towns, so I decided to pull off, get a coffee, and see what was of interest in Wolseley.
Wolseley …

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.All Trips / Alaska / North America

Eklutna Historical Park — an Unusual stop in Alaska

00 Eklutna Historical Park

One of the most interesting places we visited in Alaska was in the small village of Eklutna.  The village is little more than a tiny dot on the map, but it has an interesting spot that nicely highlights the influence of the Russian Orthodox Church on the native population of the region.
The Russian Orthodox church is arguably one of the few good things the Russians did for the native people of Alaska — the Russian legacy is generally that of exploitation of the Alaskan Natives for the furs they provided (especially popular were sea otter pelts, the animals driven to the brink extinction by Russian demand).  The Church’s influence dates to the 18th century when the first missionaries came to …

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.All Trips / Argentina / South America

A Visit to the Maritime and Prison Museum, Ushuaia

03 Ushuaia Marfitime Museum

The Maritime and Prison Museum was originally constructed in the late 19th century as a prison (by prisoners).  It consists of 5 two-story wings built onto a central hub.  The prison became the most southerly situated jail in the world and was where Buenos Aires sent prisoners it didn’t want to house locally — sort of like the English sending prisoners to Australia.
The prison had 380 cells which housed up to 800 inmates ranging from political prisoners to murderers.  In some ways the prison was reformative, prisoners receiving a basic education and pay for work performed (which they could take with them when — or if — they ever left).  The prison ran various shops that served the needs of …

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