Author Archives: Karl

“Pic of the Week”, October 1, 2021: Fall Colors, Birds Hill Park

Birds Hill PP 00

There’s a nice deciduous forest in a small park just north of Winnipeg known as Birds Hill Provincial Park, which only covers about 8300 acres (3400 hectacres — tiny by Canadian standards).  It’s rich in aspen and birch, and even has some oak trees, so when the leaves change color the scenery can be very nice.  While it’s not nearly as dramatic as the colors one sees in eastern North America, where maple trees add beautiful shades of crimson and reds, the scenery is pretty nonetheless.
Birds Hill is a small park but because it’s so close to Winnipeg it’s quite popular, receiving about a million visitors a year.  Besides a small lake, it has opportunities for camping, hiking, picnicing, horseback …

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“Pic of the Week”, August 6, 2021: Marienkirche, Berlin

01 Marionskirkche

Situated in Alexanderplatz, beside the tall Soviet-era TV tower (Fernsehturm), sits a medieval church known as Marienkirche (St. Mary’s church).  It’s one of the oldest churches in Berlin and is worth at least a quick visit if you’re in the area.
Construction of Marienkirche began around 1250 A.D. in the then recently established town of Berlin. In the late 14th century it was damaged by fire and rebuilt. Originally a Roman Catholic church, it has been Lutheran since the Protestant Reformation.
The church underwent an extensive overhaul in the 18th century yielding the appearance you visit today. During World War II, Marienkirche was heavily damaged by bombs and was nicely restored in the 1950s by East German authorities.
A …

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.All Trips / Denmark / Europe

The King’s Garden, Copenhagen

00 Rosenborg Castle Gardens

The King’s Garden — sometimes known as Rosenborg Castle Gardens — was designed in the early 1600s, during the reign of popular Danish King Christian IV. It was created as a private garden for King Christian and adjoins Rosenborg Castle. It’s the oldest Royal Garden in Denmark and is a popular green space in Copenhagen, with about 2.5 million visitors a year most obviously visiting in the summer.
As you might expect, the garden has undergone a number of changes over the years, but its overall design is mostly preserved.  Within the park you’ll find a large number of sculptures, including the most famous one of beloved Danish novelist, Hans Christian Andersen.  

Rosenborg Castle Gardens - Hans Christian Andersen statue

Rosenborg Castle Gardens – Hans Christian Andersen statue

The oldest sculpture in the garden is ‘The Horse …

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“Pic of the Week”, July 30, 3032: Strömparterren—Stockholm’s oldest Public Park

05 Stromparterren

Located on a small island called Helgeandsholmen is Stockholm’s oldest park, Strömparterren (1832), which has been recently renovated.  You descend to the park from stairs on the Norrbro bridge.  It’s not a large park but is pretty and offers beautiful views of the city, so it’s worth the effort to reach.  Strömparterren is surrounded on three sides by the Royal Palace, the Parliament Building and the Royal Opera House.
It’s a great place to sit and relax, people-watch, and enjoy the scenery. The park is a popular place from which to fish and it’s possible to catch salmon, trout and pike.
The park is best known for its statue The Sun Singer (Solsångaren) crafted by Swedish sculptor Carl Milles. This statue sits on …

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.All Trips / Alberta / Central Canada / North America

Bar U Ranch National Historic Site, Alberta


The Bar U Ranch is located just south of Longview, Alberta, on the scenic Cowboy Trail.  The area consists of a long stretch of mostly undeveloped prairie where it abutts the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.
The Bar U Ranch sits on the eastern slope of the Rockies. It’s a nicely preserved and interesting ranch that provides a look at life on Canada’s great prairies more than a century ago, before the land became fenced off. At a time when the bison had nearly been exterminated from the plains to be replaced by large cattle herds that roamed freely.

A wagon shuttles you from the visitor center to the ranch

A wagon shuttles you from the visitor center to the ranch

The Bar U back then was one of the largest and most successful ranches in Canada, covering 160,000 acres (65,000 ha).  It had 30,000 …

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“Pic of the Week”, July 23, 2021: Benny Benson Memorial, Seward

Seward Benny Benson Memorial (1)

The story of Alaska’s state flag is an interesting one, well worth sharing. Additionally, the Alaskan flag is elegant in its simplicity.
A contest was held in 1927 to select a design to be used for the Alaska Territory’s flag (up to that point, only the US flag was flying since the territory was purchased from Russia). The winning entry was from Benny Benson, a native Alutiq orphan. Benny designed the flag when he was just 13 years old and in the 7th grade, and he won a $100 prize. Benny was living in an orphanage in Seward, his mother having died of pneumonia when he was 3 years old. Alaska was not to become the 49th state for another 32 …

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.All Trips / Alberta / Car Culture / Central Canada / North America

Great Cars Along the Highway: 1964 Austin Healey 3000

00 1964 Austin Healey 3000

The Austin-Healey 3000 was a popular British sports car built from 1959 to 1967. The 3000s were often used as racing cars. Most were exported, the majority to North America.
This beautiful car was spotted in Calgary.
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)


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.All Trips / Denmark / Europe

Exploring Christiania, Copenhagen

01 Christiania (9)

I was told by a friend that I absolutely “had” to visit Christiania — also known as Freetown Christiania — while in Copenhagen. It’s an unusual and somewhat interesting place, but I’d definitely not put it on a ‘must see’ list for the city.
The existence of this community has been quite controversial.  Christiania was began in 1971 when a group of people moved into an abandoned military barracks (covering 7.7 hectacres — 19 acres).  The place grew into a squatter’s village and somewhat of a community.  It especially became known as a place you could buy pot and hash on “Pusher Street” (which was illegal in the rest of Denmark).  Hard drugs are said not to be tolerated, though I …

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