.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 / 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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“Pic of the Week”, October 16, 2020: Statue of Jan Matejko, Krakow

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Jan Matejko is a famous 19th century artist who was born in Krakow.  He is best know for his oil canvases documenting famous 19th century Polish battles and persons of interest, like kings and politicians.
I thought this a rather clever piece.  Situated in Krakow’s Planty Park — a circular 4 km long park that used to be the city’s moat — it shows the artist sitting in front of a large picture frame.  There is no canvas and what you see framed is pleasing scene of the old wall and vegetation of the park itself.  It was fall when we visited, so the colors stood out beautifully.
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)

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.All Trips / Europe / Food / Poland

Little Market Square, Krakow

Little Market Square Krakow (1)

Historically Krakow’s large and impressive Main Market Square — the largest medieval square in Europe — was where local residents conducted their shopping, but today that space belongs to the tourists.
Locals have moved their activities elsewhere, including to Little Market Square (in Polish, Maly Rynek).  This square lies a block behind St. Mary’s Basilica, so it is easy to access when you’re in the heart of old Krakow.  The square itself is lined by colorful buildings dating from the late 17th century and in the past was where the meat market was located. 

Amber jewelery, Little Market Square, Krakow

Amber jewelry, Little Market Square, Krakow


A lively market is held in Little Market Square on weekends, which fills the square with a variety of vendors, as well as a stage for …

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.All Trips / Europe / Italy

Da Vinci’s Magnificent Last Supper, Milan

00 Last Supper

One of the main reasons we picked Milan as a travel destination was our desire to see Leonardo da Vinci’s greatest work, the “Last Supper”.
It’s not easy getting the opportunity to see this masterpiece in person.  There are a limited number of timed tickets issued for viewing of the Last Supper, so it is vital that you try to reserve your tickets just after they are issued because they sell out  quickly — often within a day or so of being released.  I got up in the middle of the night to buy ours — successfully, thank goodness.  If you can’t arrange the purchase of your tickets in advance, it is likely you can take a city tour in Milan …

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.All Trips / Europe / Poland

St. Mary’s Basilica, Krakow

00 St. Mary’s Basilica, Krakow

There are a lot of old and interesting sites in Krakow, which was spared bomb damage in the World Wars, but St. Mary’s Basilica is a special place.  Second only to the Wawel Cathedral — which is considered Poland’s National Cathedral — St Mary’s is one of the city’s most important churches.  It’s situated on the city’s large central Market Square which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  The exterior of the building is impressive, both by day and at night.
A church has been on this site of St. Mary’s for over 800 years, but the current building was constructed in Gothic style on the burned ruins of the prior Romanesque church, that church having been destroyed in 1241.  This …

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.All Trips / Europe / Food / Food Tour / Poland

A Wonderful Food Tour in Krakow!

05-07 Krakow food tour

I encourage participating in food tours as an excellent way to learn about the traditions and cultures of a destination, meeting new people, and having a delicious experience.  I don’t just preach this, I often sign up for food tours as well.
One of the best food tours I’ve been on was in Krakow, Poland.  The tour was thoughtful in its choice of restaurants and food vendors, the assortment of food we ate, and in making us walk through so much of this amazing historic city as part of the experience. 
The food tour was run by Eat Polska Food and Vodka tours, which also operates similar tours in Warsaw and Gdansk. They have tours that focus on vodka tasting (the …

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.All Trips / Europe / Luxembourg

Luxembourg City’s Notre-Dame Cathedral

00 Notre-Dame Cathedral, Luxembourg

It was a cold rainy spring day when we visited Luxembourg City, admiring it’s tremendous ramparts and fortified walls and enjoying its historic charm. During our wandering, we came across a rather large church and as we were wet and cold, thought it might be a good opportunity to go inside, look around some, and dry out a bit.
There is a lovely statue of Virgin and Child positioned between the doors which you’ll see as you enter the cathedral, a statue which had a “newish” feel to it, although I’m not certain when it was crafted.

Lion Fountain outside the Notre-Dame Cathedral, Luxembourg

Lion Fountain outside the Notre-Dame Cathedral, Luxembourg


This was the Notre-Dame Cathedral (also called the Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin), which was built between 1613 – 1621 by the Jesuits as the …

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