A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about art

Stockholm 2019 - Sweden

Swedish capital

sunny 60 °F
View Scandinavia 2019 on MurkTravels's travel map.

the median

I'm going to make a disclaimer right away, that I do really like Stockholm. It may not seem like it from the post, but I would take the opportunity to go back. Seems like a fantastic city to live in and experience for a longer time. I was only there a day and a half.

My initial thought as I was walking around the metro is that Stockholm is Europe's most average city.
• Its clean but not sparkling. Dirty but not trashy. Somewhere on the scale between Copenhagen and Naples.
• There are green spaces but not excessive in quality or quantity. Above Antwerp, but it's no Dublin.
• You'll see some sculptures and fountains, but nothing that people flock to like Trevi in Rome.
• The Royal places are spread around town, mostly plain looking and among other buildings; no Buckingham Palace experience.
• The cityscape is generally the same level with homogeneous looking blocks and structures. It doesn't match the endless supply of spires like Prague, but there are a couple.

The people thrive in mediocrity too.
• Not taller like the Dutch, but not shorter than average either.
• They're nice but not in an outgoing manner like. Straight forward but not bluntly British.
• They stroll and live casually but don't shut down for Spanish-esque siestas.
• A fair number of the populace enjoy their fashion, smoking and cafes, but pale in comparison work the Parisians.
• Its a mix of socialism and consumerism. Ikea style shops for electronics, home improvement, clothes, sports.

I only had a day, so I made the most of it and walked all around the city center. Stockholm is a bit of a shopping haven and there's lots of pedestrian streets with shops, mega malls, and little out of the way center. The main ones are: Drottninggatan, Biblioteksgatan, Birger Jarlsgatan, the Gallarian, and NK Stockholm, which are generally in the Norrmalm neighborhood and east of the main train station.

Although most of the Gamla Stan island, also has a lot of shopping, but it's more known for the royal buildings, nobel museum and views of the surrounding harbor and islands. In nearby neighborhoods are the city hall, kings garden, observatory, history museum, modern art museum, Vasa museum, and Skansen. I would easily recommend them all.

While I was there, the city marathon was taking place so I got to witness a bunch of runners throughout the town and several markets and exhibits set up for that. There was also a large food truck and music festival going on. There was some delicious food from all over the world represented and I had several meals there.

Recommend:

  • Drottninggatan pedestrian mall
  • Gamla Stan island
  • park by City Hall

Some of my favorite photos:
The city panoramic view from a hike I found.
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The park and waterfront by the town hall.
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The historic Gamla Stan island buildings.
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Trip Map

related:
Copenhagen Denmark
Malmo Sweden
Lofoten Norway
Oslo Norway

Pictures

see more on Facebook Murk Travels albums

Links

MurkTravels Vimeo - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Youtube - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Facebook page - pictures, posts, and regular updates
MurkTravels Facebook photo albums
MurkTravels Instagram - my attempt at artistic travel images
MurkTravels Travel Map - all the places that I've been and the things that I've seen

Posted by MurkTravels 13:34 Archived in Sweden Tagged me bridges churches art boats museums stockholm sweden castle capital europe cold murktravels 2019 Comments (0)

Oslo 2019 - Norway

Norwegian capital

semi-overcast 80 °F
View Scandinavia 2019 on MurkTravels's travel map.

link to the related Norway post from my time in Lofoten

overview

What a fun little city.

Well, it' not exactly a small city, because the greater urban area does have over a million people in it. However it does have a welcoming neighborhood feel. The main downtown area is very walkable. You could get from the Opera house on one side of it to the Royal Palace on the other side in 25 minutes. A little quicker with their multiple public transit options (subway, street cars, buses ... and technically boats, but that wouldn't help in this situation).

There's a pedestrian shopping and entertainment street. There's a few parks, random art, the hidden gem pubs and the typical chain restaurants. You have great views of the harbor (especially from the mentioned Opera house) and can still get into the natural environment quickly away from shore. There's a few cool neighborhood areas just outside downtown (also walkable), which include Bygdøy, Frogner, and Tøyen to name a few.

I spent part of my first arrival day checking out areas around my hotel. That included the harbor, Opera house, Royal Palace, and the new luxury neighborhood of Aker Brygge. It has sculpture gardens, bars, restaurants, art stores, a walking tour path, a beach and swimming area, among other public spaces.

The second day was a big museum and park day. I got the Oslo 24 hour pass and it was completely worth it. It covered all the city transportation, and I took them all. It also included entry into most of the tourist sites around town. I started with a ferry ride to the Bygdøy peninsula. It includes museums galore: Fram, Kon-tiki, Maritime, Norwegian Cultural History, Viking ship, Holocaust and Pharmacy museums. I saw the first 5 of that list and they were all entertaining. The Viking ship was the smallest and had the least to do, however it was so packed. I think most big tour buses and paid packages include that. If you go, it's fine to skip that one because you learn and see so much more at the rest of them.

Probably the most impressive of those that I saw in the morning was the Cultural history. It has indoor displays about the local nature, clothing, art, and history. But the amazing part is the outdoor sections covering over a 1000 years of the past. There are a ton of old buildings from towns and villages around the country. Some of them are the originals that have been moved, and others are replicas that have been rebuilt using only the tools that would have been available at that time. A countryside area includes a working farm with livestock, gardens, mills, textile machinery, and other tools from 17th and 18th century living conditions.

In the afternoon of my big tour Olso pass day, I continued with some more local displays. First up was the Oslo city museum with all the information you could want about how the city came to be. There was also the Vigeland museum, about a local sculpture who carved average everyday people in the buff, and a display of all his works in the nearby Frogner park. Also visited the Munch museum for the local artist, most famous for the Scream painting. Next up was the Natural History and Zoological museums. Right next door was the botanical gardens, so I walked through them back towards the city center. I closed out the day with a visit to the Nobel Peace museum.

There's definitely more to do that what I covered as well. You could check out the Astrup museum and center, Akershus fortress and castle grounds, Ekeburg neighborhood and it's sculpture park, the ski jump and winter Olympics training grounds, the National theater, day trips to islands in the harbor, or eat and drink all day from the best chefs in the country at the Mathallen.

Recommend:

  • Fram museum
  • Norwegian Cultural History living museum
  • Frogner park and Vigeland sculptures (free)
  • Nobel Peace museum
  • Botanical gardens (free)
  • Aker Brygge food and drink
  • Opera building with harbor and city views from the top
  • Mathallen

Trip Map

related:
Copenhagen Denmark
Malmo Sweden
Stockholm Sweden
Lofoten Norway

Pictures

see more on Facebook Murk Travels albums
or for this Oslo trip: Oslo Norway album
some of my favorites:

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Links

MurkTravels Vimeo - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Youtube - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Facebook page - pictures, posts, and regular updates
MurkTravels Facebook photo albums
MurkTravels Instagram - my attempt at artistic travel images
MurkTravels Travel Map - all the places that I've been and the things that I've seen

Posted by MurkTravels 01:52 Archived in Norway Tagged landscapes art museums oslo capital europe boating norway 2019 Comments (0)

Ramen and Sushi tour : Tokyo 2019 - Japan

Shibuya and Shinjuku

overcast 60 °F
View Japan 2019 on MurkTravels's travel map.

Our trip to Japan involved packing in as much as we could. So in 10 days, we checked out multiple areas of Tokyo, Kyoto, Odawara, Hakone, Nagoya and Osaka. We experienced authentic and historic Japanese culture as well as their more modern advantages.

just a bit of Tokyo

We started and ended our trip in Tokyo, since that's where we flew into and out of. So there were a couple days right after we landed where we checked out the most popular neighborhoods ... out of the 30+ that we got recommendations on or heard about. There's plenty to see and do in this mega-city for several trips.

The first night was the arrival around 8pm. I had to find a bus from the Narita airport (a little farther away from the city center than the Haneda Tokyo airport) into the main Tokyo station. We stayed in the Hanzomon area. There's not a lot going on there, but it's close to a lot of where we wanted to go. It's very convenient to get a local suica metro card to ride all the trains between neighborhoods. Also, get a local sim card (with unlimited data) from stores in the airport, or most metro stations. It helped a ton with directions, websites, translations, and train schedules.

The first full day we spent checking out Shibuya and Shinjuku neighborhoods just a little west of central Tokyo. They are both large areas with huge metro stations. We walked through the Shinjuku Gyoen national park and botanical gardens to see the start of the cherry blossom season. Close to that is Yoyoji park with the Meiji shrine. While there we saw a traditional Japanese wedding, followed the local customs with fountains to cleanse the evil spirits, and made wishes into the great unknown. We finished off the day with some crazy entertainment at the Robot Restaurant.

Robot Restaurant is a type of story told with humans, robots, lasers, and a number of other secrets. Yep, it's specifically over the top touristy, but it's worth it for a unique take on the culture.

The second day involved getting our breakfast extra fresh at the Tsukiji fish market and visiting the shopping mecca in Ginza, before catching a ride on a bullet train to our next destination (check out the Osaka, Kyoto, and rural Japan posts).

A week later we came back to Tokyo and had a few more partial days. That included a trip out to the Odaiba man made island of entertainment where we saw a statue of liberty replica, the amazing Team Labs Borderless exhibit, and plenty of shopping. I had an extra day after Sharon left and checked out Asakusa for the temple, markets, and river walk.

Borderless labs is a huge warehouse of multiple rooms of a diverse range of interactive art. Some you physically crawl and jump on, others you draw and visually interact, and others are nature based moving images. I don't want to spoil it for anyone that goes, but it is a MUST DO.

Of course the city is famous for it's ramen, sushi, and a ton of Michelin rated restaurants. We tried a lot of local food places and they were all delicious. Other sites and activities we saw included: the Shibuya scramble/crossing which is said to be the busiest pedestrian intersection, the observation floor at the Tokyo Government center, an izakaya (bar) alley for locals, walking through Yanaka (old school Tokyo), Ueno park, Akihabara electronics nirvana, shopping in Omote-sando and Harajuku, and catching more cherry blossoms by the Meguro river walk.

Recommend:

  • Team Labs borderless
  • Robot Restaurant
  • any of the green spaces in the city : Yoyogi park, Gyeon gardens, imperial gardens
  • eating at the fish markets, or any of the local noodles and sushi places
  • Asakusa sites

Japan Trip
Tokyo
Kyoto and Hakone
Nagoya
Osaka

Videos

Robot Restaurant neon dance
Robot Restaurant dance
Borderless Labs crystals
Boderless Labs lamps

Trip Map

Pictures

Gyeon national gardens
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endless city skyline
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liberty replica
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Robot Restaurant
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Borderless labs
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Murk Travels - Japan album
see more on Facebook Murk Travels albums

Links

MurkTravels Vimeo - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Youtube - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Facebook page - pictures, posts, and regular updates
MurkTravels Facebook photo albums
MurkTravels Instagram - my attempt at artistic travel images
MurkTravels Travel Map - all the places that I've been and the things that I've seen

Posted by MurkTravels 18:54 Archived in Japan Tagged art trains tokyo japan travel asia murktravels 2019 Comments (0)

2018

A Year In Review


View 14ers 2017+ & New Mexico Parks 2018-9 & Belize + Panama 2018 & Colombia 2018 on MurkTravels's travel map.

...better late than never

Looking Back

2018: What an exciting and fun packed year. It started out so refreshing as I removed some dead weight and things that were holding me back. I tried out so many new things as I start to look into what hobbies to get addicted to next: archery, mountain biking, long distance backpack camping ... I also kept up with the things that I already do a lot of: ultra races, day hikes, global trips, music, and going to lots of random events and festivals.

Plus there was adding new family members, having a fun work environment, catching up with friends, volleyball, puppy antics and so much random things. Check out the summary below and follow the links on some of them to more specifics.

Activities

Things that happened in 2018:

Big Travels

Quick Trips

  • race near Charlotte, North Carolina
  • wedding in Des Moines, Iowa
  • work training in San Francisco, California
  • road trip through Sante Fe and Roswell, New Mexico

Hiking 14ers

Ultraruns

Festivals

Concerts

  • Concert overview: A Perfect Circle, Brother Ali, Dan Auerbach, Dashboard Confessional, the Dreamers, Matt & Kim, Micky James, Reason the Citizen, the Regrettes, the Roots, Shannon and the Clams, Weathers, Welles

Life stuff

  • Renting a new-old home in Denver
  • Sold my home in Minnesota
  • Growing puppy
  • New tattoos

Looking Forward

I have a bunch of set plans already, but will also be providing you with some surprises throughout the year.

2019 Goals

Things I'm researching or planning for in 2019:

  • Trip to Japan
  • Trip to Canada
  • More 14er hikes
  • New vehicle
  • New home
  • New hobbies

Links

MurkTravels Vimeo - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Youtube - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Facebook page - pictures, posts, and regular updates
MurkTravels Facebook photo albums
MurkTravels Instagram - my attempted at artistic travel images
MurkTravels Travel Map - all the places that I've been and the things that I've seen

Posted by MurkTravels 16:29 Archived in USA Tagged mountains art colorado music concert panama run usa festival hike belize bike denver colombia 2018 in_review Comments (0)

National Parks (& aliens) 2018 - New Mexico USA

- the trip that partially was -

snow 20 °F
View New Mexico Parks 2018-9 on MurkTravels's travel map.

overview / intro

To end 2018 and start 2019, I planned a road trip throughout the state of New Mexico. I had plans to stop by Sante Fe (for the Meow Wolf exhibit) and Roswell (for the alien museum), but the main focus was to be on camping in the back of my truck and seeing state and national parks: Carlsbad Caverns, White Sands, Gila, Bandelier, Carson, Taos.

However, since the federal government were acting like children and decided to shut down, all the parks were closed. I realized after I had started. So I got a few days and nights on the road, but cut the trip short, right after celebrating New Years.

Recommend:

  • Meow Wolf, Sante Fe - more coming to Las Vegas and Denver soon !
  • International UFO museum, Roswell

Pictures

see more on Facebook Murk Travels events and races album

https://www.facebook.com/pg/MurkTravels/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2415219085378669|Murk Travels - New Mexico album]]

UFO Museum - included a lot of historical and scientific information in additional to alien stuff
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Meow Wolf - probably only make sense if you've been there and witnessed the craziness

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Links

MurkTravels Vimeo - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Youtube - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Facebook page - pictures, posts, and regular updates
MurkTravels Facebook photo albums
MurkTravels Instagram - my attempt at artistic travel images
MurkTravels Travel Map - all the places that I've been and the things that I've seen

Posted by MurkTravels 10:08 Archived in USA Tagged art nature hiking usa aliens camping cold roadtrip newmexico nationalparks 2019 Comments (0)

2018 concerts - Colorado USA

live performances

50 °F
View 14ers 2017+ & Belize + Panama 2018 & Colombia 2018 on MurkTravels's travel map.

listen up

Denver is such a great city to be able to experience live music. Here's where I went and who I saw this year.
Check out these and other concerts I've been at with the concerts playlist on the MurkTravels Youtube.

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Bands in 2018:

  • Dashboard Confessional
  • Dan Auerbach (Black Keys)
  • the Roots
  • Matt & Kim
  • A Perfect Circle
  • the Dreamers
  • Weathers
  • Micky James
  • Welles
  • the Regrettes
  • Brother Ali

Venues in 2018:

  • Summit
  • Paramount
  • Fillmore
  • Red Rocks
  • Marquis
  • Cervantes

Pictures

Not a whole of pics or videos, since I seem to enjoy the concerts at the time and don't take out the phone very often.

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Links

MurkTravels Vimeo - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Youtube - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Facebook page - pictures, posts, and regular updates
MurkTravels Facebook photo albums
MurkTravels Instagram - my attempt at artistic travel images
MurkTravels Travel Map - all the places that I've been and the things that I've seen

Posted by MurkTravels 15:46 Archived in USA Tagged art colorado music concert usa denver 2018 Comments (0)

Velorama 2018 - Colorado USA

bikes, beers, and bands

sunny 80 °F

It's Unique

The festival is a mix of music, biking, craft brews, food trucks, and local artists. --> https://www.veloramafestival.com/festival-experience/

A last minute decision had me checking out the action on the last of the three day event. Saw some live music and some incredibly talented bikers doing races and aerial tricks galore. Check out some of the photo evidence:

Pictures

See more of these and pictures from all the events that I attend on the Facebook Murk Travels photos page - Events album.

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Links

MurkTravels Vimeo - videos of my trips
MurkTravels Facebook page - pictures, posts, and regular updates
MurkTravels Facebook photo albums
MurkTravels Instagram - my attempted at artistic travel images
MurkTravels Travel Map - all the places that I've been and the things that I've seen

Posted by MurkTravels 19:36 Archived in USA Tagged art colorado usa festival bike 2018 Comments (0)

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