We Zijn Hier

We travelled from Copenhagen to Goes NL last Friday, and met up with Colin and Dan.

Then on Saturday, [nearly] all the VW cousins showed up.  We walked through Kepelle to Het Fruitteeltmuseum and even held our own Dutch auction.  Then a photo op with glasses from Newark, and dinner back in Goes.

@Goes, NL

When we regained consciousness, on Sunday, we said goodbye and headed off to Amsterdam for our flight home.

We zijn er niet meer. We zijn thuis.


Lions, owls and a thirsty bear

I know I said no more palaces, but we went to Rosenborg slot, and it was good.

Then off to Statens Museum fur Kunst, where I added to my collection of miniaturized art gallery lobbies.  And found a nice painting of owls on ice skates.

Finally, we visited the Rådhus, which has an amazing clock that wasn’t working, and a great courtyard with a thirsty bear fountain, and a main hall that is suitable for miniaturization..

I’m in love with my chair

Rented bikes this morning.  Heidi went for a spin around the block to test the bike.  She got lost.

Then we visited the Kastellet and the Designmuseum Danmark.  Some great chairs here.  The Danes love their chairs. Surprisingly little Bang & Olufsen.

Then a beautiful Marmorkirken.

It was almost painful to bike through the iconic Nyhavn canal as it was dripping with tourists.



We passed through quickly and returned to the Københavns Biblioteker.  It turns out that much of the building we saw yesterday is no longer a library.  There is a new modern library building behind it, but they have preserved the original reading room, and some of the original card catalogues (remember those?).


We also chose not to visit the little mermaid statue, which seems now to be as famous for its various vandalisms as anything else.  But never fear, there is another Lille Havfrue outside the Biblioteker, which I thought was quite nice enough.

I have lots more pictures of HVW, but maybe I’m being a pest.

Enough is enough @Marv & Ben

Enough is enough @Marv&Ben

Vi er her

Today’s diary entry: “A long boring train ride, but we arrived in Copenhagen.  It’s pride week; that’s not boring.”

H1, if you are reading:  Here’s H2 after unexpectedly discovering Københavns Biblioteker.  We will be going back, I’m sure.

HVW (H2) @Københavns Biblioteker

HVW (H2) @Københavns Biblioteker

We wandered past the grounds of Christiansborg Slot but didn’t go in.  We may go back, we’ll see.  Scandi-palaces are all starting to look the same, at least on the inside.

More library building pics…


Walking to dinner last night we saw these folks hanging from wires in a rehearsal for the Stockholms Kulturfestival in one of the harbours.  Apparently the theme for the festival this year is Kanada.  Then, dinner in the cellars of Gamla stan, and a walk home in the rain.

Its a new dawn, its a new day, and the sun is shining at Drottningholms stott on the island Lovön; the Queen’s palace, (or Sweden’s Versailles for those who are into comparisons).

The palace was build by Hedwig Eleonora Regina Sverge, or HERS, and so you could say the palace is HERS.

Later, one last meal with Andrew + Isabella, at Mälarpaviljongen in Kungsholmen, before they head back to London.

Tomorrow: Statens Järnvägar to Copenhagen.

Some of our enemies are conspiring

But there was “NO COLLUSION”.  Wait, that’s a different story.

First here is Heidi having a laugh at the sculpture gallery featuring the plunder of Gustav III.

HVW @Gustav III's Antiquities

HVW @Gustav III’s Antiquities

We visited the Royal Chapel / Slottskyrkan, and had a peek at the storm coming in to the gardens, and went into the foundations of Kungliga Slotten to see how it had changed over the centuries.

We also toured the Lutheran Storkyrkan, which features a few extraordinarily beautiful objects, both old and new.  The statue of St. George and his dragon is 600 years old, but the metal candle holder is quite modern.

Then we met up with Andrew and Isabella again to visit the Historiska Museet, because we hadn’t yet encountered any Vikings.  For good measure, they promised a medieval massacre.  Despite the king’s warning that enemies were conspiring, 1800 Gotland farmers died at the hands of the Danes in 1361.

Also, the singing fat lady’s hat was on display.

While we were sleeping

Andrew and Isabella arrived in Stockholm.  Here we are together.

AWB + IN + HVW + SMB @Djurgården

AWB + IN + HVW + SMB @Djurgården

We spent the morning touring the Kungliga Slottet  (royal palace) in Gamla Stan.  While we were there, they changed the guards from the guys in navy blue jackets and black helmets to guys with royal blue jackets and cool silver helmets.

The good news is that these guys are doing their job, protecting the crown jewels that are displayed here.  Those ones are all accounted for.  Some others have recently gone missing.

Then we wandered the (very touristy) old town.

In the afternoon we took a quick ferry to Djurgården to visit the Vasamuseet.  It’s a very interesting exhibition of the Vasa ship that sank only 20 minutes and 1.3 km into its maiden voyage in 1628.  It was recovered in 1961 and 98% of the original ship has been preserved.

Tomorrow its going to rain.

Vi Är Här



SMB @ Stadshuset

We spent the day trying to stay awake and exploring Norrmalm

And we ended up at the Stadshuset and stumbled on the Riddarholmen Church on the way back to the hotel.

Colonel Bogey’s March

Sweltering in the city

Walking to and from the train today was sweltering; like living a re-enactment of “The Bridge Over the River Kwai”.

Here are some assorted shots from July.  Include a lovely visit to Greg and Maggie on Yoho Island.  Canada Day in Hoboken, and killing time before a matinée at a park in Manhattan.

Just Back: DC

We drove to DC last weekend to visit our friends Carlos and Dianne. It was a short visit, but we got to the Mall and the National Gallery, where there is a big chicken.

Here is the bird with some props for scale.

Le coq (for scale)

Le coq (for scale)

Just back: Cape May

So we went to Cape May, at the southernmost tip of the Jersey Shore, for the weekend.  We took the Garden State Parkway to Exit 0; surprisingly for a summer weekend, it wasn’t jammed with broken heroes on a last chance power drive.  As far as we could tell, we were the only ones.

We stayed at a nice B&B, that might have been run by Basil Fawlty.

“Could we have a bottle of the Trapiche Malbec from your wine list?”,

“I’m so sorry, but it’s a Cabernet”.

“That’s fine.  Can we have some sparkling water as well?”

“Oh dear, we just ran out”.

At breakfast ,the menu says to inquire about fresh baked goods, but..

“Sorry, but we didn’t get any today”.

“OK I’ll have a bagel with cream cheese”,

“I’m afraid we don’t have any cream cheese this morning”.

“How about a small glass of grapefruit juice?”,

“Unfortunately we just have orange juice today”.

I mean, other than that, it was fine.

Daily Commute XXIII

Coleman National Business College

For Alvaro

Alvaro goes to the gym, but  I don’t.  It comes to me.

Daily Commute XXII

I took a different walk to work today, and had to cross 75 lanes of traffic.  This is the spot that fills Heidi with fear, on those few times that we drive.  It feels like you will be sucked into these lanes and forced under the Hudson, against your will, into “the city”.

Holland Tunn

Holland Tunn


Daily Commute XXI

Morning blossoms

Church Square Park - Hoboken

P. Ballantine and Sons Brewing Company Saves the Day

Everyone knows that, for cherry blossoms, you need to go to Kyoto or Washington DC, but Newark’s Branch Brook Park claims to be able to hold its own in the blossom department.  For us, the timing was off.  A cold north wind came in overnight (1), so it just didn’t work.

Instead we headed to the Newark Museum, which I walk past every day but have never visited.  It was good.  John Ballantine’s house (of Newark’s P. Ballantine and Sons Brewing Company) has been sumptuously restored and integrated into the museum.  The 3rd floor houses an extensive Tibetan collection.  And… there is a temporary exhibit of alpine landscape paintings, featuring Bierstadt and Calame.   And… there’s a planetarium that we didn’t get to.  And… unlike pretty much every museum in NYC on Sunday’s, it wasn’t over-crowded.

Naturally, the museum highlights Newark’s history, which to me feels like seeing glimpses of a vast fallen civilization.  Before its decline in the 60’s, Newark was a hub of both industry and craft.  Newark’s silversmiths were very good and much copied.  Like today’s consumer goods, not everything with the mark of a Newark silversmith actually came from Newark.

Also, a couple of weeks ago (1 April) we had a little bit of a party with some of our Hoboken friends:

April Fools?

April Fools?

  1. Ths winds round here were “born and raised in the arctic, and [] learned their manners on the way down, in Montreal—or so it was said”. (Mark Helprin, Winter’s Tale, 1983)



Daily Commute XX

Little bit of April snow today…


Daily Commute XIX


Another Nor’easter is heading for Prudential Tower in Newark.

Daily Commute XVIII (Weekend edition)

I needed some wire to hang some pictures, so I walked 4 blocks to General Lumber. I was the only one there, which happens a lot on Saturday mornings (they’re only open till 2), and which is weird. Most building supply stores are jammed all weekend.

I also like the fact that they are called General Lumber, but they don’t stock lumber. They used to, but had a massive fire, and the city wouldn’t renew their permit to reopen the lumber yard after they rebuilt. They kept the name anyway.

Daily Commute XVII Redux


Later that same day, the sun came out.