A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about tourist sites

Malmo - Old and New Architecture and Parks

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Malmo hosts delightful combination of interesting architecture, parks, and a charming town.

A knotted gun statue we saw in a few locations throughout Europe
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I think this was town hall
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The Turning Torso, a famous expensive-looking condo, and by far the tallest building in Malmo.
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The Turning Torso is in the midst of a whole district with modernist, unique architecture
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There weren't as many windmills in Scandinavia (or Holland) as I expected. Still, here's one.
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Sculpture out of a story I don't know (I initially thought Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, but I don't think that's it)
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In town a lot of the buildings are 500 years old
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Posted by chrisvasil 08:14 Archived in Sweden Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Stockholm

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My first sight in Stockholm was the new male model for H&M europe, a homeless-looking dude. I thought: this is awesome! that guy is how they sell clothes in Scandinavia! Within the next few weeks I found out he's the model throught Europe, and presumably the world. Less exciting.
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One of the better clocktowers of all time
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I like how they distinguish the genders. Indeed, the dresses used to denote Ladies in rest of world is rather dated.
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We went to the currency museum, and saw wonderful things:
a Zimbabwean trillion dollar bill note. That's 15 zeros.
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Also a pre-WWII trillion Deutschemark note
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Biggest coin ever - back before the gold standard, when currency was all silver and gold coins, Sweden had a precious metal shortage. So they made coins out of less-precious metals, like copper. This coin was worth the same as 5 silver coins, less than one gold coin, and weighed about 10 kilos. They used to carry them on toboggans (there are some upsides to the climate in the north)
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The nobel prize
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Stockholm as seem from the top of city hall, where a wonderful panorama can be seen
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Sue, not getting the point of a Pol Pot exhibition 20090918_374.jpg

Posted by chrisvasil 08:10 Archived in Sweden Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Copenhagen - Scandinavia is cold, closed Sundays

semi-overcast 13 °C
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We arrived in Copenhagen on a cold Sunday. We had found Munich cold, so going up that much in latitude didn't help matters much. Also, the city closes on Sundays, or at least a lot of the shops and attractions.
Sue's wearing a sweater and jacket under her jacket.
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But we made the best of it. There were sculptures
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and a free museum which was actually really good, worthy of being the national museum of any european country. It made us glad we hadn't paid for similar museums earlier (at least not often).
There was a large part of the museum devoted to Asia, of which I have about 50 pics.
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The cityscape is quite pretty, with the differently colored buildings along the canals
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Oh and the statue of the Little Mermaid, which is quite little indeed - about 3 feet tall.
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A district of row houses about 500 years old, former army barracks
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Posted by chrisvasil 08:13 Archived in Denmark Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Munich - History and beer halls

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Munich - History and beer halls

Our visit to Munich started after getting off the train from the castles. We were first at the main square and city hall (rathaus in German; Sue often got annoyed that the attractions of german/swiss/austrian cities were the rathaus and the church).
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We immediately went to the famed beer hall that is the Hofbrauhaus. The food was fantastic, the beer was excellent, and it was pretty cool to be sitting at a picnic table in a bar with hundreds of year of history (including WWII) and thousands of other people without feeling crowded. We went twice, for dinner and for lunch the following day.
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Munich remains a fantastic town because it is one of the few to be completely restored after WWII (some restoration work is still in progress). The city was wealthy so there were private funds for restoration, and it expected to be bombed so people took pictures of everything before the war so that it could be rebuilt exactly the same. Something like 3 of the buildings we saw on the walking tour were original, the rest restorations.

Here are the rathaus by day and the ever-popular Glockenspeil. The latter is a clocktower where the with gnomes that dance and spin every hour, which according to the tour guide is the second most overrated sight in Europe after Prague's Astrological clock (same deal), and which Sue liked a lot.
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Posted by chrisvasil 08:09 Archived in Germany Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Fussen - Majestic Neuschwanstein Schloss

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About 40 minutes train from Munich, the castles of Fussen are spectacular for their size and design, looking exactly as castles should. This area is where the crazy king Ludwig built his castles, the yellow one as his summer home and the white one (Newschwanstein Scholss, the inspiration for the Disney castle) as his main palace.

Here's the summer home
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the famed Swan Lake, with swans as promised but with significantly less dancing than expected

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from which is an hour or so hike to the castle. Though nothing will compare with the Swiss Aps, the scenery here was beautiful. The path was also close to deserted, as we took a secondary path, which leads to the bridge behind the castle.

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Here is the view of the castle from the bridge. A much better view is had here than closer to the castle, where it is simply too big. On the day we visited it was foggy, which adds to the fairy-tale quality of the castle (and helps to hide the scaffolding - they were renovating when we visited).
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To get a better view still of the castle, we kept climbing from the other side of the bridge. It was a tough climb, and the view was a bit too foggy...
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Luckily on the way down we found a better vantage point
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Back on the bridge, some of the ffog had subsided
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On the way back, fog was evaporating from the hills
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Scholss Neuschwanstein, from closer
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All told it was an excellent day. We were glad that we didn't use a tour guide, as we had the opportunity to wander, climb, and get the views from a distance that wouldn't have been possible with a group, even though we'll have to google the story of King Ludwig rather than having heard it on the spot.

A note for anyone going - there is a Bavaria train pass which costs 30 Euros for up to 5 people, which covers Munich, Fussen / Newschwanstein castle, and the rest of Bavaria. So for anyone not travelling alone, I would recommend doing that rather than taking a guided tour (30 Euros incl transport).

Posted by chrisvasil 08:07 Archived in Germany Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

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