Tuesday, August 6, 2013


Oh hey blog.......it's been awhile.

It's been a month since I've returned from Europe and I am still finding Euros in my pockets, U-Bahn ticket stubs in my purse, and Metro passes in my wallet. I've been trying to put together some sort of nice trip recap for the past few weekends and have determined that any sort of dream I might have had of becoming a travel writer is utterly hopeless. (It wasn't very high on my list of dream jobs so I'm not too crushed. If I could find someone who wants to pay me to travel around the world and draw all the things, though....).

Every time I tell someone about my trip I feel like I get a little bit worse at it, stretching out tiny details (pretty much every time I talk about lamp posts......I like lamp posts a lot) and then rushing through major things that they are probably more interested in hearing about ("Oh yeah, and then we went up the towers of Notre Dame....but back to the lamp posts....").

So, these are pretty much going to be like an extension of my sketchbook: random notes/lists/thoughts, some photos, some sketches. If you have any questions about the cities I visited or just want to nerd out about them please feel free to comment or tweet.

My sister spent the beginning of this year studying abroad in Lund, Sweden. That was the catalyst for this trip as I met up with her at the end of her semester and we travelled around for three weeks. Lund is located in southern Sweden just across the water from Copenhagen. This is where our adventure begins!

It was nearing the solstice when I arrived at the beginning of June and people were taking full advantage of the amount of daylight. Lund is a beautiful town and I'm envious that my sister got to spend so much time there. It was nice to just relax and explore for a bit before the real adventuring began. My sister had to finish getting things squared away after living there for six months so I got to wander around and explore the shops, enviously admire all of the stylish bikers, and draw many many buildings (that one on the left? Yeah, that's just a regular building. Nothing fancy. Just Lund. No big deal). Because my body was messed up from the time difference there were some nice morning strolls/sketch sessions that happened when the town was quiet and no one was awake yet.

One of the highlights of my stay in Sweden was a day trip to Nimis. If you've never heard of it, go read the wikipedia page. Right now. I'll wait.

Basically, it is a series of giant structures created out of driftwood on the beach by Lars Vilks. They are multiple stories high and you can climb up the centers to the tops (it takes a bit of creative maneuvering as they are not straightforward steps but rather haphazard rungs and platforms). I basically spent the entire time wondering when the last time I had a tetanus shot was (you have to watch out for protruding nails). The entire thing is completely unsafe.....and so. much. fun.

Because Vilks began building these structures without the permission of the Swedish government, a court case ensued that resulted in the surrounding area being declared the micronation of Ladonia. You can apply for citizenship if you feel so inclined. I'm told that on some days you can find Vilks on the beach adding to his sculptures, surrounded by bodyguards because of this controversy.

I'm roughly in the center of this photo, beside the second tower, if that gives you an idea of the scale.

A few more Sweden thoughts/observations/highlights:

  • They have Pippi Longstocking on their money. I am jealous.
  • Kubb is probably the greatest lawn game. Ever. I ordered this set from Amazon as soon as I returned home and it has been a staple at any picnic/barbecue/Tuesday night this summer.
  • I miss Risifrutti. My sister's friend introduced me to this glorious packaged rice pudding and I wish I could find it in the midwest somewhere. It's basically like those segmented yogurts with the fruit topping in a separate compartment to pour over top. Only better.
  • Swedish Elk Brew. The first of many beers abroad. If there was a store here that sold this and Risifrutti I'd be set.
  • This train is actually in Copenhagen. I just liked the picture.

After two days in Sweden, it was on to Berlin! Which involved riding this train that WENT ON A FERRY partway through the trip. Stay tuned for German adventures...


  1. I randomly stumbled on your blog through Pinterest and while scrolling through your entries I found this. Since I'm Swedish I like reading about other peoples impressions of the country. What really made me comment though, was this tiny factual mistake you made. We don't have Pippi on our money. The bill you're showing actually has Nils Holgersson on one side and the author Selma Lagerlöf on the other.
    Well, now I'm off to look at your illustrations.