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In the background, the Palau de les Arts. In front of that, the IMAX theater. At the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, Spain

The City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia (with teenagers)

I caught my first glimpse of Valencia’s City of Arts and Sciences last year as we drove by on our way to see the old center of the city. It was astonishing: massive, futuristic architecture contrasted sharply with everything we had seen so far. Shining white in the sun, I wouldn’t be surprised if these…

sculpture in the Dali Theatre-Museum in Figueres, Spain

Dalí Theatre-Museum: A glimpse into Dalí’s mind

To look at a Salvador Dalí painting is to wonder about the mind that painted it. A visit to the Dalí Theatre-Museum in Figueres, Spain, gives visitors a chance to look into that mind.[tweetthis hidden_hashtags=”#travel #Dali”]To look at a Salvador Dalí painting is to wonder about the mind that painted it.[/tweetthis] That doesn’t mean, though, that you…

ABBA, or rather, wax figures of them.

Kitsch and Karaoke at ABBA The Museum

Admit it: You like ABBA. Okay, maybe you don’t like ABBA, but you catch yourself singing along when you hear an ABBA song on the radio. Love them or hate them, unless you’re truly allergic to the sound of their music, you’ll enjoy ABBA The Museum in Stockholm, Sweden. The museum was kind enough to…

a view out of the main building toward the lake at Öster Malma

Öster Malma Estate: Not for Animal Lovers

Öster Malma Castle and Wildlife Park, which I visited as part of a familiarization tour organized by Visit Sörmland and Visit Sweden, includes a beautiful estate house and a large wildlife park. It is more modest (read: smaller) than the others we visited, like Gripsholm, Nynäs and Sparreholms, but was nevertheless interesting. Built in the 1600s,…

This grave was left in place inside the excavation. A mirror above the skeleton allows visitors to view it.

The Medieval Museum of Stockholm

Back in the 1970s, the Swedish Parliament planned to build a garage underground next to the Parliament building in Stockholm. As often happens in European cities, the construction stopped when excavation uncovered the remains of what turned out to be the original medieval center of Stockholm. For two years, archeologists excavated and studied the city wall, built by…

a spice shop, the precursor to the grocery store, at Skansen, Stockholm, Sweden

Skansen open-air museum, Stockholm

[tweetthis]An open-air museum is a lazy way to get to know a country’s architecture and culture.[/tweetthis] Or: [tweetthis]An open-air museum is a great way to get to know a country’s architecture and culture.[/tweetthis] Both of these statements are true. The fact is that most of us only have limited time when we travel, and, if…

The main hall in the Nordic Museum in Stockholm, Sweden

The Nordic Museum: Sweden’s small-town museum

Exploring the Nordic Museum in Stockholm reminded me of some of the small-town museums I’ve visited before. Often a seemingly random collection of objects donated by residents or local companies, they offer insight into the area’s culture and history. I enjoy them because their “smallness” is often quite amusing. The Nordic Museum struck me as…

front view of Sparreholms manor, Sormland, Sweden

Sparreholms Manor and its Collections

As part of a blogger familiarization tour in July, I visited a manor house called Sparreholms Slott, in the region called Sörmland, south of Stockholm, Sweden. Dating to the mid-1700s and renovated in the 1820s and again in the 1890s, it looks, inside as well as out, like a slice out of Downton Abbey’s world….

Upper part of the stern of the Vasa: Stockholm, Sweden

The Vasa Museum: exploring an epic fail

Ever notice how people love to hear about failed projects? I call it “epic fail tourism.” The most obvious example is the Titanic, about which there are numerous museums around the world (Belfast, Ireland, where the Titanic was built; Branson, Missouri; Pigeon Forge, Tennessee; Orlando, Florida; Southampton, England, where many victims were from; and many…

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