Jake Powning is an extraordinary swordsmith and wood carver. Here is an hour long lecture/presentation on swordsmithing, word carving, and viking/celtic ornamentation. Very beautiful and very informative!
Here’s an incomplete list of places we’re really looking forward to seeing.
The Lund Cathedral
In Lund, where we’ll be living for six months, there is a huge Lutheran cathedral that was built around 1085. The location has been a sacred site since pre-Christian times. Every Saturday morning there is an organ concert and every day at 12pm and 3pm the magnificent astronomical clock chimes.
In the crypt, which hasn’t been changed since 1123, there are many wonderful pillars. One, the most famous, bears the image of a man with his arms wrapped around it. Locals say it is the image of Finn the Giant, the legendary builder of the Cathedral.
Lund University has many libraries which are open to students and to the public. Each library houses books related to their respective departments. For example, the library I expect Erin will be visiting the most is the Arkeologiska Biblioteket or Archaeological Library.
I plan to visit the Astronomy Library at least once, although I don’t expect to understand what is going on there. The thing I’m most excited to see there is the Observatory. I doubt it’s open to the public but at least I’ll be able to see it from the outside. It was built in 1867 and it’s beautiful.
Sweden Solar System
I don’t think many people have heard about this, but Sweden itself is actually a giant model of the Solar System.
It really opens your eyes to the huge scale of our tiny corner of the universe. For example, the sun is represented by the Ericsson Globe is Stockholm.
Pretty impressive right? It’s even more impressive when you realize that, at that scale, the earth is this big:
One of the things Erin and I are really excited to see are the many Stave Churches in Scandinavia. (The one pictured happens to be in Norway). They are medieval Christian churches that are known for their gorgeous wood working.
I’m a beer geek. If I’m going to be living in Sweden for 6 months, you bet I’m going to find the best place to buy craft beers. One of the places I’ve found online that I want to check out is The Bishop’s Arms
It’s actually a chain of pubs all throughout Scandinavia. I haven’t been able to find any tap lists online but judging from some of the photos on their facebook page, they have a good selection. They even have some California craft brews just in case I get homesick. Although they looked pretty pricey. $9 for a pint of Sierra Nevada Big Foot? Well I guess I should just be glad I can get it at all 5,500 miles away from home. The Bishop’s Arms looks good, but I’m still hoping to find that hidden gem that no one knows about and only the locals visit. Some place nice and quiet with a good selection, and a mellow atmosphere. That’s my type of place.
Lion of Lucerne
The Lion of Lucerne is a monument commemorating a group of Swiss mercenaries that were massacred while defending the French King during the French Revolution. The King had already fled and left a note saying that the Swiss Guard could retreat, but they stayed and fought, and died anyway. While I normally wouldn’t be on the side of a monarch, the monument is a testament to the bravery of the Swiss Guards who were once famous for their loyalty. They now only serve the Pope since an amendment to the Swiss constitution prohibited Swiss nationals from hiring themselves out to other countries as mercenaries.
Lungern and Sarnen
My (Mike’s) great-grandparents lived in Lungern and Sarnen. And even though the two towns are only a few miles apart, they never met until they moved to America. I don’t have any specific places that I want to visit in these towns yet, I just want to explore, eat, visit long lost cousins, and soak up the sights.
The Moesgård Museumin Aarhus Denmark is going to be one of the first places Erin and I will be visiting. It is full of wonderful Viking artifacts, but the reason we’re specifically flying in early and landing in Aarhus is for the annual Viking Moot. The Viking Moot, which happens every July, is a huge viking festival with reenactments and battles. I’ve always wanted to see the Moesgård Battle which features hundreds of combatants in period clothing and armor, duking it out with real metal weapons.
The National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen is another museum I suspect we’ll be visiting frequently since it is only an hour by train from where we’ll be living.
Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek
Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek is a gorgeous art museum in Copenhagen that I hope to visit as often as possible. Considering the fact that I’ll be spending much of my time in Europe practicing my 3D sculpting skills and building my demo reel, this museum seems like the perfect place to study the masters.
I’m a huge fan of Mikkeller Beer. It’s hard to get anything besides Beer Geek Breakfast in San Diego. So imagine my surprise when I learned that there is a Mikkeller BAR! Ever since then I’ve wanted to go but since it’s in Copenhagen, I never thought I’d ever get the chance…until now. This is going to be one of our first stops when we get to Copenhagen between our stay in Aarhus and our arrival in Lund. I really hope our hotel is near by. I’m going to go check google maps right now…
My dad and I have been working on a curio cabinet. It’s not done yet but I just couldn’t wait to take some “action shots” of it with all of the creepy stuff I could find around my house. Some of the things I included were a jar with a resin crow skull in it, a brass bowl that has real boar tusks inside, a jar of mugwort and a jar of muslin bags so I can make tea. The coyote skull is real and the swirl patterns are done in pencil. I can’t decide yet if I want to carve it or paint it. The long bone is real but I’m not sure what kind of animal it came from. It was left on my porch by a coyote so I assume it was once a neighbor’s dog.
The burned parchment with the design on it was aged with coffee (it smells delicious). The design on the paper is something I came up with yesterday specifically to include with this project. It’s a cryptic, medieval-looking diagram of how to make beer. I figured I would combine my two passions of homebrewing, and making creepy props. 😉 There’s also an armillary sphere and last but not least, you can see my 13″ clay pipe. I don’t smoke it much because it gets too hot, but it looks really cool!