London for the Millionth Time

Jumping across the pond tends to be easier to do in/out of London. There are so many flights and then all of Europe is open to explore!

It seems that every time I travel I meet about 4,000 new people that live in London. I had plans for a few nights but I wanted to spend a little time on my own to get everything ready to fly home and explore.

The beauty of having no plans is the ability to do something spontaneous. There were some last minute tickets available for Kinky Boots and so I took myself on a little date. I was able to get a half price ticket for a pretty good seat.

One of my friends from my travel family found a free alternative walking tour which had a ton of street art and graffiti. The tour guide was full of interesting and fun facts about London based on street art. I highly suggest this tour.

Located on Fournier St. by Shok 1

By artist Stik

Crane by Roa

Artist Bolt

Paste up by Pyramid

Street art can be found anywhere

Artist Citizen Kane

Artist Ben Eine

Artist Noriaki Noriaki

One of my favorite things is getting people together from around the world. I met up with some friends for dinner with people I met in Plovdiv, Bern, and Rome and introduced them all to each other because they all now live in London. It was an awesome way to end 46 days of traveling!

Read about my other trips to London here and here and here and here and here and here.

Signal Festival Prague

I love traveling to cities having no idea that a festival or event is even happening. I went to Prague a few years ago (read about it here here and here) and loved it and wanted to go again to cut the traveling time of my trip from Vienna to Berlin. Signal Festival or Festival of Lights happened to start the night before I was leaving and I totally geeked out and went to as many installations as I could in a few hours! There were pretty long lines for each installation so I could only make it to five but obviously I took enough pictures of each one to make up for it.

Brocken 5.1.

The installation Brocken 5.1 is based on a phenomenon called the Brocken Spectre or mountain spectre. This phenomenon appears high in the mountains when a climber stands with his back to the sun and gazes from the ridge into the mist, creating a gigantic shadow of the observer that is surrounded by a rainbow. In this installation the viewer enters an interactive object intersected by 60,000 holes that create the illusion of a flight through a starry sky. Brocken 5.1 also makes reference to the topic of absolute darkness, that is, a commodity that is altogether insufficient in large cities.

Brocken 5.1 was first presented as part of the DEPO2015 project in Plzen and subsequently at the BLIK BLIK 2016 festival. In both cases the installation gained great popularity with viewers. This interactive object is also influenced by daylight, and the installation can therefore be visited and tried out before night falls.

The Japanese artist Yasuhiro Chida originally studied architecture at Musashino Art University. His interests include specific topics such as spatial awareness or change of somatic perception. Part of his creative process involves nature, where he spends much of his time, and which he incorporates into his work. He allows various forces of nature to act upon his installations, such as the movement of the sun across the sky throughout the day.

Voice of Figures

This videomapping by Radugadesign transforms the façade of the Kinský Palace into vivid color. And yet there is more to this performance, which at first glance seems like a cheerful play of basic abstract shapes and saturated colors, than meets the eye. Radugadesign has taken the large volumes of data known in the world of computer technology as “big data” and converted them into a soundtrack. The initial confusion and cacophony of shapes represents the unorganized data the creators of the videomapping have used as their medium, which ultimately come together through the facade of the Kinský Palace into shapes that form a harmonic melody.Thus the patterns and sounds created through this technically challenging process serve as the end product of a range of figures and formulas.

Since its founding in 2007, the Russian media and design studio Radugadesign has managed to carry out an unbelievable 350 projects. As a result, the studio has established a leading position in Russia in the field of entertainment technologies and interactive installations, achieving renown beyond their homeland as well. Radugadesign has been featured, for example, in France, Belgium, Korea, and even at the North Pole. The wide range of their activities includes everything from audiovisual shows to interactive installations, using combinations of their primary specialties – space, technology, and design. They collaborate frequently with a range of experts across creative fields including architects, designers, artists, musicians, and even programmers. The collective efforts of these individuals have created projects that for almost ten years have resonated with audiences throughout the world.


Rezonátor combines elements of technology with a philosophical subtext, all derived from scientific understanding. As expressed by its title, it consists of a model of a resonator – that is, a fundamental component of the mechanism of a laser module. And yet the artist doesn’t stop at the technical aspects of this device, but also presents the resonator as a metaphor for human existence. In his view, each human being figuratively functions as a sort of sociocultural resonator. During our lives we perceive all possible external influences of society in the same manner as this device. In response to feedback and reactions within us we give forth our own “memetic light,” reacting most frequently in the form of spoken expression.

Czech visual artist Jan Hladil studied graphic design and subsequently supermedia at the Academy of Arts, Architecture, and Design in Prague. During his studies he worked intensively on mastering the entire process of creating video in all of its forms. For several years he has worked as a VJ and has worked on videoinstallations and created content for the audiovisual label Lunchmeat. He has also collaborated, for example, with Laterna Magika on the New Scene at the National Theatre. In his freestyle work he focuses on interpretations of social, cultural, and yet physical processes, converting their specific visual manifestations into an artistic form of understanding. He has presented his audiovisual works at the National Gallery, the DOX Centre for Contemporary Art, the Gallery of the Capital City of Prague, the Chemistry Gallery, and the Zdeněk Sklenář Gallery.

Fantastic Planet

Five otherworldly beings have occupied the planet SIGNAL this year. These giant figures
created by Amanda Parer seem to have just landed on earth, and now explore their
surroundings with silent interest and awe. They curiously touch the ground, timidly observe the activity around them from behind a corner, or roll delightedly across the soft grass. At first glance they appear fearsome, but their viewers soon recognize them for the kindhearted visitors they are.

This monumental installation is inspired by the 1973 Czech/French animated film of the
same name (known in Czech as Divoká planeta). It represents an incomprehensibly remote future in which our planet is settled by giant futuristic beings, where humans are merely wild aborigines no more sophisticated than creatures of the forest.

The work of Australian artist Amanda Parer explores the world of nature in all its vulnerability, as well as the role of humanity within it. In all her works, whether paintings, sculpture, or installations in public spaces, the main role is played by all manner of unconventional beings and wild animals. Enthusiastic audiences the world over have encountered the installations of Amanda Parer at festivals from Sydney to Sweden. While she has already been introduced to neighboring Slovakia through the White Night festival, her work will be presented to the Czech Republic for the first time as part of her Fantastic Planet installation. The SIGNAL Festival therefore serves as the European premiere of this completely new installation.

Monolith powered by Mercedes-Benz

The Monolith installation gives homage to the quiet and the noise of the city at night. This light object absorbs all surrounding light sources and transforms them into an engaging digital show. Through alternating landscapes and environments, the installation evokes the impression of a dynamic ride in Mercedes-Benz brand automobiles, providing its viewers with an original experience of night in the city full of light, energy, and elegance. An integral part of the installation is a hypnotic sound that was created specifically for the Monolith by world famous composer from Bosnia Billain.

This installation is composed of 3,328 LED bulbs. Each of them is an independent point of composition, capable of displaying the entire color spectrum. This technology ranks among the newest trends and is now appearing at SIGNAL for the first time ever.

Hyperbinary is the latest project by Amar Mulabegović, Jan Šíma, and Martin Pošta. This international studio for Experiential Design is devoted to the development and production of light installations and videomappings, as well as concept development and visual presentation for large-scale cultural events.

*All descriptions of the installations are directly from the Signal Festival website


Miró in Barcelona

Although Barcelona is hugely influenced and overpowered by Gaudí, there are plenty of other artists that have left their mark in the city. We decided to step away from Gaudí and head to the Joan Miro museum. I love Miró and have a print from MOMA that I fell in love with a few years back. I could have taken about 1000 pictures while I was inside but alas, I had some self restraint and spent the time enjoying and appreciating the art instead of looking at everything through my phone.

This piece greeted us as we walked into the museum. I found it very entertaining. 🙂

Ignasi Aballi, Wrong Idea, 2012

Joan Miro, Hands flying off toward the constellations, 1974

Joan Miro, Painting, 1949

Joan Miro, The morning star, 1946


Joan Miro, Self-portrait, 1937-1960

The dual self-portrait superimposes two different moments. The bottom layer is a pencil copy of a painting begun in 1937, where Miro’s features merge into symbols from his personal world; above it he has placed a highly synthetic graffito from 1960. The specific face is displaced by an impersonal, anonymous figure that harks back to a primeval, universal line.

Joan Miro, Woman encircled by a flight of birds in the night, 1968

Joan Miro, Painting (The bottle of wine), 1924

Barcelona is all about Gaudi

There is no way you can visit Barcelona and not visit a few of Gaudi’s architectural wonders.

I visited Casa Mila for my second time and you can see what I thought of it last time here. This time I listened to the guided tour a little bit more and just took in everything with a fresh eye. I found that I wanted to take pictures of the exact same things that caught my eye last time. At least I know I am consistent in what I like.

Shards of glass are used to decorate the top of these chimneys

The same building from two sides. Gaudi used the sun to create natural light throughout the entire house.

Stop number two was at Casa Batllo where the exploration of the intricate lines of Gaudi is possible. The connection and inspiration from nature is visible in nearly every detail constructed. Gaudi was thoughtful in his process and understood the mathematics behind architecture in order to bring his ideas to fruition in an absolutely beautiful way.

Oak banister with a background of beveled glass made to look like water

The catenary arch

The staircase and banister all have soft edges to follow the curves of nature

Everything had a purpose in Gaudi’s world

Gaudi loved to use a lot of color and different materials

The light and ceiling are inspired from skeletons and shell patterns of animals 

La Sagrada Familia may be the most quintessential and finest work from Gaudi and he only lived to see 1/4 of it completed. Casa Mila and Casa Batllo were like practice places for the ideas and forms he would implement into the basilica. Gaudi left behind intricate details to his disciples on how the project should be completed which should be in 2026; 100 years after his death. There are not enough words to describe the beauty of la Sagrada Familia so I will let the pictures do the talking.

My parents at the entrance

Me at the entrance

Side view

Loosely translated to Thanksgiving day

The original Gothic side of the Basilica constructed in 1882

An example of the contrast of different materials together to create a beautiful contrast

Stained glass windows are placed throughout the basilica to create amazing colors!

Cool colors used on one side of the basilica

The pillars are like trees with different branches. They are made of different materials to help support different weights throughout the basilica.

Warm colors used on the other side of the basilica

There is a different detail everywhere you look

Contrasting materials and line

Statues are carved all around. Many are a depiction of Jesus from various parts of his life.

Truly the only thing I can say is that if you are heading to Barcelona, you HAVE to visit la Sagrada Familia!


When most people think of Amsterdam they immediately think of the legalized drugs and the Red Light District. I went because I heard it was a beautiful city with amazing architecture and entertaining people. While traveling in Peru in March I met Dutch guy that threw out the offer of something like, “If you are ever in the Netherlands, let me show you around.” I took him up on that offer and was able to crash on his couch in Haarlem which is a city a short distance outside of Amsterdam.

Going through a city with a local is much different than site seeing and exploring on your own and just following the recommendations of the hostel. I was able to spend the days exploring the city on my own and the evenings being taken out to cool restaurants and bars!

Monet was inspired by this bridge and church to paint The Haarlem Lock in 1664,

This bar was purposely meant to feel very old. ‘t’Dokterje

There are many flavors of home brewed liquors to try at Wynard Fockink

Since I was staying in Haarlem I decided to spend a day exploring the city to see what was around. It was a lot more local and less touristy and according to my friend, what I should expect from a typical Dutch city.

Cathedral of Saint Bavo


And of course, some random street art around Amsterdam.

I spent my time in Munich at museums

Having just come from Berlin, I didn’t expect Munich to be sooooooooo much hotter! AC is not very popular here except for cooling the beer, so I spent my time in museums to stay cool.

I went to the BMW Museum, Bavarian National Museum and the Pinakothek. In the middle of my museum going I treated myself to lunch at places where I heard more German than English being spoken.

The BMW Museum

BMW started with engines for airplanes. They were large supporters of Hitler and WWII.

One of the first motorcycles BMW created

If this engine was in my car, I would have lots of speeding tickets!

1939 BMW 328

2009 BMW Vision Efficient Dynamics

2009 BMW Vision Efficient Dynamics. I need this car!

Paul Cooper designed Mini

Bavarian National Museum


This piece was a clock and the skeleton was a reminder that each second brings man closer to his death and even the courageous lion is not immune to death.

Beautiful blown glass glasses

This little guy just looked so happy and cute to have all his grapes

This door had the smell of a very old house and looked like it was out of a fairy tale


Die grosse Nacht von damals (Remix) 2008 by Georg Baselitz

Traumerische Improvisation 1913 by Wassily Kandinsky

Rinder 1, 1913 by Franz Marc

Komposition K IV, 1922 by Laszlo Moholy-Nagy

..Das Ratsek der Begierde” oder ..Meinie Mutter, Meine Mutter, Meine Mutter” 1929 by Salvador Dali

Tischstilleben mit Hauserausblick, 1950 by Werner Heldt

on’t know what to do, 2012 by Anders Clausen

Piece by Courtney Zilla Leutenegge

Window by Courtney Zilla Leutenegger

This entire mirror is a piece of art

The artist used a lighting installation and projection to create this piece called At Night.

A wee Scottish adventure

Scotland was never on my list of places to visit when I started out on this adventure. However, when my mom said she was coming to visit and wanted to meet me in London and travel from there, only a few places were along the way to Dublin. We decided to check out Edinburgh and Glasgow and see what Scotland was all about.

Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland and maintains a very old feel to it. There are no modern buildings in the area which gives you a feel of how things would have been back in the day. It was cold and windy but a visit to the Edinburgh Castle was in order to see the crown jewels and relive some ancient history.

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle

We spent a few days exploring and stumbled upon some art by Nicolai Wallner. I have no idea what any of it means but I like the pieces.

Woodcuts by Nicolai Wallner

Woodcuts by Nicolai Wallner

Woodcuts by Nicolai Wallner

Woodcuts by Nicolai Wallner

We also took a day to explore the zoo. The pandas are on loan from China for 10 years and the female had a failed pregnancy this year. They said they would try again next year. The penguins go out on a daily walk on a strictly voluntary basis (fish and treats are not used to encourage them to exit the enclosure). It was the closest I have ever been to a penguin without any glass between us!



Penguin walk fun

Penguin walk fun

Glasgow in contrast to Edinburgh has plenty of modern buildings all around it and is actually the largest city in Scotland. We were really only there to catch a flight and decided to see Gone Girl after a quick stop at a museum. I found these pieces to be interesting and disturbing all at the same time. The paintings by Monya Flannigan focus on the archetypal image of Eve and give us a different interpretation on the original story.


Art by Monya Flannigan. The paintings focus on the archetypal image of Eve

Art by Monya Flannigan. The paintings focus on the archetypal image of Eve

Art by Monya Flannigan. The paintings focus on the archetypal image of Eve

One of the main things I noticed about Scotland was how nice the people were. Everyone just wanted to chat and sometimes I would just nod and pretend I understood what they were saying. If I had to go back, I would absolutely go to Edinburgh again and skip Glasgow.

The Devine Comedy in Frankfurt

Finally the museums were open and I got to spend my day as I pleased. I chose to go the MMK Museum for the The Divine Comedy exhibition and was not disappointed by anything that I saw.



This piece is by Bili Bidjocka and called Graces & Intentions & Graces. You can see pencils hanging from the painting where you can write your own message and I wrote Carpe Diem as I thought it was the perfect thing to say! The piece is based on the proverb: “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

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These pieces are by Kendell Geers and called Ligne de Fuite. The pieces are a meditation on violence and poetry, the struggle between creation and destruction, and the fragile balance between flesh and the spirit. The artists says, ” I dedicate my exhibition to everybody who still believes and will never abandon hope.”


This piece is by Julie Mehrtu and called In Fragment. This piece is inspired by the cityscape of Berlin.


This piece is by Wangechi Mutu and called Metha. This piece is for the 1994 Rwanda massacre and the tables are used to signify the tables where the bodies were stacked. The bowls filled with milk and wine are direct references to the beginning and end of life, thus serving homage to the people killed.

Another piece I loved was a soundscape called The Dream by Frances Goodman. It was about a 10 minute piece of women speaking about the pressure society has put on them in regards to marriage. Some of the quotes that stuck out were:

“Marriage is an element of conquering.”

“Marriage has an element of pity.”

“How do you know what forever is?”

“I feel like I’m getting older; I feel like I’m reaching my expiry date.”

Quite a few women touched on the difference of the question at 25 versus 30. I guess one would say that I related to this piece.

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An art filled day in Stuttgart

What do you do when you wake up and there are ominous clouds in the sky? Walk around a museum of course! I took myself to the Kuntsmuseum Stuttgart where the regular collection was closed but the two special exhibitions were open; Luisa Richter and Gego.


I found that I was very interested in the work of Luisa Richter which was reminiscent of the abstract shapes of Joan Miro or Wassily Kandinskbut with a softer color palette. Somehow, I am always drawn to the same type of art.

Luisa Richter - Plan und Wagnis - 1980

Luisa Richter – Plan und Wagnis – 1980

Luisa Richter - Araya - 1984

Luisa Richter – Araya – 1984

I tried to get on board with Gego but I could not seem to find a connection to any of the pieces. I took the opportunity to snap a quick picture of the city center from a few stories up, and of course, create my own art with a token selfie.

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I had the pleasure of ending my evening at the Stuttgart Ballet. I can’t recall ever attending a professional ballet which is odd considering how much I love dance! The first act was an all male ensemble and the dance was more of a contemporary piece rather than a ballet. The piece was funny and masculine and flirted with the concept of males and their sexuality. The second piece was two males accompanied by an opera singer, and the line between femininity and masculinity was blurred through the art of the dance. The piece was absolutely beautifully danced and headed toward a more classical ballet. The last piece was all females on point and what I would consider to be the most classically danced of them all.

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A French culinary tour through London…sort of

We have been setting out to accomplish so much everyday and falling quite short. Today we set out to have lunch, walk around the Saatchi Gallery and have dinner. And I must say, we accomplished it all!

We thought we were experts at the train by now, but we still managed to get on the wrong one for our transfer to Chelsea. The great thing about trains is that you can just get off and get on the next one at the next stop. As long as you are not on a time schedule, this works just fine.

Anyhow, today was a day in Chelsea with a wonderful dinner to cap off our night. We stumbled across a delightful restaurant called Cote  Brasserie where they had a wonderful 2 or 3 course lunch menu. I indulged in the Duck, Chicken and Pork Liver Terrine with Chargrilled Sourdough Bread and Cornichons followed by the Sauteed Haddock with Pea Puree, Pea Sprouts and Bacon Lardons. Peter and I also decided to try a French beer since we were in the French mood.


Next stop was the Saatchi Gallery. As I have mentioned before, I love museums, but this gallery was AMAZING! The art was off the wall and totally odd and absolutely amazing. I will let some of the pictures do the talking.

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Casa Tomada by Rafael Gómezbarros (The ants)

Figures in Red by Antonio Malta Campos

No Way Out by Christian Rosa

Lifetime by July Sumalde (16 years old)

There were so many amazing paintings in this gallery and I am sure I could have spent hours here, but the pieces above are just a few that caught my eye.

We took a little more time to stroll around Chelsea before heading to a pub and dinner. Once again, we stumbled upon a quaint little pub called The Iron Duke. We had a few pints there since we had about an hour to kill before dinner at Le Petite Maison.

One would think that since we had French for lunch we would not have French for dinner, but we did. Le Petite Maison is on the corner of a fantastic little neighborhood and requires a reservation. The atmosphere is bustling and the staff is very attentive. Everything is served family style and I think we managed to try half the menu. We had the Salade de Haricots Verts au Foie Gras, Burrata et Tomates, Calamars Frits, Escargot, Pates du Jour, Sole Poelee au Grain de Moutarde, Cotelettes d’Agneau Vivienne, Vanilla Crème Brulee and a Strawberry Gazpacho with sugar coated croutons! Of course this was accompanied by a delicious rose and all was right in the world!

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It was a great day full of amazing food! Everyday brings something new and exciting to my adventures!