These sketches come from lovely Helsinki, Finland!
I’ve been wanting to visit Helsinki for a while, and took the long route through Scandinavia to arrive here (traveling all throughout Norway, then into Sweden, before boarding a boat from Stockholm to Tallinn, Estonia, and finally taking a ferry over to Helsinki, where I got an apartment and stayed for a bit. I love the vibe of Helsinki—it’s very artistic and designy, and completely inspirational.
Happy December!! I’ve finally had a minute on this wild tour of Europe to scan in a couple pages from my sketchbook! I was very inspired by the elaborate puppets at the Estonian Museum of Puppet Arts, which had not just puppets, but a puppet making workshop, artisan studios, and a puppet theater with really cool live performances.
You can also see photos from the puppet museum here, and read all about Tallinn here.
The Icebar in Stockholm is a super cool way to spend a frosty evening in the city. This fancy bar is cooled to -5 degrees Celsius, and you can order nordic themed drinks in ice glasses. My personal favorites were “Husky Sledge” (Absolut vanilla with cinnamon and apple) and “Northern Light” (Absolut Raspberry, creme de cassis lime and raspberry puree).
Read more about it at CultureVixen.com.
We finished our tour of Norway in Bergen, the gateway to Norway’s fjord country, and also the second largest city in Norway. Unlike cosmopolitan Oslo with its glittering skyscrapers, Bergen manages to maintain a small-town vibe with its colorful old-style buildings and bustling seafront harbor.
I climbed a glacier!
Norway’s Nigardsbreen glacier in Jostedalen National Park to be exact. Yep, I actually strapped crampons to my hiking boots, grabbed a ice axe and harnessed myself to a team of fellow climbers before setting out to trek on the glacier, in rain none-the-less. It was a little more hard-core than I was prepared for, but was definitely an exhilarating experience! (Later on when I was thinking about the waiver I had to sign, it dawned on me that my travel insurance specifically excludes extreme sports. Their definition of extreme is pretty tame and includes kayaking and horseback riding, so this was definitely not covered. Good thing I didn’t think about that before the climb!)
Isn’t this the most beautiful dish? It’s “Ice-cold strawberry soup with solidified sour milk pudding” from Lom, Norway. Read more about the full Norwegian feast at CultureVixen.com.
It’s day 34 of my around the world trip (wow!) and I find myself in Tallinn, Estonia today. It’s been a fun and varied mix of cities and sights so far, and I feel lucky to have been able to see so much in such a short amount of time! The itinerary has been pretty fast-paced, and has kept me busy, (hence the gap in this blog) but I’m ready to slow things down and luxuriate a little bit in the next city: Helsinki, Finland!
Here’s where I’ve travelled so far:
-Dublin (Read all about it on Culture Vixen)
-Wicklow Mountains & Glendalough
-Ring of Kerry & Kinsale
-Spanish Point & Miltown Malbay
-Cliffs of Moher
Can’t wait to see what Helsinki will be like!
You may have noticed I haven’t posted here for a little while. The reason being I’ve been swept up in some enormous changes lately: over the course of the last week, I quit my job, packed up my condo, moved out of L.A., and boarded a flight to Dublin, Ireland. Yes, IRELAND!!
You may wonder what I’m doing here? Over the next year, I’m going to be traveling the world, doing travel writing and creating art as I go! I’m in Ireland on assignment for Tourism Ireland, Examiner.com, and my online magazine Culture Vixen. From Ireland I’ll continue through Scandinavia then criss-cross Europe, later heading to other continents.
So look for travel-inspired art on this blog from here on. I’ll also be posting photos from the road and doing a bulk of my travel blogging at CultureVixen.com. If you’d like to follow along you can subscribe to the Culture Vixen RSS or sign up for the Culture Vixen Newsletter (delivered 2-5x a week as new posts go up).
Signing off for the night from Ireland,
by Gayle Wheatley
Watercolor on Paper
5 x 8 inches
The third part of my article in Culture Vixen magazine published today, packed with Florence’s greatest attractions. Check it out here:
Check out my guide to eating in Florence and discover the city’s best gelaterie too!
Florence, known in Italian as Firenze, is in my opinion absolutely the most beautiful city in the world. I fell in love with the city during a blissful year abroad studying art, art history and the Italian language. I hadn’t been back to Florence for over a decade and with such great expectations to live up to, I wasn’t sure what to expect.