Jubilados (Spanish for retirees) savouring the journey

Chosen carefully, planned well and travelled independently

Stories of global travel adventures from Gloria and Kerry, a.k.a. Spice and Magellan

Vancouver, alas, subscribes to what I call “Hello Kitty” street art. Birds, bees, butterflies, sanctioned mural festival art that, for the most part, doesn’t challenge your thinking beyond “where’s the nearest place for a decaf, low-fat, no-sugar latte?”

So it may surprise you, as it did us, to find that in Norway of all places, that Stavanger, the city that oil lifted, is one of the world’s leaders in street art. Art that captures the general mood. Art that illuminates political, philosophical and poetical meanings. Art that propels expression and invites dialog. Not quite the double-shot espresso of street art in Buenos Aires but Stavanger’s is a strong brew that gets your heart pumping.

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Nowhere else have we travelled where the sky so big, the light so clear, the landscape so revealing, the quiet so widespread, the solitude so profound as in the thanksgiving-yellow plains of southwestern Saskatchewan.

Of the many things we’re thankful for this year, our autumn experience at Grasslands National Park claims the foreground. Maybe the perspective of a long view is what we need now.

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I was kicking myself.

Three years ago in Seattle there was an exhibition of Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrors. Six individual rooms, small and dark. Each one painted with polka dots and pumpkins illuminated by hundreds of LEDs reflecting endless pinpricks of coloured light onto mirrored walls immersing you into a kaleidoscopic wonderland. But I was too late. The exhibition sold out quickly and without tickets, you had to queue for hours with little hope of getting in. I felt even worse when Gail, Ginger and Carol Ann talked about how spectacular it was, despite the fleeting time (only two or three minutes) you had in each mirrored cubicle where only two or three visitors were allowed at a coveted time-slot. So you can imagine how excited I was to discover the Henie Onstad Kunstsenter at Høvikodden outside Oslo has one of Kusama’s Infinity Mirrors on permanent display. Even better, it was a slow day—Magellan and I had Infinity Mirrored Room, Hymn of Life to ourselves for as long as we wanted!

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The Atlantic Road. Or as they say in Norway, Atlanterhavsveien. Worthy of the grand finale in our mini-series of memorable roads.

Magellan and I spent twenty-four hours angling around The Atlantic Road, even though it’s short, zigzagging only 8.3 kilometres over an archipelago of islands. Read more

We’ve never been to Saratoga Springs in upstate New York. Didn’t even know it existed until 1972 when Carly Simon released “You’re so vain:” 

Well I hear you went up to Saratoga
And your horse naturally won

Of all the places we wanted to visit in Death Valley National Park, Saratoga Springs was near the top. And with the Superbloom the year we were there, we were vain enough to hope a few wildflowers would still be waiting for us at what’s considered the park’s best springs.

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Circa Diem.

Let’s start with the translation of the Norwegian birthday card Magellan got me:

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