20 August 2013


Certainly not the best picture of me, but proof that I made it to Stockholm.

Certainly not the best picture of me, but proof that I made it to Stockholm.

After my hectic turnaround of yesterday, returning to Portland from Dallas on Sunday 18 August and leaving again the next day on Sunday 19 August, I have made it to Stockholm, by way of Amsterdam. One good thing about this tight turnaround is that all this riding on airplanes gave me time to think about the Icarus Interstellar Starship Congress that I just attended, and as I thought about what I had heard there I took many pages of notes, some of which will, in the fullness of time, become posts here. Both the congress and my subsequent reflection on its proceedings have made me aware of many refinements and improvements that need to be made in the material I presented, as well as projects that I have been working on related to the proceedings of the Congress.

Stockholm 2

Now I must re-orientate myself intellectually from this intense focus on spaceflight to a more general openness to the world, which is what I believe that travel is, at its best. Sometimes the best way to travel is to throw yourself in and let what you see and hear teach you. This isn’t a very systematic way to travel, and in the past I have studied my destinations quite carefully. While I have a little background knowledge of Sweden and Stockholm, having previously visited Sweden in my first trip in Europe in 1988 and again in 2005, I haven’t spent the time I would like to spend in preparation, so I will try to make a virtue of my lack of preparation by adopting the attitude just described of throwing myself into the milieu and learning what I can. I recently mentioned my similar experiences in Uruguay, where I only learned of the school of Uruguayan constructivist painting as I was leaving the country. A reason to return.

Stockholm 3

So here I am, in Stockholm, in medias res, looking forward to some sightseeing tomorrow after my initial walk about Gamla Stan this evening. And it was a beautiful evening. The moon was nearly full and hung low and large in the sky, reflecting on Stockholm harbor, and yielding countless picture-taking opportunities. I wish I had had the strength on such a beautiful night to take a walk of many hours around the city at night, as I did earlier this year in Montevideo and which I like to do in a city in order to explore on foot and get my bearings. My initial walk from Stockholm central station to my hotel in Gamla Stan was a typically confused tourist walk, where I went down one street and then another, reading street signs, comparing them to my map, and then finally getting myself pointed in the right direction. This can be hard work with luggage, but it was a nice day and, once again, I learned something from the experience.

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Stockholm 4

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Grand Strategy Annex

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One Response to “Stockholm!”

  1. Esther said

    Nice pictures!

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