My family and I recently returned from a 4-week adventure in Europe. In that time-frame, we visited 7 cities in 3 countries - Poland, Denmark, and Sweden.
The trip had been in the works for a long time. We were so excited to visit our ancestral countries (Poland for me and Sweden for my husband) with our 8 year old daughter Neve, who met extended family she didn't even know she had! Our last venture across the pond was almost 20 years ago, so for us too it was lovely to see long-lost relatives, and to re-connect with our history. And Denmark? That was just for fun - my husband and I had visited there years ago and loved it. We took Neve to Tivoli, the amazing amusement park in the heart of Copenhagen. We had an incredible time! Our adventure ended with a week-long creative retreat to Ideas Island, where owner Fredrik Härén allows people to book one week on one of his islands for a creative project. I originally wrote about it here, and soon will have many more stories and photographs to share. Our time on the island was wonderful, relaxed, interesting, and of course, creative!
Some of you may already know that alongside my love of vintage chairs, creepy trees, and reclaimed wood anything, I have an interest in old doors and even windows. I feel that behind any opening or gateway there is a story, and the barrier that has been created between us and that story holds unique characteristics and even secrets of what lies beyond. I didn't get a chance to have the story revealed in 99% of these doors, windows and gateways. No matter, my imagination created my own and you can create your own too. Have at it, and feel free to share your favourite, in the comments. I've split this series into 2 posts; stay tuned for Part II coming soon!
1. Wilanow Palace, Warsaw, Poland. This palace was quite impressive, although the back garden/fountains have fallen into a bit of disrepair. The grounds were beautiful and peaceful.
2. Wilanow Palace, Warsaw, Poland. A side door at the palace. Less impressive than the main doorways, but the glass in the window panes was quite interesting because of the distortion that made it seem like I could put a hand right through into another dimension.
3. Wilanow Palace, Warsaw, Poland. Entrance to the Royal Café, to enjoy a Royal coffee, no doubt.
4. Wilanow Cemetery, Warsaw, Poland. This cemetery is actually a beautiful place, with burial plots that are very elaborate, and full of flowers and candles. This is where one of my aunts is buried and we visited her grave for the first time.
5. Allotment Garden, Warsaw, Poland. A simple, metal door, being held open by a flower pot, on a small garden property tended by my last living aunt on my father's side. Apparently these garden plots became popular after World War II and I've never seen anything like it. You walk through a big gate, still in a very suburban spot, and you walk straight into the country. My aunt has a wonderful little plot with a greenhouse and another small house to stay at.
6. Allotment Garden, Warsaw, Poland. The gate leading to my aunt's little slice of paradise.
7. Teleborg Castle, Vaxjo, Sweden. This castle was a wedding gift from a Count, to his bride. Now, it can be rented for events, and has rooms to stay in as well. We came on a holiday and the castle was closed, so we could only see it from the outside. It was apparently modelled after a German castle. This is the main entrance.
8. Teleborg Castle, Vaxjo, Sweden. Many of the castle windows are grown over with creeping vine/ivy. I called this "the bearded window".
9. Church of the Holy Ghost, Copenhagen, Denmark. One of my absolute favourites. The brick on this building was just ridiculous - and indeed parts of the church are over 500 years old. Stepping into the courtyard was like stepping back in time, and yet it had such a strong presence. Just wow.
10. Copenhagen, Denmark. A garage on one of the side streets on our way to Tivoli. Seems like the whole building was shifted, Dr. Suess style.
11. Gothenburg, Sweden. A door to a private building, downtown Gothenburg. Note that the door handles are actually lizards (maybe a bit difficult to make out) and the door knockers are eagle heads.
12. Gothenburg, Sweden. One of the University building doors, in the heart of Gothenburg, on our way to the trendy Haga district.
13. Lx at am, Gothenburg, Sweden. With a name that means "Luxury at any moment of the day", this tiny shop (the words on the door say that it's possibly the smallest store offering fashion and design) was near the historical neighbourhood by the quay in Rosenlund. It's adorable!
14. Gothenburg, Sweden. My husband Mike had lived in Gothenburg when going to school many years ago, and remembered a shortcut from the waterfront to the train station. We found ourselves on a narrow little street with tall buildings, and many had these pennant flags strewn from rooftop to rooftop. It was like a secret passageway, and I even found a tiny cafe nestled in a courtyard. They must have word of mouth business because otherwise how people would find them, I have no idea!! This window actually looks like a tiny door to somewhere interesting.