Mink Machine

Entries of year 2010

A cold New Years Eve in Budapest

Since Sweden has had the coldest December month in 110 years, I thought it would be at least a bit warmer in central Europe. But the streets of Hungary’s capital are absolutely freezing. Fortunately there are lots of places with hot goulash to escape the chill, and not to forget the famous thermal baths all over the city.

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The magic of green screen

I often get travel inspiration from exotic scene locations featured in movies. Scarlett Johansson taking the Shinkansen to Kyoto, Matt Damon driving a vespa through a vibrant Tanger, Jake Gyllenhaal sipping booze on a balcony overlooking Djemaa el Fna in Marrakech (where my friend had to put up with me some years ago as I stubbornly wanted to find that specific balcony) and so on. But unfortunately most of it is fake.

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An idiot abroad

Travel hosts tend to come in different flavors, but most of them are curious, positive and charismatic. Everybody loves Michael Palin in his quirky British way and Megan McCormick is adorable even when she’s wading through a mosquito-infested swamp. But what about all those people who just don’t have the talent for it? Or all those people who honestly suck at being travel guides? Worst of all, imagine those who doesn’t even like traveling but have to do it anyway. Meet Karl Pilkington.

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Warsaw from above

I’m writing this at a window some hundred meters above the streets of Warsaw, the capital of Poland. Staying at the five-star hotel InterContinental Warsaw which offers a good view of the city. Even though it’s only the 55th tallest building in Europe, it’s the tallest hotel in Poland and the third tallest in Europe.

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Report from Dögnvill

Dögnvill is a kind of arctic, yet urban, music festival. Tromsö is located 500 miles above the Arctic Circle and it was definitely the coldest festival I’ve ever been to. You could see snow-capped mountains from the festival area and cold air vapor were clearly visible from the singers! Most festivals I’ve been to have had very strict policy regarding under-aged visitors and alcohol, but this one was clearly an exception.

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Live streaming of the Apple event

Tonight was the Apple’s Fall Music Event, broad-casted live from San Francisco on the web. We watched it in the office on a Mac, since the new cool HTTP streaming is so far only available for Mac OS X 10.6 running Safari. The obvious choice of food were Big Macs (I would have asked for a Big Mac Mini if the burgers weren’t so small to begin with).

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Featured stories

Good morning Montenegro

"One would almost think that all this secrecy was made on purpose to keep the hordes of tourists away. Let them all perish in the crowds of Dubrovnik while the people of Montenegro can enjoy their beautiful country on their own. Or something like that."

Greetings from Moldova

"But Chisinau is an unexpected gem in the wilderness. Even though Moldova is one of the poorest countries in Europe, the capital has its fair share of impressive buildings and post-Soviet architecture."

Road trip across the American Southwest

"We drove along Route 6, Route 66 and Route 666. If there was a Route 6666, we must have missed that turn."

Bunker safari

"The area contains 54 excavated bunkers along with gun emplacements, scattered around the town’s most visible landmark."

The lakes of Lombardy

"The town of Como, largest settlement around Lake Como, attracts a lot of people with big wallets. But I preferred to take the funicular up the mountain to the Brunate region, where you get a much better view of the lake."

The fairytale castles of Sintra

"The Portuguese town of Sintra is famous for many beautiful castles. Palácio Nacional da Pena is arguably the most stunning of the lot. "