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Colorful happy woman – Not the Quality Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…”  Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”.

”  You may not know what is going to happen when you try, but if you do not try, then nothing will happen”.

Around 1/5 of the world’s population (1.3 billion people)  lives in China, which is said to have invented paper, gunpowder and ice-cream, as well as the world’s first mechanical clock.   And tea is thought to have been discovered in China around 2700 BC.

Today’s photo comes from the border between Tibet and China.   Not the interesting yellow and red symbol on the woman’s belt.   Very interesting that in China, 20th September is ‘National Love Your Teeth Day”.  Not sure what date I took this photo (many years ago) but she has some interesting dental features!

WORDPRESS-TIBET

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Never again Air France/KLM – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” Have you ever thought that the word ‘politics’  comes from the Latin word ‘poli’ meaning ‘many’ and tics, which are blood sucking creatures?”

“Why does round pizza come in a square box?”.

Another airline on the ‘no-fly’ list, or rather, the AirFrance/KLM group.    I cancelled some flights with them about 2 years ago, and whilst I knew that the ticket was non-refundable, the taxes were (because they had not been incurred).  Yet try getting these unused taxes back from Air France (who are collecting the taxes in advance in anticipation that they will become payable WHEN you make the flights).     Lots of useless replies from their so-called Customer Service, many unanswered emails and also wrong answers from them when they did reply.  The matter dragged on and on, and eventually, a partial refund of the taxes was received, but even then AF took out an extra administration fee.

It should not be a difficult and frustrating matter to get unused taxes refunded, but with the KLM/AF group then it is.    The poor customer ‘service’ from AF, their frequent wrong answers, and also their use of  no reply email addresses just made the whole matter so frustrating.    Life is too short to have problems like these, so based on my experience of AF/KLM ‘customer service’ then I will not be making any more bookings with them.   Better to avoid problems in future, and I do not want another exercise in frustration, which is what dealing with AF/KLM turned out to be.    And any airline that sends out emails to which you cannot reply should be avoided.   Lesson learned !!  Good customer service is important, except, apparently at AF/KLM.     So by sending out emails that you cannot reply to, and by making the whole business of getting a refund of unused taxes so frustrating then they have lost all future custom.    Why send out emails that you cannot reply to, especially when those emails come from the CUSTOMER SERVICE department?     And why mess people around when refunding unused taxes should be quick an easy??   AF/KLM will not be seeing me onboard again.

An abstract photo today for a change.    Some beachside railings on a promenade taken from an unusual angle, and then cropped to make it a little more unusual.   See what you think.

web-version-promenade

 

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ANGER ! – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day..” Do stairs go up or down? ”    ” Do coffins have lifetime guarantees? “

Just been reading about Banamageddon, and details of the serious disease that is affecting bananas worldwide.  This disease is a fungus which affects the roots, and at the moment, cannot be contolled or stopped.   Surprising to read that it is UGANDA which holds the record for the highest consumption of bananas each year, with each citizen there eating an average of 0.70kg each DAY.   That means that each person eats around 240 kg of bananas a year.  As bananas are some important in Uganda, the same word is used for both food and for bananas (matooke).  And rather surprising that due to the high levels of Potassium (especially Potassium-40) that they have higher levels of radioactivity.

Despite the sunshine and warm weather, it was obviously an angry moment for this Croatian couple seen in Dubrovnik.  Even if you do not speak Croatian, then you can imagine the words that are coming out of his mouth!

LOW-RES-anger

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Landing the catch- Cape Verde – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….”  Success means winning the war, not every battle”.

”  To be the best, you have to compete and win against the best”.

Sad news from Ukraine!   I read online that in Ukraine that the authorities there have stopped a man calling himself  ‘Darth Vader’ from running for president.    His plans for Ukraine were to turn it into a ‘galatic empire’.   Despite his name of Darth Vader, he is normally an electrician by trade.    That story reminded me of the English politician known as ‘Screaming Lord Sutch, who was the leader of the Official Monster Raving Loony Party until 1999.   He holds the record for the number of elections that he stood in and lost (40 elections).  Other politicians in the Official Monster Raving Loony Party included ‘Mad Cow Girl’, ‘Howling Laud Hope” and ‘Catmando’.  Despite winning several local council elections, the party never did very well.   The political party’s last elected politican was ‘R.U. Seerius’ who served in South Derbyshire.

That just leaves the photo for today….and from the archives comes this photo of a fisherman in Mindelo, Cape Verde.   Late afternoon produced some wonderful colours as well as clear air.

LOW-RES-fisherman

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On the Street, Korea – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…” Do not ask what the meaning of life is, You define it”.

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest”.

Street sellers in Gjeongju, Korea for the photo today.   Great light for this photo, with bright, even light and no hard shadows.   Just right to capture the colours of the scene.  And this photo was taken with a cheap, 12mp camera too, not an expensive DSLR.   In Korea, then number ’4′ is very unlucky, so most buildings do not have a 4th floor.    Writing a letter in red ink is also bad form in Korea, as it either means that the recipient will die, or else will have bad luck.     Oddly enough, the official residence of the president of Korea is known as the Blue House.

wordpress-street

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The Open Road – New Zealand – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…..” Do not put the key to your happiness in someone else’s pocket”.

” Some people drink from the fountain of knowledge, others just gargle”.

Off to New Zealand for todays photo, and a picture from one of the three main routes (state highway 73)  that crosses the Southern Alps in the South Island of New Zealand.    Having left the flat plains of Canterubury behind, the road climbs up through Porters Pass (939m) then descends in the mountains before climbing again up to Arthurs Pass (925m) then descends steeply towards the west coast.    The main road is seen here at the bottom of this descent, not far from the settlement of Jackson, which now boasts a 5 star resort.  Jackson is more famous for its pub and also its gourmet pies, a New Zealand tradition.   An excellent, scenic drive or cycle if you are in New Zealand, highly recommended.   Non-stop it will take around 3 hours from Christchurch to the West Coast, but with scenery like this, then you are bound to stop for photos.   The view here is looking eastwards, back towards the Southern Alps.

WORDPRESS-Waimakarri-rd

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Big Brother and something fishy – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” Being happy does not mean that everything is perfect.  It means that you have decided to look beyond the imperfections”.

1984 photo

(photo from Infowars.com)   Bad news for all people who take photographs.  Sad to read that a new Hungarian law will now make it illegal for people to photograph other people in public places without their express permission.  Questions are already being asked about how it will affect tourists, who naturally want to take photos in places like Budapest (filled with people in the streets), but also how it will affect reporters trying to photograph news items.   Very bad of the Hungarian government to try and stop photography in this way, definitely a very backward step.    If they start enforcing this no photographing of people rule, then it will be a very good reason to avoid visiting Hungary.    It is bad enough to read about the problems that photographers have in the USA now, but it seems that the restrictions are spreading.   Big Brother/1984 has happened, just that it started later than predicted.  Hungarian citizens may wish to avoid this place in Texas in  the USA though…..they would definitely got caught on camera here….just for entering a beach….

usa-spy-cameras

(photo from infowars.com)

http://www.infowars.com/texas-beach-stacked-with-high-capacity-cameras/

The photo today comes from a fishing village in Korea, Gampo.   Lots of fish and also seaweed is dried here, and despite the village only having around 7200 residents, it is said that there are over 240 seafood restaurants here.   Raw fish dishes (hoe) and also abalone soup (jeonboktang) and grilled seafood is popular.

LOW-res-fish

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On the menu tonight – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…”  Life was much easier when APPLE and BLACKBERRY were just fruits”.

” Intelligence without ambition is like a bird without wings”.

One of the delights of foreign travel are the unusual foods that you find, especially in the local markets.  Today’s photo comes from a trip about 10 years ago to Laos, and shows some of the foods on offer in the market.    Fried frogs and also fried rat are for sale here, together with something in the centre of the display which I can only guess what it is (any ideas????).  Squirrels on a stick and snake are also common, and wild birds also feature on the menus.    Far better is the local Lao (arabica)  coffee, which is surprisingly good.    And to finish off the meal…..Lao Lao, or the local whisky, made from rice.   Very strong of course, and the one that I tasted had been made in old oil barrels.    The oil gave the whisky an extra taste.  The Scotch may use old brandy and cognac barrels to give their whisky a special taste, but the Lao secret was oil barrels.  Definitely different.   If oil is not to your taste then you can also get Lao whisky infused with snake.  They claimed that snake-infused whisky has medicinal properties and that it can be used as an aphrodisiac.   Not tried that one, nor the fried frogs or squirrels.    There are limits, sometimes.

LOW-RES-food

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Soothing sunet – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…” Happiness is not a destination, it is a way of life”.

Time to dig another photo out of the archives, and since it is Friday then a nice sunset to finish off the week.   Do deep from the archives comes this sunset photo.   The colours of a sunset are actually caused by dust, and also the way that light diffracts as the sun appears to move lower.   Nine major planets orbit the sun, which is around 149 600 km away from the Earth. All the planets also orbit the Sun in the same direction, which is anti-clockwise.   Solar activity is on an 11 year cycle, where every 11 years it reaches it maxium.  The sun also reverses its polarity every 11 years, with the Magnetic North becoming the magnetic South.

As the colours change so fast at this time of day, a series of photos were taken, then the one with the best colour was selected.   The photo has been cropped from the original.

If the good people at Air France Customer Service are reading this, then I would really appreciate it if they could reply to emails and sort out the 2012 refund problem.  Answering emails does not appear to be their strong point.

wordpress-sunset

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Norwegian nature reflections – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…” If you want light to come into your life, then you need to be standing where it is shining”.

Early morning (and a perfect morning) in Voss, Norway in the photo today.   It is hard not to get wonderful photos on days like these, especially in Norway where there is so much scenery like this.    Voss, population about 13 500 people,  is a summer and also a winter (ski) resort, and is on the route of the famous ‘Norway in a Nutshell’ Tour.  It is on the main Oslo to Bergen rail line, which is in itself a great tourist attraction.   Voss also hosts an annual extreme sports week at the end of June each year, including skydiving, and para-bungy.    If you take the letters N.O.R.W.A.Y then, according to the tourist board, it stands for No Other Region Will Amaze You.  Amazing !

Do not forget to click the ‘like’ button if you like the photo, if not then comments are welcome !

Norway-Voss-Lake-reflections-10

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