Early one morning……71 degrees north

Thought for the day…” The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled.”

For some reason, I have few photos of sunrise.    Not that sunrise is the correct term, because the sun does not rise at all, just that the Earth is turning.   Those who are into sundials will know about the equation of time, and the effects of refraction on the actual time of  ‘sunrise’.   Today’s photo was taken on 29th September at 71 degrees north in North Norway, just ahead of a storm.  Suprisingly, about 30 minutes after the photo was taken, the scene had changed to wind and rain, but for a few minutes around ‘sunrise’ the colours and clouds were great.  As usual, the Fuji X-E1 was the camera.


and another photo from the archives…..the island of Madeira and the fishing village of Camara de Lobos..



And it does not work for them either…….Windows 10

Thought for the day….” Real happiness is cheap enough, yet how dearly we pay for its counterfeit”.

Its not that I’m so smart, just that I stay with problems longer”  (Albert Einstein).

Well I am wondering if there is any hope for the rest of us, if the experts cannot get it to work…..At a recent presentation of the features of the new Windows 10 operating system, the chairman of Microsoft, Satya Nadella could not get the Cortana (the ‘personal assistant’ contained in the new system) to work.    After asking the ‘personal assistant’ Cortana to identify most at risk activities in business, the ‘intelligent’ system replied with details of where he could buy milk.   Further attempts to get the system to work as promised also failed, which led to the Microsoft chairman uttering words such as ‘oh, come on”, and ‘no, this is not going to work’.   He was finally helped by some behind the scenes experts, but it was hardly a good endorsement for the new system.   And especially if you are the chairman of the company that makes the product and are supposed to be promoting it at a large event.   So if the chairman of Microsoft cannot get it to work properly, then what can the rest of us expect????   Bring back Windows XP !!!!


and another photo from the archives….southern Oman….



The streets of Oslo – not what you are expecting.

Thought for the day…” A smile is a curve that sets everything straight. ”

” Success is simple.  Do what is right, the right way, at the right time”.

One of the surprises that visitors to the Norwegian capital, Oslo  often comment on are the large numbers of beggars on the streets.   All around the city they are a common sight, including in the city’s parks where they often set up camp.    During the summer it is not uncommon to see them cooking in parks and open spaces, sometimes using  the trees and bushes for firewood.    Back in September 2014, the council in Oslo voted AGAINST a ban on begging in the city, another sign of the weakness of Norwegians to deal with the problem.   A newer proposal to ban begging nationwide in Norway was dropped as it was seen as discriminating against Roma (gypsy) people.      The fact that pick-pocketing and crime have increased in the areas where there are many beggars can hardly be a coincidence.    Complaints about litter and the bad sanitation have also increased in the areas where the gypsies are camping, including in the city centre.     Yet the Norwegian government has apparently done little to resolve the problem.  Same thing with the drug dealers and drug addicts who also frequent the city centre.    If you drive you car 10km over the speed limit in Norway then you are a major criminal, but apparently a drug dealer or beggar can get away with their crimes.     Not the sort of Norway that tourists were expecting before their arrival.



and another photo from the archives….early morning balloon over Goreme, Cappadocia, Turkey.



Are you one?

Thought for the day…” For sleep, riches and health to be truly enjoyed, they must be interrupted.”

Are you one?   Are you one of the annoying people who walk down the pavements (sidewalk for the Americans) glued to their mobile phone??   I am so tired of these people who have no consideration for others walking towards them.   Now I am refusing to move out of their way.   Videos on Youtube show people walking into fountains and falling into rivers because they are fixated on their mobile phone.  They deserve it.   Almost as bad as those who text whilst driving.  Perhaps there is an app for people like these……..

Two photos from the Norwegian coastal town of Alesund.  This town was destroyed by fire in 1904, and was rebuilt in the Art Nouveau style.  This means that most of the buildings in the centre date from 1904 to 1907 and share the same style.  Around 45 000 people live here, with fishing, tourism and a small oil-support industry being the main occupations.  The first photo was taken at the top of the 488 steps which lead up from the town to the viewpoint.


wordpress-riverside-finaland another photo from the archives….riverside in the Paraguayian capital of Asuncion



Crown Range road in New Zealand

Thought for the day…” A mind is like a parachute.  It does not work unless it is open”

“Teamwork – Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress, working together is success”  Henry Ford.

If you are fortunate enough to be cycling in New Zealand, then the road linking Queenstown with Wanaka, the Crown Range is going to test the legs.  The road climbs up to 1119m, including a section with zig-zags and also some great downhill sections.   Easy to get up to around 80 km/h on the downhill sections, although the bends will make higher speeds difficult.  Great views down into the Gibbston Valley below, and also towards Queenstown and Arrowtown.  The road is the highest sealed main road in New Zealand, winter snow and ice make the road difficult in winter time, but summer it is a joy to cycle.   On the Pembroke-Wanaka side of the pass, there is the small settlement of Cardrona, which was once the site of a gold rush.  Nowadays Cardrona is more known for its pub (in the second photo) , which has featured in advertisements, and also for the nearby bra-fence.  The bra fence has been moved from the main road due to repeated theft of the bras and the problems caused by too many cars stopping to admire this New Zealand curiosity.


LOW-RES-Cardrona-road-2LOW-RES-Braand another photo from the archives….one of the early test pictures from the then-new X-E1 camera which was on one of its first outings



View from above – Aruba

Thought for the day…”Action may not bring happiness but there is no happiness without action”.

“You cannot live a positive life with a negative mind”.

Off to the Caribbean for the photo today and the island of Aruba, seen here from above.    Aruba is about 30km off the coast of Venezuela, and is one of the group of islands known as the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao).   About 103 000 people live on this small island, which is only 32km long and about 10km wide.   It is dry and arid (there are no rivers), and also very flat, with a year round average temperature of 27 degrees.   Tourism is the number one industry here, with oil refining and offshore banking also important.  About 1.5 million tourists a year visit, including many arrivals by cruise ships in the capital, Orangestad.   The beaches were very quiet when this early morning photo was taken…..


and another photo from the archives…..a girl in rural Laos.



Lofoten Islands & Hurtigruten boats.

Thought for the day….” When you fish for love, bait with your heart, not with your brain”   (Mark Twain).

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work”  (Thomas Edison).

Two photos from the Lofoten Islands in artic Norway…both with the Hurtigruten ships in them.  One of these boats leaves Bergen every day of the year for the 5.5 day journey up the coast all the way to Kirkenes, near the Russian border.    Lofoten Islands are about half way up Norway, at about 67 degrees north (so north of the Artic circle).  Fishing has been important here for over 1000 years, now tourism is also important during the very short summer season.   The islands have the midnight sun from 25th May until 17th July.    In the photos, the Hurtigruten boat ms Trollfjord passes another Hurtigruten boat,  ms Finnmarken.  Fuji X-E1 camera again, and the 18-55mm kit lens, a great combination.    As others have said, the Fuji X-E1 camera makes you want to take photos again.

wordpress-Hurtigruten-final wordpess-Hurtigruten-2


Finals to Land – Funchal, Madeira

Thought for the day….”If the world seems cold to you, kindle some fires to warm it”.

” When something is ” new and improved” , which is it?”

Did you know that until recently, the longest scheduled flight was the flight by Singapore Airways from Singapore to Newark, USA, a trip of 18.5 hours?  One of the longest flights now is the Delta Airlines flight between Johannesberg, South Africa and Atlanta, USA, a trip of some 17 hours non-stop.   And for distance, Qantas has a flight from Sydney to Dallas, a distance of some 13 600km/8500 miles.   For short flights, the scheduled service between the Scottish islands of Westray and Papa Westray is scheduled to take just 2 minutes, although a tail wind can reduce this to 90 seconds.      And did you know that a Boeing 747 is made up of around 6 million parts, and has a top speed of 955 km/h?   The photo today is of an Airbus A320 arriving at Funchal, Madeira.   This airport is famous for its often windy approaches due to the surrounding mountain, although no sign of any turbulence for this Monarch Airlines flight.


and another photo from the archives….a market stall in Helsinki, Finland.



Two from Trondheim

Thought for the day…”  You can never cross an ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore”  (Colombus).

“Why is a person who plays the piano called a pianist, but a person who drives a racing car not called a racist?”

Off to the Norwegian city of Trondheim for the photos today.  Trondheim is the 3rd largest city in Norway, with about 170 000 people living there.   It was the capital of Norway until 1217 and has an interesting history, including a time when it was controlled by Sweden.   Many of the old buildings in the city are wood, and the city centre has had several large fires over the years.   As well as a university, the city also has some technology industries.  It also has the world’s only bicycle lift (Sykkelheisen Trampe)  which carries cycles and their riders up a 20% hill, at a speed of about 7 km/h.   Riders remain on their cycle, and place their right foot on the special mechanism, which then propels them up the incline (link to the website here….  Two photos now from the old part of the city centre…..


and another photo from Trondheim….same street but from the other end….



Hurtigruten sunset

Thought for the day…”Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”

“You do not stop laughing because you grow old, you grow old because you stop laughing”.

A couple of sunset photos from the deck of the Hurtigruten coastal steamer boats.    These boats travel between Bergen on the west coast of Norway and Kirkenes at the top of Norway, next to the Russian border, a journey of 5.5 days each way.   11 ships travel the route, and call at 34 ports along the way, including a trip up the famous Geirangerfjord in summer.    Interestingly, Norwegian Television did a live TV sending of the whole 134 hour trip.   The photos today were taken near the middle of the trip, just north of the Lofoten islands, again with the Fuji X-E1.


wordpress-sunset-2-finalALL PHOTOS ON THIS SITE ARE AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE.                  


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