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North Norway duo.

Thought for the day…” The darkest night is often the bridge to the brightest tomorrow”.

“Life leaps like a geyser for those who drill through the rock of inertia”

Up to the Lofoten Islands in Norway for the photo today, and some typical Lofoten scenery.   These islands are situated at around 68 degrees north, and inside the Artic Circle.    Humans have lived in the islands for over 5500 years, despite the long, cold winters.  Fishing was traditionally the main industry here, mainly for cod.   The mountain peaks rise to over 1100m, whilst surprisingly, the sea here has a form of coral.   As Lofoten is above the Artic circle, then the sun does not set between 25th May and 17 July, meaning 24 hours of daylight.   It is also the home of the Lofoten Insomnia cycle race.

The photo was taken late evening, north of Svolvaer, Fuji X-E1 with the 18-55mm kit lens.

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And another photo from northern Norway, colourful houses by the sea…another triumph for the Fuji X-E1 camera.

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Fishing boats in Norway’s easternmost town

Thought for the day….” People who say that money does not buy happiness do not know which shops to shop in”. ” Adversity is the weight that strengthens us”. Back online after some internet problems, and another photo from the north of Norway, far above the Artic circle.   This photo is of Vardo, in the province of Finnmark.   As Finland is so close at this point, then it also has a Finnish name (Vuorea) and a Sami name, (Várggát).    Only a small population of around 21oo live here, although with the extremely long winter, then that is hardly surprising.  It has the honour of being the easternmost town in Norway, with Russia being not far away across the bay.     It actually lies further east (31 degrees) than Istanbul, Kiev or St. Petersburg.  Much of the land around is barren and treeless artic tundra.  Fishing and fish processing are the main industries here.   Interestingly, it is also the site of Globus II, a radar tracking station for space junk, although given that Russia is so near, then this station may also have other uses.  Vardo is one of the stops on the famous Hurtigruten coastal boat service in Norway. Another photo taken with the Fuji X-E1 camera. Wordpress-Vardo and another photo from the archives….4 modes of transport in this photo from Cuba……. LOW-RES-Trinidad ALL PHOTOS ON THIS SITE ARE AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE. http://www.qualityresortnorefjell.com                   http://www.norefjellsparesort.com

Colour at the top of Europe (almost).

Thought for the day…” A fool and his money are soon elected”   (Will Rogers)

“It is better to regret something you did, rather than something that you did NOT do”.

Work has taken me up to the top of Norway and the top of Europe, but I took some time off to get out and about with the camera.      Despite several very grey and dull days, a burst of sunshine made all the difference for a photo of these houses at Honningsvag, Norway.   Officially, to be classed as a city in Norway, a place has to have over 5000 people, but Honningsvag, poplulation about 2500, was exempted from this rule.   Fishing and tourism are the many industries here, with cruise ships visiting in summer to allow passengers to travel to the nearby Nordkapp.   The mean average temperature here is just +2 degrees, as it is at almost 71 degrees north.      Taken with the Fuji X-E1 camera and 18-55mm standard kit lens.

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and another photo from the archives….a serene scene from the Seychelles.

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Plastic or Paper? No choice in Rwanda.

Thought for the day…”Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.”

” Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.”

It is estimated that at least 1 TRILLION plastic bags are used each year, and that China alone uses more than 3 billion everyday (3 per person).     If you consider that it takes around 1000 years for a non-biodegradeable bag to completely disappear, then it is bad news for the environment.    The bad news goes further, many of these bags end up in the sea, creating even more problems.     One big surprise (but a good one) is that Rwanda banned plastic bags completely, no manufacturing, importing or selling of plastic bags.   And the results of this are VERY easy to see when you travel around the country.   The Rwandans decided that charging for plastic bags in shops was not an option, as the bags would still be dumped around the countryside, so there would still be a problem.   Medical use is one of the few exceptions in Rwanda.   The results of the plastic bag ban are very clear to see when you visit the country, is is surprisingly clean.    Rwanda also has a monthly community cleaning morning, called “Umuganda”.  This is compulsory for every citizen aged between 18 and 65 who is able to work.   On the last Saturday of every month, citizens carry out public works to clean and tidy the country.   Things like cutting hedges, mowing grass and clearing paths to keep the country clean and tidy.   Tourists often are surprised that Rwanda is so clean, and the frequently-heard comment is that Kigali is the cleanest capital that they have been in.   Some other cities around the world are following this idea of banning plastic bags, but the Rwandans have shown that it can be done and that it works.   Full marks to them !!!

Copenhagen for the photo today, and a cruise ship competes with apartment blocks for the views.

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and another photo from the archives…..Caribbean sunset in Marigot Bay, St. Lucia…..

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I get that peaceful, easy morning feeling

Thought for the day…” Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker? ”

” The cure for insomnia is to get more sleep”.                  ” If a book about failure does not sell, then is it a success”.

Not the words from one of the hits of the Eagles music group but a peaceful scene from Norway for the photo today.  One of the early photos from the Fuji X-E1 camera here, taken whilst I was still trying the camera out.   Early morning in the hills of Norway, with some light mist starting to appear over the lake and the first signs of autumn on the trees.   Did you know that in the Swedish and Norwegian languages, that there is no word for ‘please’.   It always sounds very strange (and impolite)  to a non-Scandinavian to simply demand things (eg. give me a coffee.) instead of saying please.    Finnish is another language which does not have a direct word for please (although it does have some polite ways to ask for things, such as  Saisinko (=can I have).     And perhaps because of the long, dark winter and cold winter nights, Norway is number 2 in the world for coffee consumption per capita, around 142 litres (or about 9.5kg of coffee beans) a year for each Norwegian citizen.  Finland still tops the list.

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and a photo from Brazil, with a storm approaching Sao Paulo airport……

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Autumn colours at Glendu Bay, New Zealand

Thought for the day…”Life is 10% what you make it and 90% how you take it”

”  Opportunity does not knock.  It presents itself when you beat down the door”.

Autumn at Glendu Bay, Lake Wanaka, New Zealand for the photo today.  In the centre of the photo is the Bonar Glacier and Mount Aspiring (3033m) in the middle of the Mt. Aspiring National Park.  Glendu Bay is famous for its autumn colours, and often features on postcards and in brochures.  The nearby camping site is packed out over Christmas and New Year, a kiwi tradition to set up camp by the lakeside here.   The town of Pembroke Wanaka is a short drive away as is the small Treble Cone ski area, whilst further up the valley is the start of the national park, with fantastic nature and hiking possibilities.   The Canadian pop/country singer Shania Twain owned property near hear until recently, not hard to see why.

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and another photo from the archives…..the Sultan’s Palace in Muscat, Oman

WORDPRESS Oman-Sultans-Palace

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Traithlon cycling – Challenge Wanaka

Thought for the day…” We learn the ropes of life by untying the knots”

” Better to be an optimist who gets disappointed than a pessimist who has no hope”.

There are 2 classes of cycle speed records, paced (where the cyclist is cycling behind a screen to shield from the wind) or unpaced.  Sebastian Bowier (Netherlands) holds the fastest unpaced cycle record on the flat, 133.7 km/h.   The highest unpaced speeds have been reached downhill, with the fastest ones being attained downhill on snow.  Eric Barone (France) reached 222 km/h in Les Arcs in the year 2000.   And for endurance, the record for the distance cycled in 24 hours on roads is held by Jean Pascal Rouse (France) in Caderousse in 2009 when he cycled 839 km, which is an average of over 34.9 km/h.

Another photo of the cycling leg of Challenge Wanaka for the photo today.   Taken this year at the final corner before T2 (transition 2).   The cycling leg was won by Dougal Allen, with a time of 4 hours 30 minutes 50 seconds for the scenic 180km course.   Challenge Wanaka is said to be the world’s most scenic triathlon competition.  The next race takes place on 20th February 2016.

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and another photo from the archives….water delivery in rural Rwanda….

LOW RES RWANDA Gisenyi 23 Nov 2012 (4)

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Simply colour

Thought for the day…” If opportunity does not knock then build a door”

“The difference between stumbling blocks and stepping stones is how you use them”

570km off the coast of West Africa are the 10 islands that make up the country of Cape Verde.   Until 1975 they were a Portuguese colony, and are still also known by the Portuguese name of Cabo Verde.    About 525 000 people live there, including about 130 000 in the capital Praia.   Fishing and tourism are the main industries, although remittances from workers overseas make up a large part of the incomes there.  About 90% of all food is imported, party due to the semi-desert climate on many of the islands.

And the photo today comes from Mindelo, Cape Verde islands.  Simple use of bright colours and late afternoon sun….

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and another photo from the archives….more colours but this time in Gambia…

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Getting your pulse down – slow TV

Thought for the day…..” Life is 10% what you make it, and 90% how you take it.”  (Irving Berlin).

A mind once stretched by a new idea never returns to its original dimensions

Back in 2013 Norwegian TV NRK  broadcast a 12 hour, non-stop programme at prime time on a Friday evening showing a burning log fire.    Just a log fire, nothing more.  For 12 hours.   It did have some commentary, from wood ‘experts’ who gave tips on burning, stacking and slicing wood.   People sent messages to the TV producers, half of them complaining that the bark on the wood was facing up, and half sent messages to complain that the wood was facing down.   Reports said that 1 million people, or more than 20% of the entire population tuned in to watch the wood burning.    Fresh wood was added as needed, with viewers giving advice on where to place it.   Now in the news is the story that Icelandic television  has followed the trend, with a programme from a farm showing 24 hours of live lambing.  Icelandic TV said that it wanted to give viewers an ” unforgettable time for those able to see the little lambs being born into this world”.   Almost as bad as the 18 hours of salmon swimming upstream, shown live, again on Norwegian TV.   I wonder if they are planning a marathon TV programme showing paint drying?   It says a lot about Norway and Scandinavia !!

A happy scene from Cuba for the photo today.

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and another photo from the archives….market colour in the Netherlands….

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They are taking over….already

Thought for the day…”I will go anywhere as long as it is forward”  (David Livingstone).

”  A negative mind will never give you a postive life”.

More worrying news, this time from China.  The official Chinese news sources are reporting that in Dongguan, a factory there is replacing its workforce of 1800 workers with a new factory which is based on robots.  The new factory will employ just 200 workers, so around 1600 workers will lose their jobs to robots (that is about 90% of the factory’s workforce).   And when you consider things like self check-outs in supermarkets (=lost cashier jobs), automatic check-in at airports (= lost agent jobs) and automatic check in at hotels (=lost reception jobs) then the future looks bleak.    If you look at the videos of car production, then you can see how redundant that a human being can become.  So if the trend continues, then what are all the displaced people going to do for work?   A good question.  Technological unemployment is coming faster than we realize.

Off to Seoul, Korea for the photo today, and a busy street market.

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and another photo from the archives….the ultimate Swiss army knife…

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