Jeritilley A picture is worth a thousand words..

architecture

Road rage, air rage and now airport rage

Thought for the day…”The hardest thing is to take less when you can get more.”                                                                                                                                                                                                    “Obstacles are things a person sees when he takes his eyes off his goal.”

Road rage has now spread to airports as well.   The security checks, long queues and long waits and hassles over baggage mean that people are more stressed than ever.    Airlines have shot themselves in the foot by charging for baggage, as now you see people trying to drag on as much as they can…not uncommon to see them with 3 and sometimes 4 bags.    Airline policies may be wrong, and a lot of the things that airlines are now doing ARE unreasonable, but what is not fair is when you see people’s anger at airports directed at the wrong people – the people working on the check-in desks or at the gate.  These are not the people who have made the rules, they are the ones who are given the unfortunate task to enforce them though.   So it is sad to see passengers at airports getting angry with the wrong people, especially as many of them work for ground companies who are only contracted by the airlines.   By all means get angry with the airlines and the people who have made the mistakes, but make sure that the anger is directed at the correct people.   The person in front of you at the desk or gate may not be the right one.

Late afternoon low sunlight lights up the main street of Brienz, Switzerland for the photo today.  Many of the houses in this area date from the 1700s.

and another photo from the archives – a boat waits at Brienz, Switzerland for the return trip to Interlaken.

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Rich Norway but icy pavements

Thought for the day…”Every failure is a step to success.”

“There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still.” (Franklin Roosevelt)

Today’s photo is of some rare winter sunshine in the Norwegian capital, Oslo.   One thing that you will notice if you visit Oslo in winter is how bad the Norwegians are at coping with snow, even in the capital.    For some reason, the arrival of snow in WINTER seems to surprise Norwegians, leading to travel chaos.    It is also very surprising that the local council in Oslo seems to be so bad at treating the pavements.  On some days, walking around is extremely dangerous due to ice on the streets, yet the Norwegians seem very bad at treating the pavements.  Compared with cities such as Helsinki in Finland, Oslo is a long way behind.  So why is it that the arrival of snow causes so many problems in a country that should be used to it?    As most of the country lies above 60 degrees north (and some parts of it are over 70 degrees north)  then snow and ice should not be a surprise to them, but it is.   And with all the money that rich Norway has, then why are the pavements so dangerous because the local councils have not cleared or treated them??  It is another surprise in a country that many think of as modern and advanced.   As an example of how much money Norway has, the Opera House seen in the photo below cost around 4.1 BILLION Norwegian kronor, or about USD 700 million.  Just to the left of the Opera house, the large new building being built is a new library.  Estimated cost of that is 1.8 BILLION Norwegian Kronor.    So, with all this money, why are the pavements being neglected when it is icy ???

and another photo from the archives….the legs have it…

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Time to Delete…..

Thought for the day….”Life without liberty is like a body without spirit.”

“Obstacles are things a person sees when he takes his eyes off his goal.”

Autumn is a good time to get around to sorting the thousands of photos that are sitting on discs and hard drives.   Those of us over about 30 years old will remember that at one time, you only got 36 pictures (37 if you were lucky) on a roll of film, and even on a long holiday, you did not come back with thousands of photos.   But with digital cameras, it is far too easy to click away and end up with hundreds of photos.    I am looking back at my earlier photos and putting them through a test.   First question is “would I be proud to show this photo to somebody else? ”  and the second question “is this photo special to me?”    If the answer to both questions is NO then it is time to hit the delete button.   Rather like pruning trees after the summer, it will result in a leaner, cleaner and better photo collection.    Hit that delete button !

Classical buildings in the Frogner part of Oslo for the photo today, originally a colour photo that I have converted to Black & White.

wordpress Oslo buildingsand another photo, the lunchtime Wideroe Dash 8 Q300 aircraft arriving in Honningsvag, in North Norway.   This is only about 30km from the North Cape, which is claimed to be the top of Europe at over 71 degrees north.     That said, North Cape is actually on an island (Mageroya) so whether or not it is actually the northernmost point of Europe is debatable.  wordpress WideroeALL PHOTOS ON THIS SITE ARE AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE

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Money well spent, or not ???

Thought for the day…” Hope but never expect, Look forward but never wait”

“Obstacles are those frightful things that you see when you take your mind off your goal”  (Henry Ford)

The waterfront of the Norwegian capital, Oslo is changing fast.   Currently it is a mass of cranes and building sites.   A photo from yesterday taken in perfect weather and warm temperatures, showing just how much building is going on.  The white building on the right is the Opera House, which was completed in 2007, supposedly based on an iceberg shape.    The exterior is covered with Italian marble, Carrara marble.   This is an odd choice to use, as the architects had perhaps not read about the problems that this same type of marble had when it was used for the Finlandia concert hall in Helsinki.    Whilst Italian marble may be very suitable for use in the Mediterranean, it does not handle the extreme cold temperatures of Scandinavia well.    Much of the marble used in Helsinki on the Finlandia Hall had to be replaced, so it is interesting to see it used in Oslo, which has a similar climate.  Time will tell !   The cost of the Opera House in Oslo was over 4 BILLION Norwegian kronor, or over USD 700 million.   Would this money have been better spent on a new medical centre??

and another photo showing the whole building….

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Two from the opposite ends of Norway

Thought for the day…..”If you cannot do great things then do small things in a great way”

“Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations”.

So the crazy ‘security’ people in the good old USA have now decided that the humble Kindle e-book reader cannot be taken onboard flights from certain countries, nor a laptop, digital camera or tablet.   Yet people flying from some other countries CAN take the exact same items.    Just another sign of how stupid the USA has become.    And I am even more surprised that the travelling public in the USA is putting up with more and more of this nonsense.  Nothing to do with security, just a way for the Department of Homeland ‘Security’  to exercise even more control over people, without making flying any safer.    Even Australia is now making the use of the naked body scanners compulsory, with no opt-out option,  yet another intrusion into personal privacy and personal rights.     Based on these stupid, groundless ‘security’ procedures ( security scam would be another way to describe it)  then I will continue to avoid the USA, UK and Australia.    Airport procedures now are beyond reasonable.

A photo of the west Norwegian city of Bergen, taken from Mt. Floyen in perfect light.  Again great colours from the Fuji camera, taken as a jpeg.

and another photo….the fishing town of Vardo, Norway.    This is the easternmost town in Norway, and actually lies further East then Istanbul or Kiev !!  One of the town’s slogans is ‘Eternal light, Eternal Night’,  which is a reference to the 24 hours of constant daylight during summer, and the 24 hours of constant darkness during Winter.    The Russian border is only a few km away across the bay.

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What is on his mind ? Thoughts and expressions…

Thought for the day….” When ‘I’ is replaced with ‘We’ then even illness becomes wellness”.

“Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something”.

People photos are always interesting, and here is another from the collection.   Despite being well known for fantastic colours, the Fuji X series of cameras also produces great Black & White pictures too.   BW really suits this portrait well, and the neutral expression on the man’s face was perfect.   A series of photos was taken to get one where he looked at the camera at the right moment.   The focus point was set on his eyes.  We can only speculate what was on his mind when the photo was taken……

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and a photo from 2015, Alesund in Norway.

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Both from Bergen, buildings & bridges

Thought for the day…”It is better to walk alone than walk with a crowd going in the wrong direction”.

“You cannot hang out with negative people and expect a positive life”.

Winter is a great time to sit inside and sort out the thousands of photos.   In the last century, in the days of 35mm film, you were very careful before you took a photo because you only had 24 or 36 exposures on each film (38 if you were very lucky when you put the film in).    Now, with cameras that will take 8 or 10 photos a second, then sorting photos has become a mammoth task.   Before, you sent the film away for processing, and the shop did all the work for you, whereas now you have to download the photos, label them and file them yourself, as well as editing them.  One great advantage of the Fuji system is that the jpegs straight out of the camera are SO good, which means that much less editing is needed.    Still got FAR too many photos though, but at least I am spending much less time on editing now.    Two photos from the city centre in Bergen, Norway, both taken earlier this year with the Fuji X-T10 camera and standard 18-55mm kit lens.

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Oslo city centre – not pleasant

Thought for the day…”Postive anything is better than negative nothing”

“If your ship does not come in, then swim out to it”.

The Norwegian capital, Oslo, becomes even more unpleasant to walk around.   It seems that in the very centre of the city, that drug dealers can openly sell drugs, and drug users can wait around, apparently without the police doing anything.   As soon as you come out of the main train or bus stations then you see it.    The newspapers were reporting that the Norwegian police said that they had lost control of one area (Gronland), and the situation seems to be getting worse.    Go for a walk early morning and you may see used syringes on the ground.   Walk around after dark (not recommended) and you will see drug dealers openly selling.    It is very clear who the drug users are, but they seem to be immune to action.    Add to that the large number of begging gypsies in the city and Oslo has become an unpleasant and dirty place.  But why are the police not doing anything??  Surely the use of hard drugs must be illegal in Norway, but these people apparently get away with it, and openly too.   And all the begging gypsies apparently do not have any legal right to stay in Norway, so why are they allowed to remain?    What are the police doing about it?   I wonder.

Today’s photo comes from north Norway, and from the fishing village of Honningsvag.

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and another photo from the archives….the same photo as in the previous post, but this time converted to black & white.

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Down the alleys of Stockholm

Thought for the day…”It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers.”

“You can’t help getting older, but you don’t have to get old”

Am I missing the point?    Went into a local sports shop (part of a large international chain) and could not understand why a sports shop has escalators to go up and down between the different floors.   This is the same chain of sports shops which sells running machines and keep fit equipment, yet they have escalators between floors.  Am I missing the point?

Lovely photo of the alleys in the medieval part of Stockholm, Sweden.  This part of Stockholm (actually an island) is known as ‘Gamla Stan’, or Old Town, and dates from the 13th century.  In the 19th century the area was a slum, but from the 1970s the area was restored.   Fuji X-T10 camera & 18-55mm lens.

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and another photo from the archives….pondering the moment in Ethiopia…..

WORDPRESS ETHIOPIA Bahir Dar Tis Isat girl green dress 4 Oct 2011 (7)

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Curious marketing, or is it crazy marketing???

Thought for the day…”Success is when preparation meets opportunity”

“When life changes to become harder, change yourself to be stronger”.

I have received an email from Lonely Planet advertising some new books.  I am wondering if I am missing something here.   One of the book titles is ‘The Best Things in Life Are Free”, but there is a ‘buy now’ button.   Now that does not seem right to me, but perhaps I am wrong…..

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Almost as bad was the email sent to me by Amazon.  Having ordered some wine for a friend, the confirmation email from Amazon went on to suggest other items that I might be interested in purchasing.   On the list was….Andrex Toilet tissue!!   I cannot see that people ordering wine would be interested in ordering toilet tissue at the same time, but maybe I am wrong.    But who orders toilet paper online anyway???    Strange marketing.

Lovely sunrise at Floro, Norway on the 15th October for the photo today, captured with the Fuji X-T10 camera and standard 18-55mm lens.

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and another photo….modern architecture in Baku, Azerbaijan.

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In the streets, in black & white.

Thought for the day….”The finest steel has to go through the hottest fire”.

“Problems are not stop signs, they are guidelines”.

It is pleasant to read a good news story from New Zealand.    The newspapers there are reporting on yet another helicopter crash (there are a lot of crashes in NZ) near Queenstown on the South Island.   The helicopter, with 6 people onboard, crashed on landing.   The passengers escaped with minor injuries, but Australian Mitchell Green proposed to his girlfriend immediately after exiting the wreckage.   The happy ending is that she accepted.   Not your usual marriage proposal !!!  Wonder what they will do for the wedding ceremony……

Great fun to go back through the photo collection and edit old photos….here are a couple of photos, originally taken in colour, converted to black & white.    Good lighting and being in the right place at the right time helped to make these photos.

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and another…

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How lucky is lucky ??

Thought for the day…”Talent does what it can; genius does what it must.”

Did you see the story in the news about a survivor of the recent air crash in Dubai?    Mohammed Khadar was returning to Dubai from India when the Emirates 777 aircraft crashed on landing.  All 300 passengers got off the aircraft, which later burnt out.  Mr. Khadar, who works in Dubai, purchased a lottery ticket in the duty free shop in airport, and won a USD 1 million cash prize.   Commenting on his win, he said that his escape from the crashed aircraft was a miracle, but that the money would make enemies.   Lucky !!

The photo today comes from the famous dye pots in Fez, Morocco.

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and another photo from the archives…..the night sleeper train from Trondheim, Norway to Oslo.

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Great colours from the Fuji camera

Thought for the day….”Too many people overvalue what they are NOT, and undervalue what they ARE”

“It is not the load that breaks you down, it is the way that you carry it”.

Norway has been enjoying some fantastic summer weather…with unbelievable temperatures, even in the far north.   Not only have there been many long, sunny days, but some days with wonderful clear air too.  Today’s photo comes from Svolvaer, the ‘capital’ of the Lofoten Islands, about half way up the long coast of Norway.   The photo was taken in the main harbour, and shows the traditional cottage that was previously used by fishermen, called a rorbu.  These cabins were traditionally built out over the water, so that boats could moor directly alongside.  Many of these have been converted into holiday homes, although the ones in this photo are actually part of a hotel.   At this time of year, there is 24 hour sunshine in this part of Norway, so even late evening it is possible to get photos like this.  Expect to pay around 200 euros a night for a typical cabin during summer.   Taken with the Fuji X-T10 camera and standard 18-55mm kit lens, with almost no editing of the photo.   Once again, great colours from Fuji.

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and another photo from the archives…some great colours in Mindelo, Cape Verde islands….

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Coffee time in Finland

Thought for the day…”Value is more expensive than price”

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

Two photos from opposite sides of the globe next, one from the Finnish capital of Helsinki and the second from the Central Otago region of the South Island of New Zealand.   Interestingly, the building in the first photo is now the City Hall for Helsinki, but was originally a hotel where the first moving pictures were shown in Finland by the Lumiere brothers in 1896.   Even in winter (when temperatures are frequently below -20 degrees centigrade) people will sit outside in the area around the harbour to drink excellent, strong Finnish coffee (kahvi in Finnish language).   Finland is number one in the world for coffee consumption per capita, something to do with the long, dark Artic nights.  But the coffee is excellent !!!   It works out to about 12kg of coffee for each person in Finland.   A survey in 2014 reported that 14% of men and 6% of women in Finland drank MORE than 10 cups of coffee a day.  They like their coffee !!

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And another photo from the archives….Lake Hawea, Otago, New Zealand

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Two sides of Oslo, Norway

Thought for the day….”Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it”

“Be nice to people on the way up because you will meet them again on the way down”

Today’s photo is of the Opera House in the Norwegian capital city of Oslo.  Opened in 2008, the shape is supposed to resemble an iceberg.   The cost was a staggering 4.1 billion NOK, or about USD 720 million.    A new public library is to be built nearby as well as several office blocks.  Despite the wealth, the streets nearby have many beggars and drug addicts, as well as rubbish and grafitti.   Even nearby the Opera House, there are parts of the city that are run-down and are dirty, a fact that often surprises visitors to Oslo.    It is known as the heroin capital of Europe, with 248 deaths from drugs in 2010.   Again, visitors are often surprised by how obvious drug use and drug dealing on the streets is, something which does not fit in with the image of clean, well-run Norway.     Reality is sometimes very different.

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and another photo from the archives…a dramatic sunrise in Pembroke, New Zealand.

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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.

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

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Squeezed all ways

Thought for the day…”A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer”.

” Those who do not learn the lessons of history are bound to repeat them”.

I was sad to see that one of my favourite airlines, SWISS Airlines, is falling into the trap that some other airlines have already slipped into.    Swiss Airlines, who are normally very good, have announced details of their new cabin layout for the 777 W aircraft.    As one of those people who travel economy, I was sad to see that they are going to squeeze in 10 abreast economy seating (3+4+4).    Airlines such as Emirates had already done this, but now Swiss are going to as well.  Not only are economy class passengers squeezed for leg room, but now they are also going to be squeezed for shoulder space too.    Add to this the fact that Swiss (part of the Lufthansa group) also charge for selecting a seat in advance (25 euros approximately for each long haul flight), then the benefits of paying more for this airline disappear.    I have so far avoided airlines which squeeze 10 abreast seating on the 777, and it will certainly influence my choice of Swiss in future.   10 abreast is just not pleasant for a long haul flight, and a charge of about 25 euros to reserve a seat is just another nail in the coffin.

Two photos in black and white showing the city centre in Bergen, Norway.    As it was a dull day, then switching to BW was the answer..

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Two from Oslo, Norway

Thought for the day…”Pretty words are not always true, and true words are not always pretty”.

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

Think of Scandinavia and you probably think of countries with high standards, countries that are clean and also countries that are fairly well-ordered.    So when you mention Norway, and the capital, Oslo, you do not tend to think of a city with problems.   Two of the big problems there are hard drugs and also gypsies.    What is also surprising is that this happens not just in the suburbs, but in the very heart of the city.    Just a few steps from the main train and bus stations (and sometimes even inside these) are people openly dealing in drugs, even during the daytime.   Drug use is also very obvious in the city centre, yet the police seem to do little about it.   It is not just the ‘soft’ drugs but the serious ones like heroin as well.  Around 250 people die each year in Norway from heroin overdoes.    And it is very obvious who is using these hard drugs too.   Add to that a huge problem with begging gypsies and it makes the city centre of Oslo far from pleasant.     Last summer gypsies were even setting up camp in the main squares and parks, then lighting fires to cook on.   Now they are plagueing the city streets, begging in shop doorways and street corners.    Add to that the explosion of grafitti in Oslo, and the city that tourists discover on arriving is far different from the city that they expected.

Staying in Oslo for the photo today…..a colourful corner shop.

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And another photo from the archives…..a perfect autumn morning in Geilo, Norway……

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Colourful Copenhagen

Thought for the day…” Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if you remember to turn on the light”.

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

Today’s photo comes from the Danish capital, Copenhagen.   Around 474 islands make up Denmark, but there are also the islands of the Faroes and Greenland, which also belong to Denmark (although are autonomous).  The highest point in Denmark is only 170m (Mollehoj).   Some Danes joke that summer in Denmark is different to winter in Denmark because the rain is warmer.     And did you know that the fairy tale books from the author Hans Christian Anderson have been translated into more languages than any other author? And more Danish trivia….Walt Disney, after visiting the amusement park Tivoli in Copenhagen, gained the inspiration to start his own park, Disneyland?  The famous Sydney opera house was designed by a Danish architech too.   And that famous children’s toy, LEGO comes from the Danish words ‘leg gott’  which means ‘play well’.     As an estimated 320 BILLION Lego bricks have been sold then it works out that every human being in the world owns/has owned 56 Lego bricks.   According to the Lego website, it would take around 40 billion lego bricks to make a column tall enough to reach the moon.   Not made of lego bricks are these colourful buildings in the city centre of Copenhagen…..

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and another photo from the archives….arriving at Nadi, Fiji.  Early morning sunshine, but before it got too hot…..

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New looking old, historic New Zealand

Thought for the day…” It isn’t premarital sex if you have no intention of getting married.”   (George Burns)

“Dreams are not what you see in your sleep.  Dreams are the things that do not let you sleep”.

Nice photo of the historic Cardrona Hotel, Otago, New Zealand for the photo today.    Cardrona lies about 25km from the town of Wanaka, on the mountain road to Queenstown.    Cardrona was originally a gold rush town which grey up in the 1860s.   The historic hotel in the photo was used in advertisements by the Speights brewery in New Zealand.   Nowadays it is the nearby Cardrona ski area which attracts tourists, although now that the road to Queenstown is sealed all the way, then the route through Cardrona is much busier.  Occasionally you still see people panning for gold in the nearby river.   The photo was taken in colour, then selectively changed to black and white.

LOW-RES-hoteland another photo out of the archives…taken on safari in Kenya…..WORDPRESS-KENYA-Lioness

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The meaning of life ?

Thought for the day…” Success is when preparation meets opportunity.”

With all the problems in the world (climate change, recession, unemployment, malaria, Syria etc……) it is surprising to read that scientists in the USA in Portland University have been busy working on perfecting a coffee maker that will work in zero gravity (zero G) conditions in space.    I may be missing the point here, but one, are there many people travelling in space? and two, could these same scientists have worked on something more useful??  Hopefully this ‘research’ was not paid for by taxpayers’ money.

Off to the small town of Arrowtown in New Zealand for the photo today.   The town was previously a historic gold mining town once had more than 7000 residents, who were attracted by the lure of gold in the nearby Shotover and Arrow rivers.   The Shotover river turned out to be one of the richest gold-bearing rivers in the world, and it is still possible today to pan for gold in it.  The photo was taken late evening, when the day trippers from the nearby tourist mecca of Queenstown had returned and had left Arrowtown in peace again.    A colour photo was converted to black & white, then to sepia, and the contrast was increased.

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Paraguayian pair – two from Paraguay

Thought for the day…”Failure is the foundation of success, and the means by which it is achieved”.

” If you do not have a dream, then how can your dreams come true?”   (Jimmy Cricket)

Two photos today from Paraguay, and both taken with the Fuji X-E1 camera.    The camera was ready, because photos like these have to be grabbed fast.    In both cases, it was only seconds before the scene changed, and the moment was lost, so there was no chance to frame or plan the photos.  But the results are great, and the new Fuji camera has done a great job with the exposure and colours.   Both pictures come from the capital of Paraguay, Asuncion and from the city centre.   Not an exciting place for tourists, and the sight of shanty towns built in the city centre will surprise you, as will the broken pavements, abandoned buildings and general decay.

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Variations on a Theme. Same same but different

Thought for the day….” Same, same, but different”.

“It is fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure”  (Bill Gates)

Off to Paraguay for the photos today, and to the capital Asuncion.  This landlocked South American country was once a Spanish colony until 1811.  The money is called the Guarani and the capital, Asuncion is home to about 500 000 people.   Despite being the capital, Asuncion is not a fun place for tourists, as it has few great sights but does have a lot of broken houses, decay and abandoned buildings.    Paraguay is a poor country, and it certainly shows in the capital.   Paraguay has the honour of holding the world record for the largest barbeque, when 30 000 diners attended the record-breaking attempt.

Those who have travelled in Vietnam will no doubt have seen and heard the phrase “Same, Same but different”.   Today’s photos, actually the same photo, started out as one photo, but was given the photoshop treatment.    The first photo was the original colour photo, almost as it came out of the camera…..

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But then changed in Photoshop into a black & white photo, then converted to sepia to give it an old fashioned look, before editing it so that just the yellow chair and box remained in their original colours.   Finally, add the frame and bob’s your uncle…..

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Same, same but different,  as they say.

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Helsinki duo – Two from Helsinki, Finland

Thought for the day…” The difference between genius and stupidity is…..genius has limits”

” The secret of getting ahead is getting started (Mark Twain).

Two photos today  from Helsinki, capital of Finland.   Helsinki is one of those cities that you have to discover, for there is a lot that is not obvious on arrival.   For one thing, Finland is number one on the world for coffee consumption per capita, and the coffee is good, strong and available everywhere. (Try ‘The Roastery’ on Alexanderkatu for some really good coffee). And to go with the great coffee….some Fazer chocolate (although Karl Fazer was actually originally from Germany).   It is also the only city in Finland to have trams and a subway (metro) and is said to have the world’s most northerly metro station.     The language is horribly difficult for a foreigner, in winter is is very cold (-25 is not uncommon) and also dark for most of the day, but to make up for this there are some excellent sports facilities, wonderful architecture, good eating places, and the feeling that you have left Europe behind and have crossed into Russia (like when you see the Russian Orthodox churches in Helsinki, with their onion domes).  Indeed, parts of Helsinki look so much like Russia that Helsinki used to be used instead of Russia when making films (such as ‘Gorky Park’) until the city council decided that it was not a good idea and stopped promoting it.    And if you explore the indoor markets, then you may find things like bear meat for sale as well as the more common reindeer and moose meat.  But perhaps give another tradional (but popular) Finnish sweet, salty liquorice, a miss.   The city has about 53% women (versus 47% men), and after Reykjavik, Iceland, is the world’s most northerly capital city.  More trivia….it was the first country in the world to give women the vote and also the first country to make broadband a legal right for citizens.

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and another photo out of the archives….taken just a couple of hundred metres from the previous photo, but months apart….a new photo converted into Black & White, then converted into Sepia to give it the old-fashioned look.

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