Jeritilley A picture is worth a thousand words..

politics

Swiss mountain town bans photography

Thought for the day..”Public opinion is no more than this: what people think that other people think.”

“Courage is fear holding on a minute longer.”  (George Patton)

What is the world coming to?    News on the internet is that the Swiss town of  Bergun in the Graubunden area has voted to ban photography in it’s area.    People taking photos will be fined CHF4 under the new bylaw.     Apparently, the local council has already taken down publicity photos from the internet.    So many places in the world are restricting photography, you have only to think of the USA where photographing public buildings is now likely to lead to trouble with the authorities,  and in many places in the world, taking photos near an airport is also likely to lead to problems.     It is amazing that the central government in Switzerland has allowed the town of Bergun to introduce the new photography ban.   It would certainly change my decision to visit any town if it had a photography ban.  What has happened to freedom?   And what is the town of Bergun so afraid of???    Surely any town should be please that people want to visit and take photographs.    And because Switzerland is usually a civilised country, then the photography ban is even more surprising.     Recently Sweden introduced a complete ban on filming from drones/quadcopters without special permission, and other countries are gradually introducing more restrictions as well.

Today’s photo is a scan of a slide taken many years ago, a local train from St. Ives passes the beach at Carbis Bay in Cornwall, England.

and another photo…..a scanned slide photo from the 1990s.   A Penzance to London train in the Glynn Valley near Bodmin Road in Cornwall, England.

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RESPECT, CONSIDERATION & FAIRNESS

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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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Overcrowded and full, New Zealand

Thought for the day..”There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still.”

“Some people are so afraid to die that they never begin to live.”

New Zealand continues to be overrun with tourists.   Whilst the tourist board seems to think that ever increasing numbers of tourists are a wonderful thing, those people who are in New Zealand are now seeing the effects over too many tourists.   Accommodation is full in many places, cafes are packed out, roads are busier than they have ever been (=more accidents)  and the national parks and nature are suffering (and suffering is the word) from the onslaught.    And there is no end in sight.     Airlines are putting on more and more flights (particularly from China) and are upping frequencies.     Trying to get reservations for accommodation at the moment is a nightmare and the once quiet country is now far from quiet and unspoilt.

The number of tourists has now passed 3.42 million a year, (population of NZ is about 4.7 million), and is growing by over 10%.     So the overcrowding at the popular tourists sights is becoming serious.     This also means that the nature and wildlife is suffering too.    Imagine driving into Milford Sound (which is in a national park) and arriving before 0900 only to find that ALL parking was already full and that officials were telling arriving motorists to turn around and drive out again.

And the worst part…..there is no end in sight.   Quiet, peaceful and quaint it might once have been.   Not now.

Today’s photo comes from the Old Town in Bergen, Norway.    It started out as a quick snapshot in colour, and was converted to B&W.    Just lucky that there was somebody in the sunlight in the ideal position.   Another reason why it is good to always have the camera ready.

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and another photo from the archives…..sunset over Norway from an aircraft window…..

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More depressing news from New Zealand

Thought for the day…”If things do not go right, go left”

“Success – keeping your mind awake and your desire asleep”

More depressing news from New Zealand….even more flights and even bigger aircraft.   As well as increased numbers of flights from the USA and also from China, Emirates airline has announced that it is putting a 4th Airbus A380 on the route to Auckland.    This will mean that there will be 4 A380s at Auckland at the same time in addition to another A380 from Singapore Airlines.  Whilst the tourist board in NZ may be congratulating themselves on record numbers of visitors, the country just cannot cope with ever-increasing numbers.   The country has a population of just over 4.6 million people, but now receives over 3.3 million tourists, many of whom want to see the same few places.   The last 2 summers have seen accommodation fully booked, and tourists having to sleep in cars due to the lack of accommodation.  Buses and flights have been fully booked, and it has even become necessary to reserve some mountain huts ahead.    Queenstown (known as the adventure capital of the world), with a population of around 22 000 people, is now receiving over 2 MILLION tourists a year.  You can imagine what the town centre is like there in high summer.   But the tourist board keeps encouraging more and more flights, thinking that more and more tourists are good for the economy.  Yet the very nature and beauty that these tourists are attracted to is fast becoming destroyed (there have been attempts to build a monorail in one of the national parks already).

Some of the popular walking tracks (such as the Abel Tasman coastal track and the Tongariro Crossing) are now so crowded that they are considering giving people starting times for the walks, in an attempt to spread the crowds out.    Clean and green New Zealand it once was.  Now it is crowded and busy NZ.   So the news that the airlines are putting on even more flights to cope with this demand is hardly surprising, yet nobody in government has had the courage to stand up and say that there is a limit to how many tourists that NZ can accept.   It seems that every month that a new record for tourist arrivals is being reached (China is the big growth area for incoming tourists), with no sign of it easing up.    So when those millions of tourists do finally arrive in NZ, then the fun and games trying to find accommodation, rental cars and domestic flights begins.    Those politicians who think that unlimited numbers of tourists are good for the NZ economy should take a trip (assuming that they can get a seat on a flight or bus) to Queenstown or Milford Sound in summer and see just what sort of effect the millions of tourists are having.    Start queueing now !!!

Early morning in Geilo, Norway for the photo today….great colours from the Fuji camera together with clear air helped make this such a good photo.  The early morning mist had almost burnt off when the photo was taken.

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and another photo from the archives…two tourists admire Lake Wanaka, Pembroke Wanaka on the South Island of New Zealand. Two tourists managed to creep into this photo even !!

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Changing names in New Zealand

Thought for the day….”For every dark night, there is a brighter day”

“Arriving at one goal is the starting point for another”.

Next time you look at a map of New Zealand, you might notice some changes.   And not changes for the better either.   The politicians in New Zealand are giving in to the Maori people and are changing more and more names from their English names to alternative Maori names.  There are even new names for the country itself (I refuse to mention the new name for NZ) and for the two main islands, which up to now have been known as North Island and South Island.   But the politicians either do not have the guts to resist or the will to resist the increasing demands of the Maori people.     Changing the names of places is just another sign of how this group of people are gradually taking over New Zealand.    What the politicians are ignoring is the fact that New Zealand does not belong to maori people, as they were not the original people of the country.     Not only that, but under the treaty of Waitangi, they even signed agreements over land ownership.   So now, after all these years, they cannot claim that it is ‘their’ land and there can be little legal right for them to insist that names of places in New Zealand are changed to their names.

But the politicians have just given in.

So tourists when the visit New Zealand will start seeing more and more Maori names, and will probably believe that NZ actually belongs to the maori people.  Quite how a MINORITY group of people has got this to happen is strange.   English, not maori, is the language of the majority of people in New Zealand.    Places such as Mount Cook (the highest mountain in New Zealand) should keep its English name.    But the politicians have other ideas.

A peaceful summer scene for the photo today…another triumph for the Fuji X-E1 camera.    Taken as a jpeg photo and cropped to produce this pleasing image.

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and another photo from the archives….a backpacker talks to a local boy in Nepal…..

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Political correctness – something is wrong here.

Thought for the day…”Why does a round pizza come in a square box?”

“If electricity comes from electrons, then does morality come from morons”

If you have visited Sweden recently then you will have seen the large numbers of refugees and asylum seekers in the cities and in the train and bus stations.    Whilst normal tourists need to apply for a Schengen visa to enter, it appears now that the borders to Europe are open to all, and without limit.     Swedish Television has now issued instructions to it’s staff that they are not to use the words ‘immigrant’, ‘black skinned’, ‘dark’ or ‘African origin’  for fear of  insulting people.   The use of words such as ‘white skinned’ is still allowed though.   Is that fair?  Is it not discrimination??  Even  worse is that anyone accused of racism by an immigrant is not going to be allowed time on TV or radio to defend themselves.  And whilst people in Sweden have had to put their names on waiting lists for sometimes several years in order to get public housing, asylum seekers are being put into housing quickly.  Across the border in Norway, asylum seekers are housed in hotels (at public expense) and are given a daily living allowance, whilst Norwegian people have to pay to stay in hotels and are taxed on the priviledge.    Is that fair?

The photo today comes from the lakeside town of Pembroke Wanaka, on the South Island of New Zealand.  A typical morning view of the lake from near the town centre.

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and another photo from the archives….window cleaning in Ljublana, Slovenia

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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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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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Finals to land – Not the Quality Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…” Doing things right is not as important as doing the right things.”

” The past is to improve yourself, and the future is to prove yourself”.

Another photo to prove that you do not need an expensive camera to get a good photo.    Many modern ‘compact’ cameras offer great zooms (the new ones go up to an extreme 60X zoom!) , but even a 20X zoom will get you a photo like this.    Good light and also a high shutter speed will give great results.   Even though the aircraft was moving at around 260 km/h at this point, the high shutter speed of 1/2000th has given a good, sharp photo.  Once again, the Panasonic Lumix camera has done well !!

The Portuguese government is trying to sell TAP Airline, as part of its attempts to raise much needed funds.   It has already sold the airports operations to a French company, but a recent bid by a Brazilian company for the airline fell through.   The airline has huge debts and also a reputation for poor service.

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Finals to land – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” He who has never made a mistake has never made a discovery”.

” The walls around you do not define the wealth within you”.

Did you see the story from Brazil about a man in Sao Paulo who has buried a Bentley Continental Flying Spur car in his garden for his afterlife.  The 62 year old businessman got the idea from the pharaohs in Egypt, and he plans to use it after his death.   The car is worth around USD 400 000.

Finals to land for the photo today…..and an Airbus A320 of the Portuguese airline TAP seen here about to land in Funchal on the island of Madeira.   The landing speed will be around 120-140 knots (depending on the weight), or about 220km/h.    The airline is based in Lisbon.    The number of complaints online about this airline show that it has problems, with onboard service being the biggest area of complaint.     The airline is owned by the Portuguese government, who are now trying to sell it to raise much needed funds.

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