Jeritilley A picture is worth a thousand words..

railway

Busy doing nothing – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…..” Never let perfect be the enemy of better”     ”  It takes twenty years of hard work to become an overnight success”

A photo from a few years back, taken on the main railway station in Tallinn, Estonia.  Estonia has been independent from the Soviet Union since 1991, although there is still a lot of Russian influence there, with around 45% of the population speaking Russian.  It still shares a border with Russia, and another with Latvia.   Around 430 000 people live in the capital, Tallinn.   It has become known as the Silicon Valley of the Baltic due to the large IT industry there, with Skype being its most famous development.    More than 1.5 million tourists visit the city each year, with about 1/3 of them arriving by ship.   Plans to link Tallinn to Helsinki (Finland), some 80km away by an undersea tunnel have been put on hold, although they were part of the European Union plans to improve links to the area.

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And one from the archives, taken a few years ago, the rare Rothschild giraffe.

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Canterbury hills in evening light – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….’ When one door closes, another door opens, but we often look so long and so regretfully at the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us”   Alexander Graham Bell.

I used to fly a lot with Norwegian Airline.   In the beginning they were reliable and good, but recently have decided to outsource their cabin crews.  Just before Christmas they made their Swedish-based staff redundant but the staff were able to continue to work via an employment agency (albeit with worse working conditions).     Redundancy must have been a lovely Christmas present from the company to its staff.   Not only that, but the airline is crewing its new long-haul flights with Thai staff, presumably because it is a lot cheaper.    The same thing happened onboard ships earlier, the end result being that jobs are lost in many countries when the workers are replaced by cheaper foreign crews.    So now Norwegian Airline is at it too.  So from now on I will try and avoid flying with Norwegian Airlines.   Companies that treat staff like this do not deserve support.

Looking almost like a painting in the soft light of evening, the photo today is from Spotswood in the Canterbury region of New Zealand.  This area is a big sheep farming area, although vineyards are also becoming popular as well.   Just crossing the lower part of the picture is the main north-south railway line which nowadays only sees one passenger train a day during the summer months, as well as regular freight trains.

Wordpress-Spotswood

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Breaking records SPEED – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….”Out on the edge, you see all sorts of things that you cannot see from the centre”.

” Losers make promises that they often break, winners make commitments that they always keep”

A photo today of the world record holder for conventional trains, the French TGV.  The train, seen here in Lausanne station (Switzerland) carries a special paint scheme, and includes details of the world record which it broke on 3rd April 2007, when it achieved a top speed of 574.8 km/h.   Although this is the world record for conventional trains (that is, those running on normal rails) the Japanese MAGLEV train set an overall train speed record of 581 km/h.   At the other end of the scale, the world’s slowest train is said to be the last running train in Cambodia, which has a top speed of only 17 km/h.   The normal top speed of the TGV (as in today’s photo) is 320 km/h, although there are plans to raise this in time.

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Swiss Bells – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” A wise man can see more from the bottom of a well than a fool can see from the top of a mountain”.

” A ship in a harbour is safe, but that is not what ships are for”.

I had forgotten just how good travel by train could be.  I recently travelled down through Europe on long-distance night train, and it was very interesting to compare this trip with the return trip, which was by air.   No early check in at an airport, no expensive airport ‘box’ hotel, and no long queues to endure.  No silly security checks, and nobody on the train was worried that I was carrying toothpaste or liquids which at an airport would be taboo.   No need to check in at all, just board the train and find the sleeping compartment.   Pleasant evening on the way down through Europe, good snacks in the cafe, and coffee that was far better than airline coffee.    And add to that a good nights sleep and it makes a very pleasant journey.   Then next morning breakfast in the train cafe and voila, it was time to arrive (and on time too).   Compare that to the hassle and frustration at airports and being squashed in economy class for the flight back.  Flight back was late, on an old aircraft and delayed even further due to passengers travelling with far too many carry on bags.  Perhaps one day the train will be THE way to travel again…….The recent trip was a very interesting comparison.

Today’s photo is from the central part of Switzerland, with a photo of Swiss cow bells on a woodland hotel.  Very Swiss !

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Scenic railway journey – Bergen to Oslo Norway – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” If money does not grow on trees, then why do banks have branches? “.

” Why do round pizzas come in square boxes?  “

When we travel now, we are never really out of touch, because with internet and mobile phones, then there is always a link, even in surprisingly ‘remote’ places.   In the news from Japan is a story that they are launching internet ‘fasting camps’  so that the estimated 1/2 million children in Japan who are addicted to the internet can receive help.    California in the USA already has a digital detoxing resort for adults but the Japanese Education authority is now targeting children in an attempt to get them to do more activities WITHOUT internet.

Today’s photo shows one of the great railway journeys in the world, the Oslo-Bergen line in Norway.   Seen here on an early autumn day, is the train heading for Oslo, not far from the town of Nesbyen.   The 493km journey crosses the Hardangervidda plateau, and reaches a height of 1222m at Finse before descending to sea level near Bergen.  The newer tilting trains that were introduced on this line in 2000 are gradually being replaced by locomotive hauled trains (as in the photo) which handle the snow and conditions on the line better.

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Train Driver – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….”Good management consists of showing average people how to do the work of superior people”
“Goals are like underwear, you have to change them once in a while to feel better about yourself”.

Did you know that the North Pole and South Pole have only 1 sunrise and 1 sunset each year?   And because the speed that the Earth rotates at is slowing down, the years are also getting shorter, around 400 million years ago a year was about 410 days, although the days were then only 21 hours long.   Even on the Equator, the days are not exactly 12 hours long, due to changes in the size of the sun and atmospheric conditions, and daylight can up to 7 minutes longer.   And due to the unusual orbit of the Earth, then the Northern Hemisphere has longer days than the Southern Hemisphere, with the sun being north of the Equator for 4 more days than in the Southern Hemisphere.  People who build sundials will also know about the Equation of Time, which is used to make corrections for the uneven spinning of the Earth.

Another steam train photo today, but this time the engine driver.   The photo was taken recently in Uppsala, Sweden during one of the weekend steam train specials, and is a timeless photo.  All aboard please!!

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Photo of the Day Saturday 9th February 2013 – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…”The first to apologise is the bravest, the first to forgive is the strongest, the first to forget is the happiest”.

“The only real mistake is the one that we learn nothing from”.

Melbourne, Australia and St. Petersburg, Russia have the largest tram systems in the world, but the photo today shows a preserved tram in the southern Swedish city of Malmo.  Interesting to read that at one time, Milan had hearse trams which were used for funerals up until 1920.  Also, at one time, Melbourne had a dog car tram, which was used to transport dogs to the showgrounds.  As well as the usual restaurant trams, they have also been used as a mobile library ((Munchen, Germany) until 1970, and also as cargo trams.  Amsterdam has again experimented with using trams for moving goods inside the city.  And a few cities still use double-decker trams, such as Hong Kong.

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Photo of the Day Sunday 27th January 2013 – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel Norefjell.

Thought for the day…” Anxiety is the space between the  ‘now’ and the ‘then’ ”

The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is a knowledge of our own ignorance.”

“Common sense is like deodorant, the people who need it most never use it”.

A photo today of a German ICE express train, seen here at Interlaken station in Switzerland.   Something of a success story for Siemens who build the train, as similar versions are now used in Spain, Russia and China.   At one time, an ICE train held the world train speed record of 406.9 km/h. Between 1991 and 2006 ICE trains have carried over 550 million passengers, and have perhaps Europe’s most comfortable interiors.

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WORDPRESS CH Interlaken Ost ICE 21 Sept 2012 (3)


Photo of the Day Friday 21st December 2012 – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…..” Why is there only one monopolies commission?”

A photo today that looks like a black & white photo, but is actually a colour photo, but one where there is not a lot of colour!!!  It was taken early morning in Switzerland in Interlaken, with a morning fog from the nearby lakes.   A weekend special stream train was passing through on its way up to the resort of Grindelwald, and I was just lucky to be at the station when it was there.  Being Switzerland, even the steam trains run exactly to time!!!    About 347 million people use Swiss railways and its 760 stations each year.  There are over 3000km of track, making getting around Switzerland very easy.

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WORDPRESS CH Interlaken Ost steam train 23 Sept 2012