Jeritilley A picture is worth a thousand words..

station

Fast and Slow, Albania to China

Thought for the day…” Life is like riding a bicycle.  To keep your balance, you must keep moving”  (Einstein).

” If you do not know where you are going, any road will get you there”.

Around 3.2 million people live in Albania, which borders Greece in the south and Montenegro in the north.  Italy is just 72km away across the sea, yet Albania remains one of the poorest parts of Europe.   One strange difference in Albania is that shaking your head means ‘yes’ whilst nodding your head means ‘no’.  Today’s photo shows the train from the Albanian capital, Tirana arriving at the second largest city of Durres.    At the time the photo was taken, trains ran all the way from the capital, however now the main train has been demolished to make way for new roads !  Even when it was operating all the way, average speeds were extremely poor, with the 38km journey taking around 90 minutes.   Compare that to the world record for a conventional train, held by the French TGV which reached a top speed of 574.8 km/h in April 2007.    Up to July 2011 (when its top speed was limited to save energy) the Chinese CRH2 Harmony train covered the 922km from Wuhan to Guangzhou at an average of 313 km/h.

LOW-RES-Albania-Durresand another photo from the archives….boats in Essiouria, Morocco.  Spot the man on the boats….

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Ultimate Swiss army knife !!! – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement”.

”  Happiness is a road to travel, not a goal to reach”.

Did you know that the original Swiss army knife was grey, not red?  And in the beginning, when the knives were made for the Swiss army, they did not feature a corkscrew because soldiers were forbidden to drink whilst on duty.  Apparently, on modern Swiss army knives, the corkscrew is the one part that is not made in Switzerland (it is manufactured in Japan instead).  The Swiss army knife started life in 1897 after being developed by Carl Elsener.   His idea was to manufacture something to stop emigration due to unemployment.  The design has been so successful that it has even been used in the Space Shuttle.  It is now possible to buy a Swiss army knife WITHOUT the knife part, so that it can be carried on flights (a knife-less Swiss army knife!) .   Wenger, one of the two main companies producing the knives (the other is Victorinox)  produces a knife known as ‘The Giant’, with some 87 tools included on it.    And here is a photo of one…which was on offer in Switzerland for CHF 1200……

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One strange or odd fact about the Swiss army is that they accidentally invaded the neighboring country of Lichtenstein in 2007 after getting lost in a rainstorm !!

And a photo from the archives, this time from Cuba….4 modes of transport in this shot…..

LOW-RES-Trinidad

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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.

LOW-RES-TGV

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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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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 Thursday 27th December 2012 – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell

Thought for the day….” We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them”

C60 and C90……There is a whole generation now who will not understand the significance of these, but for anyone over about 30 years old, then they will bring back memories of the early Walkmans, which ran on CASSETTE TAPE.  Some might even remember the C120 as well, a thin tape that was liable to jam up in the player.

cassette

And if you are over 30, then you will remember the constant battle of the Walkman to take enough batteries for it to last a long trip. But all is replaced now by the mp3 player……Nostalgia is a thing of the past.

Life is short,

Break the rules,

Forgive quickly,

Kiss slowly,

Love truly

Laugh uncontrollably

And never reget anything that made you smile.

And on the subject of nostalgia, a fine photo of a classic sailing boat, seen here at Molle, in Skane, Southern Sweden.

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WORDPRESS LOW RES SWE Skane Molle  19 Aug 2012 (39)


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