Jeritilley A picture is worth a thousand words..

Posts tagged “architecture

Lufthansa German Airlines group and Economy class travel

Thought for the day…”Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.”

“A certain amount of opposition is a great help to a man. Kites rise against, not with, the wind.”

Too many companies are using coronavirus as an excuse now.   Often it is being used to cover up their own failures but the excuse of coronavirus is being overused.   Joining the bandwagon of companies blaming (conveniently) coronavirus is the Lufthans group (LH) airlines.    Now this is why I am getting angry…..according to Lufthansa, they are no longer giving ECONOMY class passengers tea, coffee or food on flights of less than 150 minutes.  This is to protect “your health and the health of our employees”

https://www.lufthansa.com/ch/en/current-onboard-services#short-haul

BUT if you are travelling Business class then you will still get food and drink.   Now would the managers at Lufthansa like to tell me why Business class passengers are not seen as any risk whereas Economy class passengers are seen as a risk?   Or is the real reason that Lufthansa just wants to save money and is conveniently using coronavirus as an excuse to make further cuts to Economy class services?   I know which answer my money is on.   And also why do Lufthansa no longer service food when other airlines ARE still serving food to economy class passengers?

Companies should stop trying to blame coronavirus for everything.  Be honest with customers, and if you are going to cut out meals and drinks for Economy class passenger then BE HONEST and tell us the real reason….to save money.   Do not try and blame it on coronavirus.  We are not stupid.

And another photo from the archives, Ometepe in Nicaragua at sunset….

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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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Oslo (Norway) Gardermoen airport – Still a disgrace for Norway

Thought for the day…”The young man knows the rules, but the old man knows the exceptions.”

“Sooner or later, those who win are those who think they can.”

I have had the misfortune (and misfortune is the word) to travel through the enlarged Oslo airport.   It is still a national disgrace for Norway.   Despite earlier complaints, the airport managers in their infinite wisdom, have still ignored the needs of waiting passengers.   All very well to build a big new terminal, but the queues to check in and at security seem just as bad as ever.    Not only that, but those same airort managers have STILL not put in anywhere near enough seats for waiting passengers.   Before, their excuse was that they did not have enough space for seats (although apparently they did have enough space for stupid scultpures).  Now that the enlarged terminal is open (with more space), there are still not enough seats for waiting passengers.

And once you have negotiated the snake-like lines to go through the security controls, then you have another challenge to find enough seats whilst you wait for the flight.    If you want to find something to do while you wait, good luck, because there seems to be almost nothing for passengers to do (apart fro slow, restricted internet).   Good luck too if you want to charge your phone or computer…the search for a socket will keep you amused for some time before your flight.

So the recently enlarged Oslo airport is just as bad as before.  The queues are still there, the lack of seats is still the same, and the lack of things to do whilst waiting for your flight is just the same.    And the worst part…..we passengers are paying for the privilege of using these poor facilities.    A disgrace for Norway.

Plenty of space for these 2 people on the beach near Surat Bay, on the Catlins Coast of New Zealand..

and another photo from the archives….black and white lines and modern architecture…

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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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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…..

lonely-planet-the-best-things-in-life-are-free

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.

low-res-sunrise

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

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Thought for the day….”Winning is not everything, but it beats anything in second place”.

“Some people are alive only because it is illegal to kill them”

Part of the thrill of travelling is in the planning.   Several years ago, a collection of airlines offered a fantastic ticket called the ‘Navigator Ticket’.    You were given a large, fold-out map of the world, with lots of airline routings marked out in different colours (representing the different airlines), and you were free to map out and plan your own route.  Rules were simple, you could make unlimited stopovers provided that you kept going in the same direction (ie eastwards or westwards).   You were allowed to backtrack if the routes needed it, but basically you could plan a route with as many zig-zags as you could manage.   Such fun to plan a trip and work out an exotic route.  Then the final excitement. was when the ticket arrived in the post.   In those days, airline tickets were messy, carbon paper affairs, but it was great to receive though the post, a stapled bundle of carbon paper tickets.    Sadly the navigator ticket is no more.

Fast forward to today, with buying an airline ticket a frustrating challenge.  Fares seem to change at will, from day to day and at the whim of the airlines.    I will never understand why the same flight on the same aircraft can change price from day to day.    Buying a cheap air ticket now involves so much planning that surely a computer programme is needed for it.   Bring back the navigator ticket !!!

They say that the best camera is the one that you have with you at the time.   Up early for the sunrise near North Cape, at the top of Norway and at 71 degrees north.    Good to have the camera ready for this quick photo….just as the sun came over the horizon to start another day.

LOW-RES-sunrise-2-FINAL

and a photo from the streets of the Danish Capital, Copenhagen….

LOW-RES-Cop-final

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Paraguayian pair – two from Paraguay

Thought for the day…”Falling down is how we grow, staying down is how we die”.

“Teamwork divides the task and multiplies the success”.

Did you know that “to google’ officially became a verb in 2006, when it was recognized by the Oxford English dictionary.     And did you know that as well as more than 35 non-English languages that can be used for searches on Google, that it also has a klingon interface, just in case of a request from outer space?   And did you know that you cannot create a folder called ‘con’ on a Windows computer (try it!!).    And did you know that when Google assembled their first server, that the box that they used to hold the drives was made from Lego?  And apparently, Bill Gates of Microsoft fame, whilst in school wrote a class scheduling program for the adminstrators.   By design, this program was coded so that he ended up in classes with mostly female students!!!!

Two photos from the capital of Paraguay, Asuncion for the photos today.   Surprisingly, both were taken in the city centre, and both show that the city has lost its former glory.  About 6.8 million people live in Paraguay, with about one third of them living in Asuncion.  Around 35% of the population are said to be poor, easily visible in the streets of the capital where you can see shacks and temporary shelters in the middle of the once grand avenues.  Sadly for tourists, there is little of interest left to see, unless you have in interest in decay.   Paraguay is one of the two landlocked countries in South America (the other is Bolivia).  Both photos were taken with the Fuji X-E1 camera.

low-Res-buildings LOW-RES-Paraguay-1

and another photo from the archives… a happy woman in Gambia.

LOW-RES-GAMBIA-Bakau-girl-o

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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…..

Wordpress-1

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…..

wordpress-2

Same, same but different,  as they say.

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Brunei mosque – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…..”Losers let it happen, winners make it happen, and others wonder what has happened.”

I am still sorting out thousands of photos going back far too many years, but it is good to look back and remember some of the highs and lows of travelling.    Easier to forget the sometimes unpleasant parts and remember some of the fantastic experiences.   Things are changing so fast nowadays that many of those experiences are unrepeatable now, and the photos bring back the memories.

The photo today is from Brunei, which was hardly one of the most exciting stopovers that I did.    If you are playing Trivial Persuit then it is good to remember that the capital of Brunei is Bandar Seri Begawan.  Brunei has a population of around 415 000 people, with English and Malay being the main languages there.  It became fully independent from the UK in 1984.  About 90% of its GDP comes from oil and natural gas.    The photo here shows the Ali Saifuddin Mosque.

web-mosque

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Modern apartments – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…” The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work.”

” Life is not measure by the number of breaths we take, but by the moment that take our breath away”

Recently I was in a supermarket at the checkout, paying for my shopping.  It was part of a large chain, and the assistant (who had obviously been instructed to tell all customers) advised me that the shop now had automatic self-service checkouts that I could use.  No problem for me of course, as I had my credit card with me, but there was a very good reason NOT to use the self-service checkouts.   There were already a row of unmanned, empty checkouts, as staff had been replaced by the self-service checkouts.   I politely told the assistant that if everybody used the self-service checkouts, that so many jobs would disappear.   They have already disappeared from airports (self-service check-ins), hotels are now going to self-service check-ins (fewer receptionists) and most bank counter staff have been replaced by ATMs.  If this trend continues, then huge numbers of people are going to be out of work.   So I am continuing to use manned checkouts.  It may cause me to wait longer, but it will help to keep people in work.  Something to think about.

Off to the capital of Iceland, Reykjavik for the photo today, and some modern apartments outside the city centre.  Reykjavik, which means ‘smoky bay’ lies at 64 degrees north and has a population of around 200 000 people.   Despite being so far north, more than 100 different nationalities live there.

wordpress-ICE

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Oslo Autumn – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell

Thought for the day….” Excuses are nails used to build the house of failure”.

” What we must decide is not how valuable we are, but how we are valuable”.

Curious story in the news about an ice-cream maker in Bristol, England who has developed jellyfish ice-cream that glows in the dark.  Due to the chemicals in the ice-cream reacting, it glows when you eat it.   It must be a very strange flavour!.   The same creator (Charlie Francis) has previously made a gin & tonic ice-cream flavoured with quinine, which is normally used to treat malaria.   And then there was the Croatian shop who made ‘Facebook’ ice-cream, a blue mixture that tasted of sweets and gum.

An autumn day in Oslo in today’s photo, and the new (and no doubt, expensive) apartments and museum at Aker Brygge.   This was the site of a shipyard until 1998.   The city of Oslo is growing at a very high rate, and currently has over 950 000 people.  It is often rated as one of the most expensive cities in the world (along with Geneva and Tokyo), and was originally known as Christiana.   Interestingly, in the Norwegian language (and also in Swedish) that there is no word for ‘please’.

LOW-RES-OSLO-Aker-Bryga

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Stairs from below – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….’ Heaven on earth is a choice you  must make, not a place that you must find”

” Just because you are not sick does not mean that you are healthy”.               ” Follow your heart, but take your brain with you”.

I was very happy NOT to be at Scott Amundsen base in Antartica on 2nd July.   According to the weather site, Wunderground, the warmest that it reached (and warmest is probably not the word to use, rather the least cold) was -61 degrees Centigrade.  It did go down as low as -67 degrees during the day, so probably NOT the place to be.  Apparently, Americans have occupied the geographic South Pole since 1956.   The research base there is at 2835m on an ice sheet that is around 2700m thick at that point.  As the ice sheet is moving, then the station moves by about 10m a year.   The temperature there has gone as low as -82 degrees centigrade.  Due to the low humitidy in the air, it only receives around 20cm of snow a year.  It is currently so cold there that the webcam is disabled!!

And a photo of a staircase today, just to show the interesting curves.   Converted from colour to BW for the best results.

LOW-RES-stairs

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Photo of the Day Sunday 23rd June 2013 – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day..”  On the keyboard of life, always keep one finger on the escape key”.

” Needing someone is like needing a parachute.  If they are not there the first time, chances are you will not be needing them again”.

With all the publicity at the moment for the 787 and the Paris Air show, there are some interesting facts about the world’s longest flights.  On 9th November 2005, a  Boeing 777 -200LR flew from Hong Kong to London  eastwards, covering 21 602km in 22 hours 22 minutes.  The aircraft carried 8 pilots for this flight.   But the overall record flight is surprisingly still held by a propellor driven aircraft, the Lockheed Starliner.   The TWA flight from London to San Fransisco via the Polar route on 1 October 1957 flew for 23 hours 19 minutes non-stop.  Between 1943 and 1945, Qantas operated a Catalina flying boat between Western Australia and Sri Lanka, with a flight time of between 28 hours and 33 hours, called the Double Sunrise service.   Until November this year, the Singapore Airlines flight from Newark to Singapore (15 345 km) holds the current record for the longest flight, with a flight time of 18 hours 45 minutes.

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Photo of the Day Monday 14th January 2013 – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…” Sometimes the things we cannot change end up changing us”

“If you think that you are too small to make a difference, then you haven’t spent a night with a mosquito”.

Taking photos in the cold has proved challenging, with things like ice on the camera and batteries that die very quickly.  Got me wondering about the world records for hot and cold temperatures, and there are some interesting facts.   Although the -20 degrees Centigrade or colder recently experienced in Scandinavia are far from warm, those temperatures are a long way off the records…..

-89.2 degrees C. recorded at Vostok Station in 1983, or -82.5 degrees C recorded at Dome A, Antartica in 2005.   Kitilla, in the Lapland area of Finland has been down to  -51.5 degrees C  (in 1999).  Italy down to -48.3 degrees  at San Martino during 2010.   Even Australia has had some extreme cold, with -23 degrees being recorded at the Charlotte Pass in New South Wales during 1994.  And the record for the most snowfall during a year goes to Mt. Rainer, Washington State, USA, which recorded 31.1 metres of snow from 1971-72.

Some modern waterfront apartments in Oslo,Norway for the photo today.

WORDPRESS NORWAY Oslo 13 Sept 2012 (13)

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Happy not to be working at the Quality Spa Resort, Norefjell.