Jeritilley A picture is worth a thousand words..

Posts tagged “Quality Hotel

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.

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

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Holidays in Paradise – Seychelles duo

Thought for the day…” Keep smiling and one day life will get tired of trying to upset you”.

Airlines again…..just been trying to claim some missing airmiles from Qatar Airways.  Would you believe that they have asked me to send in a SCANNED copy of my e-ticket?    Yes, I had to read that twice to believe it, they want a scanned copy of an e-ticket?   If I had nothing else to do in life then I would print out the E TICKET (what does that e in E-ticket mean, Qatar Airways???) and then scan it and send precisely the same information back to them again.  They might like to play silly games, I do not.

Two more photos from the recent holiday, to the islands of the Seychelles in the Indian Pacific.   it was the first real test of the new camera, the Fuji X-E1 and the results were great.     The X-E1 is a camera that makes taking photos fun again, partly because it does not have fireworks/party/food/sport modes but does have dials where you can again take control of the photos.      Add to that a larger sensor and some Fuji lenses which are outstanding in quality, and it is not hard to get some great photos.   Guess who came back with a LOT of photos !!    The Fuji X-E1 does not take good videos (seems to be a problem with all the Fuji cameras, as there are a lot of people saying the same thing) BUT it does one thing well, really well.   It takes brilliant photos.     The previous Sony A6000 was quickly returned to the shop, as despite having instant autofocus and more megapixels, was let down by lenses that just were not up to the job.  The best camera in the world is no use if the glass at the front is poor, and Fuji have made sure that what is on the front of their cameras is not going to let what is at the back of the cameras down.

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And also from the Seychelles, an Airbus A330 arrives at Mahe, with a Twin Otter already on the ground below.

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Sunrise to sunset, two different continents. Not the Quality Resort Spa Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there”.

”  The man who asks a question is a fool for a minute.   The man who does not ask a question is a fool for life”.

Not so many photos of sunrises on the internet (wonder why? !!!) but here is one taken in the hills of Norway at about 750m altitude.   Deep down in the valley below, the villages are covered by the clouds, but higher up, the sun is already warming the hilltops.   Another beautiful day ahead….

One of the challenges of photographing sunrises in summer in Norway is that during the summer, the sun rises VERY early in the southern parts (and in the north of Norway, it does not set at all (the midnight sun), so there is no sunrise at all in the far north for a few months).  This photo was taken on a very early morning trip to Oslo airport.  If you have not already read about the airport, then have a look here-

http://wp.me/p2qvhc-Ef                                   (this post came out on 1st August).

Oslo airport is a disgrace for a Scandinavian capital, best avoided !!

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and another photo out of the archives, as a contrast, sunset in Nicaragua.

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Landing the catch- Cape Verde – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….”  Success means winning the war, not every battle”.

”  To be the best, you have to compete and win against the best”.

Sad news from Ukraine!   I read online that in Ukraine that the authorities there have stopped a man calling himself  ‘Darth Vader’ from running for president.    His plans for Ukraine were to turn it into a ‘galatic empire’.   Despite his name of Darth Vader, he is normally an electrician by trade.    That story reminded me of the English politician known as ‘Screaming Lord Sutch, who was the leader of the Official Monster Raving Loony Party until 1999.   He holds the record for the number of elections that he stood in and lost (40 elections).  Other politicians in the Official Monster Raving Loony Party included ‘Mad Cow Girl’, ‘Howling Laud Hope” and ‘Catmando’.  Despite winning several local council elections, the party never did very well.   The political party’s last elected politican was ‘R.U. Seerius’ who served in South Derbyshire.

That just leaves the photo for today….and from the archives comes this photo of a fisherman in Mindelo, Cape Verde.   Late afternoon produced some wonderful colours as well as clear air.

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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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Waiting in the market – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” If you cannot be thankful for what you achieve, then be thankful for what you escape”.

”  The more that you live, the less that you die”.

There are good airports in the world, and there are bad airports.  Singapore (Changi) must rate as the best airport in the world, and changing aircraft there or just waiting is actually a pleasant experience.   Well managed, clean and also lots of good facilities for travellers, such as free cinemas, gardens and even a swimming pool.   And plenty of comfortable seats.  Compare that to the Oslo Gardermoen (OSL) airport.    They have taken away most of the seats in the terminal now, so that often the only option (apart from sitting in an expensive restaurant (which may be closed at night/early morning) is to sit on the floor.   Their reply to my complaint was that it was due to pressure of space, so their answer is to take seats out.   But it will be reviewed again in 2017 (yes, you read correctly, 2017!!).   What are travellers supposed to do if they have to wait before they are able to check in?    I sometimes wonder about the people managing airports such as Oslo Gardermoen.   Not only is the lack of seats bad, but if you arrive off a long flight, then try getting a shower in the airport.   Oslo Gardermoen (OSL) airport has facilities more like a 3rd world country, instead of a Scandinavian capital.

Staying in El Salvador again for the photo today, and a photo from the market in the town of Naza.   Again, a very expressive face.  The photo also makes a good crop as well, have a look at the small photo below and see if you like it better.

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LOW-RES-Naza-woman-crop-2ALL PHOTOS ON THIS SITE ARE AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE.

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Desperation in El Salvador – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…” A good idea without action is as pointless as a spear without a tip”.

”  The hardest part of getting to the top is getting through the people at the bottom”.

How stupid is this.   I am still trying to get a full refund from Air France (not a good airline), and after sending yet another email to them, I received the following reply-

“Thank you for your Email alerting us to the problem you have been having with your refund .For further investigation , I would like to advise you to contact our Customer Care Department directly.

Sorry for any inconvenience caused, but there is no direct Email addresse to contact the Customer Relations Department .”

How stupid is it that Air France claim that their Customer Care (and there is a misnomer if ever there was one) do not have an email address.  They even answered my email to say that they do not have an email address!   And how are people supposed to contact them?   What a way to run a business.    So if anyone from Air France is reading this, then get your act together.

With a population of around 6 million, El Salvador is the smallest country in Central America.  It has frequent earthquakes as it is on the Pacific Ring of Fire, , and also has around 20 volcanoes, with two of them active recently.  A large part of its foreign earnings come from residents who work abroad, maninly in the USA.  Sadly, it has one of the highest murder rates in the world, with drugs and gangs being prevalent.  Spanish is the main language, and the US dollar is used as currency.    A popular national dish is the pupusa, which is a corn tortilla, usually hand made and often filled with cheese or beans.    Fried plantain is a popular breakfast item, as is deep fried cassava root.    The capital, San Salvador, has around 2 million people, and lies in a volcanic valley.

The photo here comes from the town of Naza, El Salvador, the look is either desperation, sadness or hopelessness.

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Downtown Funchal, Madeira – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” Life will not give you anything better than you give it.  Give life the best, and you get the best out of life”.

”  If the going seems easy, then check if you are going backwards”.

Off to the islands of Madeira for the photo today.  The islands are about 480km off the African coast in the Atlantic Ocean, but have an extremely pleasant year-round sub-tropical climate.     Madeira was offically discovered by the Portuguese in 1419, and Portuguese is still the main language spoken there today.  Today around 1 million tourists visit it each year, including by cruise ship.   The photo here is of the main street in the capital, Funchal.   Funchal has a population of about 111 000 people, and after Lisbon, is the richest part of Portugal.

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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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Mirror reflections in Norway – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day..”  Happiness is no laughing matter”      ” Give up for a second and that is where you will finish”.

Are you happy?  Perhaps, if you are living in Denmark.  Interesting to read the 2013 World Happiness Report, which came from the Columbia University’s Earth Institute, and paid for by the UN.   Top place goes to DENMARK, second place goes to Norway and third place Switzerland.  At the bottom of the list were Benin and also Togo, both in West Africa.      All of the countries at the top of the list are expensive places to live, but this does not stop the residents being happy.     Suprisingly, high taxes also do not make people unhappy, as in the top countries, the high taxes pay for high standards of public services.  And another surprise is that in 8th place is Bhutan, where despite a low GDP per capita (USD 1400), the people are extremely happy.    And as for the world’s happiest people, according to the Gallup 2012 survey of about 150 000 people,  then the top place goes to Panama, followed by Paraguay.

I was happy with this photo that I took one morning recently in Norway.  It took a little bit of planning, and a lot of good luck to get it, but after several attempts, this was the final shot.  For those who are interested, it was taken in RAW and then converted into jpeg, using a wide angle setting on the camera (Panasonic Lumix)

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Boy & Wall – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….”  Do not wait for the right moment, make the moment right”.

” A journey of a thousand miles begins with a cash advance”

Did you see the story in the USA (Hawaii) that a woman has won the right to have her full name on her driving license?   Normally it is not a problem, but here family name is ” Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele”   which was too long for the government computer systems.   They are now going to reprogram their road licensing computers so that she can have the full 36 letters of her name on her ID.   Also from the USA is the story about the computer problems at United Airlines which resulted in free tickets being given away, when the prices came up as USD 0.    The company temporarily shut down their online booking system when it discovered the errors.   And there was a similar story with United Airlines back in 2012, when some travellers found that they could buy First Class return tickets from New York to Hong Kong for USD 43 and 4 air miles.   Never seems to happen when I want to book a ticket.   When I book a ticket now, there seems to be far too many EXTRA charges.  Some carriers are even charging for carry-on baggage now.    And Samoa Air became the first airline in the world to introduce ‘pay for your weight’, where the price of your air ticket depends on how much you weigh.

And for the photo today, another portrait shot, this time of a boy in rural Nicaragua.  Good lighting and a natural pose make this a lovely photo.   Again, it shows that you just have to have the camera ready to capture the right moment.

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Simple but powerful, shapes and colour – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell

Thought for the day….” Money cannot buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with”.

”  Love is like a war, easy to start, hard to end”.

Stupid companies.    There are a lot around, run by stupid people.   I am hoping that they go out of business fast, but sadly they are still around, bugging me.   Air France is one example.    Try finding an email address on their website.    Of course, they freely give out numbers to ring on an expensive telephone line, but very conviently hide their email addresses.   They are quick enough to take your money, but when you want to get a refund, then the walls go up and they just do not want to know.   A good company will not cover up its email address, as email is the normal way of communication in the 21st century, except for Air France of course.  Until I get my refund from them, then Air France/KLM/Transavia will not see anymore of my money.

Simple and powerful for the photo today, and a photo of a well-know petrol station sign in perfect weather and with perfect light.   Simple, but it works.    Did you know that the colour red can make you feel hungry, whilst the colour green has the opposite effect?   The colour blue is said to convey trust and reliability.   Blue is also the favourite colour of most people   Chromatophobia is the fear of colours, whereas leukophobia is fear of the colour white.

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Mozambique Mother – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…” If your feet smell and your nose runs, then are you built upside down? ”

” If communication is the key, then why not open the door? ”

A rather unnerving story on the internet today about scientists in the USA (Washington) who have been able to make the thoughts of one person move the hand of another person.   An experiment, using electrodes on the head of one person, and a magnetic cap on the head of the other person, proved that the thoughts of one person could be used to control another person’s movements.  Frightening!

The photo today comes from Mozambique, rather a nice mother and child photo, again captured with a normal ‘consumer’ camera and not by an expensive DSLR.

LOW-RES-MOZAMBIQUE-Vilankulos-to-Inchope-road-15-Oct-2012-(17)

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Stunning morning in Norway – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day……” Nothing comes easy, what comes easy means nothing and what comes hard means something”.

” There is no use running fast when you are on the wrong road”.

Was it enough with Dolly the Sheep?  No, because in the news now is a story about a Canadian dentist, Dr. Michael Zuk, who wants to clone the late John Lennon by using the DNA from one of his teeth.   Dr. Zuk obtained the tooth at an auction in 2011, and claims that bringing ‘back’ a deceased famous person would be the ultimate expression of science.

Something a little different for the photo today.  Not the actual photo (a stunning morning in Norway), but the technical details of the photo.   It is actually a combination of 24 individual photos that have been stitched together in a photo-editing program.    This results in one VERY large file, but also one that is excellent for printing and making very large, long enlargements.     Even after reducing the RAW files to JPEG, the final file size is still around 30mb, but for a view like the one in the photo, then it is wonderful to have it in such high quality.

Not that this photo, large as it is, will not compete with the World’s largest digital photo, which was published in February this year.    A photo of London, taken from the BT Tower, was made up of 48,640 individual photos, giving a total photo size of 320 GB.  Keep taking photos!!

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Web-version-panorama

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Happy not to be working at the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell, and not missing the managers there at all.


Wood carver in Espirito Santo – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…” Do stairs go up or down?”      “If electricity comes from electrons, does morality come from morons?”

“If ignorance is bliss, then why aren’t more people happy?”.

Another curious story in the news this time from Venezuela.  Not toilet paper shortages this time making the news in Venezuela, but HAIR THIEVES.   The Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro has now promised to take action against the gangs who are stealing hair, sometimes at gunpoint, to sell to hair salons.    Venezuela has one of the worl’ds highest murder rates, although official figures are not published, as well as frequent carjackings, armed robberies and kidnapping.

And in Saudi Arabia, a man weighing around 610kg has been airlifted to hospital for treatment.   Apparently, the man was so big that part of the apartment had to be demolished so that a fork lift truck could carry him to a military aircraft.  He was flown to a hospital for treatment.

Another photo from the archives, and again from the island of Espirito Santo in the Pacific Ocean.   Lucky to capture a photo of this woodcarver in the forest, and lucky that the light was ok for the photo too.   I wonder how much things have changed since I was last there.     As usual, I wish that I had taken a lot more photos!!

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Summer in Croatia – Not the Quality Spa Resort, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies”.

” If knowledge can create problems, it is not through ignorance that we can solve them”.

There is a strange story in the news at the moment about Brent Council in London, England.  They have installed a hologram ‘receptionist’, a moving human image who ‘answers’ questions from visitors.  Brent Council says that the hologram will save GBP 17000 a year.    This is after they spent GBP 90 million on a new civic centre, which opened this year.   And perhaps they forget, that one less (real) person will now not have a job, and will presumably have to be supported by the government there.    False economy??   And in these hard economic times, should any local government be spending GBP 90 million on a new civic centre??   Surely hospitals and schools come first, well before any civic centres.   Perhaps we should ask the hologram receptionist for the answers?     Stop the world, I want to get off……………………………………

Off to Split, Croatia for the photo today, and the harbourside in the city centre.   Situated on the Adriatic Sea, Croatia was the home of the famous traveller Marco Polo..   It was formed in 1991 when it became independent from the former Yugoslavia, and it has recently become a member of the European Union.    It has more than 1000 islands along its coast.   An interesting fact is that the White House (Washington, USA) is built of Croatian stone, as is the Austrian Pariliament building in Wien, Austria.   Croatia was also the site of the world’s first hydro electric power station in 1895 (Sibenik).  The town of Hum in Istria is said to be the world’s smallest town, with just 23 citizens.

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Ethiopia travel – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder’.                       ”   The Earth is the insane asylum for the universe”

No prizes for guessing the destination of the photo today……easy one.    With sometimes very slow local transport, then air is the easy way to travel around Ethiopia.    Ethiopia was the birthplace of coffee, and now it is the arabica coffees that are the most important crops for many farmers.   Due to the big differences in climate and altitude in Ethiopia, coffee is grown in 4 different zones.   Coffee is the most important export for Ethiopia, and the coffee industry is a major employer.   Often visitors to a home are welcomed with a traditional coffee ceremony, where the beans are roasted in a large wok-like pan before making the good, fresh coffee.   Most of the coffee beans in commercial production are dried in the sun for 3 to 4 weeks, which is said to give a much better taste over machine dried beans.   Ethiopian coffees also have less caffeine in them, as lightly roasted coffees contain less caffeine than dark-roasted ones.   The coffee tree is actually related to the cherry tree.    Coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world (oil is first).     So a combination of great scenery, good coffee and interesting culture, make Ethiopia a great place to visit.

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Early morning Norway – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” Belief is a wish with an action plan”.        ”  Every day is a good day, as long as you are alive to enjoy it”.

Early morning in the hills of Norway for today’s photo.  Despite a poor weather forecast, for a few hours it was nearly perfect to take photos, so the camera was very busy.   The clear air, sunshine and lack of wind made for great conditions for taking photos.   Home to around 5 million people, and with a coastline of around 20 000km,  Norway has one of the highest per capita GDP figures in the world.     That also makes it one of the most expensive countries to visit, with alcohol and food being especially expensive.  ‘Helgefylla’, which means ‘weekend binge drinking’  is common in the larger cities, despite the high alcohol prices and despite strong alcohol only being sold in the government-run shops.

Wordpress-Haglebu-church

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Hats off – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…..” Pay attention, it is free !”    ” There is more than one door into wonder”.

“If anger is your most frequently used outlet, then try unplugging it for a while”.

Air France/KLM deserve to go out of business.   I am still arguing with their so called ‘customer service’ for a refund of taxes on an unused ticket.    Their ‘customer service’ staff clearly have no interest in trying to resolve matters, and seem intent on just annoying even more passengers.   I am not surprised that Air France/KLM group is making big cutbacks.  At one time, KLM used to be a good airline (probably Air France too), but not anymore.    Far too few staff working in their check-ins/ground staff, and also old, tired aircraft and crews that also seem to have lost interest.    Even if their fares may appear cheaper, life is too short to have unpleasant flights, unpleasant staff, and a customer service section that appears to be ANTI customers.   Had Air France/KLM processed (or even agreed to the refund) in a reasonable time, then possibly more bookings would have been made with them.    But their ‘customer service’ has just been so bad over the last flights that they are now no longer an option.   The good thing is that some of the Eastern/Middle Eastern Airlines (for example, Qatar Airways) are FAR superior to Air France/KLM.    The unhelpful replies from their ‘customer service’ have done it now.   No more flights with Air France/KLM.  Not just one flight that has led to this decision, but a series of poor flights and poor experiences with them.   I could write a long story about some of the incidents, over many flights.   Life is too short to endure the poor treatment by Air France/KLM.  I hope that they are soon bankrupt.  They deserve to be.

And for the photo today…..some hats on a market stall.   But can you guess from which country?

LOW-RES-hats-Croatia

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Carnival in El Salvador, carnival dancer – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” Life is like a good book.   The more that you get into it, the more that it makes sense”.

” If a cluttered desk is the sign of a cluttered mind, then what does an empty desk mean?”     ” Minds are like parachutes, they only function when they are open”

Did you know that because the speed that the Earth is turning, that the days are getting longer, but 55 billionths of a second each day?   And did you know that at the North and South Poles, that there is no time (as all the time zones coincide there)?   And did you know that Nepal and also the Chatham Islands have time zones that include a 15 minute difference (UTC plus 5.45 hours and UTC plus 12.45 hours).    And in each day there are  86 400 seconds.

Another colourful photo today, of a woman preparing for a carnival in El Salvador.   El Salvador (population 7 million) is the smallest country in Central America, and also the only one not to have an Atlantic coastline.   It has some very active volcanoes, and also gets many earthquakes each year, over 12 000 people were killed in one earthquake in 2001.   It also went to war with Honduras after a soccer match.   Carnivals in El Salvador go on into the night, with dancing, floats, street food and lots of music, together with firecrackers and fireworks, and of course, lots of colour.   A tradition is the throwing of sweets/candy to the spectators from the passing floats, and also the crowning of the carnival ‘queen’.

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Village Life, Espirito Santo – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…..” If you cannot give anything then you should not complain when you receive nothing”.

” We are all students of life.  It is how we handle it that gives us the degree.”

Off to the Pacific and to the nation of Vanuatu today, and the island of Espirito Santo.   A typical local village scene here,  and although an old photo (actually a scanned slide) things have probably still not changed much there.   The island is at 15 degrees south in the island group known as the New Hebrides, it became independant in 1980.  Copra (coconut) is the main crop here, although there is also a little tourism in addition to subsistence farming.    Villages are still ruled by chiefs and local customs are still very important.   Kava is the popular drug on the island, but alcohol is now becoming more prevalent.   The island got its name from the discoverer Pedro de Quiros who thought that he had discovered the fabled land of Australia.  Port Vila is the nearest international airport.

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Tranquility – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” Success is not measured by money, awards or medals.  It is measured by the difference between what you CAN achieve and what you actually achieve”.

“You only live once, so do not hesitate. you will miss your chance”.

Amusing story in the news at the moment about the Indian army, who thought that they had been subject to 329 spy missions by Chinese drones.   It was found that the sightings were not actually Chinese drones on spy missions, but were in fact the planets Jupiter and Venus.   Whilst I would like to visit India, the crazy procedure for obtaining a TOURIST visa has put me off, along with the time and cost to obtain it.  The Indian government should realize that tourists bring money and foreign exchange to the country, so they should make it EASY for tourists to travel there, not make it an expensive hassle.   Easy decision for me though, until it is quick and easy to get a visa then I will not go there.

An early morning photo of the hills of Norway for the photo today, and a peaceful scene.   Norway has 3 languages, Bokmal Norwegian (the main language), Nynorsk (mainly in the west parts of Norway) and Sami (mainly in the far north of Norway).  There are more Norwegian descendants living in the USA than people living in Norway (6 million descendants in the USA and around 5 million people in Norway).  As in Sweden and Finland, you can only buy alcohol (above 3.5%) in the government operated shops, called Vinmonopolet in Norway.    That said, when you see the prices for alcohol in Norway, then you may well decide not to buy.  Norway is also home to the largest glacier in Europe (Josteldalsbreen)

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Environmentally UNfriendly, no common sense – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” Taxes could be worse.   Suppose we had to pay what we think we are worth”

” The greater the struggle, the greater the victory”.      ” It does not have to glitter to be gold”

An amazingly stupid story on the TV news last night about Fjordline, which runs ferries between Hirtshals (Denmark) and Stavanger and Bergen (Norway).    They have recently taken delivery of a new LNG (gas) powered ferry.   The new ferry had already won a prize for energy efficiency and with stricter controls on ferry emissions, then LNG was seen as the way to go.   BUT having just started, Fjordline now have a big problem.  Norwegian law does not allow them to refuel the gas with passengers onboard, and the ship is only in port for a short time.    So, after all the hype about saving the environment and energy efficiency, they are now sending 10 trucks by road each week, from Stavanger, Norway, via Sweden, then across to Denmark, to refuel there.   The distance that the trucks have to drive is around 1600km, leaving from almost the same place as the ferry (Stavanger) and then driving 1600km to meet it in Denmark, where the ships refuels with LNG and sails back to Norway, where the gas came from in the first place.   Very environmnentally UNfriendly.     And also rather stupid.

So, staying on the subject of boats, here is a colourful photo of some fishing boats in Africa.    Good light and bright colours make this photo.

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African boy alone – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…” If you have no dreeams, then your life will only be a nightmare”.       ” In the concert of life, nobody holds a programme”.

Did you know that OPHIDIOPHOBIA is the fear of snakes?

I picked up a couple of interesting stories on the news today.   In China, some companies are using star signs to choose job applicants.   They are using the star signs to judge if applicants will be successful and if they will get along well in the companies.    Due to the lack of discrimination laws in China, then they can use these methods.   So by being born under the wrong star sign could cost you a job.     The other interesting story in the news is that in Moldova, some surgeons have been using building tools for operations.    According to the BBC, construction drills, rusty pliers and hammers were used in operations.   Perhaps now wise to get sick in Moldova!!!

Another one of the lucky photos today.  It was actually taken from a moving bus, and despite only having a cheap camera, the photo turned out so well.  The expression on the boy’s face, the light and the simplicity of the photo all come together so well.    Judging by the look on his face, he is certainly not very happy.

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