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.

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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)

WORDPRESS-Haglebu-lake-reflection

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