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Posts tagged “quality Spa resort hotel

Autumn in Norway – sunset in Bronnoysund

Thought for the day….”Life is the flower for which love is the honey”

“Some people are so afraid to die that they never begin to live”

Bronnoysund (Brønnøysund in Norwegian) is known as the coastal town in the middle of Norway.  About 5000 people live here, at around 65 degrees north.    As well as a local airport, it is also visited by the daily Hurtigruten coastal boat service, both northbound and southbound.   Three photos, taken in lovely evening light on 13th October.   Camera was the Fuji X-T10 with the 18-55mm kit lens.   Soon this lens will be joined by the new Fuji 100-400mm lens, which has just been ordered.  Not an easy decision to buy a lens that costs about 3 times as much as the camera, but quality costs, and the quality of the Fuji lenses is superb, so the ‘buy’ button was pressed.   Just have to collect it now……

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and another photo from the same town….

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Up to the top of Norway – Finnmark

Thought for the day….”You will never win if you never begin”.

“The purpose of life is a life of purpose”

Today’s photo is from the fishing village of Vardo, in north Norway at 70 degrees north in the province of Finnmark.   Vardo has three names, one in Norwegian, one in Finnish (Vuoreija ) and one in Sami (Várggát).  Russia is also just a few kilometres across the bay, and the island is now connected to mainland Norway by a 2.8km subsea road tunnel.  Vardo is also the name of the gypsy caravan used by romany gypsies in Britain.  Vardo has a history of witchcraft, including trials of witches and also a witchcraft museum.   Curiously, it also lies further east than either Istanbul or Kiev.  It also hosts the yukigassen, a snowball fighting competition.  The average annual temperature here is only 1.3 degrees, not helped by the long, dark artic winter in this part of Norway.

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and a couple of photos from Oksfjord, near the top of Norway at 70 degrees north.  About 500 people live in this fishing village, although the fish processing factories have all closed.  As there are few roads in this part of Norway then ferries are an important way of getting around, including the daily Hurtigruten boats.  Hammerfest is the nearest major town.

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and another photo from the archives….a beach in the Seychelles islands…..

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Last light of the day – sunset

Thought for the day….”Success is more aptitude than attitude”

“Heaven on Earth is a choice that you must make, not a place that you must find.”

As part of my job, I get to travel a lot, and you tend to notice the differences between countries.  At Singapore Changi (code SIN, and possibly the best airport in the world) recently the drinking fountains were closed for maintenance.  Being Singapore, with its fantastically well run services, the airport managers had thought to provide bottled drinking water at the water fountains so that passengers were not inconvenienced.   Travel further up to Norway, which you would expect would also be a well run country and things are the opposite.   In the Scandic hotel in Bergen, the orange juice machine was out of order, but nobody had thought to provide juice in jugs next to it.  Next hotel (again a Scandic hotel) and the coffee machine was out of order.   Just a handwritten sign on the machine saying that it was out of order.  Again, nobody had thought to provide a thermos of coffee to make up for the failure.   And as part of the ‘improvements’ to standard rooms, they do not now provide tea/coffee facilities in the standard rooms.  Gone also are tissues in the rooms, individual shampoo and conditioner and soaps.

And as if that was not enough, the Scandic hotels in Bergen (not cheap, as nothing in Norway is cheap) have decided that they will not put cutlery, cups or serviettes on the tables.   It is the same as the airlines, customer service is disappearing.   Scandic hotels may be happy to ask high prices in order to stay in their hotels.  The prices rise, but the service levels fall.   There comes a point when you say that enough is enough.   Why pay high prices for less service??     Perhaps they should let Singaporeans run the hotels in Norway??

And to end the day, a photo of the sunset near Alesund on the 18th July 2016….wonderful end to the day..

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and another photo from the archives…..happy boys in Albania

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Great colours from the Fuji camera

Thought for the day….”Too many people overvalue what they are NOT, and undervalue what they ARE”

“It is not the load that breaks you down, it is the way that you carry it”.

Norway has been enjoying some fantastic summer weather…with unbelievable temperatures, even in the far north.   Not only have there been many long, sunny days, but some days with wonderful clear air too.  Today’s photo comes from Svolvaer, the ‘capital’ of the Lofoten Islands, about half way up the long coast of Norway.   The photo was taken in the main harbour, and shows the traditional cottage that was previously used by fishermen, called a rorbu.  These cabins were traditionally built out over the water, so that boats could moor directly alongside.  Many of these have been converted into holiday homes, although the ones in this photo are actually part of a hotel.   At this time of year, there is 24 hour sunshine in this part of Norway, so even late evening it is possible to get photos like this.  Expect to pay around 200 euros a night for a typical cabin during summer.   Taken with the Fuji X-T10 camera and standard 18-55mm kit lens, with almost no editing of the photo.   Once again, great colours from Fuji.

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and another photo from the archives…some great colours in Mindelo, Cape Verde islands….

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Queen of the Skies – the Boeing 747 400

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

A photo that is history now….a Singapore Airlines 747-400 taking off from Zurich airport in Switzerland.  Known as the Queen of the Skies, almost 400 tons lifting off for the 11 hour flight to Singapore.    Zurich (code ZRH) is a great place to take aircraft photos, as the authorities there actually encourage people to take photos, and even organize special photo tours.    Great that the managers there have seen the value of photographers, and make it easy to take photos, rather than trying to prevent it like so many airports do today.  Not only that, but Zurich is actually a good airport to fly into or transit, run with the usual Swiss efficiency.     The photo below was taken during one of the organized photo tours, although even from the normal viewing decks, it is easy to get some great photos.

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and some faces from the harbour market in Helsinki, Finland……

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Changing names in New Zealand

Thought for the day….”For every dark night, there is a brighter day”

“Arriving at one goal is the starting point for another”.

Next time you look at a map of New Zealand, you might notice some changes.   And not changes for the better either.   The politicians in New Zealand are giving in to the Maori people and are changing more and more names from their English names to alternative Maori names.  There are even new names for the country itself (I refuse to mention the new name for NZ) and for the two main islands, which up to now have been known as North Island and South Island.   But the politicians either do not have the guts to resist or the will to resist the increasing demands of the Maori people.     Changing the names of places is just another sign of how this group of people are gradually taking over New Zealand.    What the politicians are ignoring is the fact that New Zealand does not belong to maori people, as they were not the original people of the country.     Not only that, but under the treaty of Waitangi, they even signed agreements over land ownership.   So now, after all these years, they cannot claim that it is ‘their’ land and there can be little legal right for them to insist that names of places in New Zealand are changed to their names.

But the politicians have just given in.

So tourists when the visit New Zealand will start seeing more and more Maori names, and will probably believe that NZ actually belongs to the maori people.  Quite how a MINORITY group of people has got this to happen is strange.   English, not maori, is the language of the majority of people in New Zealand.    Places such as Mount Cook (the highest mountain in New Zealand) should keep its English name.    But the politicians have other ideas.

A peaceful summer scene for the photo today…another triumph for the Fuji X-E1 camera.    Taken as a jpeg photo and cropped to produce this pleasing image.

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and another photo from the archives….a backpacker talks to a local boy in Nepal…..

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View from above – Aruba

Thought for the day…”Action may not bring happiness but there is no happiness without action”.

“You cannot live a positive life with a negative mind”.

Off to the Caribbean for the photo today and the island of Aruba, seen here from above.    Aruba is about 30km off the coast of Venezuela, and is one of the group of islands known as the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao).   About 103 000 people live on this small island, which is only 32km long and about 10km wide.   It is dry and arid (there are no rivers), and also very flat, with a year round average temperature of 27 degrees.   Tourism is the number one industry here, with oil refining and offshore banking also important.  About 1.5 million tourists a year visit, including many arrivals by cruise ships in the capital, Orangestad.   The beaches were very quiet when this early morning photo was taken…..

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and another photo from the archives…..a girl in rural Laos.

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Two from Trondheim

Thought for the day…”  You can never cross an ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore”  (Colombus).

“Why is a person who plays the piano called a pianist, but a person who drives a racing car not called a racist?”

Off to the Norwegian city of Trondheim for the photos today.  Trondheim is the 3rd largest city in Norway, with about 170 000 people living there.   It was the capital of Norway until 1217 and has an interesting history, including a time when it was controlled by Sweden.   Many of the old buildings in the city are wood, and the city centre has had several large fires over the years.   As well as a university, the city also has some technology industries.  It also has the world’s only bicycle lift (Sykkelheisen Trampe)  which carries cycles and their riders up a 20% hill, at a speed of about 7 km/h.   Riders remain on their cycle, and place their right foot on the special mechanism, which then propels them up the incline (link to the website here….   http://trampe.no/en).  Two photos now from the old part of the city centre…..

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and another photo from Trondheim….same street but from the other end….

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Hurtigruten sunset

Thought for the day…”Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”

“You do not stop laughing because you grow old, you grow old because you stop laughing”.

A couple of sunset photos from the deck of the Hurtigruten coastal steamer boats.    These boats travel between Bergen on the west coast of Norway and Kirkenes at the top of Norway, next to the Russian border, a journey of 5.5 days each way.   11 ships travel the route, and call at 34 ports along the way, including a trip up the famous Geirangerfjord in summer.    Interestingly, Norwegian Television did a live TV sending of the whole 134 hour trip.   The photos today were taken near the middle of the trip, just north of the Lofoten islands, again with the Fuji X-E1.

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North Norway duo.

Thought for the day…” The darkest night is often the bridge to the brightest tomorrow”.

“Life leaps like a geyser for those who drill through the rock of inertia”

Up to the Lofoten Islands in Norway for the photo today, and some typical Lofoten scenery.   These islands are situated at around 68 degrees north, and inside the Artic Circle.    Humans have lived in the islands for over 5500 years, despite the long, cold winters.  Fishing was traditionally the main industry here, mainly for cod.   The mountain peaks rise to over 1100m, whilst surprisingly, the sea here has a form of coral.   As Lofoten is above the Artic circle, then the sun does not set between 25th May and 17 July, meaning 24 hours of daylight.   It is also the home of the Lofoten Insomnia cycle race.

The photo was taken late evening, north of Svolvaer, Fuji X-E1 with the 18-55mm kit lens.

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And another photo from northern Norway, colourful houses by the sea…another triumph for the Fuji X-E1 camera.

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