Jeritilley A picture is worth a thousand words..

Posts tagged “railway

Travelling in style….the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland

Thought for the day…” Minds are like parachutes, they only function when open”.

” When it is time to die, let us not discover that we have never lived”

News on the net is that over 1700 private jets are expected in connection with the World Economic Forum, which is being held in Davos, Switzerland.    Zurich airport has already exhausted its private jet parking spaces, and a nearby military base is being opened up to cope with the overflow.    And demand for helicopters is also breaking records.    So what will the 2500 world leaders and business managers actually achieve at Davos???    No doubt lots of talk and lots of very expensive dining, but to what end?     To me, it seems like just another excuse for an expensive luxury trip to wine and dine in Switzerland.     Try telling that to the millions in Greece who have been without jobs for a long time, and where youth unemployment (ages between 15 and 24) is now over 60%.   And whilst some people in Greece and Portugal have to queue for food handouts from charities, the 2500 world leaders and business managers will be dining in style in Davos in 5 star luxury.

Today’s photo is not from a private jet, but is a nice photo of clouds.   This photo works much better in black & white, as then it concentrates attention on the shape of the clouds themselves.

LOW-REs-clouds and another photo out of the archives…..a steam train in Uppsala Sweden.

LOW-RES-steam-train-1

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Busy doing nothing – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…..” Never let perfect be the enemy of better”     ”  It takes twenty years of hard work to become an overnight success”

A photo from a few years back, taken on the main railway station in Tallinn, Estonia.  Estonia has been independent from the Soviet Union since 1991, although there is still a lot of Russian influence there, with around 45% of the population speaking Russian.  It still shares a border with Russia, and another with Latvia.   Around 430 000 people live in the capital, Tallinn.   It has become known as the Silicon Valley of the Baltic due to the large IT industry there, with Skype being its most famous development.    More than 1.5 million tourists visit the city each year, with about 1/3 of them arriving by ship.   Plans to link Tallinn to Helsinki (Finland), some 80km away by an undersea tunnel have been put on hold, although they were part of the European Union plans to improve links to the area.

LOW-RES-Tallinn

And one from the archives, taken a few years ago, the rare Rothschild giraffe.

WORDPRESS-ZAMBIA-South-Luan

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Breaking records SPEED – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….”Out on the edge, you see all sorts of things that you cannot see from the centre”.

” Losers make promises that they often break, winners make commitments that they always keep”

A photo today of the world record holder for conventional trains, the French TGV.  The train, seen here in Lausanne station (Switzerland) carries a special paint scheme, and includes details of the world record which it broke on 3rd April 2007, when it achieved a top speed of 574.8 km/h.   Although this is the world record for conventional trains (that is, those running on normal rails) the Japanese MAGLEV train set an overall train speed record of 581 km/h.   At the other end of the scale, the world’s slowest train is said to be the last running train in Cambodia, which has a top speed of only 17 km/h.   The normal top speed of the TGV (as in today’s photo) is 320 km/h, although there are plans to raise this in time.

LOW-RES-TGV

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Swiss Bells – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” A wise man can see more from the bottom of a well than a fool can see from the top of a mountain”.

” A ship in a harbour is safe, but that is not what ships are for”.

I had forgotten just how good travel by train could be.  I recently travelled down through Europe on long-distance night train, and it was very interesting to compare this trip with the return trip, which was by air.   No early check in at an airport, no expensive airport ‘box’ hotel, and no long queues to endure.  No silly security checks, and nobody on the train was worried that I was carrying toothpaste or liquids which at an airport would be taboo.   No need to check in at all, just board the train and find the sleeping compartment.   Pleasant evening on the way down through Europe, good snacks in the cafe, and coffee that was far better than airline coffee.    And add to that a good nights sleep and it makes a very pleasant journey.   Then next morning breakfast in the train cafe and voila, it was time to arrive (and on time too).   Compare that to the hassle and frustration at airports and being squashed in economy class for the flight back.  Flight back was late, on an old aircraft and delayed even further due to passengers travelling with far too many carry on bags.  Perhaps one day the train will be THE way to travel again…….The recent trip was a very interesting comparison.

Today’s photo is from the central part of Switzerland, with a photo of Swiss cow bells on a woodland hotel.  Very Swiss !

LOW-RES-Swiss-bells

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Scenic railway journey – Bergen to Oslo Norway – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” If money does not grow on trees, then why do banks have branches? “.

” Why do round pizzas come in square boxes?  “

When we travel now, we are never really out of touch, because with internet and mobile phones, then there is always a link, even in surprisingly ‘remote’ places.   In the news from Japan is a story that they are launching internet ‘fasting camps’  so that the estimated 1/2 million children in Japan who are addicted to the internet can receive help.    California in the USA already has a digital detoxing resort for adults but the Japanese Education authority is now targeting children in an attempt to get them to do more activities WITHOUT internet.

Today’s photo shows one of the great railway journeys in the world, the Oslo-Bergen line in Norway.   Seen here on an early autumn day, is the train heading for Oslo, not far from the town of Nesbyen.   The 493km journey crosses the Hardangervidda plateau, and reaches a height of 1222m at Finse before descending to sea level near Bergen.  The newer tilting trains that were introduced on this line in 2000 are gradually being replaced by locomotive hauled trains (as in the photo) which handle the snow and conditions on the line better.

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Age of Steam – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” Pull the string and it will go wherever you wish.  Push the string, and it will go nowhere at all”.

“Success finds a way, failure finds an excuse”

Many people outside of Scandinavia have an idea that Sweden is modern, clean and efficient, with a well-developed social system.   Once you spend a little time there, and start to read the newspapers and watch TV, then you soon realize that Sweden is far from that image.   Immigration is a problem (there were riots again recently in the suburbs of the Swedish capital, Stockholm), with discrimination against immigrants increasing.  Swedes tolerate foreigners, but they do not accept them.   That is one reason that many immigrants are confined to certain areas of the larger cities.   You can see people sleeping on the streets, and even in the very centre of the Swedish capital, there are large numbers of beggars on the streets.  The number of people going through the rubbish bins in the cities shows that things are getting much worse.    The newspapers reveal stories of people sleeping in hospital corridors due to shortages of beds, waiting lists for operations and pensioners not receiving sufficient money for a good standard of living.    As for technology, Sweden is far behind some countries.   Some shops will not even accept credit cards, and the Swedes still demand paper forms and photocopies for almost everything official.   As for cleanliness, tourists are now surprised to see just how dirty parts of Sweden are.  The city centre in Stockholm is dirty, with rubbish, graffiti and general grime.  Public works seem to have been cut back far too much, and you keep noticing areas of decay and neglect.  Whereas Sweden might once have been something of a model to the rest of the world, it has changed, and it has changed a lot.   Some things have remained good, like maternity and paternity leave and benefits, but overall, Sweden has slipped a long way. Stories of Swedish trains halted due to snow and ice, recent bus strikes and increased bankruptcies also show things things have gone wrong in Sweden.  It is no longer a model society.

New made to look old for the photo today.   The photo is of a preserved steam train at Uppsala, Sweden on one of its weekend runs.   The original photo was taken in RAW, then converted to black & white, then changed to sepia.  Quite an impressive piece of machinery and nothing in the photo gives a clue that it was taken in 2013 instead of 1930.

LOW-RES-steam-train-1

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