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Posts tagged “ships

The Far North of Norway

Thought for the day…”Freedom means the opportunity to be what we never thought we would be.”

“We all have ability. The difference is how we use it.”

Two more photos from the far north of Norway (70 degrees north).    At this time of year, there is 24 hours of daylight, as the sun never goes below the horizon.   Whilst the Norwegians may get excited about having 24 hours of daylight, it is not in fact very useful, because you still have to sleep.  And the other side of the coin is that in winter it has 24 hours of darkness (the so-called ‘eternal night’)  so it must be extremely depressing then.  Seen here in the photo is one of the many cruise ships which visit at this time of year, this one the ‘Mein Schiff’ from TUI Cruises.  Built in Finland at a cost of some 360 million euros, it carries around 2500 passengers, so is much smaller than the 6000+ passenger ships that cruise the Caribbean.   Seen here in Honningsvag, Finnmark, Norway.

and another photo….Mehamn in the far north of Norway

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RESPECT, CONSIDERATION & FAIRNESS


Buying decisions….to buy or not to buy, that is the question

Thought for the day…”A goal without a plan is just a wish”

“Success with a negative attitude is called Luck.  Success with a positive attitude is called Achievement”.

To buy, or not to buy.   That is the question.   Having recently upgraded the camera to the newer Fuji X-T10 (great camera, and highly recommended), the finger is now poised over the ‘BUY’ button.  This time it is the new Fuji XF 100-400mm lens.   All the reviews have been great, and the people that have posted their comments praise the lens, so it is undoubtedly a wonderful lens.   I gave the lens a try in the camera shop, and it felt very good, and the extra zoom would be very welcome BUT here is the problem….the lens costs about 3 times as much as the camera did, and with the teleconverter, will cost around 2000 euros.    So the finger is hesitating on the ‘BUY’ button.    Quality always costs more, and the Fuji products are great, but the thought of almost 2000 euros on a lens is difficult to accept.  To buy, or not to buy, that is the question…..

A couple of photos from the north of Norway, taken with the standard 18-55mm Fuji lens on the X-T10.  The first photo is from the small town of Vardo, at the top of Norway.

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and another photo from north Norway…Hammerfest

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Why I am glad that I am not 16 years old again

Thought for the day…”Always remember to take your vitamins.   Take Vitamin A for ACTION, take vitamin B for BELIEF, take vitamin C for CONFIDENCE, take vitamin D for DISCIPLINE, and take vitamin E for ENTHUSIASM”

Just had another birthday, and once again, I thought how glad that I am NOT 16 years old again.    Recently I went to a Countdown supermarket and was forced to use the self-service checkouts (normally I avoid them) as there were no staff working the ‘manned’ check-outs.    Whilst self-service check-outs might be profitable for the supermarket shareholders, the problem is that they are doing many people out of jobs.  The same thing has happened at airports (= less check-in staff working on the desks) and hotels which increasingly have automatic check in (= less receptionists).   Cruise ships are introducing robotic barmen capable of mixing and serving drinks (= less bar staff), petrol stations are increasingly becoming automatic (=less cashiers).  The list goes on, meaning less and less jobs.   All very good for shareholders, but not so good for the school leavers who are looking for jobs.    Often in supermarkets they try and steer me towards the self-service checkouts, but I try and choose a manned check-out.   One day, the trend might go the other way, when somebody realizes that the PERSONAL touch means so much.  Keep people employed !!

Great, punchy colours from the Fuji camera for the photo today….a colourful market scene……

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and another photo from the archives…a cruise ship visits Dubronik, Croatia….

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Lofoten Islands & Hurtigruten boats.

Thought for the day….” When you fish for love, bait with your heart, not with your brain”   (Mark Twain).

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work”  (Thomas Edison).

Two photos from the Lofoten Islands in artic Norway…both with the Hurtigruten ships in them.  One of these boats leaves Bergen every day of the year for the 5.5 day journey up the coast all the way to Kirkenes, near the Russian border.    Lofoten Islands are about half way up Norway, at about 67 degrees north (so north of the Artic circle).  Fishing has been important here for over 1000 years, now tourism is also important during the very short summer season.   The islands have the midnight sun from 25th May until 17th July.    In the photos, the Hurtigruten boat ms Trollfjord passes another Hurtigruten boat,  ms Finnmarken.  Fuji X-E1 camera again, and the 18-55mm kit lens, a great combination.    As others have said, the Fuji X-E1 camera makes you want to take photos again.

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Plastic or Paper? No choice in Rwanda.

Thought for the day…”Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.”

” Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.”

It is estimated that at least 1 TRILLION plastic bags are used each year, and that China alone uses more than 3 billion everyday (3 per person).     If you consider that it takes around 1000 years for a non-biodegradeable bag to completely disappear, then it is bad news for the environment.    The bad news goes further, many of these bags end up in the sea, creating even more problems.     One big surprise (but a good one) is that Rwanda banned plastic bags completely, no manufacturing, importing or selling of plastic bags.   And the results of this are VERY easy to see when you travel around the country.   The Rwandans decided that charging for plastic bags in shops was not an option, as the bags would still be dumped around the countryside, so there would still be a problem.   Medical use is one of the few exceptions in Rwanda.   The results of the plastic bag ban are very clear to see when you visit the country, is is surprisingly clean.    Rwanda also has a monthly community cleaning morning, called “Umuganda”.  This is compulsory for every citizen aged between 18 and 65 who is able to work.   On the last Saturday of every month, citizens carry out public works to clean and tidy the country.   Things like cutting hedges, mowing grass and clearing paths to keep the country clean and tidy.   Tourists often are surprised that Rwanda is so clean, and the frequently-heard comment is that Kigali is the cleanest capital that they have been in.   Some other cities around the world are following this idea of banning plastic bags, but the Rwandans have shown that it can be done and that it works.   Full marks to them !!!

Copenhagen for the photo today, and a cruise ship competes with apartment blocks for the views.

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and another photo from the archives…..Caribbean sunset in Marigot Bay, St. Lucia…..

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Airline etiquette or bad behavior.

Thought for the day….” Follow your heart, but take your brain with you”.

“Problems are not stop signs, they are guidelines”.

There cannot be many people in the western world who have not flown, so I assume that most people know the etiquette of flying.    Even if they do not, then common sense and good manners is enough.  But recently I experienced the worst passengers that I have ever had the misfortune to sit next to (and misfortune was the word.).  Bad enough that there were 300+ passengers on the aircraft, but what are the odds of ending up sitting next to the worst passengers possible???   These two passengers had a screaming baby, bad enough on any flight but on an 11 hour night flight then obviously VERY unpopular with a lot of passengers.  Not only that, but the parents wanted to get up out of their seats.   Not just a few times, but an excessive number of times.    Even when the meal was served, they decided that they wanted to get out (same thing at breakfast too, trays down and the food there, but they still wanted to get out immediately).    The man on my left seemed to be unaware that he did not have a god-given right to put his legs and feet into my leg rest.   When I was not fast enough at moving to let them out, they simply climbed over me, regardless of whether I was getting up to let them out or not.   11 hours sitting next to the worst ever passengers.     I wish that I had taken a photo of them, not just to shame them but to warn others that this couple had a gold medal in inconsideration.   And even on arrival, the man decided that he wanted to be first off the aircraft and was going to try to push past everybody else like a rugby scrum.    I hope that these two particular passengers end up on a no-fly list due to their total lack of consideration.

On a happier note….a photo of the Interislander ferry sailing up the Marlborough Sounds in New Zealand.    The route through the sounds, which takes about 1 hour, is extremely scenic.   During the winter months, the 3 hour crossing between the North and South Islands of New Zealand can be extremely rough in the middle section, so passengers will be relieved once they enter the sheltered waters of the Sounds.   The ferry is seen near its final destination of Picton, top of the South Island, New Zealand

wordpress-ferryand another photo from the archives….a Malawian boy……WORDPRES-Malawi-boy-2

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Helsinki duo – Two from Helsinki, Finland

Thought for the day…” The difference between genius and stupidity is…..genius has limits”

” The secret of getting ahead is getting started (Mark Twain).

Two photos today  from Helsinki, capital of Finland.   Helsinki is one of those cities that you have to discover, for there is a lot that is not obvious on arrival.   For one thing, Finland is number one on the world for coffee consumption per capita, and the coffee is good, strong and available everywhere. (Try ‘The Roastery’ on Alexanderkatu for some really good coffee). And to go with the great coffee….some Fazer chocolate (although Karl Fazer was actually originally from Germany).   It is also the only city in Finland to have trams and a subway (metro) and is said to have the world’s most northerly metro station.     The language is horribly difficult for a foreigner, in winter is is very cold (-25 is not uncommon) and also dark for most of the day, but to make up for this there are some excellent sports facilities, wonderful architecture, good eating places, and the feeling that you have left Europe behind and have crossed into Russia (like when you see the Russian Orthodox churches in Helsinki, with their onion domes).  Indeed, parts of Helsinki look so much like Russia that Helsinki used to be used instead of Russia when making films (such as ‘Gorky Park’) until the city council decided that it was not a good idea and stopped promoting it.    And if you explore the indoor markets, then you may find things like bear meat for sale as well as the more common reindeer and moose meat.  But perhaps give another tradional (but popular) Finnish sweet, salty liquorice, a miss.   The city has about 53% women (versus 47% men), and after Reykjavik, Iceland, is the world’s most northerly capital city.  More trivia….it was the first country in the world to give women the vote and also the first country to make broadband a legal right for citizens.

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and another photo out of the archives….taken just a couple of hundred metres from the previous photo, but months apart….a new photo converted into Black & White, then converted into Sepia to give it the old-fashioned look.

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Color Magic inside – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” Today is tomorrow’s yesterday, so make it count !”

” Time is the longest distance between two places”.

Some magic for the photo today, and the interior of the Colorline ‘Color Magic’ ferry, which sails between Oslo (Norway) and Kiel (Germany) in around 20 hours.  The ferry is Norwegian registered, and is the largest ferry in the world,  weighing in at 75 156 tons and carrying 2700 passengers.  It has 15 decks, and a long promenade, as pictured below.   The 223m long ferry was built in Finland (as many of them are) and has a top speed of about 41kmh/25mph.  It can carry about 550 cars.   Although it is the world’s largest ferry, it is still small when compared to the world’s largest cruise ship, the Allure of the Seas, which weighs in at 225 000 tons, and is capable of carrying over 6290 passengers.

Not easy to get the white balance correct in this photo, as there were so many different lighting sources, but the Panasonic camera has done a good job to balance them all out.   The photo was handheld and without flash.

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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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Old and new in Helsinki, Finland – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…”Life is an echo.  Whatever you give, you get back.  Love others and they will love you.  Abuse others, and you will be abused.  So behave yourself according to you”

” Time is like money.  You should not spend it all in one place”.

A little work photo editing today to give a new photo an old look.   The photo is of the main harbour in Helsinki, Finland, with the Uspenski Cathedral visible in the background (the black building visible behind the front of the ship).   It is said that Finland has 1.8 million saunas, for a population of around 5.4 million people.   Finland was the first country in the world to allow women to vote.   Helsinki is also unusual in that it has more women than men, around 53% woman and 47% men.  Another unusual fact is that the tap water is so good in Helsinki that it is bottled and sold to Saudi Arabia.   The water reaches the city through the world’s longest rock tunnel.  Finland also has the honour of being the biggest coffee drinkers per capita in the world, perhaps due to the long, dark and cold winter nights.

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