Jeritilley A picture is worth a thousand words..

Posts tagged “ships

An aviation classic – the Hawker Hurricane

Thought for the day…”I haven’t failed. I just found 10 000 ways that won’t work” Thomas Edison.

“Turn your face to the sun and the shadow falls behind you”.

Wanaka, New Zealand hosts the Warbirds Over Wanaka airshow every two years, and was at one time, also home to a number of Warbirds, such as this Hawker Hurricane.  This particular aircraft had an interesting history, having flown in 1940 and crashed in Preswick, Scotland, then after a rebuild was damaged several more times before being transferred to the Soviet Air Force in 1941.  It crashed again near Murmansk, Russia in 1943 and was recovered around 1990 and partly rebuilt in the UK from 1992 to 1995.  It was fully restored in Wanaka and flew again from Christchurch, NZ in January 2000.    It was later sold to a French owner based in Cannes.   The photo was taken in Wanaka about 2010 prior to the sale to the new owner.

And a photo from Oslo harbour in Norway.   The DFDS ferry travels overnight down to Copenhagen, Denmark.  Unfortunately, journey times have been increased now and prices onboard are very high, making it much less attractive than previously, especially when the highway down through Sweden is a fast alternative.  Why management wanted to slow the trip down is a mystery, as the boat is now much slower and leaves both cities too early to be much use to business travellers or people wanting a full day trip.

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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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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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Photo of the day Wednesday 26th June 2013 – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…” A pat on the back is only a few centimetres from a kick in the butt.”

” If it was not for the last minute, then nothing would get done”.

”  Change is inevitable, except from vending machines”.

One of the complaints that you hear from foreign tourists in the Swedish capital, Stockholm, is about the cost of public toilets.  Not only are there not enough of them, but when you do find one, then you can pay up to 10 SEK (=1.15 euros) for the priviledge.      It is a similar story in Oslo, Norway and Helsinki, Finland, the public toilets are not so common and are expensive.   But in Japan at least some of the public toilets now have Sega Toylet, a urine controlled computer game which is affected by the users aim and the flow of liquid.   The world’s largest public toilet is reported to be in Chonquing, China, which can relieve 1000 people simultaneously.   This building has an Egyptian theme (even though it is in China) and also music and TV screens to entertain users.

Almost back in its home port of Stockholm, Viking Line ‘Cinderella’  is just a few kilometres from the terminal in this recent shot from Stockholm, Sweden.    The ship carries 2500 passengers, mainly on short 22 trips to Finland for dancing and drinking.

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Photo of the Day Tuesday 18th June 2013 – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…” In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure”‘.

” Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress, working together is success”.

I read an interesting story in the news about the  ‘T-Rex Burger’ that Wendy’s in the USA was offering.  They were offering the burger which contained 9 (!!) quarter pound beef patties (that makes over 1kg in the new money), 9 slices of cheese, tomatoes,, onion, lettuce and pickles, although it has now been removed after adverse publicity.    A truck stop in the USA is also offering ‘The Heart Attack Burger’ whilst in Las Vegas (of course) the “Heart Attack Grill” served the infamouns “Triple Bypass Burger’ which contained 6000 calories.    One man is reported as suffering a possible heart attack after eating one of these burgers in one sitting.  If you are still hungry after that, then you can try Sonic’s 1200 calorie ‘Bacon Shake’, which contains 82 grams of sugar,  and 79 grams of fat.   Fancy Japanese instead?  Then how about Burger King’s Kuro Burger, which comes with a bamboo charcoal bun and squid ink ketchup.  But what actually goes into a fast food burger??

A photo from Finland today, and icebreakers laid up for the summer, with nothing to do until the winter ice returns.

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Photo of the Day Sunday 5th May 2013 – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…” Happiness is not a destination, it is a way of life”.

A photo from the Baltic Sea today and the Tallink Galaxy boat, which travels between Turku, Finland and Stockholm, Sweden.   Although originally owned by Silja Line, the company was taken over by the Estonian Tallink Line.   Although once it was a pleasant way to cross the Baltic, now prices are higher, and customer service lower.    And if you are onboard with a lot of drunk Swedish or Finnish passengers (they go mad on buying the tax-free onboard) then the crossing can be far from pleasant. The boat is seen here heading towards Stockholm, near Oxdjupet,.

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WORDPRESS-Galaxy

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Photo of the Day Thursday 28th February 2013 – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell

Thought for the day…”Why do they call a TV program “Who wants to be a millionaire?”  when they know that the answer is everyone?”

“Your right to speed is your power to stop”

A photo today of the cruise ship ‘Brilliance of the Seas’ belonging to Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines.  The cost of this ship was around USD 350 million for the 2500 passenger ship.   At around 90 000 tons, this is dwarfed by the mega cruise ships such as the RCL ‘Allure of the Seas’ at 225 000 tons and  its 6296 passengers.  At full speed, the 6 engines of the Allure will use about 27 000 litres of diesel an hour.

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Photo of the day Thursday 7th February 2013 – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…”If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.”

”Don’t be pushed by your problems.  Be led by your dreams.”

Yesterday, 6th February was Waitangi Day in New Zealand.  It is a public holiday held each year to celebrate the signing of the famous Waitangi treaty, which made New Zealand part of the British Empire.  There is still a lot of argument over the true translation of the treaty, and the celebrations at Waitangi have often been accompanied with minor troubles and protests.  Waitangi Day is also the same date as Bob Marley’s birthday.  As Waitangi Day falls in the hottest part of summer in New Zealand, then many people use the extra public holiday to visit the beach.

Some winter sunshine in the photo today of the Silja Symphony boat arriving in Helsinki Finland.  The temperature was around -15 degrees at the time.

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Photo of the Day Saturday 2nd February 2013 – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day……” You cannot make your candle glow brighter by blowing out the other guys’.”

“Do not regret growing older.  It is a privilege denied to many.”

I could never understand why so many people stayed at the Quality Spa Resort in Norefjell.     For one thing, it is up on a hill, 13km from the nearest village of Noresund, and reached by driving up a toll road, including a section that is gravel.  Not only that, but in winter the drive up to the hotel is not easy, as the road is covered with snow and ice.     Then when people arrived at the hotel, they paid a small fortune to stay in what I would rate as an average 3 star hotel, and certainly nothing special.  I have stayed in many hotels that would knock spots of this hotel, but why do people drive up and pay high prices to stay here??   True, the hotel does have a small swimming pool and a limited skiing area around it, but if people travelled to the Swiss or Austrian Alps then they could find far better skiing areas.  Are the hotel rooms special at the Quality Spa Resort?  I would say not, and certainly nothing out of the ordinary.    And the food in the hotel?   Again, nothing that would make me drive up 13km into the hills for.   So if you are heading to Noresund then my advice would be to stay down in the valley, save some money but still be in the same area.

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Photo of the Day Tuesday 29th January 2013 – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…” Critics are like eunuchs in a harem; they know how it’s done, they’ve seen it done every day, but they’re unable to do it themselves.”

“Happily ever after happens day by day”.

“Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died”.

A wonderful summer’s day on the lakefront in Wanaka, New Zealand, with the start of the southern Alps in the background.  With an average depth of 300m and a length of 42km, Lake Wanaka is one of New Zealand’s larger lakes.  New Zealand is home to about 40 million sheep (the numbers change depending on the time of year), or about 9 sheep for every person in NZ.  And no part of New Zealand is more than 128km from the sea.  New Zealand also has the world’s southernmost capital city, Wellington.

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WORDPRESS NZ Wanaka 5 Apr 2012 (6)


Photo of the Day Saturday 26 January 2013 – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…” Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine’.

Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way.”

We live in a moment of history where change is so speeded up that we begin to see the present only when it is disappearing.”

I am still waiting on a reply from KLM/Air France, from their ‘customer service’ section.   They just ignore email after email, and do not want to sort things out.  The good thing is that they will lose out, as no further bookings will be made with them until they do sort it out.   Bad customer service drives customers away, precisely what KLM/Air France are doing.  I look forward to reading about them in the bankruptcy courts.   I will vote with my money.

A cold day in Helsinki, Finland for the photo today, and  photo of the Tallink Silja (an Estonia company) Silja Symphony arriving through the ice.  Sea water freezes at between -2 and -4 degrees, depending on how much salt there is in the water.     The ship (built in 1991) is 58 377 tons and carries up to 2852 passengers between Stockholm, Sweden and Helsinki, Finland, and has a top speed of about 43 km/h.

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Photo of the day Wednesday 16th January 2013 – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” Every time that you subtract negative from your life, then you make room for the positive”

“Calories (noun) – Tiny creatures that live in your wardrobe and swe your clothes a little tighter every night”

“Sometimes you have to be your own hero, because sometimes the people you cannot live without, can live without you”

Did you know that the world’s largest shopping centre (based on total area)  is in Dubai (not surprisingly called ‘The Dubai Mall) with 1200 shops.  In 2011 it had over 54 million visitors. (As a comparison, Niagrara Falls receives an estimated 22.5 million visitors a year.)   It includes a 250 room luxury hotel, 22 cinema screens and also parking for 14 000 cars.   It also contains the world’s largest sweet shop (Candylicious).

A winter’s day in Stockholm, Sweden for the photo today with ice forming on the Baltic Sea.   From here, boats ferry passengers to the islands outside of Stockholm, although things are very quiet at this time of year.,   Temperatures in Sweden at this time can fall to below -30, although Stockholm was around -5 degrees when the photo was taken.

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WORDPRESS SWE Stockholm 13 Jan 2013 (33)


Photo of the Day Monday 14th January 2013 – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…” Sometimes the things we cannot change end up changing us”

“If you think that you are too small to make a difference, then you haven’t spent a night with a mosquito”.

Taking photos in the cold has proved challenging, with things like ice on the camera and batteries that die very quickly.  Got me wondering about the world records for hot and cold temperatures, and there are some interesting facts.   Although the -20 degrees Centigrade or colder recently experienced in Scandinavia are far from warm, those temperatures are a long way off the records…..

-89.2 degrees C. recorded at Vostok Station in 1983, or -82.5 degrees C recorded at Dome A, Antartica in 2005.   Kitilla, in the Lapland area of Finland has been down to  -51.5 degrees C  (in 1999).  Italy down to -48.3 degrees  at San Martino during 2010.   Even Australia has had some extreme cold, with -23 degrees being recorded at the Charlotte Pass in New South Wales during 1994.  And the record for the most snowfall during a year goes to Mt. Rainer, Washington State, USA, which recorded 31.1 metres of snow from 1971-72.

Some modern waterfront apartments in Oslo,Norway for the photo today.

WORDPRESS NORWAY Oslo 13 Sept 2012 (13)

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Happy not to be working at the Quality Spa Resort, Norefjell.


Photo of the Day Saturday 12th January 2013 – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…” If you think that a minute goes by very fast, then you have never been on a treadmill”

“Life has no remote, get up and change it yourself”

The average temperature in Helsinki, Finland in January is minus 10.3 degrees Centigrade.  The coldest ever recorded there (in 1987) was -34.3 degrees C.  Cold !!   At around -4 degrees the sea freezes, although the Baltic Sea has a lower salt content, so it freezes from about -2 degrees.   The photo today started as a colour photo, then was changed to Black & White, and then converted to sepia.  Works very well, as did the long exposure.     Nothing to do with the cold, but Finland hosts the annual world wife-carrying competition, where contestants carry a wife over a 250m course with hurdles.  An Estonian couple holds the ‘world record’ with a time of 55.5 seconds.  The next competition is on July 6th.

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Happy not to be working at the Quality Spa Resort, Norefjell.

WORDPRESS FINLAND-Helsinki-Sepia-10-J


Photo of the Day Saturday 5th January 2013 – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” Life is like a multiple choice question, sometimes the choices confuse you, not the question itself.”

Before Google launched Gmail, “G-Mail” was the name of a free email service Garfield‘s website offered to fans of the lasagna-loving cat.  And did you know that human arms have 32 bones each, while human legs only have 30.  And also did you know that the name for “piggy banks” comes from the use of family money jars in the Middle Ages made from a type of clay called pygg.

A photo from the Latvian capital of Riga today, and the Russian Orthodox church in the city centre.  Not a large country, with a population of around 2.3 million people, although it has been fought over many times (including by the Germans, Swedes, Russians and in parts, by Lithuanians).  Suprisingly, it has a high suicide rate, (8th highest in the world).

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

WORDPRESS LATVIA Riga 29 Dec 2012 (39)


Photo of the Day Friday 4th January 2013 – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…” Stop being afraid of what COULD go wrong, and focus on what COULD go right”

” Don’t Allow yesterday to spend too much of today “.

Did you know that divorce is legal in the world except for the Philippines and Vatican city.   And did you know that  the cashew is in reality a seed. Native to Brazil, the cashew is the seed of a cashew apple and contains a poison in its shell similar to poison ivy. So the shell has to be removed before it can be sold.   And more trivia….The Vatican Bank is the world’s only bank that allows ATM users to perform transactions in Latin.   Interestingly, Radio Finland broadcasts a program in the latin language as well.  That leads nicely to the photo of the day, the Tallink Silja Symphony ferry seen here in the ice in Helsinki harbour, Finland.  When new, it was the largest passenger ferry in the world, weighing in at over 58 000 tons.   It was photographed here shortly before its departure overnight to Stockholm, Sweden.

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WORDPRESS FIN Helsinki harbour night Silja Symphony 31 Dec 2012 (1)