Jeritilley A picture is worth a thousand words..

Posts tagged “spa resort

Face in the Forest – Not the Quality Spa Resort, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise question”.

“Three Rules of Work –  Out of clutter find simplicity, from discord find harmony, in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity”  Albert Einstein.

I made the mistake of purchasing a laptop which came with Windows 8 installed.  I am now regretting that decision.  Windows 7 was fine, and worked as it should, but Windows 8 has been an exercise in frustration.   There are already lots of comments on the internet about the problems with Windows 8, and from what I read, the update to Windows 8.1 has not improved matters.

Do you think that Microsoft would win back a lot of support if they admitted the problems and offered all Windows 8 users who were not happy an option to change (=upgrade) to Windows 7.   I for one would be very happy to go back to the (superior) Windows 7.    And I would also think more of Microsoft for being honest and for trying to fix the W8 problems by offering a free option to change back to W7.

But like an ostrich with its head in the sand, Microsoft tries ANOTHER temporary patch (W 8.1),  which will no doubt be followed by 8.2, 8.3…….. and between all those patches, will continue to shut down MY computer for ‘updates’.

Customers can forgive a lot, IF they can see that a company is trying, but the impression that MS is giving is of a company determined to continue in the wrong direction.

I am sure that lots of us how now had enough, and that MS is going to lose out in the long run.   I really would like to sit down with Bill Gates and ask him to show me how W8 should work.   No doubt he would be equally FRUSTRATED with W8.    But perhaps he has already ‘upgraded’ to Windows 7.

And for the photo today, a school girl in Laos.   Lovely neutral expression on her face, and despite the shaded conditions in the trees, the light was quite good for the photo.  Sometimes when the subject stares into the camera, it can work, as in this photo.

LOW-RES-girl

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Happy moment near Tibet – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…” Fear is the father of courage and the mother of safety”.

”  Do not waste time looking back.  Your eyes are in the front of your head”.

Did you see that alarming story on the internet about the British retail chain, Tesco is planning to use computers to scan the faces of customers filling up with petrol (gas) at its petrol stations, then target them with appropriate advertisements, based on their age, sex and demographic profile?   If successful, it plans to introduce the scanning of faces into supermarkets as well.  Is this not Big Brother in real life?   With the supermarket shopper cards, it already has a massive amount of information about personal buying habits, but the thought that it plans to now scan faces is taking things too far.

On a happier note, here is a photo of a happy trader in China, not far from the border with Tibet.  Something was obviously amusing here, but it captures the moment well.   Good lighting and a long lens helped to catch the shot, which was taken during the weekly market.  A simple, uncluttered background finishes off the photo well.

low-res-China-woman

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More colour, new apartments Oslo – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell

Thought for the day….”  A fool and his money are soon elected”                     ”  Money often costs too much”

21st century.  Some companies have still not accepted this fact.  Far too many companies are not making it clear how to contact them using email.  There are so many websites where email addresses are either hidden or else are just not there.  Try contacting a customer service department directly at an airline.   Air France/KLM for example, seem to make it near impossible to get hold of their customer service department, and even when you do, they do not want to help.   Other companies hide their email addresses, making contact difficult.   Very easy when you want to pay or buy something, but when you have a query or want to get a refund, then it is a very different story.    Just been trying to contact AVIS to cancel a car reservation, but have spent a lot of time trying to find their email address.    Lesson learnt for next time !

Proving how bright colours can improve a modern building, here is a photo of some new apartments in Oslo.   The effect of the bright colours in breaking up standard concrete and glass apartments is wonderful, and the warm shades catch the attention of passers-by.  This was one of a series of shots, just waiting to get a passer by in the right position to finish off the photo, as here.

low-res-oslo-Aker-Bryga-colour

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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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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.

LOW-RES-Naza-market-2

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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.

Wordpress-Naza-woman-2-final

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Another beautiful morning, Picton, New Zealand – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…” It takes both sunshine and rain to make a rainbow”            ” The secret of getting ahead is getting started”

New Zealand is home to the longest place name in the world…

Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwenuakitanatahu

It became independent from Great Britain in 1907, and unusually, has 2 national anthems.    Wellington, which is the capital (although Auckland is the largest city), is the southernmost capital city in the world.  New Zealand also has one of the highest numbers of golf courses per capita in the world.   You will not find any nuclear power stations or snakes in NZ, as NZ is snake and nuclear free.    And in the far south, you may find the tuatara, the world’s oldest reptile, which is largely unchanged for the last 200 million years.

Too many tourists rush through the New Zealand town of Picton, which is situated at the top of the South Island.   Many tourists only see it as the ferry port when they arrive on the 3 hour ferry trip from Wellington on the North Island.   But this small town of about 4000 residents is a great holiday base, offering watersports (sailing, fishing, kayakking, diving), cycling and also the famous nearby Great Walk, the Queen Charlotte Track.  And the famous Marlborough vineyards, including such famous wines as Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc, are only a short drive away.  Some fine small cafes, wonderful fish & chips (a New Zealand tradition) and excellent accommodation make this an ideal stop on a tour around New Zealand.

WORDPRESS-Picton

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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.

WORDPRESS-Funchal

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Finals to land – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” He who has never made a mistake has never made a discovery”.

” The walls around you do not define the wealth within you”.

Did you see the story from Brazil about a man in Sao Paulo who has buried a Bentley Continental Flying Spur car in his garden for his afterlife.  The 62 year old businessman got the idea from the pharaohs in Egypt, and he plans to use it after his death.   The car is worth around USD 400 000.

Finals to land for the photo today…..and an Airbus A320 of the Portuguese airline TAP seen here about to land in Funchal on the island of Madeira.   The landing speed will be around 120-140 knots (depending on the weight), or about 220km/h.    The airline is based in Lisbon.    The number of complaints online about this airline show that it has problems, with onboard service being the biggest area of complaint.     The airline is owned by the Portuguese government, who are now trying to sell it to raise much needed funds.

WORDPRESS-Madeira-2

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

Thought for the day…” You are only young once, but you can be immature forever”.

” When it comes to thought, some people stop at nothing”.

Standards are very high in Switzerland, and things work as they should.    Had a trip to Kandersteg recently and was very lucky to stay in The Hayloft, which is a traditional Swiss chalet now operating as a B&B (www.thehayloft.ch).  The building is almost 500 years old, and has fantastic  views of the waterfalls and mountains nearby.   Not only that, but the hosts that run the chalet were excellent, so the hospitality was great too.   Just what you want when you are in Switzerland !!   Kandersteg (altitude 1200m)  is a great base for hiking, and with the network of cable cars and gondolas, it is very easy to reach the higher valleys.  About 7.3 million people live in Switzerland, with around 70% of the country being mountainous.    The famous Swiss army knives were originally all red so that they could be found easily in the snow.  The Swiss are also famous for having the highest chocolate consumption per capita in the world.

Web-version-hayloft

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Colourful Copenhagen – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” Happiness is felt by making other people happy”.

” Every day is a gift.  That is why they call it the present”.

Colourful Copenhagen today, and another photo that took a little extra time to get.    A cold front was going over Denmark, and in the late afternoon, some very clear air and autumn sunshine made the colours of this cinema really shine out.   The tall building at the back is actually the Radisson Hotel, one of the worst hotels that I have ever stayed in anywhere in Scandinavia.   Not only were the staff there unpleasant, but the rooms were also poor, so never again !!     But the cinema building nearby is very colourful, and when the sun catches it, is great for photos.   The photo is actually the back of the building, the front is equally colourful.     Copenhagen has a population of around 1.2 million.  During the 20th century, the city planners introduced the finger system, whereby the city would grow out in ‘fingers’ with green areas in between.   It is said that after Walt Disney visited the Tivoli amusement park in Copenhagen, that he was inspired to build his own Disneyland in the USA.

Wordpress-Copenhagen

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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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Lazing in Lesotho – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…” Friends are the flowers in the garden of life”.

”  Love starts with a hug, grows with a kiss, and ends with a tear”.

Did you know that the first electricity power plant in the world was opened in New York in 1882 by Thomas Edison.  Edison also invented the world’s first electric voting system in 1868 (the Electrical Vote Recorder), and in 1876 invented the microphone, as well as the phonograph.   In 1879 he came up with the electric light bulb, which was called the ‘Edison modern incandescent lamp’, and later came up with the idea of gummed paper tape, switches, and demonstrated public street lighting, and by 1880 had installed the world’s first full sized electric railway for passengers and freight.  in 1891 he invented the motion picture system, which he later refined into the Kinetophone, or talking motion picture.     He ended up with over 1368 patents for his many inventions, including simple radio transmitters.

A little known country for the photo today, and to landlocked Lesotho.   Lesotho is surrounded by South Africa, and is the only country to be completely above 1400m (the highest point is 3482m).  It has a population of about 2 million, and was previously called Basutoland, until it became independent from the UK in 1966.   Wool, clothing and mohair are the main exports, although the harsh winters (down to -18 degrees sometimes) limit what can be grown here.   In 1967 a Basuto woman discovered a 601 carat diamond here.  Many of the locals work in South Africa for several months each year.  The capital, Maseru is home to about 200 000 people.  A typical rural scene showing local life….

WORDPRESS Sept (1)

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Boy & Wall – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….”  Do not wait for the right moment, make the moment right”.

” A journey of a thousand miles begins with a cash advance”

Did you see the story in the USA (Hawaii) that a woman has won the right to have her full name on her driving license?   Normally it is not a problem, but here family name is ” Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele”   which was too long for the government computer systems.   They are now going to reprogram their road licensing computers so that she can have the full 36 letters of her name on her ID.   Also from the USA is the story about the computer problems at United Airlines which resulted in free tickets being given away, when the prices came up as USD 0.    The company temporarily shut down their online booking system when it discovered the errors.   And there was a similar story with United Airlines back in 2012, when some travellers found that they could buy First Class return tickets from New York to Hong Kong for USD 43 and 4 air miles.   Never seems to happen when I want to book a ticket.   When I book a ticket now, there seems to be far too many EXTRA charges.  Some carriers are even charging for carry-on baggage now.    And Samoa Air became the first airline in the world to introduce ‘pay for your weight’, where the price of your air ticket depends on how much you weigh.

And for the photo today, another portrait shot, this time of a boy in rural Nicaragua.  Good lighting and a natural pose make this a lovely photo.   Again, it shows that you just have to have the camera ready to capture the right moment.

LOW-RRES-NICARAGUA-boy

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Nicaragua Lake Sunset – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…” Alcohol is not the answer, it just makes you forget the question”.

” Forever can be only tomorrow”            ” Does age come with experience, or experience with age?”

Off to Central America for today’s photo, and to Nicargua.  With a population of around 6 million, Spanish-speaking Nicaragua borders both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.   Interestingly, there are no street names, and addresses are given with references to nearby landmarks.    Managua, the capital, has a population of around 1 million.   Agriculture is the main industry, although it remains a poor country, with (according to the UN) around 48% of the population below the poverty line.    Tourism is now the second major industry.  The photo was taken at Ometepe, a volcanic island on Lake Nicaragua.”

LOW-RES-Nic-sunset

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Another Autumn morning in Norway – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell

Thought for the day…..”  Do not talk, unless you can improve the silence”.

“Every day is a gift.  That is why they call it the present”.

Two nice stories in the news at the moment to bring a smile.   Firstly, the man in the UK who has set up a premium rate telephone line at home so that when he gets cold-callers and advertisers ringing him, then it costs the companies a lot of money and he also gets 70% of the proceeds of the premium rate telephone call.  Apparently he is now trying to keep advertisers on the phone as long as possible so that he gets even more money from them whilst they rack up a large bill on the premium rate number.     Then there is the other story about Hasan Syed, again in the UK, who paid to have his twitter tweet promoted, advising people not to fly with British Airways because their customer service is horrendous.   Normally it is advertisers who pay for promoted tweets, but Mr. Syed was able to use this system to give his complaint against BA huge publicity.

Autumn is well under way in Norway, and there have been some fantastic mornings recently.   Out with the camera again, to yet another lake, and more reflections and lake views in the photo today.   On the ground are many blueberries and wild mushrooms, and the some of the trees are now yellow and red (not the everygreens of course!).   About the only sound when I took the photo were the fish (trout) jumping in the lake.   The hunting season is underway now, mainly for elk, although also for deer, reindeer,mink and red foxes.   Being Norway, you have to have a license to hunt, and new hunters must undergo a 30 hour training course and then take a test.   Luckily, no test and license is needed to take photos like these.   I am looking at getting a new camera now (perhaps my 5th Panasonic in a row) but seeing results like these, then there is still a lot of life in the current camera.

Wordpress-Stavn-lake

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Face to face with a lion – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…..” The secret of success and a rich life is to have more beginnings than endings”.

”  Men stumble over pebbles, never over mountains”.

Did you know that an ostrich’s eye is bigger than its brain?   Or did you know that the Hawaiian alphabet only has 12 letters?  Or that the word ‘dreamt’  is the only word to end in ‘mt’ ?   Or did you know that the word ‘stewardesses’  is the longest word that is typed with only the left hand?  Or that koalas sleep around 18 hours a day?   Or that the original name for Australia was New Holland?   And that the average human brain contains about 78% water?

A different sort of portrait for today’s photo and face to face with an African lion.  After tigers, lions are the second biggest members of the cat family, with an average male weighing 180kg (females 130kg).  They can sprint up to 80km/h but only for short periods,  Average lifespan is about 12 years.   They spend about 18 hours a day resting, and hunt mainly at night.   This one was seen in Zambia.

Wordpress-Zambia-lion

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Mozambique Mother – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…” If your feet smell and your nose runs, then are you built upside down? ”

” If communication is the key, then why not open the door? ”

A rather unnerving story on the internet today about scientists in the USA (Washington) who have been able to make the thoughts of one person move the hand of another person.   An experiment, using electrodes on the head of one person, and a magnetic cap on the head of the other person, proved that the thoughts of one person could be used to control another person’s movements.  Frightening!

The photo today comes from Mozambique, rather a nice mother and child photo, again captured with a normal ‘consumer’ camera and not by an expensive DSLR.

LOW-RES-MOZAMBIQUE-Vilankulos-to-Inchope-road-15-Oct-2012-(17)

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Stunning morning in Norway – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day……” Nothing comes easy, what comes easy means nothing and what comes hard means something”.

” There is no use running fast when you are on the wrong road”.

Was it enough with Dolly the Sheep?  No, because in the news now is a story about a Canadian dentist, Dr. Michael Zuk, who wants to clone the late John Lennon by using the DNA from one of his teeth.   Dr. Zuk obtained the tooth at an auction in 2011, and claims that bringing ‘back’ a deceased famous person would be the ultimate expression of science.

Something a little different for the photo today.  Not the actual photo (a stunning morning in Norway), but the technical details of the photo.   It is actually a combination of 24 individual photos that have been stitched together in a photo-editing program.    This results in one VERY large file, but also one that is excellent for printing and making very large, long enlargements.     Even after reducing the RAW files to JPEG, the final file size is still around 30mb, but for a view like the one in the photo, then it is wonderful to have it in such high quality.

Not that this photo, large as it is, will not compete with the World’s largest digital photo, which was published in February this year.    A photo of London, taken from the BT Tower, was made up of 48,640 individual photos, giving a total photo size of 320 GB.  Keep taking photos!!

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Web-version-panorama

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


Wood carver in Espirito Santo – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…” Do stairs go up or down?”      “If electricity comes from electrons, does morality come from morons?”

“If ignorance is bliss, then why aren’t more people happy?”.

Another curious story in the news this time from Venezuela.  Not toilet paper shortages this time making the news in Venezuela, but HAIR THIEVES.   The Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro has now promised to take action against the gangs who are stealing hair, sometimes at gunpoint, to sell to hair salons.    Venezuela has one of the worl’ds highest murder rates, although official figures are not published, as well as frequent carjackings, armed robberies and kidnapping.

And in Saudi Arabia, a man weighing around 610kg has been airlifted to hospital for treatment.   Apparently, the man was so big that part of the apartment had to be demolished so that a fork lift truck could carry him to a military aircraft.  He was flown to a hospital for treatment.

Another photo from the archives, and again from the island of Espirito Santo in the Pacific Ocean.   Lucky to capture a photo of this woodcarver in the forest, and lucky that the light was ok for the photo too.   I wonder how much things have changed since I was last there.     As usual, I wish that I had taken a lot more photos!!

LOW-RES-Espirito-Santo-man-10

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Ethiopia travel – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder’.                       ”   The Earth is the insane asylum for the universe”

No prizes for guessing the destination of the photo today……easy one.    With sometimes very slow local transport, then air is the easy way to travel around Ethiopia.    Ethiopia was the birthplace of coffee, and now it is the arabica coffees that are the most important crops for many farmers.   Due to the big differences in climate and altitude in Ethiopia, coffee is grown in 4 different zones.   Coffee is the most important export for Ethiopia, and the coffee industry is a major employer.   Often visitors to a home are welcomed with a traditional coffee ceremony, where the beans are roasted in a large wok-like pan before making the good, fresh coffee.   Most of the coffee beans in commercial production are dried in the sun for 3 to 4 weeks, which is said to give a much better taste over machine dried beans.   Ethiopian coffees also have less caffeine in them, as lightly roasted coffees contain less caffeine than dark-roasted ones.   The coffee tree is actually related to the cherry tree.    Coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world (oil is first).     So a combination of great scenery, good coffee and interesting culture, make Ethiopia a great place to visit.

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Native in the forest of Espirito Santo – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell

Thought for the day….” You cannot have what you do not want”.

”  People say that motivation does not last.  Well, neither does bathing, which is why we recommend it daily.”

Did you know that the Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean on Earth?   The name came from the latin ‘Mare Pacificum’ which means ‘peaceful sea’.  It was named by the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan.  The Pacific Ocean is larger than all the land area on Earth, and at its deepest point, the Mariana Trench, is over 10 911m deep, which is deeper than the height of Mt. Everest.    There are more than 25 000 islands in the Pacific, including Espirito Santo,

Another scanned slide here, and a photo from the jungle in Espirito Santo.   Only wish that I had a digital camera back in those days, as I would have taken a lot more photos.   With subjects like these, I missed lots of great photos.   And you can see that the quality of the photo is not up to digital standards either, but at least it shows how life was on Espirito Santo a few years ago.

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Village Life, Espirito Santo – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…..” If you cannot give anything then you should not complain when you receive nothing”.

” We are all students of life.  It is how we handle it that gives us the degree.”

Off to the Pacific and to the nation of Vanuatu today, and the island of Espirito Santo.   A typical local village scene here,  and although an old photo (actually a scanned slide) things have probably still not changed much there.   The island is at 15 degrees south in the island group known as the New Hebrides, it became independant in 1980.  Copra (coconut) is the main crop here, although there is also a little tourism in addition to subsistence farming.    Villages are still ruled by chiefs and local customs are still very important.   Kava is the popular drug on the island, but alcohol is now becoming more prevalent.   The island got its name from the discoverer Pedro de Quiros who thought that he had discovered the fabled land of Australia.  Port Vila is the nearest international airport.

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Tranquility – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” Success is not measured by money, awards or medals.  It is measured by the difference between what you CAN achieve and what you actually achieve”.

“You only live once, so do not hesitate. you will miss your chance”.

Amusing story in the news at the moment about the Indian army, who thought that they had been subject to 329 spy missions by Chinese drones.   It was found that the sightings were not actually Chinese drones on spy missions, but were in fact the planets Jupiter and Venus.   Whilst I would like to visit India, the crazy procedure for obtaining a TOURIST visa has put me off, along with the time and cost to obtain it.  The Indian government should realize that tourists bring money and foreign exchange to the country, so they should make it EASY for tourists to travel there, not make it an expensive hassle.   Easy decision for me though, until it is quick and easy to get a visa then I will not go there.

An early morning photo of the hills of Norway for the photo today, and a peaceful scene.   Norway has 3 languages, Bokmal Norwegian (the main language), Nynorsk (mainly in the west parts of Norway) and Sami (mainly in the far north of Norway).  There are more Norwegian descendants living in the USA than people living in Norway (6 million descendants in the USA and around 5 million people in Norway).  As in Sweden and Finland, you can only buy alcohol (above 3.5%) in the government operated shops, called Vinmonopolet in Norway.    That said, when you see the prices for alcohol in Norway, then you may well decide not to buy.  Norway is also home to the largest glacier in Europe (Josteldalsbreen)

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