Thursday Thoughts – The Iceberg

Aarhus again, and the Iceberg Building area. Fascinating architecture.

From the pictures I had seen before, it looked gorgeous, innovative and a must see.
As we passed the first building, we admired the apartements close to the water.
A modern Venice?

On reaching the Iceberg, we realised it clearly is best seen from the sea.

But, I just have to post on some of the area anyway.

No easy angles here… and I was a bit disappointed that they were building a high tower right next to this complex – see this in the first photo.

The area is well worth a visit – and I enjoyed walking there for an hour or two.

Thursday Thoughts – Läckö Castle

We visited yet another castle on our tour to old friends some weeks ago. Läckö Castle, once voted the most beautiful Castle in Sweden.

I must confess I did not find it as interesting as Tjolöholm, but of course the looks of Läckö is maybe more of a castle with a princess waiting inside.

First we had a lecture in the King’s Hall, about the history of the castle, and then we were left to read ourselves and walk the tour on our own. There was not much of the original furniture left, but I did find a Narnia cupboard …

In the 17th century Sweden was a country of great power, so many of the paintings were from famous battles. Not my kind of art.

I found the floors to be an absolute dream though. They were laid like no other floors I have seen, and in fact this type of fitting the boards is called Läckö after the name of the castle.

There was a lovely walled garden too, and more of Miss Willmott’s Ghost (Thank you, Jude), a plant I have already ordered for my own garden next season. I just love this extravagant flower, and the story of the lady Willmott too – secretly dropping seeds of this flower in other people’s gardens…

The last picture shows a piece from the treasury at Läckö – the decorative vases used for single flowers in those days.

Thursday Thoughts – A Swedish Tudor Castle

Tjolöholm Castle is in many respects a fairytale castle. The castle was built 1898-1904 by James Fredrik and Blanche Dickson. In fact it was Blanche who finished it, as her husband died shortly after the plans were ready.

The young architect, Lars Israel Wahlman, combined the Tudor style with modernities from the turn of the century such as showers with circularly flowing water, electricity, central heating, and a vaccuum cleaner (so big and heavy that it had to be drawn by horses). The intention was to create a home that was both comfortable and dignified.

Parts of the castle were being renovated when we visited, which of course made it more difficult to take decent photos.

Some of the most impressive ideas and rooms were the bathrooms with the special showers. All ordered from Liberty in London – the worksmen as well!

I also loved the fashion exhibition, grand royal 19th century, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert depicted from majestic festivities to the family’s private sphere. The Dickson family had moved from England and bought Tjolöholm to build a new home. The style is Arts and Crafts, and the whole interior is intact. A very unusual thing – rather fantastic. The furniture, tapestery and almost everything indoors was bought from Liberty in London – a company that still exists.

The lady’s riding costume certainly makes for the side saddle…

Rooms I really loved seeing were the children’s rooms and the flower arranging room.

Then…rooms with very special things in them or special thoughts guiding their interior decoration.

I especially want you to look at the green carpet room. The entrance to the room was meant to lead the eye along the (very) green broadloom (?) and through the window, out in the green of the garden. To create a feeling of wholeness – indoors and outdoors nature. The player piano or pianola in the last picture, is one of the last existing, working pianolas. The many boxes on top of it contains pieces of music for the instrument. The lady, one of the guides, offered to play the pianola for us. It worked perfectly well!

There is much more to be seen in this charming Tudor castle, so I suggest you visit yourself someday.

There will be one more post from me on the Castle – and the beautiful castle garden. Hope you enjoyed a piece of the cake – I enjoyed your coming along with me!

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #126: –Subjects That Begin with the Letter A.

An Alphabet challenge! This week Patti invites us to share images that feature a subject on the letter A. We can also include signs and graffiti with the letter A. For an added challenge, Patti suggests capturing an image that illustrates a concept with the letter A, such as alone, abstract, or afraid. 

I have chosen Art, Arch, Architecture and Abstract.

The Rila Monastery in Bulgaria had me enchanted for many hours – and every time I look at the photos from that day…I remember the surprise that hit me when we entered the courtyard. Silence, and unbelievable beauty in the elaborately handpainted arches.

When it comes to impressive new artwork, one of my greatest favorites are The Kelpies in Scotland. We visited in 2014 when they were just put in place. The Kelpies are 30-metre-high horse-head sculptures depicting kelpies (shape-shifting water spirits), located near Falkirk, standing next to a new extension to the Forth and Clyde Canal. The Kelpies were designed by sculptor Andy Scott as a monument to horse-powered heritage across Scotland.

Abstraction indicates ”a departure from reality in depiction of imagery in art”. This departure from accurate representation can be slight, partial, or complete. Many abstract sceneries are absolutely natural…while others are manmade. A frosty car mirror in the header and an autumnal lake with reflected leaves above.
David Hockney – ”Me draw on iPad”, Louisiana, Denmark.

Thank you for all your inspirational entries for Tina’s challenge last week! A beautiful highlighting of the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi.

We are looking forward to seeing your new choices – please include a link to Patti’s original post and use the Lens-Artists tag so that everyone can find your post in the WP Reader. We hope you will join the fun!

Finally, stay tuned for Amy’s challenge next week – and until then, stay safe and well.

Thursday Thoughts – Hovdala Again

Hovdala is mentioned for the first time in 1130, but the presently visible castle complex began to be constructed during the early 16th century. The date 1511 can be read on one of the façades. In those days, Scania (Skåne) was a part of Denmark.

A renovation of the castle was initiated in 1993. In 2004, renovation project was awarded the Europa Nostra award for ”sensitive and intelligent restoration work.”

The castle was besieged twice by Swedish troops during the Kalmar War. But, Hovdala castle withstood both sieges.

The castle belonged to the Ehrenborg family until 1944, when it was expropriated by the Swedish state. The last owners were however allowed to stay in the castle and did not move out until 1981. The grounds are frequently used for walking, hiking, bird watching and jousting.
The freshwater pearl mussel is a precious inhabitant in the waters of Hovdala.

Follow the road up in the forest behind the castle, and you will arrive at the Library Ruin – on which I have often posted. An unfinished octagon built by the owner of the castle – what a beautiful idea – to have a library in the forest! So, I will leave you there…for now.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #116 – Symmetry

Patti is our host this week, and we are asked to think about symmetry. As she explains in her instructive and beautiful post, symmetry is, and have always been, pleasing to the human eye.

The header, as well as most of these images, are from Spain. Art and architecture here has its origin from many cultures including the Moorish. A fantastic blend.

A warm Barcelona night – we stumbled upon a motorcycle gathering
More Spain – Gaudí of course! A small church or chapel, not that well known.
Nature then? I cannot have a post without being natural in some way… Bilateral symmetry, (in biology) – ”a basic body plan in which the left and right sides of the organism can be divided into approximate mirror images of each other along the midline.”
Back in Spain again – A silent monastery walk
Cervantes looking down at his heroes, Don Quixote och Sancho Panza
Finishing off with one of my favorite floors – a wooden floor found in Copenhagen – man-made. Diagonal symmetry? Or I just made that up maybe… but, symmetry can also exist in many ways in the same object, work of art or image. I like the combinatory possibilities.

Thanks to all of you in our creative community for your support, enthusiasm, and creativity.  Let’s keep inspiring each other !  Next challenge, LAPC #117 will be hosted by Amy instead of me, October 3, 2020, so don’t forget to stop by her site and join the fun.

Until then, I wish you all a wonderful, creative week – and stay safe.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #115 – Inspiration

This week, Tina’s challenge is all about inspiration. What inspires you in life? Go to Tina’s fabulous post for more inspiration – and I am sure you will be lingering there for a while…

I am a nature person and an animal person. I prefer walking in nature and being together with animals instead of people. Nature is all inspiring and the foundation of my thoughts and choices in life. Nature is real, animals are honest and straight forward. Humans can seldom measure up to that.

When I was a child there were always cats in my home. As an adult, always dogs. They listen, they do not judge you, and they are faithfully loving till the end. I believe it is essential for a child to grow up with animals around, to watch them and to learn from them how life and death works. They teach you how you should treat everything living. Furthermore – it is a scientific truth that people feel more calm and stable with animals around. In Sweden we have specially trained dogs to go visit elderly people regularly. Some homes for the elderly have a ”house cat”.

I have met some fabulous dogs and cats over the years – here are two of my favorites.
Nature is my greatest inspiration. From glorious landscapes to its tiniest and most intricate elements.
My Swedish summer landscape, and then something from my windows – size, 7-10 mm.
Abstract trees and flowers in Sagrada Família. Remember that Gaudí found Nature inspiration through walks and talks with his mother.
“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” – C.S. Lewis

To me, reading and books always mean inspiration, film and photography as well. There are so many things to be inspired of…what is inspiring for you?

Thank you as always for your support of, and commitment to, our challenge. We hope you’ll join us next week when Patti brings us challenge #116 on her Pilotfish blog.

Thursday Thoughts – Norrvikens Trädgårdar

For my husband’s birthday, we decided to surprise him with Norrvikens Trädgårdar

A lovely park we had not visited since the 1970’s.

One man’s work – glorius, and even better than I remembered it.

The grand greenhouses were magnificent,

and a great place for weddings and big parties.

The various gardens also displayed very old trees and foreign species.

Open air installations were blending in quite well.

And Milo found several little ponds to drink from, before the next adventure…