Tuesday Photo Challenge: City

Tuesday Photo Challenge – City

For Frank this week – my City latest visited, Stettin/Szczecin, Poland.

 

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Sculpture

Dear Frank, so glad you came back despite the delay!  –  Here comes a ship instead of a plane. I doubt it could have brought you home though…

Iceland, Reykjavik – The Sun Voyager.

The artist is Jón Gunnar Árnason, Sun Voyager is described as a dreamboat, or an ode to the Sun. A dream of hope, progress and freedom.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #29: Cityscapes

”In the visual arts a cityscape (urban landscape) is an artistic representation, such as a painting, drawing, print or photograph, of the physical aspects of a city or urban area.” This is the Wikipedia definition, and I must express my love for the easiness by which the English language constructs new words, adding – scape is only one possibility.

I must admit, this time I have had to struggle a bit, because I seldom take the time to see a city from a high up vantage point. I am not a city girl – more of a town girl and most of a country girl. I do enjoy visiting big cities for a very short time – for the architecture and all the other arts found in museums, opera houses, exhibition halls and the like. But one week is enough for me. Thus, my photos for Patti’s challenge, are mostly shot from boats, trains or planes. I have to excuse the lesser quality through all those windows…and the biggest city, Shanghai (25 million people), in rain.

Rain, fog and smog – that is Shanghai, and so many other big cities all over the world – in China not the least…but here I found most of my cityscape photos.

We managed to get a short glimpse of Shanghai by night – in heavy rain.

Our ship passed many big cities on the Yangtze cruise – I don’t even remember their names…

…through the windows it seemed to me…they all looked – the same.

Now we are on the other side of the world, Quito (2 million people), Ecuador. The people here are gentle and very sweet, and I loved their friendly and colourful city.

How about returning to Europe? London (8 million people) is an absolute favorite with me, and I have chosen the moment I first saw the Shard – through a dirty train window on arriving from Gatwick. Funny, I was chocked, I did not even know it existed!

Another favorite is Barcelona (1.6 million) – the home of so many of  Gaudí’s architectural masterpieces. I do plan to return to see the Cathedral finished.

I recently found a new favorite city of mine, in Bulgaria – ancient Plovdiv (345000 people, and 2019, The European Capital of Culture). A true gem.

Lastly, my nearest big city in Sweden, Malmoe, with its 312000 inhabitants. A windy city by the sea, just opposite Copenhagen on the other side of the water. Shot through the plane window flying in with a beautiful sunset. The only skyscraper you will see here is  Turning Torso – by the architect Santiago Calatrava.

In the header, the City of Cities – Rome, in late afternoon light.

Thank you to Patti for this wonderful opportunity to dig in the archives for cityscapes I did not think I had… and for the chance to see so many cityscapes I will never be able to visit!

 

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Reflection

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Reflection

Good morning! Reflections are hard to resist, so I was too tempted not to send an entry…from Łódź, Poland, and the Light Move Festival. Hope it is not too late to join in!

In the header picture, the Butterfly tree, standing in Piotrkowska Street, is reflected in the opposite window of an art and craft’s shop. People are reflected as well.

The second photo is a string art exhibition in the park at the end of the street (opposite Manufaktura), reflected in the little pond.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #7: Everyday Moments

Everyday moments – maybe it is easy to forget how important they are, because (I) we seldom succeed in living as mindful as we should… Thank you, Amy, for the opportunity of highlighting some of those precious moments.

Everyday I have to care for my best friends, Totti and Milo. Following their lives is a gift.

Even if I see to their daily needs, sometimes a professional grooming is necessary – especially if you want to win next competition!

Not yet….are they best friends, but it is coming. Milo is slowly learning what he can do… or not…Totti has an angel’s patience – he is really too kind and considerate for his own good.

So, I try to walk Totti alone, just him and me, once a day. Picking berries, finding wild animals – and apple trees – in the forest and meadows.

Some days we go to our summer house, or just to the sea, to relax, and only – exist…

…which is so important…Life is short – someone will soon grow out of those sandals.

Taking a boat to one of the small islands in the archipelago is always a treat.

Driving home to our ordinary house again, the farmers are usually busy in the fields, but this year there is not much left to harvest. The drought has taken its toll.

Every month – not every day – we usually visit some interesting exhibitions. It could be about almost anything. Here a fashion and theater theme by designer Camilla Thulin.

This summer there was no rain – but all the other summers there usually are everyday moments with umbrellas!

During summer, spring or autumn – or all of them – we sometimes get a bit tired of everyday life, and decide to hop on the train/ferry to our neighbor country, Denmark.

Somehow I love train stations…

…and ferries. Some guys are very, very tired of the everyday thing…but there is always room for a ferry feet stretching!

Strolling the streets of Copenhagen is always a treat. To us, Denmark means good food, fantastic exhibitions, lovely people and yellow houses with cosy corners!

To see how others interpreted the challenge, visit our Lens-Artists reader section, or click on Amy’s challenge here.

 

 

 

 

Vadstena – Castle and Abbey – A One Day/Night Stay

Vadstena Castle was originally built by King Gustav I in 1545 as a fortress to protect Stockholm from enemies approaching from the south. Indeed it looks massive and strong today as well.

By 1620, when the castle was completed, all the kings of the House of Vasa had contributed to its construction. Since 1620, the castle has been very well preserved, and is one of Sweden’s best examples of Renaissance architecture.

In the fog and greyness, it looks stern and almost hostile – but in the evening sun, I could almost imagine a Cinderella somewhere…

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Vadstena Abbey, close by, was the motherhouse of the Bridgettine Order. The abbey started on one of the farms donated to it by the king, but the town of Vadstena grew up around it. It was active from 1346 until 1595, but there are still a handful of nuns here.

The castle on the left hand side and the abbey on the upper right hand (The red dot: Här är du!)

The Abbey is now turned into a hotel – and a beautiful one. The different houses decorated in different styles, and we stayed at ”The Castle Villa” in Jugend style.

We had breakfast under the old vaults,  and I had some difficulties in resisting the pots for sale. Swedish design inspired by China.

 

 

 

Thursday Thoughts – Thimpu in My Heart

Its Early mornings…

Mid days…

Afternoons…

…and Evenings

And my heart dreams of returning some day

 

 

A Dancing Traffic Light

I remember watching a YouTube clip long ago, with Bhutan’s only traffic light. This traffic light is still there, in Thimpu, the Capital.

In the city center, we found it – and it was just about to be exchanged.

Here he is – the smiling, human traffic light – a complete joy to watch him at work! In fact, the Bhutanese got an ordinary traffic light in Thimpu some years ago, but they did not like it. After three days they wanted their human light back. And he danced, this young man – a pity I did not film him.

For a people that value family and human contact the highest, and also treasure nature, nature’s gifts and everything living – I can easily understand their decision. It works. He works perfectly. Everybody feels safe in his hands – even the dogs.

There are 80 000 citizens in Thimpu – and they love their traffic light! Take a look at these two clips. In the second one, notice the traffic sign for pedestrians behind him – the person on it is wearing a Gho. (The male national dress)

Sunny City Stroll – Umeå

In the summer, the river banks are lovely to walk – but winter is very interesting as well. And of course it is easier to get to the other side of the city.

Going by car or bus, you have to use the bridges. And there is a bridge for pedestrians as well. We tried both.

There is a shimmering swirl of snow/ice crystals in the air, that we never have in Skane, where I live. I guess it is the crisp cold that does it. Difficult to catch on a photo, but here are two possible ones. I hope you get what I mean!

Some examples of architecture – lovely houses here. Mostly wooden. And a happy guide!

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One of the most beautiful buildings in Umeå is the Town Hall, built in 1892. The Restaurant and Brasserie, Rex, on the corner, had a sale this Saturday. Old porcelain and cutlery, furniture and miscellaneous. Not a chance of getting inside! The queue went around two blocks…in this cold…

The last day we had dinner at Lottas Krog – and we were all very satisfied with our visit – many thanks to our excellent guide. Lottas too, can be recommended!