Early Morning Discoveries

Early morning, and our private guide arrived again.

Today we went to see the snow sculptures and some interesting shops and cafés.

There was an outdoors movie, the award winning ”Sameblod”. Luckily we had seen it before, so it seemed unnecessary to sit down for some hours in -20 degrees C…

After some researching, we found there were no snow sculptures this winter – only a playground and a maze. But they seemed much frequented!

Emma guided us to her favorite store, a paper shop with lovely cards, pencils, parcel papers and origami. And more – plus a lovely lady behind the desk.

Some hours later, there was a sudden need for warming up toes, fingers and cheeks…and we ventured up to ”Nya Konditoriet”…

…an old patisserie, opened in 1927 and still looking almost the same.

Very tasty – and their team won the Nordic Pastry Cup in 2017! The old chandeliers and decorated windows totally won my heart. Brought back something of my childhood.

THURSDAY’S SPECIAL: PICK A WORD IN FEBRUARY – Y3

Paula’s word challenges are always fun – why not try it yourself? You do not have to use all the words – pick a word! Here are this week’s choices:

innate

protuberant

rectangular

interspersed

fluorescent

 

rectangular

interspersed

protuberant

innate

fluorescent

 

jupiter najnajnoviji

Evening Walk in Copenhagen

Lovely Copenhagen is only one and a half hour from where I live – a must in Christmas time! The markets and all the lights – nothing we have in my little village. So – here we go. Starting off rather early in the Design Museum’s beautiful garden…

…then walking all the way down the main street, Ströget, back to the railway station. A couple of kilometers all together. For more pictures from this walk, go to my photoblog.

 

 

Canary Pearls

Montaña de Arucas on the north coast of Gran Canaria boasts a view of the town as well as almost the whole island. An early morning view from up there is not bad. The church (Not a cathedral!) San Juan is a real beauty. From the narrow streets its spires look almost unreal.

We continued our roadtrip to some northern pearls, Teror and Firgas.

Teror is the religious heart of the island, and every year, September 8, pilgrims come here from the whole of Gran Canaria. They all come because of Nuestra Señora del Pino, their patron saint.

The church, with the same name, was built in the 18th century in Moorish and baroque style. Very special.

Some of the 16th century houses along the street. Many famous for their skillfully carved balconies.

After a slow and meditative walk through Teror, we headed for Firgas. Mineral water con gas, was my first thought – but the small town is also known for Paseo de Gran Canaria with its cascading water and tiled benches decorated with landscapes and historical symbols of Gran Canaria. On the walls – city arms.

A closer look at the cascades in the header!

If you walk further up the stone steps, above Plaza de San Roque, you will find tiled maps of the largest 7 islands in the archipelago. A geography lesson well worth a visit!

 

WPC: Experimental

Experimental…at least maybe a little. I love mirrored motifs, and often cannot resist taking a photo. Here, in Lodz, I was just going to press the button…when I realized the photo might be a bit more intriguing if I chose to enclose the ”real” buildings to the left of the house as well. What is really ”real” in the picture and what is ”unreal”?

Was the result of the experiment a more fun/interesting picture or not? Well, as I did not shoot an alternative picture, we do not know, but we can still have an opinion!

Plovdiv – Old Town, 6th Millenium BC

Plovdiv is the second largest city in Bulgaria, with a population of about 342 000 inhabitants. Plovdiv has evidence of habitation since the 6th millennium BC, and is said to be one of the oldest cities in Europe.

The city of Plovdiv has a long history – and almost as many names as rulers – best known for Philippopolis, ”Philip’s Town”, as Philip II of Macedon conquered it in the 4th century BC and gave his name to it. The city was originally a Thracian settlement, later being invaded by Persians, Greeks, Celts, Romans, Goths, Huns, Bulgarians, Slav-Vikings, Crusaders and Turks.  On 4 January 1878, Plovdiv was liberated from Ottoman rule by the Russian army. It remained within the borders of Bulgaria until July of the same year, when it became the capital of the autonomous Ottoman region of Eastern Rumelia. In 1885, Plovdiv and Eastern Rumelia joined Bulgaria.

Having read this…and more – we just had to go there. What would a city like this look like? So many conquerors and rulers, so many different ideas, art and architecture.

So, contemplating this on the bus, the beauty of the landscape and the snow capped mountains kept our eyes open.

 

The old town in Plovdiv is located on three of Plovdiv’s (originally seven) hills: Nebet Tepe, Dzhambaz Tepe and Taksim Tepe. Today there are only six hills left, because the seventh one was taken down to become cobble stones for the streets.  The old town in Plovdiv is included in UNESCO World Heritage tentative list since 2004.

At first we could walk peacefully in the quiet streets…but then it seemed every school in the neighborhood flooded the alleyways.

Our main goal was the ancient theatre – with seats today for 3500 people. (Originally for 5000-7000 people).

The Roman theatre of Plovdiv is one of the world’s best-preserved ancient theatres. It was constructed during Roman Emperor Trajan (reigned 98–117 AD), and it is currently in use for operas, concerts, plays and more. The theatre was restored in the 1960’s, and is one of the most valuable monuments from the ancient city of Philippopolis.

 

The house of Argir Hristov Kuyumdzhioglu, a merchant from Plovdiv, was built in 1847, and has been described as a prime example of Plovdiv’s mid-19th century Baroque architecture. The house has a symmetric facade; it is two stories tall on its west side and four stories tall on its east side. The Kuyumdzhioglu House spreads over 570 square metres and has 12 rooms and airy salons (where each room has a carved wood ceiling)- and 130 windows. Both the house’s interior and exterior boast sophisticated floral motives. The municipality bought the house in 1838, carried out renovations, and organized it as an ethnographic museum.

The lonely tree might not be very old, but it stands overlooking the remains of the olden days as well as the newer city. I wonder what he/she is thinking?

 

Sofia – Day and Night

The symbol of the city, Sveta Sofia – Saint Sophia, stands on a 48 feet high pedestal at a big crossroads in the city centre of Sofia. The 24 feet, copper and bronze statue by the sculptor Georgi Chapkanov, was erected in 2000, and stands in a spot once occupied by a statue of Lenin, and before him, a statue of Apollon.

Sophia was considered too erotic and pagan to be referred to as a saint, and she is not even highlighted, like many other statues are. Still, she carries the symbols of power (crown), fame (wreath) and wisdom (owl). The crown is also a reference to the Goddess of Fate – Tyche, inspired by the old emblem of Sofia dating back to 1900.

I think I prefer this handsome gentleman in traditional uniform…He kindly let me take a photo, and I was so pleased.

A walk with more of my impressions of the city –

Of course I have to finish with a gorgeous tram…at least I think it is gorgeous. Not new, emerald green, squeaking and rattling along the street – no risk being run over!

Cultural Café

We wanted to visit the National Palace of Culture in Sofia, but it was closed and a veritable construction site. I was dying for a nice cup of coffee along with some cultural events…but the building seemed totally abandoned.

Nothing wrong with a construction site…if you can find a place like this when you step down into the underground..

A slight drizzle, and my stomach was making sounds…but when we had totally given up on this place and walked down some steps to get to the street again – suddenly there emerged a big window with BOOKS. From nowhere. Nothing with books can go wrong, so we opened the door and stepped inside…

…a café! A place reminding me of my university years with not too expensive coffee’s, nice company and working in two’s or more. My eyes and spirits went up and I just took it in…..feeling the coziness and the warmth instead of the by now rather chilly, hostile weather outdoors.

We stayed for an hour at least and left with big smiles on our faces ;-D

It went on drizzling – but we felt good all the way home! Keep reading! And…some tea is OK as well…