November 23, 2017

Was it in the Garden of Eden or was it just in Valdres, Norway?

..anyhow it sure was quite an idyllic setting with the sheep mother and her lamb when we passed them a day in the summer.

FLASHBACK to July. Camera: iphone6+. Stitch of 2 photos. PP: Corel Paintshop Pro

November 14, 2017

Moody November under the Tramontane (Northern wind) in Collioure, South of France

The Tramontane makes the waves out in the Mediterranian and contributes to quite some mood in the Catalan village Colliore right there at the beginning of the rough landscape along Cote Vermeille

Both photos with iphone6+
The first a stitch of 3 photos shot from the entrance to the hotel 3Mas
The next a stitch of 4 photos in direction of the small chapel: St. Vincent

November 11, 2017

November and off season in Collioure SouthofFrance

The most significant photo motif in Collioure is the church which have also served as a lighthouse and prison in its time. A rather tiny population at the beach these days.

Dressed warm a lunch at Simones is still a fine weekend option

Not many people out walking but still place for a little romantic moment this November day

November 10, 2017

The work of the Tramontane in Collioure, SouthofFrance

The Tramontane is the strong northwest winds coming down from the mountains and blowing out in the Mediterranean Sea. Sometimes making big waves along the coast. As seen here in Collioure in November. 

FROM WIKI:The tramontane in France is a strong, dry cold wind from the north (on the Mediterranean) or from the northwest (in lower Languedoc, Roussillon, Catalonia and the Balearic Islands).It is similar to the mistral in its causes and effects, but it follows a different corridor; the tramontane accelerates as it passes between the Pyrenees and the Massif Central, while the mistral flows down the Rhone Valley between the Alps and the Massif Central.

A canon, some canonballs and pedestrians a November day in Port-Vendres in South of France

Seems like the big old canon not was able to shoot the canonballs further than across the street - where luckily the pedestrians could pass unhindered.
Taling motif from the harbour this November day in charming Port-Vendres in the off season.

The church in the inner part of the deep water harbour in Port-Vendres

November 7, 2017

A marina in Strømstad (Stromstad) at the West Coast of Sweden.

6 photos stitched - originals iphone6+
The city is known for its yachting harbor, which can be very crowded in the summer. From Strömstad there is a ferry line over to Sandefjord, Norway, at the west side of the Oslofjord. There are also some local ferries to the Koster Islands.

(See last post for more info of Strømstad.)

Fishermens cabin in the harbor of Strømstad
Ref. text: WIKI
Photos: Jack R. Johanson / iphone6+

November 2, 2017

A town called Strømstad (Stromstad) at the West Coast of Sweden

Strømstad harbor as seen in a 4 photos stitched version (iphone6+)
Originally, the province Bohuslän, where Strömstad is situated, was Norwegian territory, which was transferred to Sweden according to the Treaty of Roskilde in 1658.

At Strömstad, there was a small fishing village known as Strömmen. The town got small privileges as a merchant town (köping) shortly thereafter, which seems to have made it expand, because it is documented to have gotten a charter in 1676 by King Charles XI of Sweden, although some documents show it was already considered a city in 1672.

A moment of romance in the late autumn in the harbour
The city was a seat for Sweden's warfare against the Dano-Norwegians, and more than once it was conquered and reconquered throughout the centuries. The warlike King Charles XII of Sweden, for instance, used it as his outpost for his campaign against Norway in 1716–1718.

At the time it had a population of 300 inhabitants. But soon the fishing blossomed, and its population increased to 1,100 by 1805. The late 18th century also saw the spa and bathing attract visitors, a position it kept throughout the 19th century. By 1917, its population was 2,949 inhabitants.

The church in Strømstad . 1817-1820.
The city is known for its yachting harbor, which can be very crowded in the summer. From Strömstad there is a ferry line over to Sandefjord, Norway, at the west side of the Oslofjord. There are also some local ferries to the Koster Islands.

Ref. text: WIKI
Photos: Jack R. Johanson / iphone6+

October 28, 2017

The Barcode building project in Oslo, Norway

Barcode buildings with the new library at right
Bjørvika Barcode consists of twelve narrow high-rise buildings of different heights and widths. The buildings are built with some space in between them, thus jointly resembling a barcode. Barcode houses leading national and international businesses, and 10 000 people work here on a daily basis. The buildings also contain 400 apartments and a daycare center. On street level, you'll find a varied and attractive selection of restaurants, shops, galleries and other service providers.

Barcode-buildings in the back as seen from Sørenga (to the left the new Edvard Munch Museum)
The Barcode architecture
The BARCODE architecture concept was developed by the Norwegian firms DARK and a-lab, in collaboration with the Dutch agency MVRDV. The BARCODE concept is designed as a geometric system that stands out architecturally. The concept incorporates values such as openness to the fjord, admittance of light and airiness.
Based on the BARCODE concept, the twelve buildings are designed by different architectural firms. Besides the overall shape, the buildings are very different. Each building has its own distinctive character, and enjoyable architectonic details and quirks make Barcode an architectural experience quite out of the ordinary.

Ref. text: visitoslo
Photo: Jack R. Johanson (iphone6+)

October 23, 2017

More October mood from Valdres in Norway

A small lake close to the Danebu Resort in Nord-Aurdal, Valdres, Norway
Same lake in backlight

October 17, 2017

Moody October morning in Valdres, Norway

Morning by a small mountain lake in Nord-Aurdal
As the sun rises an October morning outside our cottage
The Madam enjoying the fine October day

October 14, 2017

The first snow in the season. Valdres in Norway

Mid October but already the first layer of snow is in place.
The small gravel road leading  into our mountain cottages in Mid Norway.

October 10, 2017

Karl Johans gate the main street in Oslo, NorwaySaturday

Saturday in Karl Johans gate

Karl Johans gate is the main street of the city of Oslo, Norway. The street was named in honor of King Charles III John, who was also King of Sweden as Charles XIV John.

Karl Johans gate is a composite of several older streets that used to be separate thoroughfares. The eastern section was part of Christian IV's original city near the ramparts surrounding the city. When the ramparts were removed to make way for Oslo Cathedral, three separate sections eventually became Østre Gade.

The wider western section was built during the 1840s as an avenue connecting the newly erected Norwegian Royal Palace with the rest of the city. In 1852, it was named Karl Johans gate in honor of the recently deceased king. 

When the Norwegian parliament building was completed in 1866 at the junction of the two formerly separate streets, the two streets were joined and the whole length was named Karl Johans gate. 
Ref:  WIKI.

The same view under the Oslo Marathon  - the tail of the runners.
The street as it looks when you enter it from the side of the Central Station

October 4, 2017

Autumn in October. Alby Manor. Jeløya (island) in Oslofjorden. Norway

The park in front of the Alby Manor at Jeløya.
Alby manor
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Coordinates: 59 ° 25'27,944 "N 10 ° 36'36,436" Ø (map)

Alby manor is the oldest farm in Jeløy, and has roots back to early Viking times. 
Jeløy is also a special area with its distinctive nature. Søndre Jeløy Landscape Protection Area was established in 1983, and helps to preserve the historic character of the landscape.

The park of Alby consists of a lawn of fruit and acacia trees. The park is designed so that you have the feeling of being on a beach ground by a mound hiding underlying fields that lie between the park and the sea.

The woods located at Alby are a very popular hiking area. There are high-quality trails that make the area easily accessible, also for disabled people.

Jeløya was actually a peninsula in the Oslofjord, but was divided from the mainland in 1855 by the Moss canal (Mossekanalen) a 20-meter broad canal that was built through the low isthmus. 

Walking the gravel road from the Manor - a popular path at Jeløya

Along the shores to the Oslofjord

September 27, 2017

Boxing in the Oslo Opera (Norway)

The couple in the boat can still see the Oslo Opera behind some foreground construction work.
The opera as it was after the opening in 2008

What a shame. After opening the new Oslo Opera in 2008 Perfectly situated in the "new" Bjørvika Harbour right at the shores of the Oslofjord - the town council is now boxing in the magnificent architectural and Significant building at 3 of 4 sides.

Offices and residential buildings is of more importance than a cultural "lighthouse"

From this sea side the Opera is almost not visible in the back

Some tourists sits on the lower ground end of the opera roof . In the back the New town library

The promenade outsid the lobby restaurant - more like we like to see the Opera environment
It remains to see how the Opera will be presented after the end of all the constructions taking place on 3 of 4 sides of the Opera.

September 16, 2017

At the soil of ancient Oslo, Norway there is a new neighbourhood: Sørenga - Fjordbyen (FjordCity)

3 photos stitched from the new Fjordbyen in Oslo, Norway
We are out on Sørenga, looking back to the new skyline of Oslo East. To the left, foreground, the signal building with the Oslo Opera backed by the former high Post building and the Hotel Oslo Plaza. The new high buildings in the back is the new so-called Barccode buildings, private estates and offices. The significant big grey building in front (Middle) is the new Edvard Munch Museum. The panorama ends to the right in the new fine apartments buildings at the formerly quays of Sørenga right under the old Ekeberg hill - where the very first settlers found a place to live in the stone age.

Come for a time travel back to 8000 BC :

Fjordbyen, Sørenga seen from the Ekeberg Plateu - where the stone age family  was sitting 8000BC
New discoveries by archaeologists indicate that some of Oslo’s history may need to be re-written. Field research on the Ekeberg Plateau, which rises above Oslo’s eastern harbour, has unearthed evidence of settlements from 8,000 BC, much older than those previously found.
This is the most exciting and complex work I’ve been involved with in my seven years at Byantikvaren (the city’s cultural preservation agency),” archaeologist Kristine Reiersen told newspaper Aftenposten .

She and her colleagues have been working on the Ekeberg Plateau and have found many more signs of Stone Age life than expected. Until now, most historians and archaeologists traced Oslo’s earliest settlements to around 8,000 years ago, or 6,000 BC.

Now they have found evidence of settlements from 8,000 BC, 2,000 years older. They found what they claim are remains of a place where eight to 10 persons lived on what at the time was waterfront property. The land was pushed up from the sea around 10,000 years ago, after the last ice age, Egil Mikkelsen of the Museum of Cultural History told Aftenposten .
The new Edvard Munch Museum in Oslo.

Also the present Munch Museum is placed in the East end of Oslo. Still there was a long and tough political debate before also the new museum was placed right here in the top modern Fjordbyen.

BackgroundIn the present museum at Tøyen an increasing number of visitors come and additional space was needed in order to exhibit more of the collection. The Munch Museum has long outgrown its current premises. In May 2013, after years of debate, the Oslo City Council voted to build a new Munch Museum in Bjørvika in the Oslo's harbour area, close to the Opera. Spanish architects Herreros Arquitectos won the design competition and the new museum will be completed in 2019.

The fashionable new residential area at Sørenga 
At the old quay new residences have been built the last years

Some green environment is facing the fjord and the West side of Oslo
Some very interesting architecture
Even a beach is included direct by the fjord

There are several restaurants in the area. our choice for lunsj was the popular Cargo Restaurant. here a short timelapse:

September 15, 2017

Just another ordinary day in the East of Norway

Just another ordinary day..
After some weeks starting with a loss (temporarily  I hope) of the sight in one eye. A stay in the hospital with CT and MR scanning leading to a total change in plans and activities for the present period - you start to look forward to have just an ordinary, even boring, day.
A day when everything is normal and nothing of importance seems to happen.

Many times we seems to remember the days with problems and challenges or the big events - while the ordinary days is just something we grant and accepted without ever notice them. Still they represent a great value

- as such days probably are the most meaningful in our lives.
4 weeks after my periode with disability I slowly return to more "normal days" - and experience a great pleasure in this. Just going out for a walk or a little trip in my car - doing ordinary daily activities... feeling as usual.

This gray September day I did a little neighboorhood tour in my car visiting an historical building where some negotiations was done in 1814 between Norway and Denmark with the target to free Norway from the 400 years long dominance of Denmark. The farm to the priest of Spydeberg was a little part of the process - the main building is seen here. And a fine symbol by the two ladies, out there in the rain, to lift the Norwegian flag outside the stately building.

Just another, fine, ordinary day...

Your comments are welcome 😊

September 7, 2017

A challenging bike trip to Mont Filefjell in Norway

A flashback to a fatal bike trip in July:

Was the Kings Old Road ever ment for bikes?

It is no more than app 14 km along the Kings Old Road that cross the Filefjell in the mountains in Central Norway from the small St. Thomas chapel along E16 to the old tourist resort Maristolen. It is today a rough path but still recommended for people hiking and/or biking.  To the latter I can only say that biking along this old medieval road is purely for mountain bike fanatics.

History (ref. Wiki)

The Filefjell Kongevegen (English: The Kings Road) is the name of the old trail over Filefjell, the mountainous area between Lærdal/Borgund and Valdres in Norway. It is the historical main route linking Western Norway and Eastern Norway.Due to the sometimes wet and marshy land in the valley bottom, the old trail runs farther up in the hill than the modern asphalt road does today. The old trail is still used for hiking. It was named after King Sverre of Norway (1184–1202) who traveled this route with his army. The first post route came this way in 1647. The road got official status as a main road in the year 1791.

Maristova in Filefjell (built at Queen Margaret's command around 1390) and Nystuen in Vang (first mentioned in 1627 but believed to be much older) are guest houses that provided for travelers along the road. The owners were compensated by the king and commanded to aid travelers and provide shelter for those who used the road. This practice lasted until 1830.

Today, Kongevegen has been restored, opening it up for hikers. Major sections such as Vindhella provide an insight into the skills in use by the road engineers of the time.

The seven disappointments

We parked by the little old chapel St. Thomas kirken at Filefjell. The very first part of the road looked like a gravel road and set an optimistic mind with the madam and myself. Nature was beautiful and soon we passed this little idyllic bridge and creek as the terrain started to turn upwards.

The road was too steep to bike so we had to walk and push the bikes upwards. In the distant it looked to be  a small peak - giving hope that the road was to be more flat up there.

During this phase of the tour a hiker, experienced with the trail, told us of the seven disappointments along this road. We would see 7 times an uphill stretch that gave hope to be the upper peak in the mountain.  But only after 7 times we was on the highest point. WOW was that a welcomed inspiration - for sure NOT. Under a photo of the madam traversing one of the seven disappointments.

Finally the top point of the road

 Murklopphaugen with the marble marker indicating the border between Akershus and Bergen in the old days, from Norsk Prospect-Samling by P.F. Wergmann. Not quite the highest point but close by.

So far on our trip our time estimate was completely destroyed. Our plan was to reach the mountain lodge Maristua and have a bus there going back to where our car was parked.

We decided to split so I could rush down to Maristova for the bus and later return with the car to pick up the madam. So far all well. BUT the downhill to Maristova was very, very steep - and in the rush I had a very nasty stop and fall with the bike, hit my head and was later blue all over my body. To make a long story short - after some days with a headache I woke up one morning with some sight problems and the day after that one eye was closed (as it still is presently). More about this: 

Anyhow I did reach the bus and was happy picking up the car at the parking by the St. Thomas chapel (to the right in the back).

Comments are welcome 🙂