December 22, 2013

Norway: Winter Solstice by the river Glomma

Today it is Winter Solstice in Norway, its the day when the sun is "turning". At this time of year, we have winter with short days where the sun is up only 6 hours a day (equally 19 hours at summer solstice).
This photo is from my neighborhood in Norway SouthEast, app. 50km outside Oslo. The big river is Glomma and the "Smaalenene" bridge with the motorway E18.
The sun is setting early in the afternoon.

December 19, 2013

Is this Christmas?

And is this Christmas?
Is this Christmas?
Is this Christmas, my dear?

Is this Christmas?
Is this Christmas?
whatever happened to our festive cheer?

Lyrics from "Is this Christmas" by The wombat

Photo from "Ski Storsenter" (shopping mall) in Ski outside of Oslo, Norway.
A village where this big shopping mall soon will cover app. 80% of the former small house village city.


December 18, 2013

Norway: Going home for Christmas (2)

Today a photo of commuters "Going home for Christmas" at the railway-station in the village Askim some 60 km South-East of Oslo.

A good mix of children and adults carrying their parcels and suitcases to the train. The wet snow typical for this time of the year.

December 16, 2013

Norway - going home for Christmas

With some snow the road leading in to the white farm building in our neighborhood makes a fine setting for the title of today's photo: "Going home for Christmas".

With the washed out sky I took the liberty to add a soft Coffee filter in the sky.

The photo from a farm in the countryside to be found in Norway South-East.

Another contribution from my new super mirror-less camera: Lumix GX7

December 14, 2013

December morning in Norway South East

December morning in Norway South-East.

What a contrast returning from still sunny South of France to this land of snow and short days.

From this very morning of December this is what you find in the land of farms and fields a bit Southeast of our capitol Oslo. Through the night some wet, slippy snow had fallen - but of course it's this time of the year. Temperature around -2 Celcius (28F).

BTW My first upload from my new super mirrorless Limux GX7


December 11, 2013

December in Port-Vendres, South of France

December light in Port-Vendres, South of France

This part of France have for decades been popular amongst many artists for the fine light that is found here for different parts of the year and the day.

For a Norwegian visiting down here in December is maybe the good temperature as compared to snow and cold days in our own country the most tempting detail.

But as many know: In the north we have the long summer days, even with midnight sun. The downside of this is that we in December have the opposite, very short days with very long dark evenings and nights. In fact is the sun in this part of France offering days lasting 3 hours longer than we have up north. A sun raising at app. 9am in the morning and sunsets at 03.15pm for sure shorten the time for the daylight up north. And it is a delight having the sun from 8am to 5.30pm in this region.

The photos of today is from the deep harbour port in the small village Port-Vendres i Languedoc-Rousillon - Pyrenee Orientale.


December 8, 2013

History of the Port and the Semaphore station in Port-Vendres

The Port to Port-Vendres

History of the Port and the Semaphore station in Port-Vendres.
From the net:
Even before it became an important harbour of the Kingdom of Majorca during the 13th century, Port-Vendres had already been known since the 6th century BC by Greek navigators as « Portus veneris » (the port of Venus). There has always been an important shipping activity in this natural shelter.

From 1838 on, when France got involved in economical exchanges with North Africa, the port was enlarged and improved. It enabled Port-Vendres to become an important commercial port (“the shortest crossing and the most sheltered waters”). Goods and passengers traffic flourished and increased until 1962.
On the Cap Béar, to the south of the town, the lighthouse and the semaphore keep watch on the coast. The Cap Béar semaphore built in 1861, belongs to the French National Navy and is used to control the sea traffic and to establish weather forecasts.

The Semaphore station at Cap Bear, Port-Vendres . (Tiltshift)

December 7, 2013

Christmas Market in Chateau Royale, Collioure in South of France

Already in a room at the gate to the castle you meet this fine model inspired by the birth of Christ.
The courtyard is filled with people eating, drinking, participating in the market activities.
A little girl out for a daring Camel ride in the courtyard

The Christmas market in Chateau Royal, Collioure, in the South of France.
For 10-12 days in December the big royal Castle in Collioure are filled with stalls and craftsmen offering their variety of articles covering all needs for christmas, The courtyard is filled with people, eating, drinking, children on ponys, catalan donkeys and camels. What a life. What a great way to bring life back to this summer castle for the long gone King of Mallorca.

From the net:
Today, the Royal castle is a tourist destination, a happier place to hang out and hosting one of the most sumptuous Christmas fairs in the area.
We went there with the kids who thoroughly enjoyed the hot chocolate and mince pies from Nigel and Catherine Bradley, the music, donkey rides and gaggling with the geese. There are live bands, camel rides for the brave, roasted chestnuts, mulled wine and crepes and loads of gorgeous stalls inside selling artisnal goodies.
It's on until the 9th December, entry is free. Not to be missed if you are in the area.

December 6, 2013

Cap Bear, France in December

The lighthouse at Cap Bear, France in December.

Strong winds have blown away any clouds in the sky and the clear air and light of the afternoon makes a top setting to have a photo of the old lighthouse at Cap Bear, just outside the harbour village Port-Vendres at the beginning of Cote Vermeille - not far from the border to Spain - that in fact can be seen from this lighthouse.


December 5, 2013

15:35 November afternoon in San Sebastian

In the afternoon the clouds was rolling in from the Bay of Biscay. Soon after the the grand beach Concha was in the grey afternoon light. But at 15:35 we still had the sun hidden behind the beach clock.

From the net:

San Sebastián or Donostia is a coastal city and municipality located in the Basque Autonomous Community, Spain.

It lies on the coast of the Bay of Biscay, 20 km (12 miles) from the French border.

Capital city of Gipuzkoa, the municipality's population is 186,122 (2011), with its metropolitan area reaching 436,500 (2010). Locals call themselves donostiarra (singular), both in Spanish and Basque.

The main economic activities are commerce and tourism, and it is one of the most famous tourist destinations in Spain. Despite the city’s small size, events such as the San Sebastián International Film Festival have given it an international dimension. San Sebastián, along with Wrocław, Poland, will be the European Capital of Culture in 2016.

December 3, 2013

The beach of La Concha, San Sebastian

4 photos stitched from the grand sandy beach in popular San Sebastian in Spain. (try out the pano version: original upload)

From the net:

The Beach of La Concha (Basque: Kontxa Hondartza, Spanish: Playa de La Concha is a beach in the Bay of La Concha (Shell, in Spanish, due to its shape) in San Sebastián (Basque Country). It is one of the most famous urban beaches in Europe.

It is a sandy beach and shallow substrate, in which the tide fluctuation affects greatly the area available for use. It can be considered an urban beach in widespread use.