July 31, 2014

ON TOUR: The impressive Pope Palace in Avignon, France

 
I am not so sure of the background but for a long time in the medieval age there was several popes that was established in a fantastic big castle in Avignon in South of France. They also used a bridge builded already in Roman times crossing the huge river Rhone making a kind of border between the old Roman empire and the country of France.
 
Those popes was known for not always being faithful to the Christian script - also being corrupt and liking to live the good life in South of France - and was eventually moved back to their Vatican State in Rome.
 
 
Here 3 of the happy guys ruling in the medieval Avignon.
 
 
..and of course they had special build chairs for recivieng dignatries coming in from the world at that time.
 
 
The world of old Avignon as seen through a stained glass in the old Pope Palace
 
Recommended - search more info at WIKI - for a really strange story.
 
 

July 30, 2014

ON TOUR - going from Lyon to Avignon in France

 
The distance was a little less than 250km and by that I decided to go by the National route instead of the motorway. It included passing loads of villages and a zillion roundabouts...
 
Right outside Montelimar I also passed this huge atomic power plant at Cruas.
 
WIKI:

The Cruas Nuclear Power Station is a Nuclear power plant located in Cruas and Meysse communes, Ardèche next to the Rhône River in France. The site is 35km north of Tricastin Nuclear Power Center and near the town of Montélimar.

The site contains 4 pressurized water reactors of 900 MW each, totaling 3600 MW total. The construction began in 1978, the reactors were built between 1983 and 1984.

The power station accounts for 4 to 5% of the electric energy production in France, and 40% of the annual usage by the Rhone-Alps area. The site employs about 1,200 workers and has an area of 148 hectares. Cooling water comes from the Rhône river.

Incidents

On 1 December 2009 reactor 4 was shut down after vegetation blocked the intake of the cooling system. The nuclear safety authority Autorité de sûreté nucléaire (ASN) classified the incident as level 2 on the International Nuclear Event Scale [1][2][3]

On December 5, 2011, two anti-nuclear campaigners breached the perimeter of the Cruas Plant, escaping detection for more thann 14 hours, while posting videos of their sit-in on the internet.

On the big cooling tower to the right there is an enormous painting underlining the environmental aspect of this power plant (!?)



WIKI: Mural
 
In 1991 it was decided by the owners of the plant to carry out a Mural project on the cooling towers focusing on the topic of ecology. Author of the mural on the Tignes Dam, Jean-Marie Pierret was selected to design the painting, 9 mountaineers helped to actually paint the structure. The painting reflects the basics of Water and Air and is titled Aquarius, and was inaugurated in 2005. It took 8,000 working hours and 4,000 liters of paint to complete the project.
 
 

July 29, 2014

ON TOUR: Lyon, France a city going back 2100 years

 
Presenting a vista over Lyon put together with 3 photos stitched.
Standing on this hill where the Romans was said to have established the first village almost 2100 years ago in 64 BC.... - for me a special feeling - at that time they could maybe see the rivers Saone and Rhone glimpsing in the underlaying forest. Impressive history asking me..
 
 
Down by the shores of the rivers a more modern Lyon is developing - like the green building (whatver it is) to the ultramodern museum of Confluences which is yet not finished in the middle there just before the big bridge crossing the Rhone with all the tourists passing Lyon without never stopping
 
 
Modern Lyon is represented by the tradition of finding the best cooks on the continent . The Bouchons - as marked at this restaurant in the Old town.
 
 
I conclude this little Lyon sightseeing with this photo of, also in this city, a little group of small folks wandering around in their little world of big wonders.
 
Find below a map of my 30 km high and low in Lyon this grey day in July:
 
 
 

ON TOUR: Lyon in France illuminated in the night

 
After a long day at the motorway in heavy rain there was sign to weather improvement last night.
Looking out from myhotel window the roundabout and the big building in the back gave a nice impression.
 
Lyon is well known for their illuminated buildings light shows etc.
 
Today we have heavy rain in the morning - hopefully it will change after brekfeast (crossing fingers)...
 

July 27, 2014

ON TOUR: Biking along the Mozel River by Trier, Germany

 
Going on the east shore first then cross over by a bridge and then going on the west side of this big river in the beautiful Mosel Valley.
 
 
Typical landscape with an old bridge crossing the river in Trier.
 
 
Some days ago I presented some photos from one of the worlds largest car ferries - to day I crossed over Mozel south of the village Konz on what must be one the worlds smallest car ferrries. The trip took some 3 minutes to a priz of € 1,40.
 
A fine day on my tour with some 65km on the bike - meeting houndreds of other bikers on the long tour this great Sunday..
 
 

July 26, 2014

ON TOUR - a day in Trier, Mozel Valley, Germany

 
An early start from Stade made me arrive in the early afternoon, around 1.30 PM in Trier.
A warm day with some +26 and what a mass of tourists (like me) wading around.
Here we all meets by the old Porta Nigra - the black gate to Trier.
 
 
After the Romans it was the Christians turn to make some impressive buildings like the oversized Dom in Trier....
 
 
..and in the former Kaizer Palace park people are starting up their BBQ for an afternoon in the shades...
 

July 25, 2014

ON TOUR - biking along Elben, Germany in rain and thunder

 
From Stade outside of Hamburg I had planned to cross Elben and bike both east and west along the big river. Above 2 photos stitched some place outside the small village Blankenese.
 
 
A shuttle ferry takes me back to my side of the big river.
 
 
Even when shortening my original biking plan - I was catched in a thunderstorm app. 15km before I was back to my hotel.
 
 
Still at a day like this I could count up app. 62km on the bike - not that bad.
 
 
Hope to meet some better weather tomorrow when the tour continue to Trier in the Mosel Valley..
 
 

July 24, 2014

ON TOUR: An outstanding car ferry from Oslo to Kiel, Germany

There is 2 ferries each day between Oslo to Kiel in Germany. They depart each day at 2 PM to arrive next day at 10 AM - respectively in Oslo and Kiel.
 
I usually book a more ordinaire cabin but was this time upgraded, of unknown reasons, to a full suite.
What e car ferry - photo below from the living room of the suite:
 
 
....what a pleasure..
And after dinner entering the car ferrys theatre for a cowboy show:
 

Then - the day after continue through North of Germany to Stade -an old town west of Hamburg - visiting a town that was never bombed in WWII - even being a close neighboor to Hamburg.
 
 
Cobbled street in Stade
 

July 22, 2014

Norway - landscape along the big river Glomma

Norway - landscape along the big river Glomma

3 photos stitched.
The river Glomma on the upper side of the Hydroelectric Power Plant: Solbergfoss

WIKI: The Glomma is the longest and largest river in Norway. The 621-kilometre long river has a drainage basin that covers a full 13% of Norway's area, all in the southern part of Norway. 
Discharge: 720 m³/s
Length: 604 km
Basin area: 42,000 km²

July 20, 2014

Norway - landscapes along lake Tyin in Jotunheimen

Norway - landscapes: Along lake Tyin in Jotunheimen

We are biking along lake Tyin on our way to Eidsbugarden, a popular place in the mountain massif of Jotunheimen.
 
In the back the distinct peak of the mountain Falketinden.
 
WIKI: Falketind is a mountain in the municipality of Årdal in Sogn og Fjordane county, Norway. It is located in the Jotunheimen mountain range inside the Utladalen Landscape Protection Area. The mountain is 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) east of the old mountain farm, Vettismorki, and 7.5 kilometres (4.7 mi) northwest of the lake Tyin.

The 1820 ascent was the first ascent on an alpine mountain in Norway. A climbing party which included Baltazar Mathias Keilhau and Christian Peder Bianco Boeck went via Snøggeken (Falkbreen) and the northern ridge. At that time the mountain was named Koldedalstinden, but Aasmund Olavsson Vinje renamed the mountain Falketind more than fifty years later. In retrospect, the expedition leading to the first ascent became known as the "discovery of Jotunheimen" (Jotunheimens oppdagelse).
 

Another vista on our way along lake Tyin to the high peak of Store Skagedølstind in the mountain massif Hurrungene.
WIKI: Hurrungane is a mountain range in the municipalities Luster and Årdal in Sogn og Fjordane, Norway. The area is southwest in the larger mountain range Jotunheimen and is also part of Jotunheimen National Park. Wikipedia
Highest point: Store Skagastølstind:
Store Skagastølstind is the third highest peak in Norway. It is situated on the border between the municipality of Luster and Årdal in Sogn og Fjordane county, Norway. The 2,405-metre mountain is part of the Hurrungane range. Elevation: 2,405 m. First ascent: July 21, 1876

 
Far away we can see this small glacier: Koldedalsbreen.

From WiKI:Koldedalsbreen is a glacier in Årdal municipality in Sogn og Fjordane. It lies just west of the lake Tyin Koldedalstind between the north and the south Breidkvamsnosi. Just south of the glacier is a mountain with no name with a height of 1822 meters above sea level.

July 17, 2014

Norway - landscapes by Eidsbugarden in Jotunheimen

Norway - landscapes by Eidsbugarden in Jotunheimen

Eidsbugarden is a central meeting place for people hiking in the very popular mountain range Jotunheimen in Norway. This photo (a stitch of 2 photos) includes the road going down to the Lake Bygdin and Eidsbugarden with the hotel and the mountain cottage Fondsbu to the left. In the back some of the highest summits in Jotunheimen - several with an altitude over 2.000 meter.
Eidsbugarden is a tourist center which lies at the western end of Lake Bygdin in the Jotunheimen mountain range on the outskirts of Jotunheim National Park in Oppland, Norway. Eidsbugarden lies to the southeast in Jotunheim. (ref. wiki).


Vi have a break here at Eidsbugarden - sitting at Turistforeningens mountain cottage Fondsbu and looking down to the Eidsbugarden Hotel and the small quay for the tiny tourist Boat MB Bygdin that makes 2-3 tours a day between Bygdin and Eidsbugarden.

Follwing the shores of the lake Bygdin you can reach several popular hikes and paths into Jotunheimen.
As to the highest peak in the back of this photo mount Galdeberget at alt. 2075m (app. 8hrs T/R - did that hike some years ago....)

At this visit we was not in for any mountain hike - but did a visit with our bikes.
A tour app. 40km T/R along the road from Tyin and in to Eidsbugarden.
A fine day along the gravel road - only open in the summer.
To the left: The madam arrives at Eidsbugarden.

July 14, 2014

Norway - landscapes: Vangsmjøsa, lake Vangsmjoesa, Valdres


Perfect stillness a day in July where the big mountain Skudshorn is reflected in the lake.
 
We are on our way up to Tyin and Eidsbugarden in Jotunheimen for biking some 40km on the finr day.
These days is spent at our moutain house app 1 hr from this place where the photo is taken. With no wifi the updates will be sporadic as the mobile line available is quite expensive.
 

On this photo we can see the madam on her way to Eidsbugarden.
 
 

July 6, 2014

Last boxcar to Auschwitz Birkenau. Oswiecim, Krakow, Poland

Last boxcar to Auschwitz Birkenau.  Oswiecim, Krakow, Poland

In the photo one of the typical boxcars used to transport jews, gypsies and others through Europe right into the concentration-camp in Auschwitz Birkenau.

After sorting and selecting the new arrivals - the most unfortunate, elderly women and men, children under 14 years of age could be marched no more than 300 meters to their final shower - a dose of the deadly gaz Zyklon-B and the immediate cremation in the fires of Birkenau.


At the same place as the boxcar in the first photo.
70 years ago the first selection is done - dividing men and women and children in two rows
The next step is to sort out who will go in to the camp and who will be taken the 300 meters to their final shower in nerve gas Zyklon B.


The road from the box car and down to the "showers" and crematorium is only some 300 tragic meters.
The buildings  was demolished after the war - the memorial place is just down by the trees there
Remains of one of the huge Shower and crematorie complexes in Birkenau


From the net:
Location: Oswiecim, Poland (app. 50 km west of Krakow)
Established: May 26th1940
Liberation: January 27th, 1945, by the Soviet Army.
Estimated number of victims: 2,1 to 2,5 million (This estimated number of death is considered by historians as a strict minimum. The real number of death is unknown but probably much higher, maybe 4 millions)
Sub-camps : 51 

The Auschwitz complex was divided in three major camps: Auschwitz I main camp or Stammlager; Auschwitz II, or Birkenau, established on October 8th, 1941 as a 'Vernichtungslager' (extermination camp); Auschwitz III or Monowitz, established on May 31th, 1942 as an 'Arbeitslager' or work camp; also several sub-camps.

There were up to seven gas chambers using Zyklon-B poison gas and three crematoria. Auschwitz II included a camp for new arrivals and those to be sent on to labor elsewhere; a Gypsy camp; a family camp; a camp for holding and sorting plundered goods and a women's camp. Auschwitz III provided slave labor for a major industrial plant run by I G Farben for producing synthetic rubber (see Blechhammer). Highest number of inmates, including sub-camps: 155,000. The estimated number of deaths: 2.1 to 2.5 million killed in gas chambers, of whom about 2 million were Jews, and Poles, Gypsies and Soviet POWs. About 330,000 deaths from other causes.

In April 1940, Rudolph Höss, who become the first commandant, identified the Silesian town of Oswiecim as a possible site for a concentration camp. The function of the camp was initially to intimidate Poles and prevent resistance to German rule. It was also perceived as a cornerstone of the policy to re-colonize Upper Silesia, which had once been a German region, with 'pure Aryans'. On April 27th, Himmler ordered construction of the camp.

Himmler visited Auschwitz in March 1941 and commanded its enlargement to hold 30,000 prisoners. Himmler also ordered the construction of a second camp for 100,000 inmates on the site of the village of Brzezinka (Birkenau), roughly 4 km from the main camp. This massive camp was intended to be filled with captured Russian POWs who would provide the slave labor to build the SS 'utopia' in Upper Silesia. The chemical giant I G Farben expressed an interest in utilizing this labor force, too. Extensive construction work began in October 1941, under terrible conditions and with massive loss of life. About 10,000 Russian POWs died in the process.

The Death Factory... (1945)
The main camp population grew from 18,000 in December 1942 to 30,000 in March 1943. In July or August 1941, Himmler briefed Höss about the 'Final Solution'. On September 3th, 1941, Soviet POWs at the Auschwitz main camp were used in trials of the poison gas Zyklon-B. This poison gas was produced by the German company "Degesch" (Deutsche Gesellschaft zur Schädlingsbekämpfung). The were gassed in underground cells in Block 11. After this trial, a gas chamber was rigged-up just outside the main camp and in February 1942, two temporary gas chambers opened at Birkenau. The crematories were built by the German company "Topf & son" located at Erfurt.


...a system operated later at Birkenau in 1942-43, except that for the majority the 'showers' proved to be gas chambers. Only about 10 percent of Jewish transports were registered, disinfected, shaven and showered in the 'central sauna' before being assigned barracks. In May 1944, a spur line was built right into the camp to accelerate and simplify the handling of the tens of thousands of Hungarian and other Jews deported in the spring and summer of 1944.




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THIS TOUR SPONSORED BY CRACOWDAYS
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The fine boutique hotel and B&B - Crakowdays 
within a short walk from the main square in Krakow

July 3, 2014

Final destination: Auschwitz Birkenau. Oswiecim, Krakow, Poland


Final destination: Auschwitz Birkenau.  Oswiecim, Krakow, Poland

The Nazi ambition to free Europe for Jews, Gypsis and other non Arians during WWII was in it's prime time in May 1944 when the new logistic advancement in these camps was having the railway lines ending right inside the wired gates of Birkenau.

After sorting and selecting the new arrivals - the most unfortunate, elderly women, men and children under 14 years of age could be marched no more than 300 meters to their final douche - a dose of the deadly gaz Zyklon-B and the immediate cremation in the fires of Birkenau. While the "lucky" one's could look forward to an average life span of 3 months before ending their life in the same way.

It makes your hair raise bending down between the rails on this place of ultimate terror, for making your photo and memorial from visiting this place, even on a sunny day 70 years later.


Barracks in the Concentration-camp Birkenau in Poland

Inside a barrack in Birkenau.
From 180 and up to 1000 prisoners pr. barrack
Bed in 3 etages
6 men pr. bed . 2 blankets pr.bed
Outside in the winter up to -40 C/F

From the net:
Location: Oswiecim, Poland (app. 50 km west of Krakow)
Established: May 26th1940
Liberation: January 27th, 1945, by the Soviet Army.
Estimated number of victims: 2,1 to 2,5 million (This estimated number of death is considered by historians as a strict minimum. The real number of death is unknown but probably much higher, maybe 4 millions)
Sub-camps : 51

The Auschwitz complex was divided in three major camps: Auschwitz I main camp or Stammlager; Auschwitz II, or Birkenau, established on October 8th, 1941 as a 'Vernichtungslager' (extermination camp); Auschwitz III or Monowitz, established on May 31th, 1942 as an 'Arbeitslager' or work camp; also several sub-camps.

There were up to seven gas chambers using Zyklon-B poison gas and three crematoria. Auschwitz II included a camp for new arrivals and those to be sent on to labor elsewhere; a Gypsy camp; a family camp; a camp for holding and sorting plundered goods and a women's camp. Auschwitz III provided slave labor for a major industrial plant run by I G Farben for producing synthetic rubber (see Blechhammer). Highest number of inmates, including sub-camps: 155,000. The estimated number of deaths: 2.1 to 2.5 million killed in gas chambers, of whom about 2 million were Jews, and Poles, Gypsies and Soviet POWs. About 330,000 deaths from other causes.

In April 1940, Rudolph Höss, who become the first commandant, identified the Silesian town of Oswiecim as a possible site for a concentration camp. The function of the camp was initially to intimidate Poles and prevent resistance to German rule. It was also perceived as a cornerstone of the policy to re-colonize Upper Silesia, which had once been a German region, with 'pure Aryans'. On April 27th, Himmler ordered construction of the camp.

Himmler visited Auschwitz in March 1941 and commanded its enlargement to hold 30,000 prisoners. Himmler also ordered the construction of a second camp for 100,000 inmates on the site of the village of Brzezinka (Birkenau), roughly 4 km from the main camp. This massive camp was intended to be filled with captured Russian POWs who would provide the slave labor to build the SS 'utopia' in Upper Silesia. The chemical giant I G Farben expressed an interest in utilizing this labor force, too. Extensive construction work began in October 1941, under terrible conditions and with massive loss of life. About 10,000 Russian POWs died in the process.

The Death Factory... (1945)
The main camp population grew from 18,000 in December 1942 to 30,000 in March 1943. In July or August 1941, Himmler briefed Höss about the 'Final Solution'. On September 3th, 1941, Soviet POWs at the Auschwitz main camp were used in trials of the poison gas Zyklon-B. This poison gas was produced by the German company "Degesch" (Deutsche Gesellschaft zur Schädlingsbekämpfung). The were gassed in underground cells in Block 11. After this trial, a gas chamber was rigged-up just outside the main camp and in February 1942, two temporary gas chambers opened at Birkenau. The crematories were built by the German company "Topf & son" located at Erfurt.

...a system operated later at Birkenau in 1942-43, except that for the majority the 'showers' proved to be gas chambers. Only about 10 percent of Jewish transports were registered, disinfected, shaven and showered in the 'central sauna' before being assigned barracks. In May 1944, a spur line was built right into the camp to accelerate and simplify the handling of the tens of thousands of Hungarian and other Jews deported in the spring and summer of 1944.</>



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THIS TOUR SPONSORED BY CRACOWDAYS
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Photo: Window flowers at the Boutique Hotel, B&B

July 2, 2014

Inside Schindlers Metalwarefabriken in Krakow, Poland


Inside Schindlers Metalwarefabriken in Krakow, Poland

Krakow was not bombed during the WWII - so after the war the famous Metalwarefabriken who was owned by Oscar Schindler is still there. Made even more famous after the film made by Steven Spielberger.

Today the office part of the plant is made to a museum telling the story of Krakow before, under and after the WWII - a must to visit when in Krakow.

Photo above from the time of the Nazis in Krakow as displayed in the present museum


Office and display of some products produced in the Metalwarefabriken


The office building of the former Schindler Metalwarefabriken - today a wartime museum




To the left:
The madam tries out a small prisoners cell in the present war time museum at Schindlers former Metalwarefabriken








To the left:
War time uniform cap - detail in the museum






From the net:
Oscar Schindler had many more Jewish slaves in his factory than he ever needed and spent millions on protecting his plans from the Germans.
He looked after his slaves till the end of the war and no Jewish slave was ever killed in his factory. At the end of the war, he emerged broke and had nowhere to go, but he had saved over 1200 lives. Generations of Jews live today because of him.Oscar Schindler was a poor German businessman looking for a way to make a living. He had a vision that would bring him fame and riches. He left his wife, town and everything he owned behind and headed to Krakow, Poland. There he organised where and when high ranking officers and colonels of the German and Nazi armies would be at certain restaurants and pubs. He would buy them drinks and expensive cigarettes and, in return, they would have a conversation. After a while, they would become friends. Oscar Schindler learned of all the German plans for the war and of the many assaults against the Jews.
He borrowed some money from a new friend to buy a factory just outside of town. With the money, he opened the factory up and started producing goods. He did not have to pay workers, as the German officers gave him Jewish prisoners of war from the "ghetto" and isolation camps to work in his factory for free. Oscar Schindler became one of the wealthiest men in Krakow and was able to pay off his loan.

Although Oscar Schindler supported the Nazis and the war, he saw what was happening to the Jews and knew it wasn't right. They were getting murdered by the thousands and were treated unjustly because of their heritage. He put his life on the line to save generations and, as time went by, he forgot about wealth and riches and became devoted to saving the lives of Jews.




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This tour sponsored by Crakowdays
- Boutique Hotel, B&B in Krakow
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