December 28, 2016

Oslo Town Hall in the winter. Norway

Oslo Town Hall seen from Aker Brygge - the former ship yard in the center of Oslo.
In front a selection of boats very popular for  people living here the whole winter.
As you can see the water is still open while some years ago there should have been ice in this part of the harbor. Typical for the mild climate of our days.

December afternoon in the harbor of Oslo. Norway. II

An afternoon mood in Oslo Harbor - in fact one of the last photos I did in 2016.

A happy new year to all visitors

December afternoon in the harbor of Oslo. Norway

Low light and a low sun already at 1PM in Oslo this day late in December

The Royal Castle Oslo. Norway

The Royal Castle is situated at a small hill top right in the center of Oslo in fact it is ending the main street Karl Johans gate.  You can (maybe) spot a small red flag on top of the castle. This flag tells us that the King is home. When he is away no red flag....

Some more from the net:
The Royal Palace (Norwegian: Slottet or formally Norwegian: Det kongelige slott) in Oslo was built in the first half of the 19th century as the Norwegian residence of the French-born King Charles III of Norway, who reigned as king of Norway and Sweden.
The palace is the official residence of the present Norwegian monarch. The crown prince resides at Skaugum in Asker west of Oslo. The palace has 173 rooms. (WIKI)

December 24, 2016

December 14, 2016

The entrance to Alby Manor. Oslofjord. Norway

December morning with some night frost still hanging in.

From my last visit to the stately Alby Manor out at the Jeloya Island in the Oslofjord.

Alby Manor is the oldest farm at the Jeloya Island and have it's roots back to the Viking age (800 AD)

Beach in December. Oslofjord. Norway. 4 photos stitched

From a fine December day along the shores of Oslofjord at Jeloya right outside the town Moss.

Under a  frosty beach detail:

A fine December day by the Oslofjord. Norway

Photo taken in the small park at Alby Manor outside of Moss in the Oslofjord, Norway.
In the back we can see one of the 4 carferries that cross the fjord every 10th minute going between Moss and Horten.

December 2, 2016

Kind of a sunset in Altitude 11km. Speed 880km/hrs. Boeing 737. Above Scandinavia

We went back from South of France a few days ago with a Norwegian plane from Barcelona to Oslo.
Over the most of Europe it was a perfect chance to look down to places we passed on this cloud free day.
I opened my app FLIGHTRADAR24 and had the pleasure to see exactly our position through the flight. (Sitting by the window and with wifi at the plane no problem being connected)

When we left the Continent and entered the Scandinavian territorium at 4pm the clouds was there and as we was facing east in the plane we had this strange sunset facing away from the sun  - like a cloud dream.

November 24, 2016

After the Storm - view from the cliffs of Leucate. Sud de France

From the cliffs of Leucate we have a fantastic view up along the coast right to some huge buildings in the far back in Port-la-Nouvelle. That is The New Port for Narbonne from a long time back.

The white topped sea is due to a small storm passing over the district the night before our visit

Franqui a small village under the Leucate Cliffs in South of France

When you look down to the small village Franqui - a small outdated village under the cliffs of Leucate. Would you believe that this was the first summer resort to be build along the coast of Aude?

Would you think that this, in medieval times, was the only safe sheltered harbor between Port-Vendres and Agde?

Is it possible to belive that this was a place with 3 military small fortifications to protect the civilians from pirates from the Barbary coast? That the place first was declared "safe" as late as 1830.

The long time history is one thing I always find most interesting when in this very South of France. The history going back so many centuries.

This photo is taken after a November storm with large waves and a high tide still hitting the coast.

November 22, 2016

Find the ERRORS in Boulou, France

Should you ever be in Boulou in the South of France - do not miss the chance of seeing the fake facade of this house.

You will find it just around the corner from the police station, close to the tourist office.

Regard the 2 large windows and the small one. They are all fake inclusive the painted shadow effect.
The only real thing here is the water post in the lower left side and the sign "Autres directions". Regard also to this sign the "real", weak, shadows around it,

All honor to the artist ******

November 20, 2016

El Port de la Selva at Costa Brava in Spain

Even in November this natural harbor along the rugged coast of Costa Brava remains inviting with all the white houses down in the center of the town and by the beach. It is just too bad as the town is almost empty of people in this off season periode.

From the Costabravatouristguide: 
In this part of the coastline the mountain masses drop drown to the sea in sheer cliffs, majestically impressive and rugged, forming de Cap de Creus with the islands of Massa d’Oros and L’Encalladora before them.

Then there are Isla Culleró, Punta de Moli, Isla Poraló, Punta dels Farrallons, Penyas Roges, Cap Gros, Punta Blanca, Punta de la Creu and many other steep rocks and islets.

In the midst of all this ruggedness — remember, Costa Brava means ‘Wild Coast’ — El Port de la Selva is a haven of calm.

Monestary Sant Pere de Rodes at Costa Brava in Spain

Travelling along Costa Brava and not least exploring the Emporda where the first people arrived already some 5 centures BC is always a most exciting travel.

This time in the hills by the Port of Selva not far from Gerona we visited the impressive Benedictine Monestary and other nearby places around the Monestary.  And what a story to be found about this place at WIKI:

The true origin of the monastery is not known, which has given rise to speculation and legend; such as its foundation by monks who disembarked in the area with the remains of Saint Peter and other saints, to save them from the Barbarian hordes that invaded the Western Roman Empire. Once the danger had passed the Pope Boniface IV commanded them to construct a monastery.

The first documentation of the existence of the monastery dates 878, when it was mentioned as a simple monastery cell consecrated to Saint Peter, but it is not until 945 when an independent Benedictine monastery was founded, led by an abbot. Connected with the County of Empúries, it reached its maximum splendor between the 11th and 12th centuries until its final decay in the 17th century. Its increasing importance is reflected in its status as a point of pilgrimage.

In the 17th century it was sacked in several occasions and in 1793 was deserted by the benedictine community, which was transferred to Vila-sacred and finally settled in Figueres in 1809, until it was dissolved.

The monastery was declared a national monument in 1930. In 1935 the first restoration work was initiated.

(As the sky was almost blasted in the white light I added some coffee filter to the uper part)

Interior detail from the Monestary
The Monestary from the inside (a 3 photo stitch)

Santa Helena de Rodes. Costa Brava. Spain

Not far from the big former monastery Sant Peres de Rodes outside Silva at Costa Brava we can find this church ruin: Santa Helena de Rodos.  This was the village church for the people who lived up here in the hills and was there mainly to support the big Monestary with all kind of services in Medieval times.

On the plain below the hills: The Emporda (a place for trading) people was coming from Greece and Phoenicans as early as the 5th century BC representing the first settlers to this part of the world.

Recommend to visit should you be in this region: Gerona/Figueres.

November 16, 2016

Walking to the Naval Station at Cape Bear. Cote Vermeille. Sud de France

A fine walk by the road or the Coastal Path from the small village Port-Vendres and out to the Naval Station and the Cap Bear Lighthouse. In November with the crisp and clear air.

A sunny November day in Port-Vendres. South of France

This is the entrance to the deep sea harbour in Port-Vendres in Sud de France a fine day in November.
Taken some days ago as for today we have rain and thunder going on....

Some more from the net:
Port-Vendres is one of the few deep-water ports in this part of the French Mediterranean coast. It takes freighters and cruise ships, as well as large and small fishing boats which may be seen arriving with their daily catch.

The geomorphology of Port-Vendres meant that it developed in a different way from the nearby port of Collioure. Whereas Collioure has two beaches which slowly descend into a relatively shallow sandy-bottomed harbour, Port-Vendres is deeper and rockier. Collioure and Port-Vendres have therefore been used for different purposes - Collioure for small commercial ship and Port-Vendres for larger vessels and military transports.During the 20th century, this made it a main point of embarkation for French troops going to serve in Algeria. (WIKI)

The lighthouse at Cap Bear. Cote Vermeille in South of France

Outside of the small Catalan village Port-Vendres, close to the Spanish border, you can follow a narrow road along the cliffs by the Mediterranean out to the significant Lighthouse at Cap Bear rising 27 m of the cliff.

November 15, 2016

Autumn in South of France. Lac de la Raho.

Walking around the artificial lake Raho is app. a 7km tour. There is a fine gravel road around the lake following the shores. From this point we have a good view also to the majestetic Mont Canigou in the back - The Holy mountain of the Catalans.

Some more from the net:
Lac de Villeneuve-de-la-Raho is a lake located in the town of Villeneuve-de-la-Raho in Pyrénées-Orientales, France.

The former lake of Villeneuve-de-la-Raho had a size of 150 hectares. Considered useless, it was dried in 1854 and the land was then used for agriculture. Recovered by the General Council of the Pyrénées-Orientales, it was filled with water and became once again a lake in 1977. (WIKI)

The Bee Hotel with a Beezzinezz Clazz at Raho in South of France

I guess also the bees needs a place to stay over the winter - and of course what could be better than a warm place in a Bee Hotel with a Beezzinezz Clazz...

November 14, 2016

Return of a Catalan barque in the afternoon. Collioure. France

November afternoon in Collioure. South of France. A lone Catalan barque returns to its harbour in this little Catalan (French) village.

Some more from the net:;
The Catalan traditional fishing boats or "barques" ("llaguts" in Catalan), are as old as
the Mediterranean civilisation and boast a superb lateen sail, which gives them
unparalleled elegance.

Despite its rudimentary simplicity, this rig works wonders in the Mediterranean since
time immemorial. Greeks and Romans used it in their galleys, and the Barbary pirates
equipped their speed boats to board their enemies. It is this system which is still used
today on the fragile Nile feluccas and the Maltese ferillas.

The Catalan barques are built here, in the Pyrénées-Orientales. Banyuls, Collioure, Le
Barcarès used to have their shipyard on the beach or the dock. They brought life to
ports, they were their lungs and heart.

At the beginning of last century Collioure had, for example, a fleet of one hundred
"sardinals" (sardine-fishing boats) which employed more than 700 sailors. The port
also included over 20 salting workshops, fifteen shippers, coopers... The arrival of the
diesel engine of course transformed the "great Catalans", and sails were used only
occasionally. They faded in the '60s with the arrival of more modern and powerful

November 13, 2016

Collioure in Sud de France

4 photos stitched display many details from this part of the village Collioure.
On the nearby summit you can se the old fortification Fort Sant Elme. 
A bit under this the Olive Windmill. A photo from my visit in November.

Fort St. Elme in Collioure. Sud de France

Majestetic placed on this hill overlooking Collioure and Port-Vendres: Fort St.Elme.
The fort have a long history with the Spanish, the Catalans as with the French.

From the net, some "newer" historie:
Despite the latest modernisation and its adaptation to the artillery, on 13 April 1642, French troops of king Louis XIII achieved to take the fort. After the signing of the Treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659, the Spanish threat remained. When Vauban, military architect of King Louis XIV, made a reconnaissance of the defensive structures in 1659 in the region of Collioure, he decided to build a counterscarp, which forms with the ramparts base a ten-meter pit where infantry and cannons could easily operate.

Around 1780, the fort’s facade was whitened to serve as landmark from the sea, with the Massane Tower, to better situate the port of Port-Vendres.

During the French Revolution, more precisely during the War of the Pyrenees, between 1793 and 1795, the region was the center of violent fights. The Fort Saint Elme was conquered successively by Royalists and Republicans. In 1794, the Spanish army took the fort. Six months later, the general Dugommier crushed with 11 000 cannonballs the garrison which surrendered on 25 May 1794 after a 22-day siege. After the revolutionary period, the fort, unified with the municipality of Collioure, was transformed in military warehouse. (Ref: WIKI)

November 12, 2016

Vine yards after the harvest. Banyuls. Sud de France

4 photos stitched.  From the road going up to the Madeloc tower and summit in South of France - close to the Spanish border by the foot of the Pyrenees.

After the harvest there is plenty of work waiting. Cutting branches, clean up fallen leaves etc. Where you see the smoke in the upper left you are also in the maximum height of vine fields in this hilled region. Above this level it is simply too cold for the wine roots to thrive.

BTW a fantastic day in November for a hike up to the Madeloc tower with a perfect vista to all sides when you finally are there - on the summit.

November 11, 2016

As the wind Tramontane blows at the small St. Vincents Chapel. Collioure. South of france

Just another day in November down here in the very South of France.
This day of the year we often have some wind from the Tramontane also whipping the sea as here right outside of the harbour in Collioure and the little chapel St. Vincent.

From the net:
The tramontane in France is a strong, dry cold wind 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, (WIKI)

St. Vincent Chapel. Located on a former island where, according to legend, Saint Vincent suffered martyrdom in 303.
The chapel was built in 1701 for the arrival of new relics of the saint.
At that time, hermits and religious retired in remote locations were accessed through the population who had regularly searched for advice from them.
Architecturally, the chapel is very small. This is a simple rectangular piece with an arcuate portal .
A large wooden cross bearing a martyr Christ can be seen behind, facing the sea

The bambou forest in Jardin des Plantes. St. Cyprien. France

Do not get lost in the Banbou forest in this garden.
Many metres high you walk in the shadow of the Bambous in this Park in popular St.Cyprien in Languedoc-Rousillon in South of France. And be aware of the peacocks that is wandering all over the place...

November 8, 2016

November in Collioure, Sud de France

Back in Collioure. This time complete off-season with few people around, only a number of visitors in the weekend.
Regard all the kayaks out there. Some EU Marines training along the shores of the popular beaches in this small Catalan village close to the Spanish borders.
Photo by iphone6+ (uploaded from ipad)

October 23, 2016

After the summer season - burning some debris at the mountain cottage. Valdres. Norway

After the summer we are up at our mountain place and cleaning up i.e. burning some debris from trees and plants. At the photo is the Madam in full swing. After starting this (rather large) fire it burned for 3 days.

October offered some really fine days for outdoor activities.  To the left in the photo our small guest house.

October 17, 2016

Flying South from Valdres. Norway

I made this stitch of 7 photos when visiting a small summit near our mountain cottage. Look at the shadow in the lower left - seems like a bird is sailing above the landscape - in a way like we are departing from this landscape - and in fact we are going to the South of France and our apartment close to the Spanish border this weekend.

To the left in the photo you will see some white buildings which is one of the most popular high mountain resort hotel in this part of the country: Storefjell Hotell.
Then the flat landscape to the right which is a big flat high mountain plain: Fløtenhovda. BTW right in the middle of the landscape is our mountain cottage situated.  In fact from that place we have looked over to this summit we are visiting for almost 30 years - without never hiking here (it looked so small and we preferred some more challenging summits time after time until this day in October).

A fine weekend to all of you - next posting sometimes over the  weekend...

October 13, 2016

October night at the cottage with a touch of Northern Light. Valdres. Norway

I have this mountain cottage in the Southern part of Norway. App. 1000km South of the Polar Circle.
It is very rare that we have the Northern light at this place and in fact this was the first time for many years that we happend to be at the cottage when we also could see the Northern light.

My camera position is a bit to the NorthWest and mostly the green color tells us that we are in the outskirt to register the special Northern light.

For those with interest for the tech: Camera is Lumix GX7 with a 20 mm pancavke lens (1.7). Shutter is 15sec. F-stop 5.6. ISO 800.

Northern light - Auroroa Borealis. Valdres. Norway

Situated some 1000km South of the Polar Circle it is a rare occasion to spot the Northern light - Aurora borealis.

We was up there in our mountain cottage when we could see the green light at the sky to the north.
So for once it was very fun to just step out of the cootage, setting up the camera and tripod in the dark night and try out some photos.

For any one interested I used my Lumix GX7 with a 20mm pancake lens. Manual setting for sharpness.  F. 15 seconds and A 5.6. ISO 1600

Maybe not the most dramatic patterns - but good enough so far South.

Autumn in the mountain. Valdres. Norway

We have this week had some fantastic days up in the mountains here in the South Part of Norway.

Above a small summit - a crossing point for many paths crisscrossing this large mountain plateau in the small valley Tisleidalen. BTW this point is only some 30 minutes walk from our cottage up here.

Have a fine weekend.

October 10, 2016

October Sunset. Spydeberg. Norway

I was sitting in my room and editing some photos one afternoon in October. And then as I turned around there was a great sunset play right outside over the houses on the nearest hill. Enjoy.

This photo is an iphone6+ shot from the terrasse at my home.

October 5, 2016

Large panorama view of Oslo, Norway

6 photos stitched (klick for larger version) - presented from the best place to do photos like this in Oslo - the Ekeberg Hill.
Should you be in Oslo go to the Ekeberg restaurant - make your pano and after that enjoy a lunch or dinner in the newly refurbished Ekeberg Restaurant.  I f you want even more take a stroll in the new Sculpture park in the Ekeberg Park - a tribute to women.

In the foreground you have new apartment buildings in the old quay Sørenga. right behind to the right you may see the Oslo Opera, the sentral station and the new office-buildings close by. In the hill in the far back you may be able to identify the Holmenkollen Ski-jump. The ferry to the left is going daily to Copenhagen in Denmark, while right behind that one there is another in the far back: The daily ferry to Kiel in Germany. And of course many other landmarks can be seen.

My last photo from Oslo was called "a glimpse of Oslo" - this time you have the whole city in one glimpse surrounded by the hills of Oslo to the West and North (Nordmarka). The photo is taken from the hill Ekeberg in the east.

From a walk in the Ekeberg Park in Oslo, Norway

Ekeberg and the park is one of the hills that surrounds Oslo. It is in the east part of the Town. A long time ago the Ekeberg Park was established as an offer to the East end of the town as the more "upper-scale" West end already had the Holmenkollen etc.

There are some good walking paths around  - even a sculpture Women Park included. To not mention some interesting restaurants up at the Ekeberg hill. Presented here in a 2 photo stich.

The Madam enjoyed her time in the Ekeberg hill this fine sunny day in October

Barcode buildings in Oslo, Norway

The seaside of Oslo East is changing these days. As here with this row of new office buildings right behind the Opera.  The reference to a barcode is absolute there.  Unfortunately this front will later be hidden behind another new row of buildings hindring the present view.

(Photo: Tilt-shift in PP)

Meeting WALKING WOMAN in the sculpture park - Ekeberg. Norway

Who knows what or whom to meet when you take a walk in the Women Sculture Part at Ekeberg in Oslo.  In the afternoon well inside the park we met this woman - another sculpture at this place.

Read more of this work WALKING WOMAN BY SEAN HENRY here:
The British sculptor Sean Henry (born 1965) models his figures in clay before the are cast. 
Then he paints them. This artist's work has helped revive the age-old custom of polychrome, i.e. multi-colored sculpture. The tradition stems from Antiquity, when marble statues were painted in colors.

Henry's technique is striking and vivid. In public spaces, his naturalist figures are conspicuous, just as his sculptures are both lifelike and theatrical. They are reflections of ourselves and enhance our experience with life in our own world.

Sculptures such as Walking Woman are the artist's attempts to heighten our awareness of art and the nature surrounding it. The person in Walking Woman strides through the woods with purpose.

A glimse of Oslo, Norway - from the Ekeberg Hill

Ekeberg Hill one of the first places to be populated in Oslo - already just after the last ice age when the sea level was app. 200m higher than today.

At this photo we look down to the new apartment buildings at Sorenga - right beside the new Opera (situated behind the green vegetation to the right). The big ship in the back is the ferry daily departing for Copenhagen.

Some more from WIKI:
Ekeberg is a neighborhood in the city of Oslo, Norway. The painting "The Scream" by Edvard Munch is painted from Utsikten ("the view"), a part of Ekeberg.

In the area are a number of old Iron Age grave mounds and Bronze Age ritual sites. This establish the area of Ekeberg as one of the oldest inhabited places around Oslo. During the Middle Ages, the farm of Ekeberg belonged to Hovedøya Abbey. The area was later taken by the crown.

From 1760, the farm of Ekeberg was run by an appointed owner, and his relatives owned the farm thereafter. In the area, a number of small homesteads under the main farm was erected the following century. The first suburban settlement came around 1900, and the early suburb was raised in the years prior to 1935. Many of the early houses are still present in the area. Ekeberg belonged to Oslo from 1947.

Autumn afternoon by the lake Vannsjo in Moss. Norway

Tranquilly afternoon in October by the shores of the lake Vannsjo in Moss, Norway.

Some more from the net:
Vansjø is a lake in the municipalities of Moss, Råde, Rygge, Våler in Østfold county, Norway. The lake is fed by the river Hobølelva. The lake has an area of 36.9 km² and an estimated coastline of about 250 km. Wikipedia

September 29, 2016

Mamma Moose and her Siblings. Valdres, Norway

I often claims that we have visit from many bypassing wild forest animals at our mountain cottage. As the other day Mamma Moose bypassed with her 2 siblings. A bit away app. 200m from our terracce so I had to crop the 300mm lens shot in half (in a way faking a 600mm).

Anyway it is always a pleasure to have these big animals in the neighboorhood. 
The mamma to the left with a 1 year old calf. With the other calf to the right. Regard his mini antlers.

September 25, 2016

September saturday in Oslo, Norway

A fine day where the main street Karl Johans gate is crowded with people. 
In the far back: The royal castle.

August 30, 2016

Have a look at my view in Valdres, Norway

I have a cottage up in the central lower mountains in Valdres, Norway.  And from the terrasse I can sit down and enjoy the view I have to the little lake a bit away.  Surrounded by trees and the green nature now in the summer time.

With some distance to other neighbours and urbanized areas it is a pleasure to enjoy the sounds of the nature.
The wind, the birds and some bypassing sheep's and cows - even moose, deer's and a seldom time a bear can be spotted.
For sure a good place to stay some days and weeks within the year.