Photography

Hey, Hey, We’re The Monks

No trip to Tallin, Estonia is complete without a visit to the Danish King’s Garden. Watching over the medieval walled garden are statues of faceless monks, Ambrosius, Bartholomeus and Claudius. The legend goes, that during a losing battle, the monks prayed for divine intervention on behalf of the Danish King. Out of the sky fell a large flag, which became the national flag of Denmark.

Estonia is also considered one of the most haunted places in Europe. The King’s Garden is said to be haunted by a monk, perhaps a former executioner having a change of heart.

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LINKS

Visit Estonia

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Categories: Church, Estonia, Photography, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Tales of Pohjola

Walking around Helsinki, dodging the rain and sleet, I happened upon this really cool building. The Pohjola Insurance Company building is decorated with forest animals and monsters from the tales of the Kalevala. The Kalevala is studied in schools and well known by boys and girls across Finland. Finland1_Kullervo is an orphan boy in search of a real family. In his journey he finds his real family, who he thought were slaughtered, but accidentally sleeps with his sister. When he finds out her identity he kills himself on his own sword. Not quite a happy ending.Finland1_-2

Pohjola is the mythical land of Finnish literature. Kalevela, the Land of the North is eternally winter and ruled by an evil witch. Finland1_-3

In another tale, Louhi, The Mistress of Pohjola, sends a bear to wreak havoc on Kalevala’s cattle. The hero, Väinämöinen kills the bear and they hold a feast. The bear is treated as a welcome guest, and the feast is in his honor.  Väinämöinen sings of the birth of the bear, friend and brother to man, born upon the shoulders of Otava, the Big Dipper. Helsinki1_-6Pohjola is where many believe that the roots of the world tree are. This could account for all of the trees and squirrels across the building’s front. More broadly the word refers to any northerly direction. Given its mythological namesake, it’s no surprise that the Pohjola Insurance company agreed to decorate their building with statues of monsters, fools and animals.Helsinki1_-7Helsinki1_-33

Categories: Europe, Photography, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Fjords of Norway

Geirangerfjord in Norway often appears on lists of the most spectacular places on the earth. Created over several ice ages, the glaciers dug out the deep fjords and the towering mountains. Geiranger1_-2Geirangerfjord is home to several well-known waterfalls.  ‘De Syv Søstre’ (the seven sisters) dance playfully down the mountain while the ‘Friaren’ (the suitor) is said to be wooing the Seven Sisters across the way. Geiranger1_-3 Fairytales explain that the shape of the mountains is due to trolls. When the creatures are hit by sunlight, it’s said that they turn to stone. Could that be a face staring at us on the mountainside? Geiranger1_-4The tallest of the Seven Sisters tops out at an impressive 820 feet. Be sure to visit later in the Spring when the winter snow and ice are melting to get the best views.

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The “S” shaped fjord is almost 10  miles long and a mile wide. The waters of the fjords are as deep as the Grand Canyon. Boat tours, kayaking and hiking are all great ways to see the beautiful scenery.

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Perched high on the mountainside next to the Seven Sisters is the abandoned Knivsflå farm. It was ordered abandoned by the authorities in 189 due to the threat of landslides. It still stands today despite the threat of avalanches.

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LINKS

Geiranger Fjord

Categories: Europe, Norway, Photography, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Frederik’s Church

The Frederik’s Church’s green copper dome can be seen over the city of Copenhagen. Also known as The Marble Church or Marmokirken, began construction in 1749. The victim of budget cuts, the church stood in ruin until 150 years later when it was finished. If you plan to visit be sure to have some Danish Krone in your pocket as they don’t accept credit cards.CPH1_-125The gold lettering over the entrance portico HERRENS ORD BLIVER EVINDELIG translates to “the word of the Lord endureth for ever.” – 1 Peter 1:25CPH1_-126Some say the large dome was meant to rival St.Peter’s in Rome. It remains the largest dome in Scandinavia and one of the largest in Northern Europe.CPH1_-120

CPH1_-119The ornate Swan Organ is no longer in use. The swan is Denmark’s official bird.CPH1_-121CPH1_-122

CPH1_-123The inner dome of the church is resting on 12 columns. The cupola is split into 12 equal parts and decorated with angels and the 12 apostles.CPH1_-124

LINKS

Visiting the Marble Church

 

Categories: Church, Copenhagen, Europe, Marmokirken, Photography, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Eating Out in Denmark

The Danish people are among the happiest in the world. They celebrate something they call Hygge pronounced hue-guh. Although there is no exact translation for Hygge most of the dictionaries reference it as cozy. Hygge is a style of life, it is a certain slowness of living and appreciating the moment.

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Eating in Copenhagen can be an adventure in and of itself. There is everything from traditional Danish fair to old standbys like McDonalds. One unusual place to try out is Copenhagen Street Food. Situated on Papiroen or Paper Island it opened in April 2014 in a warehouse previously used for storage for the Danish newspaper.

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There is ample seating outside along the canal or inside the trendy industrial building. Old shipping containers, reclaimed and walls insulated with mussels make this a quirky and fun place to visit.

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Micro breweries share space with Falafel and Ostrich Burgers.

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20170614_135729The Surf and Turf Burger was one of the best that I have had. A juicy beef patty was covered in sauteed prawns (or shrimp to you and me).CPH1_-196CPH1_-201

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For Dessert what could be better than a homemade donut? How about a Creme Brulee donut? The Donut is rolled in sugar and then flamed with a small torch until it is crispy and warm. Then they topped it with vanilla ice cream and homemade hot fudge. I need to go back.

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If you’re not the adventurous type. There was the Boston Grill in the Scandic Hotel. I think the entire restaurant was full of Americans and most of them from New England. The Clam Chowder was good, not as good as my brother’s but still delicious.

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For another dining adventure check out the Meat Packing District. Similar in concept to NYC’s reclaimed Meat Packing District, there are a wide variety of food options.

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Warpigs is Copenhagen’s answer to Southern Barbeque. If you have experienced Four Rivers Smokehouse in Central Florida then you have an idea of what to expect. The pulled pork was excellent but they missed the mark on the baked beans and potato salad. There are picnic tables outdoors and inside or you can eat in their private Dining Room with the pig skull chandelier.

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Street food is also abundantly available. Stop by a gelato stand for a little dessert on the way back to the hotel.

 

LINKS

Copenhagen Street Food

Boston Grill

Warpigs

Categories: Copenhagen, Europe, Photography, Travel | Leave a comment

What’s Your Sign

Long before public schools, shopkeepers would use graphic signs that showed what you can find in their shops. Need a Book, look for a book hanging outside a shop. Looking for shoes, look no further than this shop.CPH1_Bicycle rentals and repair
CPH1_-2An unusual sign outside of a Barber Shop. I’m not sure what the significance of the boot is, but the red and white stripes harken back to the days when Barbers also did blood-letting and other surgical procedures. In addition to getting a quick trim, the friendly Barber could also pull a bad tooth.  CPH1_-38That’s not a pretzel but a Kringle. A Danish pastry filled with almond paste and custard  and topped with sugar and almond flakes. The crown on top signifies that bakery is approved by the King.CPH1_-39A Locksmith works here.CPH1_-40

CPH1_-66BooksellerCPH1_-80Restaurants in NyhavenCPH1_-105CPH1_-107Tattoo Parlor
CPH1_-271British Style PubCPH1_-273Krog’s Restaurant opened in 1910 and is considered one of Copenhagen’s best and most beautiful restaurants. CPH1_-275

LINKS

The Sailor’s Grave

Charlie’s Bar

Krog’s Fish Restaurant

Categories: Copenhagen, Europe, Photography, Travel | Leave a comment

Tivoli Gardens

In 1843 the King of Copenhagen granted Georg Cartensen, permission to open Tivoli Gardens. The exotic and elegant gardens were opened to guests for the first time on August 15, 1843. Fairytale write Hans Christian Anderson was among the first visitors and some say this visit inspired him to write his story, “The Nightingale”.

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The stories of Hans Christian Andersen are featured in one of Tivoli’s popular attractions, The Flying Trunk or Den flyvende Kuffert. You may sense a similarity to Disney’s It’s A Small World.

Amusement parks had gotten a reputation of being somewhat seedy, but Tivoli was a clean and orderly park with lush flowers, family friendly rides and a fun festive atmosphere. Art Linkletter visited Tivoli in 1952 with Walt Disney and remembers Walt writing down notes about the gardens, seating, rides, food and all of the details that would inspire Disneyland a decade later.CPH1_-11CPH1_-10CPH1_-31CPH1_-30CPH1_-29Among the Bamboo Garden is the Japanese Pagoda, built in 1900. Originally it was known as The Chinese Tower until 2009, no one knows why the name was changed. Tea and refreshments are available for purchase inside.CPH1_-28In 1874, thousands of electric lights lit up the night in the gardens, There are approx. 2,800 bulbs on The Japanese Pagoda. The Pagoda was the first of the park’s buildings to get LED bulbs. The twinkling light bulbs are often referred to as Tivoli Lights. CPH1_-264The Moorish Palace in Tivoli is home to luxury Hotel Nimb designed by Knud Arne Petersen. In 1909 Wilhelm and Louise Nimb, who had created a restaurant empireOlder Posts in Copenhagen were brought in to manage the restaurant Divan 2, which still exists.CPH1_-19In October 2015 Hotel Nimb was awarded “Hotel of the Year” by Small Luxury Hotels (SLH) from 520 hotels across 82 countries around the world.CPH1_-20

Links

Tivoli Gardens

Nimb Hotel

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Categories: Copenhagen, Europe, Photography, Tivoli Gardens, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Yo Ho, Yo Ho – A Pirate’s Life For Me

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June 14th – 16th, the seaside city of Cocoa Beach was invaded by pirates. The annual Cocoa Beach Pirate Fest attracts pirates and fans from around the world.

Raquel and her little cannon

Raquel and her little cannon

Demonstrations included period firearms and cannons

A Pirate named Brave

A Pirate named Brave

A pirate encampment allowed guests to see how pirates may have lived off their ships.

Steadfast Steel

Steadfast Steel

The group Steadfast Steel gave demonstrations of swordplay and combat.

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The lovely but deadly, Pearl

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Undead Pirate

Undead Pirate

Categories: Photography, Photography, Pirates, Travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Chicago – That Toddlin’ Town

Foyer TouristChicago, Chicago, that toddlin’ town… The city of Chicago has some really unique architectural history. The Cultural Center located near the Loop and Millennium Park. when it was completed in 1897 it served as the city’s central library.

Tourist DomeThe center of the Grand Army of The Republic Memorial hall is a massive Tiffany dome. This massive installation is the world’s largest Tiffany dome and went through a major restoration in 2007.

Library OwlChicago’s Harold Washington Library replaced the Central Library (now the Cultural Center) in 1987. The roof is adorned with 7 Acroteria or archiectural ornaments. On the corners and center can be found large sculptures of Owls, the symbol of the goddess of knowledge, Minerva. This Great Horned Owl sits over the center of the State Street entrance on Printer’s Row.

Peacock JewelersAnother bird hanging around the loop is the majestic peacock. The Jeweler’s CD Peacock store at State St. and Monroe. The House of Peacock was the first retail jewelry store in Chicago and catered to such big names as Mary Todd Lincoln, Marshall Fields and Mick Jagger. Hotel Sconce

Carson Pirie 2One of the coolest facades in Chicago has to be the Carson, Pirie, Scott and Company Building. Built after the great Chicago fire, the Sullivan Center as it is known today, was built as a major retail center. Today, the building hosts a Target on the bottom floors, but the ornamentation is still intact. The ornate floral details are bronze cast iron and were meant to appeal to the female clientele.

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FaceMetropolitan Capital Bank on the Magnificent Mile features details from the Prairie School of the Arts and Crafts movement, Frank Lloyd Wright once had a studio at Chicago’s Tree Studios artist’s enclave.

Whacker DriveAt one time, the Jeweler’s Building at 35 Whacker Drive was considered the tallest building in the US outside of New York City. Movie fans may recognize the building from Batman Begins and Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

Water WorksThe Chicago Water Tower was one of the few buildings to survive the great fire. It’s tower was built to house a massive pump that would pump water directly form Lake Michigan. Built from Joliet limestone, it stands 154′ tall, Oscar Wilde said it looked like “a castellated monstrosity with pepper boxes stuck all over it.

Gargoyles TribuneThe Chicago Tribune Building completed in 1925 is adorned with gargoyles and grotesques designed by American sculptor Rene Paul Chambellan.

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The Boston Opera House

OperaHouseThe Boston Opera House began it’s life as a Vaudeville Circuit Theatre in the 1920’s. It was designed as a mixture of Italian and French architecture. By the 1960’s it was a movie house until the Opera Company purchased it.

OperaHouse2In 2002, a major renovation occured that involved a rare assembly of old-world craftsmanship and highly-skilled trades went to work restoring sculptural plaster, gold leaf finishes, Carrara marble, paintings and tapestries, grand staircases, chandeliers, walnut and oak paneling. The restoration included replication of historic carpet, seating and silk wall panels. When the historic patterns for the silk wall panels proved too large for modern looms, a loom was custom-built to create the historic pattern.

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Categories: Boston, Oopera House, Opera House, Photography, Photography, Theaters, Theatres, Travel | Leave a comment

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