Saturday, 30 June 2012

The MSC Magnifica on another visit

This is the MSC Magnifica (294 x 32m) in Øresund early this morning on its way from Oslo to Copenhagen. The ship´s maximum passenger capacity is 3,605 and the number of crew is 1,027. 

I added this picture of the Magnifica - seen from the Danish side - passing Helsingborg this evening.

Friday, 29 June 2012

A curious sheep

The other day I noticed that sheep belong to the more curious animals ....

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

A ferret at the bathing platform

On my evening walk tonight, I noticed this dark face under the bathing platform. Both of us were looking at each other at least for a minute.

Ferrets - which I think this animal was - are said to be very curious. At least this one was.

A couple of minutes later I saw the ferret again returning to its home under the platform, proudly posing with a nice crab in its mouth. Regrettably, I was too slow and clumsy with my camera, so the photo is not sharp.

A friend pointed out that the animal I saw could actually have been a mink.

Ports in the late 1890s

Harbours were busy in the 1890s too, although a lot more physical work was required compared with the highly automated ports of today ...

The port of Hamburg in the 1890s
The small port of Kotka in the Gulf of Finland (late 19th century). 
Istanbul was another busy port city in the 1890s
Asian ports were full of ships already in the end of the 19th century. This is  photo  shows  the city  and port of  Yokohama.
The Brooklyn bridge was a familiar sight for many a sailor visiting the port of  New York.
Strong men were needed for loading and unloading. This photo shows harbour  workers  in the  Finnish port of Hanko in  the 1880s. 
Harbour workers in the port of Auckland in the 1890s.
In the early 1920s steamships and ocean liners already totally dominated the port of New York.
The port of New Orleans in the early 1920s
Quebec was a modern port city already in the 1920s.

Michelangelo´s frescoes in the Sistine Chapel

Michelangelo´s frescoes in the Sistine Chapel  top my personal list of works which I would like to see "live" ...

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Daring tourists (in the 1890´s)

Take a look at these two pictures, and I think you will agree with me in thinking that tourists of the 1890´s were a more daring bunch than their "colleagues" of today. And they were definitively also better dressed!

These visitors are on their way to the top of the pyramid of Cheops , braving  all  the  difficulties.

These five visitors have already reached their destination, Glacier  Point, above Yosemite valley.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Kim Borg - one of the great operatic singers of the 20th century

"How exceptional, how refreshing it is to meet with a singer whose whole artistic approach, i.e. voice quality, articulation and interpretation , are geared to the composer´s intent."
"Borg has a strong bass voice, which escalates into a deep baritone as required and adapts to all kinds of emotional expression"
The Times´s review of Borg´s Wigmore Hall recital in 1959

The Finnish bass Kim Borg (1919 - 2000) was one of the great singers of the 20th century who - at least in my opinion - has not got the kind of international recognition that he deserves. 

After having graduated from the Helsinki University of Technology with a degree in chemical engineering, Borg decided to embark on a career in music. He studied voice and music at the Sibelius Academy in 1948 - 1949. Later he also studied with the famous Russian singer Adelaide von Skilondz in Stockholm and Magnus Andersen in Copenhagen.  

Borg gave his first recitals in Helsinki and Stockholm in 1947. His breakthrough as opera singer was as Gremin in Tchaikovsky´s Yevgeni Onegin at the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen in 1952. The success at the Royal Theatre kicked off Borg´s international career, which took him to six continents and nearly 30 opera houses, including the Metropolitian, the Vienna, Bavaria and Hamburg State Operas and the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow
Borg retired from stage in 1980. From  1972 to 1989 he was a professor at the Royal Danish Conservatory of Music in Copenhagen

Two legendary Finnish knife fighters

(Photo from 1869)

These well chained prisoners are Antti Rannanjärvi (left) and Antti Isotalo, the famous leaders of a gang of trouble makers ("puukkojunkkari" - "knife fighter") in the Southern Ostrobothnia region of Finland in the 19th century. 

In Finland Rannanjärvi and Isotalo have become legendary, mostly thanks to this popular folk song immortalizing their names:

Wikipedia gives some additional information about the "puukkojunkkaris":

 Fights among puukkojunkkaris were common, and often resulted in homicide; one could even get stabbed in a funeral. Puukkojunkkaris usually made trouble at weddings, stole horses and circulated among towns and villages. They also participated in gambling, thievery and courtship with women. The most notorious puukkojunkkaris lived in towns near the Lapuanjoki river, such as KauhavaYlihärmä and Alahärmä. The first homicides happened in the 1790s, but the famous "golden age" of puukkojunkkaris lasted from the 1820s to the 1880s.

The Danish royal yacht on a gray and rainy evening

Danish Queen Margrethe and her consort, Prince Henrik this morning arrived at Aarhus on board the royal yacht HDMY Dannebrog. In Aarhus the royal couple will stay at the Marselisborg castle, their traditional summer residence.

When the Dannebrog - one of the most beautiful classic yachts in the world - passed Helsingør late last night on its way from Copenhagen to Aarhus with the royal couple on board the weather was gray and rainy, You can see that there is light only in one of the porthole windows. Maybe the Queen was reading a good detective story in her cabin? 

There were no crowds greeting the ship, only a lonely crow sitting on my neighbour´s antenna ...

Sunday, 24 June 2012

A busy Midsummer day for cruise ships in Øresund

Midsummer day was one of the busiest days for cruise ships in Øresund this summer. Here are five of the northward bound ships from last night: 

P & O´s classic ocean liner Oriana (261 x 36m) on its way from Copenhagen to  Stockholm.
Oriana´s sleek stern is both functional and nice to look at.
The MSC Magnifica (293 x 36m) passing Hamlet´s Kronborg castle.
Ibero Cruceros operates the Grand Mistral (216 x 32m), here heading for Geiranger in  Norway.
Alesund in Norway was the destination for the elegant Silver Cloud (155 x 20m).  
The Costa Luminosa (294 x 32m) was on its way from Copenhagen to Oslo.