Saturday, 1 December 2012

Friday, 30 November 2012

The long Scandinavian winter is making its entrance

There were dark clouds above Øresund this afternoon. Later on we got the first snow this winter here in northwestern Scania. According to the weather forecasts it is going to stay cold, with more snow early next week. The long Scandinavian winter is making its entrance. 

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Car carrier Elbe Highway in Øresund

This is the 148 x 25m Elbe Highway in Øresund, today at 10 AM. The highly visible car carrier was on its way to Zeebrugge - probably without cars. The ship, built in 2005 by Polish Stocznia Gdynia S.A. is one of the "regulars" in the Sound.

"Jascha Haifetz: God's fiddler" - a great documentary

   "God's Fiddler"

As years go by, I have noticed that I spend less and less time watching television. However, good documentaries, especially about art and classical music are still one great reason to turn on the telly. 

The other night German WDR showed one of the best documentaries I have seen in years - Peter Rosen's "Jascha Haifetz: God's fiddler". I wholly agree with what this commentator wrote about the film:

"I had the opportunity to see this beautiful documentary film about Mr. Heifetz. Throughout the film, there are many chances to hear his great violin artistry. Great clips from his own home movies with family and friends are shown for the first time. This film will provide a great introduction to a generation that only knows his name and a first time look into his private world for many of those who have heard him play in person. Ayke Agus contributes heartfelt opinions and insight into the man that she worked with for his last 15 years.(Look for her marvelous book "Heifetz as I knew him".)"

Ayke Agus on Heifetz: "Maybe he did not know who he was either, except when he was holding his violin"

Of the many knowledgeable and interesting musicians - among them Izak Perlman, Ivry Gitlis, Ida Haendel  and Nathaniel Rosen - interviewed, I think pianist Ayke Agus stands out. To hear her talk about Heifetz is both fascinating and highly rewarding. 

If you have not seen Rosen's marvelous film, I urge you to buy it. You will not be disappointed. 

Below is the film trailer:

(If the video does not play, choose the "watch on YouTube" alternative mode.)

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Heavy lift ship Happy Dynamic on its way to Norway

This is the Dutch heavy lift ship Happy Dynamic (157 x 25 m) this afternoon at quarter past three, just after having passed Helsingør. Soon the ship will hopefully arrive happily at its destination, Drammen in Norway

Tall ships in Øresund in 2012

The 2012 summer sailing season was a good one in the Øresund region. Quite a few beautiful tall ships sailed in the Sound either northwards or southwards. I must have missed many, but below are some of the ones I caught with my camera.

The Swedish Navy's training ship HMS Falken visited Helsingborg on 19 April.  Unfortunately, I do not have a picture of the Falken sailing. 
This three masted ship sailed northwards in foggy weather on 9 May. I was not able to identify the ship. Maybe someone more knowledgeable can help me out?
The Polish  Kapitan Glowacki passing by on 13 May.
On Sunday evening 20 May Polish training ship Dar Młodzieży sailed northwards in the Sound.
On May 25 the Dar Młodzieży was returning to its home port in Poland.
The gorgeous Swedish owned cruise sailing ship Star Flyer visited Helsingborg  on  June 1.
Helsingborg based schooner Nina in the Sound on July 5.
 German  3-mast-topsail schooner Albatros on July 18 on its way northwards in the Sound.
Former Finnish "fair trade vessel" Estelle visited Helsingborg on July 22. Later this year  the ship, now owned by Swedish "Ship to Gaza" was to get a lot of less positive attention in Israeli waters.
MSY Wind Surf, the largest sailing ship in the world, was heading for Copenhagen on July 29.

The beautifully restored Norwegian three-masted barque rigged sail training vessel Statsraad Lehmkuhl  on its way northwards in Øresund on August 4. The picture above this one shows the brig Tre Konor, which visited Helsingborg on July 31. (For some reason I could not get the information added to the pic!)
The Dutch three-mast gaff schooner Albert Johannes  on August 6.
A three masted schooner sailing northwards in the Sound on August 13. Please, let me know if you recognize the ship.
The German brig Roald Amundsen sailing northwards on August 21.
The MSY Wind Surf returned on August 24.
The Polish three masted frigate Dar Młodzieży returning to its home port Gdynia on August 26.
On September 9 the full rigged sail training ship Danmark was sailing towards Copenhagen  in the Sound.
In rather windy weather this three masted schooner (?) was sailing northwards on September 5.  Again,  please let me know if you recognize the ship. 

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

The Helsingborg marina on a dark november day

The Helsingborg marina is quiet this time of the year. However, in the afternoon dusk, it looked rather nice today. 

Monday, 26 November 2012

German "longlegs" in 1925

These "longlegs" were promoting the 1925 German advertising fair ("Reichs-Reklame-Messe) in  Berlin. Probably an effective way of getting attention. (Cover picture of a Finnish news magazine.) 

Pastel colored Øresund

Another gray day in the Øresund region. However, the afternoon sun added some nice pastel light to the sky above the Sound and Helsingør

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Ponte Vecchio - now and in the 1880s

Ponto Vecchio in the 1880s.

Ponte Vecchio ("Old Bridge") in Florence is without doubt one of the world's most famous bridges. And old it is; the first version of the bridge spanning the Arno at its narrowest point is mentioned in a document from A.D. 996. 
The bridge has always hosted shops and merchants, and it is said that the nowadays not so uncommon economic concept of bankruptcy originates here:
When a merchant could not pay his debts, the table on which he sold his wares (the "banco") was physically broken ("rotto") by soldiers, and this practice was called "bancorotto" (broken table; possibly it can come from "banca rotta" which means "broken bank"). Not having a table anymore, the merchant was not able to sell anything.

The photo above shows Ponte Vecchio in the 1880s. When one compares it with the contemporary image below, it is evident that there have been a few minor changes, although the bridge - fortunately - basically looks the same. 

A contemporary photo of Ponte Vecchio (wikipedia)
Did you know that Ponte Vecchio plays a - not entirely happy - role in one of Puccini's most beloved arias "O, Mio Babbino Caro (Oh, My Dear Papa) from his opera "Gianni Schicci": 

Oh my dear papa,
I love him, he is handsome, handsome.
I want to go to Porta Rossa
To buy the ring!

Yes, yes, I want to go there!
And if my love were in vain,
I would go to the Ponte Vecchio
And throw myself in the Arno!

I am anguished and tormented!
Oh God, I'd like to die!
Papa, have pity, have pity!
Papa, have pity, have pity!

Maria Callas
Georges Prêtre, Orchestre National de France, 1965

Flashback: The Queen Mary 2 in the Sound 15.8. 2012

On Wednesday 15.8. Cunard's Queen Mary 2 paid another visit to the Sound, when it moored outside Hamlet's castle in Helsingør. On the same day I published a few pictures of the visit, but having looked at some of the unpublished photos, I decided to add a few new ones in this "flashback". On some of the pictures you will notice a mirage effect, created by the atmospheric conditions on that day.

The QM2 arriving at Hamlet's Kronborg castle.
The QM2 meeting cargo ship Baltic Sun.
Another picture of the QM2 and the Baltic Sun.
Here you can see the mirage effect, with the QM2 "floating" in the air. The island of Ven on the left also appears to be  "airbourne".
A Finnish built Buster,  a French built QM2 and a Danish built castle.
A paddler on the Swedish side of the Sound.