Saturday, 6 April 2013

Nordic flags at the Helsingør ferry terminal

The flags of Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland are welcoming motorists at the ferry terminal in Helsingør:

When the holiday season starts the number of cars waiting for the ferry will  increase  considerably.

A busy late Friday afternoon in Øresund

Yesterday was a busy late afternoon for ships in Øresund. Below is a selection of the ships which passed Helsingborg/ Helsingør between 5 P.M. and 7 P.M.

The small Cyprus registered cargo ship Peikko (gnome in Finnish!) on its way to  Fredericia.

Peikko approaching Helsingborg.

The Danish tugboat Egesund (23m x 6m) towing a steel construction. 

Another picture of Egesund and the steel construction. 

A somewhat closer look at the Egesund.

The Dina Trader (134m x 22m) is registered in Gibralta. It was heading for St. Petersburg.

Another Gibraltar registered cargo ship, the Translontano (99m x 16m) was sailing southwards in the Sound. 

The Translontano a minute or two earlier.

The Dutch cargo vessel Varnebank (132m x 16m) was on its way to Riga.

The Maltese tanker Patani (144m x 23m) on its way to Lindø.

The Helsingborg-Helsingør ferry Mercandia IV and the DFDS cruise ferry Pearl  Seaways. 

The Cyprus registered freighter Ardea (99m x 16m) and the Danish passenger ferry  Pernille. 

The cargo ship Santa Lucia (Liberian registry, 143m x 24m). The ship's destination is Rotterdam.

The Santa Lucia seen from the sunny side.

The Maltese cargo ship Artvin (229m x 32m) and a sailing boat. Artvin is on its way to Riga.

Artvin leaving Helsingborg/Helsingør

Friday, 5 April 2013

The marriage of Princess Margaret of Connaught and Sweden's Prince Gustaf Adolf in 1905

The marriage of the Swedish Prince Gustaf Adolf and British Princess Margaret of Connaught (daughter of Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught, third son of Queen Victoria, and his wife, Princess Luise of Prussiaon 15 June 1905 was probably the most important social and media event that year in Sweden

The Swedish weekly Hvar 8 Dag had extensive coverage of the wedding at Windsor Castle and Princess Margareta's (as she was called in Sweden) first months in her new home country. 

In 1907, when Gustaf Adolf's father, Crown Prince Gustaf, acceeded to the throne as King Gustaf V in 1907, the couple became Crown Prince and Princess of Sweden.

This wedding photograph by King Edward's official photographer Downey  shows the newly married  together with their bridesmaids, Princess Patricia of Connaught (behind the bride), Princess Mary of Wales (seated) and the Princesses Eva of Battenberg and Beatrice of Sachsen-Coburg. All looking very serious, which probably was the custom at the time in this kind of photographs.

Prince Gustaf Adolf , accompanied by the princes Vilhelm and Eugen, on his way to St. George's Chapel at Windsor.

The official wedding photo. 

A portrait of Princess Margaret by Lafayette Ltd, London.

Princess Margareta and Prince Gustaf Adolf photographed  on board the  Swedish  Royal Navy yacht Drott , which  took them the Sweden after the wedding.

Prince Gustaf Adolf and Princess Margareta arrive at Sofiero Palace on July 22, 1905.

On July 22 the newly weds, who also bore the titles Duke and Duchess of Scania, arrived at the Sofiero Palace in Helsingborg, which they had received as a wedding gift from King Oscar. Later on the Prince and the Princess were to spend many summers at Sofiero. Princess Margareta, who was inspired by the British Arts and Crafts movement, totally recreated the palace gardens.Through her work, which included the books Vår trädgård på Sofiero ("Our Garden at Sofiero") and Från blomstergården ("From the Flower Garden") illustrated with her own drawings and photographs, she introduced the modern English garden in Sweden. 

While at Sofiero, the Duke and Duchess of Scania acquainted themselves with the local community. Here they are visiting a mine in Höganäs. 

Princess Margareta and Prince Gustaf Adolf visiting a pipe factory in Hoganäs in 1905.
The marriage between Margaret and Gustaf Adolf has been described as a happy love match, but it ended in a tragedy. On 1 May 1920 the Princess died suddenly in Stockholm due to an infection following a mastoid operation. At the time, she was eight months pregnant and expecting her sixth child. In an announcement Swedish Prime Minister Hjalmar Branting said the Stockholm Royal Palace's ray of sun had gone out.

The beautiful Sofiero Palace Gardens are still a lasting monument to the British princess who once was destined to become the Queen of Sweden. 


Last year the Crown Princess Margareta rose, bred by the famous Australian breeder David Austin, was chosen as the Rose of the Year in Sweden. 

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Kapitan Lus passing Kronborg castle

Last night the cargo ship Kapitan Lus (98m x 21m) passed Kronborg castle at about 6 P.M. The ship was on its way to Dunkerque. The ship is a familiar sight in the Sound. When I see it, I always wonder why the relatively small ship seems to have such plentiful facilities for the crew. Or does the ship perhaps carry passengers?

 The small freighter on the left I was not able to identify.

The Maltese registered Kapitan Lus passing Kronborg castle.

The Kapitan Lus moments later.

The return of spring in Øresund

Yesterday afternoon, I saw the first canoeists in Øresund - a certain sign of the return of spring ...

On this perhaps first real spring day there was also a lot of bird activity in and over the Sound:

All the swans seemed to be heading north.

The cruise ferry Pearl Seaways and three swans on their way northwards in  the Sound today.

Watching the ships pass by in the Sound is a popular partime in Hittarp.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

"Bach: A Passionate Life" - a great documentary by Sir John Eliot Gardiner

There are only two original portraits of  Bach. This is the one  which for many years was in Sir John Eliot Gardiner's home when he was a young boy.  

“I have always kept one end in view, namely ... to conduct a well-regulated church music to the honour of God.” 
― Johann Sebastian Bach

Few people are more suited to make a documentary on J.S. Bach than Sir John Eliot Gardiner, who already since the early 1960s set about challenging established ideas about how Bach's music should be performed.

Sir John Eliot Gardiner.

Sir John's documentary "Bach: A Passionate Life", which includes wonderful musical extracts, was without doubt one of the absolute highlights of the BBC's Easter programming. There is still no information about when the documentary, with music performed by Sir John's  Monteverdi Choir, the English Baroque Soloists and a number of outstanding vocal soloists, becomes available on Blu-ray/DVD, hopefully soon, because this is a programme not to be missed by any Bach lover. Later this year the documentary will be accompanied by Sir John's long awaited book on Bach

The St. Nicholas church in Leipzig, where Bach's St. John's Passion was performed for the first time.
A sculpture of Bach in Leipzig's St.Nicholas church.

Bach's grave went unmarked for nearly 150 years. In 1894 his coffin was finally discovered and reburied in a vault within St. John's Leipzig. This building was destroyed by Allied bombing during World War II, and in 1950 Bach's remains were taken to their present resting place at Leipzig's Church of St. Thomas.

Members of the Monteverdi Choir.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

LPG tanker B Gas Laura in Øresund

LPG tanker B Gas Laura in Øresund on April 2, 2013.

Today the Sound has been sunny and almost windless, as you can see from this photo I took at 10.55 A.M. It is the LPG tanker B Gas Laura (74 m X 14 m) on its way to Brofjorden in Norway

Three voluminous Germans

These three voluminous gentlemen were the top three prize winners in a waistline competition organized in Berlin in 1905. The gold medal winner - with a waistline of 167 cm - in the middle, surrounded by the silver medalist (161 cm) and the bronze medalist (159 cm). 

Sunday, 31 March 2013

Pope Francis celebrated his first Easter Mass at St. Peter's Square

Today Pope Francis celebrated his first Easter Mass at St. Peter's Square followed by the Urbi et Orbi blessing - "to the city and the world" - from the papal balcony. It was a moving and memorable event for the new pope and the crowd of about 300.000 people gathered in the Square as well as for the millions of television viewers around the world.