Saturday, 4 May 2013

The head of a swan

Tonight I met this nice swan, who graciously allowed me to use my camera from a close distance:

A few meters away, this wagtail was checking wing functionality:

Offshore construction jack up MPI Discovery in Øresund

The offshore construction jack up MPI Discovery and the small cargo vessel Mistral  meet in the Sound.

Yesterday, when I saw this "load" in the Sound, I immediately began looking for the tugboat. However, it turned out that there was no tug; the freight, consisting of huge wind turbine parts, was loaded on the offshore construction jack up MPI Discovery (13 m x 41m). The vessel was on its way from Esbjerg to Kårehamn, close to the northeastern part of the Swedish island Öland, where E.ON is building a number of  offshore wind turbines.

A somewhat closer look at the MPI Discovery.

Nissan's futuristic car carrier City of St. Petersburg in the Sound

Nissan's futuristic car carrier City of St. Petersburg is a familiar sight in  Øresund. The 21,000 ton 140 m x 22 m car-carrier can transport up to 2,000 vehicles at a time at an average speed of about 17 knots. The City of St. Petersburg delivers Nissan vehicles to northern Europe and Russia from factories in the United Kingdom and Spain

When the ship was delivered in 2010, a Nissan representative stressed the fuel economy of the new design: 

"You can say that the ship's spherical prow design is the world's first. Thanks to this aerodynamic design we expect to see a substantial reduction in the ship's fuel consumption."

The Danish Royal Couple arrive in Helsingør on board the Royal Yacht

The Danish Royal Couple enjoy using the Dannebrog for official visits overseas and summer cruises in home waters. No wonder - there is not a more beautiful Royal Yacht than the now 81 year old Dannebrog.

Yesterday Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Prince Consort arrived in Helsingør on board the Royal Yacht. The brief journey from Copenhagen to Helsingør traditionally marks the beginning of the Royal "cruise season". 

Hundreds of locals had gathered at the King's Quay in order to welcome the Royal Couple. Everybody seemed to enjoy this gorgeous spring day in the vicinity of the historic Kronborg Castle. 


For those, who would like to watch even more pictures of the Dannebrog and the Royal Couple arriving in Helsingør yesterday, click here for a slideshow I made. 


Thursday, 2 May 2013

The Baltic Herring Fair in Helsinki

The Baltic Herring Fair is Helsinki's oldest traditional annual event, dating back to 1743. Early October Helsinki's famous Market Square, bordering the Baltic Sea, bustles with activity, when fishermen from the south coast and the Åland islands sell their products directly from their boats.

During the 1925 Baltic Herring Fair, the row of fishing boats at the Market Square was an impressive sight:

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

A Swedish nobleman on a walking holiday in Japan in 1902

In 1902 the Stockholm illustrated monthly Ord och Bild published an article, "On foot in Japan", by the Swedish nobleman and naval officer S. Natt och Dag, who had been on a walking holiday in Japan together with two of his officer friends.

The article was illustrated by a number of photographs, which document people and places in the Japanese countryside in the beginning of the 20th century:

A jinriksha. The Swedish travelers rented one to carry their luggage during their  walking holiday .

The road between Nakasaki and Kanazava.

A Japanese nobleman.

The entrance to the temple in Kamakura.


Shinto priests.

The statue of Buddha in Kamakura.

"The best hotel" (tea house) in Katase.

A Japanese bed.

Japanese toilette.

The AIDAbella approaching Helsingborg/Helsingør

The AIDAbella is one of this cruise season's early birds in Øresund. This morning the 252 m x 32,2 m ship was approaching Helsingborg/Helsingør on its route from Oslo to Copenhagen. AIDAbella, delivered by the Meyer Werft in 2008, has 1025 cabins for  2050 guests. 

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Lorenzo Bartolini's Columbus Monument in Genoa

Christopher Columbus, who on October 12, 1492 set foot on one of the Bahama islands, must be one the historic persons with the largest number of monuments erected in his honor. The Dutch Columbus fan Peter van der Krogt has a webpage, where he has listed 590 Columbus related monuments in in different parts of the world.

Only in Genova (Genoa), the birthplace of Christopher Columbus, there are at least 20 monuments dedicated to the explorer. The Columbus Monument on Piazza Acquaverde is probably the most well known of them. Italian sculptor Lorenzo Bartolini began working on the monument in 1846, but the sculptor, who died in 1850, did never see it finished. Others continued his work, and the monument was finally inaugurated in 1862.

The photo of Bartolini's masterpiece shown here dates from the end of the 19th century.

Monday, 29 April 2013

Holland America Line's MS Rotterdam in Øresund

MS Rotterdam  is one of the first cruise ships in Øresund this season. The Holland America Line ship (238 m x 32m) was tonight going northward in the Sound on its way from Copenhagen to Kiel. There are 600 crew who serve a maximum of 1404 passengers. 

MS Rotterdam approaching Helsingør tonight.

MS Rotterdam and Kronborg castle.

About half an hour earlier, the DFDS cruise ferry Pearl Seaways passed by on its way to Oslo: