Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Out of the Jurisdiction: Gdansk

 Gdansk, Poland, has a prosperous merchant history going back to medieval times, when it was
a cornerstone of the Hanseatic League.  

It is a world amber capital.

Charming amber stores are found all around Gdansk's Old Town.

World War II hit Gdansk hard, with 90 percent of the buildings damaged or destroyed.
It then suffered slow restoration in the post-War years under Soviet rule.

But, most of the city has been rebuilt since the 1991 end of the Soviet era.
Today the areas visited by travelers look great.

There are many fine architectural details.

A flag-waving demonstration closed off one of the main streets.
More about that on Friday.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Out of the Jurisdiction: Berlin

Two symbols of Germany and Berlin.  The Brandenburg Gate and pretzels.

A bike race behind the Brandenburg Gate.

The Reichstag, with a glass dome addition signifying the new German transparency.

Gendarmenmarkt.  A plaza with a French and German church and a concert hall.

The Allied Museum highlights the contributions of the Allied Forces in the post-war period.
This card was distributed to U.S. soldiers during the Berlin Airlift.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Out of the Jurisdiction: Copenhagen

Copenhagen!  What a wonderful city.

A canal cruise began in Nyhavn, a colorful old neighborhood on a canal.

Rosenborg Castle was well worth a visit, however quickly I had to dash through it.

A display of glass against a brightly lit window was a wonder.  Not much color, so I took it all out.

Tivoli, a charming in-town amusement park from the 1800s.

And a charioteer atop a fountain.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Out of the Jurisdiction: Aalborg

Aalborg is a university and industrial city in Jutland, the northern part of Denmark.
There are some half-timbered buildings dating to the Middle Ages.

It is a pleasant enough small city.  I don't need to go back. 

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Out of the Jurisdiction: Stavanger

Many viewers know Stavanger, Norway, through the eyes of Gunn White and Stavanger Daily Photo.
Here is an alternative view of Stavanger from a wandering New Englander.

Old Town Stavanger is a lovely waterfront section with 173 well preserved 
wooden houses -- mostly white with red roofs -- from the 19th century. 

Stavanger has gone from one industry to another over the centuries.  Originally it was home to many men who fished for herring.  Then, many canning factories.  Now it is a world oil center.

Visitors wander up and down cobblestoned streets.

And enjoy colorful flowers offered to the street by residents.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Out of the Jurisdiction: Fjords

The ship left Bergen, turned north past the oil rigs, and sailed up the Norwegian coast and into Sognefjord, Norway's biggest fjord.  In the morning, we were in Flåm, 
a small town at the end of Aurlandsfjord, a branch off Sognefjord.

In Flåm I took a ride with a dozen others in a rubber-bottomed boat like this one,
exploring the fjords.  Gorgeous.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Out of the Jurisdiction: Edvard Grieg

Before departing Bergen, we visited Troldhaugen, the home of Edvard Grieg, Norway's famous composer.  We were treated to a piano concert in the nearby concert hall.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Out of the Jurisdiction: Bergen

Bergen is Norway's second biggest city and a former capital.  It is on the west coast, surrounded by mountains (hence the name) and at the end of a long fjord.  Bergen is a major port city for cruise ships, pleasure craft and ships serving the nearby offshore oil and gas platforms.  
I boarded my cruise ship in Bergen.

Bergen has a law that every visitor must photograph these old wooden storefronts.

Oil is Norway's biggest export.  Second are colorful wool sweaters with snowflake patterns.

Norway has the finest manhole covers in the world, bar none.

Starbucks has snatched a prime waterfront location for its coffee shop.

A statue in a prominent Bergen square honors Ludvig Holberg, Baron of Holberg, a historian, essayist, poet and philosopher who is considered the founder of Danish and Norwegian literature.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Out of the Jurisdiction: Out the Train Window, from Oslo to Bergen

Did you ever try shooting photographs out of the window of a fast-moving express train?  With spots on the window making unwanted blurs on your pics?  And with trees and utility poles 
jumping into the frame just as you pressed the shutter?  And with errant lights
 from inside the train finding their way into your shots?  

Me, too.

But, the Norwegian countryside is beautiful.  It was well worth trying.  Some decent pix emerged.

Snow in the mountains in August!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Out of the Jurisdiction: Downtown Oslo

Oslo is drop dead gorgeous.  Find a comfortable seat.  I have 215 photos to show you.

OK.  Just nine.  Karl Johans gate is a long park-lined street filled with restaurants, shops, government buildings and other major buildings.  And people.

I told you.  Lots of people.

The Royal Palace sits at the far end of Karl Johans gate.

Stortinget, the building housing Norway's Parliament, is about half way down Karl Johans gate.

Some of the stores are in lovely old buildings that would be at home in Paris.

The National Theater -- a handsome classical building with statues everywhere -- is near the west end of Karl Johans gate.  Henrik Ibsen is at the left side, over that woman's shoulder.  

Other statues outside the National Theater are of artists best known to Norwegians. 

There was a mouth-watering crafts show at the side and rear of Oslo Cathedral.  I asked this potter if she dies her hair every day to match her dresses.  "Yes."  What will it be tomorrow?  "Blue."

There was a Pakistan exhibition.  This is the side of a richly painted wagon.  And a tourist.