Fotoeins Fotografie

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Posts from the ‘Scandinavia’ category

Gamla Stan, from Skeppsholmen, Stockholm, Sweden, fotoeins.com

Fotoeins Friday: Stockholm call to summer

From the vantage point of neighbouring Skeppsholmen island, the Old Town in Stockholm beckons softly to the visitor with visual promises of pointed roofs, colourful facades, and narrow passageways. Summer days are very long and there’s little “dark of night” at these high latitudes; there’s no point going to sleep when the sun pops back up at 330 in the morning. But wherever you are in Stockholm, there’s always something new to find in either open spaces or hidden corners, by day or at night.

More from Stockholm:

•   Why Stockholm is super
•   Daytrip to Vaxholm in Stockholm’s archipelago
•   The colours of Gamla Stan, Stockholm’s Old Town
•   Say Hej! to Lisa in the Saluhall, Östermalm Stockholm
•   Greeting Greta Garbo in Stockholm’s Skogskyrkogården

I made the photo above on 26 June 2008 with the Canon EOS450D (XSi), EF-S 18-55 IS kit-lens, and the following settings: 1/500s, f/5.6, ISO200, and 35mm focal-length (56mm full-frame equivalent). This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com as http://wp.me/p1BIdT-5xj.

UNESCO World Heritage logo, Wikimedia CC3 license

Plugging 20 UNESCO Heritage Sites Around the World

Since 1995, I’ve been fortunate to experience significant travel: first as green graduate student on my first (of many) trips to Chile; followed by the opportunity to live and work in 3 countries on 3 continents inside a span of 10 years. I didn’t give much thought about their relative importance at the time, but I’m lucky to have visited a number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites (WHS).

I’ve written about 5 UNESCO sites in Germany and there’s more to come. Meanwhile, here below are a list and short descriptions of 20 additional UNESCO WHS from around the globe:

  1. Australia: Blue Mountains (Katoomba)
  2. Australia: Fremantle Prison
  3. Australia: Sydney Opera House
  4. Argentina: Iguazú Falls, Iguazú National Park
  5. Brazil: Iguaçu Falls, Iguaçu National Park
  6. Brazil: Atlantic Forest South-East Reserves (Curitiba)
  7. China: Historic Centre of Macao
  8. Czech Republic: Historic Centre of Prague
  9. Czech Republic: Kutná Hora
  10. Denmark: Kronborg Castle (Helsingør)
  11. France: Historic Site of Lyons
  12. Italy: Cinque Terre
  13. México: Historic Centre of México City
  14. México: San Miguel de Allende
  15. New Zealand: Te Wāhipounamu (South Island)
  16. Spain: Alhambra, Generalife, & Albayzín (Granada)
  17. Spain: Cathedral, Alcázar & Archivo de Indias in Seville
  18. Sweden: Skogskyrkogården (Stockholm)
  19. United Kingdom: Old & New Towns of Edinburgh (Scotland)
  20. USA: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (Big Island)

( Click here for more )

Nyhavn at night: København, Denmark, fotoeins.com

Fotoeins Friday: Copenhagen’s Nyhavn at night

One of the most visited and photographed parts of Copenhagen is the Nyhavn (New Harbour) district. The summer evening provides a wonderful opportunity to capture the scene with endlessly serene blues in the twilight sky in contrast with the harsh almost garish neon streetlights below. Fortunately, the reflections in the rippling water somehow soften the artificial light. Good thing the image includes “Nyhavn 17” signage to remind me exactly where I am …

Have you visited Copenhagen? What are your favourite memories from the city? Please leave your comments below!

I made the above photo on 30 June 2008, near Mindeankeret (The Memorial Anchor) at the western end of Nyhavn, near Kongens Nytorv (King’s New Square). This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com, and also appears on Travel Photo Thursday for Nancie McKinnon’s Budget Traveler’s Sandbox.

Hamlet’s castle: Kronborg Slot, Helsingør, Denmark

Visiting Denmark in the summertime means there are many hours of daylight, providing more opportunities to explore. A daytrip train from Copenhagen north to Helsingør takes you through the Danish lowlands next to the sea, but the goal here is a visit to Kronborg Slot (Kronborg Castle).

Does the place, Helsingør, sound familiar?

How about the Anglicized version of the name – Elsinore?

Elsinore is the setting for one of William Shakespeare’s most famous plays, “Hamlet”.

Since its designation in 2000, Kronborg Slot (Kronborg Castle) in Helsingør, Denmark is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is commonly known as “Hamlet’s castle.”

Hamlet’s castle over the Øresund

The Øresund strait (known as Öresund or Sundet) is a narrow strip of water separating the Danish island of Sjælland (Zealand) from Scania in southern Sweden; only four kilometres separate Helsingør, Denmark from Helsingborg, Sweden. The Øresund has always been an important busy passage for shipping, and is one of three channels connecting the Baltic Sea with the Atlantic Ocean.

“Krogen” was established at this spot in northeastern Denmark in the early 15th-century to guard the strait’s entrance, to control the sea lanes in and out of the “The Sound”, and to collect shipping tolls called “The Sound Dues”. After Krogen came Kronborg Slot with renovations, fire, sacking, and conversion to barracks, altering its shape and use since the 16th-century. The present-day restoration of Kronborg Castle reflects the Renaissance and baroque stylings from the 16th- and 17th-centuries.

Written in the 12th-century by Saxo Grammaticus, “Gesta danorum” (History of the Danes) contains the first reference to the character of “Amleth“. The name appears again in 1514 when Christiern Pedersen published a story based on the legend recorded within “Gesta danorum”. François de Belleforest wrote a French version in the 16th-century, and by 1590, English writer Thomas Kyd wrote his own version as drama complete with the elements of revenge.

It’s not clear whether Shakespeare ever visited Kronborg Slot, but actors from England from Shakespeare’s company likely came over in the 16th-century because of the Helsingør’s importance as a hub or crossroads with ties to overseas shipping. Based on the visiting actors’ accounts and Kyd’s English version, Shakespeare wrote by 1601 his famous “Hamlet” play which honours Saxo Grammaticus’ prince Amleth.

Above on the castle ramparts under bright sunlight or below in the underground caverns in dim light, the spirit of Amleth lives on in the Gesta danorum. Who knows – you just might hear the whispers of a man in quiet soliloquy …

On the way into Kronborg Castle, you’ll go through the new Maritime Museum of Denmark (M/S Museet for Søfart) which opened in October 2013.


DSB, Københavns Hovedbanegård (Copenhagen Main Station)

DSB, Københavns Hovedbanegård (Copenhagen Main Station)

Helsingør, Sjælland (Elsinore, Zealand), Denmark

Helsingør, Sjælland (Elsinore, Zealand)

Helsingør, Sjælland (Elsinore, Zealand), Denmark

 

Helsingør, Sjælland (Elsinore, Zealand), Denmark

Kronborg Slot, Helsingør, Sjælland (Kronborg Castle, Elsinore, Zealand)

Helsingør, Sjælland (Elsinore, Zealand), Denmark

 

Kronborg Slot, Helsingør, Sjælland (Kronborg Castle, Elsinore, Zealand), Denmark

 

Kronborg Slot, Helsingør, Sjælland (Kronborg Castle, Elsinore, Zealand), Denmark

 

Helsingør, Sjælland (Elsinore, Zealand), Denmark

 

Kronborg Slot, Helsingør, Sjælland (Kronborg Castle, Elsinore, Zealand), Denmark

Hamlet & Ophelia

Kronborg Slot, Helsingør, Sjælland (Kronborg Castle, Elsinore, Zealand), Denmark

 

Kronborg Slot, Helsingør, Sjælland (Kronborg Castle, Elsinore, Zealand), Denmark

 

Kronborg Slot, Helsingør, Sjælland (Kronborg Castle, Elsinore, Zealand), Denmark

 

Kronborg Slot, Helsingør, Sjælland (Kronborg Castle, Elsinore, Zealand), Denmark

 

Kronborg Slot, Helsingør, Sjælland (Kronborg Castle, Elsinore, Zealand), Denmark

Casemates

Kronborg Slot, Helsingør, Sjælland (Kronborg Castle, Elsinore, Zealand), Denmark

Casemates

Kronborg Slot, Helsingør, Sjælland (Kronborg Castle, Elsinore, Zealand), Denmark

 

Kronborg Slot, Helsingør, Sjælland (Kronborg Castle, Elsinore, Zealand), Denmark

Across the Øresund to Sweden

Kronborg Slot, Helsingør, Sjælland (Kronborg Castle, Elsinore, Zealand), Denmark


Frequent DSB trains run between Copenhagen (Københavns H) and Helsingør (Helsingør st). DSB Øresund operates the service up and down Zealand’s east coast with a one-way trip lasting 45 minutes. From Sweden, visitors can take a passenger- and vehicle-ferry across the Øresund strait from Helsingborg.

POSTSCRIPT: Here’s a neat little fact, connecting my training in physics and astronomy with Shakespeare.

Famous Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) made night-time observations of the sky, leading to Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) formulating his three laws of planetary motion, which in turn were described elegantly by Isaac Newton’s (1642-1727) universal law of gravity. Brahe was directly related to the Rosenkrans and Gyldenstjern families, whose modified names, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, appear prominently in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.” Erik Rosenkrans (1427-1503) and Sophie Gyldenstjerne (-1477) were parents to Kristine Rosenkrans (-1509), who was grandmother to Brahe’s mother, Beate Bille (1526-1605).

William Shakespeare wrote his play, “The Tragedy of Hamlet, prince of Denmark” around 1601, the same year Brahe died.

I made the photos above on 30 June 2008. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com as http://wp.me/p1BIdT-w7.

Skeppsholmen, Stockholm, Sweden, fotoeins.com

7 reasons why Stockholm is super

There are at least seven reasons why I believe Stockholm, Sweden is a super place to visit.

  1. Gamla Stan, Stockholm’s Old Town
  2. A visit to the Saluhall in Östermalm for a look at what’s up with food from Sweden and Scandinavia
  3. Skogskyrkogården, an enormous urban green space, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and also marks the final resting place for Greta Garbo
  4. Daytrip and ferry to Vaxholm in the archipelago
  5. Sodermalm, for a rough, dirty, edge, as well as smart upcoming trends in art, style, design, and fashion
  6. Skeppsholmen island, and the Moderna Museet (Museum of Modern Art)
  7. Djurgården, home of the Vasa Museet (remnants of the shipwrecked vessel Vasa), the Nordiska Museet (Nordic Museum), and a large green space

Yes, of course, Scandinavia is expensive. But then again, why would anyone visit if they knew and wanted to visit cheaper destinations in the first place, only to turn around and complain about how expensive the destination was when they visited?

Fact is: Stockholm is super.

If you have an opportunity, grab it and get yourself to Sweden, especially during the final weeks of spring to the first two weeks in summer. However, Stockholm might feel a little empty in July and August, as many vacate the city for the cabins to enjoy as much of the summer outside of the city.

Stockholm archipelago, Sweden

I made the two photos above on 26 June 2008. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com.

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