Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Wild Flowers Near our front Yard


Picked them up this morning at a vacant lot near our front yard.  Don't know what they are but I thought they looked interesting.  There are plenty of wild flowers growing near our house.  I hope they come back next year.  Although that's highly unlikely.  New houses are being built everyday around our area.  Pretty soon I'll have to hike or drive farther to see the wild flowers.  In the meantime, I'm enjoying them.  

Reminds me when we lived in Southern California.  It used to be all dirt road and wild poppies everywhere around us.  The poppies would even grow on our backyard.  That changed when we left for Texas.  Home developers kept building houses in the city.  The 100 year old oak trees were rooted out and replaced with box houses.  I speculate the same will happen where we now live.  It will only be a matter of time.

Hope your day is going well.

Friday, June 14, 2019

21st Century Scandinavian



21st Century Scandinavian.  He traded his eye contacts for a retro bicycle spectacles.  He quit smoking tobacco on his Danish hand crafted pipe.  Nowadays he just indulge in some rolled up unknown leaves while enjoying a pint of diluted beer.  Memo to self:  Must go back to Denmark to purchase more adult beverages.  He is conscious of his beard.  Memo to self number 2:  Been at the barber two days ago so it’s time to return.  Is it also time to take a holiday to the south?  Memo to self number 3: Check weather in Nice, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur.  Life is good.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Garmo Stave Church


Have lost track of our days in Scandinavia.  I do know that at this time we are in Norway.  Lillehammer to be exact.

The image is the Garmo Stave Church situated at the Maihaugen museum at Lillehammer in OpplandNorway.  It is one of the buildings that Anders Sandvig brought to this place.  We were told that Sandvig must have bought over 20 houses at this place because he can.  Just kidding.  Actually, he did buy the properties in this area but I forgot the reasoning behind his purchase.

A word or two about church life in Scandinavia.  There are lots of churches - mostly State Lutheran churches.  More than 80% of the population chose to be members of the church and yet almost all do not attend worship service except for baptism and/or first communion.  Quite frankly, I find this very strange.

Nota Bene:  A stave church is a medieval wooden Christian church building once common in north-western Europe. The name derives from the building's structure of post and lintel construction, a type of timber framing where the load-bearing ore-pine posts are called stafr in Old Norse (stav in modern Norwegian). 

Hope your day is going well.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Bergen Harbor - the City of Umbrellas


Third day in Scandinavia:  Landed in  Bergen from Copenhagen via ferry.  They say Bergen is a City of Umbrellas.  The Bergians are proud of it.  Sure enough it rained the whole time we were there.


From rain to alcohol:

Norway is interesting when it comes to alcohol restriction.  It's hard to buy alcohol in Norway.  Unlike in the States, one can easily buy alcohol beverages in grocery stores.  Norwegian law is very strict.  Perhaps to a point that alcohol consumption is discouraged.  That's why Norwegians go to Denmark to buy wine and liquor.

We had light lunch at the harbor in Bergen, and the only beer one can have in any restaurant is 2.5% alcohol.  That's not even beer in my opinion.  I seem to remember in chemistry class that alcohol has to be at least 5% to be called beer.  I couldn't find wine except at the hotel.  Very expensive.  Like four times the price of a bottle one would pay here in the States.  I suppose that's typical across the board.

Still I think Norway is worth visiting.  The country offers scenic landscapes and fjords.  It's one of the most beautiful places I have seen.  More on this on the next post.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Sofie's Choice


Just give her sunshine so she can get a nice tan.  (Scandinavian women love a nice tan to a point of skying topless.)  She is happy with sipping a mixed cocktail outdoor at Nyhaven, which might just be the convenient place to get a tan.  Maybe a piece of Danish bun.  Or Hygge.  She has a tendency to shut the outside world and commune with her inner self.  A followup coffee from Costa Rica - but don't tell them where it came from.  She a girl from Randers, Denmark.  Maybe somebody could write a song about her.  Much like the Girl from Ipanema.  Life is good.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Quaint Norwegian Village


Charming little village in Geiranger, Norway.  Perhaps my favorite of all the places we stayed at while in Scandinavia.  Serene waterscape with the snow capped mountains behind it.  Fresh heavenly air, green hills and laid back countenance.  Away from it all.  Sooner or later, the solitude it offers will go away.  I try to enjoy it while it lasts.  Later on at night, the cruise ships will start docking.  Then in the morning I'll have to deal with the rude tourists who just arrived.  Suddenly it felt they invaded us with their oversized down jackets and pointy cheese cutter hats and their atrocious manner and ubiquitous selfies. Ugh.  Nothing lasts forever.

Hope your day is going well.

Saturday, June 08, 2019

Dapper Danish Mystery Man


He's a mystery man.  He wears his yellow straw fedora slightly tilted so it's hard to see his eyes.   In fact, he has no eyes.  His face turns green just before he disappears from the public view.  He ties his scarf in twirls of eight - only he knows how to do it.  He strides to the rhythm of Mussorgsky.  He is a Dapper Dan.  And he is Danish.

Friday, June 07, 2019

Lovely Oslo


Historical.  The place where the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded, natives are tall and blond and have blue eyes, herring is a must-eat, pickled herring, herring with mustard sauce, raw herring, a place where everything is expensive, bottled water costs $5, price of diluted beer is not too far from that of water, a glass of wine costs three times the price of the bottle in the States, almost everything is regulated, a farmer cannot just sell his farm to anybody but to the oldest child, the maximum alcohol content of beer is 3.5%, some are less than that, one cannot name their children apart from the list that the government provides, almost everyone is registered Lutheran but never visited a church except a few times in a lifetime such as baptism and first communion, a happy place to be in - if you are a Norwegian.

Thursday, June 06, 2019

Wild Sunflowers in our Neighborhood


Just arrived from our 19-day excursion in Scandinavia/California.  It was the first time I didn't bring my pro cameras.  Just my faithful iPhone 7 plus.  I'm actually happy with some of the images I captured but they would require some minor post processing.  I'll try to post some images on this blog as soon as they are processed.

During the entire trip, I felt liberated without a camera strapped on my neck.  As I mentioned in my previous post, photography is a young man's sport.  It requires waking up early to catch the golden hour, a lot of walking while hauling a couple of cameras, maybe an extra lens for backup, photo gears such as filters and cleaning kit, maybe a tripod, more walking -  all of these guaranteed to eventually break one's back as time goes on.  Thanks to advancement in technology, the handy smartphone can capture some decent photos when done appropriately.  But I'm not ready to get rid of my photography equipment.  Not just yet.

This sunflower arrangement was taken with the iPhone.  Found and took some home today while fetching our mails at our mail box, which was a bock away from our house here in Georgetown, Texas.  A lot of these are just wild and they're huge.  As they say: everything is big in Texas.   Hope you enjoy.