Sunday, 26 June 2016

1461 : Glorious In Its Unexpectedness


BALTIC BUNDLE 6 : GLORIOUS IN ITS UNEXPECTEDNESS

Helsinki is a little strange - you have to search for the great buildings. You might walk along several nondescript streets and then suddenly find one, made glorious in its unexpectedness. Like this view of Helsinki Cathedral - framed by tram tracks and tram lines.

Friday, 24 June 2016

1460 : Bringing Helsinki Closer


BALTIC BUNDLE 5 : HELSINGIN SATAMA, FINLAND

A panoramic view of the main harbour in Helsinki. By their very nature, panoramic photographs tend to bring things together, bring things closer. And where better to bring closer than beautiful Helsinki.

Thursday, 23 June 2016

1459 : Seagull Descending


BALTIC BUNDLE 4 : LAIVASILANKATU, HELSINKI, FINLAND

The sea is an integral part of Helsinki. Not hidden away in some out-of-town dockland, but washing up onto the main street. Seagulls swoop from their rooftop homes and take fresh fish from the harbour.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

1458 : Rakastaa, Rakastaa, Rakastaa


BALTIC BUNDLE 3 : HAVIS AMANDA STATUE, MARKET PLACE, HELSINKI

Havis Amanda is the name given to a nude statue sighted within a fountain surrounded by four spurting sea lions near the Market Place in Helsinki. Dating from the beginning of the twentieth century, the statue is supposed to symbolise the rebirth of Helsinki. It would appear that there is a legend that Havis Amanda "patronises men's sexual potency". Some men believe that washing one's face with water from the fountain and shouting "Rakastaa!" (Finnish verb for loving someone) three times increases their sexual ability.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

1457 : No Bronze Perch More Dear


BALTIC BUNDLE 2 : STATUE OF JOHAN LUDVIG RUNENBERG, HELSINKI

A statue of the Finnish national poet, Johan Ludvig Runenberg, stands on the Esplanade in Helsinki. Runenberg wrote the words that became the Finnish National Anthem - Maame or Our Land - but as an interesting side issue (and a potential pub quiz question) - these were originally written in Swedish rather than Finnish. The English translation includes the line: "No valley, no hill, no water, shore more dear". It would appear that the seagulls of Helsinki agree.

Monday, 20 June 2016

1456 : Reach For The Sky


For the next few weeks I will feature some of the photographs I took during our recent Baltic Sea Cruise - a kind of Baltic Bundle.

BALTIC BUNDLE 1 : STOREBAELTSBROEN, DENMARK

This isn't the famous "Bridge" of the television series but the one further west which links mainland Jutland to the main island of Zealand (where Copenhagen, the capital, is located). Constructed in the last decade of the twentieth century, it is a spectacular structure, the pylons of which climb high into the sky, making them the highest point in the entire country.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

1455 : The River Calder Says Boo


The River Calder as it gently glides through Elland, for all the world looking as though it wouldn't say boo to a passing goose. But just six months ago the water poured down from the tops, the river broke its bank and overflowed into the canal which keeps the river company as it travels down the Calder Valley. Whilst the river bridge is used to occasional attacks from the fast flowing river, the canal bridge isn't. Boats broke free of their moorings adding to pressure on the two hundred year old canal bridge. The damage was fatal and the bridge is currently being demolished and rebuilt. Not bad for a nervous little river.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

1454 : On Being Bitten By A Lion In A Wet Bed


Dandelions - wonderful things. The name comes from the French dent-de-lion meaning lion's tooth which was a reference to the seated leaves. You can eat both the leaves and the flowers seemingly, although I plan to avoid it after learning than the English folk name for them is piss-a-bed!

Monday, 23 May 2016

1453 : The Best Of Britannia


I was out walking in Elland earlier today, getting my cameras ready for my holidays. This photograph was taken from Northgate, looking towards Britannia House and the seated figure of Britannia sat atop of the old Halifax and Huddersfield Bank Company building. I must have taken this same photograph a dozen times over the space of fifty years, but I have a feeling that this might be the best of the bunch.