Wednesday, 29 June 2016

1463 : Confessions Of A Law-Breaker


BALTIC BUNDLE 8 : VASILYEVSKY ISLAND

After taking this photograph at the harbour side on Vasilyevsky Island, Saint Petersburg I noticed there was a notice stating that photography was illegal. Perhaps someone wants to guard against outsiders counting the number of yachts moored in the harbour. Anyway, sorry I broke the law - I won't do it again!

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

1462 : Water Works In Helsinki


BALTIC BUNDLE 7 : WATER WORKS

When they go away, most people bring back pictures of pretty scenes or smiling, sun burnt, faces. Call me strange if you will (which no doubt a number of you will) but I do prefer manhole covers. I have been collecting pictures of them for years and one of these days - or one of these years - I will publish a calendar dedicated to "manhole covers of the world".

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.