The Blue Time, the best time to visit the north of Norway?

Tuesday, 30 August, 2016

A few of the videos I’ve linked to recently have featured Norway in some way. That’s not been intentional, I’ve just happened to be interested by their subject matter. Maybe though the number says something about Norway as a travel destination, as it seems to be favourite with some of the filmmakers whose work I have mentioned.

The Blue Time, by Greg DennisGreg Dennis, was filmed in the north of Norway, and is named for the expression the Sami people, or Lapplanders, use to refer to the period over the winter months, when the sun does not rise above the horizon. There’s footage from summer, and other seasons here, but whatever way, there’s little to dislike about the region.

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I only travel on Berlin’s U-Bahn train network to see the mosaics

Monday, 29 August, 2016

Photo by Claudio Galamini

I ought to pay more attention to my surroundings when I travel by train. Usually, I rush into a station, running late as usual, and spend the time on the platform either watching out for the train to arrive, or looking at my smartphone.

While it’s probably not all that likely along the lines I use, some train stations boast some fantastic mosaic and tile pattern designs. Stations on Berlin’s train network, the U-Bahn, are a fine example, as this collection of photos, taken by Claudio Galamini, show.

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Sunga Park’s surreal watercolour paintings of European buildings

Thursday, 25 August, 2016

Painting by Sunga Park

Sunga Park, a Bangkok based illustrator and graphic designer, is also an accomplished watercolour painter. Inspired by her travels in Europe, she has produced a dreamlike collection of works depicting some of the buildings she has seen there.

More of her work can be seen on Behance, and Instagram.

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Sailing down Sweden’s Klarälven River on a log raft

Wednesday, 24 August, 2016

All I ask is a sturdy raft, and a star to steer by. A few creature comforts, plus a calm, meandering river, would be nice also. And a few warm summer days. Not much to ask, surely?

Sweden’s Klarälven River, is the waterway in question, and doesn’t the experience look idyllic?

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Pink and blue are never in view, except at Las Coloradas, Mexico

Wednesday, 17 August, 2016

Photography by Fer Cabrera

There’s incredible photos to be taken on the eastern coast of the Yucatán Peninsula, in Mexico, if you make your way to Las Coloradas. There you will see lagoons of pink, and skies of blue.

The pink hue of the water however, isn’t down to pollution, or some sort of Photoshop trick, rather it is the result of an abundance of red plankton residing there.

Photo by Fer Cabrera.

Via My Modern Met.

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The flight of the drones over Nordland, Norway

Wednesday, 17 August, 2016

Nordland is a county in the northern part of Norway, that you can now see from an aerial perspective, thanks to the efforts of Michael Fletcher, and Alan Mathieson, who filmed the region using drones. Spectacular, isn’t it?

It looks like there may be some slight turbulence where the drones are operating, but that didn’t seem to compromise the quality of the video at all.

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Is Machu Picchu the world’s best selfie location? How do I get one?

Monday, 15 August, 2016

I’m spending quite a bit of time on Instagram at the moment. It’s one of the places I like to wander through, looking for content to post here. While I’ve always seen social media avatars featuring, say, Twitter, or Facebook, members posing at Machu Picchu, I’ve been seeing such photos with greater frequency in recent times.

Let’s face it though, few other selfie backdrops say you’ve been somewhere, than one taken at Machu Picchu, a fortified town high in the Andes Mountains, in Peru. And considering reaching the abandoned ruins is not exactly a bus or train ride away for most people, I can see the allure, the prestige even, that must come with a photo taken there.

While selfies taken in a bathroom for instance, are quick and easy to produce, and can be quite flattering – light reflecting off a bench top below the mirror can really help – what’s so special about Machu Picchu? A Machu Picchu selfie, after all, entails much planning and expense, compared to the bathroom mirror version. So what’s the go?

Machu Picchu, photo by Martin St-Amant

(Photo by Martin St-Amant – Wikipedia – CC-BY-SA-3.0)

What is Machu Picchu?

Machu Picchu is the name of an Inca citadel in the Peruvian Andes, that was built in the fifteenth century. It sits on a mountain ridge, almost eight thousand feet, or two and a half thousand metres, above sea level. It was abandoned about one hundred years after its construction, around the time of the Spanish Conquest.

Archaeologists believe the town was built as an estate for Pachacuti, the Inca emperor, who died in about 1472. It is of particular interest to historians, who feel the town exemplifies the peak power, and capability, of the Inca Empire. Today, it is considered one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

History, a spectacular location, and intrigue, all converge at Machu Picchu, so it is little wonder that the site is of interest to many people. And given that travelling there isn’t the most straightforward of matters, it is easy to see why people want their social media contacts to know they’ve been there.

Photo by Karl Ott

(Photo by Karl Ott)

So, how do I get to Machu Picchu?

First up you need to get to Peru. I’ll leave you to figure that one out. I do know of someone who has spent the last several years roaming around South America, working as a digital nomad, who surely crosses in and out of Peru on a regular basis. So there is that option. Otherwise, the best idea might be to fly there.

Once on the ground, you’ll need to make your way to Aguas Calientes, a town also known as Machu Picchu Pueblo. To do this, you first need to reach Cusco, situated about five hundred kilometres east-southeast of the Peruvian capital, Lima. From Cusco, catch a train to Aguas Calientes. The ride takes about three and a half hours.

A little more research will be necessary though. The trip is not entirely a point A to point B affair, and you’ll also need to acclimatise to the altitude, says Rich Beattie, writing for Travel + Leisure. Cusco, for example is eleven thousand feet above sea level, that’s well over three kilometres, so conditions may take some adjusting to.

The ruins at Machu Picchu are about nine kilometres from Aguas Calientes, and can accessed by a regular bus service that runs between Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu. And lo and behold, you’re there. Now all you have to do, after having had a good look at the site, is find the best place to take your selfie. What could be easier?

Photo by Laura Aguilar

(Photo by Laura Aguilar)

What do I need to consider if going to Machu Picchu?

A few things as it happens. Many of the photos I see of the site, show nothing but sunshine and blue sky. In-fact rain is said to be quite common, as is heavy cloud, given the altitude at which Machu Picchu is situated. Many of the photos also belie the level of tourist activity there. In reality, Machu Picchu can be rather crowded.

In recent years, access to the site has been cut back by Peruvian authorities, as concerns mount regarding damage to the area, as a result of visitor numbers. There are also personal safety concerns to take into account. A German tourist recently died there, when he fell into a deep abyss. This after accessing a restricted area, so he could pose for a photo.

And as mentioned, Machu Picchu’s elevation, at some eight thousand feet above sea level, is another matter to think about. The risk of altitude sickness is complicated by the fact that visitors must first travel to Cusco, which is even higher above sea level. All up, that Machu Picchu selfie requires rather a lot of planning and effort.

Is a Machu Picchu selfie worth it?

The real question though, is the journey to Machu Picchu worth it? If history, archaeology, the Incas, and Peru, all interest you, then of course it is. A selfie taken at the site should be seen as a bonus. And could Machu Picchu be considered the best location in the world, for a selfie? Look at the evidence, I’d say it’s up there with the best of them.

Better than a bathroom, that’s for sure, even if it requires a lot more time and effort.

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Meanest Indian, the graphic design of, and photography from, India

Wednesday, 10 August, 2016

Photo by Meena Kadri

If you like India, street signage, and graphic design, then you’re going to love the Flickr page, titled Meanest Indian, of New Zealand based designer Meena Kadri.

Photo by Meena Kadri

I don’t think it matters where you point a camera in India, there’s always a photogenic subject right in front of you. That’s what I thought after looking at these images, anyway.

Photo by Meena Kadri

Via Messy Nessy Chic.

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Photos of Portugal by Paulo Furtado, many great photos of Portugal

Tuesday, 9 August, 2016

Photo by Paulo Furtado

Paulo Furtado is a photographer based in the Portuguese city of Vila Nova de Gaia, near Porto. I once spent two months in Portugal, and would love to be able to travel around the country taking photos, as he does. Maybe one day.

Photo by Paulo Furtado

Many more photos of Portugal can be seen here.

Photo by Paulo Furtado

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There’s no airline food like old school airline food

Tuesday, 9 August, 2016

There’s very likely a reason latter day air travellers don’t like airline food, that’s because they don’t cook it, or for that matter, serve it, the way they used to. Check out these photos on the Flickr page of SAS Museet, or museum of Scandinavian Airlines, of the way things used to be.

Could you even imagine having a meal served this way on a regular commercial flight? No, I doubt it’s a sight we’ll see again.

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