Archive for November, 2008

Arctic skies

Last Saturday the weather forecast was looking good. The days before we had a lot of snow, so we decided to get up early and go snowshoeing. We started before sunrise, which is not that difficult when sunrise is at 10:20! At this time of year, the sky often has very beautiful pastel colours, like the pink in the photos below – I call them “Arctic skies” as I have never seen them anywhere else 🙂

Apart from 2 people very close to where we parked the car, we didn’t meet anyone else all day. We did see a herd of about 100 reindeer though! Unfortunately they were too far away for a photo. We couldn’t go very far, as they days are very short now and sunset was at 12:40 – so less than 2.5 hours of daylight! Below you can see the photographer at work, and the resulting photo 😉

Paul climbed on top of this huge boulder…

Since it’s so early in the season, the rivers and lakes are not fully frozen yet. Luckily we found a bridge over the river that crosses this valley!

Here you can see the same river lower down in the valley. I love the boulders all covered in snow!

We played around taking photos for a while, until it got too dark and we had to go back to the car.

It was a fun day! We got back to the car by 14:00 when it was getting dark already. The good thing about this is that you still have time to do some other things, like going to the shops (they all close really early on saturdays).

Below is a photo taken after sunset last Sunday… beautiful! The other photo is the hammock -or rather hanging chair – that we bought in Amsterdam (in an amazing shop called Maranon). I’ve always wanted to have one, and now we finally have a flat where it fits perfectly. It’s REALLY comfy, I could sleep in it 🙂

Yesterday we gave a “winter warmer party” in our flat. We made mulled wine, mince pies and even pepernoten (Dutch biscuits) – it was fun! And it truly was a “warming” party – with the fire burning and so many people in the room it got to 25 degrees!

Today is the last day that the sun comes above the horizon, so no more daylight from now on… There’s still twilight though, and endless sunsets 🙂

Snow

Some people asked me for photos of the snow in Tromsø – here they are! The first photo is taken from our balcony and shows the last bit of daylight – at 13:30!! Only a few more days until the sun will not come above the horizon, and it will stay like that for 2 months.

The British Museum & London by night

I’ve had a very busy week as I was trying to finish a chapter of my thesis – finally finished it late this evening 🙂 I am heading off to Southampton on Sunday, to attend a meeting there on Monday, then flying out to Tromsø on Tuesday. It will be quite a change, from autumnal England to winter wonderland Tromsø… they had lots of snow already!

So before I head off, here are some of the photos I have been promising…

While in London in October, we visited the British Museum. The museum has a covered courtyard, which is really amazing – it’s covered by a huge glass and steel roof, very impressive!

Of course the museum itself is very impressive as well. It’s huge, and most of it is free (I still find that really nice, in the Netherlands museums are very expensive). We didn’t spend a lot of time there, it was a very sunny day and we were more keen on enjoying the sunshine than spending a lot of time indoors… But here are some impressions from the museum:

We then went to Covent Garden for a bit, and watched the street performers – always something amusing going on there. This is the market inside:

We crossed the Thames at Embankment, at sunset, with lovely views! On the other side, there are a lot of street performers as well and it’s a very nice atmosphere.

We walked along the Thames for a while – the views were so nice, with the Big Ben, the London Eye and the Palace of Westminster very nicely lit. I didn’t have a tripod with me, but I still managed to get a few nice photos…

That’s all – I think my next update will come from Tromsø sometime next week. Till then!

Brighton

Two weeks ago, when I was in London with Paul, we went to Brighton for a day. On the way we stopped at Devil’s Dyke to admire the view. You can see really far from there. They do a lot of paragliding there, but when we were there it was too windy and the place was deserted. This is the view:

And they have devils there too….

After a short stop we continued to Brighton, and parked at the Marina. We wanted to see the white cliffs! Well, I really wanted to see them, as they are very famous and I had never seen them. From the Marina, there is a concrete walkway underneath the white cliffs, sometimes with a beach underneath, sometimes just rocks – and then the waves actually crashed over the walkway sometimes!

The chalk from the cliffs is really soft, and bits of it fall off – fun for writing with 🙂

We also played with the self exposure of the camera to get some touristy photos 😉

After a few kilometres, we came across a tiny cafe serving tea and (amazing!!) home made cakes. Mmmmm……

From the cafe, there were stairs to get on top of the cliffs and to the road. We walked on top for a while, the view was quite impressive! The mill is on a golf course, that’s why the grass is so green in that photo…

From there, we took a bus into Brighton town centre. This is the Royal Pavilion – it looks Indian and I thought it was built recently for tourists – but it’s actually from early 1800 and belonged to King George IV. A very pretty building! The gardens surrounding it are also really nice.

We walked through the narrow lanes for a while, a maze of tiny streets with little shops (a lot of them jewelry stores) – very cute. We ended up on the beach, to watch a very impressive sunset! The building structure you can see in the sea is the remainder of the West Pier, which was awating renovation since 1975 and since then was falling apart, until finally it burnt down in 2003.

They do have another pier though, a typical English one full of arcade games and fun fair rides. I walked around on my own for a bit, while Paul was parking the car. It was surreal to walk around alone, in the dark, nobody around, among closed fun fair rides – I felt like I was in some kind of computer game!

I really enjoyed our visit to Brighton! I always like visiting beach towns in low season when it’s deserted and has a special kind of atmosphere. Brighton gets really crowded in Summer, as it’s so close to London – must be a different experience then!

That’s all for now. I hope to upload more photos soon, I still have a lot of photos of London, and I also took some photos yesterday at the fireworks in Cambridge – though because of the low clouds and the smoke coming from the fireworks, only half of the show was visible!