Budapest 2015 (1) 171

We recently had a week’s holiday to take – Jayne’s job dictates my holidays – we went through the usual process of leaving it late and then desperately selecting a shortlist of cities where we thought the weather might be ok, after a reasonably short flight and we can fly from the north of England. Budapest was the chosen destination.

Budapest is touted as possibly the most beautiful city in Europe and we had a stream of people tell us that it was fantastic. It is. I was looking forward to getting there, no agenda other than walking, photographing the sights and trying to get off the beaten track. We certainly walked – over 70 miles – I photographed it ( I’m a bit embarrassed to say how many shots but it was a lot ) but I’m not sure we got off the beaten track as much as I wanted to.

We flew over Eastern England (and home actually – a first for us) and out over Europe. It was a late afternoon flight on a stunning day, one of the more interesting flights I’ve had. I was glued to the window watching the world go by, wondering about all of lives being played out beneath us. It was dark when we arrived. We were staying on the Buda or Castle Hill side of the city. What we didn’t know was, we were staying in one of the most prominent hotels in the city, sat on the hilltop overlooking Budapest. The Hilton sits on an historic sight and features in every photo taken of the Castle District from Pest. We had time to get out before bedtime and photograph the Matthias Church next door – floodlit – like all of the major buildings in Budapest.

Unfortunately after leaving the best weather of the year in the UK, Budapest was forecast to be a bit dull and cool – not what we wanted. There was occasional sun over the first two days but it was generally grey. Now I have to admit, I let the dullness get me down, I took photos because I wasn’t sure how the week would unfold but I was fairly sure that I was wasting my time. The photos would be disappointing and if it was sunny later we would have to revisit all of the famous landmarks again to get something that I was happy with. This is essentially what happened. The next four days were gorgeous and we did revisit, more than once all of the places that we walked to in the first two days. This meant that we didn’t have the time to go “off piste” or venture further afield as much later in the week.

The sun was rising before seven and we were staying in the best location for watching it rise. By day three I was getting up at 6.00 (5.00 our time) and getting out there with my gear. By day four I was using filters and tripod, not something I usually bother with despite always having this gear with me, and dragging it miles in my backpack. One morning I was joined by a large and noisy party of Japanese photographers, they appeared to have a model with them who danced around the walls of the Fisherman’s Bastion being photographed. Once the orange circle started to appear above the city they started clicking at the horizon like machine guns. We all got on well though and said goodbye as we headed off for breakfast – still only 7.15am.

By 8.00am everyday we were out on foot wandering along the top of Castle Hill wondering where to go that day. We tend to discover the sights as we walk on a city break, frequently discovering things as we head for a distant park or building and research it afterwards with a glass of wine. It works for us. We walked out to Heroes’ Square and beyond, returning by less well known streets. We walked along the Danube to Rákóczi Bridge a couple of times then back into Pest using a different route. Having been under the thumb of Russia for so long and considering its turbulent past there are lots of large Russian style monuments, tributes to great struggles, or the working man – very socialist and very much like Prague in a lot of respects. The Railway stations were also very similar to Prague, you could walk across the tracks and no one bothered. In the main station, now famed for the migrant crisis a few weeks previously, there was a mixture of very new and very old rolling stock from the surrounding countries, all very interesting. Considering that this station is the first thing some visitors to the city will see it is an appalling state. One side of the exterior is shored up and fenced off. This contrasts with the expensive renovation work that has been well executed in the city centre. It really is like stepping into the past when you enter the station building. It all seems to work efficiently though, unlike the UK.

Transport in Budapest is fascinating. Trams everywhere, trolley buses, ancient and new, bendybuses, again, very old and very new, the underground metro, yellow taxis in enormous numbers and of course the river and boats. This never ending eclectic mix seems to operate like clockwork with people moved around in vast numbers seamlessly. The trams looked packed at any time of day. Anyone dealing with tourists seemed to speak very good English, which is just as well as we didn’t have any grasp of Hungarian. Cost wise it was a very economical week for us in a capital city.

Once the weather (or light, to be precise) improved, I cheered up and really enjoyed Budapest. A common comment after visiting is that , although you’ve “done Budapest” you wouldn’t hesitate to go back, which isn’t always the case after a city visit. As ever, I now have a lot of work to do to produce a competent album of work. I think I will end up discarding a lot of the early days material – but then again, I’m not renowned for my discarding skills.

Thank you for looking.

Discovered on Flickr (Mark Schofield @ JB Schofield ) for this evil building. Original date: 2015-10-16 14:32:30

Tagged: , BUDAPEST , EASTERN , EUROPE , HUNGARY , CHURCH , BUDA , PEST , RIVER , WIDE , DANUBE , BLUE , CASTLE , HILL , TRAM , BUS , BENDY , TRANSPORT , PUBLIC , PEOPLE , CITY , PALACE , RUSSIA , MONUMENTS , PARK , FISHERMANS , BASTION , VAROSLIGET , HEROES’ , SQUARE , GELLERT , SPA , BATHS , HOTEL , TABAN , MATYAS , BELA , TOWER , HILTON , CHAIN , ELIZABETH , BRIDGE , LIBERTY , PETOFI , LIBERATION , MONUMENT , CAVE , SCULPTURES , BRONZE , EVIL , SAINT , ST , RUDAS , ANNES , ISLAND

Eastend – front door

Eastend’s, not particularly grand, front door, placed in a position where it could not be defended from within the building, which supports my theory that this tower is 18th or 19th century.

In the Privy Council records of 1609 it is recorded that Thomas Carmichael of Eastend, along with other followers of the Douglases, including other Carmichael and Lanarkshire lairds, were accused of bearing evil will against Andro, Lord Stewart of Ochiltree, on account of the slaughter of James, Lord Torthorwald; they were charged to appear before Council to give assurances of keeping the King’s peace, under pain of rebellion, and to find caution not to injure the person of the said Lord Ochiltree. Otherwise, the Carmichaels of Eastend seem to have led comparatively uneventful lives, mostly only appearing on the pages of history among the marriage records. The house managed to survive the turbulent years of the mid-17th century, during which the nearby 14th century castle at Carmichael House was destroyed by Cromwell’s men – reconstruction taking nearly a century to complete. Having eventually passed out of the hands of the family, Eastend was purchased by the Carmichaels again in 1989.

This terrifying evil building was discovered at Flickr by user arjayempee . Original date: 2010-08-29 03:48:25

Tagged: , IMG_8890-91_stitch , Eastend , Eastend House , Lanarkshire , Scotland , Castle , Towerhouse , Mansion , Carmichaels of Eastend , Carmichael , Tinto , Thankerton , Biggar , Carmichael Estate , Scottish Baronial , Castles of Scotland

Copenhagen Sept 2016_2369

We made a short notice booking to Copenhagen, Jayne had the first week in September booked off and we wanted to try and do a city break. Five nights hardly seemed enough but the short flight was ok. We flew over home heading east on a beautiful morning. I love flying over an area that I know and being able to see it from above. We had been warned that Copenhagen was expensive-it was! I hadn’t done any research before we set off but on the flight over, I read that taxis were expensive, so it was best to use the Metro from the airport, it isn’t far in to the city and the Metro was fairly easy to use. However! We should have caught the train, I read this whist we were sat on the Metro it has to be said! The nearest Metro stop, which I was frantically trying to work out, using my phone, travelling in and out of tunnels, turned out to be a 1.5 mile walk from our hotel, the rail station was .5. Never mind we were there to walk-subject to my lately diagnosed arthritic ankle, we just didn’t want to be towing suitcases over cobbled pavements at the same time.

We were staying in the Tivoli Hotel which was described as central, it is near Central Station but you wouldn’t describe it as central to the city. Our room wasn’t ready but we could upgrade for a modest amount plus we realised it would be a good idea to include breakfast in the upgrade deal. A good move as it turned out. Our room overlooked the train lines-all twelve of them!! We could already hear train brakes squealing along with the thump thump of steel wheels rolling over points and joints. It’s true to say that Central Station is a 24/7 operation. The overnight noise didn’t bother Jayne but I could hear it all night.

We dumped our stuff and I loaded up with the backpack and camera and we were straight out there. Copenhagen is a relatively small city but there is a lot to see. We were soon finding out that it has an extensive network of canals and bridges and these are a major feature of life in the city. Pan flat, the cyclist rules, There appeared to be twice as many bikes as residents, with countless thousands propped up everywhere you went. Where ever you looked there was silent conveyor of sit up and beg cycles being ridden in all directions. You soon got used to looking over your shoulder before making a move. The vast majority of bikes are left unlocked and almost no one wears a helmet ( I’m a no helmet man, much to the annoyance of the helmet zealots). Copenhagen is reputedly the happiest place in the world and it certainly came across as friendly and relaxed. It is, though, one of the most expensive cities in the world and two burgers and two small glasses of wine at Nyhavn cost us £50. Comically, there were four people, local to us, shouting out Jayne’s name, they had seen us going past and we had a laugh about the prices, They were sat drinking beer at £8.50 a pint. Despite the expense, the place was packed with people parting with their money. Wages are very high locally, as are the taxes. The high wages and high costs must feed each other in an upward spiral I would have thought.

Unfortunately the cost of entering buildings to go up towers etc. for a higher view of the city was also very expensive (to us). The tower at Christiansborg Palace is free but restricted by the lift system and you don’t get to the top, it does also open later than the others so you have a chance of seeing sunset over the city. Unfortunately the lifts were out of order on one of our best weather days. We did get to go up the day after but it was dull and I wasn’t overly impressed. The spiral tower across in Christiana, The Church of Our Saviour, was far more impressive. We climbed the tower here just after it opened on a stunning morning and the views are fantastic. There will be incredible bottlenecks when it’s busy though on the corkscrew stairs that get progressively narrower towards the top. Some people hog it to take endless selfies at the top and it is extremely tight up there, you can’t move up until they come down.

As usual, we tried to get to some out of the way places, with only five days and mixed weather though we had enough mainstream destinations to see. We had a day of heavy rain so we went back to the rail station which was a good indoor (and free!) destination, and made umbrellas and the rain the focal point of that days photos. The entire Danish navy seemed to be at anchor, we just missed an open day on one ship. Some I could photograph, others were guarded and had restrictions, I got the evil eye from a couple of guards as the spotted the big Canon in my hand. I can’t imagine that they could police the Japanese and stop them from getting their photos and selfies though. I always act very openly with the camera and if people look at me suspiciously I smile and give them the thumbs up. In a rail station I usually ask the police. In Central Station the police were in their station and I never saw one move out, it is covered by extensive CCTV but there were some very unpleasant people, drinking and watching for people being careless with their belongings. We were lucky to be in the station on Sunday as a tourist steam train arrived, it sat at the platform belching smoke and steam for fifteen minutes, it was also coming back in an hour so we had an expensive coffee and waited to see it again. There was big military event outside the Christiansborg Palace on Monday, with a parade through the city that came past just as we were in a good spot to view it. The area was full of soldiers wearing their medals. We haven’t discovered the reason, although someone suggested a passing out parade for new recruits. Maybe the ships were in port for this as well.

Tivoli Gardens is another big draw and we went in, again it was fairly expensive, it had been a stunning day and the biggest problem was contrast, with deep shadows and a bright blue sky. We stayed until dark, it opens late and is very colourful. We went on the world’s highest carousel and got flung around 260 odd feet in the air. Luckily, we also found a bar that served wine at ‘only’ £5.60 a glass so we sat and watched people have fun screaming and shrieking above us.

There are many buildings with copper domes, entire copper roofs, even modern buildings are often clad in either brass or copper to blend in with the ancient buildings around them. Like every city we have visited, tower cranes are in abundance. There is a lot of development going on and unfortunately a lot of it is around buildings that you would want to photograph. We walked 12 to 14 mile every day and took in most of the sights. We didn’t really do any interiors, only towers and the railway station. At the time of writing I haven’t looked at what I’ve got, I have around 3000 shots, some on the G1X which I used when it was raining heavily as it easy to put in a pocket. I have a lot less time for editing these days so it will be a long process I think. To save time I am going to create a list of generic tags that I can copy and paste to each upload – the time saving is enormous – so apologies to anyone who gets a photo of a canal when they wanted a steam train or vice versa.

This weird evil building was discovered at Flickr by user Mark Schofield @ JB Schofield . Original date: 2017-01-28 07:45:09

Tagged: , COPENHAGEN , DENMARK , CANALS , BRIDGE , OPERA , HOUSE , PALACE , CASTLE , SLOT , NYHAVN , BOATS , CHRISTIANSBORG , CHRISTIANIA , ARCHITECTURE , CHURCH , TOWER , DOME , PAPERWORKS , TOURISM , København , ROSENBORG , TIVOLI , RAILWAY , TRAIN , STATION , CENTRAL , TRACK , FREDERIKSBERG , PARK , GARDENS , LITTLE , MERMAID , STATUE , CHRISTIANSHAVN , HAVE , ZEALAND , AMAGER , CYCLE , CYCLIST , TRANSPORT , NEW , HARBOUR , PARLIAMENT , DANISH , AMALIENBORG , KASTALLET , PAVEMENT , PATH , STREET , COMMUTE

Copenhagen Sept 2016_2429 – Around and about Tivoli Gardens

We made a short notice booking to Copenhagen, Jayne had the first week in September booked off and we wanted to try and do a city break. Five nights hardly seemed enough but the short flight was ok. We flew over home heading east on a beautiful morning. I love flying over an area that I know and being able to see it from above. We had been warned that Copenhagen was expensive-it was! I hadn’t done any research before we set off but on the flight over, I read that taxis were expensive, so it was best to use the Metro from the airport, it isn’t far in to the city and the Metro was fairly easy to use. However! We should have caught the train, I read this whist we were sat on the Metro it has to be said! The nearest Metro stop, which I was frantically trying to work out, using my phone, travelling in and out of tunnels, turned out to be a 1.5 mile walk from our hotel, the rail station was .5. Never mind we were there to walk-subject to my lately diagnosed arthritic ankle, we just didn’t want to be towing suitcases over cobbled pavements at the same time.

We were staying in the Tivoli Hotel which was described as central, it is near Central Station but you wouldn’t describe it as central to the city. Our room wasn’t ready but we could upgrade for a modest amount plus we realised it would be a good idea to include breakfast in the upgrade deal. A good move as it turned out. Our room overlooked the train lines-all twelve of them!! We could already hear train brakes squealing along with the thump thump of steel wheels rolling over points and joints. It’s true to say that Central Station is a 24/7 operation. The overnight noise didn’t bother Jayne but I could hear it all night.

We dumped our stuff and I loaded up with the backpack and camera and we were straight out there. Copenhagen is a relatively small city but there is a lot to see. We were soon finding out that it has an extensive network of canals and bridges and these are a major feature of life in the city. Pan flat, the cyclist rules, There appeared to be twice as many bikes as residents, with countless thousands propped up everywhere you went. Where ever you looked there was silent conveyor of sit up and beg cycles being ridden in all directions. You soon got used to looking over your shoulder before making a move. The vast majority of bikes are left unlocked and almost no one wears a helmet ( I’m a no helmet man, much to the annoyance of the helmet zealots). Copenhagen is reputedly the happiest place in the world and it certainly came across as friendly and relaxed. It is, though, one of the most expensive cities in the world and two burgers and two small glasses of wine at Nyhavn cost us £50. Comically, there were four people, local to us, shouting out Jayne’s name, they had seen us going past and we had a laugh about the prices, They were sat drinking beer at £8.50 a pint. Despite the expense, the place was packed with people parting with their money. Wages are very high locally, as are the taxes. The high wages and high costs must feed each other in an upward spiral I would have thought.

Unfortunately the cost of entering buildings to go up towers etc. for a higher view of the city was also very expensive (to us). The tower at Christiansborg Palace is free but restricted by the lift system and you don’t get to the top, it does also open later than the others so you have a chance of seeing sunset over the city. Unfortunately the lifts were out of order on one of our best weather days. We did get to go up the day after but it was dull and I wasn’t overly impressed. The spiral tower across in Christiana, The Church of Our Saviour, was far more impressive. We climbed the tower here just after it opened on a stunning morning and the views are fantastic. There will be incredible bottlenecks when it’s busy though on the corkscrew stairs that get progressively narrower towards the top. Some people hog it to take endless selfies at the top and it is extremely tight up there, you can’t move up until they come down.

As usual, we tried to get to some out of the way places, with only five days and mixed weather though we had enough mainstream destinations to see. We had a day of heavy rain so we went back to the rail station which was a good indoor (and free!) destination, and made umbrellas and the rain the focal point of that days photos. The entire Danish navy seemed to be at anchor, we just missed an open day on one ship. Some I could photograph, others were guarded and had restrictions, I got the evil eye from a couple of guards as the spotted the big Canon in my hand. I can’t imagine that they could police the Japanese and stop them from getting their photos and selfies though. I always act very openly with the camera and if people look at me suspiciously I smile and give them the thumbs up. In a rail station I usually ask the police. In Central Station the police were in their station and I never saw one move out, it is covered by extensive CCTV but there were some very unpleasant people, drinking and watching for people being careless with their belongings. We were lucky to be in the station on Sunday as a tourist steam train arrived, it sat at the platform belching smoke and steam for fifteen minutes, it was also coming back in an hour so we had an expensive coffee and waited to see it again. There was big military event outside the Christiansborg Palace on Monday, with a parade through the city that came past just as we were in a good spot to view it. The area was full of soldiers wearing their medals. We haven’t discovered the reason, although someone suggested a passing out parade for new recruits. Maybe the ships were in port for this as well.

Tivoli Gardens is another big draw and we went in, again it was fairly expensive, it had been a stunning day and the biggest problem was contrast, with deep shadows and a bright blue sky. We stayed until dark, it opens late and is very colourful. We went on the world’s highest carousel and got flung around 260 odd feet in the air. Luckily, we also found a bar that served wine at ‘only’ £5.60 a glass so we sat and watched people have fun screaming and shrieking above us.

There are many buildings with copper domes, entire copper roofs, even modern buildings are often clad in either brass or copper to blend in with the ancient buildings around them. Like every city we have visited, tower cranes are in abundance. There is a lot of development going on and unfortunately a lot of it is around buildings that you would want to photograph. We walked 12 to 14 mile every day and took in most of the sights. We didn’t really do any interiors, only towers and the railway station. At the time of writing I haven’t looked at what I’ve got, I have around 3000 shots, some on the G1X which I used when it was raining heavily as it easy to put in a pocket. I have a lot less time for editing these days so it will be a long process I think. To save time I am going to create a list of generic tags that I can copy and paste to each upload – the time saving is enormous – so apologies to anyone who gets a photo of a canal when they wanted a steam train or vice versa.

As seen on Flickr (Mark Schofield @ JB Schofield ) for this crazy evil building. Original date: 2017-01-20 07:41:32

Tagged: , COPENHAGEN , DENMARK , CANALS , BRIDGE , OPERA , HOUSE , PALACE , CASTLE , SLOT , NYHAVN , BOATS , CHRISTIANSBORG , CHRISTIANIA , ARCHITECTURE , CHURCH , TOWER , DOME , PAPERWORKS , TOURISM , København , ROSENBORG , TIVOLI , RAILWAY , TRAIN , STATION , CENTRAL , TRACK , FREDERIKSBERG , PARK , GARDENS , LITTLE , MERMAID , STATUE , CHRISTIANSHAVN , HAVE , ZEALAND , AMAGER , CYCLE , CYCLIST , TRANSPORT , NEW , HARBOUR , PARLIAMENT , DANISH , AMALIENBORG , KASTALLET , PAVEMENT , PATH , STREET , COMMUTE , CAROUSEL , FAIR , RIDE , ROUNDABOUT , EXCITE , FUN , THRILL

Budapest 2015 (1) 092 – Church of St Mary Magdalene

We recently had a week’s holiday to take – Jayne’s job dictates my holidays – we went through the usual process of leaving it late and then desperately selecting a shortlist of cities where we thought the weather might be ok, after a reasonably short flight and we can fly from the north of England. Budapest was the chosen destination.

Budapest is touted as possibly the most beautiful city in Europe and we had a stream of people tell us that it was fantastic. It is. I was looking forward to getting there, no agenda other than walking, photographing the sights and trying to get off the beaten track. We certainly walked – over 70 miles – I photographed it ( I’m a bit embarrassed to say how many shots but it was a lot ) but I’m not sure we got off the beaten track as much as I wanted to.

We flew over Eastern England (and home actually – a first for us) and out over Europe. It was a late afternoon flight on a stunning day, one of the more interesting flights I’ve had. I was glued to the window watching the world go by, wondering about all of lives being played out beneath us. It was dark when we arrived. We were staying on the Buda or Castle Hill side of the city. What we didn’t know was, we were staying in one of the most prominent hotels in the city, sat on the hilltop overlooking Budapest. The Hilton sits on an historic sight and features in every photo taken of the Castle District from Pest. We had time to get out before bedtime and photograph the Matthias Church next door – floodlit – like all of the major buildings in Budapest.

Unfortunately after leaving the best weather of the year in the UK, Budapest was forecast to be a bit dull and cool – not what we wanted. There was occasional sun over the first two days but it was generally grey. Now I have to admit, I let the dullness get me down, I took photos because I wasn’t sure how the week would unfold but I was fairly sure that I was wasting my time. The photos would be disappointing and if it was sunny later we would have to revisit all of the famous landmarks again to get something that I was happy with. This is essentially what happened. The next four days were gorgeous and we did revisit, more than once all of the places that we walked to in the first two days. This meant that we didn’t have the time to go “off piste” or venture further afield as much later in the week.

The sun was rising before seven and we were staying in the best location for watching it rise. By day three I was getting up at 6.00 (5.00 our time) and getting out there with my gear. By day four I was using filters and tripod, not something I usually bother with despite always having this gear with me, and dragging it miles in my backpack. One morning I was joined by a large and noisy party of Japanese photographers, they appeared to have a model with them who danced around the walls of the Fisherman’s Bastion being photographed. Once the orange circle started to appear above the city they started clicking at the horizon like machine guns. We all got on well though and said goodbye as we headed off for breakfast – still only 7.15am.

By 8.00am everyday we were out on foot wandering along the top of Castle Hill wondering where to go that day. We tend to discover the sights as we walk on a city break, frequently discovering things as we head for a distant park or building and research it afterwards with a glass of wine. It works for us. We walked out to Heroes’ Square and beyond, returning by less well known streets. We walked along the Danube to Rákóczi Bridge a couple of times then back into Pest using a different route. Having been under the thumb of Russia for so long and considering its turbulent past there are lots of large Russian style monuments, tributes to great struggles, or the working man – very socialist and very much like Prague in a lot of respects. The Railway stations were also very similar to Prague, you could walk across the tracks and no one bothered. In the main station, now famed for the migrant crisis a few weeks previously, there was a mixture of very new and very old rolling stock from the surrounding countries, all very interesting. Considering that this station is the first thing some visitors to the city will see it is an appalling state. One side of the exterior is shored up and fenced off. This contrasts with the expensive renovation work that has been well executed in the city centre. It really is like stepping into the past when you enter the station building. It all seems to work efficiently though, unlike the UK.

Transport in Budapest is fascinating. Trams everywhere, trolley buses, ancient and new, bendybuses, again, very old and very new, the underground metro, yellow taxis in enormous numbers and of course the river and boats. This never ending eclectic mix seems to operate like clockwork with people moved around in vast numbers seamlessly. The trams looked packed at any time of day. Anyone dealing with tourists seemed to speak very good English, which is just as well as we didn’t have any grasp of Hungarian. Cost wise it was a very economical week for us in a capital city.

Once the weather (or light, to be precise) improved, I cheered up and really enjoyed Budapest. A common comment after visiting is that , although you’ve “done Budapest” you wouldn’t hesitate to go back, which isn’t always the case after a city visit. As ever, I now have a lot of work to do to produce a competent album of work. I think I will end up discarding a lot of the early days material – but then again, I’m not renowned for my discarding skills.

Thank you for looking.

Thanks to Flickr (Mark Schofield @ JB Schofield ) for this crazy evil building. Original date: 2015-10-16 14:32:07

Tagged: , BUDAPEST , EASTERN , EUROPE , HUNGARY , CHURCH , BUDA , PEST , RIVER , WIDE , DANUBE , BLUE , CASTLE , HILL , TRAM , BUS , BENDY , TRANSPORT , PUBLIC , PEOPLE , CITY , PALACE , RUSSIA , MONUMENTS , PARK , FISHERMANS , BASTION , VAROSLIGET , HEROES’ , SQUARE , GELLERT , SPA , BATHS , HOTEL , TABAN , MATYAS , BELA , TOWER , HILTON , CHAIN , ELIZABETH , BRIDGE , LIBERTY , PETOFI , LIBERATION , MONUMENT , CAVE , SCULPTURES , BRONZE , EVIL , SAINT , ST , RUDAS , ANNES , ISLAND

Copenhagen Sept 2016 (1)_0028-Edit

We made a short notice booking to Copenhagen, Jayne had the first week in September booked off and we wanted to try and do a city break. Five nights hardly seemed enough but the short flight was ok. We flew over home heading east on a beautiful morning. I love flying over an area that I know and being able to see it from above. We had been warned that Copenhagen was expensive-it was! I hadn’t done any research before we set off but on the flight over, I read that taxis were expensive, so it was best to use the Metro from the airport, it isn’t far in to the city and the Metro was fairly easy to use. However! We should have caught the train, I read this whist we were sat on the Metro it has to be said! The nearest Metro stop, which I was frantically trying to work out, using my phone, travelling in and out of tunnels, turned out to be a 1.5 mile walk from our hotel, the rail station was .5. Never mind we were there to walk-subject to my lately diagnosed arthritic ankle, we just didn’t want to be towing suitcases over cobbled pavements at the same time.

We were staying in the Tivoli Hotel which was described as central, it is near Central Station but you wouldn’t describe it as central to the city. Our room wasn’t ready but we could upgrade for a modest amount plus we realised it would be a good idea to include breakfast in the upgrade deal. A good move as it turned out. Our room overlooked the train lines-all twelve of them!! We could already hear train brakes squealing along with the thump thump of steel wheels rolling over points and joints. It’s true to say that Central Station is a 24/7 operation. The overnight noise didn’t bother Jayne but I could hear it all night.

We dumped our stuff and I loaded up with the backpack and camera and we were straight out there. Copenhagen is a relatively small city but there is a lot to see. We were soon finding out that it has an extensive network of canals and bridges and these are a major feature of life in the city. Pan flat, the cyclist rules, There appeared to be twice as many bikes as residents, with countless thousands propped up everywhere you went. Where ever you looked there was silent conveyor of sit up and beg cycles being ridden in all directions. You soon got used to looking over your shoulder before making a move. The vast majority of bikes are left unlocked and almost no one wears a helmet ( I’m a no helmet man, much to the annoyance of the helmet zealots). Copenhagen is reputedly the happiest place in the world and it certainly came across as friendly and relaxed. It is, though, one of the most expensive cities in the world and two burgers and two small glasses of wine at Nyhavn cost us £50. Comically, there were four people, local to us, shouting out Jayne’s name, they had seen us going past and we had a laugh about the prices, They were sat drinking beer at £8.50 a pint. Despite the expense, the place was packed with people parting with their money. Wages are very high locally, as are the taxes. The high wages and high costs must feed each other in an upward spiral I would have thought.

Unfortunately the cost of entering buildings to go up towers etc. for a higher view of the city was also very expensive (to us). The tower at Christiansborg Palace is free but restricted by the lift system and you don’t get to the top, it does also open later than the others so you have a chance of seeing sunset over the city. Unfortunately the lifts were out of order on one of our best weather days. We did get to go up the day after but it was dull and I wasn’t overly impressed. The spiral tower across in Christiana, The Church of Our Saviour, was far more impressive. We climbed the tower here just after it opened on a stunning morning and the views are fantastic. There will be incredible bottlenecks when it’s busy though on the corkscrew stairs that get progressively narrower towards the top. Some people hog it to take endless selfies at the top and it is extremely tight up there, you can’t move up until they come down.

As usual, we tried to get to some out of the way places, with only five days and mixed weather though we had enough mainstream destinations to see. We had a day of heavy rain so we went back to the rail station which was a good indoor (and free!) destination, and made umbrellas and the rain the focal point of that days photos. The entire Danish navy seemed to be at anchor, we just missed an open day on one ship. Some I could photograph, others were guarded and had restrictions, I got the evil eye from a couple of guards as the spotted the big Canon in my hand. I can’t imagine that they could police the Japanese and stop them from getting their photos and selfies though. I always act very openly with the camera and if people look at me suspiciously I smile and give them the thumbs up. In a rail station I usually ask the police. In Central Station the police were in their station and I never saw one move out, it is covered by extensive CCTV but there were some very unpleasant people, drinking and watching for people being careless with their belongings. We were lucky to be in the station on Sunday as a tourist steam train arrived, it sat at the platform belching smoke and steam for fifteen minutes, it was also coming back in an hour so we had an expensive coffee and waited to see it again. There was big military event outside the Christiansborg Palace on Monday, with a parade through the city that came past just as we were in a good spot to view it. The area was full of soldiers wearing their medals. We haven’t discovered the reason, although someone suggested a passing out parade for new recruits. Maybe the ships were in port for this as well.

Tivoli Gardens is another big draw and we went in, again it was fairly expensive, it had been a stunning day and the biggest problem was contrast, with deep shadows and a bright blue sky. We stayed until dark, it opens late and is very colourful. We went on the world’s highest carousel and got flung around 260 odd feet in the air. Luckily, we also found a bar that served wine at ‘only’ £5.60 a glass so we sat and watched people have fun screaming and shrieking above us.

There are many buildings with copper domes, entire copper roofs, even modern buildings are often clad in either brass or copper to blend in with the ancient buildings around them. Like every city we have visited, tower cranes are in abundance. There is a lot of development going on and unfortunately a lot of it is around buildings that you would want to photograph. We walked 12 to 14 mile every day and took in most of the sights. We didn’t really do any interiors, only towers and the railway station. At the time of writing I haven’t looked at what I’ve got, I have around 3000 shots, some on the G1X which I used when it was raining heavily as it easy to put in a pocket. I have a lot less time for editing these days so it will be a long process I think. To save time I am going to create a list of generic tags that I can copy and paste to each upload – the time saving is enormous – so apologies to anyone who gets a photo of a canal when they wanted a steam train or vice versa.

As seen on Flickr (Mark Schofield @ JB Schofield ) for this crazy evil building. Original date: 2017-05-09 15:36:35

Tagged: , COPENHAGEN , DENMARK , CANALS , BRIDGE , OPERA , HOUSE , PALACE , CASTLE , SLOT , NYHAVN , BOATS , CHRISTIANSBORG , CHRISTIANIA , ARCHITECTURE , CHURCH , TOWER , DOME , PAPERWORKS , TOURISM , København , ROSENBORG , TIVOLI , RAILWAY , TRAIN , STATION , CENTRAL , TRACK , FREDERIKSBERG , PARK , GARDENS , LITTLE , MERMAID , STATUE , CHRISTIANSHAVN , HAVE , ZEALAND , AMAGER , CYCLE , CYCLIST , TRANSPORT , NEW , HARBOUR , PARLIAMENT , DANISH , AMALIENBORG , KASTALLET , PAVEMENT , PATH , STREET , COMMUTE

Garden and Baskets in Carcassonne, France

The Barefoot Books Ambassador Conference 2013: Day Trip To Carcassonne

This terrifying evil building was seen on Flickr by user MarketingBarefoot . Original date: 2013-05-15 15:50:18

Tagged: , Barefoot , Books , Ambassador , Day , Trip , Carcassonne , France , Castle , Tour , Mid , Evil , Town , French , Countryside

Copenhagen Sept 2016_1812

We made a short notice booking to Copenhagen, Jayne had the first week in September booked off and we wanted to try and do a city break. Five nights hardly seemed enough but the short flight was ok. We flew over home heading east on a beautiful morning. I love flying over an area that I know and being able to see it from above. We had been warned that Copenhagen was expensive-it was! I hadn’t done any research before we set off but on the flight over, I read that taxis were expensive, so it was best to use the Metro from the airport, it isn’t far in to the city and the Metro was fairly easy to use. However! We should have caught the train, I read this whist we were sat on the Metro it has to be said! The nearest Metro stop, which I was frantically trying to work out, using my phone, travelling in and out of tunnels, turned out to be a 1.5 mile walk from our hotel, the rail station was .5. Never mind we were there to walk-subject to my lately diagnosed arthritic ankle, we just didn’t want to be towing suitcases over cobbled pavements at the same time.

We were staying in the Tivoli Hotel which was described as central, it is near Central Station but you wouldn’t describe it as central to the city. Our room wasn’t ready but we could upgrade for a modest amount plus we realised it would be a good idea to include breakfast in the upgrade deal. A good move as it turned out. Our room overlooked the train lines-all twelve of them!! We could already hear train brakes squealing along with the thump thump of steel wheels rolling over points and joints. It’s true to say that Central Station is a 24/7 operation. The overnight noise didn’t bother Jayne but I could hear it all night.

We dumped our stuff and I loaded up with the backpack and camera and we were straight out there. Copenhagen is a relatively small city but there is a lot to see. We were soon finding out that it has an extensive network of canals and bridges and these are a major feature of life in the city. Pan flat, the cyclist rules, There appeared to be twice as many bikes as residents, with countless thousands propped up everywhere you went. Where ever you looked there was silent conveyor of sit up and beg cycles being ridden in all directions. You soon got used to looking over your shoulder before making a move. The vast majority of bikes are left unlocked and almost no one wears a helmet ( I’m a no helmet man, much to the annoyance of the helmet zealots). Copenhagen is reputedly the happiest place in the world and it certainly came across as friendly and relaxed. It is, though, one of the most expensive cities in the world and two burgers and two small glasses of wine at Nyhavn cost us £50. Comically, there were four people, local to us, shouting out Jayne’s name, they had seen us going past and we had a laugh about the prices, They were sat drinking beer at £8.50 a pint. Despite the expense, the place was packed with people parting with their money. Wages are very high locally, as are the taxes. The high wages and high costs must feed each other in an upward spiral I would have thought.

Unfortunately the cost of entering buildings to go up towers etc. for a higher view of the city was also very expensive (to us). The tower at Christiansborg Palace is free but restricted by the lift system and you don’t get to the top, it does also open later than the others so you have a chance of seeing sunset over the city. Unfortunately the lifts were out of order on one of our best weather days. We did get to go up the day after but it was dull and I wasn’t overly impressed. The spiral tower across in Christiana, The Church of Our Saviour, was far more impressive. We climbed the tower here just after it opened on a stunning morning and the views are fantastic. There will be incredible bottlenecks when it’s busy though on the corkscrew stairs that get progressively narrower towards the top. Some people hog it to take endless selfies at the top and it is extremely tight up there, you can’t move up until they come down.

As usual, we tried to get to some out of the way places, with only five days and mixed weather though we had enough mainstream destinations to see. We had a day of heavy rain so we went back to the rail station which was a good indoor (and free!) destination, and made umbrellas and the rain the focal point of that days photos. The entire Danish navy seemed to be at anchor, we just missed an open day on one ship. Some I could photograph, others were guarded and had restrictions, I got the evil eye from a couple of guards as the spotted the big Canon in my hand. I can’t imagine that they could police the Japanese and stop them from getting their photos and selfies though. I always act very openly with the camera and if people look at me suspiciously I smile and give them the thumbs up. In a rail station I usually ask the police. In Central Station the police were in their station and I never saw one move out, it is covered by extensive CCTV but there were some very unpleasant people, drinking and watching for people being careless with their belongings. We were lucky to be in the station on Sunday as a tourist steam train arrived, it sat at the platform belching smoke and steam for fifteen minutes, it was also coming back in an hour so we had an expensive coffee and waited to see it again. There was big military event outside the Christiansborg Palace on Monday, with a parade through the city that came past just as we were in a good spot to view it. The area was full of soldiers wearing their medals. We haven’t discovered the reason, although someone suggested a passing out parade for new recruits. Maybe the ships were in port for this as well.

Tivoli Gardens is another big draw and we went in, again it was fairly expensive, it had been a stunning day and the biggest problem was contrast, with deep shadows and a bright blue sky. We stayed until dark, it opens late and is very colourful. We went on the world’s highest carousel and got flung around 260 odd feet in the air. Luckily, we also found a bar that served wine at ‘only’ £5.60 a glass so we sat and watched people have fun screaming and shrieking above us.

There are many buildings with copper domes, entire copper roofs, even modern buildings are often clad in either brass or copper to blend in with the ancient buildings around them. Like every city we have visited, tower cranes are in abundance. There is a lot of development going on and unfortunately a lot of it is around buildings that you would want to photograph. We walked 12 to 14 mile every day and took in most of the sights. We didn’t really do any interiors, only towers and the railway station. At the time of writing I haven’t looked at what I’ve got, I have around 3000 shots, some on the G1X which I used when it was raining heavily as it easy to put in a pocket. I have a lot less time for editing these days so it will be a long process I think. To save time I am going to create a list of generic tags that I can copy and paste to each upload – the time saving is enormous – so apologies to anyone who gets a photo of a canal when they wanted a steam train or vice versa.

Credit goes to Flickr (Mark Schofield @ JB Schofield ) for this mind blowing evil building. Original date: 2016-12-06 07:40:02

Tagged: , COPENHAGEN , DENMARK , CANALS , BRIDGE , OPERA , HOUSE , PALACE , CASTLE , SLOT , NYHAVN , BOATS , CHRISTIANSBORG , CHRISTIANIA , ARCHITECTURE , CHURCH , TOWER , DOME , PAPERWORKS , TOURISM , København , ROSENBORG , TIVOLI , RAILWAY , TRAIN , STATION , CENTRAL , TRACK , FREDERIKSBERG , PARK , GARDENS , LITTLE , MERMAID , STATUE , CHRISTIANSHAVN , HAVE , ZEALAND , AMAGER , CYCLE , CYCLIST , TRANSPORT , NEW , HARBOUR , PARLIAMENT , DANISH , AMALIENBORG , KASTALLET , PAVEMENT , PATH , STREET , COMMUTE

The medieval Eltz Castle located in Wierschem, Germany, has been owned and occup…


The medieval Eltz Castle located in Wierschem, Germany, has been owned and occupied by the same family for over 850 years/33 generations. #evilbuildings #fairytale #castle #germany #13thCentury #13thCenturyGermany https://t.co/kuofquPNms


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The medieval Eltz Castle located in Wierschem, Germany, has been owned and occup…, Credit goes to Twitter (Aleah) for this dark evil building.