Sunday, July 31, 2011

Ålesund Aquarium

Great place to visit, mainly because most of the fish are the ones which are good on a plate with a portion of chips. Or at least fish which are found in local waters.
The staff are great, but the residents are the ones who are always ready to greet you with a smile.
 Some of them look a bit regimented.....  Get in line there..
 And this guy is just all frills.
 Now for lunch... where's the chips.

 That of course is OK if you like Cod, but here's my favourite with chips.. Haddock.
 And it's very hard to beat a ling, fresh from the sea, gently boiled and served with new potatoes..
Then of course, like most stories there has to be the bad guy. The villain. And there ain't no more evil looking that this guy. The Catfish, or Wolf Fish, or in Shetland dialect he's known as a Steenbiter (Stone Biter). (Norsk: Steinbit).. I sure as hell wouldn't like to argue with him, and there are signs warning folk not to put their fingers in the tank, for obvious reasons.
The largest tank in the aquarium is filled with what I can best describe as "Dinner". All the fish which formed the backbone of my diet when I was younger. I could spend hours in that tank with a fishing rod. :D
 The next pic is what I would call a Scaddiman's Heid. No idea what the English name is.
 And a lovely flat fish.
 Another visitor held this crab up for a picture.
 And this little beastie was one of the 'stars'
 Some of the exhibits tried their best not to be exhibitionists...
 Whilst others were just born to show of...
These guys are Humboldt Penguins. Maybe not the fanciest of the Penguin race, but they exhibit all the trends which make us poor humans gaze at them in wonder. And in fact in extreme cases make humans try to dress like them just to make them feel at home such as they guy feeding them.
I don't know how the guy feeding them came to be wearing a 'Penguin' jacket, but it was a nice touch. And as he fed them he gave an excellent commentary. All the Penguins at Ålesund have been bred in captivity, in various countries in Europe, and last year the aquarium managed to hatch their first Norwegian born chicks. One of which is the scruffy, half fledged guy, getting a feed in the above picture.

Speaking about food...... I have a sudden craving for chips again...
Of course they do have some fish which I wouldn't eat... Too small to bother with.
And then there are the 'asylum seekers'.... These turtles are mostly ones which have been seized from people who have tried to illegally import them.

Yun's aa fir enoo.
Mair sharn anidder day.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

A visit to Molde

We eventually got a half decent day of weather on Wednesday so we took a run over to Molde on the Hurtigbåt (water taxi). Some sources, such as Wikipedia, call Molde a City. But when you see the town dwarfed by a cruise liner you have to believe that those sources are wrong. :D
We wandered out to the main shopping area. Me, son, and daughter. I was really scarred how much my daughter would invade my wallet, but for once she showed some remarkable restraint, for a 10 year old.
I know this picture is squint, but my software for fixing pics ain't working just now. It's just a little flavour of the town.
After the shopping bit we wandered back into the town centre. Central to the town is the Muckle Kirk (Big Church), or to give it it's correct title 'Domkirken' (Cathedral). The building was completed about 1957, and is very unusual because the spire/bell tower is completely separated from the main building.
 The interior is fairly plain in comparison to some British Cathedrals. (Note the model ship hanging just right of centre. Nobody can tell me why every church in Norway has a model like this.)
But the ceiling is stunning, and extremely unusual.
 I took the picture of the outside of the Church from the roof of the town house. Here's the view from there down to the harbour.
Next stop was for a few pictures of the new Jazz House which is being built just along the road.
To me this is a fascinating structure.
It's being built in multiple levels into the face of the natural slope of the town. Due to be finished next year, it makes a similar project in Shetland look even more stupid. Have a look at the pictures, then I'll tell you why.
It's costing less than the 'Mareel' project in Shetland, has twice the capacity, will be finished on time, has almost no public opposition, is designed to fit into it's surroundings, and most importantly will actually make a profit. Of course Shetland readers of this will make excuses that they have a small population, etc.., etc.. Wrong, population about the same,,, but this venture in Molde hasn't got the Shetland Islands Council to bugger it up.... RANT over. :D

After a bit more walking my daughter complained that she was getting tired and needed to sit down. Although there is a reasonable amount of seating available in the town, often in very scenic areas, I spotted the best seating area available and made a bee line for it... The 'Dockside' pub on the pier.
 A truly brilliant establishment which has a nice view of the town centre.
 But it has one very serious fault..... It sells what can only be described as the worst beer in Norway,,, Dahls,,, It might look good on a warm day, but looks are all it's got going for it.
And, whilst on the subject of very watery things. I took this picture the other day of one of our garden weeds, which for some strange reason holds on to water droplets as if they were gem stones in a setting.
 And, again, whilst on the subject of water. I took this image of Mary from just beyond the range of her water cannon...
Must get her to use that on the car tomorrow. Maybe it will clear the bird poop.

Next post will be about a delightful visit to the Ålesund aquarium yesterday. Look out for that tomorrow,, or later today,, depending which time zone you're in.

yun's aa fir enoo.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Grief can know no bounds on a day like this.

My thoughts on this day are with those who have lost loved ones in the outrage at Utøya and Oslo.
Never has there been a more peaceful and beautiful country than Norway, and never have I met a more peaceful and caring people than the Norwegians who I am so proud to know, work with, and love.

This outrage won't change my opinion. Norway is, and always will be, the most beautiful place on Earth.

If you're reading this, please copy and paste the flag below, then add it to your blog page. And while you're doing it, take a few moments of quiet thought for those who have lost their young lives in this tragedy.

Yun's aa fir enoo.
Fae a very sad auld craetir.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Holiday, part 1

We returned from holiday in Shetland yesterday, after a week of predictably shi**y weather.
I have a few nice pictures, which still need to be sorted through, but here's a few beauties which I took at the start of our flight from Vigra (Ålesund Airport), to Flesland (Bergen Airport).
Firstly, part of the island of Vigra.
 Part of Ålesund. The main harbour area is just out of shot at the bottom of the picture.
 The next 2 shots are just nice, so I won't try to look at the map to name the mountains.

 I'll sort some more tomorrow and perhaps use the map to add location information to the images.
Time is a bit limited since I've got my little princess staying with us for the next 2 weeks. I just had to add this picture of her posing for the camera. (Actually she thought I was pointing the camera at her sister. This is just cropped out of the bottom corner of an 18 megapix image.)
Yun's aa fir enoo. Mair sharn da moarn.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

It's been a while....

Haven't posted anything for ages, purely because there's been nothing to post.
Almost every day has been grey, wet, and miserable. With nothing worth looking at, or telling about. But that is set to change soon.
We break up at the work for 4 weeks holidays at the end of this week. During the holiday the main event will be a 2 week visit from my youngest daughter, so at the moment I'm straining my brain to think of activities which will keep her out of the shops, and out of my wallet. No doubt my efforts to achieve this will result in failure on both counts, likely some tantrums from her, and maybe a few posts to my blog.
Also somewhere during this 4 week period we will be visiting a newly upgraded museum which has great links with the Norwegian west coast. We'll be seeing some 'real' sailing ships, and maybe taking pictures of some Horny Vikings... Maybe even catch a picture of a moder-dye ;)
At the very least we will be away from the shi**y weather we are having here and experiencing shi**y weather elsewhere.

Anyway, check back soon and follow what happens when Auld Rasmie gets round to travelling again. ;)

Yun's aa fir enoo.