Tuesday, June 29

Spania 1 - Portugal 0

Flamenco show cancelled again, but the reaction of Spanish friends when David Villa scored the only goal and gave Spain the quarter final position, may be Flamenco good enough.At least it gave me the opportunity to get "dos copas de vino blanco" from the bar.The intended Flamenco photos must be replaced by another Ruven Afanador photo. Flamenco passion more than enough.

Malaga, an Exciting city

Ruven Afanador´s exhibition "Mil Besos" (thousand kisses) of great photos in Paseo del Parque in the heart of Malaga Andalusia, should be a reason to visit the town whatsoever.
Malaga is an exiting city, with old and modern environment.At noon the temperature outside the tunnel under the Alcazaba castle and Castillo de Gibralfaro was as shown on the photo: + 26C. Later that day the heat increased.In the main shopping street Marques de Larios they have found a way to handle the heat. By covering the opening between the shops and beautiful buildings with sails the reduction of the sun beams became satisfactory. We also felt a gentle breeze going through the street.At Plaza de Toros the young Toreros (novilleros) are training with their Muletas. Some of the persons are pretending to be a bull with long horns, ( I was not taken as a bull!) but most of the training is how to dance around with the red cape.
The red color of the muleta is actually unnecessary, though, as bulls are dichromatic, meaning neither the cape nor the muleta color can be accurately discerned by the bull. The color is retained merely for tradition.The colors of the Can-Can dancers dresses at the night show are however carefully chosen by layout designers to improve the visual effect of speed and rythm . The Can-Can achieved popularity in music halls, where it was danced by groups of women in choreographed routines. This style was imported into France in the 1920s for the benefit of tourists, and the French Can-Can was born—a highly choreographed routine lasting ten minutes or more, with the opportunity for individuals to display their "specialities". The main moves are the high kick or battement, the rond de jambe (quick rotary movement of lower leg with knee raised and skirt held up), the port d'armes (turning on one leg, while grasping the other leg by the ankle and holding it almost vertical), the cartwheel and the grand écart (the flying or jump splits).To night we will visit a Flamenco show, and look forward to see if this performance in any way can compete with Ruven Afnador´s images.

Sunday, June 27

World record: 40.45 meters

As I posted earlier this week, the builders of Slinning bonfire 2010 went for a world record. They made it!
40,45 meters is the new world record, higher than a ten stores building. Congratulation.
More photos here.

Thursday, June 24

The day after, and tomorrow a new challenge

Today it is "St. Hans" and the weather is ready for celebration.
In Spain they celebrate the San Juan Night and during last night young people was gathering around bonfires and partying at the beaches.
However, celebrating in the darkness of the night is one thing. What we could see on our morning exercice today was a complete different thing. Remains, trash and garbage all over. Environmental concern has a double face. You act when others can see you. In the dark you just leave the trash. Improvement please!!
In Ålesund they still are building the "Slinning bonfire" for the local celebration of mid-summer the coming weekend. I have "stolen" two photos from Staale Wattø´s photoserie about the coming World record: > 40 meter high.Read Sunnmørsposten for the result later this week.

Tuesday, June 22

Morning Swimming like Ursula A. and Sean C.

My first plan for today blogpost was to send a special greeting to Trøndelag and the ladies searching for old wood at the sea shore. Maybe a tour to Cordoba would be interesting for them, watching the 2000 years remains after ceilings in the old great mosque, the Mezquita.
First, the Romans built a pagan temple on the site. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the new Germanic masters of Spain (the Visigoths) replaced it with the Christian church of Saint Vincent. When the Arabs conquered the peninsula in the early 8th century, they tore down the church and began building their great mosque, which - commensurate with Cordoba's importance as the centre of Muslim power in Spain - became the largest mosque in all of Islam after that of Caaba, in Arabia: the Mezquita
However watching my wife climbing out of the water an early morning like Honey Rider in the movie Dr. No from 1962, I had to add these two other photos as well.The evidence of 7.30 am bathing is hereby given.

Sunday, June 20

From Spain to Guyana

Tonight, when the dark sky full of stars and a half moon was covering our balcony I received a new visitor from the north east of South America, Guyana.
I do not know much about dansing in Guyana, but at our pool bar these dancers made an acceptable performance when performing Pasodoble etc.
Modern Guyana is bordered to the east by Suriname, to the south and southwest by Brazil, to the west by Venezuela, and on the north by the Atlantic Ocean.
At 215,000 km2, Guyana is the third-smallest independent state on the mainland of South America (after Uruguay and Suriname). Its population is approximately 770,000. It is one of the four non-Spanish-speaking territories on the continent, along with the countries of Brazil (Portuguese), Suriname (Dutch), and French Guiana (French).
The flag of Guyana, known as The Golden Arrowhead, was adopted in 1966. It was designed by Whitney Smith, a prominent American vexillologist . The colours are : green for agriculture and forest, white for rivers and water, gold for mineral wealth, black for endurance, and red for zeal and dynamism.
The visitor from Guyana (my 153 flag) was one of 52 new unique visitors yesterday.

Friday, June 18

Cordoba - Mesquita and "almost nothing" more

Cordoba old town was both a positive and a negative experience. It was an Iberian and Roman city in ancient times. In the Middle Ages it was a capital of an Islamic caliphate and one of the largest cities in the world. In the 10th-11th centuries Córdoba was one of the most advanced cities in the world, as well as a great cultural, political, financial and economic centre.
Its population in 2008 was 325,453.
Córdoba was conquered by the Romans in 206 BC. In 169 the Roman consul Marcus Claudius Marcellus founded a Latin colony alongside the pre-existing Iberian settlement. The Roman bridge over the banks of the Guadalquivir river (Rio Grande), leads the way into the old town.I would say that except the huge Mesquita (Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption) the old town is only a place to eat local food and have a drink if you are not interested in tourist objects.The great mosque dates back to the time under caliph Al-Hakam II . Córdoba received what was then the largest library in the world, housing from 400,000 to 1,000,000 volumes. The photo above is from Patio de los Naranjos with the Bell Tower.
The double Arabic arches cover the ceiling of the "mosque". However, the cathedral of Cordoba is not a mosque or simply a monument or a temple of different cultures. It is a living church which carry the human history in it´s walls by thousands of years.
Under the cathedral we can see remains of mosaics from the ancient Basilica of Saint Vicente, and they have also discovered remains of it´s Visigoth origins. The (Visi)Goths are among the barbarians who disturbed the late roman empire during the Migration Period. They first emerged as a distinct people during the fourth century, initially in the Balkans where they participated in several wars with Rome. A Visigothic army under Alaric I eventually moved into Italy and famously sacked Rome in 410.
The Goths have had many names, possibly due to their population being composed of many separate ethnic groups. People known by similar names were key elements of the Germanic migrations. Nevertheless, the mainstream of scholarship believes that the names derived from a single prehistoric ethnonym owned by an uniform culture of south Scandinavia in the middle 1st millennium BC, the original "Goths". People with a modern form of that name still reside there.

Once again we can see the link back to the to Thor Heyerdahl´s Norwegian mythology which tells that the Scandinavian god Odin moved with his people to Norway from a land called Aser (from Azerbaijan, east of the Caucasus mountains and the Black Sea.), in order to avoid Roman occupation.
The mihrab ( محراب ) is a niche in the wall of a mosque that indicates the qibla; that is, the direction of the Kaaba in Mecca and hence the direction that Muslims should face when praying.
Mesquita is not any longer defined as a mosque and the church-mihrab is placed in a north-south direction, while Mecca is south-east. We were told that is is not allowed to perform islamic prayers in Mesquita. It is defined as a catholic church.
The main alterpiece in the cathedral inside the mosque made by Alonso Matias.
The ceiling (Dome) above the main chapel (work started in 1523), is a beautiful artwork.
Among the treasury in the cathedral we can see crosses from 15th, 16th, 17th and the 18th century together with an ivory sculpture of INRI.In the chapel of Saint Theresa you may find many beautiful treasures from the GOLDEN periode of Spain.
Maimonides also known as Rambam was a preeminent medieval Jewish philosopher, one of the greatest Torah scholars of the Middle Ages. He was born in Córdoba, and honored with a staue.
Maimonides promoted and developed the philosophical tradition of Aristotle, which gave both men prominent and controversial influence in the West, where Aristotelian thought had been lost for centuries. Albert the Great and Thomas Aquinas were notable Western readers of Maimonides.

However, any tour at a UNESCO World Heritage Site must end, and what is better than going to a local restaurant for lunch. At least I found that very important when the temperature outside is about +33C to +35C.

Thursday, June 17

The Lady of the south bank

Part of our life at the moment is relaxing, strolling around, shopping and recharging batteries. The Lady of the house at Paseo de Maritim with her new exclusive bag,
Posing in front of the luxury boats in the marina,or finding cover from the burning sun in the shadow under the palm trees.

Wednesday, June 16

Singapore Havoc - Breaking News

According to Singapore Straits Times this morning,
almost 100 mm of rain fell within a two-hour period from about 9 am to 11 am. 'The amount of rainfall is approximately more than 60 per cent of the average monthly rainfall for June'.
The worst-hit area was the Orchard Road and Scotts Road intersection, with large stretches from Paterson Road - where Ion Orchard and Wheelock Towers are - to Ngee Ann City submerged in nearly half a metre of flood waters.
This photo is from the top of Orchard Road at Cafe Flora taken 15 years ago. This morning we would have been sitting in the middle of a devastating river.
Thinking of our friends in Singapore (DNV employees and Susie with family) we share one of the great moment from the wonderful time we had in Asia Pacific.. From the East cost eating pepper crabs, chili prawns, drunken prawns, fish cantonese style, "flied lice", lemon chicken and all the other fantastic dishes. Yes, we will return once more if possible.
But dry up your streets first.

Princess Hedda Emilie and some other kids

The observant visitor may have noticed the development of our youngest grandchildren through a continuously updating of photos on the right side of my blog. Today "Princess Hedda Emilie" is presented in a new dress.

Yesterday night we met two boys from Vestby in Norway here at the hotel. Cannot wait until we receive photos from our own children´s holidays with their kids playing.
Hopefully the colors were easy to remove before bedtime. If not change of linnen must be prioritized in their apartment.

Monday, June 14

Communication now and then

This sculpture reminded me of the development in distance communication from carrier pigeon (The Egyptians and the Persians first used carrier pigeons 3,000 years ago.) to ultra modern Iphone 4. From Wikipedia I copy:
Messenger pigeons were used as early as 1150 in Baghdad and also later by Genghis Khan. The Republic of Genoa equipped their system of watch towers in the Mediterranean Sea with pigeon posts. Tipu Sultan used carrier pigeons. They returned to the Jamia Masjid mosque in Srirangapatna, which was his headquarters. The pigeon holes may be seen in the mosque's minarets to this day. In 1860, Paul Reuter, who later founded Reuters press agency, used a fleet of over 45 pigeons to deliver news and stock prices between Brussels and Aachen, the terminals of early telegraph lines. The outcome of the Battle of Waterloo was also first delivered by a pigeon to England. During the Franco-Prussian War pigeons were used to carry mail between besieged Paris and the French unoccupied territory. Possibly the first regular air mail service in the world was Mr. Howie's Pigeon-Post service from the Auckland New Zealand suburb of Newton to Great Barrier Island, starting in 1896. Certainly the world’s first 'airmail' stamps were issued for the Great Barrier Pigeon-Gram Service from 1898 to 1908. Homing pigeons were still employed in the 21st century by certain remote police departments in Orissa state in eastern India to provide emergency communication services following natural disasters. In March 2002, it was announced that India's Police Pigeon Service messenger system in Orissa was to be retired, due to the expanded use of the Internet.
Although the interesting iPad, I cannot wait until the iPhone 4 will arrive. Face time communication and all the other spectacular functions and apps.

Saturday, June 12

Iceland - the spectacular island

We have all been influenced by the Eyjafjallajøkull Volcano and the challenging consequences from the Ash-clouds.
On the web you can now find a collection of videos and images shot in the period 6th to 11th May.
It is probably too late to spend your holiday at Iceland for a personal view, but a click on the link above will bring you very close to nature at this spectacular island.

Thursday, June 10

Flowers and Celebration

And the 135 years celebration of Gerd and Arne in "Restaurante El Puerto" at CaboPino. They are born on the same day, married on the same day, and continue to live together after more than 40 years. This week my sister Brit hosted a dinner for them although the birthday was ab. 4 months ago. Better late than always.Dinner? Sea Bass baked in Salt Crust and everything that fits to a dish like that, including Chardonnay