Friday Travel Photos – vol 5

Catch of the day!

This week’s stop is in Iceland, where I made an all too short, 4-day stop last year on the way back from Europe.  This country is full of photogenic spots, all deserving time to be explored and presented.

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Herring Barrels

These images are from the Herring Era Museum in Siglufjörður, a small town on one of the numerous fjords on the Northern coast of Iceland.  It is one of the many towns, villages and areas along the north and east coast of Iceland that were deeply affected by the arrival of the herring adventure around the beginning of the 20th century.

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Pickling the herring catch

Nowhere did the herring adventure have such an impact as in Siglufjörður. Norwegian fishermen came sailing on their herring vessels during the summer of 1903, and thereby the Herring Adventure had started. Within forty years this once tiny little village had transformed into a thriving town of more than three thousand inhabitants.

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Whalebone and museum view

For years the entire life of Siglufjörður centred on the herring catch and its processing – the town’s twenty-three salting stations and five reducing factories were a living reminder of that. Siglufjörður was also one of the most important ports in Iceland and on more than one occasion the herring exported from the town accounted for over 20% of the nation’s total exports.

As the herring adventure progressed, a goldrush-like atmosphere settled over the town, leading to Siglufjörður been dubbed the “Atlantic Klondike”. The town also became a magnet for herring speculators who came and went, some making a lot of money during the stay, and others not. With its booming industry, Siglufjörður also became a mecca for tens of thousands of workers and labourers seeking employment.

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A bit of local feel

When bad weather and storms broke, the sheltered waters of the fjord became home to a massed fleet of hundreds of herring ships. Life on land was just as colourful, the streets of Siglufjörður so jammed with crowds and activities that they resembled the teeming avenues of major cities.

Marine resources are notoriously unstable, and herring is no exception. Following depressed catch figures in the years around 1950, herring stocks began to be fished as never before. This was due to a new and more efficient fishing technology developed by Icelandic pioneers. Other countries were quick in claiming these advances for themselves.

The years that followed continued to underscore the decline of catches and fortunes in Siglufjörður and its surrounding area, eventually turning it into the sleepy, beautiful town that it is today.

[Source of background information: Wikipedia: The Herring Era Museum.]

Friday Travel Photo – vol 4

Elgin, but no marbles!

As I photographed quite a bit while in Scotland, I thought I’d once again dip into my pool of images from that 2013 vacation.

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Elgin Cathedral

After leaving the Inverness area, our next Bed and Breakfast was in Braemar in the Highlands.  As we hadn’t planned a specific route, our decision was to follow the A96 a bit and see when we’d turn south.

As we got to Elgin, I suggested that we make a stop somewhere to break up the drive; not knowing that we’d find the amazing Elgin Cathedral right in our path!  The grounds of this cathedral are not only stunning, as can be seen in the above image, but they are also overflowing with the spiritual energy that has collected here throughout the ages.  If you are sensitive to these energies, you can’t help but be touched at a large number of locations on the grounds.

Additionally, the structure is visually stunning, and, considering that construction started in the first half of the 1200s, one can’t help but be amazed by the advanced building techniques that existed to build such precise arches.  Its rich history is detailed further on the History Scotland – Elgin Cathedral web page.

Technical Details

This image was captured with a Canon EOS 5D Mk III with a 17-40 f/4L lens attached.  Settings for this image were f/10 with 1/400 second at 400 ISO.

Bonus Coverage

A second image from this cathedral taken from the top of the North tower, which is precipitous…

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From on high!

Note that this gives an excellent view of the area, with the river Lossie just behind the cathedral.

Friday’s Mystery Slide – vol 4

The gilded gate beckons

So, last week’s edition was a bit problematic, as the surroundings were rather tricky to identify without knowledge of early New England architecture.  Hopefully, this week’s mystery slide is a little easier, as it is not placed in New England…

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Where is this gate?

These ladies are dressed stylishly, walking from the parking lot through the gate.  I’m sure that someone will identify this gate rather quickly.

For extra credit, around which year was this slide photographed?

Friday Travel Photo – vol 3

Vikings shall not pass

This week, I’ll be sharing another image from our trip to Scotland in 2013.  Another feature of this image, is that you’ll get to know a bit more about the banner on this blog.

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The Bodach of Arrochar

This is the Bodach that sits at the head of Loch Long in Arrochar, Scotland.

For over five centuries this area, the feudal barony of Arrochar, was held by the chiefs of Clan MacFarlane and before them by their ancestors the barons of Arrochar. The family is Celtic in the male line and native to their Highland homeland of tall peaks and deep lochs just above the waist of Scotland. The settlement was a key target for Viking raiders who took their boats 2 miles overland to Tarbet to attack the unprotected inland settlements at Loch Lomond before their defeat in 1263 at the battle of Largs.

According to legend, the Bodach was instrumental in keeping the Vikings at bay to protect Loch Long and its surrounding villages.

In Scottish folklore, the bodach comes down the chimney to fetch naughty children, used as a cautionary tale or bogeyman figure to frighten children into good behavior.  This sounds like a relative of the Krampus in European folklore.

Technical Details

This image was captured with a Canon EOS 5D Mk III with a 24-105 f/4L lens attached.  Settings for this image were f/14 with 1/100 second at 320 ISO.

Friday’s Travel Photo – vol 2

Picturesque Scotland

A couple of year’s ago, my wife and I visited Scotland for an all too short 12 days.  It was a wonderful vacation that afforded us many great things to see and experience.  One of these locales is in the next couple of photos…

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Harbour Street, Plockton

As we were leaving the Isle of Skye toward Inverness, it was recommended that we take a detour to see Plockton.  This picturesque town, that looks to belong in a much more temperate zone than the highlands of Scotland.

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View of the harbor

Of course, it helped that the weather was absolutely perfect for the end of May, which gave us beautiful blue skies.

Plockton is very much a tourist attraction, because of its beauty and palm trees; it was used as the backdrop for the BBC Scotland series Hamish Macbeth, about a local police constable in the fictional town of Lochdubh.

As you can tell from these photos, the detour was well worth it.

Technical Details

Both of these shots were taken with a Canon EOS 5D MkIII and 24-105mm f/4L lens.  I used the in-camera HDR processing capability for each of these shots.  They were both taken at f/14 and 1/500 second at 400 ISO.

Hope you enjoy these images.

Wednesday Wonderment – pt 5

The magic of the stones

Travel allows us to get to interesting places, which can provide us with a sense of wonder about nature, the universe or mankind…

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Lochbuie Stone Circle

This week’s Wednesday Wonderment mixes a little bit of all these elements.  This image comes from a trip to the Isle of Mull off the west coast of Scotland.  Mull is a wonderful place to vacation, where we spent a couple of great days.

In my research, I had found out about a beautiful walk that would lead us to a circle of stones known as the Lochbuie stones.  Originally, this stone circle was comprised of 9 stones, and, even though it is no longer complete, there is still palpable energy running through the lines created within this site.

The walk over took us along the shore and then in-land through some marshy land toward the stones.  Notable was that there was a second site of power along the route, which I didn’t find indicated anywhere, but could feel with surprising strength.  Scotland is replete with locations that radiate power from a variety of sources, which enhances the experience of the landscape and great people to an amazing level.

The photo shows the Lochbuie Stone Circle with Ben Buie in the distance; the weather was not what one expects from Scotland at all times.

Technical Details

I took this image with a Canon EOS 5D MkIII with a 24-105mm f/4L lens.  Shutter speed was at 1/125 second at f/18 at 400 ISO.

Friday’s Travel Photo

Red, green and blue!

Last year, I went to visit my mother for her birthday; of course, we took the opportunity to go see some of the old sights! Here’s one…

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Volendam Fishing Boats

Volendam is a picturesque town in the province of North Holland on the shore of the IJsselmeer, which used to be a sea, named the Zuiderzee.  It originally was the harbor for Edam (well-known for its cheese), but in 1357 the inhabitants of Edam dug a more direct canal route to the Zuiderzee, so the harbor’s dam was used as a starting point for filling in the land, on which the new town of Volendam was settled.

These days, the town of Volendam is popular with tourists, as the houses have their own, inimitable style and many locals dress in traditional clothing to give the feel of being transported into a past several centuries ago.

It’s a great place to visit and when I noticed these fishing boats lined up in this fashion I couldn’t resist getting a shot of the scene.

Technical Data

This was shot with a Canon EOS 5D MkIII, using the in-camera HDR option.  One fine day, I will actually catch up with image editing and processing and do a proper job, but, in the mean time, I still like this one.

Hope you do too!