Tall Ships Festival – Royal Greenwich

Pop by 'n say hi!Tall Ships Festival Tall Ships Festival at Royal Greenwich in London sees 15 Tall Ships return to London. As well as cruises along the River Thames on the tall ships, there are catered events on board the tall ships and fireworks displays throughout the Tall Ships Festival. There is also an opportunity to visit two of the tall ships in moorings: Dar Młodzieży and Santa Maria Manuela. The tall ships are accessible by Thames Clippers from London Bridge City Pier and Royal Greenwich pier. Dar Młodzieży (meaning ‘The Gift of Youth’) in the post picture is a Polish training ship launched in 1981. She was the prototype for a new class of ship – the first of six. She has a height of 62 metres and a length of 109 m. The fully rigged sail area is 3,015 square metres, allowing her to reach a speed of 16 knots (18 mph or 30 kph). Just behind Dar Młodzieży in the post capture, is the Portuguese tall ship Santa Maria Manuela. Santa Maria Manuela was commissioned by Empresa de Pesca de Viana (the Viana do Castelo Fishing Company) and launched in 1938 after being built in just […]

Balestrand in Sogn, Fjord Norway

Pop by 'n say hi!Balestrand, Norway Balestrand is a small, idyllic village on the Sognefjord in the Sogn og Fjordane county of West Norway. Though on the north shore of the main Sognefjord, Balestand also sits at the mouth of the smaller Esefjorden: two fjords for the price of one! The high mountains and deep fjords make for some incredible vistas, worth exploring by hiking around Balestrand. Balestrand is known for it’s ‘Swiss-style’ wooden villas and cultural offerings (in Balestrand Art Village), so even if you don’t fancy a hike, you will still find the Fjord Norway Village enchanting. In fact if it’s a laid-back short break you are after, you should consider a cruise package from Oslo. Norway Travel offer a six night Sognefjord and Balestrand Village package on which you also have time to explore Bergen. There are several well known hikes in and around Balestrand, taking in waterfalls, climbing the mountain paths and even an easy nature trail designed for all of the family to be able to enjoy. The Balestrand Hotel have details of ferries to get you to Balestrand in English. For general information, contact Balestrand Tourist Information. The post picture shows a capture of […]

What is a Fjord and how are they formed?

Pop by 'n say hi!What is a Fjord? What is a fjord? We’ve posted a bit on fjords recently: Stavanger: Gateway to Fjord Norway, Sognefjord, King of the fjords and Fjord Norway Kayaking are just a few of the posts. But in all of those posts we forgot to mention what a fjord actually is. Hopefully, if you don’t know this post will answer the questions ‘What is a Fjord?’, ‘How are fjords formed?’, ‘Are there any fjords outside Norway?’ and a couple of others. Where does the word fjord come from? Before we get on to ‘What is a fjord?’ let’s look at where the name come from. ‘Fjord’ actually comes from old Norse. Old Norse was a language spoken in Scandinavia until the 13th century. Modern Scandinavian languages, such as Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, Icelandic and Faroese, developed from Old Norse. Fjord, then, is derived from the Old Norse word ‘fjörðr’ meaning ‘where you travel across’. The English word ‘ferry’ has the same origin. What is a Fjord? ‘A fjord is a long, deep, narrow body of water’ says National Geographic’s Fjord Learning site. But if that’s it, how is a fjord different to sea? Well, it’s not quite […]

Fjord Norway Road Trips

Pop by 'n say hi!Fjord Norway Road Trips Fjord Norway, known for its breathtaking vistas, is a top destination for many nature lovers. Norwegian landscape is replete with mountains, pretty coastal towns, rocky islands. Fjords present no challenge to motorist – there are regular ferry crossings, bridges and some very long tunnels which all bring even remote parts of Norway within reach of road trippers. Read on for some trip suggestions for planning Fjord Norway road trips and tips for once you’re in Norway. Bergen is a good starting point for Fjord Norway road trips. Hardangerfjord is to the south and Sognefjord to the north. In fact you can continue north up to the city of Ålesund, taking in Geirangerfjord. The limiting factor really is how much time you have to spend. If it’s just a day or two, consider one of the shorter Fjord Norway road trips. The Hardangerfjord is a short drive from Bergen and one of the best short Fjord Norway road trips to drive right the way around the Hardangerfjord. Don’t think because it’s a shorter trip, that you won’t get some variety – this is Norway! You will take in pretty villages (stop at Ulvik […]

Fjord Norway Kayaking and Canoeing

Pop by 'n say hi!Fjord Norway Kayaking Fjord Norway kayaking is a great way to appreciate the natural wonder that is the Norwegian from a different perspective – from low, looking up to take in the majesty of the fjords. In a recent post we talked about planning a trip on the Sognefjord. The Sognefjord is the King of the Norwegian Fjords, and one of the longest in the world. The Sognefjord is easily accesible from Bergen – Norway’s second city – and is home to three of the top ten Fjord Norway Kayaking experiences. Sognefjorden is a fun, safe and unique location for a Fjord Norway kayaking adventure in which you can paddle and hike, visiting Viking age and UNESCO historical sites as well as stop off at the beach. For pure kayaking, the Gulen Vest (West Gulen) area is a great choice for experiencing Fjord Norway kayaking. The area has distinctive, narrow straits – often too narrow for boats. Many straits can only be paddled at high tide and can be a challenge at times. Getting there is no challenge though. If you do not have access to car, not to worry! There are two daily express boats […]

Sognefjord Norway: King of Fjords

Pop by 'n say hi!Sognefjord Sognefjord in Fjord Norway is known as the King of the Fjords. At 205 km (127 miles), it is the longest fjord in Norway and passes through some of the most idyllic scenery in Fjord Norway, said to be one of the most beautiful destinations in the world. It’s not just about the exceptional scenery though, there is guided hiking along the Jostedal glacier and kayaking adventures through the most hidden corners of the epic Sognefjord. For history and architecture lovers, there are the Stave churches (Urnes Stave Church is on the UNESCO World Heritage List). There really is something for everyone. Fjord Norway is very accessible making it possible to visit several fjords in a single trip. You might remember a recent post on Stavanger and Lysefjord in Fjord Norway. The images on those posts were captured on the same trip as the Sognefjord image on this post. There is so much to see in Fjord Norway that you might find the only limit is the time free for exploring. For tours, look no further than the Sognefjord in a Nutshell Tour advertised on the visit fjord Norway. Prefer to take in the fjordscape […]

Purple Cranesbill Geranium

Pop by 'n say hi!Purple Cranesbill Geranium Purple Cranesbill Geranium (Geranium × magnificum) is a five-petalled purple flower. It was cultivated from a cross between Geranium platypetalum and Geranium ibericum, although it looks more like a petunia than a typical geranium. The Purple Cranesbill Geranium blooms vibrant, dark, violet-blue flowers with dark blue veins. Though the flower is very prolific in early summer, it has quite a short flowering season (June to August in the United Kingdom). The Purple Cranesbill Geranium has received the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit for its resistance to pests, quality of constitution and excellence for ordinary use. The plants grow in well drained soil, in the sun or partial shade. Cultivation of the Purple Cransebill Geranium needs only beginner gardener skills and the plants require just an hour of care a year. They take between two and five years to reach maturity. See this handy map for a list of UK suppliers of the Purple Cranesbill Geranium. The post picture a shows purple cranesbill geranium shot at the Uppsala Botanical Garden. The garden is just one of several gardens in Uppsala, a Swedish city close to Stockholm. We post regularly on London Photography […]

Uppsala Gardens – Destination Uppsala

Pop by 'n say hi!Uppsala Gardens Uppsala in the Uppland region of Sweden, is a short journey from Stockholm and close to all the attractions of central Sweden. We recently posted about the Uppsala Botanical Garden, but this is just one of many gardens in unparalleled Uppsala. Uppsala Gardens: Stadsträdgården Uppsala’s city park is along the bank of the Fryis river, which runs through Uppsala. The first trees were planted in the garden towards the end of the 19th century since then it has remained much loved. Top attraction within the garden is the Island of Bliss (Lycksalighetens ö), at the centre of the garden and a good place for a ‘fika’: the summer café. Uppsala Gardens: Botaniska trädgården The Grand Baroque Uppsala Botanical Garden (Botaniska trädgården) has species from around the world ranging from the rare Doronicum cataractarum wihthin the grounds to banana plants and coffee bushes in the and rainforest plants in the Tropiska Växthuset (tropical greenhouse). Uppsala Gardens: Linnaeus Garden A green oasis in the centre of Uppsala. The botanist, naturist, ecologist and physician Carl Linnaeus studied for his degree at the University of Uppsala and later became a professor there. There could be no better treat […]

Carl Linnaeus – Ecology Pioneer

Pop by 'n say hi!Carl Linnaeus Carl Linnaeus was a the Swedish botanist who laid the foundations for the modern biological naming system. The father of modern taxonomy and the most famous son of the University of Uppsala in Sweden. He received most of his higher education at the university. Taxonomy is the science of finding, naming and describing species. Carl Linnaeus was born in 1707 and he was one of the most influential scientists of his time. The popular adoption of his naming system laid in its simplicity. It is still in use today. Carl Linnaeus was not just a botanist. He was a zoologist, ecology pioneer and a physician too. His most lasting achievement though, was the creation of binomial nomenclature – using two names to classify a living organism: it’s genus and its species. For example, the name of the flower in the post picture is Doronicum cataractarum under the binomial nomenclature system. The Doronicum cataractarum flower in the post picture was captured at the Uppsala Botanical Garden (Uppsala Botaniska Trägården) in June. Doronicum cataractarum is one of the most rare plants native Styria region of Austria. It is found in the Austrian Alps, growing at altitudes […]

Ox-eye Daisy Leucanthemum vulgare

Pop by 'n say hi!Ox-eye Daisy Ox-eye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare or Chrysanthemum leucanthemum) also know as marguerite, common daisy, dog daisy and moon daisy. The ox-eye daisy is a widespread flowering plant native to Europe. They are perennial (meaning they live for two or more years) and take two to five years to reach their ultimate height of up to one metre. In Britain, the ox-eye daisy to flower from May to September particularly attracts bees but also a large range of pollinating insects including butterflies and hoverflies. Don’t let the bees get all the Ox-eye daisy action – they are actually edible. They can be eaten raw, in salads and desserts or pickled like capers. The Eden Project has some rules on foraging as well an ox-eye daisy recipe. Horticulturists can ox-eye daisies in full or partial shade in moderately fertile soil which is well-drained (although well-drained soil is preferred, it is not essential). They are cultivated and used as an ornamental plant in gardens and designed meadow landscapes. In nature, the ox-eye daisy is widespread throughout Arctic Finland, Norway and Sweden where it blossoms in June and July. The flower is known as ‘prästkrage’ in Swedish (dog collar) […]