Monday, 30 June 2014

Oslo Opera House

One of the many landmarks we visited while in Oslo, was the Oslo Opera which had to be one of my favorite buildings. Situated at the head of the Oslofjord, this marble and glass building is very interesting. I liked how you are able to walk up the slope to the roof and get some lovely views. Built in 2008 it has become a big draw to both locals and tourists, it was designed by a Norwegian firm Snohetta.

The opera has won many award both in Norway and abroad, one of the many was the International Architecture Award 2010. After walking around had a coffee sitting outside on the terrace. It was a wonderful sunny and we enjoyed sitting down with the great view. Inside too is lovely, very light and airy feel to the place. I am sure going to a production here would be quite amazing.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Photo of the Week - The Blue Mosque

During our stay in Istanbul we visited a few rooftop bars and we were not disappointed at all with all they had to offer. In fact to visit more bars would have been a great goal if we had had the time. One of these bars was in The Blue House which we discovered quite by accident. The hotel looked quite interesting and we were also a bit weary from wondering the streets that we decided to check this place out. Once up at the top, the lift was rather small and slow, we sat down for a drink.

The views were just amazing as they had all been everywhere but to be this close to the famous and beautiful Blue Mosque at night was just brilliant.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Sechseläuten Parade 2014

I am a bit late with this post, this was the traditional Spring festival called Sechseläuten which took place on the weekend of the 28th April. This was the kid`s parade which is always on a Sunday, as you can see from the photos it was a rainy affair. Although this did not stop lots of people coming out to see the parade, it is more or less the same each year. The kids throw sweets to the kids watching the parade and they scramble about trying to get as many as possible.

The Monday afternoon parade sees the 26 guilds with the men in historic dresses, marching bands and fancy carriages. They head for the Sechseläuten square where the huge snowman (böögg) is waiting to be set on fire. The tradition is that the faster it burns and the head explodes the better the summer will be. I believe this year is was quite fast, so lets see if the summer is a lovely one!!

Happy start to the week!!

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Another Sunset!

Whenever possible I like to take photos of sunsets and these were taken in Oslo from my hotel window. We were on the highest floor so I just stuck my head out the window see to the view and suddenly saw this, quickly got my camera and the rest is history. I was going for a photo of the week but could not decide which one to use so decided to use all three.

Well is it nearly the weekend, which is always good!!

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Views from the Galata Tower!

One of the many things we did while in Istanbul was visit the Galata tower in the Karakoy district. Built in 1348 by the Genoese it is a medieval stone tower, it have been used as a dungeon and then a fire tower, it is 66.90m high.

It has a restaurant, cafe and a viewing area and as you can see from the photos an amazing view of the Bosphorus and Istanbul.

It took a while as there was a long queue but once you are up and seeing these views it is well worth the wait. There is not much room and you basically walk around, stop and enjoy the sights take lots of photos and go back down again. I noticed that quite a few websites say that the entrance fee is high, but it cost 18TL and that is only 8ch or £5. I do not think that is expensive quite the opposite in fact. So do not let that put you off visiting this lovely tower.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Vigeland Park Oslo

Back to Oslo and a visit to the amazing Vigeland Park, it is the world`s largest sculpture park made by  a single artist. The artist Gustav Vigeland was born in Southern Norway in 1869, the park was completed between the years 1939 and 1949.

Once we had had a bit to eat and Alessio got some time to play at the great play area for kids, we began our exploration of the statues. The park itself and its layout is beautiful, it did remind me of some of the parks in Paris. Going over the bridge there are loads of statues and we all had fun choosing the one we liked the best. For me it was the one with the man and the four babies hanging on him and it looks like he is trying to get them off him.

We then walked up the steps to the very amazing Monolith on the highest point in the park, it is 17.3m high and has 121 figures. It took 3 stonemasons 14 years to carve the Monolith.

The last photo shows the impressive view from the top looking down at the gardens and the fountain of the park. There was still lots more to see but by then we decided to head back into the centre and to our hotel.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Photo of the Week - Fancy a Fish!

Saturday evening in Istanbul we were walking on the Galata bridge, you can walk on the lower part which has lots of restaurants. People trying to beckon you into their place as supposed the next one, it was also very busy with people just hanging out.

One of the most prominent things we saw were the many, many fisherman going about their business. I have never seem so many standing side by side. It was just not on this bridge but on the other one we walked over. I did see some of the fisherman catching some fish, this must be a common activity on the bridges.

Monday, 2 June 2014

Turkish Goodies on Sale!

Selling IDs!

I am just back from a long weekend in Istanbul, my first time there and in Turkey too. Going to Istanbul has been a long time coming and finally I made it happen.

How to explain what this city is like, is a bit difficult! For starters it is a very busy place, the metros were always full to brimming point. The streets were full of people selling all kinds of wares and people begging for money too. Walking around restaurant areas was always interesting as they all tried to get you to eat in there place.

Talking about eating there were always stalls where you could get a bite to eat. From watermelon, corn on the cob, chestnuts, pretzels to freshly made sandwiches and all costing next to nothing. So the orange juice in the photos would have only costed less than 1ch and the watermelon was under 2.50ch for a big portion.

In the last photo the guy is making a sweet of some kind, it really was very interesting to watch how he did it.