2017 Photographic Wall Calendar

A sneak preview of the 2017 Photographic Wall Calendar.

INTRODUCTION

As some of you know I created photographic wall calendars last year. I recently mentioned that I was going to do again this year. This morning my inbox contained an offer from Vistaprint that was too good to refuse, so the calendars will be arriving with me some time around October 20th.

THE FRONT COVER

This time, there will be no borders, and no added text. It will surprise few who have followed this blog recently to find out that I have chosen an Inlandsbanan picture for the front cover…

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The actual calendar will be much bigger than this of course.

THE MONTH PAGES

Here are the individual pages for each month…

jan

feb
This picture was taken quite recently, but I decided that it looks wintry enough for February.

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june
This picture is one of my Swedish ones, but not inappropriate for the month.

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sep
This picture was taken on Heritage Open Day, which in King’s Lynn is always the second Sunday in September.
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Two pictures both from October 1st joined together.

nov

dec
Another two pictures from very recently joined together for this purpose.

 

Cormorants and Calendars

A brief post showcasing some cormorants from earlier today and announcing my intention to produce a calendar.

INTRODUCTION

This post combines showing some new pictures with being the official announcement that I shall be repeating last year’s experiment of producing calendars as Christmas presents.

CORMORANTS

I decided once I had completed my online NAS branch officer’s training this morning that I would go for a walk, and I was delighted to see the structure I call ‘Cormorant Platform’ was very busy…

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The first of the cormorant images – this one shows precisely why I call it ‘Cormorant Platform – notwithstanding the three Caspian gulls also on there, it is the cormorants (five on this occasion) who stand out.

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Just before leaving the river I got this picture of a cormorant in flight.
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A couple of moorhens to finish with…

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CALENDARS

The calendars will be large, month to page, each month decorated with a picture. Learning from last year I will be aiming to have no borders, and certainly no patterned borders, just pictures taking up the whole available space. This is very much a work in progress, but here are the pictures I have so far picked out as being good enough (feel free to add your own suggestions of pictures you particularly enjoyed when I first posted them in the comments sections, although remember that I am limited to 13 pictures (front cover plus 12 months):

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This picture showing the two Inlandsbanan trains together is earmarked for the front cover
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I will use one of these two ducking pictures

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Likewise, I will use one these two butterfly pictures.

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This photo, from the Stockholm Archipelago, will be July’s

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This picture was actually taken in January.
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This picture might get the nod for August
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This is nailed on for April, since it was in that month that the Positive Autism Awareness Conference was held at this establishment.
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This is provisionally September’s picture.

Sweden: Maps Special

This post ties together my series about my recent holidayy in Sweden, displaying lots of maps and functioning as an illustrated index.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to this post which ties together my series of posts about my recent (July 29 to August 13) holiday in Sweden and functions as a sort of illustrated index to the series. Please note that barring the two Lulea maps which are public display maps as I did obtain a map of that town every map you see photographed here is available free of charge (great news for a cartophile such as myself).

THE MAPS

Maintaining chronological order for these maps we start with…

STOCKHOLM ARCHIPELAGO

This map relates to the start of the holiday, the period of July 29th to 31st, which is covered in this post:

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On Monday August 1st I set off on the second part of my trip, where I was travelling solo, my first stop being…

KRISTINEHAMN

This small town was significant for me as being the southern terminal of Inlandsbanan. It sits close a famous lake (bodies of water are never far distant wherever you are in Sweden) and is an attractive place in its own right.

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Kristinehamn features in two posts in this series:

Preparing for Inlandsbanan – Stockholm to Kristinehamn and

Kristinehamn to Mora

Before continuing our local maps we come to…

INLANDSBANAN

I spent two days soaking up this fabulous railway experience, coverage of which ran to eight posts in the course of this series, which led to me to create a page for easy access to the whole sub=series. I have three pictures of this large double-sided map:

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The two sides of the map juxtaposed – the southern part of the route is on the left as you look, the northern on the right (a side by side view works better than one on top of the other for a long thin country).
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A closer view of the southern part of the route
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A closer view of the northern part of the route.

Those who followed this series will recall that my first day of travel along Inlandsbanan took me to…

OSTERSUND

I covered the section of the journey from Mora to Ostersund in two posts, using the meal stop at Asarna as a natural break point:

Inlandsbanan 2: Mora to Asarna and

Inlandsbanan 3: Asarna to Ostersund

The Ostersund map, shown below, was provided to Inlandsbanan passengers by our host for that part of the journey, Emma, who had been equipped with a block of such maps from which she peeled off individual copies:

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Osttersund in its region.
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The close up of central Ostersund.

The next place I was able too obtain a map was…

ARVIDSJAUR

This town is fairly close to the arctic cirle. The post in which Arvidsjaur features was the seventh in my Inlandsbanan subseries, meaning that by the time I got to this location all the following had happened:

Inlandsbanan 4: Ostersund to Ulriksfors

Inlandsbanan 5: Ulriksfors to Vilhelmina

Inlandsbanan 6: The Meal at Vilhelmina Norra

Inlandsbanan 7: Vilhelmina Norra to the Edge of the Arctic Circle

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Not very long after this came the end of the Inlandsbanan journey at…

GALLIVARE

As with the Osttersund map this one was provided for passengers by our train host, in this case Andreas, although unlike the Ostersund map it was large enough to warrant being folded, and hence could not be transported in the way that one was…

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The post to which the above pictures relate was the last in my Inlandsbanan subseries:

Inlandsbanan 8: Tis Better to Travel Hopefully Than to Arrive

My next port of call was…

LULEA

An attractive town that sits at the northern end of the Gulf of Bothnia, Lulea was the only place I visited for any length of time that I did not get a take home map of, but I have two good pictures of public display maps:

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My stay in Lulea accounted for four blog posts:

Transition Point – Lulea

Exploring Lulea -The Morning

Exploring Lulea: Icebreakers and Mythology

Exploring Lulea: The Other Side of the Tracks

From Lulea I caught on overnight train to…

UPPSALA

The map of Uppsala tthat ii was equipped with at the tourist information office had details of various attractions printed on the back…

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Both sides of the map
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Close up of the Map
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Close up of the list of attractions.

Uppsala provided me with six blog posts worth of material – anyone who is up for a little challenge is invited to work out how many of the attractions listed above get mentioned in the course of the series of posts:

Arriving in Uppsala

Uppsala University Museum

Uppsala – A Bit More Exploring Before Checking In

Sunday in Uppsala – The Botanic Gardens and Carolina Rediviva

Uppsala: The Linnaeus Museum

Uppsala to Malmo

As the title of the last post listed above suggests, my next port of call was…

MALMO

The map of Malmo, provided by the STF Hostel in which I stayed for two nights, was A3 sized (twice as big as the Uppsala map), but had only advertising on the reverse, hence me not bothering to photograph that side…

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Malmo featured in three posts in this series:

Uppsala to Malmo

Exploring Malmo

Malmo to Gothenburg

As with the Uppsala series, the title of the final post featuring Malmo gives a clue as to my next port of call…

GOTHENBURG

The Gothenburg map, provided by the tourist information office, has useful information on both sides…

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As well as both sides of the map, I include a close-up of the diagram of the local public transport network

I stayed only the one night in Gothenburg, en route back to Stockholm for the last two nights of my stay in Sweden, which explains why this very impressive city only features in two posts:

Malmo to Gothenburg

Gothenburg to Stockholm

Having started in the Stockholm Archipelago  we have come almost full circle, as we head to…

STOCKHOLM

The map of Stockholm, which I obtained at Stockholm Central station, is a large folding map, with much of value on both sides.

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The city of Stockholm features in three posts in this series:

Gamla Stan

Kungstragarden

Departure Time

In spite of the title of the last post shown above this post is not quite done yet, because being the keen student of public transport systems that I am I could not ignore one of the most remarkable I have yet encountered…

TUNNELBANA

The heading above contains the colours of the three lines that make up Tunnelbana, with the blue line given an extra letter over the others because of its cave-like appearance. Here is a diagram of the Tunnelbana system:

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Tunnelbana has a whole long post to itself, and also provided my response to one of Maria Jansson’s photographic challenges:

MJP Weekly Challenge – Frames

Tunnelbana

I hope that you enjoyed this ‘maps special’ and that some of you will find it useful as a means of accessing my series of posts about Sweden. For those who have enjoyed the maps, i draw your attention to a blog that is dedicated to maps.

 

 

 

 

MJP Weekly Challenge – Frames

My response to Maria Jansson’s latest photo challeneg, ‘Frame’.

INTRODUCTION

This post is my response to Maria Jansson’s latest photo challenge, which can be viewed here

MY ENTRY

In view of the fact that I am currently creating a series of blog posts about my recent holiday in Sweden and Maria’s own heritage I have looked to Sweden for my contribution to this challenge. While many of the pictures that I took during the course of travelling along Inlandsbanan , as recounted in this eight part sub-series, were framed either by train windows or by such things as parts of bridge structures, I wanted to share something I had not previously shared, so I opted for this picture of a water scene in central Stockholm, framed by the gap in the side of the Tunnelbana section where it was taken:

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Those wishing to see more of what I have already produced from my visit to Sweden should click here.

Inlandsbanan 8: Tis Better to Travel Hopefully Than to Arrive

The next installment in my series about Sweden, and the finale to the sub-series about the Inlandsbanan experience.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the latest installment in my series of posts about my recent holiday in Sweden, and the end of the sub-series of posts about my northward journey along Inlandsbanan.

THE JOURNEY

By this stage we were nearing the end of the journey from Ostersund to Gallivare, although there was still the second meal stop to come. In the brief period between restarting the trip from the edge of the arctic circle and arriving at Vaikijaur for the second meal stop we passed a place called Jokkmokk.

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Vaikijaur was not especially memorable, although the food was excellent. Here are the pictures I took.

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A side view of this quirky little building
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The front view
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The people who had produced our food.

We had no further significant stops before Gallivare although we did pass through a town called Porjus. The train pulled into the platform at Gallivare exactly as scheduled at 21:39. Here are the photos of the last part of the journey…

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SLEEPLESS IN GALLIVARE

I had booked two nights at the Hotel Dundret i Centrum, planning then to take a morning train to Lulea on the Gulf of Bothnia and then an overnight train from Lulea to Uppsala, birthplace of Carolus Linnaeus also known as Carl Von Linne. However, while I located the establishment in question, there was no one at reception, and it turned out that to gain access my room I needed to make a call on a mobile phone (had booking.com mentioned this detail I would have booked somewhere else) and I had accidentally left mine at the flat in Stockholm where my cousin and his fiance live. I waited a few minutes in the very unimpressive communal seating area just in case but it was soon obvious that no one would show up.

While I could have sat there until the morning doing so would then involve having an argument over payment because there was no way I would pay for a night in which I had not access to my room, so I decided to cut my losses and headed back to the station to wait the night out. Before continuing this story here is the one photo I took in Gallivare (I knew the camera battery was low, and that I would not be able to charge it that night).

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This sculpture is on the roundabout just opposite the station in Gallivare.

I did make a couple of attempts to get some sleep but they were unsuccessful. I was thankful that I had had the foresight to pack a long sleeved top just in case the Swedish summer weather was not quite as good as it might be, since while it does not get dark in Gallivare in August it does get quite nippy at night (as a cricket fan I would have said that the light was  never even at its least good unplayable in). Had the sky been clear I might have had a glimpse of the famous midnight sun, but as it was solidly cloudy I was denied even that small pleasure.

At 6 o’clock I was able to get inside and think about my next move. Having ascertained that train tickets could be bought at the Pressbyran next to the station, which was now open, I paid for a ticket on 7:08 train to Lulea (the full price since I did not wish to burn a whole day’s travel for a shortish journey – btw train tickets are one of the few things that are not more expensive in Sweden than in GB – the Swedes don’t have the likes of Branson coining it from failing to provide proper train services), having decided that I would get back on track with my original plans by staying overnight in Lulea and catching the sleeper as intended the following day.

THE INLANDSBANAN EXPERIENCE

I rate this as one of the finest railway experiences I have ever had. I encountered some wonderfully scenic journeys in Scotland and on my first visit to Nordic lands many years ago. More recently I experienced some very scenic journeys in Australia, including Melbourne – Adelaide.

Although I, with my Colbeckian enthusiasm for all things railwayana thoroughly enjoyed all three legs of the Inlandsbanan journey and would recommend the experience to anyone I could also see merit in missing the Kristinehamn-Mora section and doing Mora-Ostersund and Ostersund-Gallivare having found some other route to Mora. If not constrained by budget I would recommend the onward trip from Gallivare to Narvik and some exploration in Norway as well. I also mention that there are places along the route where one could stay overnight if wanted to spend many days over making the journey, but with an inter-rail pass giving me eight days of travel and a desire to see as much of Sweden as I could encompass such was not on the table for me personally.

If anyone involved in the publication of the Rough Guide to Sweden happens to see this may I suggest that you think about turning my last eight blog posts into a chapter about Inlandsbanan since it is absurd that this incredible experience is not covered in your pages.

Inlandsbanan 7: Vilhelmina Norra to the Edge of the Arctic Circle

The latest installment in my series about my recent holiday in Sweden. We are still travelling north on Inlandsbanan and this post takes us to the arctic circle.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the next installment in this series of posts about my recent holiday in Sweden. In this post we are back on the move, heading north along Inlandsbanan.

THE JOURNEY

Very soon after leaving Vilhelmina Norra behind us we made a brief stop at Storuman.

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After Storuman there was again a period of taking pictures through the window of a moving train.

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Shortly after I had taken the picture above we arrived at Sorsele, which is significant as…

THE STATION WHERE INLANDSBANAN TRAINS MEET

Yes, it is at an otherwise insignificant dot on the map called Sorsele that the northbound Ostersund-Galiivare service overlaps with the southbound Gallivare-Ostersund service. Sorsele is also home to the Inlandsbanan Museum, although I chose not to go inside. Thus I have many photographs of this location that is so important in the workings of Inlandsbanan…

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My first shot of the two Inlandsbanan trains together at the platform

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A wonderful signboard, one of many here.

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The external view of the Inlandsbanan museum.

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A disused platform.
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The guard about to indicate the departure of the southbound service.
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Where personal meets professional – as someone who images auction items and has an interest in railwayana I particularly wanted to get a close-up of the Inlandsbanan cap badge.
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Outside cooking – probably a rare pleasure in this part of the world!

After a brief move we including the lake below we arrived at Slagnas

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After leaving Slagnas there was a reasonably long period of forward travel…

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We then had a stop for long enough to stretch our legs at…

ARVIDSJAUR

I was able to take a few pictures here before we moved on.

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Moving forward again, I was still taking pictures through the train window…

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I reckon this must be the lower terminal of a cable car route.

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What looks like a black raindrop in the picture above is actually a mark on the window that got into more than one of my photos! It was very soon after this picture was taken that we arrived at…

THE ARCTIC CIRCLE

This was not the first occasion I had been into the arctic – on my only previous visit to Nordic lands in 1994 I had gone by train from Helsinki to Narvik in Norway, with a brief bus ride from Haparanda to Boden in the middle,, and after a night in Narvik had caught a bus to Tromso before then travelling by boat to the most northerly town in mainland Europe, Hammerfest. However in those days I had no camera, and also the point at which we reached the arctic circle was not announced. Here are the shots i took from inside the train before I knew that there would actually be a stop:

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I end this post with pictures taken out in the open at the arctic circle:

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The train at the arctic circle.

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A fellow passenger was kind enough to take the picture from which I extracted this image of myself standing in front of the arctic circle sign.

Inlandsbanan 6: The Meal at Vilhelmina Norra

The latest in my series of posts about my holiday in Sweden.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the next installment in my series of posts about my recent holiday in Sweden. In this post my account of the Inlandsbanan experience continues.

MUCH MORE THAN JUST A JOURNEY –
A RAILWAY EXPERIENCE

In my previous posts about my journey along Inlandsbanan I have been concentrating on the route followed by the trains as they move north. However, Inlandsbanan is much more than a railway journey (though it is certainly among the most scenic of those). It is a railway experience, and the scheduled meal stops, one on the Mora-Ostersund leg at the Asarna Ski Centre and two on the long northward haul from Ostersund to Gallivare, the one which I am using as the base for this post at Vilhelmina Norra and a later one at Vaikijaur. Keen followers of this series will remember that Asarna I opted for Moose burger with jacket wedges. Here is a picture showing the two menus from which this day’s food choices were made…

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For this meal I went for the Meat sandwich, while my choice for the Vaikijaur stop was the Reindeer burger.

Why have I opted to cover this aspect of the trip at this point? Well, these little critters who I was able to watch while consuming my meal had something to do with that decision…

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With the meal stops being of generous duration I had plenty of opportunities to augment my collection of photos…

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