Posts Tagged With: vacation

Kronborg Slot

Standing guard high on a promontory in Helsingor, Kronborg Slot (Kronborg Castle) was the home of Denmark rulers until the 1600’s. CPH1_-141

In 1785, the castle was being fitted for use as army barracks. The chapel was outfitted as a gym and fencing hall. The chapel was later refurnished with the original furniture and reinaugurated in 1843

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Detail of the main entrance to the chapel. CPH1_-286The chapel features the original pews dating back to King Frederik II.CPH1_-287CPH1_-139CPH1_-138The casements deep beneath the castle are a unique experience. Dimly lit and at times a bit treacherous, the casements are fun to explore but watch your step.CPH1_-288This subterranean labyrinth is where you can meet Holger. According to the myth of King Arthur, a Danish king known as Holger the Dane, was kidnapped by the sorceress, Morgan le Fay and taken to Avalon. He escaped to rescue France from danger and then traveled to Kronborg castle. Today he sleeps until he is needed to save his homeland. CPH1_-289

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LINKS

Visit Denmark

Kronborg Wiki

 

Categories: Castles, Church, Copenhagen, Europe, Hamlet, Kronborg Castle, Photography, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Streets of Tallin

The capital of Estonia, Tallin is becoming  a popular cruise ship port on the Baltic Sea. Tallin’s old town is one of the best preserved medieval cities in Europe. The earliest traces of human occupation go back to 5000 BC. Unlike neighboring towns, Tallin has never been razed and pillaged.Tallin1_-25Toompea, the upper town is where you can visit Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. During the period when Tallin was under the control of the USSR, the cathedral was much hated by the people. They saw it as a symbol of oppression and in 1924 the authorities scehduled the cathedral for demolition. Unfortunately a lack of funds caused the project to be abandoned. Tallin1_-20

Tallin1_-21Between 1549 and 1625, St. Olaf’s Church may have been the tallest building in the world. Up until 1991, the KGB used the church’s spire as a radio tower and surveillance point.Tallin1_-31.jpgColorful buildings and twisting cobblestone streets are made to wander through. Tallin1_-23Local artists set up their masterpieces along the old city walls.Tallin1_-22Russian nesting dolls known as matryoshka are available for sale in many shops. Tallin1_-33Knitting played an important part in Estonia’s history, so much so that it wasn’t uncommon for hundreds of mittens to be knitted as gifts for wedding guests.Tallin1_There is something magical about the brightly decorated doors along Tallin’s city streets. Bright colors, metal and wooden embellishments turn each into it’s own work of art.

LINK

Visit Estonia

Trip Advisor: Tallin

Categories: Church, Estonia, Europe, Photography, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Yo Ho, Yo Ho – A Pirate’s Life For Me

Boom (1 of 1)

June 14th – 16th, the seaside city of Cocoa Beach was invaded by pirates. The annual Cocoa Beach Pirate Fest attracts pirates and fans from around the world.

Raquel and her little cannon

Raquel and her little cannon

Demonstrations included period firearms and cannons

A Pirate named Brave

A Pirate named Brave

A pirate encampment allowed guests to see how pirates may have lived off their ships.

Steadfast Steel

Steadfast Steel

The group Steadfast Steel gave demonstrations of swordplay and combat.

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Pearl (1 of 1)

The lovely but deadly, Pearl

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Undead Pirate

Undead Pirate

Categories: Photography, Photography, Pirates, Travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Boston Through A Fisheye

On my recent trip to Boston I decided to give a new lens a try. I made a point of only shooting with my new fisheye and here are some of the results.

BurrageHouse

There are several buildings that have always captured my imagination, I frequently find myself returning year after year and finding new angles. One of these buildings is the Burrage House on Commonweath Ave at Hereford St. This unusual mansion is currently divided into 6 condos, former residents included New England Patriot’s Tom Brady.

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Similar homes werre built on New York’s Fifth Avenue. Modeled after Chenonceaux, a chateau located in the Loire Valley of France. Covered in Gargoyles and Grotesques, it represents the only example of the “chateauesque” style in Boston.

CommAve2

Walking along the mall at Commonwealth Ave, one encounters a number of sculptures representing some of Boston’s noteworthy citizens. Merdith Bergmann’s The Boston Women’s Memorial features likenesses of Lucy Stone, Phillis Wheatley and Abigail Adams,

CommAve

                All along Commonwealth Ave, you can see architecture ranging from the typical Boston Brownstones to the fabulous marble mansions.

PublicGarden

At the end of Commonwealth Ave, heading towards the State House, is the Boston Public Gardens. This public park features the Swan Boats, beautifully manicured lawns and one of my favorite statues.

Duckling

Robert McCloskey’s children’s book, Make Way For Duckings, tells the story of a pair of mallard ducks that raise their family on the Public Gardens Lagoon. Through the years, pranksters have duck napped individual ducklings, only to return them. The story is so popular that a sister to the statues was installed in Russia.  The Boston residents take great in their duckings, each spring they don straw Easter bonnets. And in remembrance of this year’s Marathon bombings, they wear their own Marathon runner’s bibs.

PostOffice

The Post Office in Beacon Hill on Charles Street, is the oldest operating Post Office in the city. This 2 window Post Office is one of the most popular in Boston , due in part to the friendliness of the customers and workers.

ScoreAntiques

Stephen Score Antiques is nestled among 18th and 19th century buildings in the Back Bay. The vivid blue paint and the French Clown standing guard above the sign welcome you to a gallery full of antiques and fine arts. Previous owner, Israel Sack installed many of the period arcitectural details found throughout the gallery. Many were taken from an old mansion in Marblehead.

SteinartHall

Steinert Hall on Boylston Street was built for piano dealers, M Steinert and Sons in 1896. The six story Beaux Arts style building used to feature a concert hall frequented by the elite of Boston’s arts scene.

PartyStore

This unique facade is at 356 Boylston Street and currently houses iParty with a Twist. In a past life, this was the site of a Schrafft’s Restaurant. Schrafft’s was the kind of place you could see an old lady sipping a cocktail at one table, a group of businessmen having lunch and a gaggle of kids enjoying ice cream cones over at the counter. Schrafft’s was closed on Sunday with the exception of this one location, where Sunday church goers needed somewhere to have lunch.

TheBerkeley

The Berkeley on Boyslton Street was built in 1906 and long considered the crown jewel of Boston’s Back Bay. Designed by Désiré Despradelle, a professor of architecture at MIT had been educated at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. The magnificent facade is encased in terra cotta details and panes of glass.

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Eastern State Penitentiary

     Philadelphia’s Eastern State Penitentiary is a former prison that stressed the reformation of it’s inmates over punishment. Prisoners were completely separated from each other and never knew who was in the cell next to them. They lived in complete isolation every day, never seeing another living soul, eating, sleeping, showering and exercising alone. In reality, the guards developed cruel and hideous tortures, to show their dominance over the prison population.

     In 1966, the prison was designated a National Historic Landmark. By then end of it’s life as a prison it had abandoned the solitary concept and prisoners lived as a community until it was abandoned in 1971. One can only imagine what kind of terrors are imbedded in it’s aging walls.

     The old prison has found new life as a movie set. The decaying building has been featured in Terry Gilliam’s TWELVE MONKEYS and in 2008, TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN.

     The possibility of actual ghosts still haunting the prison has led to paranormal investigators conducting numerous explorations of the site. GHOST ADVENTURES, GHOST HUNTERS, MTv’s FEAR and Great Britain’s MOST HAUNTED LIVE have all produced episodes at Eastern State.

The building is in a state of preserved decay. Areas that are less safe for the average tourist are off limits.

     Among the hauntings witnessed are a shadow figure that quickly scoots away when approached and mysterious ghostly faces in Cellblock 4.

In addition to being a historical site, the building is also home to more than a dozen art installations. My favorite one was called GHOST CATS. Amongst the grounds and cells are sculptures of 39 cats, representing the colony of cats that had inhabited the prison since it was abandoned in 1971. Artist, Linda Brenner created the cats out of a clay that will slowly dissolve over time to represent the inevitable decaying of all living things.

     Eastern State had it’s share of celebrity guests during it’s prime. “Slick Willie” Sutton, a bank robber known for over 50 robbieries. One of the unusual inmates was #C-2559, a dog named Pep. The story goes that Pennsylvania Governor Gifford Pinchot was sentenced to Eastern State for murdering his wife’s cherished cat.

Perhaps the most famous or infamous of Eastern State’s residents was Al Capone. He served his first prison term of 8 months, for possession of a concealed weapon, at Eastern State. His cell was quite comfortable compared to the others, he was allowed to decorate it himself with rugs, art and antiques.

Capone was also Eastern State’s most famous paranormal victim. He claimed that he was haunted by the ghost of James Clark, the brother-in-law of Capone’s rival, murdered in the St. Valentine’s Day massacre. Fellow inmates reported hearing Capone screams nightly, begging “Jimmy” to go away and leave him alone.

     Is Eastern State Penitentiary haunted ? I can honestly say that after visiting, you certainly get a feeling of the oppressive isolation and despair felt by the inmates. EVP’s have captured disembodied voices and more than one person has seen ghostly figures in the Guard Tower. At least for a few days a year, Eastern State is definitely haunted and a scary experience is guaranteed.

“Terror Behind The Walls” happens every Halloween. In 2012, the prison will be the host to 6 different haunted experiences. You can check it out at http://www.easternstate.org/halloween/preview

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Boston: City of Angels and Demons

I grew up in and around Boston. I went to Emerson College in Boston and worked for various theatre companies around Boston.

One thing I love to do when I go home for a visit is to walk around the city. I always find something new and unique to photograph.

For a city as old as Boston, it can be magical in broad daylight.

High above Boylston Street, this Angelic face watches the masses of people below.

A winged Lion stands guard over the old Armory.

The Masks of Comedy and Tragedy adorn the Emerson Majestic Theatre. It’s hard to believe that this was once a run down movie house showing martial arts flicks. Now it’s been restored to it’s original glory.

These Gargoyles stare out from their perches high above Wall St.

I imagine that they come to life at night when the city is still and all of us humans have gone to bed.

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Tenerife, Part II

Did you know the Canary Islands are named for Dogs and not little yellow Birds ?

The Church of San Francisco dates back to the 18th century. It’s adjacent convent now houses The Museum of Fine Arts.

Like many Cruise Ship ports, Tenerife offers a variety of activities for tourists, Bingo Parlors, Casinos and Shopping !

The theater Circulo de Amistad of Santa Cruz de Tenerife opened in 1904. Architecturally, it is a curious building where the bourgeois architecture of the XIXth century and the Art Nouveau architecture of the Canary Islands meet. The building houses a social organization known as “The Recreation” where members enjoy dominoes, swimming, card games, volleyball and a myriad of other sports and activities.

Just a few steps off of the Calle Castillo, I found this unusual building.

Balconies were on almost every building I saw.

Incredible colors and tiles

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Christmas in July (in Germany)

Being in Germany around the holidays was alot of fun. There were several Weinachtsmarkts or Christmas Markets around the city and we hit every one.

Monckebergstrasse was lit with twinkling lights.

On Spitaler Strasse, a giant Weinachtspyramide took centerstage.

At the largest of the city Markets in front of the Rathaus, vendors sold everything from candles and leather sketchbooks to mistletoe.

On a side street, a carousel with some very familiar characters was set up.

A canopy of Christmas lights at the Rathaus Weinachtsmarkt.

Gingerbread Cookies to hang on your Christmas Tree.

Santas in every shape and size

The carousel at Rathaus Markt

The highlight of the Rathaus Weinachtmarkt was the arrival of Santa Claus. Santa rode a motorcycle across a wire while and Angle was suspended underneath in a cloud.

A trio of animated Santas outside St. Petri’s.

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