Temporary

FotoJetFotoJet1FotoJet2Icebergs float freely on Jökulsárlón, a stunning glacial lake in southern Iceland. These floes have broken away from Breiðamerkurjökull, a glacier that is part of Vatnajökull, the largest glacier in Iceland and drift around the lagoon at their own pace. Temporary in nature, they slowly melt away. Some giant chunks of ice will stick around for months, shape-shifting as the sun, wind and water wear them away. Others, minute in comparison, will thaw within a day.

There’s more from the Weekly Photo Challenge on this blog!

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All Saints’ Day at Skogskyrkogården

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Skogskyrkogården, Stockholm’s Woodland Cemetery is a serene patch of green in the heart of the city. It is a place of remembrance, a place to take a pause, and think back upon loved ones. Graves and tombstones line up by the thousands under the soft shade of pine trees. The landscape is peaceful in itself. The architecture of the five unique chapels align completely with the tranquil environment. Everyone is welcome to visit this UNESCO World Heritage Site and take in the placid surroundings at their own time and in a respectful manner. This place is beautiful any time of the year, but if it were possible to say so, a few degrees even higher on the evening of All Saint’s Day or Allhelgonadag on the 4th of September. This evening, following a time-honored tradition, hundreds come to the cemetery and light a candle in memory of a dear departed soul. You hear meditative music from organs of one of the chapels. Many people leave behind souvenirs, flowers and letters, all made with love and remembrance. Even if you personally don’t have a loved one resting in peace at Skogskyrkogården, a visit on this evening can be quite a humbling experience.

 

5 things to do in Sopot

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Sopot is a charming seaside town in Poland, off the Baltic coast and a short ride away from the bigger port city of Gdansk. Don’t let it size dupe you as there is much to do here. Here are my top picks:

  1. Walk the longest wooden pier in Europe: Yes, in a world of superlatives, Sopot holds its own. Wooden and within Europe, conditions apply. Built in 1827, this pier still serves as a quiet & peaceful walkway into sea. Fancy private boats with funky names dock here. An ominous looking ‘pirate ship’ also comes by every once in a while, ferrying passengers on a 40-minute tour around the bay. There’s a restaurant at the end serving patrons. Go up to the deck for a nice wide shot of the entire pier as well as the beach.
  2. Enjoy the beach: You are at the seaside so get on & take a stroll by the edge of the water, watch kids make sand castles, and feed the birds. Oh, the birds! There is a big flock of swans at the Sopot beach and they know you’re looking 😉 Walk below the pier to observe the strong support structure from below. It makes for an interesting photo point, too.
  3. Promenade along Monte Cassino: The main street of Sopot is a slightly sloping path perpendicular to the beachfront. It is lined with restaurants serving various cuisines, from local delicacies like potato dumplings to the omnipresent pizza. And the quintessential souvenir shops. Make sure to take a picture outside the crooked Krzywy Domek, quite an unusual building on the exterior, although nothing special from within. Walk further along a park and a historic tower, onto the big square of Skwer Kuracyjny, from where you head up to the pier.
  4. Enjoy a ‘lody’, Polish for ice cream: While you are walking along the main street or the beachfront, enjoy a flavorful treat at one of the many hole-in-the-wall ice-cream shops. Such a relief on a warm day in June when we were in Sopot. At a couple of euros apiece, you can gorge half a dozen of those, never mind the calorie count when you’re on vacation 😉
  5. Take a ride through Park Północny: A little beyond the Sopot beach lies a harmonious little patch of green with clearly marked bike paths. Hiring a bike is economical at €5 an hour. You could also enjoy a trike ride or glide along on a skateboard under the green canopy of the park. Along the opposite side of the Pier, you will pass by many cozy beach side residences, hotels and restaurants that will make you want to hang out a little while longer.

    Have you been to Sopot? What did you like best?

Spiral staircase, Vatican City

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Spirals are one of the most fascinating occurrences in nature and have inspired artists and architects through time immemorial. Built in 1932, this is the new Bramante Staircase in the Vatican Museum, a beautiful double helix staircase inspired by the original staircase built by Donato Bramante in 1505. Donato’s other striking contribution to the field of architecture is the design of the grand St.Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City.

In response to this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge prompt : Rounded

Check out more of my previous entries!