Sunday, December 6, 2015


A quick weekend jump to Auckland with JetStar.

The road from the airport to Britomart, shows strong Asian influence on modern Auckland:

Britomart is the common name for the central railway station in Auckland. This strange name, evoking an image of a small British shop in India, comes from the name of a British Royal Navy ship HMS Britomart, which surveyed the area. The HMS Britomart was in turn named after Britomartis - a Minoan/Greek goddess of mountains and hunting,  and that name probably means "sweet virgin" in a Cretan dialect. There you go, the central hub of Auckland is called "sweet virgin". :-)

Auckland is ready for Christmas, can you see the reindeers?

Street art:

The Viaduct Harbour, which hosts many beautiful boats is located close to the Maritime Museum:

Team Vodafone's ORMA-60 class trimaran built in France capable of sailing at 18 knots windward:

The war was a good business to the shipbuilding industry in Auckland:

What's a "lighter" ? A kind of barge:

Auckland architecture in Viaduct Harbour:

Arataki Visitor Centre near Auckland:

Himiona Heketarere

Te Ure
Leaves growing directly from the trunk:

New Zealand amber (kauri gum):

Monday, November 2, 2015

Trip to Europe, September 2015, Oslo


We got to Oslo by a short and very inexpensive Ryanair flight from Warsaw's Modlin airport.

The bus from the Rygge airport to the centre of Oslo takes about 60 minutes. These office buildings look very interesting, but the best place to see them seems to be the platforms of the central train station:

Oslo is quite compact, it reminds me of Amsterdam, and is also a port. From the train station hall you can see ferries that connect Oslo with cities in Denmark and Germany.

The city centre is surprisingly quiet. There are very few cars. Buses use tram lanes when needed:

I like plants in the cities, if grass can grow between tram tracks, great!

I was looking for street art. The best I found outdoors was this advertisement for milk chocolate. I was in Oslo only one day though. 

 More, of the city centre, narrow streets and trams:

I like the human scale of these buildings, like in Amsterdam:

 A piece of street art inside the central train station:

An older and newer train, see the rust in these pictures? The climate is harsh:

This is a Norwegian tilting train capable of going 210 km/h. Next time I'm in Norway I will try to get on it:

The famous opera building - the roof is walkable and slides down all the way to the sea:

I have no idea what this building is, but it reminds me of the Hollywood Tower from Disney:

The Oslo City Hall building:

 This is the view from the other side. This is where the Nobel Peace prizes are given every year:

The National Theatre building is a symbol of a strong Norwegian presence in classical music.

The Norwegian resistance museum - it is much bigger on the inside than on the outside:

Neutral Norway was attacked by Germany on 9th April 1940. From the Polish perspective, the interesting thing is that Polish soldiers together with Norwegian, British, and French won the first major battle against Germans in WWII in May 1940 at Narvik:

German propaganda poster inviting Norwegians to join Waffen-SS in the fight against Bolsheviks:

Symbol of Norwegian resistance - H7 stands for Haakon VII - the king of Norway who escaped to the UK:

The Norwegian resistance was most famously involved in the sabotage of heavy water production.

Finally, a few intriguing statues from the Vigeland sculpture park:

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Trip to Europe, September 2015, Berlin


Starting with the iconic S-Bahn:

And the iconic Ampelmann:

Traffic lights for pedestrians from other countries:

Old East Berlin streetscape. The trees make this street look nice compared to Vienna:

Communist East Berlin architecture with the TV tower on Alexanderplatz in the background:

Berlin's most famous landmark, the Brandenburger gate:

Not far from it, is the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe:
The white building in the background is the American embassy.

Three girls and a boy sculpture by Wilfried Fitzenreiter: