On Sunday, September 17 my eldest daughter. will drop us at Charleroi Airport. Some like to call it Brussels South.
I don’t. Brussels is over 72 klicks away so this can’t count as an extension of our capital. For some of the many stupid and retarded politicians in our country a “Huge” Brussels might be a wet dream.
Gate will close at 06:00 and 30 minutes later Sweetheart and I will be in the air.
Poland here we come.
We’ll arrive at Kraków airport at 08:30. Time to pick up our car and drive to the our quite luxurious apartment we rented trough Airbnb. Check it OUT.
We’ll be visiting the city and the famous salt mines. Auschwitz maybe.
Sweetheart and I like to mix city and outdoors so we’ll visit the Ojców National Park a few times.
Hope to do some paddling too.
Maybe we’ll make a little trip to the Czech Republic. We’ll see. Time will, as always, fly by without us having even grasped a second of it.
I’ll be taking my Gopro Hero 4 Silver and Black with me and the Ricoh GR II but mainly I’ll concentrate on video for this trip.
I bought a Western Digital Passport Pro Wireless 1 Terabyte portable disk. Basically you use it on the road, it reads SD-card and USB devices so I can download my video on the disk. After all 64 GB of SD card gives me about 2 hours of video. The disk is cheaper than buying a zillion SD-cards.
I am not sure the Western Digital Passport Pro is a good product though or a good choice. It has been sitting on my desk for about a month and a half since it arrived. I tested it twice. When I fired it up a few days ago it didn’t work. Unable to connect via WiFi, unable to download files. Almost an DOA. I checked the WD support pages and was able to fix the problem. Hell, used it twice and it already got screwed up… Not sure I’m trusting this device.
I’ll be shooting in 4K with the intention to downsize it to 1080p thus gaining image quality and detail. Maybe I’ll shoot also in 1080p at 120 fps if a subject lends to some slo-mo.
For those not interested in tech stuff and computers just jump to Denmark
I’m writing this while sitting in a corner of my living room. In front of me an old Samsung Syncmaster P2370 monitor in high-definition. A very old Dell keyboard, very noisy. And a mouse.
On my right side, on my desk, my iMac 27” with all the whistles and bells needed to write and work on my photographs.
I’m listening to my favourite CD, “Push The Sky Away” by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. It is playing on the same computer I’m writing on and I’m using VLC to play the music. Video is something else though. Haven’t gotten more than a black screen. Sound is okay though.
A cheap 20$ single speaker gives an acceptable quality but pushing the sound through my very old amplifier and equalizer would give a better sound. But these analogue devices are hooked up to my iMac.
No fancy Microsoft Word but LibreOffice Writer. I’m not even sure if there is a spellchecker available.
In fact, I am writing this on a 35 $ computer (screen, display, SD-card and mouse not included). I wanted to reconnect with Linux and decided to get a Raspberry Pi 3b. Although it cannot be compared to the sheer power of my iMac for normal work this configuration has not let me down yet. I am pleasantly surprised but on the other hand Linux does not have a huge footprint either.
So the Raspberry Pi is just a side project but also a plan B whenever my main system should die. Maybe, during the winter, I’ll be passing time with some electronics experiments.
Sweetheart and I enjoyed our holiday very much. It was Sweetheart’s first flight. All went well except that her luggage ended up in Portugal. An error at the luggage check-in. She got her suitcase the next day. Sweetheart loved seeing the sun coming up above the clouds. It was magical.
We had great weather. Sunny and not to warm. The rental Renault Clio okay. The hotel cosy and well situated at walking distance of the station of Helsingør, the ferries to Sweden and the centre of the town.
Food was delicious but very expensive. People friendly. Culture and art seem to be very important as there are museums and cultural centres everywhere. Higher incomes are taxed up to 65% but wealth is redistributed. School system is different, there is more space for personal development. Alcohol is extremely expensive and there is a rightful zero tolerance for drivers.
We arrived at 08:20 at Copenhagen airport on Saturday, September 17. When it became obvious Sweetheart’s suitcase was not travelling with us we picked up the car and on our way to the hotel, 47 kilometres from Copenhagen, we shopped for some basic stuff for Sweetheart. I had chosen for the coastal road.
After checking in we visited Helsingør and its castle used in Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
On Sunday we drove along the coast and on Monday we took the boat to Helsinborg, Sweden. A whole different city when we looked at the buildings and the general architecture. Specialized shops selling only wine, beer and liquor. A stand on the street was an alcohol bar.
Unfortunately, Stella, Sweetheart’s eldest daughter, was not feeling well, texting Sweetheart with a zillion messages. Shortly after I held a crying Sweetheart in my arms. It was only the 2nd to 3th time in our 5 years I saw her crying.
In the afternoon the lower grades did not have school but the parks were filled with their laughter.
We enjoyed a delicious lunch. On a huge public square with flowers and pergola’s the underprivileged were drinking and shooting drugs. Sweetheart gave me some space so I could do some street photography. I was spotted quickly though and was confronted with an aggressive drunk so I backed off.
Between Helsingør (Denmark) and Helsinborg (Sweden) lies 7 km of water. Somewhere in between the border. So while the ferry is in Danish waters you can buy as much booze in the tax-free shop as you can carry. When the boat crosses the border you are not allowed to buy any alcohol any more but you can spend all your dough on tax-free tobacco.
On September 20, our 5th anniversary and the start of our 6th year we took the train to Copenhagen. It was very cheap because the ticket was 24 hours valid and gave access to bus, tram and metro.
Copenhagen is cold but beautiful. Gorgeous architecture like the Opera or the Black Diamond (Royal library). A zillion bicycles who won’t stop even if you want to try to get off a bus.
We walked for a while and then Sweetheart suggested taking a hop on/hop off bus. So we visited the Danish capital by bus and then by boat (included in the price).
Later that evening we had dinner, found our way to the station and took the train back to Helsingør. I guess we had another 2 stops before arriving when the train stopped. Something was said through the intercom but we do not understand Danish. Everybody got off. Then an official saw us sitting there, puzzled. He made us clear we had to leave the train.
While we walked to the other side of the station a voice said “the train to Helsingør is going nowhere”. There we stood, waiting in the dark. It was cold and it was raining. About 20′ later a train arrived and another 30′ we were at out hotel.
The next day we drove to the other side of the Danish Sealand Isle. The beach there was desolated. We enjoyed the sun lying on huge rocks and then we had even some more fun while the sun warmed our bodies and a gentle breeze caressed our skin. It was a magnificent moment.
Then our holiday was over. We drove back to Copenhagen and I found an expensive parking space in the center. We walked to Christianshavn and straight to Freetown Christiania, an 84 acres city within a city. Hippies, own flag and currency and an anarchist community. The smell of hash and weed was omnipresent and we regretted not having visited it earlier but we did not want to get on a plane stoned.
I loved Christiania and its apparent freedom.
Later on I gave the car back and then it was really over. Sweetheart and I enjoyed the night and the world and its small lights.
We landed at 22:50 in Charleroi and Sweetheart phoned The Boy to find out where he was. We walked to the underground parking but we did not find The Boy.
He was waiting for us in Zaventem, Brussels Airport. It was a miscommunication with Sweetheart. So we waited 45′ minutes before he finally showed up.
Much later we were finally back home. We slept well and the next morning, when I dropped her off at her place I knew our holiday was really over.
We had a blast. I loved being with Sweetheart. We had an incredible holiday.
Finally I did not use my analogue Nikon’s that much. After all this was a holiday with Sweetheart and our quality time way to important to waste it. Even on photography.
The Ricoh GR II was the camera I used the most but for the long exposures and a few landscapes I preferred my Nikon with the good, old and trusty 24-120 VR 3.5-5.6. Not the best lens in the world but a true workhorse.
From our base camp in Helsingør we hopped by boat to Helsingborg in Sweden. Not that far but a different city, and I guess a different world, altogether.
We went by train to Copenhagen. It is a beautiful city that we explored by foot, by bus and by boat. As we had to take the plane in Copenhagen I drove to the city on our last afternoon and we went for a walk to Freetown Christiania.
Christiania, also known as Freetown Christiania, is a self-proclaimed autonomous neighborhood of about 850 residents, covering 34 hectares in the borough of Christianshavn in the Danish capital Copenhagen. (Wikipedia)
This shot was made near Overby and is one of the few long exposures I made.