Photography, photojournalism, travel, Uncategorized

Christmas, Scandinavian Style: part 1

Arlanda airport, Stockholm, Sweden.

Arlanda airport, Stockholm, Sweden.

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Delays expected.

I realise this post is coming a few months late. Better late then never, right?

I love traveling and experiencing new and different cultures, and Scandinavia is no exception. I hadn’t been to Finland – home of my lovely wife – for over two years. I hadn’t been outside of Ireland for over two years, so I was pretty excited to be heading off for two weeks to experience Christmas Scandinavian style.

Our journey would take us from Dublin to Helsinki, from there we would take the night train 700km north to Kemi and across the border to visit Hanna’s dad in Haparanda, Sweden.

Exiting Helsinki terminal the cold hit me like a block of ice. I fumbled round in my rucksack for a thick woolly hat, and then thrust my aching hands deep in to my pockets. The decision to purchase winter boots and a winter coat after we arrived at our destination now seemed foolish.

At Helsinki Central station we bought some greasy chips, hotdogs, shared a beer, and waited until our train was ready to board.

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Night train from Helsinki to Kemi, Finland.

Twelve hours and a restless sleep later, we arrived at Kemi – northern Finland. The thermometer at Kemi train station read -28C. Luckily, Hanna’s Dad was waiting for us and had the inside of the Volvo nice and warm.

First port of call – after dumping luggage at the house – was the shops to get myself some proper winter clothing. Ankle-less socks and trail runners just don’t cut it in these conditions. Luckily, christmas sales were in full swing and (many) bargains were purchased.

Upon returning to the house we took some coffee (one of many obligatory daily cups), spent the best part of 15mins putting on our winter gear – long johns, woolly socks, thermal baselayer, t-shirt, heavy sweater, proper winter coat, insulated ski-pants, scarves, hats, gloves, etc, etc – and finally went out for a walk in the crisp winter wonderland.

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Hanna-Mari, Haparanda, Sweden. -26 degrees C

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I thought it was funny!

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Home sweet (temporary) home.

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Tools for work and play.

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Haparanda, Sweden.

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Joulupukki, also known as Santa Claus.

More photos to come in a follow up post. Thanks for looking.

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Uncategorized

Lahore Inferno: Losing the battle with fire

Reblogged from Damir Sagolj’s excellent blog.

Damir Šagolj

Lahore, Pakistan

A man wearing traditional white Pakistani clothes disappeared from the window back into the burning building. A minute later, a different man wearing black emerged from inside but it looked like someone was holding his lifeless body. The body was slowly pushed over the edge of the window and then released. Twenty seconds later the man in white came out again. He sat calmly for a few seconds in the open window with his back turned outwards and then just fell.

A man falls from the high floor of a burning building in central LahoreAnd that was it; both men were dead in less than a minute. After several long hours of fighting a raging fire (or were they short hours? Time gets twisted in extreme situations like this), this part of the story ended in the way I had feared from the beginning – the worst possible way. I shot pictures of people falling from the building to their deaths…

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Architecture, Ireland, Landscapes, Photography, photojournalism

Tintern Abbey & Colclough Gardens, 2012.

Tintern Abbey is located on the Hook Peninsula, Co. Wexford. It’s a beautiful place to visit any time of the year, but late spring / early summer is particularly enjoyable because the air is filled with the aroma of wild garlic growing along the riverbank – and of course the trees and flowers are in full bloom!

The grounds are located away from main roads, and with no traffic noise it’s a great place to ramble away a few hours on or off the beaten tracks.

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The Abbey and surroundings.

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Fairy forest

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Nearby agriculture.

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Estuary beginnings

A recent addition to the location is the opening of Colclough Walled Gardens, which has been under restoration for a number of years.

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Potato drills in the foreground.

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A river – small one – runs through it.

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The impressive brick wall receiving temporary support after subsiding where the stream flows under.

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Archeological findings during excavation and garden clearing.

In the coming days/weeks I will post more images taken in and around the Abbey itself, and along the banks of the forest river….

Here’s a little teaser:

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