Toomkirik: its full name is Tallinna Neitsi Maarja Piiskoplik Toomkirik. In English it means “The Cathedral of Saint Mary the Virgin.” It is also known as the Dome Church. It is located on Toompea Hill in the lower town (old town) section in Tallinn, Estonia. Originally the church was established by the Danish in the 13th century. It is a textbook example of simple Northern European Gothic architecture. It is the oldest church in Tallinn and mainland Estonia. It was originally a Roman Catholic cathedral and then in 1561 it became a Lutheran church. It now belongs to the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church and is the seat of the Archbishop of Tallinn who is the spiritual leader of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church and Chairman of that Church’s governing Synod.
This morning I heard that the high temperature in Fairbanks, Alaska was going to be almost 9o°. That is hotter than it was today in Fort Lauderdale. There is something wrong when it is hotter in Alaska than it is in Florida.
So I decided to make today’s photo of something in Fairbanks and chose the Alaska House Art Gallery. It is set in a unique log building and features the works of Claire Fejes and other Alaskan artists. It was founded by Claire and Joe Fejes, who also established the first art supplies store in Fairbanks, and then the town’s first gallery, and is dedicated to preserving and promoting the art of Alaska. The Alaska House is an example of Interior Alaska’s log cabin artistry, which was designed and hand-built in 1939. There are oak floors, high ceilings and leaded windows in the three white-washed gallery rooms, hand hewn timbers overhead, and a river stone fireplace.
The Buddhist carvings in Dazu County at Baodingshan are some of the most important monuments to Buddhist art in China. At this location are 10,000 figures carved into the cliffs under a massive project initiated in the Southern Song dynasty by Zhao Zhifeng, a monk of the Tantric or esoteric school of Buddhism. The Baodingshan carvings were completed in one continuous project from 1174 to 1252. The Niche of Sakyamuni entering Nirvana is 23′ high, 105′ wide and 16.5′ deep and houses 37 statues. Sakyamuni in Nirvana, reclining on the right side, is 101 feet but only the upper part of his body is visible.
Here is a second entry for this weeks photo challenge of “curves.” No matter which direction you look at London’s City Hall you will see curves. It is located in Southward, on the south bank of the River Thames near Tower Bridge and The Shard . The City Hall was constructed at a cost of £43 million and opened in July 2002. The building has an unusual shape which is intended to reduce its surface area and thereby improve energy efficiency. Since it opened it has acquired many nicknames: ”The Onion”, a “glass testicle” by the former mayor and ”The Glass Gonad” by the current mayor Boris Johnson. It has also been compared to Darth Vader’s helmet, a misshapen egg, a woodlouse and a motorcycle helmet.
The Waikato River is the longest of New Zealand’s rivers. It originates from Lake Taupo and winds its way north before discharging to the Tasman Sea just south of Auckland. As it leaves the lake the river is approximately 325 feet in width but as it approaches Huka Falls the width narrows to only 50 feet across. The volume of water flowing through the narrow chasm often approaches 58,000 gallons per second. At the end of the chasm is the Huka Falls. They are not the highest falls, being only 35 feet, but it is the velocity and volume of water that flows over the drop that makes this waterfall so impressive.
If you like to drive on curves, try the Trollstigen Road in the Rauna Valley region near the town of Andalsnes, Norway. The editors of CarRoute.com compiled a list of the 15 most amazing roads is the world. The Trollstigen Road, which means “Troll Ladder” in English, ranked number nine on the list. As you follow the Rauma River, the mountains rise up dramatically on both sides with Mt. Romsdalshorn at 5,000 feet on one side and the Trolltindane at 5,100 feet on the other. The road winds its way up with eleven hairpin turns, crosses the Sogge Bridge and climbs the mountain with steep 9% gradients to reach the viewpoint at the top. Even if you are squeamish about heights and winding roads, the magnificent view is worth it.
Bergen is the second largest city in Norway, behind only Oslo, but as you walk around town it has the charm and atmosphere of a small town. It was granted town status by King Olav Kyrre in 1070. At the time it was the largest town and the capital of Norgesveldet, a region that included Iceland, Greenland, and parts of Scotland. The capital was moved to Oslo in 1299, but Bergen remained a trading center and continued to grow. Today Bergen is a World Heritage City. For the best views of the city, Vågen Harbor and the surrounding mountains, take the funicular railway, known as the Floybanen, to the top of Mount Floyen. At the top, 1,050 feet above the city, are fantastic panoramic views. In the city park located at the top of Mount Floyen, there are numerous walking paths and a quiet little lake. As you walk down from the top (you can ride the funicular back down), the footpaths turn into narrow winding streets and cobblestone lanes lined with quaint houses that make the effort of walking down well worth it.
After a few weeks of not posting, because I was traveling and taking many new photos, I am back and here is one of my new photos. We spent the last couple of weeks cruising the Norwegian fjords. Our trip started in South Hampton, England and we made eight ports-of-call along the west coast of Norway. The northernmost port was Honningsvag and from there we made our way to Nordkapp (North Cape). At 70°10′21″ north latitude, North Cape is often referred to as the northernmost point of Europe, however the neighboring Knivskjellodden point just to the west actually extends 4,780 ft farther to the north. The Cape is located well north of the Arctic Circle and is about 1,306 miles from the North Pole. From May 14 to July 31 you can see the midnight sun, provided there are no clouds. The Cape includes a 1,007 foot high cliff with a large flat plateau on top from which you can view the Barents Sea to the north or watch the midnight sun.