Saturday, July 5, 2014

Sharm al Sheik, Egypt: April and June 2014

 tranquil hotel beach (one of three) with dive boats parked in front. A great place to spend Easter weekend as well as a  few days in June.

a beautiful red moon rising over the Red Sea with its reflection and two boats

part of the hyatt resort where we stayed

one walkway to the hotel beach 

beautiful april flowers everywhere

 I enjoyed fresh mango juice at the beach


photos taken from the dock, water was so clear

coral as seen through the water and the next resort on the northern tip



 formations on the stones

a future fossil i suppose

all the colorful and sometimes dangerous fish in the red  sea.  we saw quite a few of them.

resort at night: moon, its reflection and two ships on water in background
view from our room  in April

lovely views everywhere
Lion Fish which destroy the coral
view from our room in June
wonderful pools for swimming laps
town of Sharm al Sheik, south of the resort at top of photo
another fish you need to avoid. a manta ray which was in about 1 foot of water. was covered with yellow spots and an amazing blue tail.
Surgeon fish, pretty colors but one of them bit Scott
one way to reach the beach


another one of the  pools

Sharm al Sheik, Egypt is a resort on the Red Sea very close to the bottom tip of the Sinai Peninsula. Lucky for me Scott's organization has one of their camps very close to Sharm (they were there way before the resort hotels were built). Sharm is known for its fabulous diving spots.  Every morning we watched the invasion of  the white dive boats, hordes of them, out on the water by 8 a.m. The sea is a many shades of gorgeous blues, the temperature of the water a bit cool in the morning but warmed up during the day and it was full of lots of amazing, colorful fish. A great place to spend some time whether one has to go to work or just to relax.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Stockholm, Sweden March 7th, 2014 day one: wandering in Gamla Stan and Vasa museum




upon arrival an elegant dinner with friends at their lovely home 
local church in quiet park on way to friends' dinner 




same church in the daylight







"Marten Trotzigs Grand", 90 meters wide and the narrowest street in stockholm. It is located on the medieval island of "Gamla Stan" where we started our day on an early cool Friday morning.


fun store windows in gamla stan


Quiet and cold streets in Gamla Stan, the largest of the islands in Stockholm.

fun buildings, most with old, wonderful stone door frames 


narrow cobbled medieval streets and old churches 









 lovely colorful Stortorget square with buildings dating back to 1650



one of the oldest buildings in the square now a lively coffee shop.  we warmed up here on Sunday morning with a cappuccino and wonderful yummy, sticky bun

crossing from one island to the next

walking over toward the "wealthy" strandvagen street

pretty water views everywhere

Swedish horse souvenirs
 Storkyrkan, 700 yr old, church in gamla stan. lovely red brick columns, an altar from 1650, wonderful gothic arched ceiling and much more
fantastic wooden statue of st. george and a fanciful dragon from 1489 located on side of altar. one of the most famous  Gothic statues in Northern Europe. 
new, brightly  colored stained glass in back of  church, one on the right shows a kneeling man. see if you can see it.
some of the arches in the church still had their painted ceilings
St George is popular there, one of their patron saints, shown here in a small square in Gamla Stan

Riddarhuset, house of nobility in the Dutch Baroque style where the coats of arms of nobel families are displayed. We had fun locating one we were interested in.



room in house of nobles with the noble families coat of arms on the wall, all in tin
we walked over to the island of Ridderholmen to see the church where the royals are buried but it was closed. 


After lunch we moved onto the island of Djurgarden where many wonderful museums are located. We spent the rest of the afternoon in the Vasa museum which houses the Vasa warship from 1632. Incredible story from the beginning to end. I loved the place.

view of most of the ship which sank on its first trip in 1628 1 km from shore.  it was raised in the late 1950's and was 98% intact due to the seawater having neither salt nor woodworms in it.



incredibly carved stern of  Vasa warship with royal coat of arms. ship has over 700 statues/carvings on it.

another shot of stern

a small, modern model reconstruction of the boat, here showing the stern with the crown seal at top in what would have been the original colors
amazing carvings on the ship



There are 19 roman emperors carved on the ship. One can never get away from the power of Rome it seems.



close up reconstruction of royal seal
more of ship,. It is a great museum on 3 floors with very good detailed signs.



this sign was a funny surprise
the building where the ship is, the mast coming out of the building shows the height of the ship

a view from the ferry toward sodermalm where we were staying, our hotel is visible in the photo, mid way up hill

another view from ferry toward gamla stan

We took a stroll along the top of the hill in sodermalm, the island where we were staying, to see the view and the house boats

there were many galleries in sodermalm and this one had a gorgeous, glass octopus (more on this in another blog)

nice views on one of our walks near hotel in sodermalm


day one was very busy filled with lots of fun. I have a tremendous amount of photos so will try to narrow them down and upload more of them. An exciting place to visit, lots to do and see, expensive, but I dont' think anyone would be disappointed in the city. Some of the above photos are a bit out of order but I got tired trying to fix them all in the right place.
Friday night dinner at  "den Gyldene Freden" (the golden peace) in Gamla Stan in a building from 1722.