It's been a long day what with all the walking, and I wish I could say that I found the real Hamburg, but perhaps that's something that takes time, mind you I might have found the real it's just it wasn't the one I was expecting. Since being here we have seen the town hall, the red light district (near our hotel), the fair ground, lots of docks (nearly leaving by a boat after a wrong turn) and the main park in Hamburg. All pretty impressive, but I was expecting pretty buildings and the like, but so far it's all been a bit utilitarian 60s concrete. That's not to say there haven't been beautiful buildings, the one behind the chocolate museum is impressive (and reminds me of a bourbon biscuit), but it's not something to come to Hamburg in itself. Still we are here for a couple more days so, there's time to get run over by a herd bicycles.
Anyway, just at the North end of the park is this dominating...well not exactly imposing, but you can see it from all over the park, and it's quite impressive. It's a TV tower call the Heinrich-Heinz-Turmand more or less closed to the public in 2005 which is a pity as I was hoping to have a birds eye view of Hamburg.
More trolling about today and variable weather, some of today was spent inside the the Doge's house which was quite special but no photography is allowed. The main attraction was tripping across the Bridge of Sighs and from my point of view the only sighing that happened was as you would expect when we saw the view, it was so average I sighed from tiredness after walking all around the Doge's pad. Don't get me wrong, if you're off down to chokey in Venice then perhaps you would sigh at your last visions of the view, but owing to the fact that I would soon be out and enjoying a beer in the sunshine the the sigh was more about the waste of time to see an average view of a bridge full of people taking a picture of the Bridge of Sighs, which of course is the wrong way around supposedly.
We also got to the Naval Museum which was OK and full off... boats and stuff. Some of the contraptions were interesting like the two man torpedo which would run for 10 hours at a time and when the target was acquired they would pop off the nose of the thing, attach it to a boat and drive off, safe in the knowledge that the newly detached nose would explode.
Anyway, this is a pic of the Dome of Saint Maria which sits on the mouth of the Grand Canal and is quite impressive to visit but if memory serves then it can be a little awkward to get to. The steps to it drop right into the water too which makes you assume that you can get there direct by boat which would be impressive, this taken from the bridge from the Academia, which is another bridge that seems to have been taken over by padlocks.
Today was long and relatively hot. Since my Wife wss not up to walking too far the idea was to go to the Sun Yat Sen garden. For those who don't know it, it's a Chinese garden in the centre of Vancouver. It's a lovely place but not too huge. Apparently it was built using traditiinal methods and materials in an area that was going to be demolished for a freeway.
Anyway the picture isn't of a Chinese garden, it's of the Wall Centre the Sheraton. It was a quick visit as we needed to join the rush hour back but with any luck I have better shots on the Nikon
Oh it's been a long weekend, what with being on 24h support for the week and getting a call every night and spending a great deal of Saturday on the phone or at a computer it's been bad, but we did decide to go out the Werneth Low on Saturday afternoon since the sun was out and it was a wonderful day. We had a picnic and I got a great big kiss from a dog. Minding my own business sat on the grass I was disturbed by a small yapper heading full pelt towards my sensitive bits and it wad going some. At the point at which I thought it was safe to stop I noticed it was still going 100% and before I knew it I had a face full of dog mouth licking my face. Luckily he noticed food and was was off.
Sunday was Cotebrook Shire Horse Centre. Again a glorious day and great for standing about in fields with horses which are as I may have said before, impressive and frightening beasts. In my opinion horses are basically one huge muscle without much brain making them pretty frightening. Definitely the sort of animal able to break your face my accident, a bit like Lennie in the book “Of Mice and Men”. This picture is of one of the horses that looked a little sleepy to be honest but I did get this which you can see I'm in the reflection along with my Wife and Daughter which I didn't really expect when I took it. I did see myself but I didn't think I would be so clear.
I was going to put a picture of a butterfly but was convinced to put this one in as I was told it looked better. I also avoided putting pictures of pigs in as I seem to have a reputation for pig pictures if you ask Google along with a mis-spelling of forest, Venice and Dr. Who, but pigs out strip everything by a long chalk and now by putting the word pig in here I have not helped... damn it.
Not so much a grey day in Manchester but just a bad camera in Manchester it being the camera phone that is the San Fransisco. To be honest in this lunch hour I couldn't se the screen because of it's badness so I would not advise using the phone as a camera, however I think part of this the auto brightness problem with it. Either way, this is a pic of the new court building in Manchester. I liked the shimmery reflection and symmetry of it. On the phone it looked pretty bad but now it just looks bad.
With any luck I'll get more interesting pics next week as it's been a little quiet for February.
As you might be able to guess that has been nothing much doing as far as pictures around Zamyatin, and even this weekend was a little flat but busy nonetheless. Birthdays and presents and all sorts have been the order of the day so nothing really of interest at all really. Highs and lows have been had but nothing specific.
This picture is from Las Vegas and is a picture of The Mirage hotel from the Venetian using the video camera purely because of the fact that it has a really good zoom lens on it so because of that it's a little abstract as it's quite high up on the building and it's reflecting the other wing of itself so you can't really work out which way up it is. Anyway I like it because of the reflections and it's abstract nature.
This didn't look like much of a picture when I took it on the LCD screen and you might say the same now. However the picture actually seems better after putting it onto a screen though admittedly the sun was on the screen so the contrast was awful when I was taking it, perhaps a good reason for a DSLR.
Anyway we were at the Balearic event in Albert Square and had a bit of a trot around. Seemed OK but nothing special for my tastes. On the Saturday when we went it was Dressage then a band and repeat. Don't get me wrong the Dressage was impressive and the band we saw was Mallorcan. I did start getting worried when the singer pointed out a guy who had an AC Milan top on. It was only then that I realised that the comfortable jacket I had on was a jacket bought during our holiday to Seville which was “Sevilla Fútbol Club S.A.D.” jacket and the crowd was thinning exposing me... time to go.
Luckily it was time to go so we left to have a look around John Ryland's Library again. On the way out I took this which as mentioned looked bad but in reality looks better. Mind you it could be better.
With a jam packed weekend I was desperate to take some time out to take some pictures despite this. The weekend was filled with a swimming lesson and a Strictly Come Dancing thing in Manchester. Neither of which involved me directly but affected my weekend nonetheless. After parking in Victoria Station and being charged an extra 20p (in)convenience fee for calling them to pay for my parking because all the machine were not working and failing their voice recognition twice (“D” I said not “B”), we dropped my Daughter and my Mother-in-Law off at the MEN Arena and drifted off to go to Urbis to view the Hidden Manchester exhibition. It's an interesting small exhibition which was a little like a watered down and much reduced Urban Explorers photo album. Before all of this my breakfast of raw garlic on toast with tomatoes and olive oil was discovered by my Mum mentioning that there was a strong garlic smell as she sat across the table from me when we took a small break in Urbis's coffee shop. I had to hold my hands up for this one. My Wife described it as a garlicky waft that was coming off me as I passed people, even when I was holding my breath.
This is just a quick picture of the Manchester Wheel reflected in Urbis. Nothing much to comment other than I took loads of pictures like this thinking they were all great but only got one average-ish picture. There were other pictures but they may have to wait for another day. Such as a picture of the names of those who died in World War I who worked for the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway. There's also a picture of the Air Cadets lined up in formation for a ceremony in Manchester Cathedral. But they can be left for another day.
I never said at the start of this they would be good pictures.
On Monday I took a walk around Manchester to find the skating rink now in the new Hardman Boulevard in Spinningfields if you haven't guessed. I did find it and was going to take my annual skate picture but chickened out. Last year I had my daughter with me and kids are a great excuse to do all sorts of things whereas this year it was lunch on a Monday and I thought that I may just look like a bit of a freak in my cycling jacket waggling a camera about at no-one I knew.
On the way to Bridge Street I saw this reflection so whipped out my TYTN II and took a couple of shots and walked back to my office wondering how brilliant they would turn out... the scene did look impressive until I downloaded them and found them blurred. There was camera shake all over the place which is one of the things I hate about digital cameras, they start giving you the impression that there enough light and take the picture and on the whatever inch screen they look good so you download them to find them less than reasonable. I would prefer them to tell you at the time that there could be camera shake and then perhaps you could take precautions.
So as you can guess this isn't a photo from Monday. No I stalked the building all week (all week it's only Wednesday) waiting for some sun and today was the day. But to be quite honest I wasn't feeling it. Perhaps it was the light because I don't think that was as good and perhaps I just felt way too busy at work to wander about taking pictures and perhaps add to that I wanted it to be a good shot. I don't know perhaps it was all of these things. The picture does have a feeling that I was trying to get across but the building reflected is really blurred but then again that's probably a trick of the eye when not looking through a camera. Without a camera a shot always look better and I think my camera chose to focus on the building rather than the reflection.
Anyway here's my effort. A new ultra-modern building reflected in a new ultra-modern building which is a pretty good description of Spinningfields. Another description would be an anonymous collection of glass and steel that could be anywhere and reminiscent of anywhere.
At the risk of finding myself at an uber-modern hotel I booked to stay at the Macdonald hotel anyway for our Anniversary. After the disappointment of the uber-modern Hilton last year it was looking like a bad idea even whilst I was booking. I must admit I was pleasantly surprised. This being the view from the end of the top floor, the views are not bad at all, though it's probably not high enough this side of town for really impressive views. I do think that the reflecting in the windows make this picture as well as the window frames. Looking at the building it does make me wonder what the building was like to work in as a former BT building and how much of the original still exists