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Wedding photos

Filed under: General — kevin @ 15:17

If you came here looking for our wedding website you might want to have a look at the photos.

The album is password protected, if you can’t remember the password then contact me.


Easter weekend in Berlin

Filed under: travel — kevin @ 14:46

I got a refund from SJ for the return leg of my trip to Umeå because the night train was delayed. As the refund was in the form of a voucher I had to spend it all in one go, so I booked the night train to Berlin for Easter weekend. I’d passed through Berlin on my way to Wrocław and had just enough time to see that it had changed a lot since I was last there, in summer 1994.

The wastelands around the Brandenberg gate and Potsdamer Platz are now full of new shiny buildings and the number of building sites is much reduced. The (new) Hauptbahnhof sits beside the (new) government area and the restored Reichstag.
A modern building of metal and glass seen across a plaza, a sign on the front reads 'Berlin Hauptbahnhof' An old stone building topped with a metal and glass hemispherical dome. A triumphal gate in classical style against an early morning sky.

I had an enjoyable weekend doing touristy things (the Pergamon and Bode museums, the Alte Nationalgalerie, the DDR museum, Topography of Terror and one of Berliner Unterwelten’s fantastic tours) interspersed with sitting in the sunshine and drinking beer or coffee.

Part of the ruined façade of a building, in orange-yellow stone, against a clear blue sky with a park behind it. An ugly concrete wall, crumbling and with gaps.  Reinforcing bars poke through the concrete. An ugly concrete structure forms a large octagonal platform surrounded by an uglier metal fence.  A man stands on the platform, apparently doing some kind of exercise.  To the left, past the platform, a modern shopping centre can be seen.


Bike rides

Filed under: General — kevin @ 20:42

I’ve been out on a few bike rides recently, with Eleanor while she was here and on my own.

Here’s the most recent one (Ekängsturen from the leaflet I got from tourist information):

The paler part of the route was added manually, my GPS batteries died in Tallboda.


Vadstena in winter

Filed under: family,sweden — kevin @ 16:34

My parents came for a visit last weekend with Iain and Adele. The weather wasn’t great, with snow-chaos on Saturday and extremely low temperatures on Sunday. Apparently Saturday had the greatest snowfall since the 1960s.

Despite the cold Sunday was a nice sunny day, so we went on an outing to Vadstena:
Looking across a frozen moat to the entrance of a castle.  Above the entrance archway the sun shines through windows.

Lake Vättern was both frozen and covered in snow and it was pretty cold wandering around.
A white surface stretches out into the distance.  On the left a promontory reaches out into the lake. A path through snow leads up the middle of the picture.  On the left is a castle seen through trees.  On the right is a frozen and snow-covered lake. In the background part of a castle is lit by winter sun.  In front of it a childrens' playground sits among trees and snow.  In the foreground a statue of a woman looks down at the snow, her face lit by the reflected light.


Working in Seattle

Filed under: General — kevin @ 15:28

A large concrete tower, with a disc perched on top, against a cloudy sky.On Friday I got back from a week working in Seattle, with one of the many customers for whom we customise Opera Mini.

The flight is pretty long, but fortunately we were able to start from Linköping and fly via Amsterdam. Unlike the last few times I’ve flown via Schiphol we didn’t have hours of hanging around there.

Most of my time was spent working, but I did have a free weekend and Adrian and Amy managed to travel down from Vancouver. It was really good to see them again and catch up over some beers and nice meals.

Here are some more pictures: (more…)


Working in Wrocław

Filed under: General — kevin @ 18:58

I recently spent a week working at Opera’s Wrocław (Wikipedia). office, we have quite a lot of the Opera Mini server team based there.

The journey is pretty easy, Ryanair fly direct from Skavsta to Wrocław, so it’s just the usual torments of flying with an airline that hates passengers. We got there about lunchtime, checked in at the Scandic and then wandered down to the market square for a beer and some solid Polish food.
A tall old building lit by low evening sun. A elaborately decorated old building with towers, spires and a clock.
It was a really fun week, the team took us to lots of nice restaurants for lunch and it’s always good to spend some time with people you normally only see by video-conference. I especially liked the Spiż bar/brewery on the square, whenever you bought a beer you got handed a lard sandwich to go with it. Food and drink are very cheap compared to Sweden, especially lunch at Miś Bar — where you can get platefuls of dumplings for a few złoty.

It’s a city full of statues and monuments, this one was right across the road from the hotel:
Metal statues of pedestrians walking towards a road, descending through the pavement and emerging on the other side.

Parents’ visit

Filed under: family,sweden,travel — kevin @ 17:53

My Mum and Dad came over to Sweden for a few weeks in June, this time they got much nicer weather than they had in November. I’ve only just got round to sorting out the pictures from their trip.

We started off with Midsummer weekend in Stockholm, enjoying the sunshine and seeing the wildlife at Skansen. We also visited the Vasa museum and saw the changing of the guard at the palace.
An adult female elk and her young calf stand in a fenced enclosure. A seal lying basking in the sun in shallow water.  The seal is looking at the camera. Two bear cubs standing on their hind legs play-fighting in a large wooded enclosure.
Mum standing beside a small dummy wearing a bright red hat in an old cobbled street. A white yacht surrounded by smaller vessels.  In the background is an island with trees and buildings. A soldier in ceremonial uniform (complete with spiked helmet) stands guard in front of a crowd of tourists.

We had a lovely morning close to lake Vättern at Omberg, where we also visited the ruins of the monastery at Alvastra. The tops of the ruined walls have been covered and then flowers grown on top.
A ruined church, stone arches against a vivid blue sky.  A tree-covered hill in the backgroun. Bright yellow flowers against a vivid blue sky.  In the background (out of focus) a ruined wall can be seen. Parents sitting at a picnic table in the sunshine.

During the week we also took a trip along the Göta canal from Berg to Borensberg with the M/S Wasa Lejon. It was a very relaxing trip, although we were puzzled about the people queuing an hour before departure.
A short stretch of canal with two lock gates which then broadens into a basin, narrows again for more locks and leads to a lake. Cows below a tree by the banks of a canal.  In the background fields under a blue sky. A white tour boat moored at one side of a canal.

Eleanor come over to join us for a long weekend, so we spent Saturday and Sunday in Kalmar. For some reason I don’t seem to have taken any pictures with Eleanor in… On the way back on Sunday we visited Vadstena again, although the weather was much better than the last couple of times I’d been there.
A pale stone castle with three green-roofed towers A rusted cannon sits on a wooden carriage, pointing out into the clear blue sky over the sea. A castle with a moat and tower, in the sunshine.


Linköping in the summer sunshine

Filed under: General — kevin @ 19:10

Last time I wrote anything here it was winter, now it’s summer in Linköping and people are out and about enjoying the sunshine. I went for a wander round today this afternoon with my new toy: a Nikon D90.

I started off walking up Vasavagen to Raoul Wallenberg’s square.

A greenish bronze statue of two standing figures on top of a pink granite column.

On the way up to the cathedral there’s another statue sitting outside the Länsmuseum and lots of flowers covering this walkway.

The head of a statue of a woman, apparently looking up towards the cathedral's tower (seen in the background). A path goes under an arch of bright yellow flowers.

Up at Trädgårdsforeningen they were celebrating 150 years since the society was formed, with music and dancers on the stage. Other people were just sitting in the sunshine or playing volleyball.

People lying in the sunshine on the grass in front of a stage.  On the stage several girls are dancing. Young people playing volleyball on a sand court in bright sunshine. A bee in among purple flowers.

This weekend is also Linköping’s harbour festival, although there’s little left of the once-busy harbour. On both sides of the river there were stages, beer tents and various activities going on. They’ve even made a beach outside the Scandic hotel.

Three men in small inflatable boats floating on the river in front of a bridge. Between a hotel building and the river various tents and a stage have been built around a sand-covered area. A jetski shoots across the picture from right to left, in the background are the far bank of the river and the railway station.


Linköping in the winter sunshine

Filed under: sweden — kevin @ 15:57

It was a beautifully clear, sunny day today, so I went for a walk around town. One of the reasons was to take some pictures. I seldom take many pictures of the places where I live; I want to make sure I have some of Linköping.

I set off up Vasavägen, past the Länsmuseum (which I’ve still never been inside) to the cathedral. It looked beautiful in the low sunshine but it was tricky to find an angle where there weren’t too many trees in the way. I like the way the steeple looks against the sky in this photo.
A church steeple roofed in pale green metal pokes up into a clear blue sky.  At lower left some bare trees are lit by the low winter sun.

From the cathedral I walked on to Trädgårdsföreningen, one of the bigger parks in the city. I was hoping it would be lit nicely, but I’d spent too long in bed today and the sun had disappeared behind buildings. I had to content myself with climbing up the hill to the Belvedere, which was still in sunlight. Unfortunately the ground around it was strewn with the rubbish from last night’s celebrations: broken glass, cigarette ends and spent fireworks.
Bare winter trees against a clear blue sky, lit by the low sun. Champagne bottles and other rubbish litter the rocky ground.

Just outside the park I noticed that the brutal chimney structure of the University Hospital’s boiler house looked interesting against the sky. I’ll have to try again when the sun is shining on the glass side. On that edge of the park is the Linköping beekeepers’ society, complete with a little sign warning pedestrian of the danger.
An ugly concrete chimney tower stands against the blue sky.  On the near side a spiral staircase is enclosed in a glass wall. A path leads off into a wintry park.  To the right there is a pedestrians-only sign, with another sign warning of nearby beehives.

A few hundred meters away is another, smaller, green space in the city. The Tinnerbäck, a small stream (“bäck” means the same as “beck” in English) that fills the open-air swimming pool, flows over a small waterfall beside the new cycle bridge.
A stream flows over a stone wall, icicles hang around it.

Then I walked down, through Hejdegården to the river Stångå (or should it be the river Stång? “å” means small river). Ducks were feeding on a small patch of ice where the Tinnerbäck flows into the river, or at least they were until someone started feeding them further downstream. Northwest along the river from here you can see the Drottningsbron (which used to open to allow shipping acces to Linköping’s harbour) and the district heating plant.
A mallard duck and drake walking around feeding on ice, in the background some others are swimming. The river leads from the foreground under a small bridge.  Trees line the banks on both sides, with buildings behind the trees.  In the background three chimneys can be seen, with the outer two emitting steam.

I finished off by continuing along the bank of the river to where the harbour used to be, now an industrial area that the local authorities are planning to raze and replace with a new travel centre. Here’s one final picture, the district heating plant that keeps my house warm and gives me huge amounts of lovely hot water.
A large industrial building in red brick, glowing in the low winter sun.  Two of the three chimneys are giving off steam.

If you have Google Earth installed on your computer you can follow the route using this file. I’d recommend turning on 3D buildings and setting “Show balloon when tour is paused” on the touring tab of the options (“Tools” menu, “Options…” on Windows).


Christmas in Norfolk

Filed under: family — kevin @ 21:59

I spent Christmas with my parents and Grandparents in Norfolk, enjoying Granny’s cooking.

Of course on Christmas morning we had to go for a refreshing stroll on the beach:
A sandy beach under grey skies.  Grassy dunes are on the left, stretching into the distance. Mum and Dad standing on a sandy beach.  In the background are artificial rock reefs and the lagoons they have created.

If was pretty cold and windy, but we soon got back to the house and warmed up ready for a delicious goose dinner.

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