"A man is a very small thing, and the night is very large and full of wonders." -Lord Dunzany

Holidays

17 of May – Norwegian Constitution Day

Flag of Norway IMG_3802

The Norwegian Flag is seen everywhere in Norway and even Norwegians abroad wave the flag on the 17 of May

Norwegian Constitution Day is the National Day of Norway and is an official national holiday observed on May 17 each year. Among Norwegians, the day is referred to simply as syttende mai (meaning May Seventeenth), Nasjonaldagen (The National Day) or Grunnlovsdagen (The Constitution Day), although the latter is less frequent.

Historical background

17th of May 1893 by Norwegian painter Christian Krohg

17th of May 1893 by Norwegian painter Christian Krohg (1852–1925). Note that the flag does not have the Union badge of Norway and Sweden, the so-called sildesalaten (Herring salad).

The Constitution of Norway was signed at Eidsvoll on May 17 in the year 1814. The constitution declared Norway to be an independent nation.

The celebration of this day began spontaneously among students and others from early on. However, Norway was at that time under Swedish rule (following the Convention of Moss in August 1814) and for some years the King of Sweden and Norway was reluctant to allow the celebrations. For a couple of years in the 1820s, King Karl Johan actually forbade it, as he thought the celebrations a kind of protest and disregard—even revolt—against Swedish sovereignty. The king’s attitude changed slightly after the Battle of the Square in 1829, an incident which resulted in such a commotion that the king had to allow it. It was, however, not until 1833, that anyone ventured to hold a public address on behalf of the day. That year, official celebration was initiated by the monument of the late politician Christian Krohg, known to have stopped the king from gaining too much personal power. The address was held by Henrik Wergeland, thoroughly witnessed and accounted for by a Swedish spy, sent by the king himself.

After 1864 the day became more established when the first children’s parade was launched in Christiania, at first consisting only of boys. This initiative was taken by Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson, although Wergeland made the first known children’s parade at Eidsvoll around 1820. It was only in 1899 that girls were allowed to join in the parade for the first time.

By historical coincidence, the Second World War ended in Norway nine days before that year’s Constitution Day, on May 8, 1945, when the occupying German forces surrendered. Even if The Liberation Day is an official flag day in Norway, the day is not an official holiday and is not broadly celebrated. Instead a new and broader meaning has been added to the celebration of Norwegian Constitution Day on May 17.

The day focused originally on the Norwegian constitution, but after 1905, the focus has been directed also towards the royal family.

Read more about the 17 of May here: Wikipedia


Preparing for the 17th of May

I’ve met some nice people today. Especially Senior Advisor at Apple in Ireland Samantha and Netflix-supporter Audrey from Denver, Colorado, USA. Such nice people to speak/chat with. They make you feel right at home. Service minded and professionals and really astute at their field of work. It makes me no less than happy to meet people like that, so hello to Samantha and Audrey and a big thank you for all your kind help and great service!

The day today has otherwise stressing. It is the day before our constitution day – May 17. – so, along with a long list with pressing tasks on my to-do-list, we’ve shopped for tomorrow in the absolute frenzy today.

Just popped out to draw some fresh air and shoot a quick shot of the current weather today, but back to the last piece of work that needs wrapping up!

IMG_4030


Sun Day (official)

Today – February 7. – is the official Sun Day in Narvik. That is the day, the sun is no longer obscured by the mountains and it shines down on the town square. The dark season of 2013 is over officially, although a lot of valleys and villages in the municipality has to wait for days, even weeks for the sun to get high enough in the sky to shine down on them. Time flies – and soon the midnight sun will shine in through windows from the oposite side of the Ofoten Fjord.

The official sun day is celebrated with taking half the day off and of course eating sun buns.

Official Sun Day

The sun is shining downtown today. To the left is the town hall (square building) and the newly built Rica Hotell. Further up the mountain slope Narvik University College is partly lit by the sun beaming down the mountain side.


13,000 visitors by the start of 2013!

I rounded 13,000 visitors to this blog – and I celebrate by sharing another photo from New Years Eve. Enjoy!

Very early January 1. 2013

Very early January 1. 2013


Happy New Year!

Well over an hour into the new year 2013, I wish everybody a very prosperous and

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year from Narvik!

Happy New Year from Narvik!


Light – but no sun

This is a photo of the darkest day of the year in The Polar Night in Narvik. All though the sun is far from showing itself, we have a few hours in the middle of the day when the light is just Magical. The umber reflections of the sun below the horizon emanates the landscape and creates a special, dreamy warm light despite the cold up here.

All though we have no sun here in The Polar Night - the light is Magical!

All though we have no sun here in The Polar Night – the light is Magical! Narvik on the Winter solstice 2012


Spooky!

Not much tricking or treating here tonight, but we got a visit from these spooky charachters, and found it wisest to treat them with something sweet. It worked! “Knask eller knep” is the equivalent to the English “Trick or Treat”, only that the words have been switched around. Knask=Treat and Knep=Trick…

Halloween visit on Ankenes, Norway

Halloween visit on Ankenes, Norway


Fantastic aurora!

Standing there in the darkness – jumping up and down like a little kid at Christmas – and shouting -Yes! and Aaaah!, I probably look quite silly for a grown man, but every occasion like yesterday is exactly like Christmas to me! The Aurora borealis – Northern Light is so awe-inspiring that I wish all the japanese, Korean and Chinese tourist here in Norway could see it! They really are memories for a lifetime. Last night Kp-index was 3 (2 and above means chances to see northern lights at these latitudes). Today the Kp is even higher, at 5 – so I am soooo hoping for equally crisp, clear skies and even bigger lights!

I managed to get great many shots yesterday. And I had company. Danielle came down to the water with her boyfriend and I helped her getting into the fine techniques of shooting Northern Lights photographs.

And another bonus last night was the swarms of beautiful meteorites. I belive it must have been the orionides that should be passing just these days. Although my camera was pointed in the wrong directions, when I got home, I found that actually three of my photos had captured these beautiful sights. My head was obviously pointing in the wrong direction at these points, as I didn’t see them until I started flipping through the shots.

Well, here is a tiny fraction of last night’s phenomenal photo shoot. Enjoy!

Northern Lights stretching all the way form to the North of Narvik and all the way to the South-West above Vestfjorden. To the left Ankenes, and to the right Veggen and Forratangen. In the center Kjeldebotn.

Strong meteor (shooting star) between the lighthouse in Ankenes and aurora.

Strong meteor (shooting star) between the lighthouse in Ankenes and aurora.

Northern Lights above the Narvik peninsula last night

Danielle catching the last of the show

Northern Lights photographer Danielle catching the last of the show


Ofoten Fjord in Early Springtime

Ofoten Fjord in Early Springtime

Ofoten Fjord in Early Springtime - Freshly fallen snow lights up the scenery


Happy Easter!

Happy Easter 2012

Happy Easter 2012


SOPA / PIPA postponed indefinitely

The SOPA and PIPA law proposals are postponed indefinately! Which means the World’s Population – not the Entertainment Industry – still has the democratic control over the internet! (For now)

So in order to join in the free expression of the world this entire blog is free under a CC – Creative Commons License – with the following limitations:

Commercial Use: NO (right back at you, greedy entertainement industry) Not without my written permission.

Share alike/alter the work: Yes, you may alter and share my pictures, videos or texts from this blog, as long as you link back to the blog. But still, if for commercial use, you need my written permission.

This license applies to The Whole World!

Creative Commons-lisens
Dette verk er lisensieret under en Creative Commons Navngivelse-Ikkekommersiell-DelPåSammeVilkår 3.0 Unported lisens.


Our Christmas Tree in 3D!

Dear reader,

It has been a great Christmas! Unlike the English-speaking part of the World – in Europe we celebrate Christmas Eve. So yesterday we had a brilliant dinner. I don’t quite get how my mother manages to make the fantastic traditional pork rib year after year – but she does!

While waiting for the opening of all the lovely presents in the evening, I took 238 pictures of the Christmas Tree. I made a 3D model with these photos. You can watch various representations of the model.
When in Photosynth, pay especially attention to these controls: (Click here to go directly to Photosynth! It may take some time to load. It’s a big model!)

Our Christmas Tree as a 3D-model. Click the picture to see the 3D-model Live!

A point model of our Christmas Tree! Click the picture to see the 3D-model Live!


Merry Christmas!


A lovely visit

My nefew has been visiting uncle and grandma. My brother came with my nefew Sondre and stayed for a week. They went back to Oslo yesterday. It has been a lovely week. Just a pitty that I don’t get to see them more. It has to change next year ;o)

Sondre crawling around the floor playing

Sondre crawling around the floor playing


Lions Club Narvik/Ankenes – A Bitterly Cold Work for a Sweet Warm Help

In accordance with tradition I purchased the annual Christmas Tree yesterday from the local Lions Club outside the local supermarket REMA 1000 on Ankenes. Lions Club Narvik/Ankenes is a fantastic club! Every year the comb the area for land owners with Christmas Tree sized spuces (Norway Spruce) to sell for Christmas. Once they have found areas suitable for Christmas Trees, they go up (it is usually up a hill side or mountain) into the woods and cut spruces, drag them down to the nearest road and transport them into town.

The spruce I bought yesterday, was a fantastic tree. It smelled just like a spruce is supposed to smell like! And the branches was so thightly packed, it was just amazing! And all the trees for sale looked amazing!

So – what’s the money used for?

Like any other respectable Lions Club, Lions Club Narvik/Ankenes work for free to earn money for humanitarian projects in the local area, nation-wide and internationally.

Today I stopped by with my camera. I would say -9 degrees is pretty cold for a lion, but not these Lions! Their hearts are plenty warm by the important job they are doing to help their fellow human beings (and environment!) to endure the cold winter weather! I took a few shots of the Lions on Ankenes in action.

Do you want to buy the very best looking and smelling Christmas Trees in Narvik? And do you want to help people in need? Here’s the Lions Club sales stand by Rema 1000:

Lions Club Narvik/Ankenes selling Christmas Trees to aid people in need! It's a cold job!

Lions Club Narvik/Ankenes selling Christmas Trees to aid people in need! It's a cold job!

Find your way to the Lions Christmas Tree stand!

Find your way to the Lions Christmas Tree stand!


Narvik under the Winter Moonlight

Beautiful Winter Scene this Evening - Narvik getting ready for Christmas

Beautiful Winter Scene this Evening - Narvik getting ready for Christmas


I opened this Lions Art Exhibition and I recommend you to see!

If you are in Denmark, I recommend this fantastic Lions Art Exhibition! It’s free admission to the exhibition and I had the great honor and joy of opening this fantastic oasis of beautiful sights last Saturday!

The artists displaying their works are paying to exhibit. The surplus is exclusively used to buy food for poor families, and toys for poor families with children for Christmas!

You can read about the exhibition on Lions Clubs Aarhus Sct. Clemens homepage. If you do not read Danish, there are pictures there and a QR-code to show you the way to this very special, very intimate exhibition. And there are works for sale in various price categories. The Perfect and Unique Christmas could be awaiting you there!

Go today! You won’t regret it, unless YOUR SPECIAL CHRISTMAS PRESENT just have been sold..! Well, maybe you can find an even better one!? One thing i sure: that Christmas present you will be giving during the holidays, is unique! There is nothing like it in the entire world!

Please, click here to go to Lions Clubs Aarhus Sct. Clemens homepage.

The exhibition is open until December 23rd.

Scene from the Lions Art Exhibition i Sonderhoj - Denmark

Scene from the Lions Art Exhibition i Sonderhoj - Denmark


9/11 – 9/14 – never forgetting

You probably remember where you were on 9/11 2001? I was on my way to the pharmacy to pick up some drugs for my father. We had nursed him at home for some time at that point, due to the total incompetence of the local hospital. While driving to town I heard about the terror against the Twin Towers in New York. For the first few seconds I was convinced I had tuned into a film review program. It sounded unreal. The story was so fantastically unbelievable, that I was sure they in the next sentence would mention some director or actor. That was until I heard one of NRK’s famous reporters live from New York. That’s when it dawned on me – the world would never be the same again…

Three days later my dear, loving, wise father passed away from cancer. That is a week I’ll never ever forget – as long as I live. I guess the hurt and the sorrow from these so very evil days has become a part of me. They will never go away, they will probably never truly heal – but they are getting better and more integrated into who I am as a person for every passing day. And in the end – maybe that is what will matter.

By these beautiful – and so very true – words from the film “Dying to have known”, I leave this day and week in the hope of a better world with an end to naivety, stupidity and a prayer for all man kind to serve The Good and turn their back on evil:

For each of us eventually – whether we’re ready or not – some day, it will come to an end. There will be no more sunrises, no more minutes, hours or days. All the things you collected – whether treasured or forgotten – will pass to someone else. Your wealth, fame and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance. It will not matter what you owned or owed. Your grudges, resentments, frustrations and jealousies will finally disappear. So too your hopes, ambitions, plans and to-do-lists will expire. The wins and losses – that once seemed so important – will fade away. It won’t matter where you came from or what side of the tracks you lived at the end. Even your gender and skin color will be irrelevant.

So what will matter? How will the value of your days be measured? What will matter is not what you bought but what you built. Not what you got but what you gave. What will matter is not what you learned but what you thought. What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage or sacrifice that enriched, empowered and encouraged others to emulate your example. What will matter is not your competence but your character. What will matter is not how many people you knew, but how many will feel a lasting loss when you’re gone. What will matter is not your memories, but the memories that live on in those who loved you. What will matter is how long you will be remembered, by whom and for what.

9-11 - 9-14 - never forgetting

9-11 - 9-14 - never forgetting


Trout Joy

Trout jumping in one of the Østervik Mountain Lakes

Trout jumping in one of the Østervik Mountain Lakes


The Cottage

Our beloved cottage build by my father from Russian Taiga Timber

Our beloved cottage build by my father from Russian Taiga Timber

Cozy evening by the cottage

Cozy evening by the cottage


Happy New Year – 2011!

Happy New Year 2011


Silent Days and Cozy Nights by the Fireplace

Three logs of really dry birch being eroded by the licking of hungry flames

Three logs of really dry birch being eroded by the licking of hungry flames


Dear Reader – This is a Christmas Present for you!

Candles to rememberFor many of us this will be a special Christmas. We have lost someone very dear to us and there is an empty space in the otherwise festive occasions.

This beautiful song was presented to me by my friend Amethyste (who is Amethyste? Read a previous article on Northern Blogosphere to find out!) for free to share with all of my readers. Thank so you very much Amethyste.

The song “Leaving in a Touch of Silence” is a song to commemorate those dear friends and family that are no longer with us. Don’t miss out on this breathtakingly beautiful song from Amethyste!

To download the song (6.24 MB), please click this link or simply click the Christmas Present below to open.

Merry Christmas from The Northern Blogosphere and Amethyste Lyne Langdeau-Spardel!

Christmas Present for the Readers of Northern Blogosphere

Christmas Present for the Readers of Northern Blogosphere (please click the image to open).