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We had been wanting to go to Yokohama so on a Saturday so our son was able to join us for the trip. This was taken outside the train station with Cosmoworld in the background.

We walked over to Cosmoworld  and then continued on to World Porters  where they were already getting ready for Christmas.

We then headed over to Shinko Central Plaza where we saw these artificial flowers planted for the winter season.

When we arrived at the Red Brick Warehouse area we found there was some type of event taking places. They had booths set up and an entertainment stage with various acts performing.

Looking back toward town there was a nice view of the downtown area.

We stopped in the Red Brick Warehouse for lunch.

After lunch we walked over to Akarenga Park where there was a race taking place. There were a lot of people in the race and many more hanging out in the park. The park has an interesting piece of work called Seagull harp

We walked around the Red Brick Warehouse area for a bit. I’m not sure what was going on in the second photo. I did a double take when it looked like he was carrying a girl.

We continued our wanderings over to Osanbashi Pier and ferry terminal that handles large cruise ships. The boardwalk was a bit unusual because it was not just flat. There was a large cruise ship at the pier.

The views Yokohama Bay from the end of the pier were spectacular. The first photo shows the Yokohama Bay Bridge and the second downtown Yokohama.

This Duck Tour Boat looked like was listing and about to sink. I wonder if they weigh passengers to insure that the weight on each side of the bus is equal?

I watched this group for a while. It looked like they were filming some kind of an act. They would practice for a while them film it.

We returned to the Red Brick Warehouse plaza where young people were performing in a stage area.

This little fellow was dancing to the music.

These folks were at an age when you wold expect to find children in the stroller but they had their dogs in the stroller. The birthrate in Japan is way down. Apparently dogs are easier than children to care for.

It was getting late in the day so we walked back to World Porters to grab a bite to eat.

We found an American Blue Seal ice cream store that met our needs.

After a bite to eat we walked over to Cosmoworld to checkout the rides.

We continued on to Nippon Maru Memorial Park to check out the tall ship Nippon Maru.

We then decided that we would go back to Cosmoworld and ride the Ferris wheel so we could watch the sunset from up on the Ferris wheel. There was a spectacular view of Mount Fuji looking through the tall buildings. The other view of the area where we spend the day walking around were outstanding.

We had been watching the roller coaster as it seemingly splashed into the water. We spent quite a bit of time trying to time it so we would get a photo of it just as it seemed to hit the pond.

It was now dark out but we had one more stop for the day. We wanted to see Japans larges Chinatown. we walked through Shinko Central Plaza where the artificial flowers we had seen earlier were not lit. They continuously changed colors.

The city lights were beautiful as we walked over to Chinatown.

We wandered the streets of Chinatown until we were satisfied we had seen it. I think our son was getting tired. Young people just don’t have the stamina.

I think these folks were doing palm readings. There seemed to be quite a few shops where this was taking place.

After a long day we headed back to Tokyo and a bite to eat before returning to our hotel.

 

Our goal for the day was to visit the TeamLab Borderless Digital Art Exhibit in Koto City. We had a little time in the morning so I took a photo of our hotel and the view across the street from out hotel.

More photos from the day can can be found on my website.

We then walked on our sons apartment to meet up with him and his girlfriend. On the way we found footprints painted on the sidewalk. Apparently this is where you should stand before crossing the street.

As we walked around we noticed that some people had these little solar powered figures outside their homes. They wave at you during the day when the sun is shining.

We then took the train to DiverCity, Tokyo Plaza Where we had lunch. It was Culture Day in Japan so the place was packed with people. This is one of about 20 holidays in Japan. We keep telling our son that he has it made living in Japan. He gets 20 days of vacation, 20 holidays and his office closes down for two weeks at Christmas. In addition, he has health care an extremely clean and safe environment as well as a great public transportation system. Most important he is just a train ride from some of the best skiing in the world.

The cotton candy this little girl had was huge.

Outside the plaza we found the Unicorn Gundam Statue.

 

There were some great views of Koto City as we walked over to the Digital Art Exhibit. I thought this was an interesting flower exhibit.

It was crowded and there was a lot going on in the area. The Tokyo Auto Show was also taking place.

There was the obligatory Ferris wheel.

What we really came to see was the TeamLab Borderless Digital Art Exhibit. We heard about it several years ago and added it to our bucket list if we ever went to Tokyo. It was the most amazing art exhibit I’ve ever seen.

In these exhibits the people became part of the art.

One room was filled with lights that were constantly changing in colors. There were long lines to get in a you were only allowed about 10 minutes in the room.

These were glass beads that were hanging down from the ceiling with different colored lights reflecting off of them.

This was a walk through a room of giant toadstools.

Abstract art displayed on the walls and constantly changing.

One room consisted walls depicting raging seas.

Another room had large balloons that constantly changed color.

I wasn’t sure what was going on in this exhibit. There was art moving along all of the walls of the room. Folks were busy and work at desks doing something. Turns out that they were all doing art work. When finished the art work was scanned and then displayed on the walls. The seahorse was one that Carla and Justin did.

I would love to go back to this exhibit and spend more time. Since it was Culture Day there were large crowds and long line to some of the exhibit rooms. It was a huge exhibit and I’m sure the we didn’t see it all. Definitely a nice place to go on a rainy day.

After visiting the exhibit we stopped for some ice cream and then walked to the train that would take us back to the hotel. On the way we has some great views of the Rainbow Bridge.

 

These are my favorite photography locations in Wisconsin. More photos can be found on my website.

 

Blue Hills

Crex Meadows Wildlife Area

 

Devil’s Lake State Park

 

Gibraltar Rock State Natural Area

 

Gile Flowage

 

Hoffman Hills State Recreation Area

 

Lost Creek Falls

 

Parfrey’s Glen State Natural Area

 

Parfrey’s Glen State Natural Area

Vilas County

 

 

 

Yesterday we were in Eindhoven. Today we took the train to Arnhem where the battle for “The Bridge Too Far” took Place. We were there to visit The Netherlands Open Air Museum. When we arrived we had to find the bus that would takes out to the museum. Unfortunately it did not stop right at the museum and we had to work our way through a neighborhood before we found it.

There is a antique tram that goes around the museum so we decided to ride it around once to get the lay of the land.

We stopped at the woodworkers workshop to see what was taking place. They make all of the repair items in the shop.

Lots of farm animals around.

This was an old barn that was turned into a modern home.

Interesting use of trees. The Dutch seem to want to control nature.

The pond in a center piece of the museum. It is surrounded by a drawbridge, windmills and other buildings.

This is a combination pisser and outhouse. Not sure if if it is functional.

Some kids were working their way across the pond on a small boat operated by pulling on a rope.

We typically don’t eat a meal at noon when we are traveling but we do stop for sweets sometimes. This was the town square with a restaurant in the background. They prided themselves in making Dutch Mini Pancakes covered in powdered sugar. They were very good.

The Farmhouse Zuid-Schawoude.  The cows occupied one side of the house and the cows the other. In the summer the wife would make designs in the stalls using sand and seashells. This was an indication of the family status.

My wife is a weaver so she wanted to talk to the weavers. We stopped before lunch and the weavers were on break so we returned after lunch. She was very surprised that the weavers were working with linen rather than wool. We had see so many sheep and goats in the Netherlands. When she returned home she decided to try weaving with linen and is now in the midst of a large project.

There was a large display for the laundry. It looked like a major effort. Notice in the last photo that they were drying the laundry out on the grass.

Unfortunately there was no one working in the blacksmiths shop when we walk by.

There was a nice transportation display showing how people and goods were moved over time.

We walked around the formal gardens which we found very interesting. Again the Dutch love to control nature.

The museum has a brewery and makes their own beer. I noticed hops growing. My grandfather used to grow hops on the farm until a disease started destroying the crops. We did some sampling and it was very good beer.

 

We had walked past the paper making mill earlier in the day but no one was around. This time there were a bunch of kids around and they were helping to make paper. They were really into it. They turned the wheel that made the press work.

Late in the day we felt we had “done” the museum and caught a bus back to the train station. Unfortunately we missed the bus by a couple of minutes and had to wait a half hour for the next bus. We had better luck at the train station. We walked out onto the platform and onto a train.

 

 

We spent the morning out at Hoffman Hills and The trees were in full spring color. I think the spring colors are almost as good as the fall colors.

The apple trees are in full bloom.

There are a pair of Canada Geese nesting on the first pond.

There are a variety of flowers in bloom. The Prairie Smoke are just about to start blooming.

The seeds on the maple trees are very colorful.

There were Painted Turtles everywhere.

Nice pond reflections on a beautiful sunny day.

A Vireo was flying around the second pond.

 

One of my favorite Scandinavian crime authors is Joe Nesbo. His most popular books are the Harry Hole series. Hole is a troubled detective in Oslo. I would suspect that Nesbo is not the most popular person in the Oslo tourist department because after reading his books you would not want to visit the crime and drug invested city. During the summer there are Joe Nesbo walking tours offered in Oslo. Unfortunately we never got around to taking the tour so we decided that we would make our own tour by walking to some of the places mentioned  in his Harry Hole books. There are many places in Oslo mentioned in the books and these are just a few that are all in walking distance.

It would have probably been a lot easier to take the city tour but we had time on our hands so we wandered through Oslo looking for the locations mentioned. It appeared that several other folks were doing the same thing because we ran into them a number of times and they were also using there phone to navigate.

The Royal Palace is the backdrop for “The Redbreast” where Hole must figure out who smuggled a rare rifle into Norway. Tours are available and well worth the time.

 

Egertorget Square is the backdrop for “The Redeemer. Shots ring out during Christmas when a young Salvation Army officer is shot. During our stay in Oslo we had walked through the square many times but had never made the connection to Harry Hole.

Oslo District Court where Hole frequently visits.

Saint Olav’s Catholic Church is where Harry married Rakel and is mentioned throughout the series.

Our Saviors Cemetery is the backdrop to a number of stories.

Restaurant Schroder is where Harry hangs out. My wife I ate there one evening. It happened to be the same evening that the walking tour was taking place. When members of the tour walked in the locals rolled their eyes. Toward the end of our visit we met up with a high school friend of my wife’s. Turned out her husband had just read the complete Harry Hole series so we took them to Schroder’s for dinner.

The Underwater Pub is another local haunt for Harry. This is where he goes when is not welcome at Schroder’s. It seemed to be closed down when we visited.

5 Sofies Gate is where Harry’s apartment is located. It is not far from Schroders and the Underwater Pub. Apparently at one time Harry Hole was listed on the entry but that wasn’t the case when we visited. They probably had a vacant apartment and thought to have a little fun with the Hole fans.

 

 

 

The morning after returning from our trip to Sweden we took the underground down town and walked over to the Royal Palace. As we entered the grounds from Karl Johans gate there were some beautiful flower displays.

More photos from Norway can be found on my website.

Looks like the guards at the Royal Palace are a little more relaxed than they are in Great Britain.

 

We had toured the Palace earlier on our stay and during that tour we discovered there was a royal costumes display taking place in the royal carriage house. This was our main goal for the visit. It seem that when the Queen travels to different parts of the country the custom is to gift her traditional native costumes. These were placed on display in the horse barn. You can see the names of some of the horses on the back of the stall.

After touring the customs display we walked around the grounds. I was able to get a few bird photos.

 

After taking time out for some fall photography I’m back working on my blog from our seven week trip to Norway and Sweden. In my last post from the trip we had visited Fredrikstad, Norway. We were now on our way from Oslo to Stockholm. Our high speed train left Oslo Station at Noon. High speed is a relative term. In Japan it would probably be considered a slow speed train but it did reach 200km a few times. The trip was relatively uneventful. Our car was supposed to be a quite car but a kid was playing a video game until someone asked him to put his head phones on. Another person was listening to something on their phone.

At one point a group of French kids boarded the train. Apparently they did not have tickets and this was a ticket only train. As it turned out the train wasn’t even going where they wanted to go. Someone had told them to get on this train. The had to get off at the next stop.

More photos from our Stockholm visit can be found on my website.

This is a shot of Stockholm Central Station. We had been in Stockholm the previous summer and found there was so much to do we decided to come back for three days.

After leaving Central station we were a little lost because the roads were all under construction. This is Drottninggatan which is a walking street that the Queen’s Hotel was on.

After checking in to our hotel we headed back down Drottninggatan street looking for Gamla Stan or the Old Town. It was a beautiful evening for a walk with hardly a cloud in the sky.

The Af Chapman Youth Hostel was anchored across the water. We could also see the Grand Hotel and the National Museum.

We walked around Old Town for a while before stopping at St George and the Dragon statue

As we walked back toward our hotel we saw the Opera House along the canal.

It had been a long day and we were looking for something quick to eat. As we were wandering around we noticed a McDonald’s so we decided that would be good enough. When we entered we noticed lots electronic ordering kiosks. We had noticed them in Sweden the year before but had never encountered one in the U.S. We decided to go to the counter and order but were told we couldn’t order at the counter. Not sure why but it was later in the evening and they didn’t seem to have a lot of staff. We went back to the Kiosk and tried to order. We thought their menu seemed a bit limited (turns out we didn’t realize we had to swipe through the screens) but we did manage to order something. We tried to order with a credit card but it wouldn’t accept the credit card because our credit cards required a signature. We had to back track and select pay at the counter. We saw our number come up on the screen above the counter then it disappeared, then it came up again then dissapeared. We waited. That’s my wife in in the lower left of the second photo. Finally I went up to the counter to find out what was going on. Turns out if you want to pay at the counter you have to go up and pay when your number displays on the right side of the screen. Then you have to wait again until it moves to the left side of the screen and then go pick the order up. There seemed to be quite a few others that were confused as well.

When we came back to the states later in the summer we started to see ordering kiosks in quite a few McDonald’s. We have since started to use them so we don’t get left behind as new technology comes out.

A friend of mine is a quilter and has used several of my bird photos as an inspiration for her quilting. She recently displayed the Northern Cardinal Quilt at a local quilt show. I have to say that it is much better than the original photo.

Several years ago she did a Sandhill Crane quilt.

After visiting Isegran we decided to ride the ferry through town. Most of these shots are taken from the ferry as it completed its route. I took a few more shots of the boats on Isegran.

There were various boats tied up all along the ferry route.

We passed a Tesla display on the waterfront. I wanted to stop and take a look but we weren’t sure we had enough time before we had to catch the train back to Oslo. Apparently Tesla has done well in Norway. They have sold a large number of cars in Norway but failed to build a repair infrastructure. Buyers are complaining that it takes three or four months to get a car repaired.

Interesting bridge over the water.

Businesses and residences along the waterfront

When we finished the ferry tour ( we visited every stop on the route) we walked over to the Fredrikstad church before continuing on to the train station.