Sunday, 30 August 2015

Fotografiska Museet, Stockholm

Fotografiska Museet, Stockholm.
This is one of the largest photography museums in the world with 5500m of exhibition spaces, an academy, bistro, café, bar conference rooms, museum shop gallery and event spaces.
Housed at Stadsgarden, in a former industrial Art Nouveau style building, dating from 1906, designed by Ferdinand Boberg, the building was originally used as a customs house. The original brick façade is intact while the interiors have been renovated to house the museum.

The museum seen from the ferry

The museum is located on the Sodermalm island. We had spent the day wandering around the island, leaving the museum as the last activity of the day. We had to come down these steps to get to the waterfront which is where the museum is situated.

First thing we saw was this giant bronze sculpture by Swedish artist Dan Wolgers. The name of the sculpture is Torso, and it's said to represent the artist's self-portrait and a woman's womb.

Torso is located in the middle of the outdoor café where we sat and had a late lunch before viewing the exhibitions in the museum.

It's a wonderful building

and it's ever so long.

After viewing the exhibitions we took the lift to the top floor to see the new restaurant which recently won the prestigious Gold Dragon Award and which is run by Paul Svensson. The concept focuses on green seasonal dishes.

It's a wonderful space

with breathtaking views of the water and the island of Djurgarden on the left.

As we had already eaten, so we just looked around the space



and the photographs posted on the walls - too much reflection on the photographs makes it impossible for me to post some,


except for this one, by Nick Brandt, whose stunning photographs were the main exhibition we saw on that day. Post to follow.


Saturday, 29 August 2015

The Sanctuary of Poseidon, Poros


The Sanctuary of Poseidon in Poros is at the top of the hill. We drove through dense pine woods

until we eventually reached Kalaureia, 200m above sea level.

According to archaeological finds the earliest use of the site goes back to the Early Bronze Age and continued without interruption throughout antiquity. The sanctuary was dedicated to the worship of Poseidon, but there is also evidence of a multi-faceted cult activity including the worship of minor deities and local heroes.

The temple of Poseidon was most likely erected towards the end of the 6th century BC.

All that is preserved today are the foundation trenches and the wall surrounding the structure. It was a temple of the Doric order with six standard columns on the front and twelve on the long sides.

In order to avoid capture by Antipatros of Macedonia, the Athenian orator and statesperson Demosthenes sought refuge in the sanctuary and this is where he committed suicide in 322 BC.

This olive tree is in the photographs of the earliest excavations so it must be at least 150 years old

magnificent gnarled old tree trunk.

The pine trees on the site are of an almost luminous green

looking closer

on the edge of the site this green oasis gave us welcome shelter from the burning sun

and affords great views


that are breathtaking

the ancients really did know how to choose spectacular locations for their temples and sanctuaries

this one reminded me of the temple of Apollo at Delphi, another site that has been built in spectacular countryside.

On the dry, parched ground a lone cyclamen was blooming - out of season, and a triumph against  harsh conditions

lots of these roots? bulbs? on the ground. I do not know what they are.


We made a sudden stop while driving down the hill as we saw this church


it's the church of St Eustathios and one of our party was named Eustathios, or Stathis as we call him

and he wanted to have a look.


Then it was time to take the ferry to the mainland - a five-minute journey.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Swimming in Poros

Poros beaches aren't spectacularly good, but we did have some nice swims.

For our first day we went to Kanali.

It's next to the canal that separates the two islands that make up the island of Poros.


Some nice views as we were lying on our loungers, but the water was not that clean. We were told that that's the case there, given its proximity to the canal, and that the best times to swim are very early in the morning or early evening.

The best swim we had was on our second day, when we went to the Russian Bay. It was spectacular due to the backdrop ruin of a 19th century Russian naval base.

When Greece was occupied by the Ottoman Empire Russia secured free shipping for its navy and this bay was one of their bases. When Russian activity declined so did the base and the abandoned buildings were left to decay.

A wonderful backdrop for a day spent swimming.

We had a really good look around before getting down to the serious business of the day.


We had a few excellent, long swims


the beach was not crowded at all

the water was clear and the views were excellent


which included this sweet little island in the middle of the bay, Daskalio,

On our way back to the hotel we stopped on top of the hill to admire the views


and we could get a better view of the small island and the little church that's in the middle of it

A bit further along we came across The White Cat, a taverna jutting out to the sea so we stopped there for a late, very delicious lunch

Our position afforded great views of the back of Poros town

so picturesque


and the gorgeous building of the Hellenic Naval Base.

looking closer

We fed the fish and then headed for our hotel for a well-deserved siesta.

Monastiri was the third beach we visited. No sand here, but we thoroughly enjoyed swimming to a hotel beach three bays further along - our longest swim so far this summer and swimming back was hard and tiring work but very rewarding

Surrounded by pines and olive trees, the Monastery is perched on the hill above the beach 

the paragliding in the photograph provided us with some amusement for a while

The taverna where we stopped for lunch was mediocre to say the least, but this little church was next to it

very cute

we had the chance to see the paragliding again, much closer this time


and by then it was quite late, the sun was very strong and the silver light on the water was enchanting


as we were leaving we had a closer look at the little church

noted the bell on the eucalyptus tree

and popped inside for a quick look.