18km south of Varnamo, Sweden there’s a rune stone

The last 4 days of this visit have seen the most number of miles travelled. From Borlange in the north east down to Varnamo in the south west and then back up to Gothenburg for the flight home to Manchester. So here’s the last set of photographs from these few days. There will be some black and white and colour shots of the same. I’m undecided which is best, feel free to comment and let me know what you think. There are also some shots of the same place taken 24 hours apart. What a difference a day makes.

Thanks for taking a look.

This is lake Flåren. The next five photo’s were taken at about 7pm. There was a storm approaching, light was fading fast and more importantly we hadn’t eaten yet. So it was back to the hotel and straight in to another storm which was in the opposite direction to that in the photo.






Twenty three hours later and here”s lake Flåren again. Brighter, calmer  and altogether warmer.









And lastly here’s that Runestone – about 1000 years old.



From Spjuthult to Paris in a day without leaving Sweden

A long day in the car today as we drive down to Varnamo and Vaxjo. A slight detour took us to the centre of Askersund Kommun, not Askersund city. Ironically these produced the best photo’s of the day. Detour completed, the plan was to revisit Lake Vattern and take more pictures of the same place when I was here in 2007. In 2007, clear blue skies and no wind. 2012, plenty of wind and mostly heavy clouds, so results not as interesting with added frozen fingers. Next was a little walk in Tiveden National Park which I dragged my reluctant wife around. It was only a couple of kilometres and I’m sure she’ll forgive me eventually. A selected few below with minimal tinkering, cropping, levels and black and white, no sharpening.

Somewhere in the middle of Askersund Kommun.

Birch trees 1.

Birch trees 2.

Lichen on Birch tree.

Pine tree sapling – Tiveden national park, Sweden.
I’m amazed by the tenacity of this little tree.

Tiveden national park.

Tiveden national park 2.

From Borlänge to Örebro

Driving in the snow from Borlänge to Orebro on day 6 of this trip to Sweden. Some 230km of driving in snow, sleet and drizzle was a bit dull. I’ve always liked Ansel Adams’s picture of Aspen trees. En route these Birch trees stood out in a similar way. Dull flat light needed a little assistance from iphoto(ipad) to bring out what I imagined it should look

Birch trees, Sweden, April 2012.

Borlänge, 3 more days in Sweden.

Two and a half Hours north of Örebro is Borlänge. An industrial town originally centred on medieval iron works. The town itself is not particularly photogenic but then not many medium sized towns are. Only 15 minutes outside of the town is Runn. A sprawling, spidering lake of 68km2 situated between Falun and Borlänge. After working for the day a quick dash to the lake allowed a few photographs while the sun was beginning to set. There was still a small amount of snow around at the edge of the lake, the air was still and so was the lake.



Sweden in April

I am fortunate enough to travel with work although a little unfortunate in that many of the places are semi industrial or, so short in duration that there is little time for sight seeing.
My latest trip to Sweden is slightly different in that I have a weekend of travelling in one of the most landscape rich places in terms of lakes and water in Europe.
Flying over land to Holland with clear blue skies above and clear blue water below was a joy to the eyes then on to Copenhagen for a quick connecting flight and final destination Stockholm. Fingers crossed that we make this flight due to the delay caused by the aircraft in front of us which did not quite make it to the end of the runway! A short drive back inland to Orebro for a few nights. The town is dominated by the castle surrounded by a branch of the main river running through the town.

Holland’s coast line.

Slotten, castle in centre of Orebro.
Today has been one of those working days with a mixture of rain, snow, cloud and sunshine. Glad I was working. According to the weather forecast tomorrow will be a re-run of today, ho hum.

Manchester and Tatton

A nice day in Manchester, hard to believe, I know. Well they say the camera never lies, Photoshop often  blurs the lines, but even that would struggle to make it look like it was raining.  My wife was having some dental work so chauffeur turned photographer escaped in to the streets around Manchester.  The city of a Manchester has regenerated since the aftermath of an IRA planted bomb. It is now a mixture of modern, bright architecture and the old architecture showing the wealth generated from the textile industry and the entrepreneurial Victorian inhabitants. Their great legacy being the Manchester Ship canal which brought the  heavily laden ships in to my home town of Salford and firmly appointed Salford and Manchester as the Industrial centre of England.

My wife, with a jaw full of anaesthetic,  we have a (carefully) eaten pub lunch and afterwards arrive at Tatton park.  It has a history dating back to Bronze Age farming and has been home to herds of deer since the 13th century. In the late Tudor period Tatton was acquired by the Egerton family who owned the estate until the last Lord Egerton died without heirs in 1958. Maurice Egerton bequeathed the estate to the National Trust. It is now a major visitor attraction, a peaceful place with paths and open green spaces including Tatton Hall and its gardens.

The Egerton family are historically and fundamentally involved in the creation of the Manchester Ship canal and the earlier Bridgewater canal. The latter being said to be the first true canal. The two groups of  photographs connect the  industrial heart of Lancashire to the gentrified, lush green pastures of the Cheshire countryside.