Monday, 31 October 2016

Pope Francis visits Lund




Lund is a town of prestige which I like a lot. Apart from having the best university in Sweden, it has also one of the most beautiful cathedrals in the country: Lunds Domkyrkan - chosen by the Pope for a visit earlier this month and that made the Sweden's King Carl Gustav and Queen Silvia to come to Lund as well.
I had the opportunity to quickly escape from work to see them and even broadcast it live from my phone to Facebook. That was the first time I did a live broadcast because I thought that was a major event to show live. Well, it was not the first time I saw a Pope with my own eyes. John Paul II did visit my hometown in Brazil in the late 80's so I had the chance to see him and I remember it. Heh, not much more to say apart from what you can see in this stored copy of my live broadcast video. Ciao!

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Rammstein went to Wrocław (So did I)




That was the best concert I have ever attended. Well, I should call it a SHOW instead because when Rammstein plays it is no joke! This footage above was taken by me when they were playing their most popular song 'Du Hast'. A surprise pyrotechnic effect blew my mind! Till Lindemann shoots a 5-barrel gun with fireworks followed by fire explosions and two fireworks resembling missiles hitting the stage as a counter strike. Very well planned.

In their setlist there was a new song (and unreleased song) in the opening act, entitled "RAM 4" which has the names of several of their songs as lyrics. As if they were trying to summarize Rammstein in one song. Also very well planned.


I noticed the band avoided so explicit acts and songs like "Pussy" or "Bück dich" (among others) which would have a very explicit lyrics with sexual content and even live acts on the stage depicting artificial penises and masochist behaviors.

Among their classics songs, the ones they did play were: Amerika, Du Hast, Du riechst so gut, Mein Herz brennt, Links 2-3-4, Ich will and Engel which was played as last song with a beautiful and theatrical act in which Till Lindemann flies with some metal angel wings.

If you ever get the opportunity to see Rammstein live, don't miss it! 

Monday, 27 June 2016

Exploring Iceland

After my first (and too short) trip to Iceland in April of 2015, I was sure I was going to come back there at some point and it just happened one year later.
For those in love with ecotourism, this island is a must-see and has a lot to show, including endless amount of waterfalls, geysers, volcanoes, glaciers, hot springs, hot rivers but unfortunately, no so many trees or forests due to its mostly rocky soil formation which makes it hard for trees to grow.
Having said that, I proceed with my report on this amazing 10-day trip to the paradise island, which is called "Island" in their Icelandic language as well as in most of Scandinavian languages. The etymology is simple to comprehend: "IS" means "ICE" and therefore: "ISLAND".
The trip started for me on a Friday evening (June 17th), departing from Copenhagen, flying Icelandair.

Reykjavik

Believe it or not, I only took two photographs in Reykjavik and this is one of them. I know what you may be thinking now and it is correct. The night life is intense and people around there were drinking as if there is no tomorrow.
I did have some beers while attending a rock concert of a Norwegian band which I met in the shuttle bus from Keflavik airport to the center. They gave me also a copy of their debut album. The name of the band is Hollow Illusion. Among the cool bar/clubs to go there, I can recommend: Kaffibarinn, pub "Dubliners" and the Whisky bar named "Dillon". There are many more. Just let the night absorb you. Try to find out which bars offer "happy hour" prices for beers, so you can save a considerable amount of money. Beers will cost you normally a minimum of 1000 ISK. Some bars, during 'happy hours' might charge as low as 600 ISK for a beer.

Golden Circle

Our Polish team composed mostly of people from Warsaw, but having a Latino-Breslauer among them, continued the trip on two 4x4 Nissan Terrano (eventually renamed by us to "Nissan Terrakota"), towards the "Golden Circle" which is a ring road leading to the mainstream attractions near Reykjavik. 

Geyser Strokkur, Kerið crater and Gullfoss waterfalls are among the attractions of the Golden Circle:


Gullfoss waterfalls


Kerið volcanic crater lake

The Golden Circle attractions are for those staying in Reykjavik without enough to time to explore the whole island. We definitely needed more.

Hitting the road

We drove on the road #1 which is the main road going around the island and doesn't require 4x4 cars. We passed the Eyjafjallajökull volcano on the way but don't expect much of it as an attraction because despite its fame after 2010's major eruption, it is not a volcano with a classic cone shape, so you can't see much.


Eyjafjallajökull volcano today

Eyjafjallajökull volcano photo during 2010's eruption

Haifoss

Carry on, with so many waterfalls on the way that I decided to show photos only of the most impressive ones, like Haífoss:


Haífoss

Haífoss

Haífoss


Skaftafell

With Rammstein playing in our CD player, the trip continues to explore the Skaftafell region, where the glacier Skaftafellsjökull is located. It is the second largest glacier in Europe after Austfonna glacier on Svalbard in Norway.

The farther one goes away from Reykjavik area, the less infrastructure and hotels one gets. We used a camping area as base to rest and visit the glacier on the following day. Fortunately, we didn't need to use tents. We had cool cottage houses. Exactly these ones below:

Our housing

The morning comes. That's the expedition day! I couldn't hide my euphoria. That was going to be the most special day of the trip for me! I always wanted to walk on a glacier. So here we go!

Before the ascent, we took a photo of our group:


Piotr, Karolina, Mateusz, Magda, Ewa, Kamil, Kasia, Nano

This is me walking on Iceland's largest glacier

An ice chunk from a glacier looks like crystal
Nice photo collage by Ewa Kalata, from our hiking day

Photo taken during our hike

A photo of out team

Walking tours on the glacier can be arranged in the Skaftafell's visitor's center. The staff doing the tours is really friendly. I recommend.

Near the glacier, there is also a lake formed with the melting water from the glacier itself. The name of it is: Jökulsárlón

It really felt like a proper summer trip, far from harmful UV ray lights and mosquitoes! ;)

Relaxing

Svartifoss


Just beside the Skaftafel's visitor center, there is a hiking trail leading to the Svartifoss - the black waterfall. Well, I thought the water would be black (I've seen some waterfalls with very dark, organic water in Brazil) but that is not the case. The name comes from its black rock formation, which makes it a very unusual landscape. See below:


Svartifoss

Svartifoss

Few more impressive waterfalls we found on the way:

Skógafoss

This one has easy access by the main road, so no need for 4x4 cars. It is called Skógafoss:


Skógafoss

Skógafoss


Seljalandsfoss

This one below is called Seljalandsfoss and it's cool because one can walk behind it, has also easy access:


Seljalandsfoss

Seljalandsfoss

Seljalandsfoss

Nano @ Seljalandsfoss

Dettifoss

The strongest waterfall in Iceland, the Dettifoss:


Dettifoss
Dettifoss

Glymur

Glymur, the second highest waterfall in Iceland, this attraction includes hiking through dangerous paths and high cliffs. Not recommended for children and for people afraid of height. 


Map of the hiking track to go to Glymur falls

Glymur waterfall

View opposed to the Glymur fall, from the point I was

Highlands / Laugarfell


One nice part of the trip was when we went to Laugarfell, in the Icelandic highlands. It was a short incursion towards the center of the island, escaping the main road #1, and going to a quite isolated area near the volcano Askja.
Apparently, there is only one hostel, called Laugarfell itself. At this point I am not sure if it is the name of the location or the name of the hostel, because it is pretty much the only house around.
The hostel (or shelter) is run by a family and can be booked here. There are two hot springs for the guests, with different temperatures. One of them is really hot, probably better for winter but quite ok for a cold summer night too.
The area is probably the best site to watch the stars or the northern lights because it is very isolated and there is no light pollution at all, but since we were there during summer, it doesn't get fully dark anyways, so it is possible to see only one star - the one in our solar system.
During the day, there is a nice activity to do there which is a 7-km hiking trail with really nice views like this one beside.
I really plan to go back there some day, during winter, so I can see the northern lights which I failed to spot last year.

More photos from Laugarfell:







Akureyri

This is the second biggest town in Iceland, with around 20.000 inhabitants. It has its own airport but I heard that flying from Reykjavik to Akureyri is very expensive. Most people would just take a 4-hour bus trip or would take the car. In Akureyri it would be impossible to be an incognito. People would know who you are if you live there for awhile. There only few pubs/bars and people are so friendly that might make you feel like moving there.
This is among the few photos I took while staying in there but the house we rented was on the other side of the bay, so it doesn't show much of the town. Check the wiki page of the town for more information and photos of the city centre here: Akureyri.

Akureyri is a good base town in case you would like to take the whale-watching boat rides departing from Husavik. It is a short drive and there are allegedly more whales on that part of the island than in the Reykjavik area. Not sure if it's true though. We purchased the boat trip from the company named 'North Sailing' (http://www.northsailing.is/home/). They have schooners, which can be an alternative to inflatable boats, but the journey takes longer (approx. 4h) and is less bumpy. (The first photo on this post also shows the boat we took).

The whale-watching departing from Husavik also passes by the puffin island, which is where they reproduce. The Puffin is a traditional Icelandic bird, present in many postcards around there.

Here are some photos (click to enlarge):


Approaching the "Puffin Island"

Humpback whale
Humpback whale

Puffin bird

Well, I think this was the longest post I have ever written in my blog, even though I really tried to keep it as short as I could.

If you can't get enough of Iceland, check out my earlier post about it, from last year: https://nanocarpediem.blogspot.se/2015/04/discovering-iceland.html

I hope you enjoyed my photos and I wish you a good trip to Iceland! :)

Friday, 27 May 2016

Nano meets E-Type!

Well, what can I say? It was like a dream coming true! What you can see in this photo is actually me wearing a wig and some flashy Devil horns on stage with E-Type, one of the greatest Eurodance groups from the 90's! (Click on it to enlarge)

It was a big surprise to everybody since we were all just enjoying the summer party of the company then we suddenly saw what the organizers have secretly arranged for us.

E-type played all their hits, including the "Life", "Campione" (soundtrack for Eurocup 2000) and "This is the way". For their bombastic hit "Campione", E-Type's front man - Martin Eriksson - fecthed some people from the front line, to go up on the stage to sing along and since I was the last one leaving the stage after that song, my colleague could capture this photo showing only me with the band. The best souvenir ever from that special evening. xD

The hit "Life":



More photos (Click to enlarge):









Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Ski for life

After 2 seasons without skiing at all, I took the chance to go to a ski slope before the global warming takes over the planet. Well, it was January 30th and as you can see in the photo, the winter is very mild. The trees are not snowed and the ski tracks contain artificial snow on most of its length.

Most of the ski stations are having very bad conditions for skiing but only some of them have some micro climate or are pointing north which helps avoiding most of the afternoon direct sun light, which is a great advantage.

The ski slope chosen this time was the "Červená Voda" in Czech Republic - http://www.skibukovka.cz/ - which has a quite OK infrastructure for skiing, with a heated-seat ski-lift carrying 4 people at once. The track is for "advanced beginners" and/or intermediate level. If you are advanced, it will be too short for you.

Don't forget to try the Czech beer in the bar, on the base of the slope. Cheers!


Thursday, 3 September 2015

New York City

Even though I'm not a fan of the "American dream", I have to admit that this city is really vibrating and glamorous. I had my trip to NY planned for October (which will also happen) but due to a work-related trip I ended up going in August first.

After all the work agenda was done, me and my work colleagues had a spare time for some sightseeing in Manhattan having only two nights, staying in a hotel in Times Square, Midtown.

Well, I can say that a lot has changed since my first time there back in 1998. Not talking about how fatter I look in the photo, but the city has changed too. Things are more expensive, city got more crowded. I remember walking the streets of Manhattan on a Sunday back in the 90's and it was quite empty. Now, it is really like "the city that doesn't sleep" like sung by Frank Sinatra.

Restaurants now expect minimum of 15% tips (formally called 'gratuity') and by default 18% of gratuity is included in the bill. For a big piece of meat in a Brazilian restaurant in Times Square, including two beers and dessert costed me 63 USD. ATM machines charge 3 USD for international money withdrawals and beer in pubs have Scandinavian prices (between 5 and 8 dollars for a pint). The electronic shops within Manhattan are expensive. Don't forget to bring your European plug converter for power outlets, otherwise you will have to buy an overpriced one in one of these shops.

Times Square


Times Square is the a commercial area in Midtown Manhattan brightly adorned with billboards and advertisements. Times Square is sometimes referred to as The Crossroads of the World. That crossroad in this photo was taken just two blocks away from our hotel. In there you can find the Madame Tussauds wax museum and it is also close to Broadway neighborhood. 

Empire State building


Used to be the tallest building in the world for decades. Now, it is not even the highest in Manhattan anymore (currently it is the One World Center near Ground Zero), but still has a lot of prestige. It has 102 floors and is open for tourists. Nice view from up there. I didn't climb it this time, but I was glad to have a view from my hotel window to it.

WTC Memorial (Ground zero)


In the site where big aircraft hit commercial buildings back in 2001 a memorial was built, with fountains and the names of all the victims killed back then. Worth a visit. There is also a museum on site.
People might think it is theory of conspiracy but I really believe it was somehow planned by Bush administration, so that the government would get public support to go for "war on terror" in the middle east. There is a lot of unanswered questions about this 9/11 attacks if you watch the documentary film Fahrenheit by Moore. Nevertheless, these lives were taken unfairly and the memorial makes totally sense to exist.

Brooklyn bridge


The first bridge to connect Manhattan to the mainland. Over 100 years old. I couldn't walk this one but I had this nice view from the boat ride on the way to Statue of Liberty. Not much to say about it. Check Wikipedia if you want to know more. :)

Statue of Liberty


The Statue of Liberty was a present from the French, as gratitude for liberation after WWII. 
Before the 9/11 attacks, the procedure to visit the islet and go inside the statue was much simpler. Nowadays, there is a lot of screening and strict safety precautions for the tourist who wants to go there. So, the simplest way to enjoy this attraction and take some nice photos from close is to take the "water taxi" for 31 USD and it will stop for a while in front of the statue so you can take nice photos like this one I took.

In my humble opinion, the minimum length of a trip to New York city, should be 5 days. There should be no maximum length. =)

Bye!