The Arctic Henge

If you come to Raufarhöfn you will not be able to miss visiting the interesting Arctic Henge. It is a modern setup of stones with its roots in the old believes when worshipping the sun was common. Here so far in the north, in the most northern village of Iceland, the cycle of the sunlight throughout the year is something affecting everyone. Therefore it is a good place for the Arctic Henge aiming to capture the sunlight.

For me it was a splendid place to capture great photos. And I was lucky to start my first full day in Iceland with a blue sky. To read more about the Arctic Henge, please click the emblem of Raufarhöfn below the photos. A seperate page will open. By the way, the Arctic Henge is called Heimskautsgerðið in Iclandic.

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Masthugget Church — A Personal Place

Today I will introduce you to a special place. Maybe, if you are a fond of Scandinavia and been to Gothenborg before, you might know the place. I write about Masthugget Kyrkan, the church of Masthugget. It is a prominent landmark standing on the hilltop above the Danish Stena Ferry Terminal. For me it is even more, cause the church was in the direct backyard of my student house and many memories are connected to it. Many tourists (even busses of sightseeing) are coming here for the magnificent views over the town and harbour area. We came here so many summer nights after studenthouse parties, for just some fresh air and talking or to just sit here on the rocks looking down on the lights of Gothenborg. Before christmas we even built the church from gingerbread 🙂

I will spare you a lot of discribing of its history, you can see a photo of the sign I took on at the church. Rather I want to show you some of the things you can see from here…

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This is the view along the Göta Älv (river) towards its opening into the North Sea (or already Baltic Sea?) In the far you can see the large bridge, which is a happening, when the ferries go underneath it. Only a very few meters between the chimney and the bridge are left. Don’t forget to have a look when you take the ferry… and keep breathing… it always works!

You can see the German Stena Ferry Terminal (or better said the German Ferry) behind the tiny church tower on the right of the bridge. On the far right you can see the huge iron crane of Ericsberg. In the past lots of ship yards were along the Göta Älv. With the decline of the ship industry, Sweden pushed for technology. The big time for Ericsson Telecommunication came. A lot of the former ship yards nowadays house technology companies. By the way, a few kilometers on the right behind the Ericsberg crane you will get to the Volvo car plant. That area is called Hisingen and is actually an island in the river.

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A zoom on the big bridge over the Göta Älv. You can go there and cross it by bike. There are bike and pedestrian lanes. Of course I crossed it many times.

In the very far you can see the beginning of the Göteborg Skärgard (the Gothenborg Archipelago) which stretches far on both sides of the river opening. On one of the islands close to town is the New Älvsborgs Castle, in the past a protection fortress for the town. It is hard to believe, but I never been there. It is on the top of my todo list for Gothenborg.

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This is the direct view on the Danish Stena Ferry Terminal and behind one of the few remains from the ship industry. I could actually hear the ferry engines in the student house… made me sleepy. On the right in the far back, you can see the tram and car bridge.

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Here you can see the prominent building colored in red and white… the lipstick. In front is the opera and in front of that along the river the ship museum.

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This is the only photo I have that gives you an idea about the rocky consistancy of the terrain in Gothenborg. During the iceage the glaciers did a hard job on the rocks by grinding them until they became very flat. You still can see where smaller rocks have beed moved over the large hill. The rocks here all have scarves from the iceage.

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Very close to Masthugget Church you will find this monument. It is the sailors woman waving for her man leaving the harbour and waiting for him to return safely. She is located at the Maritime Museum of Gothenburg, just down the street from Musthugget Church.

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If you (have to) leave Gothenborg and you take the ferry (German Stena Ferry Terminal), you will have this nice view on the Masthugget Church. Have to say it was pretty hard leaving from here with that view after spending 2,5 years just beside it on the hill.

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Here at least a glimpse of art from the building. If you look carefully, you see it reminds a little of nordic art. If you enter the church you will find nice models of ships hanging inside. It is an interesting church.

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Here what is written on the church about the church.

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I hope you liked this quite personal view on this place. As said, a lot of memories and all very positive are connected to Masthugget Church and the area around. Maybe you have a look on your own and get a sense of it…

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Day-visit to the Ice-Hotel LumiLinna in Kemi

Living in Finland for a year gives you the chances to visit places year round. So on my Easter weekend in 2008 I decided to drive from my hometown Oulu to Kemi at the far end of the Baltic Sea to have a look at the ice hotel Lumilinna, which is rebuilt each year. Lumi is the finnish word for snow and linna is a fortress. So it basically is the snowfortress. As you notice on the photos March is still tight winter up north just 200 km from the arctic circle and it is hard to believe that just a few months later after you have made a hike on the ocean ice you can walk around in a T-shirt.

I think the Lumilinna is nowadays at a different location than at the times I went there. Staying in an ice-hotel became more and more popular and so they increased size which might have caused the reason for moving to a more spacious place. You can find the current location on the embedded map below.

To see the interior you do not have to stay in the hotel overnight. It is possible for a fee to go inside and walk around at daytime. It is very nice!

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King’s Grave of Kivik

Just recently on German TV there was a documentory about trade and knowledge exchange around Europe and the adjacent cultures in the Bronze Age. A short part of it was that the knowledge of two wheeled carriages moved all the way up to the North. For this the decorations in the King’s Grave of Kivik were shown. Today I will bring you to this huge grave from 1400 B.C.

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Have a look at the right stone that is fully shown. You can see the carriage on the upper right side.

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Please click the emblem to get to the official page!

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Vilhelmina Church

The neoclassical church of Vilhelmina was finished in 1845. I found information boards on my way through Vilhelmina kommun indicating that it is an interesting building. So I drove up the churchhill to have a look. At the end I did not just look at the church, but combined it with a 2.5 km hike around the churchhill, that starts just around the corner.

Please find the explanation about the church on the photo that I took from a sign that is raised at the church.

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Habo Church — A True Gem

Sometimes it is possible to discover true gems that at first do not look like that. One of that kind is the wooden church in Habo, Sweden. During my travel plannings I found some photos which indicated that here is something special. So I put it on my list.

Arriving at the site I found a church that was hiding something from me while I was standing outside. Well, still looked quite nice though. But the big surprise came when entering the building… the entire interior is decorated with very beautiful and colorful paintings. I have to say it is amazing. So I spent a long time to look around at the many paintings, which tell stories from the bible. If you are into art, churches or history, I think you should come here to see it yourself. But I can help you a little with the photos below. Enjoy…

Ah, before just a reminder that it is not a museum, but a real church, so it is primarily intended for those who want communicate with god. Do not run around, talk loud or annoy people with your camera… simply pay respect… I have seen this misbehavior a lot during trips… unfortunately…

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Maribo Domkirke

Here a little jump in time… to a place that is particular in my memory. On my very first return to Finland the Danish Maribo was the first stop abroad on my roadtrip that lead me around the entire Baltic Sea. At that time still with my little Nissan Micra. Beside of that I like the architecture and atmosphere inside the church. But no wonder as now more than 600 years of history left its traces. If you are familiar with scandinavian languages, you can read about the history of Maribos Domkirke in danish on their webside, or read in english on wikipedia. I don’t like to summarize everything here so I have linked both below. Click the logos…

Sorry, that not all photos are fully sharp! My cameras evolved since back then…

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