Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Baltic Holidays - Day 12 - Amsterdam

Day 12.
The final Day of our Baltic Cruise and holiday and we are to spend it in Amsterdam.

Needless to say Rembrandt and Van Gogh were on the menu.

Straight off we hunted for the Rijksmuseum(wiki-link) knowing that it was an infamously popular destination. Upon arrival though it was clear the queue just to get a ticket to go in was going to take at least half an hour and they were already putting up signs saying that tickets were only available for later in the afternoon. Bearing in mind we'd have to be back on board the ship that afternoon it seemed unlikely that we were going to get in at all, cut our losses and went to get lunch at the hard rock cafe that was about a block away.

After that was when we stumbled on a canal cruise ride that included a package that promised access to the Rijksmuseum afterwards with no time restraints or queuing at all, so we snapped it up.
The following batch of shots are from the canal ride.
Due to the number of images please see the rest of this post beyond the break...

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Baltic Holidays - Day 10-11 - Day at Sea 3 and 4

The next couple of days were spent at sea so, as before, I mostly spent the time taking photographs of the weather.

This time you can see some bits of the ship as well.

Friday, 16 August 2013

Baltic Holidays - Day 9 - Estonia

Day 9 is in Talinn, Estonia.

I didn't know what to expect from Estonia, I've never heard much about it in the past but I came away from Talinn with fond memories.

We only dropped into old town really but it was such a beautiful place. The architecture was great and the atmosphere was so calm and peaceful. Even after the square had totally filled with tourists and the heavens opened up on us the atmosphere just became lively and more vibrant.
The above photo is amongst my favourites. It looks period, like a scene from a hundred years back or so.
If I applied some sepia tone and faked some aging it would be quite convincingly old I'd think.

Behind that woman was an amazing... cafe? it sold fresh pastries filled with meats and/or vegetables and various warmed alcoholic beverages, all served in awesome stoneware. I've got to say I really enjoyed drinking from the stoneware cup they served.
There's no photos inside the atmospheric eatery as it had no lighting aside from the occasional candle and the large stone ovens they were cooking with.

One of the earlier things we did was go inside this church.
This church had a ludicrously tall tower of which we paid so we could go up to the top.
At the top was a precarious wooden ledge propped up on the tiles of the sloped roof from the spire which was penned in with some chicken-wire'ish type fencing.

It was pretty sturdy, my boy loved it up there but it was a bit cramped for the number of people, the view however was brilliant.

We then headed on.
I believe the next church we visited was the oldest one in Talinn. This one we didn't climb to the top of but we did have a look around inside. Where it all looked... very old.

The following shots are from around the town.

The last two shots were taken from the tower in the middle of the town centre. You can see the weather in the background which, whilst we were stood at the top of a tower, on what appeared to be a large copper plate when, naturally, a few crashes of thunder and lightning filled the sky.
Of course we shortly thereafter made our way back to ground level.

The following shots were taken from the ship as and before we left.

The last shot was just where some light happened to get caught in the right way to shine a little rainbow across the rusty floor of the balcony I was on.

Well it caught my attention anyway.

I again set the camera up for a timelapse and this was what I got. Not quite as exciting as the last one.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Baltic Holidays - Day 6 - Day at Sea 2

Another day at sea so not too much to shoot except the sea and any weather that might be happening over it but to be honest.
I find the sea rarely disappoints for impressive views.

Some stormy weather off in the distance.

Time for sunset!

A very wide Panorama. 

I enjoyed a lot of the above photos were fun to snap. the sky was filled with colours. Trying to capture them whilst considering composition and framing, camera settings and such. I'm quite happy with them as a result however I started to identify a problem at this point, It is most noticable in the following shot.
Notice the blotches on the cloud?
Sadly this was not dust on the lens but a defect with my brand new Nikon D600. I'll make a post about this later but it became a nuisance which i wasn't to identify until much later.

Finally! My favourite bit!
I set up my camera at the window of our cabin and captured the following timelapse.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Baltic Holidays - Day 5

... and now we're in Helsinki, Finland.

The weather was not good so not too many shots in Helsinki itself we just looked around really. Most notable place we visited was the Rock Church or Temppeliaukio Church.
I only took a couple of shots inside but it was a very nice building. Also a very busy building.

We then wondered around a bit just to see the area. It rained most of the time but it stopped when we discovered these guys.

Apparently they're Angel-Demon babies as sculped by AES-F group.
I'd like to have seen more but weather and time did not allow.

The next set were shot as we left port.
Little boat in our giant ships wake...