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Showing posts from July, 2017

How to break ... Well almost everything!

How to break ... Well almost everything!

Originally shared by Winchell Chung

Tim van der Zee‏ tweeted:
There are bad visualizations, and then there's the 'bicycle of education'.
Memoco said:
An org chart, a flow chart, double pie chart and a mind map that all happens to be merged in the shape of a (poorly designed, probably dysfunctional) bicycle is quite the feat!
https://twitter.com/research_tim/status/737757291437527040

So, our first day on our own has been very domestic.

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So, our first day on our own has been very domestic. Some grocery shopping, laundry, and creating and writing postcards for the folks back home.

One observation - there is an S-Market in the middle of town, and a K-Market Super just a few hundred metres away, just outside the main strip. We've been getting stuff from the S-, but today visited the K- instead. They appear to have a much better (broader) range of products, but are perhaps a touch more expensive. Only a touch. So I had a look on the Net of a Million Lies to see what was going on.

I found a reddit thread on the topic, and apparently S- are a sort of co-op-ish chain, and K- are not, but basically my observations were borne out, although it was agreed that Lidl is the chain of choice. The closest Lidl is several hundred Km away, so that is not an option for me in Mariehamn!

We did have a nice chat with our server at the pharmacy, who had spent a year outside Cleveland, Ohio. She has a friend from Lappo, and has been there s…

T+12, for those keeping count ☺️ And by today, I mean yesterday.

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T+12, for those keeping count ☺️ And by today, I mean yesterday.

P was off to the UK today, she'll be back at the end of the week. So we cycled out to the airport to makesureshewasgone see her off.

Then it was off to the south end of the island to visit the folks at Paddelboden for a most-of-day kayak tour out to Kobba Klintar - a small skerry off the coast that the old pilot station and foghorn system is on. Both of these are out of use now, and are now museums, a cafe, and an event/exhibition space. The islet is also home to many sculptures.

The weather was perfect, with light winds, clear skies, and the most stunningly calm seas. We did slightly tease our guide who warned us of the incoming wash from a passing speed boat, and we were somewhat confused, as we did not notice it at all - it was less than the normal chop on the Swan! The waters around Mariehamn are just that protected! The water itself is also rather odd for the open sea, in that it is very low salt - it is actually …

You get today's post tomorrow. Meantime, read Alicia Smith​ 's one.

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You get today's post tomorrow. Meantime, read Alicia Smith​ 's one.

Originally shared by Alicia Smith

#bigtourleece2017


We went for a bit of a paddle today.

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We went for a bit of a paddle today... 13.7km. Not so much in a Hobie, but in a traditional sea kayak, a bit of a hike. A lot of fun, although we teased the guide a bit when she warned us of rough water from a speedboat's wake. And it was less than a typical day on Perth Water, never mind Melville Water!

Alicia Smith​ has her take on the day.

Alicia Smith​ has her take on the day. If you've not been following, she's been posting her handwritten journal, with an artwork, for each day of the trip. Well worth reading.

Originally shared by Alicia Smith

#bigtourleece2017


https://photos.app.goo.gl/O7FWvMz0RwTOjMdp1

I'm starting to get the hang of mornings around here - kind of. :)

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I'm starting to get the hang of mornings around here - kind of. :)

Took the bus to town to meet the bus out to the #SaltvikVikingMarket. Naturally, I forgot to actualy take the lunch I'd prepared, so we made use of the transfer time to grab some crackers and fruit.

The journey North to Saltvik, where the market is located was very beautiful, and took us over one of the deep inlets, that we'd call a fjord. Once we got there, we had a long chat with a potter who worked on ceramic reconstructions of period works - and even has some work in museums!

We were also treated to some wonderful music, first from Obscurus Orbis, who are best described as Medieval Metal, and then to the more traditional Själ. We scored CDs off both, which was super awesome.

For lunch we had spit-roast pork, with rutabager (swede) and cabbage - normally with flatbread, but we had our crackers - yum! The meal was served on a piece of birchwood - a wood so versatile that it was even used as the era's ve…

Today we had a very nice breakfast at the Strandnäs Hotel, they provided a plate of GF breads and crackers, with our...

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Today we had a very nice breakfast at the Strandnäs Hotel, they provided a plate of GF breads and crackers, with our own butter, which we the supplemented with the buffet.

Rode into town then to get stamps (Åland has their own postal system, separate from Finland), and to visit the information office. Back to the hotel, and then off on the bus to have a look around. While waiting for the bus, we were treated to a very cool contrail. After a bit of searching, we found where the Rôde tourist 'train' left from, and caught that around the town. My head was playing up by this stage, but Alicia Smith​​ got some great shots. Lunch at the very nice Café Julius, and a bit of shopping before heading back again to try and sort my head out.

Alas, the migraine was persistent, and we had to cancel our planned evening kayak tour. ☹️.

Tomorrow, head permitting, we visit the Viking Market!





Photospheres from the Amorella.

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Photospheres from the Amorella.


We were up very early to make sure that we would be on-time for boarding our ferry to Mariehamn.

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We were up very early to make sure that we would be on-time for boarding our ferry to Mariehamn. It was quite a long walk to the Viking Line Terminal, but we got there in plenty of time.

Then we boarded the Amorella - a monster of a ferry! 10 decks, 500 car capacity, and 2420 passengers. The 6 hour trip to Aland cost EUR14 each (about AUD20)! The ferry is basically a small cruise liner, but she leaves less wake than most runabouts.

The Turku and Aland archipelegos are stunning - although the navigation through them is a little alarming to us West Aussies. We're used to leaving kilometres between us an the nearest reef or island, on the basis that at any moment a rogue wave, freak current, or sudden wind (or all three) will drive us onto it at the drop of a hat. The waters are so protected here that he ferry passes within a few metres of some of the islands!

And, whilst we have the geologically similar Recherche Archipelego, it is constantly pounded by the waves of the Southern Ocea…

So yesterday the plan was to catch a bus into town, and then one out to Nantali, about 30 minutes away.

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So yesterday the plan was to catch a bus into town, and then one out to Nantali, about 30 minutes away. A few minutes into the first bus ride Poss looks out the window, and says "Oh, that boat goes to Naantali." A very brief conference, and I hit the stop button, just as we reach the right stop, and off we hop.

The SS Ukkopekka, a former "icebreaking inspection ship", launched in 1938. This charming little steamer takes about 1:45 to make the journey, but is so much more scenic! It also has a buffet on board, the bulk of which is GF, and for which they will provide GF black bread and clean butter, if you need it. Finns really get GF in a way I would not have believed possible.

Anyway, the trip was unbelievably smooth, and full of stunning scenery, and blessedly devoid of Muzak or tacky commentary. They give a little history of the boat at one point, but that is it.

Naantali, when we got there was charming - wooden buildings everywhere, and a causeway across to Moomi…

Well that's a surprise!

Well that's a surprise!

Australia:Exporting extinct species since 1788.

Originally shared by rare avis


New Zealand native black swans were hunted to extinction by Polynesians and almost all the black swans living here are recent arrivals from Australia, new research shows.

These ancient native black swans probably arrived from Australia between 1 million to 2m years ago and evolved to be heavier and taller than their Australian cousins.

Given another million years, they might have become flightless, said University of Otago palaeogenetics laboratory director Nic Rawlence, who led the research.

But Polynesians arrived about 1280 and the native black swan was hunted to extinction by about 1450, he said. Moa and about a third of other native species also died out in this "megafaunal hunting period".

By the time Europeans arrived in the late 1700s, there were no black swans established in Aotearoa, although there was good evidence they were arriving here from Australia, but not br…

Again, text to follow. Nantali is lovely!

Again, text to follow. Nantali is lovely!
https://photos.app.goo.gl/FYzpbCxRnSzegafk1

Naantali Harbour is rather lovely.

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Naantali Harbour is rather lovely.

Breakfast today brought a welcome surprise - GF muesli!

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Breakfast today brought a welcome surprise - GF muesli! Add to that the GF rolls we'd picked up yesterday, and we had a really nice breakfast. Then we hopped on the No.1 bus and got off at the first bridge towards town. A five minute walk brought us to the sports stadium, and the local in-town disc golf course. This is very much a beginners' course, with 40-60m holes. That said, some of the holes are quite technical and tricky. There is also something very scary for us West Aussies - standing water! In fact, hole 8 shoots directly over a little lake! The area is part of a major park, so there was also quite a bit of wildlife around - including our first squirrel sighting.

Then I succeeded in getting us lost getting back to the bus stop - so we stopped for a coffee. Then we walked down the hill, and straight up to our busstop. Then we moved on to our other big target for the day : Turku Castle.

Only a 5 minute walk from SS Bore, this just about did us in. It is huge! And so ver…

Turku, as I mentioned before, is hosting one leg of the Tall Ships Race for this year.

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Turku, as I mentioned before, is hosting one leg of the Tall Ships Race for this year. There are dozens of them here, and they are making the city very busy indeed.

On with the day! The beds here are surprisingly comfortable, and we had one of our best night's sleep on the trip!

After breakfast, an expedition to find form lunch goodies also netted us a pair of titanium LMF sporks. These are wonderful tools for travellers and campers - even the polycarbonate ones are great - giving you a spoon at one end, and a fork at the other, with a serrated time on one side. The metal ones are usually not available in Australia, and on the rare occasions they are, they are AUD30-40. We got these for about half that. Score!

Lunch down by the Aura followed, in a section between two bridges that was populated with ex coastal traders-turned-restaurants. I'm guessing that they gutted the hulls, and used a crane to life the shells into place.

Back to the SS Bore, where we are staying, and we settled…

Apparently it means 'fast' or 'speed' in Swedish.

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Apparently it means 'fast' or 'speed' in Swedish.

Or so it is claimed!