Monday, December 10, 2007

Testing my Nikon D300 in Boston

A week ago I bought the much hyped Nikon D300 camera and since then I have been playing around with it in the streets of Boston. I have to say that I am extremely impressed by the camera. Together with my vibration reducing Nikon VR 18-200 mm lens this camera is a killer in low-light conditions like inside the Boston Public Library. I have compiled a slideshow of pictures - some of which have been shot as high as ISO 3200 without obvious noise! Have a look of the slideshow of Boston Public Library, views from the Prudential Tower and Beacon Hill here.

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Sunday, December 2, 2007

Harvard University, Cambridge

Albeit Elvira and I are affiliated with Harvard University we are unfortunately located in the boring "Longwood/Fenway" health campus rather that the historic campus in Cambridge. Last Sunday we thus took a stroll in Cambridge to see the beautiful historic sites such as Harvard Yard. Harvard is the oldest college in the USA, founded in 1636, and has educated six US presidents and several Nobel laureates. Another beautiful historic place in Boston!

The stroll also gave me an oppotunity to play around with Elvira's fisheye lens which gave some funny looking pictures shown here.

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Saturday, December 1, 2007

Elvira in New York City

Last weekend was Thanksgiving weekend and while I was in Denmark working for the Danish Medical Research Council, Elvira went on sightseeing in New York City.

Elvira got to see the famous Macy's Thanksgiving parade, Central Park, Empire State build, Ground Zero and the Statue of Liberty. Well, have a look at a picture slide show from her trip here.

In central park she also saw an amazing trio of street dancers. Have a look at a movie of the dancers here [Quicktime or iTunes required].

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Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Atlantic coastline of Maine, USA

The weekend before last was Veteran's weekend which is a holiday in the USA. Elvira and I took the opportunity to take an extended Sat-Mon weekend up along the Atlantic coastline of Maine. The coastline is world renowned for being loaded with picturesque lighthouses, beaches, sea cliffs and harbors and we were not disappointed!

You can see a slide show of pictures from the trip here.

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Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Home from Svalbard kayak expedition

I just returned from a week long kayak expedtion to the Ekman fjord, Svalbard (Spitsbergen) at almost 79° north. A pretty cold place to kayak (from 0-5 °C in August!) but also one of the most beautiful places I have visited in a long time. It was truely awesome to kayak in such a remote place and look at the spectacular landscape with mountains in very different colors and shapes sprinkled with snow on the summits and glaciers in the valleys. Furthermore, it was fantastic to kayak very close to icebergs and glacier fronts calving ice directly into the ocean with us just a short (but safe) distance away. We had hoped to see a polar bear (at distance!) but only saw their footprints as they had followed the pack ice towards the North Pole. However, we saw lots of other beautiful wildlife - especially the rich bird life.

What a great place - and I am very happy that Norway got the rights of the island group as
they take very good care of this pristine polar region and its fragile wildlife.

Elvira and I will present picture, movies and stories from the trip in the Danish Alpine Club (Løvstræde 8a, 3rd floor, Copenhagen, entrance in the courtyard) on Thursday September 27 at 8 PM. Free entrance - all are welcome!

Also - follow the website where a travel report will be posted soon.

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Sunday, June 24, 2007

Home from Greenland - a mixed experience

I am back home after a 3-week trip to
Greenland, which turned out to be quite a mixture of experiences.

On the positive side, I
  • got married :-)
  • saw lots of beautiful icebergs and the Ilulissat ice fjord
  • saw wildlife (muskoxen, arctic hares, reindeer, Canadian geese, ptarmigans, snow buntings, seals and humpback whales) albeit not as much as I had expected
  • tried riding in a dog sledge
  • saw some beautiful nature scenery, which however was not as stunning as I had expected
  • experienced the hospitality of the Greenlandic people

On the negative side, I was shocked
  • seeing how the Greenlandic people trash their pristine nature. There was rubbish everywhere (both within the townships, but also after several days hike into the mountains)!
  • seeing rubbish dumps on township- and ocean borders where rubbish was burned in the open!
  • reading reports from the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources ( documenting that hunting of walruses, polar bears and some whale and bird species in Greenland is not sustainable!
  • seeing how some sledge dogs were treated disrespectfully (laying chained in mud/their own faeces without the possibility of laying on a clean and dry surface)!
  • seeing domestic drainage and fishery spillage being led untreated into nature!
I guess I have been naively misled by the nice photographs in the travel brochures and the old myth of the Inuit's living in harmony with nature. What I saw reminded me of Europe in the 80'ties when pollution was dumped directly into the oceans and we were emptying the oceans for fish etc with the slogan "out of sight - out of mind". In my view, Greenland will have to see the light and make dramatic changes - especially if they want to thrive of tourism in the future. I met several other travelers from Denmark and as far away as Vietnam who were also shocked and saddened by what they had seen.

Greenland should learn from countries like New Zealand and Spitsbergen (Norway) which have realized that they can earn more money from displaying thriving wildlife and clean pristine nature than by trashing it and killing endangered wildlife.

I came to Greenland with a lot of great expectations and left with the promise never to return. I have traveled quite a bit and haven't previously left a country with that impression......

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