Philip Larkin
Originally uploaded by WrldVoyagr

On a short business trip to Kingston-upon-Hull, UK (known simply as Hull) I had a short walk around town. The weather was not great, overcast and high fog. Still managed to capture some images of the center and marina.This statue of Philip Larkin (1922-1985) is located inside the Hull railway station, dedicated 2-Dec-2010 on the 25th anniversary of his death. He was an extremely well-known poet in Britain, and served for 30 years as the librarian of the University of Hull.

David Whitfield

There were numerous statues around the city, such as of David Whitfield (singer) and immigrants passing from Scandinavia and other parts of Europe to America.

Immigrants

A plaque indicates that 2,200,000 people passed through from 1836-1914.

 

The new shopping center St. Stephen’s next to to railway station has an impressive entrance, of course shaped like a ship.

More pictures on Flickr.

Enhanced by Zemanta

In March I had the opportunity to attend the Geneva Auto Salon in conjunction with a business trip (last day of the show). So of course I fit it into my schedule, and together with a colleague spent the afternoon there.

The biggest advantage is the fact that the expo area is directly at the airport, so the first thing we did was drop our luggage at the luggage office (12 CHF), and then walked over to the show. I had bought the tickets online prior to the trip (with advance-purchase discount).

The first hall was mainly accessories and tools, but then we made it into the large hall, which was already well-filled (people and cars). All the well-known brands were represented (but not Saab :-( due to their financial situation), and a few premieres were on hand.

BMW had a major presence with the new 6-series Gran Coupé, which looked quite nice. There were numerous high-end models (well-known and rather unknown) from the likes of Ferrari, Maserati, Koenigsegg, Bugatti, Gumpert, Tesla, Lamborghini and others where each car could easily be traded in for a whole house (or two).

A recurring theme through the exhibition was sustainability, either in the form of hybrid or pure electric. Tesla was of course there, but also GM’s Volt, Opel’s Ampera, a high-end Lexus hybrid concept, as well as others from Japan. It seemed the Japanese were pursuing electric or hybrid much more than the European car makers.

Overall a very interesting and fun afternoon. Many more pictures on my Flickr stream.


The Dark Tower 
Originally uploaded by WrldVoyagr

It’s finally time to post some comments on my visit to Dubai in March. I was there for 3 full days (arriving late on a Monday evening, departing early Friday morning). Due to a scheduled layover while flying Emirates (by the way, a great airline) I decided to extend it for some sightseeing, mainly because of the Burj Khalifa tower.

Holiday Inn

Holiday Inn

I stayed at the Holiday Inn Express at Jumeirah Road, which is a bit southwest of the city center and had reasonable rates. Nothing fancy, but can easily connect to the bus downtown or to the metro to reach other points.

Dubai Mall

Dubai Mall

Tuesday morning I purchased a transit pass (rechargeable RFID card) and took the metro to Burj Khalifa. Even from a distance the height is imposing (all 828 m). It is adjacent to the huge Dubai Mall, where I purchased my observation deck ticket (452 m) for Thursday evening. Advance tickets are 20€, but same-day tickets are a whopping 80€, so buy online in advance, or in person for a later day. It is definitely worth it. After taking care of this very important business, I spent the rest of the day roaming the Dubai Mall and adjacent fountain pool taking pictures, having some Starbucks, lunch (and dinner), and enjoying the air-conditioning (although the weather in March was quite enjoyable, around 25°C). In the evening I captured this great picture of the Burj Khalifa with some ominous clouds in the background. It reminded me of Tolkien’s Dark Tower from Lord of the Rings. This was followed by a fantastic synchronized fountain light display set to music (every 30 minutes).

 

Dubai Creek

Dubai Creek

On Wednesday I took the bus to the Dubai Creek, the old city center. Old and new buildings hug this river which leads out to the ocean. Many water taxis and barges made their way through and across the waterway. On the southern bank is a market where many merchants have set up their shops, ranging for the usual souvenir items to rugs and very many tailors for custom suits (usually run by Indians). Towards the mouth of the river is a reconstructed village (mainly for souvenirs) and a few restaurants. There is also an old fort near the market.

On Thursday I made a late start and headed over to the Dubai Mall again, this time taking some more pictures inside and on the other side of the pool. Finally after sunset I was able to travel up the tower to the observation deck for a wonderful view of the city, and the Mall below. The deck is open to the elements, but with a glass wall to allow viewing. There is even a narrow gap within the wall at roughly 120 cm height to provide an unobstructed view for cameras. :-) I spent nearly an hour up there with my camera mounted on a tripod taking pictures from every angle. Well worth the 20€!

There are a few other activities in Dubai, such as the beach or guided tours into the desert (pricey). If you have more time, those can be an option, but for a short trip even the Burj Khalifa is worth the stay. Overall a very modern city, safe and quite friendly.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Found this video at WTTW-Chicago about an unknown street photographer Vivian Maier, who died in 2009.

Korean Calendar

Korean Calendar

My picture of the MARTa museum in Herford, Germany, designed by Frank Gehry, was selected to be included in a corporate calendar for HanmiParsons in South Korea. The 15-month calendar (October ’10 – December ’11) includes various shots of architectural masterpieces.


White Against Blue

Originally uploaded by WrldVoyagr

This was my submission for the 3rd Annual Scott Kelby Worldwide Photowalk, and it was selected as the Best Photo for the Düsseldorf walk.

More pictures on Flickr, or the Photowalk group.


Duisburg 5

Originally uploaded by WrldVoyagr

Yesterday I was passing through Duisburg on my way to Düsseldorf for the Scott Kelby Worldwide Photowalk when the train service was interrupted due to the Love Parade crowds. They reported people on the tracks (probably looking for a short-cut), and all trains were cancelled for an indeterminate time. This was around 3:45pm.

A replacement bus service was set up for various cities in the region, and the train passengers waited for the appropriate bus in front of the station (at Mülheimer Strasse). The waiting area for some cities (including my destination Düsseldorf) was in the street tunnel leading underneath the station. There were a few hundred people in total around here. The first buses started to arrive around 4:45pm.

This was shortly before the incident at the Love Parade grounds a few hundred meters away (although I never heard the music or loud techno beat). An ambulance passed by at 5:06pm. Luckily this crowd was much smaller. Nonetheless many were impatient to get the bus. I finally left on the Düsseldorf bus at 5:15pm, arriving at 6:15pm (about 2 hours later than planned).

The return trip by train was also delayed, since the Duisburg station was still closed, and most train connections passed through there. After waiting an extra hour at the Düsseldorf station, I got a connection via Dortmund, and finally arrived home at 1am.

All trains were full, especially earlier in the day with the ravers (many already fully drunk and needing assistance). The stations had extra police and train personnel, but no extra staff in the trains to keep an eye on things (like smoking or other disturbances). My ticket was not checked once all day. The return trains were quieter and more subdued. From a transit side it appeared that Deutsche Bahn had made preparations, but was overwhelmed by the larger than expected crowd and the closure of the Duisburg station.

Enhanced by Zemanta
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.