Thursday Thoughts – Cirkus Art and Posters

We visited Västervik this summer, and we happened to visit on the last days of this excellent exhibition of original cirkus posters. They were rather worn, and were to be digitalised and saved for future generations. These original posters come from one of the most extensive collections of cirkus posters in the world. Amazing.

From my childhood memories, cirkus posters mostly looked like the left one, Trolle Rhodin’s cirkus. But here, we found an interesting collection of Polish posters from Cyrk and the Polish School of Posters. See the stunning difference between these two. I just had to post a gallery with some of them. I don’t have to say that my most loved one is the lion having humans jump through the ring… As a child that was my greatest wish…, and a wish for bulls chasing humans in the fighting arena too.

I just loved the simple and clean approach in these Polish artists’ hands. And the hidden messages. I also learned that long ago the cirkuses often had ”real” artists making their posters. Like this left poster by Tolouse Lautrec. The middle one is a poster from a time when ”strange and abnormal” people where shown to the audience. These two girls were albinos. (19th century)

The last advertisment is about Cirkus Madigan (also 19th century) and the beautiful Elvira Madigan. I guess some of you have heard her story or seen the movie on her tragic loveaffair with Sixten Sparre. It is always strange to realise that some movies were built on real persons, and real fates. We will never know the true story of course, but seeing her name there made her come alive to me. I loved that movie.

Thursday Thoughts – Mushrooms I have met…

I think this was the last walk of colours – two days ago the first snow arrived. Grey November has taken over our days, so I will post some golden autumn memories while there were still leaves on the trees.

As you can see, there were not many colours this year, but still some gold. And sun! Now we have almost forgotten the feel of sunlight. These are some of the shortest days of the year.

The hidden gems are there if you look for them, and I have grown more and more a mushroom lover. But almost only for photography…I am too afraid of picking something poisonous.

This is a tiny gallery from my walk. I find mushrooms intriguing. One day they are not there – the next day they have just popped out of the ground. A little rain will bring them out.

So many textures again… multiple shapes in tiny landscapes. The low sun is making miracles in the dark of the forest floor. New worlds unfolding.

And a cat musing in the grass – not happy to be disturbed by Milo…

He was happier though – a ”friend” to chase! The story does not tell of the outcome…but we can guess…

Thursday Thoughts – Walking in Porto, Things that Caught My Eye

Today I feel like sharing another random walk…in Porto. When we walk it is not always a scheduled walk, I love lonely walks without a meticulous plan. Just to see what cathes my eye…so, come walk with me. Not many words needed.

Abandoned places always speak to me…

Walking on bridges gives you a different view of things.

Narrow streets are often tempting to walk…quite irresistible.

Realising the scale of things can be breathtaking.

His view?

This one! The young Brasilian playing was a complete virtuoso. He played among other wellknown artists, Carlos Santana. It was almost impossible to stop listening.

Just for fun.

Old houses and new art.

And who can resist a sight like this?

Some more of the beautiful wall art.

And we ended our Porto tour with a beautiful play of light and music in the neighbouring church.

Thursday Thoughts – Enjoying the Last Autumn Colours

I walk as much as possible in the forest before the last colours are gone. I know too well what is waiting – grey November. This walk was last week – and there was no wind or rain. Only stillness and the occational, faint, sound of a bird. Mostly robins now.

I love the way the colours change with the light and the surroundings. Inside the denser parts of the forest, the leaves are still green. Closer to the meadows, the light is brighter and the yellow and brown colours dominate.

When I walked out of the forest and onto the gravel road, the sun came shining through and the slender young birches glowed. They are waiting for next year’s Spring festival.

On the right side of the road, an old gate is standing alone, protecting a seemingly abandoned house…

…immersed in a haven of colours.

A few days later, most of the leaves were gone. I am grateful for this day of harmony – something to remember in grey and moody November.

Thursday Thoughts – Along the Old Country Road

There is something special with old country roads…Every autumn we walk some kilometers along this country road, and I guess you might recognize parts of it, even if it changes over the years. But, that is one of the reasons why I like to photographs this walk every year.

This part of our neighbouring village was always an agricultural area with many small farms.

Today farming is mostly a business for big farms with much land and large machines to work it.

This house is a typical old farmstead, but I am not sure anyone lives here anymore. It looks abandoned – even though you can see furniture and lamps if you look in the windows. There are even withered house plants in some of them, and a sign with the owner’s name. It looks like the owners just walked out the door left it that way.

Old wagons and tractors are left at the road side or in an abandoned garden.

I feel sad looking at it, because farmers work hard every day, every hour on their land – but as they grow old, they reach a point where they cannot manage it any longer. Being a farmer is a lifestyle, and that must be hard to give up.

There must be a few farmers still working though, because there is cattle in the small fields and meadows.

Aren’t they beautiful, making bypassers feel the harmony and the beauty of the landscape! I wonder what their story is…

Thursday Thoughts – Porto’s Sister, Gaia

On the other side of the Douro river, is Gaia. Home to the wineries and the good food, the salesmen and the old boats – and great street art. Let’s pay the area a visit.

My first impression was of a rather run down area, nothing fashionable at all. The best thing was the lovely views of Porto on the other side of the river.

Walking along the Gaia waterfront, you can see the slender old port boats and even a vintage tram rattling along the Porto streets.

At Taylor’s Port, we were showed around among the impressive barrels, and the wine tasting was excellent. A couple of bottles in the bag could not be resisted.

Bacalhau! A national dish in Portugal. We got a first taste of it here, with a glass of port of course…The neighbour was a spectacular sardine shop. You could even buy a box of sardines with your year of birth on it – luckily the fish was not the same age… I bought a box for my father, who turned 89 two weeks later.

There was excellent street art all over the city, for almost every new block we walked a surprise was waiting around the corner.

A marvelous work was this rabbit, or hare, made of debris and I guess whatever found… We met him at a corner and could not stop looking at all the details. I told him how amazing he was, and he nodded gracefully – I am sure!

Thank you for walking along with me in Gaia, and now, a glass of port – cheers!

Thursday Thoughts – Douro River

From Porto, a boat trip along the Douro river into the beautiful wine district was a must. The Douro valleys have a microclimate allowing for cultivation of olives, almonds, and especially grapes, which are important for making port. According to our guide, the region around Pinhão and São João da Pesqueira is considered to be the centre of port, with its quintas (or farms/estates) along the steep slopes of the river valleys. Today, many of these are owned by multinational, reputed wine companies.

The grapes had been harvested two weeks before we arrived, so the fields were empty – but still eye-catching.

We went by bus to the vineyard where we were going to eat and try their wines. With those lovely views everywhere, you could not fall asleep…

…neither on the river nor on the bus.

The rolling green hills and the blue sky – all softness and harmony.

The vines were almost always combined with olive trees – giving a soft silvery touch to the landscape.

Finally, as our trip was coming to an end, we inhaled the magnificent view from Quinta S Luiz before entering the bus again.

Of course we had delicious Portuguise food and nice wine along with it. Strolling through the wine cellar of Quinta S Luiz, I found ”my” vintage wine – but I did not buy it… maybe I should have…

Thursday Thoughts – Porto and the Waterfront

As much as I love the alleyways and narrow, cobbled streets, Porto has a beautiful waterfront too. We walked and we took a boat trip to see the colourful houses from a distance. And we were not disappointed.

Walking down to the river…

…or walking up from it – was always a treat. I even met some dogs enjoying the shadow.

Colourful and happy houses makes the wanderer happy too!

The bridge across the river made for beautiful views all over. The city looks delightful any time of the day.

A boat trip along the river is always to be recommended. I am not a boat person, but you will see all the bridges and the waterfront up close.

As we were lucky with the weather, there was no wind either.

So far we had only walked the Porto side of the river. Another day we would walk the Gaia, where there are many good restaurants and all the wineries.

Gaia photographed from another bridge. We couldn’t get enough of the river – or the many bridges. We’d had a delightful day, so thank you for coming along!

Thursday Thoughts – A Piece of Porto

So, we finally went to Porto, a trip cancelled two times due to covid. I must admit it felt strange to travel again…boarding a plane, walking in the sun, taking photos, eating out… My guess is I took more photos than I usually do.

I will share my first impressions of this friendly city today.

We arrived in beautiful evening light, and it felt so good to finally be there. A stroll in the park, and then a good night’s sleep before next day’s adventures.

Early in the morning we realised people were absolutely right about the steep streets, mostly cobblestones too. Big parts of the city were under reconstruction as they were enlarging their metro system. Taking photos in the central parts were quite impossible.

The beautiful azulejos were everywhere. This church and the trainstation were especially amazing.

But, the azulejos were not the reason why we went to Porto. I knew from my blogging friend Viveka (Myguiltypleasures), that the narrow streets and alleyways, the old houses and the charm of the river Douro – and good food – was THE reason.

View from the upper part of the bridge between Porto and Gaia.

Stairs and steps…but worth the trouble!

This old man watering his flowers had a grand view of the Sé Cathedral from his balcony.

No words for this path – it was just my kind of path…

More of Porto later on – hope you enjoyed the first piece. We also went to the wine district in the Douro valley. I hope you will enjoy more of Porto later!

Thursday Thoughts – Traveling again…

The first flight since covid, almost three years ago. We had a lovely week, and… I will be sorting the photos for some days. Wishing you all a lovely weekend!