Tag Archives: featured

Hengdian World Studio

China’s largest film studio

I visited Hengdian World Studio and Hengdian Film Industrial Park because I am interested in filmmaking. Hengdian is a town of Dongyang county in the mountainous Zhejiang Province, China. I came there with a regular bus in 2011 from Hangzhou, which is about 180 km away, and stayed there for three days which was not enough, because there are so many things to see there. Continue reading Hengdian World Studio

Iceland underwater

While growing up in a small fishing village, I became curious in what was hidden beneath the surface of the ocean. When I became older I therefore decided to learn scuba diving at the National Life-saving Association of Iceland. I then joined its voluntary rescue team in Reykjavik and later became its diving group leader and instructor for the association, besides diving with other police officers. Members of the diving group took also part in other marine search and rescue operations than diving, and we were quite busy with about 30 call-outs per year. Continue reading Iceland underwater

Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

Though the political system in the Soviet Union was not my “cup of tea”, I was interested in the culture and life there.

When MÍR announced a tour to the Soviet Union in 1988 I therefore decided to take part in it. MÍR, The Iceland – Soviet Union Cultural Association, was established in 1950. Its first president was Halldor Kiljan Laxness, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature 1955. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, MÍR became The Iceland – Russia Cultural Association. The association has emphasized on cultural exchange e.g. in literature, dance and music. They have also shown Soviet films, some of which are very old and interesting. They donated 1836 films to the National Film Archive and some say it’s one of the largest archival collections of Soviet films in the World.

We traveled in Russia, Belarus, Azerbaijan, and from there over the Caucasus Mountains to Georgia. The term “Caucasian” originated as one of the racial categories developed in the 19th century and was derived from the region of the Caucasus Mountains. The term is used to describe a person, who has light skin pigmentation.

When I was in the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, was its leader and he emphasized Glasnost (openness) and Perestroika (economic restructuring). In 1986 he and US President Ronald Reagan held a meeting in Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, to talk about reducing intermediate-range nuclear weapons in Europe which led to the signing of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) in 1987. This so-called “Reykjavík Summit” ultimately led to the end of the cold war in 1991.


Volcanic eruption in Heimaey 1973

Between 2:00 and 2:30 a.m. on the 23rd of January 1973 I woke up because of a strange thundering noise. When I looked out of the window I saw a volcanic eruption close to my home. It was a very dramatic and beautiful sight. At that time I was living on the island of Heimaey, in the Vestmannaeyjar (e. Westmans Islands) archipelago, about 10 km off the south coast of Iceland. Continue reading Volcanic eruption in Heimaey 1973

Montevideo in Uruguay

N95_7_Uruguay_PappiogdottirN95_11_Uruguay_KarnivalbidCarnival in Montevideo, Uruguay. According to a tourist brochure, Montevideo celebrates the world’s longest carnival. This festival has its root in different immigrant’s culture, mainly Spanish and Africans.WP_9_Uruguay_Matte

Yerba mate is a very popular drink in many South American countries. It is drunk through a drinking tube, with a filter attached to the lower end to prevent consumption of the leaf fragments. The straw is traditionally made of silver, because it transfer less heat.

It was first consumed by the indigenous Guaraní and spread by the Tupí people that lived in Southern Brazil that was Paraguayan territory before the war of the Triple Alliance. Therefore, the scientific name of the yerba mate is Ilex paraguariensis. The Guaraní have a legend that says that the Goddesses of the Moon and the Cloud came to the Earth one day to visit it but they instead found a Yaguareté (a jaguar) that was going to attack them. An old man saved them, and, in compensation, the Goddesses gave the old man a new kind of plant, from which he could prepare a “drink of friendship”. Today there are different traditions or ceremonies in South America in how to drink mate, but is often social event so it is still a “drink of friendship”.

431611_3118530973553_114741977_nI had lunch twice at the Mercado del Puerto, which is the centre of traditional Uruguayan food and beverage in Montevideo. With the juicy and tasty meat I drank the traditional Medio y medio, which is part sparkling wine and part white wine.

428681_3118565414414_169820333_n427066_3118552574093_176275897_nUruguay is famous for excellent beef and soccer teams. – Mercado del Puerto in Montevideo.

N95_12_Uruguay_VeitingastadurNice view of Montevideo from a restaurant

N95_17_Uruguay_LovelockLove padlocks in Montevideo – I first saw Love padlocks in Zhangjiajie, Hunan Province of China and then in Copenhagen, Denmark. I don’t know the origin of this tradition but in Rome the ritual of affixing love padlocks to the bridge Ponte Milvio can be attributed to the book “I Want You” by Italian author Federico Moccia, who later made it into the film-adaptation “Ho voglia di te”.

418270_3116735688672_1429430809_nThe Pedagogical Museum in Montevideo, Uruguay, commemorates the educational reforms by Mr. José Pedro Varela (19 March 1845 – 24 October 1879). His writings convinced the government to pass the 1877 Law of Common Education. This is why Uruguay pioneered universal, free, and compulsory primary education in the Americas.

405917_3116733528618_303443854_n422413_3117585549918_2031722612_nHead support for a big brain in the Pedagogical Museum in Montevideo.

420975_3116739688772_34833290_nTestimonies show that before Varela´s reform, the education was focused both on rote-learning and on the reward and punishment one.

N95_4_Uruguay_EnglishA poster in Montevideo about the importance of learning English. I met more people who spoke English in Uruguay than in Argentina. In my opinion, English is the most important language in the world. I have been told that all children in China learn English today.

N95_17_Uruguay_KonfusionA statue of Confucius in Montevideo, Uruguay. Under the statue is written: “The education must be without discrimination of class”

N95_16_Uruguay_GhandiStatue of Mohandas Gandhi at the Ramba in Montevideo. I saw many walk or run at the Ramba. When it´s very hot it´s good to walk there because of the cold wind.

N95_14_Uruguay_KvennakosningarA book commemorating the women’s vote in 1938. I saw this book in the Museo Casa de Gobierno in Montevideo. An Argentinean, who is the general manger of the hotel where I stayed, told me that the Uruguayans emphases on democracy and honesty.