Archives » Museums

Flåmsbana Museum, Flåm, Norway

The Flåmsbana Museum is more or less on the dock side at Flåm. The railway’s story is fascinating. They had to dig the line, which has lots of tunnels, out of solid rock by hand, using hand tools and horse driven carts. Construction was started in 1924 and the line did not open till 1940 by which time the Germans were in control of Norway.

It’s the steepest standard gauge railway in Europe. The information card said that because of the safety considerations required by the railway’s steep gradients and no rack and pinion back-up this early locomotive had six different braking systems:-

Locomotive in Flåmsbana Museum

A more modern locomotive, no longer used, outside the museum building:-

Old Locomotive, Flåmsbana Museum

Another obsolete locomotive, a bit further away:-

Newewr but Obsolete Locomotive, Flåmsbana Museum 3

Old railway poster, showing a stavkirke, or wooden church. These can be almost Russian Orthodox in appearance:-

Old Railwat Poster, Flåmsbana Museum

Arctic Convoy Memorial, Lyness, Hoy, Orkney

Almost the first thing you notice making your way out of the ferry terminal at Lyness on Hoy, apart from the last remaining oil tank servicing what was the naval base there and the building housing the Lyness Naval Museum is two flags and two upright stone markers.

This is the Arctic Convoy Memorial. Some of the convoys’ ships sailed from Scapa Flow.

Memorial from road:-

Arctic Convoy Memorial, Lyness, Hoy, Orkney

Memorial Plaza:-

Arctic Convoy Memorial, Lyness, Hoy, Orkney Plaza

Memorial Dedication:-

Arctic Convoy Memorial Dedication

Russian Inscription and Flag. (I note that the flag, strictly, should be that of the USSR):-

Arctic Convoy Memorial, Russian Inscription and Flag

Russian inscription:-

Arctic Convoy Memorial Russian Inscription Close-up

British Inscription and Flag:-

Arctic Convoy Memorial British Inscription and Flag

British Inscription:-

Arctic Convoy Memorial British Inscription

Orkney Museum, Tankerness House, Kirkwall

The Orkney Museum is located in Tankerness House, diagonally across the road from St Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall, Orkney.

Orkney Museum

Armorial cartouche above the arched entranceway into the museum:-

Orkney Museum Armorial Cartouche

We would perhaps have gone in later in the day but the rain prompted us to go earlier than we would have. Just as well. The museum is stuffed full of great exhibits from Orkney’s long history. We spent a long time inside perusing them all. Fascinating stuff.

This quaint old building in the museum garden is known as Groatie Hoose and is decorated with seashells (or groatie buckies.) At the time there was a party in from a tour ship and I couldn’t avoid getting some of them in the shot.

Groatie Hoose in Orkney Museum Garden

This, from the images page on Google, is a better view:-

Groatie Hoose, Orkney Museum garden

More Guggenheim

“Umbrella” feature on the exterior:-

"Umbrella," Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao

Internal structures:-

aGuggenheim 8 inside 1

Internal Structure, Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao

More Interior, Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao

We were told these iron spirals were built in before the roof and walls were put up. As you walk round them the walls bend in and the space around you is changed:-

Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, First Exhibit

Fountains at the edge of the external plaza:-

Fountains outside,  Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao

Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Exterior Exhibits

There are external and internal exhibits at the Guggenheim.

The steel spheres are Tall Tree and The Eye by Anish Kapoor. They are surrounded here by FOG, an installation by Fujiko Nakaya. The mist switches on every so often:-

Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, FOG and Reflections

The giant spider (Maman) protecting her clutch of eggs is by Louise Bourgeois:-

Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao FOG + Spider Sculpture

Salbeko Zubia Bridge, Bilbao, FOG and Spider:-

Salbeko Zubia Bridge, Bilbao, FOG and Spider

Tulips by Jeff Koons:-

Jeff Koons Tulips, Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao

Tulips, Salbeko Zubia Bridge in background:-

Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao + Bridge

Puppy by Jeff Koons. A giant West Highland Terrier covered in flowers. The flowers bloom at different times of the year so the exhibit is always changing. From Museum:-

Jeff Koons Puppy,  Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao

Puppy, museum in background:-

Jeff Koons Puppy, Front

Puppy and museum:-

Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao  and Koons Puppy

Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao

The attraction, for me, of the cruise we decided to take was the opportunity to visit the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, whose url I note has a Basque Country (Euskadi) stem.

Designed by Frank Gehry, the museum building is distinctive and idiosyncratic. It has no straight lines in its construction.
This view is from Aretxbaleta Bidea in the hills above the city. The Salbeko Zubia bridge over Ría del Nervión O de Bilbao is in the middleground here in front of the museum:-

Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao from Aretxbaleta Bidea

This model, in the museum shop, bears a resemblance to a ship:-

Model,  Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao

The musuem from road and tramway:-

Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao

Closer view:-

Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao

Moving towards entrance:-

Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao 4

Part of exterior:-

Exterior, Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao

Exterior (other side):-

Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Exterior

There was a man in the waterway with a fishing net!:-

Man Clearing Waterway,  Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao

Abernethy History

There is a good wee museum in Abernethy, Perth and Kinross, open Wednesday to Sunday 2pm-5pm from early May to September well worth a visit if you happen to be in the village in the summer months.

The village has other reminders of the past as well as the Tower itself, the graveyard and the War Memorial.

Stone with Pictish inscription (hard by Round Tower):-

Abernethy, Pictish Inscription in Stone

Almost next to the Pictish stone and set into the tower near its base is this manacle. Presumably it was a punishment site of some sort:-

Iron Manacle, Abernethy

Groningen Museum Exterior

To enter and leave Groningen Museum you have to cross a branch of the canal:-

Groningen Museum Exterior 2

Groningen Museum Exterior 1

View outside through window almost at water level:-

Groningen Museum View Outside

Ditto only the other side of the museum:-

Groningen Museum Outside View

Just to the left of the above:-

Groningen Museum View

Groningen Museum

I blogged about the outside of Groningen Museum here. On this May’s visit we actually took a look inside.

The first thing that strikes anybody on entering is this elaborate mosaic-tiled staircase:-

Groningen Museum Staircase

Groningen Museum Staircase 2

Groningen Museum Staircase 3

Similar tiling adorned another staircase:-

Groningen Museum Staircase 4

I was taken with this model of Groningen city centre made from fabric. It was under glass so it’s a little distorted:-

Groningen Museum, Fabric Exhibit.

Thee was some not very aesthetically appealing German modern art as the main exhibit when we were there. I’m not averse to modern art but I must confess I preferred these traditional Dutch landscapes:-

Groningen Museum Exhibit

Groningen Museum, Dutch Painting

In a history of Groningen section was this textile of a sailor and flags of different nations which was of Great War vintage though of course the Dutch were not involved in that conflict:-

Groningen Museum Exhibit

Hooge Crater Museum (iii)

German Great War memorabilia in Hooge Crater Museum. In my own Great War collection I have a mug similar to one shown here:-

Hooge Crater Museum 13

Trench Art including inkwells in the shape of Renault tanks:-

Hooge Crater Museum 14

British Great War memorabilia (above) and German (below.) Again I have some of the featured British items in my own collection:-

Hooge Crater Museum 15

More trench art, Renault tank inkwells with poilus’ helmets:-

Hooge Crater Museum 16

Trench art cabinet:-

Hooge Crater Museum 17

More trench art:-

Hooge Crater Museum 18

Mock-up of British dugout:-

Hooge Crater Museum 19

If you are ever in Ypres/Ieper I would recommend a visit to Hooge Crater Museum as well as to In Flanders Fields Museum.

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