Monday Mystery Photo – Last Week Norway

Each Monday, I post a mystery photo, or occasionally a mystery object. I encourage you to leave a comment if you think you might know where this week’s mystery photograph, is located, or what it is. If you guess correctly, I will link back to your blog the following week when the answer will be revealed. Guest submissions are very welcome.

Drop me an email if you would like to submit a photography to Monday Mystery Photo.

Where would you find the following structures?

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Last week we were in Norway at the cruise port in Andalsnes, where the giant Troll  awaits tourists exploring the Romsdalfjord and heralds the nearby Trollstigen and Trollvegen.

Last week we were in Norway at the cruise ship port in Andalsnes, on the beautiful Romsdalfjord. It is here that the Giant Troll greets tourists who make their way to his nearby home in Trollvegen or climb the hairpin bends of  Trollstigen.

There were many correct guesses last week. Well done, guys. Here they are:

Tidious Ted

Hungry Dai At An Englishman’s Life in Lisbon

Joseph elon Lilli – put

Gerard from Oosterman Treats blog

MOSY

and Millie, who changed her mind at the eleventh hour!!!

Monday Mystery

I hope I have given you all Something to Ponder About again this week!

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A Life Quest

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In life, a quest might take us on unexpected paths, with possibilities that are open, wide or endless, or  narrow and constricted, limiting our options.

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The difficulty is to breathe in, and squeeze through the narrow tunnels of life.
It is then we can fully appreciate the exhilaration of achievement and persistence on the open road.

The longest journey begins with the smallest step

Quest photo challenge

Something to Ponder About

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Proverbial Thursday – Global Words of Wisdom

I find there to be profound wisdom in proverbs, sayings and quotes and I marvel at the way they are so succinct in communicating messages to the reader. Mostly anonymous, they come to us from past generations and from across cultures. They speak of the experiences of lives lived and lessons learned. Quotes, like proverbs, make us think more deeply about something.

Each Thursday, I post a Proverb or Saying and a Quote that I find thought-provoking. 

I hope you will too.

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God is a busy worker but loves to be helped Basque proverb

The quote comes this week from forestgardenblog.

“Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living,

it’s a way of looking at life

through the wrong end of a telescope.”

Dr. Seuss

 

What is your impression of this week’s offering?

Is Dr Suess correct in stating that fantasy is necessary for life?

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Monday Mystery Photo – Last week South Korea

Each Monday, I post a mystery photo, or occasionally a mystery object. I encourage you to leave a comment if you think you might know where this week’s mystery photograph, is located, or what it is. If you guess correctly, I will link back to your blog the following week when the answer will be revealed. Guest submissions are very welcome. Drop me an email if you would like to submit a photography to Monday Mystery Photo.

Where would you find this structure?

 

Last week we were in South Korea at the double decker Bridge.

MMP Sep 12

As Drake pointed out, in the comments last week, there are two bridges. Being a double-decker bridge, the second layer was built on top of the first bridge. Each layer has their own name.

Do you know what the names are? The beautiful rainbow fountain even has its own name.

Read more about the bridge/s here.

That shall give you something to ponder about.

Monday Mystery

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Hanging Around in Helsinki – Part II

So there I was, walking about in Helsinki, [read previous post here] when I discovered  what delighted me the most about this city was the many fantastic things you can see on foot, without spending much at all.

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Esplanadi park – Helsinki

Having just eaten a ‘larger than life’ Cinnamon bun, at the iconic Cafe Esplanadi, opposite the park on Pohjois-Esplanadi, followed by another – yes, another salmon lunch, at the Market Hall, (read more about Helsinki food options here), I set off through the streets to burn off some calories.

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Tuomiokirkko

My walking path through the city took me to the iconic Senate Square and the very impressive and landmark that is Tuomiokirkko. This Lutheran cathedral, built in neoclassical style, in 1830-1852, was originally a tribute to Tsar Nicholas I of Russia, who through the imperialist era, was also the Grand Duke of Finland. It is a must see!

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This church is also a very useful navigational mark for the tourist, dominating the city’s  skyline as it does from every angle, as you can see below.

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Tuomiokirkko

The cathedral is decorated in spartan Lutheran style, quite different from the next stop on my walk:

Uspenski Cathedral

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Walking easterly from the market square, I didn’t stop to buy paella, berries, reindeer meatballs or furs at the many market stalls, but continued in the direction of Katajanokka peninsula and Uspenski Cathedral, a red brick orthodox church with gilded ‘cupola’ style towers. It is a good stretch for the calf muscles getting up the steep path to the church itself, [definitely not wheelchair friendly], but the view from there does make it all worthwhile.

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If you are thinking, ho hum… another church… think again, as it is the largest orthodox church outside of Russia. Much more ornate than the Lutheran cathedral, the cupola domes were even gilded in gold for the church’s anniversary and are often illuminated at night.

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 If you are a fan of Russian style icon art, Uspenski is a great place to visit. Just don’t expect to see the famous icon of ‘St.Nicholas – the wonder maker’, which was stolen from there, in broad daylight, back in 2007, and has yet to be found. It’s free for visitors to enter the church and also handy to know that they do allow photography inside.

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I could also chat about walking past Marimekko outlets and seeing unique Finnish clothing design at Stockmans, or the fact that 60% of the world’s ice breakers are built in Helsinki, but it was the Helsinki architecture, located behind Uspenski, that really garnered my attention.

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Helsinki architecture

Helsinki architecture

I saw so many wondrous examples of Art Nouveau buildings, with ‘Jugenstil’ detailing, often coloured in the soft pastels, so popular in that era.

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“Can you imagine what it is like to live in one of those buildings?” I say to my Finnish friend.  I doubt I’ll ever know, as they proceed to tell me it is very expensive real estate. Security grills and pin – codes on the doors are, no doubt, a more contemporary addition.

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Suomenlinna UNESCO World Heritage Site

My walk, continued following a short ferry ride, across the Helsinki archipelago, to Suomenlinna – (formerly known as Sveaborg): a military fortress  dating back to 1748. Due to its strategic position between three nations, this fortress served not just the Russian Military, but also the Sweden government of the day, (hence the name Sveaborg), and in later times, an independent Finland.  It was made a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1991, and one can make their way around the cobble stoned roads, walls and tunnels on foot.

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There is no charge to visit the island, only the nominal fee for the ferry ride over there, unless you want to enter the museum, which I didn’t, as there was SO much to explore on foot.

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Another Church???

Incredibly, I must tell you about another church, I saw on my walk, in Helsinki – the very unique Tempooliaukko. The concept of a “Church in the Rock,” was  first mooted as an architecture competition,  in 1930’s, before WWII and economic challenges meant plans to build the winning design were shelved until the 1950’s. It finally opened in 1969.

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Church in the Rock

Quarried out of the natural rock that one finds in Helsinki, the church provides excellent acoustics for all kinds of concerts and visitors may enter, anytime, unless there is a wedding ceremony taking place. I was lucky enough to arrive just as a wedding was concluding. As they left, the bride and groom were congratulated by a larger group than they anticipated –  a host of tourists waiting outside! Heads up – they do ask for silence when you are inside the church but photos are welcome!

 

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However you find them, Finns do enjoy their summertime.  My walk back to the hotel took me via a summer music festival, street musicians, even impromptu flea markets along the main street.  I would like to have enjoyed a dinner at the beautiful Kappeli restaurant, but alas, it was Saturday night and the stern-faced maitre told me it was booked out!

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I guess it will just be Something I’ll Ponder About

Linking to Restless Jo’s Monday Walks

 

 

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Edge

Go on –

Take a look,

Lean out,

over the edge.

A bit further…. but not TOO far –

SNAP!

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

A glimpse,

the eagle eye –  00

without wings.

 

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WPC – Something to Ponder About

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Hanging Around in Helsinki – Part I

“So what’s Helsinki like?” I am often asked, when people know that I’ve visited Finland.

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“Well, there are loads of great things about Helsinki, itself, ” I usually tell them, “…not the least of which is great design in clothing, architecture, romantic historical sites and a great summertime atmosphere.” [N.B. Most Australians only travel to the Arctic in summer!]

“But first up,” I then say, “you need to know that the people of Helsinki eat a good deal of fish, freshwater fish, that is. Even sometimes three times in a day. So when I think of Helsinki, I think of Salmon, and lots of it.”

And I remember it is not just ordinary salmon, because the thing that struck me about Finns, was that they had taken Salmon to a whole new level, like as in Heinz 52 different varieties.

Now I love Salmon, so I was pretty happy with this, until I realized how hard it would be be to choose which one to buy! I needed help to choose between Tsar’s salmon, Cold Smoked Salmon, Flamed Salmon, Lemon Salmon and Rose Pepper Salmon, etc. and in the end, feeling rather befuddled, I settled on Cured Salmon with Basilic??

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“But freshwater fish? Why only freshwater fish?” –  my Australian friends might continue to ask.

Apparently the waters surrounding Helsinki are extremely low in salt, due to the existence perhaps of only one, narrow channel entering the Baltic sea from the open ocean, (and that is around Denmark, for the geographically challenged). Therefore, the Baltic waters contain a multitude of freshwater fish varieties, but almost no prawns, (read: shrimp), or mussels, as those are the species that need salt water to flourish.

On a perhaps unsurprising side note: fishing or angling, in Finland is free and does not require a special permit, as it is considered every man’s basic right.  – Yay for Finland!!

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“But, surely there is not just fish to eat in Helsinki?” they continue to ask me.

“Certainly not!! There are many other indigenous styled foods, such as ‘Bear’ pate and ‘Reindeer Snacks.’ ” I venture.

If truth be told, when I first saw the reindeer ‘chips,’ I started to wonder if the Finns were chewing on Rudolph’s antlers for morning tea??? Feeling slightly bilious at that thought, I opted for a tin of reindeer pâté instead. But then I thought of home. And how I would explain a tin of reindeer/bear meat to Customs officials? I mean, Customs officers in Australia, take CITES and moreover, bio-security, very seriously: just ask Johnny Depp and Amber – if you haven’t – Heard. (apologies –  bad pun!!).  Thus, I ended up buying neither….. window shopping was the mantra at this store.

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I digress. We were discussing Helsinki, itself, weren’t we?

If you do want to try any of the aforementioned foods of Helsinki, the place to go is definitely the covered and historic Market Hall, located right on the main square, adjacent to Helsinki’s harbor. It’s usually crammed full with locals, but is truly the best ‘old world-foodie’- style atmosphere, you can find in the 21st century and the food is good, seriously good.

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From 8 am, visitors cram like sardines, into the deli stalls, micro-cafes, butchers, bakers and candlestick makers, (well: gourmet soap and candle stalls), for candles, seafood or cheese supplies or, they do as I did, they just hang out there for a delicious lunch.

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Outdoors, I found more food and craft markets on the harbor square, selling both hot and cold foods, fruit and vegetables, fresh berries to die for and a variety of furs and traditional handicrafts of the kind that seem to fascinate cruise ship tourists, but few others!

Once I’d  filled up on Finnish food, I decided to work off the extra calories with a stroll uptown, through both the Helsinki Botanic and Observatory gardens. In early summer, the gardens are lined with the omnipresent Birch trees.

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That made me muse romantically that their delicate branches hang like the braided locks of a long-haired girl, lazily swaying in the cool breeze.  I was also besotted with the tulips naturally peppering the garden verges and bare spots in the grass, almost like weeds, whilst the local squirrel population delighted me with their frivolous antics in the lower treetops.

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I wanted to tell you about Suomenlinna and the marvelous architecture that you find in Helsinki, but that will have to wait for the next post.

Find my earlier post Finding my Feet in Finland here

Something to Ponder About

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Proverbial Thursday – Global Words of Wisdom

I find there to be profound wisdom in proverbs, sayings and quotes and I marvel at the way they are so succinct in communicating messages to the reader.

Mostly anonymous, they come to us from past generations and from across cultures. They speak of the experiences of lives lived and lessons learned. Quotes, like proverbs, make us think more deeply about something.

xanthostemon chrysanthus

This week I am featuring two quotes that you can find over at Priorhouse’s blog. There, you will find, an excellent page listing many inspirational memes, quotes and sayings. Here is, but two, that I find especially worth pondering about today:

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968)

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All truth goes through three stages.

First it is ridiculed.

Then it is violently opposed.

Finally, it is accepted as self-evident.

(Schopenhauer)

 

Proverbial sml

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Monday Mystery Photo – Last week Oxfordshire

Each Monday, I post a mystery photo, or occasionally a mystery object. I encourage you to leave a comment if you think you might know where this week’s mystery photograph, is located, or what it is. If you guess correctly, I will link back to your blog the following week when the answer will be revealed. Guest submissions are very welcome.

Where might you find this structure?

MMP Sep 12

Last week we were at Waylands Smithy, in Oxfordshire in England.

Wayland's Smithy, Oxfordshire, UK.

 

Thanks to Millie, who brings ‘history to life’ at her blog MillieThom for the excellent submission for MMP. Here is a little more information about this fabulous site!

Wayland’s Smithy, sometimes given the name of ‘Wayland’s Smithy Cave’,  is a Neolithic long barrow, or burial chamber, located in a copse of beech trees close to the ancient Ridgeway Path which runs across the top of the chalky Berkshire Downs. It is in the county of Oxfordshire. The site overlooks the beautiful Vale of White Horse, so named after the famous Uffington White Horse barely two miles from Wayland’s Smithy.

The long barrow has a number of Anglo-Saxon legends associated with it, most concerning Weland (or Wayland/Weyland or Volundr). In some stories, Wayland is an elfin prince, whereas in others, he’s the son of a god-giant. In most he is an invisible smith who will happily re-shoe traveller’s horses in exchange for a penny left at the door of his ‘cave’. All in all, the stories appeal to the imaginations of the many yearly visitors.

Monday Mystery

Have you got an interesting photograph you would like featured on MMP? Drop me an email if you do.

Monday Mystery Photo always aims to make you Ponder About Something!

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Proverbial Thursday – Global Proverbs and Sayings

“Tankeløst hode får lettest sove” – “An empty head get the easiest sleep”  – Norwegian Proverb

“We are destroying childhood” -Spike Milligan

I find there to be profound wisdom in proverbs, sayings and quotes and I marvel at the way they are so succinct in communicating messages to the reader.

Mostly anonymous, they come to us from past generations and from across cultures. They speak of the experiences of lives lived and lessons learned. Quotes, like proverbs, make us think more deeply about something.

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And lastly this:

“Art is long and time is fleeting”  – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I would be glad to hear your thoughts on these words. What was Spike Milligan, a British writer and comedian, inferring, do you think?

Do you sleep well when your head is full of thoughts?

Proverbial sml

 

Something to Ponder About

 

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Monday Mystery Photo – Last week: Scotland

Each Monday, I post a mystery photo, or occasionally a mystery object. I encourage you to leave a comment if you think you might know where this week’s mystery photograph, is located, or what it is. If you guess correctly, I will link back to your blog the following week when the answer will be revealed.

Guest submissions are very welcome.

Where might you find the following structures?

MMPsep3

Last week’s MMP, (Monday Mystery Photo), location suggestions were China and Scotland. A different angle to the classic photo shot, meant that last week’s photo made it a little difficult to identify the iconic Firth of Forth Bridge, kindly submitted by Andy, (whose blog appears to currently be in recess). You will find this railway bridge crossing the Forth river, just outside Edinburgh, in Scotland, as Millie from Millie Thom, accurately pointed out. Well done, Millie!

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The Forth Bridge

The Bridge itself is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most known symbols of Scotland.When it opened in 1890, it had the world’s longest steel spans at 541 metres.

Monday Mystery

As winner of last week’s MMP, I have chosen one of Millie’s photos to post as this week’s Mystery photo. Now that’s a small hint to ponder about!!

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Traditional Tuesday – Gzhel Porcelain

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Plate in Gzhel style Source: http://tinyurl.com/h27u6pk

Around 1800, the Russian artisan brothers Kulikov, from the region of Gzhel, near Moscow in Russia, perfected a secret porcelain technique that was only previously used in China. It must have been difficult to keep that secret as it wasn’t too long before others from the area also began producing porcelain, and by 1917, one factory in Gzhel, produced 2/3 of all the porcelain in Russia and was the largest porcelain factory in Europe.

Source: Ebay mQybo9IAygpoAZFe6-HQ0Ag

In Russia, the tradition of Gzhel porcelain continues today with a strikingly beautiful and traditional form of tableware and decorative porcelain, that is appreciated throughout the world.

Russian handicrafts: Gzhel porcelain factory near Moscow – In Russian!

The Gzhel Paint Technique

“Painting is made by special cobalt paints which is put on the raw un-glazed porcelain pieces. Then the painted products are burnt in the high-temperature ovens. As a result of burning the cobalt painting, almost black before burning, becomes bright and vivid blue. Then the products are coated with glaze and are burnt at second time. This technique allows to protect painting  very well.”

Source: http://russian-crafts.com/crafts-history/gzhel-style-porcelain.html

The depth and variety in colour value in Gzhel painting is achieved only with the brush technique and the pressure of the bristles on the surface.

Tours of the Gzhel factory can be arranged for visitors. Paint your own masterpiece of Gzheli. As I won’t be in Moscow anytime soon, I decided to try out a little Gzhel on simple white cardstock. These motifs are quite easy to achieve for the beginner painter or folk artist. Pinterest has loads of inspirational photos.

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If you’re able to master some basic folk art techniques,  you might design a small sample of Gzhel art to enjoy for yourself.

What do you think? Is this traditional art form really something to ponder about?

Rosemaling traditional art

Something to Ponder About

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Monday Mystery Photo – Last Week Australia

Each Monday, I post a mystery photo, or occasionally a mystery object. I encourage you to leave a comment if you think you might know where this week’s mystery photograph, is located, or what it is.

Where might you find this structure?

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Thanks to Andy for a great photo submission for MMP.

Last week’s photo seen below, was at Mooloolaba’s Underwater World, in Australia, measuring up against a fine set of teeth!  Many people thought it was in Hong Kong, however Drake takes out the prize for the correct guess! It wasn’t an easy photo! Perhaps those who guessed incorrectly will have a better chance this week?OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Monday Mystery Photo – Something to Ponder About

Monday Mystery

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Proverbial Thursday – Guest Post

I find there to be profound wisdom in proverbs, sayings and quotes and I marvel at the way they are so succinct in communicating messages to the reader. Mostly anonymous, they come to us from past generations and from across cultures. They speak of the experiences of lives lived and lessons learned. Quotes, like proverbs, make us think more deeply about something.

Each Thursday, I post a Proverb or Saying and a Quote that I find thought-provoking.  And this week, on Proverbial Thursday, I have invited the author of Decocraftsdigicrafts to share a pertinent quote to Ponder About. Raewyn is a blogger from New Zealand who is not only a prolific photographer, but also enjoys digital art and adding her unique touch to photos and quotes.

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Photo by Raewyn Duff

Raewyn has selected the following to share:

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step

Lao Tzu

If you want to succeed in the world you must make your own opportunities as you go on.  The man who waits for some seventh wave to toss him on dry land will find that the seventh wave is a long time coming.  You can commit no greater folly than to sit by the roadside until some one comes along and invites you to ride with him to wealth or influence

John B Gough

Raewyn writes:

“My view is that it is up to you only as to what you get out of life.  It is you that must take that first step.  If you wait for someone to help you then you will get nowhere.  

Also people expect that the world owes you.  It doesn’t owe you anything.  You are the master of your own destiny and it begins with that first step.” [Raewyn Duff]

How do you feel about being a master of your own destiny?

Is it still possible in the modern world?

And what do you think about the seventh wave?

Please share your thoughts.

Proverbial sml

Something to Ponder About this Thursday

 

 

 

 

 

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Monday Mystery Photo – Last time – Hong Kong

Each Monday, I post a mystery photo, or occasionally a mystery object. I encourage you to leave a comment if you think you might know where this week’s mystery photograph, is located, or what it is.

Where might you find this tourist attraction?

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Last time we were in Hong Kong, at Hong Kong International Airport, which was opened in 1998, and employs around 73,000 people! It is located on the island of Chek Lap Kok, an island made from reclaimed land.

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Thanks goes to MOSY and Ted from Recipe Reminiscing ,

Drake, and Breiflabben for their correct answers from last week. Well done!

Can you guess this week’s location/country? Any bites? (LOL)

Monday Mystery Photo – Something ‘trivial’ to Ponder About

Monday Mystery

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