Photo Samples, Europe

Scotland, Svalbard, Iceland, Moldova, Transdnjestr, Bulgaria, Latvia
Romania, Albania, Ukraine, Bosnia, Montenegro, Samos & Denmark


To me as a "crazy traveller", Northern Europe is just too polished. Centuries of development has erased the spirits of the ancestors, and one has to look very carefully to find virgin places where the industrial development has not taken its toll. However, with regards to history and culture, especially Eastern Europe and Balkan are great places to go photo hunting.

As usual, all photos are © Claus Qvist Jessen, and none of them are to be used without my permission.

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The wonderfully fluffy highland cows of Scotland. With its long hair and almost invisible eyes it's the vegetarian edition of the old English sheep-dog. This one is from the island of Skye. © Claus Qvist Jessen

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The single most famous product of the Scottish Highlands must be the whisky. Though the blended types (like Jonnie Walker and Ballantines) still account for the majority of the volume, the single-malts are by far the best and preferred by the real addicts. The photo show the whisky stills of the Glenmorangie Distillery.
© Claus Qvist Jessen

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Not all the trout of the Scottish River Spey are giants. Tiny ones like this one are much more common. On the other hand, the fishing is quite expensive! © Claus Qvist Jessen

The capital of Svalbard, Longyearbyen, is quite colourful - at least in the summer time, when the sun is shining bright 24/7. This photo was taken around 10 pm in the evening! © Claus Qvist Jessen

Although it never paid off, mining used to be a big business on Svalbard, as shown by this abandoned equipment, right behind Longyearbyen. © Claus Qvist Jessen

In July, camping at almost 80 deg. north at Svalbard, Norway, is a bright and sunny experience, even at midnight. © Claus Qvist Jessen

Fishing around Svalbard, Norway, is quite unproductive. The water is just too cold. This photo was taken in the middle of July, at 1 am in the morning. © Claus Qvist Jessen

It's not a joke! At each end of the "city limits" of the tiny hamlet of Longyearbyen, signs warn you that from here and beyond, the risk of running into a hungry polar bear is very real, indeed. The latest casualty, though, was back in 1995. © Claus Qvist Jessen

Due to the risk of polar bears, it's actually forbidden to go anywhere outside Longyearbyen without a loaded rifle. This rifle was actually marked with Nazi symbols, showing that it was one of the guns left by the Germans in 1945. © Claus Qvist Jessen

Svalbard landscape, east of longyearbyen. © Claus Qvist Jessen

The fjord outside Longyearbyen, Svalbard (Norway). © Claus Qvist Jessen

Close to the Nordenskiöld Glacier, the landscape is no less impressive; Svalbard, Norway. © Claus Qvist Jessen

Hello! A happy seal enjoys life in front of the Nordenskiöld Glacier, at almost 80 deg. North. © Claus Qvist Jessen

The abandoned ex-Soviet coal mining village of Pyramiden witnesses the northernmost presence of the Communist Empire. The statue to the right is reported to be the northernmost Lenin statue on earth. © Claus Qvist Jessen

The UNESCO-protected old town of Bergen, Norway. © Claus Qvist Jessen

Wooden fishing huts in the fjord outside Bergen, Norway. © Claus Qvist Jessen

The ancient Tingvalla Plains, Western Iceland, once the centre of the Parliament of the North-Atlantic Vikings. © Claus Qvist Jessen

Gullfoss, one of the largest and wildest cascades in Iceland. © Claus Qvist Jessen

The famous "Geysir" has now seized to spray, and the largest geyser of Iceland is now Strokkur, just 200 meters away. © Claus Qvist Jessen

Beautiful river - and the still rather active Volcano Hekla in the background. © Claus Qvist Jessen

Iceland trout sometimes get very big, but they are shy and elusive. I had to do with a couple of minor ones like this cutie, caught on a small nymph. © Claus Qvist Jessen

Very ex-Soviet: A Lada police car; Chisinau, Moldova. © Claus Qvist Jessen

Deep thinking. Chess player in a park in Chisinau, Moldova.
© Claus Qvist Jessen

"All your eggs in one basket"; Chisinau, Moldova. © Claus Qvist Jessen

Sowing the seeds; central Moldova. © Claus Qvist Jessen

Engine break-down; central Moldova. © Claus Qvist Jessen

Orhei in central Moldova is particularly known for its underground Orthodox churches. As Moldova is not exactly on the main tourist trail, the number of tourists is still small, whereas the number of local pilgrims in increasing. © Claus Qvist Jessen

Orhei monk; not nearly as unhappy as he looks! © Claus Qvist Jessen

Absolutely unaffected by the fall of the Berlin Wall, the tiny, self-proclaimed republic of Transdnjestr (in between Moldova and Ukraine) is still ruled according to true Marxism. The presidential palace, of course, is decorated by a Lenin angel. © Claus Qvist Jessen

The Soviet never dies; 17th anniversary of the birth of the new republic in 2008; Tiraspol, Transdnjestr. © Claus Qvist Jessen

Road workers doing a paint job; Tiraspol, Transdnjestr. The photo is from 2008, the tractor from 1930 or so! © Claus Qvist Jessen

Cart racing on a Sunday afternoon. Whether the red colour is Soviet or Ferrari, I don't know. Tiraspol, Transdnjestr. © Claus Qvist Jessen

Past-time fishingTiraspol, Transdnjestr. © Claus Qvist Jessen

The Tiraspol (Transdnjestr) patriark. Just like anywhere else in ex-Soviet, religion has taken an upward swing after the fall of the Berlin Wall. © Claus Qvist Jessen

Despite 70 years of Communism, the Orthodox Church is very much alive all over the region. Here the amazingly gilded roof of the magnificent Saint Michael Church of Kiev, Ukraine. © Claus Qvist Jessen

Praying to Virgin mary; Lviv (Lvov), western Ukraine. This is old Polish land, and unlike the rest of Ukraine, most people are Catholics. © Claus Qvist Jessen

Variations in Ukrainean dress code - or the changing of fashion. © Claus Qvist Jessen

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Traces of the Roman past: A magnificent amphitheatre in the center of Plovdiv, central Bulgaria. © Claus Qvist Jessen

The Black Sea coast-line at Sozopol, one of the more traditional Bulgarian towns at the sea - strongly opposed to the get-drunk beaches further north; Bulgaria. © Claus Qvist Jessen

Altar and candles from a small church in Sozopol, Bulgaria.
© Claus Qvist Jessen

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By decorations alone, the Orthodox Churches of Eastern Europe remind a lot of the vatican, however, they don't recognize the Pope. Here a ceiling from the Trayan Monastery in Northern / Central Bulgaria. © Claus Qvist Jessen

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An altar from the Batoshava Monastery in the central highlands of Bulgaria. © Claus Qvist Jessen

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The holiest monastery in Bulgaria: Rila Monastery in the far south-west. © Claus Qvist Jessen

Bulgarian high-technology; a motor bike in the village of Oroshak. © Claus Qvist Jessen

Tsarevetz Fortress; Veliko Tarnovo, northern Bulgaria. © Claus Qvist Jessen

Dryanovo Monastery; Bulgaria. © Claus Qvist Jessen

The world-heritage (UNESCO) awarded old town of Riga (Latvia) is very much worth a glance. The town hall building to the right is from the 17th Century. © Claus Qvist Jessen

In many Eastern-European countries, newly-wed couples put a lock on a bridge to symbolize unity; Riga, Latvia. © Claus Qvist Jessen

Obviously, someone in Riga doesn't like homosexuals.
© Claus Qvist Jessen

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As the only predominantely Muslim country in Europe, Albania's got its share of mosques - most of them financed from abroad, including this one in Shkoder, financed by Arabs and very Middle Eastern in style; northern Albania. © Claus Qvist Jessen

Begger outside a mosque, Shkoder, northern Albania. © Claus Qvist Jessen

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Market woman, Shkoder, northern Albania. © Claus Qvist Jessen

Just married, this Albanian couple surely enjoys life. Joining a wedding ceremony like this one is simply a great experience; Shkoder, northern Albania. © Claus Qvist Jessen

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Animal transports are not always done according to the rules and recommendations of the authorities. Here a sheep transport from Shkoder, northern Albania © Claus Qvist Jessen

The "father" of old-days Albania, the former Turkish General (though Albanian born) Skenderbeg. He is revered as a good; Shkoder, Albania. © Claus Qvist Jessen

Vermosht Valley, North-East of Shkoder, northern Albania. © Claus Qvist Jessen

Local transport, Tamare Village, Vermosht Valley, North-East of Shkoder, northern Albania. © Claus Qvist Jessen

Christian man from  village in the Vermosht Valley, North-East of Shkoder, northern Albania. © Claus Qvist Jessen

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Viva the revolution! For four decades, the Albanians were told that their development was superior to the rest of the world. When Enver Hoxha died in 1986, they started to find out that they were actually very far behind. Now things are changing slowly, but this giant mosaic in Tirana has been allowed to survive the entry of the "evil capitalism".  © Claus Qvist Jessen

Cigaret selling boy outside a Tirana bar; Albania. © Claus Qvist Jessen

The steep streets of Gjirokastra, birthplace of Enver Hoxha; southern Albania. © Claus Qvist Jessen

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Happy women; Gjirokastra, southern Albania. © Claus Qvist Jessen

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With its rugged mountains, Bosnia is surprisingly beautiful and possesses some decent trout fishing as well. © Claus Qvist Jessen

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The civil war in former Yugoslavia has taken its toll, and everywhere in Bosnia one can still see bombed-out buildings - 10 years after the war stopped. © Claus Qvist Jessen

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A local Bosnian displaying one of my brown trout from the upper Una River, western bosnia-Hercegovina. © Claus Qvist Jessen

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Orthodox priest ligthing a couple of candles; Kotor, Montenegro.
© Claus Qvist Jessen

Happy girl celebrating something; Kotor, Montenegro.
© Claus Qvist Jessen

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Madeira Island, the home of the tasty Madeira wine; great for desserts. © Claus Qvist Jessen

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Bran castle in central Transylvania (Romania) was once thought to be the home of Count Vlad Tsepech (Dracula), however, in reality he was never there at all. © Claus Qvist Jessen

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The entrance to the old town of Sigisoara, Transylvania, central Romania. In the 15th century, the town was the birthplace of the infamous Count Vlad Tsepech, also known as Count Dracula!
© Claus Qvist Jessen

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Wanna play? Local backgammon hustler; Sigisoara, Romania.
© Claus Qvist Jessen

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Women and granddaughter; small village, Transylvania, central Romania. © Claus Qvist Jessen

Small harbour on the island of Samos, Greece. © Claus Qvist Jessen

Knitting the day away, this elderly lady is probably going to be here in 20 years as well; Samos, Greece. © Claus Qvist Jessen

Just like anywhere else in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Greek men love to play backgammon - preferrably 24/7. Nobody really knows when they actually go to work. © Claus Qvist Jessen

The town-hall square; Copenhagen, Denmark. © Claus Qvist Jessen

The main entrance to the tiny and very old amusement park of Tivoli. Despite being only 16 hectares, it's one of the most visited parks in the world; Copenhagen, Denmark. © Claus Qvist Jessen

Sunset in the harbour of Nakskov, Lolland, Denmark. © Claus Qvist Jessen

The Great Belt high bridge in between Fuenen and Sealand (Fyn and Sjaelland), Denmark. Altogether, the bridge is more than 18 kilometres long, making it one of the longest bridges in the world. © Claus Qvist Jessen

From my window in Addit, the great and rarely seen Danish winter; Denmark. © Claus Qvist Jessen

Winter time in Ry, central Jutland, Denmark. © Claus Qvist Jessen

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Getting married in the summer time is very romantic, indeed, as shown by this couple in Silkeborg, Denmark. Note that the groom is actually sitting down - and fishing! © Claus Qvist Jessen

A favourite past-time in rural Denmark is the power pull. Special built tractors are used, and a lot of beer is consumed, here at Sonder Vissing, Central Jutland, Denmark. © Claus Qvist Jessen

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Roskilde Festival 2006: The biggest annual rock festival in Europe is the Roskilde Festival, a very good spot if you want to study serious hangovers, either you own or others'. © Claus Qvist Jessen

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Roskilde Festival 2006: A couple of Swedes try hard to balance all their beer crates on a very over-loaded cart. © Claus Qvist Jessen

Roskilde Festival 2006: A different type of wheel-chair! © Claus Qvist Jessen

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Roskilde Festival 2006: The "unknown" English folk band Belowhead did one of the best gig this year and won lots of Danish hearts with their happy folk songs. © Claus Qvist Jessen

Blues-rock legend Eric Clapton in action; Skanderborg Festival 2008, Denmark. © Claus Qvist Jessen

Humorous musician from Vejgaard Taarnblaeserlaug; Skanderborg Festival 2008, Denmark. © Claus Qvist Jessen

Waiting to get drunk; Skanderborg Festival 2008, Denmark.
© Claus Qvist Jessen

Davy Jones is alive - at least from the back; Skanderborg Festival 2008, Denmark. © Claus Qvist Jessen

After four days of heavy partying, these shoes just didn't make it; Skanderborg Festival 2008, Denmark. © Claus Qvist Jessen

Probably the strongest chess player ever born: Gary Kasparov of Russia, giving a simultaneous exhibition in Lyngby, Denmark.
© Claus Qvist Jessen

Future world champion? Indian chess prodigy, 14 year old P. Negi before his game in Politiken Cup 2006. © Claus Qvist Jessen

Vasilij Ivanchuk of Ukraine, constantly among the Top 10 of the World during the last 10 years and probably the most absent-minded Grand Master alive. © Claus Qvist Jessen

If not Negi, this boy certainly has the talent. Norwegian super-star Magnus Carlsen, age 13. In 2009, he is 17, currnetly second in the world certainly the strongest player ever produced in Scandinavia.
© Claus Qvist Jessen

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