Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Photos from the HMY Britannia, at Leith in Edinburgh and can be visited by tourists

The HMY Britannia, used by Britain's Queen Elizabeth for more than 40 years, was finally decommissioned in the year 1997, and was probably the last such ship available to the Queen. It has not been replaced by another ship, and at times of austerity and recession, it would not be politically feasible for any Government to announce the construction of a large ship for the Queen. British subjects have changed, from loving the Queen and the royal family earlier, to now grumbling about the expenditure on the royal family. As a part of this, let us see some more photos from the decommissioned ship and the way that the royalty would travel.

Bunks for the crew inside the decommissioned royal yacht HMV Britannia
Bunks for the crew inside the decommissioned royal yacht HMV Britannia (get more photos here)
These bunks is how the crew would rest and sleep inside the royal ship, HMY Britannia. These have been retained in a manner that would show visitors their way of living, including items they would use, their dress uniforms, and so on. These seem pretty comfortable, but then this was a royal ship and one would expect the crew to not live in a bad condition. Visitors get to see these quarters as part of their tour around the ship.




The glass enclosed corridor leading to the HMV Britannia
The glass enclosed corridor leading to the HMV Britannia (View more photos here)
HMY Britannia is berthed permanently, and is now a tourist attraction. When you look at the bus tours in Edinburgh, many of them include the ship in their tours, and there is a whole support system for this. On the land side, there is an entire building infrastructure for guiding tourists, providing shops for them to buy food and drinks and memorabilia. This corridor is one that connects the ship and the building, allowing a smooth flow for tourists.





Grand staircase inside the berthed royal yacht HMV Britannia, cordoned off to prevent tourists from entering
Grand staircase inside the berthed royal yacht HMV Britannia, cordoned off to prevent tourists from entering (more photos)
A grand staircase inside the ship, meant for leading to the royal quarters and other parts of the ship. This area is off limits for tourists and hence the gentle reminders - with cordons at the bottom and top end of the staircase. And of course, with the number of tourists who visit the ship, too many people up and down the carpet is liable to make the carpet ragged.








The royal gangway along with red carpet used by the royal family
The royal gangway along with red carpet used by the royal family (More photos at this link)
As part of maintaining the royal ship, this special entry gangway has also been preserved, along with the red carpet. And to ensure that nobody does any mischief, the entire area is blocked using a wooden fence, with the entry only being seen from a higher point, such as from the ship.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

HMY Britannia at her permanent position in Leith near Edinburgh

The Queen (or King) of England have had royal yachts from a long time (since 1660, with the restoration of the monarchy, there have been 83 such ships to bear the royal name). The ship was commissioned in 1954, taking an inaugural journey to Malta in April of the same year, but not carrying the Queen or Prince Philip, instead carrying Prince Charles and Princess Anne, with the Queen setting foot on the ship on the return journey on 1st May 1954. The ship has been used for a number of ceremonial occasions with leaders of other countries also stepping foot on the ship, as well as being used for the honeymoon of Prince Charles and Princess Diana. The ship was decommissioned in 1997 and there has been no replacement ever since, and it is unlikely that there will be, due to public relations impact of building another ship of this cost, with the cost coming from the British Government.

The pier at Leith where the royal yacht, HMY Britannia is berthed
The pier at Leith where the royal yacht, HMY Britannia is berthed (View more images here)
Now the yacht is berthed at the port of Leith near Scotland, and offers tourists a chance to view many sections of the ship, including the bedroom of the queen (through a glass partition), many of the official dining and state rooms, and for a different touch, the sleeping quarters of the men manning the ship. A number of people take the tour, and it is part of many of the tour packages of Edinburgh.





The royal racing yacht, the Bloodhound, berthed next to the HMY Britannia
The royal racing yacht, the Bloodhound, berthed next to the HMY Britannia (more photos here)
Tourists who come to see the HMY Britannia can also get to see the royal racing yacht, the Bloodhound. It was built in 1936 and has been used in the past by many of the royals (including Prince Charles) to learn how to sail. Now, it is available for charter. Berthed next to HMY Britannia, the racing yacht looks much smaller, but sleeker.

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Monday, July 28, 2014

Deep Sea World near Edinburgh in Scotland - A wonderful aquarium

Modern aquariums provide an immersive experience to visitors, allowing them to see fish all around them, shows with fish, allowing them to swim along with the fish, get colorful fishes, and various other experiences. One of these experiences is called Deep Sea World, located in North Queensbury, under the famous bridge in Fife, Scotland. It provides a travelator where visitors can travel under and through a tank full of fishes of different sizes and shapes, including sharks, rays and others.

Corridor inside the Deep Sea World aquarium on the outskirts of Edinburgh
Corridor inside the Deep Sea World aquarium on the outskirts of Edinburgh (More photos here)

In this photo, this is a view of the corridor where the visitor starts to make the way down to the prized part of the aquarium, the passage through a thick glass tank where fish can be seen all around. The aquarium has given a rock based appearance to this corridor, seemingly depicting that this part of the aquarium is underground.







One of the attractions of a modern aquarium is to have a wide variety of fish to dazzle visitors. This is even more so when these fish are colorful, and many fishes can be very colorful.

Brightly colored fish inside a tank in the Deep Sea World aquarium
Brightly colored fish inside a tank in the Deep Sea World aquarium (View more photos here)
These are one of the first fish that you see when you enter the aquarium. They look beautiful, with the bright colors gleaming in the light from outside that is entering their tank. For sure, it is rare that people would have seen this fish naturally. When you are going along with children, it is very exciting for them to see these fish and stand around for some time to watch these fish swim inside the tank, only moving away when either they are dragged away, or other people want to see the exhibit.

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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Scenery of the Lochs in the Scottish Highlands - very beautiful

A lake in Scotland along with the greenery and hills on the shore
A lake in Scotland along with the greenery and hills on the shore (More photos at this link)
Scotland is famous the world over for its beauty, and attracts a huge number of visitors every year who come here to admire the place and travel. Particularly, they come to see the Scottish Highlands, and while places like Edinburgh are beautiful, it is the Scottish Highlands that attract those visitors who come here to see the beauty of the place; they come to see the lochs (the Scottish and Irish word for lakes), they come to see the hills and mountains, the rugged outdoors and the fabulous view of nature everywhere. If you can make it, you should come here to see this place.

If you want a print of this image, here is a Digital Oil Painting on Fine Art America.






Loch Duich and the surroundings in the Scottish Highlands
Loch Duich and the surroundings in the Scottish Highlands (View more photos here)
The Lochs in the Scottish Highlands tend to be narrow but long. So when you are next to a lake, you can see that the loch extends far beyond the horizon to the left and right, but you can easily see the opposite end of the Loch (different from the traditional round nature of a lake). However, this is a photo of the shore of the Loch right next to the beautiful Eilean Donan Castle. This is a typical view of a Loch, with the water and with green covered mountains right next to it.

A print of this image, in the form of a Digital Cartoon is available at Fine Art America.







A small island in the water of a lake in the Scottish Highlands
A small island in the water of a lake in the Scottish Highlands (Get more such photos here)
Scotland is teeming with Lochs, big and small. Some of them are huge, with the most famous one, Loch Ness being as much as 230 meter deep. Others are smaller, and some of them are fresh water Lochs while are sea water Lochs. The interesting point about these Lochs is that they are narrow (even Loch Ness, which is 36 km long, is only 2.3 km wide at its widest point). In this case, this is a very small strip of rock emerging from the surface of this Loch, located very close to the Skye Bridge. The only use for this small strip of land seems to to allow birds to land, although a small swell would be enough to cover this patch of land.

If you want a print of this photo, you can get it at this link.

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