ABBA the Museum: The Original Mixing Console

Harrison 4032 is a 40-channel analogue audio mixing console which was bought by Polar Studios in 1978. Three ABBA albums have been recorded with this console: "Voulez-vouz", "Super Trouper" and "The Visitors". Among other productions done in this console can be mentioned Led Zeppelin's "In Thought the Out Door" and Genesis' "Duke".
The console was the first of its kind with outputs to the headphones and was custom made for Polar Studios. This was something completely new: each musician or singer could hear himself and adjust the listening after his own needs.
The 8 white buttons under the 24 grey ones are the ones which were used. The console was later furnished with additional 16 channels.

ABBA the Museum: Stig Andersson’s Office

In this office, Stig, Benny and Bjorn had their pow-wows. In this office, long, heated discussions where ideas flowed and where the mentor Stig Andersson was at his best.

ABBA the Museum: Benny Andersson's Boots

Benny Andersson didn't have that many platform boots, that's why these are very special. This is the original boots that Benny was wearing at the Swedish competition for the Eurovision Song Contest 1974.

ABBA the Museum: Eurovision 1974's Most Famous Outfit

The place is Brighton, England. The location is The Dome. The date is 6th April 1974 and on stage is a group known as ABBA. When the four Swedes won the Eurovision Song Contest with "Waterloo", it marks the starting point for their international career.
ABBA's stage costumes are glittery and very unusual for this particular context, perhaps the most famous of the group's many colourful outfits. Four happy artists rush back on stage for a second performance of Waterloo", the song that will become their ticket to the international charts.
Back in Sweden, ABBA had already won a landslide victory in the selection for the Eurovision Song Contest. There was no doubt that ABBA's rock song and their glam-rock costumes were something of a revolution in the well-mannered contest.
Bjorn had the idea that no-one else would have a song like they had, or wear stage costumes that they wore. So even if they would finish 9th the audience would remember them afterwards, and it could be the start of an international career.
"Waterloo" was a major hit all over the world, but also meant that ABBA could strengthen their position as Sweden's most popular artists.

Stockholm's Most Enrtertaining Museum - ABBA the Museum

Finally, I made it to ABBA the Museum, Stockholm's most entertaining museum. Either you are an ABBA fan or not, you surely would find the place interactively entertaining. And for the most part, this is your chance of a lifetime to be the 5th ABBA member, at least for a few seconds...LOL... Sing with ABBA on stage and that's all it takes and you're a star.
I had this chance of a lifetime 5th ABBA member experience three days ago and I absolutely had a whole lot of fun. I can imagine how exciting it was singing with Agnetha Faltskog, Frida Lyngstad with Bjorn Ulveus on the guitar and Benny Anderson on the keyboard. Well of course it's just a hologram (the closest I can get) but still the experience is almost as real as singing with the four ABBA members live in person.
All the interactive offerings inside the museum are totally fun. Sing along with ABBA, make a music video with ABBA, test yourself how well you know ABBA, make ABBA do your own moves and most excitingly, sing with ABBA on stage. Just be sure to keep your ticket, never lose it or throw it in the bin after your museum visit. Why? Because that ticket is your access to view, share to your friends on Facebook and Twitter and download all the activities you did inside ABBA the Museum. Just log on to website and under Personal Page menu, enter 14-digit number found in the ticket.
The admission ticket is only SEK185 - it really is very affordable. I do suggest visiting ABBA the Museum in groups like with family or friends. Why? Well, at least you have your very own audience towed along with you to give you the standing ovation and cheers as you sing on stage…LOL…
There is one spot in the museum where I stayed longer - it is some kind of a dance floor with Bose speakers overhead and exactly just on any disco club. Inside this room, you can just stand there or dance if you want as ABBA music videos are continuously played.
Besides being highly interactive, ABBA the Museum has a lot of ABBA stuff to explore. From their extensive collections of wardrobes they wore during their world tour concerts, music videos and TV appearances to their vast collections of gold record awards and many more. This is the only place where original ABBA memorabilia are on display, so to all ABBA fans around the world, this is the exact spot where you can get a lot closer to ABBA.
Inside the museum, a souvenir shop is located. The souvenir shop offers wide array of ABBA souvenirs to take home. Just be sure you have credit card or else you'll get nothing as the shop don’t accept cash.
A restaurant/snack shop is also available adjacent to the souvenir shop but still you can’t dine without credit card. Honestly, ABBA the Museum is the first cashless museum I’ve been so far. But no worries, just near the museum, several restaurants are to be found.
ABBA the Museum is located at Djurgardsvagen 68, Djurgarden, Stockholm, Sweden. City Tram No. 7 (Sergelstorg – Waldemarsudde) has a stop exactly right in front of the museum. Alternatively, you can also take Bus No. 44 (Ruddammen – Skansen) or by boat/ferry from Slussen. Taxis are also available but it is a bit expensive. But I do suggest walking because there are a lot of things to see around on the way to the museum.
More about my ABBA the Museum visit on my next post. Check it out.

Free Internet Access For Cruise Ship Crew Members In Helsinki

I really love Helsinki not because it is what it is but more about its offerings to cruise ships visiting the port. As crew member myself, Helsinki is one of the most cruise ships crew-friendly ports in the world. Just walking distance away from the ship, a drop-in center provided by Finnish Seamen's Services in partnership with the Finnish Seamen's Mission can be found. Called Cruise Crew Lounge Anchor, the center sells international telephone cards and top-up cards and offers free wifi internet access exclusively for crew members only. Aside from that, the center also has a small canteen and shop with snacks and beverages and souvenir items available. The center also provides transport and guiding services and almost anything cruise ship crew need.
Well, internet onboard cruise ships is expensive so it's a fact that whenever there's free internet in port, cruise ships crew treated it as extraordinary compliment. So, to all crew onboard cruise ships calling Helsinki and if your vessel docks at Munkkisaari Quay, be sure to have your smartphones, tablets and laptops fully charged before jumping off from the ship. No need to take shuttle buses to the city center; no need to visit the all-crew favourite restaurants/fastfood particularly Mc Donald’s or KFC, simply head to Cruise Crew Lounge Anchor.

Olden's Now You See It, Now You Don't Scenery

With fog
Well, to me it's totally weird to see this kind of scenery, now you see it and later you won't. I never have this scenery in my own country (so let me enjoy this…lol…) I only saw this in Olden, one of Norway's most visited and favorite destination for many cruise ships all year round. Perhaps other places around some parts in Europe may have this same scenery, but seeing this kind of view in Norway is totally remarkable considering the splendid natural landscape stretching throughout Norway’s archipelago.
Without fog
With this entire mirror like water, the colorful houses, the green vegetations growing on its hilly terrain and with the towering mountains at the backdrop, who would not be enticed staring at all these wonderful and breathtaking scenery right before your eyes?

Scenic Skjolden At The Head Of Norway's Longest Fjord

A tranquil village surrounded with wonderful scenery, I can’t imagine arriving, sleeping over night and waking up in this amazing and beautiful part of the world. Skjolden is a small tourist town, located at the innermost point of Norway's longest and deepest fjord - the Sognefjorden, which is well worth a visit.
The towering mountains around, the quaint little houses and the idyllic farms along both shores of the fjord and of course the serene waters defines a breathtaking natural landscape just like those we see on postcards. The day we were there, the weather was perfect – there was no rain. The very low clouds hovering below the mountains and the village and the light fog sitting in from time to time enhanced the picturesque scenery around Skjolden.Skjolden has just a couple of restaurants and shops around. Buying few beers, sitting along the shores and enjoying all these scenery right in front of you is obviously one of the best way to get most of Skjolden.

Látrabjarg, A Bird Watching Destination In Iceland

At first I was wondering why we had to sail close to a mountain where nothing else to be seen but stretch of cliffs, the sea and the clouds - for me it really was nonsense going there. But that was before I did a little research of the place. Upon knowing what this place called Latrabjarg is, I eventually understand the worth why we sailed to that direction and pass closely along the towering cliffs. Of course we did not go in further because we made sure we maintain safe distance away from shallow water limit.
Unlike days earlier where the unwelcoming fog prevented us from seeing Surtsey Island in clear view, the visibility was good when we did the sightseeing in Latrabjarg. Thanks to the favourable weather.
Excerpted from Wikipedia, I got this brief information of Látrabjarg.
Látrabjarg is located in Iceland. It marks the westernmost part of Europe, if not to include the Azores islands and Greenland. The cliffs are home to millions of birds, including puffins, northern gannets, guillemots and razorbills. It is Europe's largest bird cliff, 14km long and up to 440m high.
Definitely, Látrabjarg is a paradise for bird watching opportunities and a haven for photography enthusiasts.

Passing The Volcanic Surtsey Island

Everything was planned accordingly for safe passage close to Surtsey Island, a volcanic island off the southern coast of Iceland. We called Icelandic Radio based in Heimaey for clearance to go near and Tours Manager was ready with her informative speech. But as the ship was approaching just about a mile to the island, the fog set in and nothing to see but the silhoutte of Surtsey Island. It really was frustrating not being able to see the island on a clear view. What can we do? Nada.
To make up what we failed to see, I captured this photo below from the radar. Well, this is the best we had for Surtsey Island.

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