Archive for category: Travel

Badass gone good, and a 1000 year old church in Chester

02 Apr
April 2, 2016

What is it about the small, quite insignificant looking building on the corner of Lower Bridge and St. Olave streets in Chester? Bearing, but not showing the name of the patron saint of Norway, St. Olav, who took on the kingship of Norway exactly 1000 years ago.

Nothing, it would seem, judging from its inconspicuous appearance, modestly situated just within the Chester city walls. Ramshackle scaffolding has long been skirting its foundations, and the terrace outside the main entrance is littered with beer cans as well as an interesting selection of substances most of us would prefer to stay well clear of.

As most people in the 11th century preferred to stay clear of Olav Haraldsson, as St. Olav was initially called: His youth was spent happily and unrestrainedly roaming and plundering east and west, scaring the wits and wealth out of people here and establishing alliances there.

St. Olave Church and Street

St. Olave Church and Street

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Indian Soap Opera

15 Feb
February 15, 2014

Or: 79 steps to clean clothes or:Bum scratching man and his disgusted missus

In India, 53.3 % of the households sport a mobile phone, less than 20 % own a washer and only 11.9 % have access to a toilet connected to a sewage system. Clean tap water is not an Indian authority priority and consequently the cause of constant laundry and other logistic challenges.

Always on my mind... water

Always on my mind… water

And to add to the fun: In Tamil Nadu, current is a commodity about as reliable as desert rain and predictable as a 5-year-old on speed.  Read more →

Travelling Light

21 Dec
December 21, 2013

I don’t think I’ll ever become a light traveller. Believe me, I’ve tried: I limit shoes and clothes to a minimum and I have a PhD in finding travel sized items: toothbrush, shampoo, lotion, flash light, towel, computer, you name it. I even remove all unnecessary packaging, and apart from my guide books, all my reading is digital.

In spite of my efforts, however, my suitcase invariably (and mysteriously) ends up weighing in at the maximum permissible – or more – and brings desperation to the faces of the poor unknowing souls who offer to shift the slightly built, but heavily luggaged lady’s case for her. Read more →

Incredible India

03 Dec
December 3, 2013

I never thought I had the capacity to perspire much, but I’m in the process of learning otherwise. India, however tenuous its claims to democracy may be in many respects, is equally generous to everyone when it comes to the opportunity to perspire and expire.

Perched on my seat in a war- and weather beaten bus, I therefore have no choice, but to slowly surrender my body to its hot, damp state. Through the open window, gusts of air reach my feverish forehead, creating a fleeting sensation of release from the clinging heat. Read more →

Turkish Delights

23 Sep
September 23, 2013

“I don’t understand Turkey”, I said, when I finally came up for air. The hotel attendant’s apperently simple question: “What do you think about our country?” had hit me in the gut and left me dumbfounded. He threw back his head and laughed: “No one understands Turkey, not even us Turks!”

Which is not hard to believe about a country the size of Sweden and Norway combined. The 80 million inhabitants outnumber the two Scandinavian countries by a factor of 5.3, and comprise, according to a young Turkish guide, no less than 25 ethnic groups. Read more →

Pro Animal

09 Jul
July 9, 2013

I’d simply had a smashing day: I’d been peed, pooped, and to top it all off, vomited on. And not only had I instantly forgiven the monster that did this to me, I’d even held it, petted it and fallen head-over-heals in love with it.

The I-wanna-be-your-mum-provokingly adorable Rollie, together with his sister Rosali, was travelling to Germany, and the first leg of their journey was by car from  Valle Gran Rey to San Sebastian. On a road with so many hairpin turns that it just barely avoided tying a knot on itself. Read more →

La Gomera, Valle Gran Rey – La Merica – Arure

28 Mar
March 28, 2013

«Consider the heat,» warned my newly befriended local, Dominique. Somewhat skeptical about my intention to walk from La Calera at the bottom of Valle Gran Rey, up La Merica to Arure, at about 800 m above sea level, “…it’s really blistering today”.

I had studied the map and made up my mind; I had some excess energy to dispose of, and besides, my guidebook promised a breathtaking experience in more ways than one. I told her not to worry; I would take it easy and bring water, nuts and dried fruits.

Half way up, I could have kicked myself… Read more →

La Gomera

15 Mar
March 15, 2013

Despite the fact that I had been travelling since three in the morning, sleep was not an option in my current position: My knees draped somewhere in the neighborhood of my ears, my bulging backpack in close proximity to my kidneys. From the look and feel of it, the bus taking us from Tenerife airport to the harbour in Los Cristianos, had been designed for pygmies with severe cases of inhibited growth.

The other passengers did not seem to be faring much better, so the relief was palpable throughout the vehicle when it came to an abrupt halt.

Yellow Flower

Yellow Flower

The bus driver, who clearly was not in favor of prolonged farewells, promptly disposed of passengers and luggage. He waved in the general direction of the sea, said something incoherently about a ship, and shot off.

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Viking Wirral adVenture

21 Nov
November 21, 2012

Considering the appalling behavior shown by some of my forefathers when they were last here, I am amazed and relieved that I am not being met by drawn swords and boiling oil when I meet up with John Emmett and Peter France of Wirral History and Heritage Association who have promised to show me around the Viking Wirral.

Even though our mail exchange have been very civil, for all I know they might have planned a plot to finally get back at one of the bastards. And I would and could not have blamed them. Having been kicked out of Ireland (no doubt on account of bad manners), the Vikings about 1100 years ago roamed the area as if it were their own playground. Plundering here, burning there and in general making a bloody nuisance of themselves.

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Helsinki Rock n Roll Church

11 Nov
November 11, 2012

Where Helsinki and Uspenski Cathedrals with their multitude of tall spears seem to be longingly reaching for the heavens, the Rock Church looks like a celestial body having landed on earth, planting itself deep in the granite surface on top of a hill.

The gently curved cobber dome, glass panels and a rough rock wall promise an interesting tale, but reveal nothing of the amazing space and grace you encounter having passed through the rather inconspicuous, dark Rocky Gate.

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