Archive for category: Travel

Brighton Revisited

31 Oct
October 31, 2012


On the train from London to Brighton I was excited, looking forward to getting reacquainted with a city I had last visited as a child. My memories were blurry, but I clearly remember the elated feeling of walking along the seafront, marveling at the way English people enjoyed a warm summer’s day lying on the beach fully clad or looking like red lobsters, obviously oblivious to the existence of a phenomenon called sun lotion.

I dropped down in a window seat, placing my oversized bag next to me and was just beginning to doze off when somebody grabbed hold of my luggage. Startled I looked up at a guy who with an intense expression explained in broken English that he needed the seat. I looked around and spotted several free ones, but as I didn’t want to make a scene I complied and let him shift my luggage to the back of the compartment. Silently praying that no one would unload it at any of the next stations.

My new travelling companion’s rare end had not even made a touch down before he started talking. Read more →

Spies in the Skies

04 Oct
October 4, 2012

His appearance was formally looking from the waist up, below sporting shorts and sandals, revealing his southerly destination and plans for coupling work with pleasure. His agitated looks and wild gesticulation were a sight to behold. Even his hair was empathically totally out of control. In one hand he was carrying an attaché case, and in the other clasping… thin air. Where his sexy, ultraportable new laptop (onto which half his brain was downloaded) should have been.

Just a couple of minutes ago it had been resting peacefully, causing and wishing ill will to no one, on the table in the airport café. Now it was gone, evaporated into the previously mentioned anorectic air. Read more →

Cefalu, C’est la Vie

23 Aug
August 23, 2012

Cefalu is well worth a visit. We did not, by any means, give it the credit it deserves as we were only staying for a few days and had some very basic needs to satisfy before starting to explore the town and the area: The need for soaking up as much sunshine as possible without getting our eyebrows singed. For two days, happily exposing ourselves to UV I, II and what felt like a fair amount of x-rays, we lolled like immobile skin-shedding sea elephants on the sunbeds in the beautiful Kalura Bay. Like the afore mentioned sea elephants, lifting a “fin” only to scratch our thighs, and unlike them to splash sun lotion on each other’s backs or lift our water bottles, not really caring that half of its content missed the target and trickled down our bodies.

Once in a hot while we would roll off our beds and plunge into the sea, basking in the underwater world of colorful fish, shells and plants, before again retreating to our incubators.

When we after a couple of days eventually mustered the will and strength to lift our heads and look up, we discovered dazzling sights of mountains, rolling hills, and for someone living on the (ice)edge, a mind-boggling diversity of colorful trees, bushes and flowers. Rocks and cliffs were valiantly protruding into the sea, one of the closest ones occupied by remnants of a Byzantine fortress.

And from there it was all gloriously uphill…

Read more →

Peak Performance

13 Aug
August 13, 2012

…or Caught Between A Rock And A Hot Place

I don’t know what’s with us Norwegians: Just because there is a pole, we feel we have to find it, just because there is a glacier we think we have to cross it, and just because there is a mountain we bl…. well believe we have to climb that too. The extreme explorer blood running in my veins is pretty diluted, but I have to admit that even I sometimes get the urge…

The small mountain just behind the beautiful and peaceful Agriturismo La Perciata did not seem to be much of a challenge. Actually not amounting to much more than a rocky hill, it seemed high enough, though, to promise enthralling vistas over Cassibile and the coast of Syracuse on the Eastern side of Sicily.

The proprietor looked a little taken aback when I asked him how to get to the top, which I am not sure was due to the nature of my inquiry or if he actually did not have a clue to what I’d just asked him. He quickly got on top of the situation, though, and embarked on a long explanation in Italian, accompanied by a lot of, at least to him, meaningful gesticulation.

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Syracuse, An Old Panama Hat

25 Jul
July 25, 2012

His badge looked homemade, worn, not really aspiring to anything. Like himself, slumping in the shade under an old olive tree in the outskirts of the The Archaeological Park of Neapoli, Syracuse. On the bench beside him sat his water bottle and a tired looking panama hat. He did nothing to attract attention to himself or his services. Rather on the contrary, looking like he’d be forever grateful if the world would just leave him alone. I don’t know what made me approach him…

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Cefalu, Jaws

10 Jul
July 10, 2012
“Jaws” was nothing like I expected. Actually I hadn’t expected anything. I had merely accepted an invitation from a boy my age to see a movie, and neither of us really cared what it was about as long as we got to sit in the back row.
When I stumbled out of the movie theater a couple of hours later, I was so numb with shock, I couldn’t have cared less if I’d been with The Incredible Hulk or Pinoccio. No amount of sweet talk and kisses could shake me out of the zombie-like state I was in, and I hardly remember how I got home. My young and still fairly innocent mind was totally occupied with trying to digest the horrors that were now forever engraved in my brain.
The aftermaths of the quake stayed with me for years to come. In the beginning I felt way in over my head in the ocean, but fine in swimming pools. Until I watched action movies featuring shark basin constructed for the sole purpose of taking care of any unlucky fellow who happened to cross the gangsters, and of course eventually the gangsters themselves if the movie had just a tinge of justice.
Now I started looking over my shoulder (a potential shark snack) in all kinds of bodies of water. And always having someone, friends, foes, unassuming strangers, swim next to me. I, of course, always staying closest to the shore. Not only “better safe than sorry”, but also “better them than me”, were my mottoes.

Great was my astonishment, therefore, when…

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Mainau, You fill up my senses

30 May
May 30, 2012
Mainau, the Island of Flowers, is like the most precious pearl in the beautiful necklace of towns, villages and pleasant havens surrounding the body of the ever charming Lake Constance. In a Germany I up till a few years ago associated with nothing but the industrial Ruhrgebiet, and excellent freeways with famed German efficiency carrying you through the country towards other and more alluring destinations.

Visits to different Bundeslände quickly upsided my and many other people’s misconceptions about a country which features so much more; Wonderful river valleys with vines clinging to steep, rocky sides, whose 
seemingly inhospitable surface provides the very minerals that distinguish and set apart the wines produced there. Quaint little villages with half- timbered houses, windowsills overflowing with pelargoniums. Rolling hills and mountains, and dark forests in which many fairytales were born. To travel over land and sea, everywhere being told and retold, often leading us to believe that they originated on our own door steps. Connecting us in a way we may not be aware of, as people’s emotions, fears and joys are basically the same, wherever we may come from.

And so we may  connect, in experiencing the beauty of Meinau…    
Read/see more….You fill up my senses/Mainau

Evening in Konstanz

27 May
May 27, 2012

As soon as I got off the train, it hit me. The sensation of being on a more southernly latitude. Even though I had left a warm, sunny, spring-rushing-into-summerTrondheim, this was a different thing alltogether. It was already evening, but it was still warm, and the town was teaming with people. Konstanz’  main communication artery, a wide pedestrian street, lined with outdoor restaurants, was full of people enjoying the evening, the pleasant atmosphere, a drink or several, each other or a comfortable solitude.

On my way to the hotel I passed a particularly inviting place situated, along with several others, on a small cobblestoned square featuring palms, several gas fuelled fireplaces, a fountain, and on this particular occasion; an adept Spanish guitarist. I promptly seized a waiter by his collar (well, almost, I would have if needed, I’m a sucker for such places) and asked him to reserve a table for me. He smilingly obliged me, and I quickly checked in to my room, freshened up in a jiffy and headed back, equipped with purse and my beloved travel computer.

The guitarist was still there… 

Surfin’ USA

17 Apr
April 17, 2012
I was just going along for the ride. Never been surfing in my life, had no intention of starting now. The sun was shining, the skies blue, smiling people in wetsuits were coming and going, their board on top of their car, sticking out of their trunk, tucked under their arm, or in some cases haphazardly secured to their bikes…, I couldn’t help myself: I wanted to be part of it all, and before I came to my senses I jumped right in and asked if there was room for one more. Sure enough; the ocean is big, the surf store guy didn’t mind earning the extra money: I was in. Way over my head, I feared, but feeling a thrilling sensation in my stomach.
It really was a gorgeous day; the color of the grass, the sky, sea and sand…, it was all quite breathtaking. A sensation that would be experienced several times during the next couple of hours, although in a more concrete way…
Our instructors were friendly and welcoming, looking just like surf instructors are supposed to look; lean, tanned, hair bleached by year round exposure to sea and sun. In this area there is no such thing as off season; it never gets really cold, and with a wetsuit you are prepared for most kinds of weather conditions.
Donning the darn suit was surprisingly difficult, though. We struggled to get into the uncompromisingly stiff, unyielding  and heavy contraption, helping each other as best as we could, occasionally getting pointers about which way to wear the thing, how to close the zipper in the back, pulling the collar over the head and closing the whole thing at the neck without suffocating (yet another sensation that would become fairly familiar a little later).
When we were all eventually properly dressed for the occasion, we nodded and looked approvingly at each other, and as best as we could, ourselves. We felt pretty smart and perky. How hard could this surfing thing be? I mean, after all, we were Norwegians, practically born with skies attached to our feet.
It turned out it could be hard, really hard…

The beginning was encouraging, and just a tad misleading, though: The first few times we, more or less elegantly, managed to get up and stay upright on the board for quite a while. We laughed and smiled confidently at each other.

Then it was time to hit the water…

Peace, Pelicans and Papercup Ponderings With Working Link

17 Apr
April 17, 2012

Peace, Pelicans and Papercup Ponderings (Thursdag April 5th) now has a working link

See the blogpost or read here Peace, Pelicans and Papercup Ponderings