Monthly Archives: February 2009

Codfish heads

I got a lift back into town with a friendly German called M, who worked with the huskies as a guide and trainer. He had baseball cap and long sideburns, with dog hairs all the way up his sleeve and … Continue reading

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Shelter from the storm

Three hours or so up a track into the forest and I found a tiny wooden cabin, like in a Jack London story. It can’t have been more than six foot by eight foot, half-buried in the snow, with a … Continue reading

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Pasvik

The Pasvik valley is the last place in Europe where you can find brown bears. My new friend from the tourist office had told me that they were hibernating so I wouldn’t meet one, and that anyway meeting bears wasn’t … Continue reading

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Touristic information

‘I had an argument with a man in here not so long ago’, the lady in the tourist office in Kirkenes told me. ‘He said, “There is something beyond here, you know.” And I said “I know, I have seen … Continue reading

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Night lights

The Northern Lights showed themselves conveniently on the first evening after we crossed the Arctic Circle. They were only dim, and, far from the fluorescent green sheets I was expecting, were more like sort of reverse clouds; patches of grey … Continue reading

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The Payload

Smartly dressed from the ankles upwards, the staff at supper wore a mixture of sports sandals, trainers and heavy shoes with Velcro over the tops. It was rather charming the way that on the first evening or two they filled … Continue reading

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Midnatsol

The MS Midnatsol was a most commodious vessel, the newest of the Hurtigruten coastliners. With a restaurant, café, two bars and a Jacuzzi it was in fact almost a cruise ship, but with the on-board entertainment limited to one bloke … Continue reading

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An encounter with an artist

Old Bryggen is on the waterfront of Bergen, and it’s where the mediaeval German merchants and journeymen who ran the docks used to live and work in tall wooden warehouses, controlling the flow of grain coming in, and the tonnes … Continue reading

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Morning Morgantown

Three cups of coffee, juice, bread, ham, cheese and a boiled egg in the airy breakfast room and I was almost ready to begin my day. It was when the hostel owner, a pleasant lady with 80s hair, came to … Continue reading

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Fresh from the skies

Bergen. And I’d been here before. Last time I was on the cusp of 22, and we sailed in on a ferry from Newcastle, setting out on our last ever family holiday. I remember it was light at 11 in … Continue reading

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