• europe

    We Like a Good Old-Fashioned Hike

    On a solemn grey morning, when the skies were beset by heavy clouds and the brows of my husband by equal measures of frowns, we were on our way to Mount Fløyen. A city mountain in Norway. Lille Lungegårdsvannet, the lake featured in the lead photo and with the unpronounceable name which sits pretty at the centre of the city of Bergen, gives you an idea of the kind of day it was. A colony of seagulls took flight above our heads, alarmingly low, which meant we had to duck if only for the sake of retaining our scalps — quintessential you see in achieving the climb to Fløyen. Birds…

  • europe

    Mountain Farms Mantled in Mist

    Mist did not make itself scarce on our Norwegian vacation in the August of 2016. Our grand plans of hiking Trolltunga – and jump at the end of the troll’s tongue while aiming not to fall off it – was interrupted by adverse weather. For as you know, it is not a good idea to set out on a hike in slippery conditions when you would need to be hoiked midway through the hike. Airlifts have indeed taken place a few times in Trolltunga. Let me assure you: the authorities do not shower you with kind looks and cupcakes when you are an utter git. I am a git at…

  • europe

    The Art of Chilling

    When I say chilling, I mean Nothing. Let me relent here because there are the basic functions of living to be considered. Breathing, eating, checking into the loo and the works. Then there is the glorious prospect of gazing dreamily into the fjords beyond the windows, sighing from time to time, because you could live with such a view for a long time. As long as you lived. Add a lifetime’s supply of books, coffee, tea, husband, hikes and two dogs. Now did I just describe Els’ life? But before you get down to the art of perfecting nought, there is a condition that has to be met. The weather gods will have to…

  • europe

    Getting to Flåm

    The road to Flåm from Gudvangen has opportunities for deep sleep. The kind of sleep that is delicious, because like all forbidden things that carry the tag of deep delight, it is not a good idea to nod off behind the wheel and in the middle of a tunnel. For one, you stand the risk of disappearing into another realm – akin to the road safety warnings that pop up all over the Norwegian country. Of a girl fading away. That road sign gave me the heebie-jeebies. You shall spot it in the roll-call of photos below. There is also the unappetising thought that there would no possibility of a picture-perfect village tucked…

  • europe

    Chasing Illusions in Gudvangen

    Google Gudvangen. ‘Has she gone crazy?’ you might interject. ‘Here I pop by her post and she asks me to google the name?!’ Humour me for two seconds. Atop the wikipedia page (you do not have to click further) dedicated to the small Viking village in Norway, you find yourself staring at an image of marvellously lofty peaks. The main peak in it has been squished and stretched up to look like a model lengthening her svelte body. Then you notice later, much later, that the topmost peak seems to show you the middle finger. Somebody’s idea of awful humour. The day we reached Els’ cottage in Norheimsund we drove straight up into…

  • europe

    Country Hiking in Norheimsund

    In the Hardanger region of Western Norway — made up of serene fjords, gushing waterfalls and statuesque bridges leading the way to chains of hills linked up by a series of tunnels — is the village of Norheimsund. During the Nazi occupation of Norway, the village served as a training camp for the Germans. There would have been fortifications along the bay once, but now they have been replaced by houses built the local way with wooden panels and slate roofs, small windows peeking out from cheerfully painted facades. Old fishermen’s cottages still stand in isolation close to the fjord, and along with a handful of stores and small harbour,…

  • europe,  Holiday Stay Reviews

    Into a Norwegian Artist's Retreat

    Here was an artist who did the Charleston jig, all in a bid to tell us how her Pointer got his name. The Pointer is a dog, a hunting hound that gets its name from its inclination to point its muzzle towards the game. Now imagine if you will, this beloved mistress of Charleston the Pointer, a grown-up woman lifting her chin up, arms pointed into the air as if she was about to release an invisible arrow off an equally invisible bow. On this note of welcome into her home, we knew that we had landed a prize of sorts here — Els and her beloved Pointer, Charleston. I don’t know how…

  • Travel

    Tagged!

    Dear virtual friends, Here is a tag that I am taking part in because, well, it is fun to indulge in a bit of trivia at times. And when that trivia happens to be about you, the narcissistic head (come on admit it, we all have a bit of Narcissus in us) rears up. I have been tagged by Malini – she blogs at https://malinispace.com/ – for this 2016/2017 Tag. The tag has been created by David from The Guy Who Said Always No. Describe your 2016 in three words I am cheating on this by including more words because I am a rambler, and well, I like to push boundaries. Fairytale (Early morning…

  • Asia,  Britain,  europe

    In the end is the beginning

    I have always thought that it makes a whole lot of sense. What our good man Eliot wrote. Even though another year is coming to an end, there is always a fresh year to look forward to. Wonder what it holds in store for my husband and me. We have new things creeping around the corner. Moving countries, setting up a new home, a new start. Daunting. Yet we gotta make the best of the hand we are dealt in life, isn’t it? There is a bagful of nostalgia and wistfulness to go with it. The year for my husband and me has been about travel and the accoutrement that comes…