Do you remember when you were 11 years old? For me it was a very special age. Still a kid, with all the kid’s perks, but also very aware of the world around. In a way it is the perfect age. No responsibilities, huge amounts of time and a long exciting road ahead. I have arrived at the point where my own kids have that same exciting age, time to make it equally special to them! Continue reading
It was during the first days of spring. Those days when you can finally open the doors and get out the garden furniture, to enjoy sitting outside to catch those first rays of sun of the new summer season. Exactly on that day I got on board a plane to bring me back to the heart of winter. With the fresh spring still in my head I landed at Helsinki airport to catch another plane to get me to the Arctic Circle. Minimum temperature for Rovaniemi was forecasted to be -15°C that evening. Why had the conference organizers picked exactly this remote and cold location? Continue reading
There are many ways to experience the Arctic. A few weeks ago I wrote about the Expedition way. A great experience, but not for everyone. There are definitely more accessible and comfortable ways to enjoy this majestic part of the world. Still adventurous, still not for everyone, but totally realistic if this destination is on your bucket list. And it should be! Continue reading
Those of you who know me, understand that you should take this title literally. Vienna is known by most visitors as the city of the Blue Danube, Empress Sissi, the Spanish Riding School, Johann Strauss concerts, Disneyland-quality castles, a Boy’s Choir and a lot more classic romantic sights. Many blogs have been filled with these mass tourism travelguide-sights of Vienna and movies about all this made actresses like Romy Schneider famous all over the world. Continue reading
The North Cape is one of those places that is on most traveller’s bucket lists. Known as the northernmost point of Europe, situated at 71°10´21˝N, some even claim it is closer to the North Pole than it is to Oslo. It may certainly feel that way and it is good tourism marketing, but it is not true. First of all, it is not the northernmost of Europe. The northernmost point of Europe is Cape Fligely, on Russian Rudolf Island (81°48′24″N), or if you don’t consider that Europe, it is the island of Rossøya on Svalbard, both over 1,000 kilometers north of the North Cape. Those places are definitely closer to the North Pole than to any sizeable city like Oslo. Those places are also virtually impossible to visit, so no travelers ever make it there. Unfortunately for the North Cape it is also not the northermost point of continental Europe, as it lies on a small island. That title goes to nearby Cape Nordkinn (71°08′02″N), a difficult place to visit, but a few hikers make it there every year. Continue reading
Have you ever wondered what would happen if you mail a letter simply addressed ‘Santa Claus, North Pole’? I am sure many kids do, looking at the thousands of letters and postcards, that are collected at Santa’s Post Office in Rovaniemi, Finland. These letters generally end up here, at a large collection of buildings, right on the Arctic Circle. The central building, next to the post office, is the official home of Santa Claus, who can be visited year-round. It is one of the top attractions of this attractive modern city, which literally is the gateway to the Arctic.
The Scots are a fearful people. So fearful that they should be kept out of the empire at all cost. At least they were in Roman times. Known simply as the ‘Barbarians’ to the Romans, like all people outside their large empire, the Scots were a bridge too far. Emperor Hadrian built a wall to protect the Northern end of the empire from the Scots, just north of the Tyne river, around the year 122 AD.