Life beside a Norwegian sea: Kristiansund

Sunday, Aug. 31, 2013

IMG_2597We are sitting in Dan’s brother’s boat, somewhere off the coast of Kristiansund, a city of about 15,000 roughly half-way up the Norwegian coast in the district of Møre og Romsdal. We are not far from town – in a bay just outside the oil industrial park. Dan and Ove are fishing, pulling in mackerel so fast, they can hardly get their lines back in the water. We were hoping for Sei, my favourite, but there aren’t any here. They would be below the mackerel, I’m told. Sei is known as bluefish or Boston bluefish in North America but the North Atlantic stuff doesn’t get exported there. At least, I’ve never seen it; and I’ve been looking for it for 35 years. Continue reading

Making history: sailing with Color Magic

 

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Sunrise over Germany – as seen from the upstairs bedroom in the home of Dan’s cousin’s son, Tobias and wife Bianca’s. Lana Rodlie photo

After a quick two-night visit with some relatives in Germany, we’d scheduled ourselves on the Color Magic – a cruise ferry from Kiel, Denmark to Oslo, Norway.

We were told it was about a four-hour drive to Kiel from Hildesheim. Dan wanted to be there by noon so we would have lots of time to find the dock, gas up on cheap bensine and make it to the ship before the gate closed at 1 p.m.

But south of Hamburg, we ran into a huge roadblock. For miles, traffic on the Autobahn was being converted from three lanes to one lane and around a detour. Hence, we were stuck in it for over an hour.

At 10:30, we were still south of Hamburg but figured we just might make it once we got around the detour.  The GPS wasn’t helping as it did not have any alternative route on its map. We could only watch for signs indicating “to Kiel” and hope for the best.

The first such sign at the “ausfarht” showed the exit was closed.

Crap.

We had no way to know how long we’d have to travel for the next exit. So we carried on, watching the clock and hoping for the best.

Finally, there was another exit. But it too was also closed due to construction. And we were forced to remain where we were – and guess what – the road we were on was under construction and we were once again slowed to a crawl.

At that point, we resigned ourselves to driving to Sweden; for as far as we knew, we were more than two hours south of Kiel and the gate to the ship would close before we could get there. Continue reading

A German castle for the taking

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Schloss Marienburg. Lana Rodlie photo

Germany is flat. At least, that’s how we saw it. And unless you drive off the Autobahn, you won’t see any of it.

About 20 kilometres south of Hannover is the town of Hildesheim; and another 15 kilometres to the northwest into the countryside, on what appears to be the only hill in Germany, is a spectacular castle.

Since Germany is such a modern cosmopolitan place, one has to look up and wonder: who put THAT there? Continue reading

Historical journal – a day at Heathrow

Day 1

We arrived at Heathrow in one piece, after a multi-hour Air Canada Air Miles night flight from Vancouver. This after the harrowing journey from Castlegar (Cancelgar) Airport – so named due to its reputation. But the plane went, which was all good.

At Heathrow, we landed at Terminal X. There must be an unwritten law that whatever terminal you land in at Heathrow will not be the terminal from which you are scheduled to depart. So we boarded a bus that took us through a maze of corridors, construction cranes, bus loops and blocked roadways. (Heathrow has been under construction for as long as we’ve been landing there – since about 1980. I have no idea what they are constructing or if they will ever finish it but some well-placed incineration devices wouldn’t hurt (after clearing people out of the way, of course.)

We had about a two-hour stopover on our way to Hamburg.

Hungry, we remembered our last stop there a few years ago. We’d gone into an Irish pub and had fish and chips with mushy peas. It was fabulous; lively; fun. But I couldn’t tell you what terminal it was in.

Even though I am trying to leave fatty foods alone, I could not be in London and not have fish and chips. (Kind of like being in Quebec and not eating poutine.) Anyway, we went into this eatery called Harlequin (or maybe it was called Alehouse Eatery – there were two signs.) Thinking, yay – finally English fish and chips, we ordered. The waitress tried to talk us into some nice barbecued chicken or scrumptious beef roll up. No, we wanted fish and chips. (Dan said later that should have been our first clue – when she tried to steer us to something else.) Continue reading