A home exchange in south-west Norway gives us the local knowledge required to fully explore a fascinating and historically-rich island.
The generous living room windows of our home exchange look out over a narrow channel towards the island of Karmøy. From our cosy vantage point, we watch the weather fronts rolling in from the wild North Sea and the rain-battered ships taking refuge in the calm waters. The vessels may be new, but boats have been making their way through this passage for thousands of years already. For as long as time itself, this route has been known as the safe way north, the “Northern Way”…
Merely a kilometre across the channel – but just obscured from our view by a neighbouring house – lies the ancient church of Olav in the village of Asvaldsnes. There – right there – is the birthplace of Norway, the main stronghold of King Harald Fairhair who controlled this “Northern Way” and first unified this nation.
All in all, it feels like a rather apt place to start exploring.
Continue reading “Karmøy – the birthplace of Norway”
Rubjerg Knude lighthouse in northern Jutland (“Nordjylland” in Danish) is in a precarious situation. Huge sand dunes whipped up by vicious North Sea winds are threatening to swallow it completely, and the coastline that it stands proudly upon is being eroded alarmingly quickly. Buried by sand or collapsing into the sea? Recent estimates suggest that it will grace the Danish coastline for another 5-10 years at most. We’re lucky we got to see this hauntingly beautiful structure before Mother Nature claims it as her own.
Continue reading “The land of enchanted light: Camping in Nordjylland, Denmark”
Wild camping. It’s permitted all over Scandinavia, as made infamous by Sweden’s “Allmansrätten” (the “everyman’s right”). Correct?
Well, not quite…
Continue reading “Primitive camping in Denmark”
Through a series of short family-friendly coastal hikes around the Isle of Arran (Scotland) we discover why it is such an excellent destination for an active family holiday.
Not many tourists know this, but access to the Giant’s Causeway is absolutely free of charge. Here’s how we skipped the crowds and enjoyed the very best of Northern Ireland’s natural masterpiece… for the price of a bus ticket.