Karmøy – the birthplace of Norway

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”…

Norway“.


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”

The Ulster American Folk Park

Have you ever jumped back in time? We have. At the Ulster American Folk Park – an open-air museum near Omagh, Northern Ireland – we were immersed in the sights and sounds of a typical Ulster market day in spring 1917.

Continue reading “The Ulster American Folk Park”

The Celtic Fort of Otzenhausen

A hilltop fortress in Germany has several different names, a mind-boggling number of stones… and has been around for almost 2,500 years.

Continue reading “The Celtic Fort of Otzenhausen”

The Family of Man

In the mid- 1950s, an entire photo exhibition went “viral”. And it is still going strong today, permanently displayed in a handsome castle in Luxembourg. So what did my kids make of it?

Continue reading “The Family of Man”

Bourglinster – village of nature, history and culture

The Luxembourgish village of Bourglinster is surrounded by beautiful nature, steeped in history and brimming with culture. The views aren’t bad either.

Continue reading “Bourglinster – village of nature, history and culture”