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Life Is Always Where We Are

Archive for June 2015

- - -- by Ed Reif»
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"We shall not cease from exploration, / and the end of all our exploring / will be to arrive where we started / and know the place for the first time.” T. S. Eliot, The Wasteland



Norway is Alaska with Balls!
These are words that at 20 years, the Old Age of Youth, I could only accept on blind faith; having no travel or life experience yet to prove them true. 

Home, in fact, was/is a place you want to leave ASAP, and set out on a new course. 

There is something innately human about exploring. The need to break free and sail away is, in fact,  ancient, enduring and incessant.

Voyages trigger a concept called psychological distance: Something about the experience of leaving your place creates a shock and awe, a pathway into a new perspective that floods the brain with ideas.

Neurons that wire together fire together. Now that I have my dreamer-pilots license, I am sure I'll be "flying" again.


 For me, this shift in perspective starts as soon as I'm on a cruise ship . Ships are weirdly the most lucid part of my life. Every cruise I take somehow changes my life in some way. Norway has done it again.



 "The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea."-Karen Blixen (Out of Africa)


- - -- by Ed Reif»
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Enjoying the spectacular and most famous waterfall in Norway, with a free fall of 145m, and a total fall of 182m. A great view from the Fossli Hotel.
The secret to a happy life is a happy wife, and also mother nature!
 High negative ion concentration gradi- ents are detected in the vicinity of the waterfalls.They affect the brain and our mood. Infact, Negative Ions Create Positive Vibes.

There is something in the air and while it may not be love, some say it's the next best thing -- negative ions. Ions are molecules that have gained or lost an electrical charge. . They are created in nature as air molecules break apart due to sunlight, radiation, and moving air and water, like these waterfalls.

 The air circulating in the mountains and the beach is said to contain tens of thousands of negative ions.
Once these ions reach my bloodstream, they produce biochemical reactions that increase levels of the mood chemical serotonin, helping to alleviate depression, relieve stress, and boost  daytime energy.
What you believe is real will be real to you and its consequences.it could just be that these places of power are just producing a natural high.

- - -- by Ed Reif»
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Intoxicating - but I swear to drunk I'm not God.
On our way this morning to Norway's most famous waterfalls-Vøringsfossen - Måbødalen.

If Hollywood is loneliness beside the swimming pool, then Norway is  solitude by the fjords.

- - -- by Ed Reif»
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 It leaves a golden glowing on the mind.


 Getting to the top is optional,
getting to the bottom -mandatory.

Too many rocks in the mountains.

- - -- by Ed Reif»
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H2 OMG-Enriched by A  Wonderful Osmosis







In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is strength, in water there is bacteria. Unless of course you are in  Norway-- where meltwater  is useful,  humble, precious, and pure.The best wine may be the oldest, the best water, however, is  the newest. With cupped hands, drinking  melted glacier. It's pure inspiration. We're all downstream from hereWhat happens in Norway stays in Norway. Just add water.

Chasing the cascading waterfalls. They are everywhere. This kind of leisure is a form of silence, not noiselessness, a divine Viking mystery- H20 and gravity. Norway is blessed with these glaciated valleys and fjords. This is the place of a thousand waterfalls.

- - -- by Ed Reif»
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A citywalk in Ålesund.

"Which paddle do you want?" I'll  take either/ oar.
,

Summer is the nicest DAY in the whole year. Again, good weather!

 The beautiful Art Nouveau buildings, the unique streets make Ålesunds small town fishing village atmosphere a visual  postcard. Beautiful day here in Norway.

- - -- by Ed Reif»
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Norwegian houses were historically painted red, yellow, or white. White is the most popular color, even these days. The color the owners chose depended mostly on what they could afford.

Red: The red color was the cheapest to produce. It was created by mixing ochre with cod liver oil (or other vegetable oils or animal oils). As a result, many buildings in farming lands or fishing areas where incomes were lower than average were mostly paint in red. This is why so many barns in the country side were traditionally painted red.

Yellow: The yellow color was a little more expensive than red and was also created by mixing ochre with cod liver oil.
White: White was the most luxurious of colors since it was the most expensive. In the old days the mineral zinc was needed to create white paint which was very expensive.

As a result, if one painted their house white they were showing their neighbours that they were wealthy.



- - -- by Ed Reif»
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This sod roof just isn't cutting it.

Summer is the nicest DAY of the year around here.

 (*hint-lots of rain)

 
 
Norwegians have their own way of going green, and quite literally. For hundreds of years houses in Norway have been covered with turf. And they come in different varieties. Some are bright green and almost velvety. Others are golden and look like they’re growing wheat or oats.
The advantages of turf roofs (also called sod roofs) are many. They are very heavy, so they help to stabilize the house; they provide good insulation; and they are long-lasting. 

Turf roofs in Norway are a tradition and you I have seen them everywhere.

- - -- by Ed Reif»
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Standing on top of the world

- - -- by Ed Reif»
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I feel a lot better lately: it's as if, I am on top of the world. Oh, wait a minute, @330 miles above The Arctic Circle,  in Nordkapp Honningsvåg,


I AM on The  Top of The World.
The great journey for all travelers was once  limited to explorers and expeditions, now accessible to anyone crazy enough to take a 14 day cruise to get here and back to Europe.

Endless daylight is hauntingly constant, and this cliff that plunges into the endless Arctic Ocean is majestic, having Rock of Gibraltar like gravitas.

- - -- by Ed Reif»
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Some complain about the rain, others bike in it, and some bike in it and hope they get struck by lightning.
"What are we on? We are on our bikes."

There is Norway I'd go Oslo and make a pun about these large, soft, 
 fluffy and heart-shaped vaflers (waffles), a Norwegian tradition.

The view from The Bridge

- - -- by Ed Reif»
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The view from all directions is mountains, and the sound of snow melting, as Mother Nature speaks, is awe-inspiring.



- - -- by Ed Reif»
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I didn't wake up this morning. I came to---here in Viking land, home of the Nobel Peace Prize where in a perfect world, chickens get to cross the road without having their motives questioned. The prestige, the impact of winning a Nobel, I'd kill for one! ...

Rewriting the dictionary of superlatives-magnificent, stunning, breathtaking, spectacular, awesome just won't do. Stunning and rejuvenating will have to. Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts. In fact, ignorance is bliss here in Northern Europe.There is no global warming! The water is too cold to go swimming!

The definition of ecstasy is that you are not doing your ordinary everyday routine....essentially stepping into an alternative reality. This place was meant top be snowed in.

On my walk into Narvik  I found a bike with no brakes, but after a little tweak, got them to work. It's a bit Small, but cut the travel time into Downtown considerably

Norwegian Wood-song by The Beatles
 and destined for to be made into Ikea furniture


- - -- by Ed Reif»
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Sometimes the road less traveled is not a road at all.
Where there's a Will there is a play and A Midsummer Night's Dream-Summer Solstice

- - -- by Ed Reif»
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The IN to my sane- have you driven a fjord lately.
Gorge...ous


These cascading waterfalls are called, The 7 Sisters-If an experience is dull and unexciting, someone might say "yea, it was l like kissing your sister."  In this case, our ship was so close, we got kissed by the vapor and sprsy-and it was impressive. 

- - -- by Ed Reif»
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Edvard  Grieg (1843-1907), Norway's greatest composer, has a museum in the suburbs of Bergan. I visited there this morning. Curiously,  Warner Brothers Looney Tunes came to mind, during the 30 minute concert, that included Peer Gynt and In the Hall of The Mountain King...It was the soundtrack for Bugs Bunny playing piano.My Saturday morning tv shows from childhood re-lived.

The backyard of Greig's house-a salt water fjord. 

Norwegian Wood Church-there is a song somewhere. 

- - -- by Ed Reif»
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"Being a New Yorker
,he had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him through temporary periods of joy."


- - -- by Ed Reif»
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I've always been that kinda guy who had to pee on the electric fence to see for myself. So I'm gonna see if my tongue will really  stick to frozen metal when I'm in the Arctic Circle next week.

- - -- by Ed Reif»
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What a beautiful city-cute, cozy, small-town atmosphere- and  when I think of Haarlem I think of Harlem, NYC, but the Dutch landed in New Amsterdam,  years ago, and renamed the new world cities such as Brekulen (Brooklyn) and Haarlem. The best part of the city, is that it is off the beaten path.Amsterdam is of course,  Amsterdam. Yet these cobblestone streets are just the right mix of old world to make you realize there is history here Waiting to be discovered behind the next corner.
It ain't much if it ain't Dutch


Even the recycling bins are clean

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