søndag 1. januar 2017

Back in track.

Back home in august. Day care for Ingrid. School for Edvard. Work for Janna. And three months of running before I was back at work. Cleaning help and food delivery. Football, friends, beer and swimming. Birthdays for us all. My 40th with a great party. Grandma Audreys funeral in London. And now our Christmas brake. A trip back to our year of sailing. Only a flight away our friends on the katamaran Maple are getting ready to cross the Atlantic. From Las Palmas to Barbados. We spent a week with them, again enjoying the sailors life. Meeting people. Re awakening the memories of our year out travelling. And as we turn the calender to 2017 we look forward to this new year of opportunities.

torsdag 4. august 2016

What is the purpose of this trip?

What is the purpose of a trip? To me an increasingly good question. Its not mine though. Its my loved grandma Audrey's. It was the summer of 2001. Janna and I had just met and were on our way to the swedish mountains for a weeks walking and camping. Audrey was visiting my mum in Karlstad and Janna and I met her there on our way north. We explained our plans. Walking, with our back packs, tent and sleeping bags, around 20 k per day for seven days. What could be the point? Mosquitos and food cooked on a simple gas burner. Hardly seeing other people. No tourist sites. Just the mountains and nature. Grandma Audrey did not understand us. And she asked, what is the purpose of this trip?

I have had the question with my ever since. Now as we are taking the last train back to Oslo. Leaving my childhood home in Smedjebacken. The train delayed, kids asleep. I ask myself, what was the purpose of our trip?

I am happy we did it.

Make the most of it while you can.

Love to all!

fredag 29. juli 2016

Vosges canal and Deuche Bahn.

From the hights and bustle of the Alps we were off to meet our danish friends from the motorsailor Munin. We sailed with them from Rhodes to Nissiros earlier this spring. Now we were catching up with them as they were crossing Europe on the french rivers and canals on their way home to Copenhagen. For us and the kids it was good to see the familiar faces of this friendly family.

After two nights tenting at the most ordinary Camping du Chateau we signed on M/S Mumin in the small port of Epinal. Cruising canals is so different from the Med sailing we have been up to. Its green. Trees high, leaning over the sides of the canal. Some times only leaving a narrow strip of blue sky. Less wind, no waves and a bollard or just the bank to tie up to every 100 meters makes for a lower very relaxing pace. We passed plenty of locks. Lowering us three meters at a time. After two nights onboard and some great food we have now started our definate journey towards home. A stop at a traditional Shipfer Børse in Hamburg and a fine hotel ensured that our last memories of continental Europe not just consisted of long train rides and running through stations with too much bagage. The train ride continues. We are heading for Scandinavia and family. It will be like coming home.

Love to all!

søndag 24. juli 2016

Les Alpes and Le Tour.

From the blue sea of the Med we blasted north on the TGV. After a short stop in Lyon where we transformed into campers and hired a car we headed towards the mountains. Next stop Chamonix. But not without coincidence the road ahead was closed. We had come a cross Le Tour in a small country side village at the foot of the climb to Col de Grand Columbiere. To me it was heaven sitting in the shade of a tree seeing how the town and tour circus gradually came together. Before the cyclists there is the caravan. A parade of vehicles with commercials and music with dansing hollering people who at the same time toss give aways to the crowds along the road. Its a show! The atmosphere and anticipation of the riders pumps through the crowd. And then there is waiting. But who minds waiting when there is icecream and hot dogs! Close to a hundred motorcyles and cars pass. And then the brake away group. A few minutes later the Sky train with Froome in yellow steam by. We see Edvald! Our favorite norwegian rider. And then Cavendish right at the end with one team mate in front of him to help him up the climb. Then its over.

As I write this the train of the day pulls out of Dijon. Destination Epinal.

The riders have passed and every one packs up. An hour later there are few signs of the happening. For us a drive to Chamonix and a weeks camp life waited.

After many impressive walks and views all around Mount Blanc we, or maybe I, wanted more of Le Tour. St. Gervais and the mountain top finnish on Le Bettex was only a short drive away. The crowds were bigger and the atmosphere crazy! The gray dirty faces of tired cyclists passed. Knees and elbows bloody all over. Froome battleing his way up. Shirt torn. But still in yellow. It was a big day for all of us as we made the 10 k walk down the mountain the cyclists just had been up.

mandag 18. juli 2016

Nice two days after.

On the 14th of July there was a terrible attack on civilians in Nice. We were safe in our hotel in San Remo, Italy. I quickly put away my telephone when I read about it. Too horrifying to take in what had happened. Still one reads more as the day passes. Realising that many, many people have been killed. Many of them children. I guess I read to try to understand. But at the same time not wanting to read to aviod frightful thoughts and fear from penetrating into our dreamlike existence. Through our trip we have had plenty of opportunity to reflect over our fortunate lives. Now again.

On the 16th we were heading to Lyon with the change of trains in Nice. The security situation is still tense with soldiers patroling the streets and train stations.

Coming to Oslo after beeing in Stockholm on the 22nd of July 2011 had an atmosphere similar to Nice. Incomprehension and every day life side by side. Like I headed into Oslo after the bomb and Utøya I now made the walk down to the Promenade des Anglais. To try to understand a little. The sea was blue. The sky was blue. People were swimming again. Normality slowly working itself back. But at the same time everything felt distant.

I walked back to the station. The train was leaving. Seeing Edvard by our bags just eating his Saturday sweets made me hurt. I kissed his head.

torsdag 14. juli 2016

On the road again!

We are on the move again. Right now on a train through Italy. From Ancona to San Remo. With interrail tickets in our pockets.

We left Crete about a week ago. It was good seeing the owners and handing over the boat. We spent a day on the beach together. We imagine every swim as our last of this summer. But we still have some time by the Med before we venture in to mainland Europe. From Crete we headed up to Santorini on a high speed catamaran and as regular travellers enjoyed som very relaxing days. As most people visiting the Island we enjoyed the sunset with a drink. Not a bad way of starting our new adventure. With an early morning start we took the Blue Star ferry to Pireaus and more or less directly caught a bus to Patras and the West coast. Trains were on strike. The same evening we departed Greece on a big ferry enroute to Italy. Our last passage in the Med took us to Ancona in 20 hours. A pizza and a nights sleep at a hotel later and here we are on our way to northern Italy where we hopefully will meet my friend Asle. Looking forward to that!

Take care!

mandag 4. juli 2016

Last port of call.

We have arrived. We have made it to Chania. Almost a year onboard. Three continents. Five countries. Numerous Islands, anchourages and nautical miles have passed. All with our little crew of four. I am proud. Of what this year has become. Of Janna. Edvard and Ingrid. Of the great people who lent us the boat. And how we managed borrowing it. Taking care of it and letting her sail and see new places. Inviting new friends onboard for a chat or a beer. On friday they return to their boat. Hopefully happy and ready for new adventures with La Familia. It has been a year packed with experiences and memories. From the head winds of the Gulf of Suez and all the adventures there including some nerve racking ones with threatful fisherman and hollering strangers ashore. To the tensions of Israel with the wall, checkpoints and the rocket attack. And further to the normality of Cyprus with its 1974 division. And then onto Turkey and Greece with the refugees. And now this spring and summer with turquise waters and swimming. Like a yougurt and honey desert. But it is not all the events that stand out. It is the people. The meetings. The friendly people of all the places we have stopped by on our year. A year in which we have had so much time. An eternity. Just now it feels like it passed too fast.

Now we are back in busy civilisation with thousands of people walking past the boat. Bakeries. Shops. Busses and ferries. Bars with music. I think I can like this life too. People on holiday. Some stop by. Edvard eegerly incouraging anyone contemplating to. They talk to us about sailing. Many have their own fond memories of sailing and living onboard. Now we have ours.

Last days of sailing facts: We made it out of the harbour of Kapsali in Kythira. Sailed to a slab of rock in the sea called Anti Kythira with around 40 inhabitants and a half open anchourage with a swell making its way in. Moored with a return line a shore. Tribute to the canadians for teaching us this easy get away method. From the rocks of Anti Kythira to the sandy lagoon of Gramvosa it was only 25 miles. But with little wind the Volvo Penta had to do much of the work. This bay almost had it all. From clear waters, high mountains and reefs to a pirate castle on a hill topp and even a ship wreck.

Our last stern mooring here in Chania was no easy one. We had hoped the layed moorings might releave us from the effort of using the anchour. But no. It turned out we could perform one last time to the audience of sailors and bystanders. In short. No layed moorings available so out goes the anchour. To far out though and we don't make it all the way in to the quay. So we haul it up. But the chain snags onto a rock. A friendly greek dives in the murky water and frees the chain. We winch up and set it again. Finally moored for the last time. At least for this time around!

Love to all! Sailor or not.