Monday, October 6, 2014

A month in Northern Europe

Aaah! I haven't written anything for some time, but I have good reasons for that.  Apparently the company created a new working system, with new shifts and positions, which need more people on the job, people that they couldn't find very fast. So we had to do extra-hours, which means that for the last month and a half I had to work at least 11 hours per day (sometimes even 12 or 13), every day, without any day off. There are no days off on ships. Although it seems like a nightmare (many times it was a nightmare), it has a good part too: more hours mean more money as well. 

So here are some cities that I managed to visit more:

A walk in Oslo, Norway is like taking part to a carnival, as buildings and people alike share the same taste for bright colors. Purple and orange building facades, lime-green coats and blonde hair bombard your vision from all directions. The atmosphere is very peaceful and tolerant, as if all of our problems would melt away as we take a deep breathe, smell the roses and let a ray of sunshine rest on our cheeks. A true celebration of the northern (socialist?) European spirit.

Hamburg, Germany, has a very industrial 19th Century feeling attached to it. Everywhere there are red brick buildings, the pattern being interrupted only by a network of Gothic cathedrals and churches. The funny thing is that under this blue collar atmosphere you can find a very vibrant and cosmopolitan city life: most of the old factories are now theaters, museums, hotels, bars and restaurants. In fact, the whole city looks like a museum. The red brick, dark-Gothic facade, although beautifully preserved and restored, has nothing to do with the colourful and lively city behind it. 


Gerenger, hidden in Norway's fjords, one of the most spectacular sceneries I have ever seen. I don't know how much a photo camera can capture from it, but it is truly breathtaking. It just looks as taken from fairy tales. I will put this one in the category: "I wouldn't believe it is true if I hadn't seen it for myself." 

Tallin, Estonia. A short walk in the old, fortified city - center.

Alesund, just another Norwegian city… built on a cliff. 

Torshavn (Thor's Harbour), the capital of The Faeroe Islands. 


Lerwick, the major city in Britain's Shetland Islands is a meeting point between Scandinavia and the rest of the European continent. The streets for instance are named after Nordic Gods. 


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