Oslo, Norway

It was a beautiful August day in Oslo.  We were back after Hans and I spent two weeks hiking in the highlands where a highlight was walking past birch trees less than an inch tall to reach the toe of a glacier near Finse.  We were then fit and ready for two full days in the city.

In the morning we went to Frogner Park.  Amazingly popular, no trip to Oslo can be complete without a visit here, like it or hate it.  I was mesmerized.  There are hundreds of stories in the stone and brass sculptures all made by one man, Gustav Vigeland. 

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Scotland in spring was amazing. The expansive sunny views all the way to the horizon were
remarkable. I bring droughts wherever I go so this was pretty good for Scotland. This is the way it
was for four days except for one downpour, and we made the most of it!

Destination: Fife, my mother’s home county, a Kingdom of yore, and Broughty Ferry where my
cousin lives. From the airport we went straight to our base in Broughty Ferry and daytripped to
Anstruther, Crail, and St. Andrews.

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Exploring Europe by Car

If you plan to explore Europe this summer by car, you need to prep your car for all the countries you will be travelling through. This may include safety equipment, car repair supplies and breakdown cover.

Before you plan to leave the country you need to check your car insurance covers you when driving in other countries. You may also wish to take out European breakdown cover (pechhulp) and purchase a road map that covers the areas you will be traveling through.

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It was in the afternoon after a long hot day in Pompeii that Hans and I stepped off the train to visit Herculaneum, another city destroyed during the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD.

We saw how the present town of Herculaneum is built on top of old Herculaneum.  Excavation of the buried city ends abruptly at this point.  The site was discovered in 1709 while large-scale excavation was undertaken in the 1920’s.  Unfortunately, the site wasn’t maintained and had to be closed for safety reasons.  In 2001, a restoration project began, making it possible to re-open.  Herculaneum now has a visitors’ centre and an entrance from which you can see a good overview of the city’s layout.

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Once There Were Mountains

Growing up on the Canadian Shield, my teachers would say we were living on the oldest rocks on the planet. Our glacier scarred hills were once mountains. To the west lay an ancient sea and to the north and east lay a great rift filled by Lake Superior and Lake Nipigon where great lava flows cap a jagged northshore landscape. Beyond this stand great rolling hills that were once in the massive magma chamber of an ancient volcano and are now captured for the world to see in paintings by the Group of Seven.

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Finland – Land of the Midnight Sun

The primary reason to visit Finland was to renew family ties. I do not speak Finnish but, since my last visit in 1972, the younger generation grew up with more English than the generation before. We could communicate and it was wonderful! We met in a group, shook the family skeletons, solved mysteries, and shared stories while reviewing the family tree dating back to 1726. We found new mysteries too.

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