Only two days ago I was toddling around in my snow covered forrest on my new snow shoes. Today I walked barefeet on a warm lava sand beach.
From one end of the beach to the other. Then back again.
Our annual January week in Tenerife is meant to be medicine for my health. And part of it is moving, moving, moving. Like swimming. Like walking.
On my beach walk I met 7 years old Konstantin from St.Petersburg. He was busy building a sand castle.
And I stopped to shot this photo. Construye un hotel, destruye un paraiso
As a tourist, what can I say? Terje and I love this beach because it is so quiet, so serene. But we come to Tenerife, we stay in a hotel, we are part of the destruction of a paradice.......
At the same time we leave money on the island, making sure we buy local food and local products when possible.
Eating in local restaurants for example. At lunch time today we drove to a small fishing village where there were few other tourists, but a lot of locals. We had heard that there were amazing fish restaurants here, and while driving through the village in search for parcing, we saw that it had to be true. The locals were out, all on their way to the restaurant street.
The first place we tried was full, and had a long waiting list. Our next try was a lucky one though. We got a table and sat down waiting for the menu. A female waiter came over, started to ask us something. "Can you speak English" we asked. She looked at us, head shaking, and went away to find another waiter. He came, in in a combination of Spanish and English he took us over to the fridge counter. "Let me know what you want" he said and poited out the catches of the day.
It is time for our annual winter week on Tenerife, the island with eternal spring. We were up already at 4am this morning, a taxi to the airport, a six hours flight, a bus to Los Alisios, our hotel.......and soon aftewards you could find us near the pool.
An early dinner, well, late according the Norway, very early according to Spain, and as we often do on our first night, we had paella. The waiter was a nice waiter, and when he had served us the paella, he smiled: "A photo of the table" :-)
A nice, very clever waiter. A photographer? Well, I am not so sure about that.
His second attempt was a little bit better though ;-) Or?
Wanderlust. Once bitten by the bug, it is hard to get the poison out of your body. It is more kind of like the outher way round - I feed the wanderlust, the adventurous spirit with three course meals again and again. I read travel books, I let my fingers follow the paths not yet taken on old and new maps, I dream of all the things I have not yet seen, not yet experienced.
Terje turned 60 in January. An excotiv travel was my gift for him.......
....... and now there are two ready packed suitcases waiting impatiently in the hallway.
Both my Mav Book Pro and my travel diary are packed, so hopefully there will be a few travel tales as we go. Priority this time though has my Norwegian blog Blåklokkeveien.
In 1972 I was 14 years old, my brothers were 12, 9 and 2 and my parents were brave! They had bought a caravan the year before and took us on a four weeks roadtrip from Trondheim to Lido de Jesolo, not far from Venezia. The trip has been a family tale for life! I have a lot of vivid memories from the month on the road and in my mind I remember a long list of places we visited. But not every single one of them.
Terje and I took the train from Venezia this morning, up to Lago di Garda, and while we sat at the shore of the lake, waiting for the ferry to take us over to Sirmione, I knew I had seen this place before. I called my mother: "Mom, can you remember if we visited Lago di Garda on our trip? And if we did, do you know where?" "Wait a moment" my mother replied. "I will ask your dad." And he could confirm my memories. We had indeed visited the lake, "the southern part" he said.
Sirmione is situated on the tip of a long peninsula. The main focus is a huge ancient castle. We have been walking around in the town today. We had a swam in the lake.......
.......and we have been watching soccer with the Italians.
First Italy won.
The chefs let pizza dough be pizza dough and came to the kitchen window to cheer :-)
"Look at that old lady. I can´t say she is shy, can I? I was looking over Terje´s shoulder, smiling. "Well, may be not, but have you seen where we are?" Terje replied back to me. It was only then that I looked around and discovered that the beautiful beach we had found was a nudist beach. For seniors!
Well, we kept our swimsuits on and stayed, sunbathing and swimming. And in the end I even loosened the straps of my swimsuit to let my shoulders get some sun. No, I am not stuffy. Not at all :-)
We are ready for our first travel of the year. I plan to blog, but inspired by our dear friends in California, Jane and Lanny, I also plan to write travel letters and send them out by email. I am working on an address list now. If you want to receive my travel tales, please let me know at email@example.com and I will add your address.
I hope to write two editions of the tales, one in Norwegian, one in English.
I have not read much during the holidays, but now I am back to my more normal reading routine. Today I finished The Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Shafak, the fourth book in this new project I am doing, reading one book from every country in the world.
I finished the book on the bus home from work, and the first thing I did after dinner and my regular afternoon nap, was to open my blog Books on the Menu and write about the book. Even before I had finihed, I got an email from my blogging friend in Istanbul, Pinar, where she shared her thoughts about Elif Shafak and her writing. Several emails back and forth between us, and also several messages on the Visiting the World Through Books´facebook page, and I added Pinar´s thoughts to my blog.
The deeper I get into this reading project, the more clearly I see how life changening it is going to be. The more I love it.
The photos today are from when I met Pinar in Istanbul, we had coffee at Pura Palace Hotel, the hotel where travellers on The Orient Express were taken and where Dame Agatha wrote her thrilling Orient Express murder. After we finished our coffee, Pinar read my fortune in the coffee cup.......and she found an angel, do you remember?
"Britt-Arnhild, one day you must come to Chichester. The cathedral here is lovely and from what I can see from your pictures of the Nidaros cathedral, the two churches must look very much alike."
My friend Fran in Sussex has talked several times over the years about the likness of the two cathedrals. And she has sent me photos and postcards.
Finally it was time to travel to Chichester, a small town, or city actually, since it has a cathedral, down near the British Channel.
Seeing the cathedral made my heart sing with joy. It felt like family. It felt like coming home.
The two cathedrals are built in the same period, which is not difficult to say even though I am no historian, as the building of Nidaros cathedral has gone on for a thousand years. In medieval times cathedral builders travelled all over Europe to work on different sites, and I am absolutely sure that stone masons from Chichester have been in Trondheim and vice versa.
The inside of Chichester cathedral was not at all like Nidaros though. I have a tale from the inside for another day, another blog post. Now I want to tell you about an almost 1000 year old church which we found on the main street in Chichester.
The Church of St. Olave.
Here is what the sign outside the church says:
This Saxon church the oldest building in Chichester was built around 1050. It contains evidence of late 11th century work & was partly rebuilt in the late 13th & early 14th century. Being further restored in the 19th century. It is one of several churches dedicated to St. Olave or Olaf. King Olaf Haraldson. Patron saint of Norway. Lived from 995 - 1030 & was canonised in 1164.
It did not only feel like coming home. I was at home!
Home with my dear St. Olav, patron saint not only of Norway, but on Nidaros cathedral. The cathedral built on his grave. St. Olav must have visited Chichester on one of his many travels.
Another world. Another time. We walked over to the black lava beach with our towels. I brought a book, Terje had some suduko to work on. The sun shone down on us, not too warm, but enough to meka my bones believe they were 20 again. A fishing boat came with the day´s catch. The music from the waves was like a symphony. After a few hours we left our beach towels, put on some clothes and walked the few meters up to a little pizzeria.
It is two weeks since we came home from La Gomera, and it is time to start writing the travel tale.
All texts and photos by Britt-Arnhild Wigum Lindland
I am living in a red house surrounded by a blue garden near Trondheim, Norway. I love everydays and post about my steps through life. Britt-Arnhild's House in the Woods is open to everybody. Welcome over!