From Bodø to Røst

THOUGH ADOLF HITLER’S Armed Forces High Command couldn’t possibly have planned to spoil Bjørg’s birthday party on purpose, they might just as well have. The German invasion of Norway on April 9th 1940 certainly put a damper on any thoughts of birthday celebrations, and would serve as a reminder of that fateful day for the rest […]

From Nyksund to Bodø

MY FLIGHT from the ghost town was on. The Lithuanian students would drop Mark and I off, on their way south, next morning. As they’d been far from happy with the paltry wages they’d received from Olau, in return for their long hours of labour, there was a sense of schadenfreude in the arrangement. Even […]

The best hostel in the world – part three

SEASIDE DRIZZLE IS A FEATURE of Britain you get used to from early childhood. No holiday by the sea would be quite complete without it. “Didn’t rain the whole fortnight we were there,” is often said with an air of slight disappointment by many a returning holidaymaker. Being forced to play knockout whist in sopping […]

The best hostel in the world – part one

BEFORE WE START, the one hostel, B&B, pension, whatever you want to call it, in the world, definitely worth avoiding at all costs, is at windswept Ezurum in the far northeast corner of Anatolia. Or used to be. Once you were there, it wasn’t hard to locate. You just asked your helpful bus driver where […]

In the steps of Knut Hamsun – A walk through Oslo

THE OLD boarding house at Number 11 Tomtegaten no longer stands. Neither does the street. Most of the immediate  area was demolished decades ago, leaving no trace of scenes Norwegian writer, and Nobel Prize winner, Knut Hamsun, describes in his semi-autobiographical novel Hunger. Opened in 1882, eight years before the book was published, only the original, yellow […]