Life on a small Arctic Island – part two

ROUSING FROM HAVING snatched a short nap, I switched on the box to watch a bit of Norwegian TV. An experience that can only be fully appreciated if you don’t understand the language. As I speak more than a smattering it only served to nudge me back into the state of semi-consciousness I’d just struggled out of. You […]

The Morning after the Morning Before

THE MORNING AFTER the morning before, when all feelings of fear and self-loathing had virtually dissipated into the thinness of the Arctic air, I felt almost alive again. Just a few dusty cobwebs of half-remembered doubt lingered at the frayed edges of my mind. Nothing a couple of beers couldn’t fix. But that wasn’t the […]

Murder in a Ghost Town – part one

TWO TRAVELLERS with rucksacks wait outside a small hotel in Myre, a nonedescript town on the northern edge of Langøya in Vesterålen. Just up from Lofoten, and beyond the Arctic Circle, it gives the impression people only go there on their way to somewhere else. The midsummer sun has barely managed to heat the stiff afternoon breeze […]

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 two

A ROUNDED MAN in a lived-in sweater, and permanently in need of a shave, Roar has lived on the Lofotens all his life. Like most islanders, he is a man of the sea. Though you wouldn’t think it to look at him, he runs, what was once described as ‘the best hostel in the world’ […]