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 two

OLAU WASN’T THE only entrepeneur with big plans for the island ghost town of Nyksund, north of the Arctic Circle. As though placed there solely to enrich my plot for a Hollywood blockbuster, a wealthy German businessman had a similar idea for attracting tourists, involving a son and his girlfriend. While the entrepeneurs were constructing […]

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’ […]

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 […]