Norway, Oygardstolen

Lysefjord, Norway – Rock, Water and Amazed Travelers

From this high up, the sea is a silky blue, flat surface. I stand on the edge of the abyss. A soft, frigid wind reminds me that the panorama below is, in fact, dangerously close. But what brings out the adrenaline most is the sound of water crashing down the rockface, with no clearly discernible sound of it ever reaching a destination. Directly underneath me, almost a kilometer away, I see the southern shore of Lysefjord. Across the gray sand, scattered wet rocks await the eventual arrival of yet more chunks belonging to the same cliff I’m standing on. I just hope it doesn’t decide to crack now…

I woke up at 4:30, shortly after sunrise, eager to take full advantage of the sunny start of the day, which came as a good omen after two days of almost non-stop rain. My wife Crina and me were in Valle, a small village where we had decided to pause our exploration of Norway on account of the bad weather. We hit the road at 5:30, with the destination Øygardstølen, a parking, restaurant and tourist information center. From there, our intention was to climb the Kjerag mountain. We wanted to see, and stand upon the famous Kjeragbolten, a 5-cubic-meter boulder wedged in the mountain’s crevasse.

Stockholm - North's Blue Emerald

Stockholm – North’s Blue Emerald

As the birds of steel approach the city from the Baltic Sea, the lucky travelers are treated to one of the most beautiful panoramas this planet has on offer. Thousands of little green islands scatter away from the Scandinavian mainland, emerald dust sinking into blue depths. Stockholm itself is not much different from the archipelago leading up to it, except that there’s more green than blue that surrounds this well-planned, clean and cozy capital.

Sintra - Pena Palace

Sintra – Portugal’s Castlefest

The potent summer sun spent its day doing what Portuguese sun does best. That is, baking castle masonry and tourists alike. There are plenty of both to go around in this beautiful region. Going to Sintra is like visiting the castle museum. A day is barely enough to see a few different architectures originating from various periods of the past millennium. Paths treaded by countless generations before are faithful guides into and through the depths of history.

Kerrera - Scotland's Hidden Gem

Kerrera – Scotland’s Hidden Gem

A dark and foreboding sky hid the sun for most of the day. During the evening, wet clouds came down and embraced the hills, caressing the trees with misty fingers. The only sounds were those of animals and wind. A charming tea garden awaits the weary traveler. Not far away, perched upon a rock, Gylen looks towards the grassy path. It has been waiting there for hundreds of years, hoarding memories of amazed travelers in its thoughtful stone. Welcome to Kerrera.

This serene and moody piece of land has impressed me to such a degree that I decided to start writing about some beautiful places on Earth that I’ve had the luck and honor to visit. So, I hereby invite you to travel together with a writer and his photographer wife to a charming island on the West coast of Scotland.