From Trondheim, Norway on the coast to Funasdalen, Sweden and around the Funasdalen area—the route my Swedish ancestors probably took to leave for the U.S. The route I took Sunday to meet the ones that stayed. Cousin photos will be in the next post.  PLACES: This Nordic trip was planned for new adventures to dominate August and unrushed time with familiar Norwegian family and places to fill the September weeks.  The August… Read More

Just a few more photos before reluctantly departing Svalbard…with thoughts of a December/January return, an overnight dog sled trip, a visit to the Russian town for borscht, and northern lights. Dreaming… We took a jaunt out to Basecamp’s cabin, climbed a little mountain…and Mette said I was very agile…(see Scott, I’m just like an ageing mountain goat) The two humans and three dogs that stay at the cabin came back to the… Read More

Chapter One of Marjorie’s Marvelous Meanderings is drawing to a close. It’s a rainy morning in Longyearbyen, 7am, and I’ve been sleeping soundly with heavy curtains drawn. I don’t like to do that (FOMO…right Lace?), but sometimes you just have to miss a ray or two of that midnight light…and get some sleep. I have loved every minute of this Arctic time. There’s still a photo album or two to go of… Read More

To see polar bears in the wild…that is a worthy goal. We were out in the zodiac, nosing along the shore, squinting and gazing and scanning and hoping. I told Mette it was perfectly fine if I did not see a bear…it’s difficult for me to focus binoculars so I maintained my state of denial just in case. Then. There. They.  Were. Right there in good solid eyesight range, no need for… Read More

It was a glacier day. I’ve had glacial ice in my Bailey’s in Alaska and Greenland and walked on an Icelandic glacier. This day was special though because we took our time puttering and floating at the glacier’s edge, listening for cracks, admiring the artistry of the small icebergs that dot the bay, and thinking our own private thoughts about the fragility of our earth. We sat completely silent, seven of us,… Read More

The evening was one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences. All of the beaches around the fiords (nearly) empty of detritus. Just us seven humans, sailboat in the distance, bleached bones and rocks scattered about, and the walruses. Grunts and snorts seem to surround us, midnight sun gilds a watery path out to our three-masted schooner…it could have been a couple of centuries ago. Back in Longyearbyen now. Perfect week…perfect…you’ll see what I mean… Read More

August 17th now. Back on land. I’ll take you post by post through a few remarkable days. First however another glimpse of that amazing midnight sun…at midnight.  ON BOARD THE GOOD SHIP LINDEN: TUESDAY, AUGUST 13TH. On board the Linden…out of Longyearbyen. Forty-six degrees, feels much colder to this New Mexico-habituated body. We’re sailing (well, actually there’s no wind, so technically we’re…what? Chugging?) now to our berth for the night which is… Read More

What is a person called who’s happiest when it’s cold and dark and wet outside and warm and cozy inside? A Northerner? An Icicle-Lover? The Abominable Snow-Shrew? Whatever the name, that person is who I am. You see why keeping up my spirits in a hot dry oh-so-sunny climate, where every building interior is maximally refrigerated,is something of a challenge. It is 12:40am here at the Gardermoen Bed and Breakfast. Two hours… Read More

Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway. Here’s a first look at that midnight sun phenomena. From my camera/phone to your eye. SAS to Tromso, then Longyearbyen, Svalbard. I am excited…back to the Arctic. We land in the chilly overcast afternoon and head through town to Basecamp, my hosts for the next week, in a cabin and on a ship. An exceptionally nice meal and the first of all the gorgeous sled dog photos to come…. Read More

I’m traveling on a different kind of quest this summer. To Norway to find…me? India and Greenland were physical challenges. Russia and South Africa literary, historical, and artistic adventures. Vietnam last year and Norway this year feel more like major life searches. In the case of Vietnam to see with my own eyes (and to offer mostly unspoken apologies) a place we Americans nearly destroyed in the name of false pride. In… Read More