Impressions of Europe - Kristiansand

Impressions of Europe - Kristiansand

Not much to say about this town. The main part of town is laid out in a square grid, with a fort midway along one side facing the water, and small beaches and boat docks along the same edge. There's a beautiful cathedral in town, and it's obviously a tourist spot - some nice little restaurants and shops and cafes that you'd find at any beach or resort town, but far fewer tacky ones due to the small size. You can get a pretty good tan even at the northern latitudes with all of the hours of sunlight in the…

Read More

Impressions of Europe - Oslo

Impressions of Europe - Oslo

Along with Kristiansand, Oslo's surrounding terrain is somewhat gentler than much of the rest of Norway. The country overall heavily shows the signs of being carved out by glaciers, but the extremes in sheer cliff walls, tall hills, and relatively little flatland hold less true here.It is indeed beautiful, in a stark way. And it does call to me.Don't bother with the town hall. You can hardly miss it if you're downtown because it's right on the waterfront, and is a Soviet-style hideous example of government "we are serious" architecture. Ditto the internal artwork, all in glory of…

Read More

Impressions of Europe - Copenhagen, part 2

Impressions of Europe - Copenhagen, part 2

First - prices. A decent hotel - not swanky - about $200/night, with air conditioning. The breakfast though, was excellent. Yes, a buffet, as mentioned, but chock full of soft boiled eggs, yogurt, good bread, fresh fruit, cold cuts, butter, block cheese, and infused water.Incidentally, courtesy of grandparents growing up who were from the Baltics, I was in heaven, especially after I managed to get my hands on smoked salmon and pickled herring. Your mileage likely varies - but even the more normal stuff to american tastes was fresh. That said, while produce at a few of the…

Read More

Impressions of Europe - Copenhagen - pt.1

Impressions of Europe - Copenhagen - pt.1

If you're looking at stats on the worlds happiest cities in terms of pollution, healthcare, etc., including a number of metrics that skew towards massive central control, and at or near the top you'll find Copenhagen, in Denmark. While not all of Denmark is on islands, a lot of it, including Copenhagen itself, is, and the city is within easy view and shot of Sweden, with a bridge connecting the two. The bridge is the one which kicks off a scandinavian series of that name, later redone as a British/French series called "The Tunnel" - which I may discuss…

Read More

Europe and Boundaries

Europe and Boundaries

A second general observation before I get into some more specific stuff, but Europe came across as a bit schizophrenic. Yes, on the one hand, if you read the official news reports and proclomations of government, if you watch how England cowers before rape gangs and vans of peace, how Merkel invites in the world, and how the Swedish government treats those who might be radicalized by noticing the problems that bringing in third worlders hath wrought, you'd think they're all cosmopolitan and could not care less about borders.Yet.One hint is the Petro museum in Stavenger, Norway. Yes,…

Read More

Some Reflections on Europe

Some Reflections on Europe

It's been an interesting few weeks. I'm not going going to take a short bit of time spent overseas as a massive insight, but a) I grew up speaking several foreign languages, b) I've had a number of friends from overseas, and c) spent most of my time there with family and friends who live there - so this also isn't simply "redneck opines on things he doesn't understand" either.This will also turn out to be a bit of a series. Several thoughts off the bat.First, under "what did I notice right away" - and no, not simple…

Read More

Christmas in France

Christmas in France

The iconic image of the terrorist attack in 2016 in Nice, France is the one above of the little girl's dead body, her doll next to her, covered.And yes, it is a terrorist attack.Perhaps those in charge realize that naming these things "truck attacks", or pretending there's not a cultural commonality to a disporportionate number of them, as the tenor of the reporting has changed with the latest incident: Police searched through eastern France on Wednesday for a man suspected of killing at least two people in a gun attack on a Christmas market in Strasbourg and who…

Read More