Snøhetta

Snøhetta(snow hood 🙂 ) is one of Norway’s highest peeks with it’s 2264meters.It takes about three hours to climb up and about two hours to come down.

Weather in Norway is always changing, therefore one must be prepared for all kind of weather. Today we had sun, snow, rain and temperature around +2 to -2 Celsius. After we concurred the peek, we celebrated with a snow ball fight…

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Tongba and dried yak meat – At the bar in Landruk – Nepal

If you want to taste the local beer tongba, you must make sure to walk with a guide willing to introduce you to very local costumes. We did, and our guide took us to a well-hidden bar in Landruk.
Landruk is a small village in the valley Kimch. We arrived early in the morning after having climbed the 400 meters height from the bottom of the valley.
The bar in question, bears little resemblance to bars like we’re used to. It is simply the holder’s kitchen, attracting porters in transit to refresh their throats.

The beer is made literally while you sit there! You take malt in a metal cup, mix it with hot water and drink with a straw, tastes like cider and some other stuff. Dried yak meat take the drink to a higher level… unforgettable!

No dolor, no gloria – Camino de Santiago

No pain, no glory, I read on a t-shirt in Burgos, picturing two feet with lots of blisters and chafing. And when we arrived at the square in front of the Cathedral of Santiago, we saw many who had made sure they had their honor intact. Thousands wander the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela each year and even though you do not get blisters or other physical pain, It can be quit a struggle. The landscape sure is beautiful but it is capricious. Cold air blows almost nine months a year and the heat of the plains can be unbearable, but this is a part of experiencing the glory.

If you have walked the whole way from Le Puy (France), I can understand the feeling of victory but also sadness when you arrive and see the beautiful cathedral.
Your long journey is over, and if you didn’t get to feel the pain you will have no glory, and then your long walk is in vain. Still you have met some new friends, and after all Santiago in the stardust, is really something to strive for.

In our journey toward salvation, we have not experienced pain in any way. We realize, therefore, that our salvation lies in all the good food and drink we have been served on our way to Santiago. And with all the restaurants and bars in the streets around the cathedral, I can not conclude otherwise than that Santiago has to be experienced as heaven even though you are not a pilgrim.

“Bus is a better choice”…

…said the receptionist, then it all went wrong!

Initially, we had decided to take the train from Bilbao to Bermeo, but the young boy in the hotel reception recommended the bus, Because it was easier to just take the subway to the bus terminal, than walk to the train station. And that is where it all started to go wrong. As we had limited time, we had to go strait down… Though it is more or less only two metro lines in Bilbao, it should be easy to get on the right line. But we were able to get on the train that went in the opposite direction of our destination. I took us, of course, three stops before we noticed. The lines run quit often, so it didn’t take us to long to change train. In total we had only lost ten minutes, but those ten minutes we needed to find the bus, buy the tickets, now they were lost….

Eventually we arrived at the bus terminal, but found no bus to Bermeo. Short of time we run around in the terminal, checking all the schedules. The queues to the ticket counters was long, very long. Finally we got hold of one policeman, he could confirm that the bus we were looking for, departed from a different bus stop. (This bus stop was actually just minutes form our hotel) We attacted a taxi driver, and asked him to step on it. The driver, on the other hand, responded to drive slowly, one could almost walk faster… He had not a single hint of South European attitude in terms of driving. We arrived at the roundabout, where our bus to Bermeo had it’s stop, three minuttes before departure. Unfortunately, our bus was not the only one, there were at least 7 buses! We ranfrom bus to bus shouting out ” Bermeo”

Breathless and relieved, we went on board just a minute before departure. But we had only a 50-euro banknote, and the driver did not have change. We had lost, after all this we had been through, we had to get off the bus because the driver could not give us change! With drooping heads and disappointed we went off the bus. But , an angel of a young mobile talking lady, in the first row, asked the driver to charge her bus card with three extra tickets. She made our day, but still we did not have money to pay her back, and she was getting off before Bermeo. But the other passenger started to raise money for us, one cent here and another there. Finally we are able to pay our 3€ depth, but the lady savor did not want our money, so we ended up with not paying for the bus, and in fact earning in stead of spending…

We arrived in Bermeo and cwalked all the stairs up to the Eremita monastery of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe – and had a great day, but all thanks to the lovely lady and the other passengers on the bus from Bilbao to Bermeo!

Dhammayangyi Temple – Bagan

The biggest temple of all the temples in Bagan, was abandoned when King Narathu,whom got it erected, was assassinated.
The story behind this lunatic king is that he killed his father and his brother, so that he could step up on the throne.  Later he also killed his wife, and I have reasons to believe that it was her father that got Narathu killed eventually.
Most temples, as you may see, has the shape of a leaf, but the Dhamma Yangui is shaped like a pyramid. Some locals believes it is haunted, and it hangs a certain kind of mystique around the temple.
If you do not find the Dhamma Yangyi temple interesting, there are several more to choose from. Bagan is in fact an entire forest of stupas, temples and pagodas, and they are a beautiful sight as they reminds us of ancient times with all their mystique and tranquility.

The farmers in Bagan operates their agriculture between the stupas, as they have done since ancient times. Our guide took us on a tour of the village and we got to meet the farmers and learn about their hard, but also quiet farmer’s life. The cows that came in from the pasture was the signal for us to go and take pictures of the  beautiful sunset over Bagan.

Bagan is one of the most beautiful places in the world. Should you be in the area, do pay a visit, you will not regret it.

Flight announcments at Yangoon domestic airport

At the domestic airport in Yangon, the flight announcment is done the good old way. Traffic staff just walk around in the departure hall and announces the flights “manually”. They simply calls out your flight number and hold up a board. All departures are using the same gate and they even take off at the same time, creating a small caos at this small airport.

All the flights start early in the morning from Yangoon, and they fly a particular route, either to Heho, Bagan and Mandalay or vice versa.
One must not be surprised if they change the routing and fly over your destination, or they add an extra stop, without further notice.
Before arriving in Myanmar, we were warned about the safety of the airlines and in particularly airlines run by the military regime. But even though we were somewhat hesitant when we saw the airline’s slogan Safefy (?),Reliability and Comfort, but it appears that Air Mandalay kept their promise and had full control of the passenger’s safety .

A bottle of Sprite – blessed by the chanting monk?

Holy water is important in many religions, including Buddhism. Every day, water is made sacred through the monks’ prayer and reading from the Holy Scriptures.What I found unusual was the blessing of Sprite!? But by all means if the heavilysugary drink becomes more healthy, I am for the blessing of all drinks ….:-)