I'm delighted to see that the Norwegians are at it again.
In the past they've brought us all seven hours of the Oslo to Bergen railway line. And yes, I was compelled to do it.
They've offered up all 134 hours that it takes the Hurtigruten boats to travel from Bergen to Kirkenes. And yes again, I have done that journey too - although I opted to go on one of the older more traditional boats.
If you want to see all the hours - they can be found on the NRK website
They've even offered 12 hours of continuous non-stop knitting action. I can't claim to have done this myself, but over the years I've watched way more than 12 hours of knitting happen.
And now the Norwegians are bringing us, live and uninterrupted, 168 hours of reindeer migration. And lovely viewing it is too - click on the image below to get to the live stream!
I’ve spent quite a lot of time in Denmark over the years - but generally haven’t had the chance to explore very much. This Easter gave us the chance to see rather more of Jutland than we’d seen before.
I’d rather thought of Jutland as the west coast of ‘mainland’ Denmark, in fact it really is pretty much all of mainland Denmark. We were based near Herning, not too far from the North Sea coast in western Jutland, and also got to spend a couple of lovely days in Aarhus which fronts onto Aarhus Bay on the eastern edge of Jutland.
North Sea Coast at Søndervig Strand - complete with souvenir fortifications from the Second World War
|North Sea Coastline|
Downtown Herning - and the lovely Danish Photomuseum
|Photo Museum, Herning|
Mønsted limestone mine - complete with bats and cheese (yes, really a cheese mine)
Trolley Bikes on the old Skjern to Videbaek railway line - Denmark had their equivalent to Dr Beeching who closed down rural railways, although I don’t think trolley bikes put in an appearance in the UK.
|On the Rails|
Aarhus University - the second oldest university in Denmark
Aarhus Waterfront - gradually transitioning from working harbour into upmarket residential
|Århus Waterfront - traditional|
|Århus Waterfront - modern|
|Iceberg - Århus Waterfront|
ARoS - Aarhus Kunstmuseum - lovely big/modern art gallery - with a seriously cool rainbow panorama on the roof
|ARoS Rainbow Panorama|
|ARoS Rainbow Panorama|
Aarhus Old Town Museum - buildings and streets from 1864, 1927 and 1974 - am struggling with 1974 being history, and there will soon be a 2014 street too!
|Work Experience, 1864-version|
|Old Town (and New)|
Another spin on the Shetland weather lottery.
This didn’t (as you might have seen from the previous entry) start too well. Four hours sitting in the gloom at Aberdeen airport wasn’t what I had planned, particularly with the background commentary letting me know just how rubbish the visibility was at Sumburgh Airport.
And given the pessimistic tone of the messages (and the lucky-dip nature of the seat allocations) I was, on reflection, pretty grateful to be wandering on West Voe Beach and on Scat Ness by middle of Friday afternoon without getting too wet.
|Scat Ness in the Friday murk|
|West Voe of Sumburgh|
From there on the weather just got better and better.
It was a little bit murky at Sumburgh Head on Saturday morning. There was a celebratory PARP of the fog horn to mark the start of the visitor centre season. PARP doesn’t really do it justice but it’s the best description I can conjure up - although the low notes do made it feel like the whole Head was vibrating. I’m sure that Flybe/Loganair could make use of the fog horn to guide planes in through the murk. The mid-day fog horn (and the warm welcome from the visitor centre staff) heralded the clearing of the clouds and the arrival of a beautiful Saturday afternoon at the south end of Shetland.
|Sumburgh Head Fog Horn|
|Waiting for the Fog Horn|
|Scat Ness in the Saturday Sunshine|
And on Sunday the weather just kept getting better - my vague hope that my long weekend back on Shetland might be extended by the return of the dodgy weather didn’t pan out.
|Sumburgh Head Lighthouse|
|Shetland Daffodils still in Season|
The only real disappointment of the visit, although there were plenty of daffodils, guillemot, shag and gannets around, was that I was just a few days too early for the return of the puffins or indeed of the orcas which periodically put in an appearance around Shetland.
And just to show how clear the weather was, by Sunday the Fair Isle test ("Can I see Fair Isle from the bedroom window?") had been passed.
|Fair Isle Test: Passed|
The puffins are pretty reliable in their timekeeping for their return to the Shetland cliffs, unlike the orca where lots of the luck is required - they really are part of a whole new Shetland lottery!