Norway Day One. Off To The Land Of Ice And Snow On My Birthday
I wanted to get away for my birthday this year. It will be my 60th year on this planet today. Unbelievable. That is a lot of years. And, like all of you, I’ve had some good ones and some bad ones. But this last year was the worst of my life. I am still having a very hard time dealing with the tragic loss of my sister Linda and her husband Charlie. My life, and the lives of my family, will never be the same.
I decided to spend this milestone birthday alone. So I am off to the far north in search of the midnight sun in northern Norway. I am writing this aboard a SAS A 330 somewhere over New England.This adventure has been on my bucket list since elementary school. Like all my trips it started with a drive to the airport. This time it was a two hour drive to the Newark Liberty Airport.
There was little traffic and I arrived at the airport three hours before my flight 7 p.m. flight. I like to allow extra time in case of unforeseen delays. None today and I was quickly in and out of the long term parking lot,
As I have written on prior trips I love airports. As soon as I walk inside my world changes. I am free. I come to life. And so I did again. I checked my baggage, got my boarding passes and stepped into the long security lines. I have come to accept this inconvenience of modern travel as necessary for our safety.
I was soon in the one of the international terminals where my flight would leave from Gate 65B. I had plenty of time to roam the terminal and engage in one of my favorite airport activities, people watching.
I love seeing the many folks arriving or waiting for their flights. So many races, cultures, languages and religions can be seen. All acting human. On this trip I saw Christian monks, Hindus, and Muslims all more concerned with their travel plans and with no time to hate. We are, all of us humans, so much alike. All mortal, all requiring air to breath, food to eat and water to drink. So much in common. Why can’t we welcome and love each other? Why must we build walls of hate? I just don’t understand it.
Sorry if I get a little reflective, but, then again, that is why I am taking this birthday adventure. I already have realized how beautiful and fragile this planet is as I look at the clouds below. I hope to find and share some more of its beauty on this trip. It is a wonderful planet. We need to work together to protect it.
Well back to the airport, I had some time to walk around and saw this exhibit, which fits right in to my thoughts right now. It was about the trade in endangered animal and plant species. It is so sad to see greed and love of money cause so much damage to our natural world and the animals who inhabit it.
It is now around 11 p.m. and I write this somewhere over Greenland. I had a nice meal of rice and salmon, a glass of wine and tried to get some sleep. I was lucky to be able to move to an empty seat. The extra room was nice but I only dozed off for a few minutes. I just had a second glass of wine and am hoping that helps me get a little sleep. It will be only a little since I am only three hours until I land in Oslo.
Well I will finish this blog post on June 19 back home in Northeastern Pennsylvania. It will be from memory now. I landed in Oslo where I had an hour layover. It only took a few minutes to pass through customs.
It was sunny and very warm in Oslo. Unseasonably warm I learned. They were experiencing record breaking temperatures in the 80’s. It was a nice two hour flight to Tromso and I enjoyed watching the green forests and lakes of Norway as we began our flight north.
I stepped outside to walk to my car and breathed in the fresh cool arctic air. It was partly sunny, and I was soon off to explore Tromso and the Norwegian arctic. And. of course to see the midnight sun. Here is a link to some more photographs from my travel to Tromso. Norway Day One: Travel to Tromso May 31 2018.
“The poet speaks to you about the day, and about this very day that is flying. Is there, then, any doubt that for hapless mortals, that is, for men who are engrossed, the fairest day is ever the first to flee? Old age surprises them while their minds are still childish, and they come to it unprepared and unarmed, for they have made no provision for it; they have stumbled upon it suddenly and unexpectedly, they did not notice that it was drawing nearer day by day. Even as conversation or reading or deep meditation on some subject beguiles the traveller, and he finds that he has reached the end of his journey before he was aware that he was approaching it, just so with this unceasing and most swift journey of life, which we make at the same pace whether waking or sleeping; those who are engrossed become aware of it only at the end.”