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Route for This Year’s Hike

10 July, 2009; 14:56 Leave a comment

This year’s backpacking objective. The blue line is the route, the yellow line is the Norway-Sweden border.

Padjelanta 2009

The route starts and ends on the Norwegian side at Sulitjelma, then takes us in a counter-clockwise loop around Sulitjelmaisen, glacier covering the mountain Suliskongen. Along the way, we walk along the alpine lake of Laomejávrre; southeast into Sweden to the mountain huts at Lairostugan, which border the larger lake of Bieskehávrre; turn north and up into the highlands next to the glacier; then down into the valley of the river Stalojåkkå.

From there, if we have time, maybe we’ll branch away northeast for a round-trip northeast to Staloluokta, at the edge of the huge lake Virihaure, which was our starting point for last year’s hike and where it might be possible to buy some fresh or smoked arctic char from the Sámi people living there. After we return to the valley, we continue southwest back into Norway. We’ll try to make a day trip somewhere along here up to see the even bigger glacier Blåmannsisen (“Ice of the Blue Man”), which is the fifth-largest glacier in mainland Norway. Finally, we continue southwest to Sulitjelma to finish the tour.

We’ve planned 7 1/2 days of hiking, and with travel up there and back by train and bus, I’ll be gone from July 19th to 28th. Up there, there’s no phone service, let alone internet. Time to get away.

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Categories: recreation, travel

Now We’re In Business.

11 January, 2009; 12:00 1 comment

posh-airline-seatsIf you’ve ever flown in a Boeing 777, which is Boeing’s most recent commercial jet airplane in production, you probably remember walking through a section of the plane where instead  of proper rows of seats, there is what looks like an array of empty cubicles for elves. Every other seat faces opposite each other, some toward fore and some toward aft, and there are plastic dividers that wave their way between them. In the eyes of a conventional coach traveler, it just looks bizarre.

Read more…

Categories: travel

Phone Number in the U.S.

9 January, 2009; 20:01 Leave a comment

Speaking of travel: as long as things go according to plan, I can be reached in North America at the following temporary mobile number:

(206) 384-3640

Categories: contact info, travel

2008: The Year of Travel

4 January, 2009; 12:19 7 comments

Happy New Year! On the global stage, 2008-2009 already feels like it will be a period of change, much like the period 2000-2001 was, owing not only to changes in the U.S. presidency but also to events outside of the direct control of the U.S. president.

Aside from those world-changing events, if there is any one thing that most characterized 2008 for me it’s the many short trips I’ve taken to other cities around Europe. Of course, this was one of the draws of moving to Stockholm — I’d be a lot closer to a whole range of places on a continent less familiar than my own. So, inspired by Matthew Yglesias (who was, in turn, inspired by Jason Kottke), here’s a quick run-down of my trips in 2008, with asterisks for places I hadn’t been before (at least, as an adult). It all started, of course, with New Year’s Eve visiting friends in Seattle:

  • Seattle, USA — New Year’s Eve with friends
  • London, UK — Christina’s PhD defense party
  • Munich*, Germany — conference
  • Berlin*, Germany — meeting up with Joshua and visiting Anton
  • Copenhagen, Denmark — meeting up with Max & Kari
  • Florence*, Italy — meeting up witih Christina
  • Birmingham, UK — meeting up with Mom
  • Vienna*, Austria — conference
  • Padjelanta National Park*, Northern Sweden — backpacking
  • Geneva* & Lausanne*, Switzerland — meeting up with Sonja and visiting Frank
  • Amsterdam*, Netherlands — conference and visiting Debbie
  • Rome*, Italy — meeting up with Diana & Fred
  • Umeå*, Northern Sweden — Christmas with Daniel’s family

So, that’s 13 distinct trips (I returned to Stockholm between each of those)! I’m not quite sure how that all happened — it’s not as if I set out to pack in more than one weekender per month. But I will say I took just about every little excuse that came up, to go exploring.

But not to be outdone, 2009 is starting off with a bang: a 3-week trip around two coasts of North America for a variety of reasons, including conference, family, friends, and the Presidential Inauguration. I’ll save writing it all and just copy and paste the list below, where you can see where I’ll be and when — and if you see I’ll be near you, then pop me an email! After this trip, though, I’m hoping things calm down a bit for 2009.

Categories: travel, Uncategorized

Double-Daylight

21 December, 2007; 12:00 Leave a comment

On Friday, December 21st, 2007, I experienced an astronomical phenomenon I had never experienced before: I witnessed a sunrise and a sunset twice in the same day, without crossing the international date line. How could this be, you may ask? Read on… Read more…

Categories: travel

The Route-Master

20 December, 2007; 8:00 Leave a comment

Crack at Tate

Originally uploaded by joelpf

I spent my other full-day in London wandering around Notting Hill’s street market, shopping for a wool coat, and visiting the Tate Modern. You may remember the Tate when it first opened up its installation Test Site, by Carsten Höller, the spiral slides in its main hall, which combined an art installation with a speedy route for, say, getting from the 5th floor to the ground floor…. Read more…

Categories: travel

An Eye on London

19 December, 2007; 12:00 Leave a comment


Nelson and Westminster
Originally uploaded by joelpf

My Holiday World Tour began in London, stopping for a few days to visit Christina, who used to live in Stockholm, and Karin, a traveling buddy from years back. London is an unusual place for me, because I’ve technically been to it several times, and I’ve traveled through it as an adult, but never really visited the city itself as an adult. So even this time, I really felt like a newcomer…. Read more…

Categories: travel