The hurricane Isaac is about to hit the US Gulf Coast. New Orleans is preparing for the worst, since tomorrow is the seventh anniversary of hurricane Katrina which devastated the city and caused the death of 1800 people.
Entries in category Travel
I spent the weekend in Oslo. Before arriving, I wondered if I would notice any changes due to the terrorist attack last summer and the ongoing trial. I noticed banners saying “The city remembers” already at the central station, and the site where the bombing took place felt like a silent beacon.
I am currently sitting in a room in Sultanahmet, the old part of Istanbul. The Bosphorus strait is within sight and the air is filled with the competing sounds of hungry seagulls and shouting minarets.
Being a movie buff, I tend to visit movie locations when I travel. As I got back from Marseille, where I followed in the footsteps of French Connection, I thought of putting together a list with some of my favorite visits during the years. Featured movies: Lost in Translation, French Connection, Lord of the Rings, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain, La Dolce Vita, Highlander, Talented Mr Ripley, Interview with the Vampire, The Beach, Rendition, Mission Impossible, Moulin Rouge, Friends with Benefits.
I recently got back from a trip to Berlin. My last time there was a decade ago, where I remember a sky full of construction cranes in the eastern parts. The city has seen some serious improvements since then and some sites had changed beyond recognition.
We often perceive travel destinations from visual impressions gathered from movies, TV and other sources. This can of course give a somewhat different view than the real one. When James Bond arrives to a city, there are always fancy cars and girls in bikini everywhere with no sign of pollution, poverty or rain clouds. As a-ha once sang, “the sun always shine on TV”.
It probably won’t come as a surprise that I enjoy traveling, and one of the best ways to get inspiration for upcoming journeys is to watch entertaining hosts embark on their adventures. Let’s forget about the overly staged amateur ones such as Matt Harding this time and focus on the professionals.
A few days ago I ascended the wide stairs from the garden and turned a corner. Suddenly I stood in front of La Seu, the imposing cathedral of Palma. The morning sun beamed through the large 14th century rose window, one of the world’s largest Gothic church windows, and covered the tall stone pillars in a beautiful rainbow light. Soon after we entered, a Catholic mass commenced and the giant hall was filled with song and organ music.
So I’m back from a weekend in Marseille and more. The town itself reminded me of Gothenburg and San Francisco. All three have a riverfront, lots of hills, an island fortress and a lot of great seafood restaurants. But I remembered the seedy streets from the 1971 movie “French Connection” and wondered how much it had changed in 40 years.
Some cities have a sweet spot where I tend to return. It’s like a magnet and I don’t know why. 12 years ago, I walked alone along the Thames riverfront in London. This was one year before the London Eye wheel was built. I came to the Jubilee Gardens and sat down on a bench.