Charlie and the Photography Factory

June 22, 2009

Vidova Gora – Croatia’s “Mt. Everest”

First, apologies for the lack of posts on the blog.  I have been doing some extensive travelling (Krakow, Stockholm, Croatia, Paris, Malmö, and tomorrow Barcelona), and have had very sporadic internet. Thus, preventing any daily uploading.

Speaking of daily upload,  apologies for that too.  In good news, I have developed a serious back-up of wonderful photos to show you in the coming fall semester.  Stay tuned for Auschwitz-Birkenau,  more Croatia,  cathedrals from Krakow, and other gems.

And, now for today’s post, which was pressured for promulgation from my friends and fellow hikers:

Crew View

This is the view from the highest mountain in all of the Adriatic islands: Vidova Gora in Bol, Croatia.  Emil (The Dark Knight, remember?), Rob (Dodge’s cool friend), Dodge (a dear friend from highschool), and I scaled this mountain for a sunset in about two hours.  It was one of the best memories of Croatia specifically for all the things we saw ( we found a cave, a mountain-top bar, annoyed mountain sheep, and endured some night hiking).  I think if Bear Grylls were to hear about this adventure he would even be impressed…

Except for the part on how we reacted when we saw this:

Spider1

But, what can you expect? It’s abdomen was the size of your thumb, and the web large enough to capture humans! Okay, I was lying about the last part.

Spider2

In any case, this sucker made us all turn into little school girls cautiously walking as to prevent another encounter with one of these crawlers.  Imagine going back through these thickets at night again, with knowledge of them around!

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May 8, 2009

Lappland, Samis, and Reindeers Galore!

Final Lappland Hut

By far the most worthwhile and memorable experience in my first semester in Sweden was our Kiruna trip.  We voyaged for somewhere around 16 hours to Northern Sweden (called the Lappland) to a little place called Kiruna.  There I did a multitude of things, saw the Aurora Borealis (twice, second time is funny story too), cross-country skiied, snowmobiled through forests and countryside, dog-sledded, the list goes on.Sami City

But! By far the most rewarding experience was the one night we spent in the boondocks of the Lappland.  In -20ºC weather (it was actually double that the weekend prior for another group of students).  In an authentic Lappland hut the size of your family’s living room. In a Sami‘s reindeer claim.  In the North pole! 

Nothing in my life equates to this way of living. No Ozarka water cooler to get water from. It comes from the Torne river (which was frozen over. God forbid you fall in with the current rushing you under the inescapable icy surface. Great way to go, huh?).  No iHop or BK Lounge.  We gotta cook everything scratch.  What’s that? You’re cold?  Go chop some firewood, and plan to chop enough for tonight.  Need to go the restroom?  Well, haha, we won’t go there. 

Looking back, I think that experience made me a little bit more of a man.  Actually, no. I know it did.  Be it only one day of rough living in a freezing forest, I walk with a prouder stride.  It was times like those that make me envy people like Bear Grylls.  I would do anything to apprentice him for a year.

Lucky you. Today, is a double whammy.  I wanted to give a view into our Sami, Lappland boodock, village, and here it is:

 

Also, you might want to stay tuned this week.  Today, I had to do a presentation about Sweden’s Pirate Bay–in Swedish.  I luckily got it recorded, so you get the chance to see me attempt to speak this crazy language!

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