Wednesday, September 6, 2017

sacramento pagan pride 2017 9/16 & 17

Search for this event on Facebook!

I'll be vending the latest selection from Lithuania and speaking about 'Amber & the Baltic Tradition.'
at PaganiCon 2016 - I'll be at 2018, too.

Here's part of my recent travels from my blog
www.prudenttravels.blogspot.com

Preface: I returned to a week of 100 degree + weather in Antioch. I’m not used to it now having been in the Baltic circle. Last weekend, I stayed with friends in SF and showed off my loot. It was a welcome respite from the heat, but no internet there, and although I’ve written up a lot of the copy for these travelogues, I’m still working on how to share the photos with you. I do think I have the problem solved; we’ll see. I hope to post at least one of these before I take up a friend’s offer to spend the holiday weekend in Humboldt. I’ve never been to the Emerald Triangle. I’ll be gone Thursday - Monday, and we plan to visit Hobbitown on our return. High temp should be no more than 80 while the East Bay is expecting another weekend of 100 + temps. It’s 92 while I’m typing this at 3 pm in Antioch. Leaving for SF Wed. 8/30 around 5 pm.

Monday, August 7th
Our first day to explore, so Daniel signed us all up for a 3-day Oslo pass. For $73 and 72 hours, I could ride any local bus, tram, train, subway, or ferry, and have FREE admissions to most museums. We got our money’s worth!

First, we took the tram to the Ferry where we hopped aboard to visit the Oseberg ship! The sight of this ship is engraved on most Heathens’ minds. Indeed, we make a model of it every year for our Ostara ship offering. It was truly awesome to see it and a lot of its artifacts up close and personal. I learned that it was a burial vessel for two women, aged 50 and 80. Astounding!

Next, we caught a bus to the Open-air Folk Museum. This place was packed with historical buildings from all over Norway. Most had been collected by the King in the 19th century and moved to this site. There were farmhouses, smithies, stables, and more. Once again, we were rewarded with another Norsk icon, the original stave church. We could  actually go in and out of it, touch the wood, and really enjoy the experience.

It was late afternoon by now, so we headed back on the Ferry. Once on the docks, we tried to go to Modern art museum, but it was closed on Mondays.
Instead, Dylan was hungry, so we went to his choice of restaurants on the pier. It was a campy, seafood house.
I’m allergic to shellfish, so I thought I might just have some soup, but the Monday special was a Smoked Cod lunch and was totally delicious. There were two large, unbreaded pieces with a mushroom sauce on the side, and I couldn’t finish it. Kim ordered a ‘bucket of shrimp’ and it actually came in a bucket at least 6” high and at least 6” in diameter. It was a lot of shrimp. Norway is far from cheap, but this place was a real find. My lunch was only about $20; the shrimp about $30. The boys enjoyed their cheeseburgers!

After that, we waddled up the pier towards the tram stop, but detoured at the Nobel peace center. As we left it was drizzling, so we headed home. The family got off at the stop 400 meters below our apartment to go grocery shopping, but even in the light rain, I continued to the stop about 800 meters above our place to walk down.
As I left the tram, I could see that this elevated view was fantastic and when I looked behind me I could see a beautiful park with beckoning statuary, but figured I’d be back Tuesday or Wednesday.

The view of Oslo bay and downtown on the way was spectacular. I was looking forward to seeing it again under better conditions. We ate at home that night and caught up on our devices. Went to bed early for me - around the 10 pm sunset- to rest up for another full day of touristing on Tuesday.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Euro Travels

Just wanted to let all of you know that I’m NOT going to Milan [& Paris & Prague & London] this trip. The filming and location dates have been changed. We are still flying to Norway on 8/5 and will spend 4 nights in Oslo and 1 in Bergen before we fly to Lithuania for Romuva summer camp 8/11-16. After camp we’ll spend two nights at my favorite apartments on “Freedom Alley” in Kaunas, and then one night in Palanga at my favorite hotel, the bellavila.lt. I thought it’s been hot in California, but just saw that it’s in the 40’s [celsius = 104 F.] in Spain, Italy, and France. We’re expecting San Francisco weather in Norway, so that’ll be a relief. Any of my Norsk friends should contact me, and thanks for all the suggestions so far. I'm even learning Norsk!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Lithuanian heroes

Thanks to John Quin for sending this to me:

http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/lithuanian-book-smugglers

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Viking Vacation


My long-time friend, Daniel Spatz and family are taking me to Norway and Lithuania with them as their professional tour guide. I'm even learning 'Norsk' [Norwegian]. The five of us fly out of Oakland on August 5th and arrive in Oslo on the 6th where we’ll spend four days exploring Oslo and Horten. Our accommodations overlook the Opera House and the beach. 

On the 10th we’ll be taking the ‘Norway in a Nutshell Tour’ riding a train across the top of the fjord and dropping 2800 feet down to the sea and taking a boat tour of the fjords on the way to Bergen [just click on the photo to see our apartment after you click on this link: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/18971126?eal_exp=1500873628&eal_sig=3943acaadd2f6d4641c63a45e04c06e3733589e7e42fdce6892677376373e5c0&eal_uid=30816042&eluid=0&euid=3b74fa12-cda4-7bc2-f4b5-0fac1c168f99 ] where we’ll hop on a bus tour of the city.

On Friday the 11th we fly from Bergen to Kaunas, Lithuania, the old capital city and will drive from there through Moletai [the geo center of Europe, two observatories, and the other Jonas’ Perkunas temple and campsite] on our way to Romuva Summer Camp [contact Inija@romuva.lt if you wish to attend or for more information] in our village. I’ll have a full house, and the boys will have a marvelous time with a 100 other 12-25 year-olds. Camp runs from 8/10-16 with Zemyna’s [the Earth Goddess] celebration on 8/15.

On the 16th we’ll head back to Kaunas via Trakai and Kernave, and will be staying in the heart of the city next to the Romuva theater for two nights. On the 18th we head to Palanga on the coast to see the Amber Museum, Raganas Kalnas [Hill of the Witches], and will be staying at one of the most beautiful hotels I’ve ever seen, the Bellavila.lt. It’s less than 100 meters from the Baltic Sea and the rooms are amazing. On the 19th, Daniel and family head back to the States, and I fly on to Milan for the Eurovision Awards and even more European adventures returning to California on 9/24 via London.