I just got back home from several days in Cognac, and while I've been organizing my tasting notes, editing photographs and clarifying impressions for a series of blog posts, up pops Norway.
I love Norway as I love few other places. Like Scotland (a country that has the added hook of a genetic link in my DNA), Norway is a country that enthralls me with its beauty. You can't work in the cruise industry for any length of time (and I worked in the industry for over a decade) without forming some infectious friendships with those born into Norway's seafaring tradition. Somehow, despite living in Florida's tropical clime for more than two decades, I crave the bracing chill of a northern Autumn and the mist of a Highland Spring. Summer in Norway is as warm as a very cold day in Florida, but I miss it. I've taken some of my favorite photographs deep in the fjords, or skirting about Nordkaap (ostensibly the northernmost part of continental Europe) and further north to Spitsbergen, part of an island group close enough to the Polar Ice Cap that Santa Claus can probably walk there.
I could go on, but my point is simply that I love the sheer beauty of Norway beyond any rational explanation. I visit Norway but I wasn't born there, I haven't lived there; and yet, it feels a part of me. And yes, I do like Norwegian aquavit.
Norway is a country of image and imagination, two threads that came together on my laptop screen yesterday when I saw a post by Morten Rustad. Traveling more than 15,000 kilometers along the length and breadth of his home country, Rustad spent five months and took "tens of thousands of photographs" to make a single time-lapse video that lasts fewer than six minutes. Why? "The aim of this 5-minute short film is to show the variety of Norway," he says. To show "everything from the deep fjords in the Southwestest, to the moon landscape in the North, the Aurora Borealis and the settlements and cities around the country, both in summer and wintertime." He succeeds in an extraordinary way. Only five and a half minutes, what minutes those are. It is a trip through time as well as space, and rather than describe it in a futile attempt to pay tribute to Rustad's vision, here simply is the vision. Nyt (which is Norwegian for "Enjoy")!
There are many still images from Rustad's video on his website, and his online journal chronicling his photographic adventure is fascinating.
I feel a field trip coming on.....