I spent five weeks in Europe in 2017, two in Norway, two in Spain and one in Iceland; it was the longest trip of my life, exceeding even the four weeks I spent in Korea in June and July 2015; these are some of my photos of the trip and some of my thoughts about what I saw there…
Monday, June 19
Flight from JFK to Stockholm Arlanda.
Tuesday, June 20
Flight from Stockholm Arlanda to Oslo; arrival at Gardermoen airport; train into Oslo. Dinner at an Asian fusion restaurant Monsun in Grünerløkka.
Wednesday, June 21
Waking up in the grendehus of an apartment building in Grünerløkka.
Trikk Trakk tram to Oslo City mall. Back to the Grünerløkka.
Oslo: in front of Sentralstasjon
Thursday, June 22
Royal Palace. Henrik Ibsen Museum. Trikk Trakk tram to Apothek restaurant for dinner.
Friday, June 23
Saturday, June 24
Akershus Castle. Norsk Hjemmefront Museum. “Transgender Rights in the Age of Trump” at Oslo Pride House at El Dorado Bookstore. Dinner at Politiker’n with PION friends.
Sunday, June 25
Ferry to Bygdøy peninsula, Norse Folke Museet (Norwegian Folk Museum), Viking Ship Museum, LGBT exhibition at Oslo Rådhuset, Oslo Pride House
Oseberg ship in the Viking Ship Museum on on Bygdøy peninsula
Arnhild Haagensen, “Himmelbåten,” akrylmaling, glassperler og gullpulver på linlerret (acrylic paint, glass beads & gold-plated powder), in the exhibition of LGBT/queer art “Blitt sånn, født sånn: Rådhusgalleriet Skeive Kunstnere” at the Rådhusgalleriet (City Hall gallery, Oslo)
Monday, June 26
Reisehus: booked flight on SAS to Barcelona. Gardermoen: slept over at the airport.
Tuesday, June 27
Gardermoen: flight to Barcelona.
Apple store in the Plaza de Catalunya;
La Rambla; Teatro Liceu; train to Madrid; taxi to Calle Padilla; black ink squid paella for dinner.
Wednesday, June 28
Lavapies; Racializados contingent in Orgullo Crítico; Metropolis building.
Thursday, June 29
Saturday, July 1
Madrid: Lavapiés; World Pride; dinner at Il Piccolo Diavolo.
I passed by the Catedral de Nuestra Señora Santa María la Real de la Almudena at sunset.
Plaza Mayor was built (1580-1619) during the reign of Philip III; I passed through Madrid’s elegant central square at night four years ago today & it looked strangely mysterious…
Sunday, July 2
El Rastro flea market & El Escorial.
Atocha: Renfe train to Málaga; Hotel Ibis Budget.
Spain: a note on history…
To understand Andalucia, one must understand the ‘Reconquista,’ the Christian ‘reconquest’ of Spain from the Muslim Arabs and Berbers who defeated the Visigoths to conquer the peninsula centuries earlier. Ferdinand of Aragon Isabella of Castille (‘los Reyes Católicos) completed a very long process of pushing the Arab Muslim rulers of ‘al-Andalus, ultimately defeating the last Emir of Granada and seizing the last part of Spain still beyond the reach of the Roman Catholic monarchs who created the Spain we know today. The Reconquista was a disaster for the Muslims and Jews of Spain, who were subjected to forced conversion and eventual expulsion, as well as for the indigenous peoples of Latin America, subjected to genocide as the result of the Spanish conquest of Meso-America and much of the South American continent. The south of Spain is known Andalusia, which in Spanish is spelled ‘Andalucía’ and derives from the Arabic word ‘al-Andalus’ (الأندلس); the etymology of the term is controversial, though the conventional explanation is that ‘al-Andalus’ is an Arabic word for the land of the ‘Vandals,’ among the Germanic tribes that conquered Spain after the fall of the western Roman empire.
Wednesday, July 5
Seville: gardens of the Parque de María Luisa; university; Alcázar.
Friday, July 7
On my third full day in Andalucía, I took the train from Málaga to Córdoba, the first capital of Arab Muslim al-Andalus and the home to the Gran Mezquita, the largest and most important mosque in Spain.
Nowhere in the gran mezquita of Córdoba than in this series of arches is the imposition of Roman Catholic Spanish style on the Arab Muslim style of the mosque more apparent than with this tympanum and arch decorated with sculptures of Christian saints carved into one of the great arches of the mezquita, a metaphor for the history of Spain…
Córdoba was the home to a thriving Jewish community before Ferdinand & Isabella expelled the Jews from Spain after the Reconquista; this is Calle Judios (Street of the Jews) in the old Jewish quarter of the city
Saturday, July 8
Granada: the Alhambra.
Lunch; train from Oslo to Bergen; taxi to City Apartments.
Wednesday, July 12
Bergen: tour bus to Troldhaugen, tour of Edvard Grieg’s house
Saturday, July 15
Bus to Nordheim; Norled cruise on Hardangerfjord; Vøringsfossen; bus back to Bergen.
Vikinggard (Viking farm)
Tuesday, July 18
Haugesund Folkebibliothek (municipal library)
Stavanger Gladmatfestivalen (food festival): festival stage
Friday, July 21
Checked out of Scandic Forum; bus to sentrum; Kirkebakken 16(a); Gamle Stavanger; bus to Bergen via Haugesund & ferry; checked into the Zander K hotel.
Tuesday, July 25
Bus to Árbaer;
bus from Árbaer back into sentrum; Rådhus; post office.