Lofoten Islands, a beautiful island in the Arctic Circle

In midsummer, July, two years later, I visit Norway again. The beautiful fjords, the lofty mountains, the winding coastal roads, the peculiar midnight sun, the cold and sombre Norwegian forest, the fresh and delicious salmon…all make people fall in love with the icy and beautiful northern European country.

Lofoten Islands carved from ancient glaciers is connected by roads and bridges. The elongated peninsula extends from the European continent to the Norwegian Sea in the North Atlantic, all islands are in the Arctic Circle. The polar scenery and fjord landforms is perfect encounter. The precipitous and beautiful mountain and sea scenery is a paradise for photographers and the darling of countless travel magazines and postcards.

The first day: Tromso

The starting point of this trip is Tromso, the most important port city in northern Norway, ranking seventh among the major cities in the country and the largest city in the Arctic Circle. The entire city built on an island has a population of only 60,000, but it is already the most populous and most prosperous place in Northern Norway.

Because there are so many restaurants, bars, cafes and nightclubs here, and the life is colorful, it was called “Paris of the North” by a French traveler as early as 1900. Located at 69 degrees north latitude, Tromso is known as the “Gate-way to the Arctic”, for five months of the year, the temperature is below zero, and the temperature here is much colder than Paris. Tromso was once a stop for Arctic expeditions, and the statue of the great Norwegian polar explorer Roald Amundsen who was the first to fly over the Arctic still stands above the harbor of Tromso. We stand in the distance and look out over this small city, the colorful buildings dotted between the mountains and the sea, displaying a strong Nordic city style.

The fleeting summer, the luxury and scarce sunshine, the Norwegian summer colorful life, although short, but amazing, I meet a cool, beautiful and icy, vibrant Norwegian summer in Tromso…

From here, we drive towards the westernmost the town of A in Lofoten Islands, E10 is the only major road that runs north to south on Lofoten islands and ends at the town of A, the whole journey is about 550 kilometers, the distance is not far, the road conditions is good, and the scenery along the way is beautiful and there are few vehicles. It is undoubtedly a perfect experience of self-driving trip.

The next day: Tromso-Evenes

It’s a three-hour drive to reach the small village Evenes the next day, here is an important gateway connecting Norwegian mainland and Lofoten Islands. There is a small airport. Therefore, this village of about 3,000 people has become a foothold for most tourists.

Along the way we pass Ofotfjord, although it is not as famous as the three major fjords in the south, but the scenery is no less beautiful, this fjord is little-known, and tourists are scarce, it is like the last piece of pure land on the planet.

The land here is fertile, agriculture and animal husbandry are developed, most of the houses are surrounded by private farms or pastures, people lead an enviable pastoral life. The horse on the pasture is eating the fresh and tender grass lightheartedly, a quiet secluded life scene appears in front of us, let people’s mood instantly become unusually quiet. The yellow house behind us is the sojourn where we stay for one night.

The third day: Evenes-Svolvær

On the third day, we set off from Evenes and drive west along the E10 road to another important town Svolvaer in Lofoten Islands. The whole journey is 120km and takes about 2 hours.

Along the way, the unlimited scenery. The charm of Lofoten Islands is that even in some unknown corners, the scenery is so wonderful, too. Passing through the small town Erikstad, we see the beautiful scenery along the way, I swerve into a fork in the road at will, unexpectedly, I drive into a private farm, the farmer and his wife not only are not angry, but enthusiastically introduce me to the situation here and the scenery change of four seasons.

The scattered islands that is dotted with several log cabins, the rocks after the tide reveal the dark yellow seaweed, mountains far away and the nearest vegetations and wildflowers reflect in the water … The summer landscape can be seen everywhere in northern Norway.

Svolvær where we stay that night is an ancient fishing village and is located on the southern shore of Austvagoy Island, Austvagoy Island is the largest island in Lofoten Islands. Backed by towering and steep mountains, Austvagoy Island faces the gloomy and mysterious Norwegian Sea. The small town is not too big, but it has the most modern convenience facilities and colorful life on the island. The beautiful mountain and sea landscape and the wealthy life is like a secret paradise on earth.

Because of the warm current in the surrounding seas, tens of millions of salmon and cod gather here every spring, so fishing has been the pillar industry here since hundreds of years ago. To this day, most of the villagers still live by fishing.

At sunset, local young people drive their own yachts out to sea and chase the midnight sun, this is so enviable.

The small town is also the stopping point for tourists to Lofoten Islands. There are a few hotels and homestays in the town, the price is relatively expensive.

In addition, there is also a steep mountain peak(Svolværgeita) in Svolvær, Svolværgeita has become a reason for many European and American mountaineers come to here, they all want to conquer this weird-looking mountain, but due to the steepness of the mountain and the high difficulty of climbing, only with the help of local mountain guides and professional climbing equipment, they can climb constantly to reach the top of the mountain.

Local fishermen set up huge fish-drying racks on the seashore. Because of the different seasons, the seafoods harvested are also differences. The fishermen dry different seafoods here. At this moment, all kinds of fish heads are dried here. According to local people, these fish heads are inedible to human after they are dried up in the sun, however, they can be made into cat food and dog food.

The fourth day: Svolvær-Reine

On the fourth day, there is a little rain in the early morning. We set off from Svolvær to Reine, the whole journey is 120 kilometers and takes about 2.5 hours.

In Norway in summer, colorful wildflowers bloom in the mountains. Wide varieties, bright in colour, all these are just like a painting.

The church located between the mountains and sea is particularly eye-catching and extremely sacred.

When we pass by this highly distinctive mountain peak, despite cold winds roar outside the car, I still difficult to resist the temptation of the beautiful scenery, I take out my camera and take photos.

I drive along the coastal winding mountain roads, one minute it’s raining and the next minute the sun is shining along the way, the passed fjords, bays, villages and forests… Norway in the gloomy tone is its most authentic look, cold beauty and dignity, mystery and implict.

On the way to Reine, we pass several small villages with wonderful scenery, at the magnificent fjord seaside, on the intricate reefs, a dozen brightly-coloured cabins line at the foot of the towering mountains, and all kinds of yachts are anchored off shore, the interdependence and high fusion of man and nature reach the extreme in Northern Norway.

Reine is the main village at the end of Lofoten Islands and the most fascinating beauty spot in Lofoten islands. The small village is surrounded by mountains, the scenery is matchless. There are few holiday houses in Lofoten Islands, so it also attracts quite a few tourists to come and stay.

I live in the vikings’s attic and I can experience the life of the locals. Behind the guest house are dozens of scattered red holiday cabins, we can see the most iconic and invincible landscape in Reina from each cabin. The accommodation expenses is expensive and is four to five times the expenses of the guest house.

The beautiful midnight sunset attracts almost all tourists in the town, we all congregate at the beach and enjoy the sunset. All tourists actually is only a dozen people, but they also make the sleepy town become lively. An old couple from England just arrive in Reine this afternoon, they are moved by the beautiful scenery in front of them. They say that their friend come here for vacation and come back in despair because of rainy weather. But they meet the perfect sunset as soon as they come. It’s fair to say that the God’s favor to them, and the same goes for us.

It is almost midnight, and the sunset glow is still so bright and attractive.

On the other side, the sea and sky are pink, and the dreamlike scenery is just like this.

The fifth day: Reine-A

On the fifth day, we drive 10 kilometers from Reine to A, Moskenes, we meet the lonely and glamorous cape scenery, we pass the aunt sitting on the cliff with dog and a group of walkers carrying huge packs.

A, Moskenes is not only adjacent to the sea, but also has many mountain lakes, and the scenery is diverse and fascinating. European and American backpackers like to camp by the lake and sleep in the embrace of nature. Every morning they open their eyes, seeing such a beautiful scenery, that is what they want to.

Here is a beautiful place, with precipitous mountains and beautiful fjords, you can easy to shoot a postcard-like scenic film with one-click.

Two uncles are hiking while walking their dog.

The blue sea and sky, we stop at the end of Lofoten Islands as if we are at the end of the world. Although the sun is shining at noon, we feel very cold because of the cool sea breeze. We still difficult to resist invasion of cold on the rocks and drive away.

The sixth day: Reine-Sortland

On the sixth day, we depart from Reine and return to Tromso along the E10 road. We re-appreciat the roadside scenery in the rain and mist. Without sunlight, the scenery of Lofoten is becoming more gloomy, but much more like a fairyland, it’s also another taste, it is more in line with my impression on Norwegian temperament. It takes 4 hours to drive from Lofoten Islands to Sortland.

Sortland is a municipality in Nordland County in northern Norway. Although there are no special attractions here, there will be a wonderful phenomenon of midnight sun from late May to late July each year, and from the end of November to early January each year, there will be a polar night landscape. I drive back to Tromso from the Lofoten Islands and stay here for one night, but the weather is bad and I can’t see the midnight sun, but I run into this quiet and secluded blue town unexpectedly. At night, I walk in this mysterious blue space and carry the photographic camera throughout, every corner of the street is a place full of imaginations ans looks dreamy …

The seventh day: Sortland-Finnsnes

On the seventh day, starting from Sortland, about 2 hours, after 120 kilometers, we arrive at Finnsnes, the main town of Senja, another tourist destination in Northern Norway. We stay for one night and return to Tromso the next day.

Finnsnes is a small town that is the administrative centre of Senja Municipality in Troms og Finnmark county, Norway. The town is located on the mainland part of Norway, just across the Gisundet strait from the island of Senja. Finnsnes’s population is about 4,000, it is slightly inferior compared with the beautiful towns along the coast of Lofoten Islands.

In late afternoon, the rain stop and the sky clear up, the last sunset brings the burning clouds like the flare radiance shining the people, I fall in love with the beautiful scenery, it is a trip worth while. Traveling encounters are the most wonderful, and the unexpected scenery can be more deeply rooted in the hearts of the people.

The eighth day: Finnsnes-Tromso

On the eighth day, starting from Finnsnes, it is still rainy all the way, after 140 kilometers, about 2 hours, we return to Tromso Airport. The one-week self-driving tour is officially ended.

3 Day Zurich Itinerary

September 30 Helsinki-Riga-Zurich

From the airport, we take the Swiss train directly to Zurich HB Main Station. The beer room in the station hall is prepared for the beer festival.

This is a TGV train, the French high-speed railway system.

After dinner, we go out and see the night in Zurich street. Tramcars shuttle in front of Zurich HB Main Station, and tourists dragged their luggage become the majority in front of Zurich HB Main Station.

Bahnhofstrasse is no noisy and no traffic in the twilight, we walk and chat along the way, in the roadside shop Windows are displayed a great variety of sneakers and other commodities attracting the passersby.

Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi was a pedagogue and educational reformer in Switzerland in the 19th century. In his early years, he received France influence of enlightenment thought, especially Rousseau’s thought, and benefited from some progressive professors teaching at the college. He determined to give up theological studies, at the age of 38, he began a programme to educate poor children, allowing the schoolchildren to learn by spinning and weaving in order to develop their self-reliance ability. He was convinced that everyone has an inherent developmental function and equal rights to education. His dedication to education, his persistent pursuit of educational innovation, he had many originality discourses in educational theory. He had not only made important contributions to the development of the world education, but also established a very respectable image for all educators.

The Limat River flows quietly, passing through Zurich from south to north, splitting Zurich into two areas and eventually slowly flows into Lake Zurich. Frauenkirche Church towers up towards the sky in the night.

October 1st Zurich

Located in the north-central part of the Swiss Confederation, Zurich is the largest city in the Swiss Confederation, the capital of the canton of Zurich, the political, economic, cultural and transportation center of the country, and the richest city in Europe. The city has been rated as one of the most livable cities in the world by United Nations Human Settlement Programme for many years. Zurich is the representative city of Swiss banking and one of the largest financial centres in the world. Because the headquarters of more than 120 banks around the world are concentrated here, more than half of them are foreign banks, so it is also known as the “European Billionaire City”.

Standing on the banks of the Limat River, looking at the scenery on both sides of the river under the blue sky and white clouds, we can see Zurich’s three most important cathedrals.

Church of St. Peter is one of the three main churches in the Old Town of Zurich, Switzerland. The other two are Grossmünster and Fraumünster. Church of St. Peter is also the oldest church in Switzerland. Its name can be found in historical documents dating from 857 AD. Before Swiss Reformation, St. Peter Church was the only parish church in Zurich, and the rest church were attached to the monastery.

The church bell tower, built in 1534, has the largest church clock dial in Europe. The clock dial has a diameter of 8.7 meters, the hour hand is 3 meters long, and the minute hand is 4 meters long. This church bell tower is used to monitor the fire disaster. It is said that once fire alarm occurs, someone will put a flag in the direction of the fire to tell people the exact location of fire.

Frauenkirche is a Reformed Church, one of the 34 parishes of the Swiss Reformed Church in Zurich. The Reformed Churches formed one branch of the Protestant churches that broke from the Roman Catholic Church of that day. They began in the sixteenth century in Switzerland under the leadership of Ulrich Zwingli and John Calvin. Calvin’s teachings became the dominant and leading force in these churches as they spread across Europe, particularly to France, the Netherlands, Scotland, and, by the eighteenth century, to North America, Africa, Hungary, Indonesia, and many other parts of the globe.

Frauenkirche with a green roof and a slender bell tower is a representative Gothic architecture. The main architectural features of the church include Romanesque choir seats and a high-value transept. In addition to the largest pipe organ in the canton of Zurich (5793 pipes), the most worth seeing place is the stained glass windows in the church: including the glass windows on the north side of the nave painted by Giacometti’s cousin Auguste and the rose window on the south side of the nave painted by Chagall(Marc Chagall, 1978).

The predecessor of Frauenkirche Church was a monastery established in 853 AD. At that time, the monastery’s power was large enough to appoint mayors and was in fact the city administrator. The power of the monastery gradually diminished in the 14th century. In front of the church, a statue of a man on horseback is Hans Waldmann (1435-1489) who served as the mayor of Zurich for many years. Standing in front of Frauenkirche Church, we can see the landmark building the twin towers of Grossmunster church on the other side of the river.

Grossmunster is a monastery church located on the banks of the Limmat River. It was built in 1100. Its architectural style is famous for its romanesque twin towers, and has therefore become a recognized landmark in Zurich. This church is across the Limmat River from Frauenkirche, both played a pivotal role in the Swiss Reformation in the 16th century. There is a Reformation Museum in the church. The Theological Seminary of the University of Zurich is also established here.

The stained glass and the portrait of Julius Caesar in the church are masterpieces of the Swiss modern art master Giacometti. On the south side of the cathedral, there is a glaring statue of Charlemagne.

Leaving Grossmunster , we walk along the river freely.

On the east bank of the Limmat River, an old man sits on a pillar and feeds the seagulls. A few white swans and a group of ducklings float quietly in the water and enjoy themselves. This scene is particularly harmonious.

The Polybahn, also known as the UBS Polybahn, is a funicular railway in the city of Zürich, Switzerland. The line links the Central square with the terrace by the main building of ETH Zürich.

The funicular takes the passengers to the University of Zurich. We follow the tram lines and enter a teaching building. The exterior color of this building is very modern, and The huge exhibition hall shows a aircraft engine.

Different trams

This is the most beautiful teaching building in the University of Zurich, and the appearance of the building highlights European classical charm.

When we arrive at the University of Zurich, classes are over. So it is after school. Groups of students gather in the square in front of the teaching building. They sit on the ground and enjoy lunch and sunshine. The atmosphere is really happy!

In the square in front of the teaching building, there is a area that offers two sets of fitness equipments, organizers encourages onlookers to join, and the students are eager to try.

In front of the teaching building, the modern minimalist style sculptures is in sharp contrast with the exquisite relievos and floral designs carved on the outer wall of the teaching building. Thus harmoniously blends the classical and modern features.

We walk into the teaching building and are really surprised by the scene in front of us. Here is like a huge palace. The Roman columns, statues, etc. are so exquisite. here is actually a school. Reading here is very happy!

The University of Zurich is a state university in Switzerland, Founded in 1833, it has 7 colleges, more than 140 research institutes, 12 museums, 4 hospitals, and public libraries such as the Zurich University Main Library and Zurich Central Library and so on, it is the largest comprehensive university in Switzerland. Today, the University of Zurich has three campuses, City Campus, Oerlikon and Irchel Campus, of which City Campus is the closest to the city center.
The University of Zurich enjoys a worldwide reputation in molecular biology, neuroscience, anthropology and other fields, and has produced 12 Nobel Prize winners such as Roentgen, Einstein, and Schrödinger and so on.

The colors are lively and modern facilities are all available in terrace classroom. The students enter the classroom one by one, the course has not yet started! In addition, we come out of the terrace classroom to go into a conference hall or lecture hall, take our time, and don’t think about it, feel into it.

The corridor is brilliantly lit up, with tables and chairs around the outer perimeter, it can become a learning and reading place at any time. The learning environment is also extremely quiet and comfortable.

The circular corridor supported by the tall Roman pillars is a place for students to rest and chat.

This door is very old and delicate, I really like the beautiful pattern on the skylights.

We are reluctantly walk out of the University of Zurich, we are deeply shocked by its beautiful architectural style and unique charming environment. The next goal, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich is not far from the University of Zurich, so we can go there on foot.

Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich can also be translated as “Zurich Federal University of Technology” in Chinese, ETH for short. The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology was established in 1855 by the Swiss Federal Government for the needs of the country’s industrialization. It was the first federal university. The university started with a few disciplines such as industrial and civil construction, forest science, mechanical engineering and chemistry, and later humanities, society and politics were included. The school currently has 26,000 teachers and students from more than 100 countries distributed in 16 departments. The teaching and research fields cover architecture, engineering, mathematics, natural sciences, social sciences and management sciences. By 2006, 30 Nobel Prize winners including Einstein were born here. The school is also a member of International Alliance of Research Universities, the IDEA League and other international university cooperation organizations.

In the display cabinets at the door, the prototype for school buildings of all time tells its historical stories across the centuries.

There is nothing special on the outside of the teaching building, we walk in there, it give us unprecedented shock, we feel as if we walk into a palace in the Roman Empire in Italy. We are so excited.

The students are studying or discussing here, the whole hall is still quiet.

In a corner of the hall, there is an exhibit that looks like a bed. I don’t know its origin.

Many students sit on the windowsill and study on their own, they give us a novel feeling.

We visit this teaching building floor by floor as if we visit a museum, and each floor gives us a different but beautiful feeling!

Leaving the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, we arrive in another funicular station by tram. We take the funicular and get off at the second stop, which is the final destination. This is a wealthy area on the Lindenhof, overlooking Zurich. Various high-end villas have been built on the mountain, and the environment is elegant and tranquil. Let us also take this opportunity to enjoy the beautiful mountains and lakes.

We come down from Lindenhof mountain, we should go to the most beautiful Lake Zurich, we take the tram directly to the lake area. The blue sky, white clouds, sunshine, sailing boats, seagulls, green trees, lawns, everything is so beautiful! Locals take exercise and enjoy the sunshine with their children and pets.

October 2 Zurich-Freudenstadt

At Zurich HB Main Station, I remember seeing a similar elevator in Stockholm, but I didn’t notice anything special about it at that time.

Today we are going to go back to Germany, our trip is coming to an end.

Quest unique rent wife culture

Rent books, rent a disc, rent a pet, rent a car, rent home … In addition to the people basically nothing can not be rented in my dictionary. I has no idea that Phuket island give me a big surprise, you are able to rent a “wife” here. The world is too wonderful, I am to blame for lacking knowledge and experience.

“Rent wife” is very common in Thailand, many foreigners arriving on Thailand will find the pretty local black girl in their minds as a temporary wife, the girls are also called “black pearls.”

Most of temporary “wife” are very young girls. The girl not only fulfill in her obligations as a wife, but also moonlight as a tourist guide. A foreigner provide all expenses such as accommodation, food, drink, play, music and so on.

These girl’s family are not rich. These girl have no alternative but to work their way up. They study english and learn how to flatter a man, particularly the old man. Each girl learn to deal with among a few men so as to seek a “husband” who want to take her as a wife.

Some foreigners are very fond of local “wives”, they live with their “hire wife” for several months every year. Some foreigners supply their “rent wife” with some living expenses every month, even after returning home. even for them to buy a house, buy a car, give birth to and raise children in Thailand.

As a “rent wife”, If the girl is lucky enough, her “husband” would change her from “rent wife” to wife and take her to go abroad for a rich life.

These young girls are really not easy, they calmly accept the repeated “marriage”and parting, I don’t know how much joy and happiness still exist behind their big sunny smiles.

Originally temporary marriage contract base on the interest relationship can also breed love, perhaps this is the unique reason for the “rent wife” culture existence.

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