Visiting Cambridge, England

I visited Oxford in 2018. Really enjoyed it.

So in 2022 I planned a trip to rival Cambridge. Home town of Pink Floyd. 😀

The University of Cambridge was founded in 1209. And even today the highlight of the small city are the Colleges.

Click PLAY or watch Rick Steves on YouTube.

As the Church ran education in the early centuries, there are plenty of Churches.

One place I really did enjoy was The Orchard Tea Garden outside of town.

On advice from a local, I had the FULL ENGLISH BREAKFAST mess at Cafe 24. I ASSuME this is where Sir Isaac Newton broke fast. 😀

I do think it would be super inspiring to be a student here.

The libraries and bookstores are fantastic.

Cycling town I happened to come upon AstraZeneca. The British-Swedish multinational company has its Head Office here. Moderna has headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts so there’s a bit of symmetry.

Click PLAY or watch the tourist pitch on YouTube.

Described as one of the “most beautiful cities in the world” by Forbes in 2010, I personally found it frustrating to explore on foot and by bike. MUCH is locked down. Bicycles prohibited. Views limited.

Oxford is better for the tourist.

London – Notting Hill Carnival 2022

I happened to be in London during the Notting Hill Carnival, which had been cancelled the previous 2 years due to Covid.

Fun. Loud. Fragrant with the smells of cooking barbecue.

Dancing. Drinking.

I particularly like how ANYONE with any kind of body and any kind of costume is welcome to join in the parade. Very body positive.

Saturday is the family friendly parade. Plenty of activities for kids.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

No anger or violence that I could see. Of course there’s a large police presence — all very friendly.

… an annual Caribbean festival event that has taken place in London since 1965 … each August over two days (the August bank holiday Monday and the preceding Sunday).

It is led by members of the British Caribbean community, and attracts around two and a half million people annually, making it one of the world’s largest street festivals, and a significant event in British African Caribbean and British Indo-Caribbean culture. …

Everyone welcome. If I’d put on my make-up, costume and peacock headdress, I’d have fit right in. 😀

My only previous experience with Carnival was in Colonia, Uruguay in 2018.

related – Notting Hill carnival 2022 – in pictures

My Food in Norway

EVERYTHING is expensive in Norway. 😕

For the most part, I ate supermarket food. Cooked in a hostel or on my camping stove. SPAR was by far my favourite chain. They have grocery stores in 48 nations.

SPAR is the only chain that always has hot deli food, often discounted by 50% late in the day. As everywhere, rotisserie chicken is the best value food in Norway. At least for me.

SPAR sells a low-cost brand called “First Price which is often WAY cheaper than name brand alternatives.

The most recommended (lower priced) seafood in Tromsø was the Dragoy Fish and Chips restaurant. I tried both these two meals for about US $21 each. OK — not great. And not worth the price.

Cod Burger
Crab Burger

I asked for something local, traditional at another restaurant — and got this … something like meatloaf with an egg on top.

My favourite restaurant meal was reindeer stew. This glass of wine was the only booze I had in Norway. Beer is everywhere, including grocery stores. Wine not all that popular.

To be fair, I don’t like restaurants anywhere unless I’m socializing with other people.

Happily, Diet Coca-cola is not expensive in Norway, IF you buy 4 bottles at a time. And I’m OK with that. 😀

Weirdly, many hostels did not have a toaster. Gourmands of my class only require kettle, microwave … and a toaster.

Cycling Arctic Norway – the Lyngen Alps

I went to cycle and hike the Lyngen Alps inspired by Matthew’s recommendation.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Starting in the tourist town Tromsø, I cycled out to stay 2 nights at Magic Mountain Lodge is in Lyngseidet.

It’s an excellent adventure hotel that also offers dorm beds for about $35 / night.

I’ll never forget their reindeer stew with lingonberries served me on night #2.

I cycled to enjoy the best views I could get of the Lyngen Alps. Finishing in Nord-Lenangen where I caught the fast ferry back to Tromsø late on a Sunday night.

Click PLAY or watch highlights of my 3 day adventure on YouTube.

Here are a few of the photos I captured.

Reindeer close to the Ferry terminal
Fast ferry back to Tromsø

Salmon & Halibut – Port Renfrew, Vancouver Island

Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!

SURE I puked and wanted to die.

BUT I did catch the biggest halibut of the day. 😀

Fisherman don’t lie. FIGHT ME if you have any doubts.

For the 3rd time ever I joined in on one of the deep sea fishing charters organized by my Dad and brother Rob.

I had a great time last year out of Port Hardy — Murdering Salmon & Halibut — and took a chance again.

This time they were going out with their favourite guide — Josh — with Wild Coast (formerly Trailhead Resort). An all inclusive package including accommodation out of Port Renfrew.

The GOAL for my family is to bring home enough fish to cover the cost of the charter. We made it this year and on our trip last year.

In 2022 we came back with 45 pounds of salmon and 78 pounds of halibut.

At the last minute, Rob decided he couldn’t fish due to some weird medical complications. Rather than cancel his spot, Yvonne went in his place.

Needless to say, Yvonne didn’t get seasick and did catch a lot of fish.

My Dad never gets seasick.

Each year Dad decides he can do one more year reeling in halibut. If you haven’t done it, imagine lifting a FREEZER from 200 feet underwater with very thin line. While the FREEZER is fighting you the whole way. 😀

Spain’s menús del día

Menú del día, or menu of the day, is a menu served by Spanish restaurants during lunch, one of the largest meals of the day …

… typically between 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.

This is a cheap, economic meal, typically with good food.

Problema for ME is that it includes all-you-can-drink wine. They leave a full bottle on the table for you.

I’m pretty much buzzed for the day — at lunch.

Typically they come with soup, bread, drink, dessert and main course. I paid 12 Euro for this feast.

Seafood soup appetizer on the Santiago Camino

HEY – the Interterritorial Health Council, made up of doctors and other health professionals, had suggested that alcohol be dropped from the menús del día.  I highly doubt that’s going to happen.

A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking by T. Kingfisher

An ideal gift book for a teen who likes Harry Potter — and baking. 😀

But I actually enjoyed it.

Fourteen-year-old Mona’s magic only works on bread. She has a comfortable life in her aunt’s bakery making gingerbread men dance.

THEN she’s called on to save the city.

Author T. Kingfisher (Ursula Vernon) has won the Hugo for past books. I’m not surprised.