Day: August 2, 2017

Days Begin to Blend Together

The days are beginning to pile on top of each other. I’ve just finished the day where I wandered in Tallinn Estonia, but when I went to write my thoughts about it, I discovered an unfinished draft about fjords at dawn. In between the fjords and Tallinn was an excursion into Stockholm and a bunch of behind-the-scenes management of, not crises exactly, but of people in need of emotional support and attention. This is expected when you bring a hundred introverted writer people, put them in situations where they need to socialize, where they are learning new things that make them doubt their capabilities, and where they are so eager to not miss out on anything that they neglect to take time to recharge, eat, and sleep.

I want to write each set of thoughts when they are fresh, but events are happening fast with little space in between. I scheduled time for writing today, but was tackled by a nap instead. Disorientation from the unexpected nap and from the fact that we changed time zones last night combined to make me miss the group photo. I’m still frustrated with myself for that. St. Petersburg is tomorrow and that will be another set of experiences, pictures, and thoughts to process.

Fjords at Dawn

The Stockholm Fjords do not look as I expected. To me the word fjord conjures images from Norway where mountains plunge directly into the sea. These are more gentle. They are rocky islands covered in trees, with an occasional structure or light house.

It was profoundly peaceful watching them slide by while a chill wind lifted my hair. I tried to capture the experience of seeing an island and watching it pass with this photo set.

Wind in the hair was lovely until one lock kept landing in my field of view, so I contained it with a headband. I also added some layers of clothing against the chill. Then I sat on my balcony and watched the fjords in solitude. I think a few of my neighbors were also awake, but none of us disturbed the other.

After a long, quiet time, the sun rose to cast rosy light on things I passed.

I really wanted to have one of these houses on islands with a boat dock in the back garden.

But I am reliably informed that these little towns are regularly buried in ice during the winter, which would be much less pleasant. Perhaps there are rentals.

These fjords are a distinctly different navigational experience than the deltas which form and shift around the US. Using deltas is a constant fight to keep channels clear from accumulating silt. These passages are rock, not dirt and sand. The path way through them is narrow for a ship as large as ours. The way was marked with green cones that reminded me of traffic cones, which is exactly what they were.

We entered the fjords at 3:30 am and navigated slowly until we reached port at 8:30am. Five hours making our way between islands.

Once the sun was fully above the horizon, there began to be an accompanying flock of seagulls. They hovered near the balconies hoping that people would toss them food and also to coast on the wind of the ship’s passage.

This meant I had lots of opportunity to photograph seagulls in flight. From both above,

and below

Then we pulled into port and the visit to Stockholm began.