Discovering Norwegian stories

I love the idea of learning about new authors and new novels while traveling. On a recent trip to Norway, a visit to a bookshop and a chat with the women working there left me the new owner of Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology. It’s been years since I’ve read the Norse legends. To be precise,…

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Sella ronda – a 42 km ski loop in the Dolomites

Ever since I returned from my ski holiday I’ve been waxing poetic about these beautiful mountains in northern Italy. I’ve already written about skiing in the Dolomites and the base we loved in Selva di Val Gardena. This week I’m going to write about a trail – the Sella ronda, that will get you to many…

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A skier’s paradise: Selva di Val Gardena, Italy

I already wrote about skiing in the spectacular Dolomite Mountains (Dolomiti) in last week’s post. This week, I’d like to concentrate on the little town of Selva di Val Gardena, which we used as our home base during our week-long skiing holiday. Selva – or its German name of Wolkenstein or the slightly tweaked Sëlva…

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Book review: Cold Comfort Farm

I can’t believe I didn’t discover this brilliant comic novel by Stella Gibbons, first published in 1932, a bit earlier. A friend of mine was reading this and telling me about it, and I recalled the film version I’d seen and enjoyed quite a years ago – without having realized the film had been based…

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Skiing in a winter wonderland: Italy’s Dolomites

My week skiing in northern Italy last month was a hard thing to leave. After all, we enjoyed seven days of sunshine and snow on the 1200 kilometers of trails that took us all over Italy’s Dolomite Mountains, exploring new valleys and slopes each day. The Dolomiti, the Dolomites, are a mountain range of the…

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Book Review: Germinal, Émile Zola

I don’t know how I’ve managed to wait so long to read one of Zola’s most famous works – and the thirteenth novel in his Rougon-Macquart series. Published in 1885 and set in 1866, this is the story of Etienne Lantier, whose inability to find a job as a mechanic leads him to take on horrendous,…

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