18 September 2018:
St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada:
Landfall in Newfy John

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

After a mere four days at sea, Silver Spirit made first landfall on the other side of the pond in Saint John’s, Newfoundland.

The first piece of land we saw was Cape Spear, which is the Anglicized/mangled version of the French name for the big rock: Cap d’Espoir, the Cape of Hope.

And around the corner in the wintry mist and rain we saw a familiar friend, our smaller sister ship Silver Cloud, returned from an expedition in Greenland.

When you step ashore in this part of Canada, the landscape may seem different, but the accent and the music and other parts of the culture are infused with many things Irish.

On the Great Circle Route followed by ships and airplanes, Saint John’s, Newfoundland and Waterford, Ireland are the two closest cities of Europe and North America.

Saint John’s is the capital of Canada’s province of Newfoundland and Labrador. The city itself has a population of just a bit more than 100,000, with about 181,000 in the metropolitan area.

In geographical terms, the Saint John’s is on the eastern tip of the Avalon Peninsula on the island of Newfoundland.

In historical terms, it is the oldest English-founded city in North America.

Its location as the closest significant population center in North America to Europe, a straight-line distance between the two points of about 3,500 kilometers or 2,200 miles, it attracted Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi to set up a station that may have received the first transatlantic wireless signal there.

We have only Marconi’s word; some scientists and historians are unsure. Marconi reported hearing some faint dots and dashes on December 12, 1901, sent from Saint John’s to his wireless station in Poldhu, Cornwall.

And for the same reasons of distance, St. John’s was the starting point for the first non-stop transatlantic aircraft flight, by John Alcock and Arthur Whitten Brown.

On June 14, 1919, they flew a modified Vickers Vimy IV bomber from Lester’s Field in Saint John’s, landing a day later in a bog near Clifden, Connemara, Ireland.

It would not be until May 1927 before Charles Lindbergh would make the first solo transatlantic flight. Lindbergh flew from Long Island near New York to Le Bourget Field near Paris.

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

13 September 2018:
Cobh, Ireland:
The Old World Left Behind

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

We arrived with the rising sun this morning in Cobh, Ireland and watched as the city revealed itself:

At the end of the day, we will sail out of the harbor and begin our four-and-a-half-day transatlantic crossing. First port of call in the New World is due to be St. John’s, Newfoundland in Canada on 18 September.

BEGINNINGS AND ENDINGS

Cobh is a place of epic beginnings and endings.

It is one of the closest ports of Europe to Canada and North America.

Cobh—or Queenstown as it was known then—was the place from which millions of Irish departed their homeland to seek a new start in the new world, the land of milk and honey, the place where the streets were paved with gold: America and Canada.

The population of Ireland was estimated at 8.2 million in 1841; half a century later, in 1891, the population was said to be 4.7 million.

As many as 4.5 million Irish arrived in America between 1820 and 1930, from Queenstown, other Irish ports, and British ports like Liverpool.

Today, in the United States, more than 10 percent of Americans trace their roots to Ireland.

Queenstown was the last piece of land touched by passengers on the doomed ship Titanic in 1912.

And Queenstown was just out of reach of the Lusitania, which came the other direction from New York before it was torpedoed and sunk off the Old Head of Kinsale in 1915.

A memorial to the victims of the sinking of the Lusitania by German submarine U-20.­

On this visit I went with guests by ferry to Spike Island in the harbor, built up as a fortress and later made into one of the largest prisons in the world. After passing from British to Irish hands, the last convicts finally left this dreadful place in 2004.

A COBH ALBUM

This statue remembers Annie Moore and her brothers, said to be the first Irish emigrants to leave for Ellis Island in New York. There is another copy of the statue at Ellis Island.

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

12 September 2018:
Falmouth, UK:
Land’s End in England

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

We’re back in Cornwall and the town of Falmouth, a place of naval and shipping significance and one of the hotbeds of the English version of a calzone.

Cornwall forms the southwestern tip of the mainland of Great Britain. It has a significant maritime history as one of the first ports of call from far away.

We were last here at the end of June aboard Silver Wind, and not much has changed since then. Or in the past century or two, for that matter.

Falmouth is one of the prime sources of a folded dough with stuffing: the Cornish Pasty, which was one of the original fast foods. Fillings including “swede”, which some people call turnip but is actually a yellow turnip or rutabaga. To that is added meat or seafood or just about anything.

And please call it a PASS-TEE.

A PAYS-TEE is something completely different, not ordinarily seen on the streets of Cornwall.

I decided to spend my morning on a photographic exercise looking for parts of the whole: architectural details. Here is some of what I saw.

The last photo, of the 18th century Pennycomequick Pub, sent me on a search for the story behind the name.

I was hoping for something exciting or naughty. Alas, I found the name to be a corruption of an old Cornish phrase,  Pen y cwm coet, meaning head of a wooded valley. Still, the mind can wander…

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

10 September 2018:
London:
Crossing the Pond

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Silver Spirit is taking on fuel, wine, food, luggage, and passengers here in London as we prepare to cross the pond to the New World.

We begin our voyage on the River Thames, at the port of Tilbury, about 22 miles downriver from the big city.

Silversea Silver Spirit off of Portofino, Italy earlier this year.

Our first call will be at Falmouth in Cornwall in the south of England.

We will have a day at sea tomorrow, and then we’ll continue around the corner to Cobh (Cork) in Ireland, the last port seen by the SS Titanic.

For us, it will be four days at sea across the pond to St. John’s, Newfoundland in Canada.

I trust they have loaded enough wine.

Here’s our plan:

I hope you’ll join me here in these pages.

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

1 August 2018:
London, England, UK:
Arriving in Style

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

In the early morning we arrived just below London, and at our appointed hour the bascules of the London Tower Bridge opened to let us through once more. This is what is called arriving in style.

We will be heading home for a short break, returning in about six weeks for more adventures.

We’ll be back aboard ship in London, this time on Silver Spirit as she heads across the pond to Canada and the American Northeast.

To all of our friends, safe travels.

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

30 July 2018:
Bergen, Norway:
Last Call

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Bergen: an ancient city, a modern town.

A beautiful harbor, a handsome bowl of seven hills.

A bustling commercial center, an active fishery and a great public fish market, a laid-back Scandinavian culture, and a quirky freewheeling university city-state.

Bergen is very Norwegian but very different from the remote small settlements of the country’s west coast and its top.

Our long run of blue sky and warm temperatures gave way to more typical Norwegian weather. Overnight the North Sea was bumpy and this morning we arrived to gray skies and drizzle.

It has though been an exceptionally glorious visit to Norway, which is high praise indeed.

This afternoon we head back out to sea, our destination a passage through the London Tower Bridge early Wednesday morning.

Chef David Bilsland led an informal trek to the Bergen Fish market, introducing guests to some of the oceanic treasures of Norway.

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

29 July 2018:
Åndalsnes and Molde, Norway:
Dropping In For a Visit

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Sunday in two, count them, beautiful settlements set into the fjords and mountains: Åndalsnes and Molde.

Definitely Halls of the Mountain Kings type of places.

Åndalsnes is a little town with an outsized personality, a mecca for hikers and rock climbers and those of us who just want to enjoy the great outdoors of the fjord land of Norway.

Some come to jump off of perfectly fine cliffs into the fjord below, which is NOT offered as a shore excursion.

The Trollveggen (the Troll Wall) one of the cliff formations in the valley, has a vertical drop of over 1,000 meters or 3,300 feet, the tallest vertical rock face in Europe.

It is an irresistible lure for some.

I went on a somewhat less risky leap: into the Rauma River valley by train on a day that featured three Norwegian seasons in a few hours. We experienced fog and mist and sun and a downpour.

Here is some of what we saw:

MOLDE 

And then at lunchtime we sailed back down the fjord to Molde, a vibrant and colorful city.

All photos by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

We’ve come about 265 miles or 426 kilometers south from the Arctic Circle, but Molde is definitely a cool place.

Especially every July, near the peak of summer. The annual Moldejazz festival, one of the largest and oldest jazz festivals in Europe, and one of the most important, brings as many as 100,000 visitors come to the city, quadrupling the local population of about 26,000.

Alas, we missed it by a week, but music is still in the crisp air.

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

27 July 2018:
Tromsø, Norway:
Not Quite Paris

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Tromsø is the largest city in Northern Norway, 350 kilometers or 217 miles north of the Arctic Circle.

It is the second largest city within the Arctic Circle, behind only Murmansk.

But it is not Paris.

Even though at one time this small settlement did lay claim to the nickname of “The Paris of the North.”

It is a relatively attractive place for one of the ends of the earth, with a lot more color and liveliness than Murmansk which lies around the corner in Russia about one degree of latitude to the south.

Once again we are visiting the far north in a period of extraordinary weather. It is very pleasant to be here with bright sun and warm temperatures, but rather frightening when you consider how unusual this change in climate is.

Silver Wind at the dock today.

All photos by Corey Sandler 2018, all rights reserved.

By 1850, Tromsø was the major center of Arctic hunting and the city was trading from Arkhangelsk to Bordeaux. It was at this time the small settlement picked up the nickname of “Paris of the North.”

By the end of the 19th century, Tromsø had become a major setting off place for Arctic expeditions. Explorers like Roald Amundsen, Umberto Nobile and Fridtjof Nansen Picked up supplies and often recruited their crew in the city.

The Polar Museum, Polarmuseet, in a wharf house from 1837, presents Tromsø’s past as a center for Arctic hunting and starting point for Arctic expeditions.

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

26 July 2018:
Hammerfest, Norway:
Old World, New World

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Hammerfest is very Norwegian, with the end-of-the-world feeling of northern Norway, inside the Arctic Circle.

And yet it also feels quite different.

500 kilometers or 312 miles inside the Arctic Circle, this is a place of very severe weather. The winds and the seas can pound anytime of the year, and in winter it is brutally cold and the snow builds up and the roads are closed and it is completely dark and you might not want to be here.

We are visiting in summer, or so says the calendar. In the morning it was gray and cold and foggy, which is pretty typical for these parts. But around noontime the sun burst through and there were sunbathers around the pool deck.

I have been here many times, and always find it an interesting place to visit…and then leave, sailing away on a warm, luxurious cruise ship in time for cocktails and dinner.

Silver Wind at the dock this morning.

Foggy bottom morning.

Snow fences up on the hills above town.

And the midday sun filled the harbor in the land of Midnight Sun:

All photos by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

Hammerfest is an old settlement with evidence of inhabitation going back 10,000 years, and is the ancestral home of the Nordic Sea Sami people, and beginning in the early 19th century a settlement of European and then North American traders.

There are many places like that in this part of the world. But Hammerfest looks and feels so very modern.

This is not a town of old clapboard houses and time-worn storefronts. You’ll find contemporary office and apartment building, state-of-the-art oil and gas terminals, and a church on Kirkegata shaped like a space rocket.

All right, not really a rocket ship: it is supposed to pay homage to the traditional trianglular stockfish racks of fishing ports.)

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

25 July 2018:
Honningsvåg and Nordkapp, Norway:
The Top of Europe, Or So They Say

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Honningsvåg  is the northernmost city on the mainland of Norway.

There are a few gotchas in that description. Mainland, not on an island. And city, not a town or village or settlement.

That said, Honningsvag has only about 2,436 inhabitants which is below the Norwegian definition of a city as a place with at least 5,000 residents. But its status as a city was grandfathered in place.

All photos by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

It’s a rather small place, too, especially in the wide open spaces up north. The city consists of 1.2 square kilometers or 300 acres. Honningsvåg is within a bay on the southeastern side of the large island of Magerøya.

The ice-free ocean in the southwestern Barents Sea draws cruise ships in the summer and fishing vessels most of the year.

There are at least five large docks in the port, which makes it an almost irresistible lure for cruise ships.

Nordkapp. All photos by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

The famous Nordkapp or North Cape and its visitors center is on the northern side of the island.

Nordkapp has a road and a parking lot for buses and plumbing and electricity. But it is not mainland Europe’s northernmost point, even though that is exactly how it is advertised.

The steep cliff of North Cape at 71 degrees 10 minutes North Latitude is about 2,102 kilometers or 1,306 miles from the geographic North Pole.

But the neighboring Knivskjellodden Point, just to the west, extends about a mile further north. But that place is rather difficult to get to except by a somewhat arduous hiking path.

So North Cape gets the glory.

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

24 July 2018:
Narvik, Norway:
The Iron Road

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Narvik is a place of great beauty, a deep port inset into a cove within a blue fjord.

It is also where a thundering railway line hauling hundreds of cars of iron ore comes down to the sea to be loaded onto ships.

Narvik is a place of peace, with works of art set against snowcapped peaks and reflected in still waters below.

But during the early years of World War II, Narvik was the target of a massive military assault, by the Germans and then by the Allies.

Nearly everything you see in town was reconstructed after the end of the war.

The major industry in Narvik, Norway is the port and railway that connects this isolated place up and into the mountains and across the border to iron ore mines and processing plants in the north of Sweden. LKAB, owned by the Swedish state, is the largest producer of iron ore in Europe.

I went with guests on a journey by coach up and over the coastal mountains into Sweden about 75 miles away. There we meet up with a passenger train coming all the way from Stockholm. We rode the final 90 minutes back to Narvik.

Here is some of what we saw:

All photos by Corey Sandler 2018. All rights reserved.

Last night as we sailed out of Leknes on the open coast and headed south and then eat before turning north into the inside passage to Narvik we saw once again the sort of other-worldly light that falls upon Norway. This is the stuff of trolls and gnomes and halls of the mountain kings.

Here’s some of what we saw in the crepuscular islands:

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

23 July 2018:
Leknes, Norway:
Inland Empire

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Leknes is in the geographical middle of the Lofoten archipelago on the island of Vestvågøya, a bit more then two square kilometers or just under one square mile in size, home to about 3,200 people.

The morning dawned gray and blustery, more like Norway than we have seen in recent days.

Leknes is, though, a bit different because its town center is not by the sea, and it does not depend on fisheries for its economy.

It is a very small community, though, enlarged for the day by the presence of our small ship at the harbor.

About 45 minutes away from Leknes, by way of the underwater tunnel at Napp, is the pretty wooden church at Flakstad. Records say there was a church built here in 1430, later destroyed by a storm in the 1700s.

The new church dates from 1780, built of timber from Russia. One of chandeliers in the church also comes from Russia. The red-painted structure is covered with tiles and includes a Russian-style onion dome.

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

22 July 2018:
Brønnøysund, Norway:
Sweet Dreams

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Many Norwegians call Brønnøysund “the coastal town in the middle of Norway.”

But many tourists remember it this way: “the port near the mountain with a hole in the middle.”

Silver Wind at the dock today.

Brønnøysund is about 75 miles below the Arctic Circle, which means there is a short period of twilight between about 1 and 4 in the morning on the day of our visit.

The outer reaches of the region include the Vega Archipelago World Heritage Site, which consists of about 6,500 islands and islets, spread over more than 385 square miles or 1,000 square kilometers.

The islands are home to all sorts of birds including greylag and barnacle geese, cormorants, and many, many eider ducks.

You may well have slept upon a pillow, or under a duvet or comforter with a link here.

For a long time, the islands off Brønnøysund have been at the center of eiderdown trade.

There’s even the Museum of the Eider Ducks in Nes, if you’re looking for some bedtime stories.

Torghatten Mountain—Square Hat Mountain—rises like a colossal castle of sheer granite.

Torghatten from the nautical bridge of Silver Wind as we arrived in the morning

According to legend, the hole was made by the troll Hestmannen while he was chasing the beautiful girl Lekamøya.

When the troll realized he would not get the girl, he released an arrow to kill her, but the troll-king of Sømna threw his hat into the path of the arrow path to save her.

The hat turned into the mountain with a hole in the middle.

If you don’t buy the story about the murderous troll and the girl and the arrow, there’s this: scientists say the hole was formed during the Scandinavian ice age, about 11,000 B.C.E. Ice and water eroded looser rocks, while the harder ones in the mountain top resisted erosion.

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

21 July 2018:
Ålesund, Norway:
From the Ashes

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

There’s more water than land in this part of Norway.

The municipality of Ålesund occupies seven of the outer islands in the county of Møre og Romsdal.

There is no doubt that there are many things terrible about a great fire. Lives, property, history lost.

But if you’re looking for something positive about the destruction of a city by fire, there is this: when a boomtown burns down and is rebuilt, the result is often a handsome showpiece of a particular style.

Ålesund was almost totally destroyed on January 23, 1904.

The oft-told story is that the fire began after a cow kicked over a torch and in the cold night a wind-driven fire raced through the wooden town, destroying about 850 homes, killing one person, and leaving more than 10,000 residents without shelter.

And then the town was rebuilt in stone, brick, and mortar in Jugendstil, the Germanic version of Art Nouveau style.

I have been here many times and always find myself in a reflective mood. Today I went out and rephotographed scenes that I have taken before. My goal was to see if I could find see if I could view familiar places in new ways.

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

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20 July 2018:
Flåm, Norway:
All Aboard!

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Flåm is one of the biggest little places in all of Norway, especially for travelers who come in by cruise ship.

If you call it FLAM, they’ll know what you mean. But to be correct you have to pay attention to the little symbol above the third letter of its name.

The Norwegian and Danish letter Å, with the little diacritical overring above, is not “a” but more similar to “o” in most other languages. So, FLOM.

Check it out: doors in Norway are marked to tell you which one to open. The signs read, åpen.

The village of Flåm is at the end of the Aurlandsfjord, a small arm of the spectacular Sognefjord which reaches in from the Norwegian Sea. The 204-kilometer or 125-mile-long Sognefjord is said to be the longest and deepest fjord in the world.

Truth be told, though: the port is basically a train station, a ferry slip, a cruise dock, and a few gift shops.

About 500,000 visitors come each year by ship or train; about 175 cruise ships come each summer.

The 20-kilometer (12-mile) Flåmsbana railway rises from the town at sea level to the high village of Myrdal on the steepest standard gauge railway in Europe, which rises 863 meters or 2,831 feet through 20 tunnels and across one bridge.

The trip takes about an hour each way.

All photos by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

The idea for the train dates back to the 1890s, when tourism and other trade was beginning to grow in this part of Norway. But the technology was not yet ready, and construction only began in 1936.

After Germany occupied Norway in 1940, the line was completed. Germany wanted the railway to support their military aims as well as export of raw materials.

Today, there are about ten trips each direction during the summer, fewer in the cold, snowy, and dark winter.

At the top, the train shares a station at Myrdal with long-distance trains to Bergen and elsewhere.

The Flåmsbana is the third-busiest tourist attraction in Norway.

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

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Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

19 July 2018:
Haugesund, Norway:
Location, Location, Location

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Real estate agents are fond of reciting what they call the three most important elements of property value: location, location, and location.

The town of Haugesund in the south of Norway was a very early real estate agent’s dream come true.

It is located on a strategically important sound, the Karmsundet, which allows ships to pass without having to go out into the sometimes rough seas on the open ocean.

Even to this day, the Karmsundset is one of Norway’s busiest waterways.

The town’s name comes from the Old Norse word haugr meaning hill or mound, and sund meaning strait or sound.

Haugesund’s first industry was fishing abundant herring offshore.

The herring are long gone, and today the economy is oriented toward the offshore oil industry and the onshore tourism trade.

Scenes from the harbor and town, including the much-celebrated town hall, painted Pepto-Bismol pink. In a national poll it was selected to appear as a property on the Norwegian version of “Monopoly.”

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

16-17 July 2018:
London, England, UK:
Up the River

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

In the early, early morning we completed our progression up the River Thames and through the London Tower Bridge to our dock.

We entered the river in the dark and arrived at the bridge at dawn. The trip is glorious anytime but this arrival was spectacular.

We’ll rest here for two days and enjoy London before we head back down the river for a trip to Norway and back.

All photos by Corey Sandler, 2018. All rights reserved.

Safe travels to guests who leave us here, and welcome aboard to those joining us at our glorious parking space on the river.

Here’s our plan for the next cruise:

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

14 July 2018:
Edinburgh, Scotland:
A Festive Place

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Welcome to a famous city, the capital of Scotland, a place that is among the more commonly mispronounced locations in the world.

Resist the urge to call it Edin-BURG.

In Scotland and Northern England, starting from King David I in the 12th century, significant communities were awarded the status of a Royal Burgh, pronounced BURR-ah, never mind the spelling.

Someone should tell that to the residents of the steel town of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania.

By most appraisals, Edinburgh has the strongest economy of any city in the United Kingdom outside of London and the highest proportion of professionals in the UK with 43 percent of the population holding a degree-level or professional qualification.

The modern economy is based mainly on financial services, scientific research, higher education, and tourism.

Today, Edinburgh is the United Kingdom’s second most popular tourist destination.

Edinburgh is a festive place, whichever nickname you choose to apply. There is a gathering of some sort almost every month of the year, but in the summer, from July to September, they are almost continuous.

Among the most famous are the Edinburgh International Festival, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, and the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

All together, the festivals attract about 4.4 million visitors, generating more than £100 million pounds for the local economy.

The longest established is the Edinburgh International Festival, first held in 1947, with a program of theater, classical music, and other performances.

This has since been overtaken both in size and popularity by the Edinburgh Fringe, which began as a program of comedy and marginal acts alongside the “official” Festival and has become the world’s largest performing arts festival.

And then there is the Edinburgh Military Tattoo which occupies the Castle Esplanade every night during its run, with massed pipers and military bands drawn from around the world.

And as it happens, we will be in town on the second day of the Edinburgh Blues & Jazz festival, which generally (but not always) does not include bagpipes.

We enjoyed a day of bright sun, warm temperatures, and spirited political demonstrations.

Here is some of what we saw today:

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

13 July 2018:
Aberdeen, Scotland, UK:
Taken for Granite

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Aberdeen—the Granite City, the Grey City, the Silver City with the Golden Sands—is Scotland’s third most populous city, after Glasgow and Edinburgh.

So why do we take Aberdeen for Granite?

From the mid-18th to the mid-20th centuries, most of Aberdeen’s buildings used locally quarried grey granite. And because of the large amount of mica in this particular strain of granite, many of the buildings can seem to sparkle like silver in the sunlight.

Today, I went with guests for a visit to Balmoral Castle, one of the private residences of the royal family, renovated and expanded by Queen Victoria and still in use by Queen Elizabeth II.

It is in a beautiful setting, and the grounds include a vegetable and flower garden that puts most of the rest of to shame. Of course, we don’t have a staff of dozens of gardeners.

BALMORAL

All photos by Corey Sandler, 2018. All rights reserved,

A local food specialty—guaranteed not to affect your health in any way whatsoever—is the Aberdeen buttery, also known as “rowie”.

It is something like a flat, round croissant with a buttery taste. Purists can eat one plain, but for the full experience it should have butter and jam.

If you really want to go whole hog, or to be more precise, whole sheep, you could start out with a serving of haggis, which is the national dish of Scotland,

Haggis is a savoury pudding containing sheep’s pluck: the heart, liver, and lungs, minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, traditionally encased in the animal’s stomach although today it is often prepared in an artificial casing which makes it all seem so much more attractive.

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

12 July 2018:
Kirkwall, Orkney Islands, Scotland:
The Mainland (of Orkney)

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

One last small island before we reach the large island that is Britain.

Kirkwall is the capital and largest settlement of Orkney, between the Shetland Islands above and the top of Scotland below.

Our port of call is on the northern coast of the island of Mainland Orkney, with a population of about 10,000.

I went with guests on a tour that included a visit to Scapa Flow, one of the most important pieces of water in the 20th century: the gathering polace of the British fleet in World War I for the Battle of Jutland off Denmark, and later the place where what remained of the German High Fleet was sequestered at the end of the war while the terms of the Treaty of Versailles was worked out. It was here that a German officer ordered the scuttling of about 75 of the ships to prevent them being distributed to the Allies as trophies of war.

Scapa Flow. Photo by Corey Sandler

We also visited the quaint village of Stromness in time to see the arrival of the ferry from Scrabster on the mainland of Scotland.

Stromness. Photos by Corey Sandler

And then we visited the Ring of Brodgar, a 5,000-year-old henge or ring of stones. Its purpose is not fully known–perhaps religious, perhaps ceremonial, or perhaps a means of tracking the skies.

At the heart of the town of Kirkwall is Saint Magnus Cathedral, which was founded in memory of Saint Magnus Erlendsson, Earl of Orkney from 1108–1117.

Although the annexation of the earldom by Scotland took place more than five centuries ago in 1472, some locals will identify themselves as Orcadians first and Scots second.

The economy of Orkney is today based on agriculture and fishing, with a growing tourism sector. After a major investment, the town pier has become a lure for cruise ships, and about 85 calls per year are made.

There are about 70 Orkney islands, of which 20 are inhabited.

The largest island is called Mainland or, confusingly, “The Mainland”, while the country that lies below is referred to as “Scotland.”

Mainland is 523 square kilometers or 202 square miles, making it the sixth-largest Scottish island and the tenth-largest island in the British Isles.

All photos and text by Corey Sandler, Copyright 2018. All rights reserved.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.