Author blog of William A. Young; journeys through the mythology of the northern fringes of Europe
Something a little different, this time. Having so far posted seven long-form pieces, and spent a considerable amount of time in producing them, I’ve come to the realisation that the final draft of my book is never going to get finished unless I find a way to cut down substantially on writing other things. So, here’s a photo with just a little description, that isn’t going to turn into a massive essay on the socio-anthropology of the north or ancient mythology.
The scene looks lovely and warm and welcoming, doesn’t it? The brightness of the sun and the greenery of the mountain slopes appears almost tropical- Hawaiian, even. The beach is clean and pure, the water inviting you to dip your toe in…
Well, it’s not. That, folks, is the Arctic. If the toe goes in there it’s coming out blue!
The second largest island in Norway is a place called Senja. It sits a couple of hundred miles north of the Arctic Circle, on the northwestern coast of Lapland. It has some jaw-dropping fjords, icy interior valleys, precipitous mountains, and moose-filled forests. It’s awesomely beautiful, and crams in a little taste of all the different bits of northern Scandinavia in one small package.
The beach shown is on the western coast of Senja, in a lovely wee sandy valley between some mountains, called Ersfjord. The jagged ridge descending into the sunset sea is known colloquially as ‘The Devil’s Teeth’.
And that’s it. I’m not going to write anything about the fascinating culture of the nomadic Sami who herd reindeer in the interior. I’m not going to describe hauling myself up into the central plateaus on a rope, or the abject terror of sliding down a snow-covered boulder field that the map erroneously claimed was a path. I can get away with doing all this because my mate Dave has already written up the trip, and posted it here for your perusal. At some point my own version will follow, but his hits all the right notes anyhow. How’s that for a cop-out? 🙂
Well, that’s the lot for this Sunday. I’m off into the cold of the Edinburgh seafront to locate some form of hideously unhealthy fried breakfast, and then, powered by bacon, will then attempt to hammer out version two of the final chapter of my book. Please tell me if you find this shorter format worth repeating, or if it should instead be consigned to the scrap-heap and the long-form accounts continued. Your time and your feedback is always very much appreciated.
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