While my early travels were inspired by desires for freedom and discovery, my later trips were more about sports and seeing specific places. My marathons and hiking have led me to some great places and special experiences.
Tromso Marathon Article
One of the highlights was completing the 2007 Tromso Midnight Sun Marathon amongst stupendous natural scenery in the Norwegian Arctic.
Then one of my writing career highlights was having an article about my trip and marathon published in Running Free magazine by the then editor Julia Buckley.
Fitness Diet Book
Julia was running longer distances than me then, taking part in ultra-marathons. She has since focused on getting lean and fit with her Fat Burn routines, and had her first book published last year.
The Fat Burn Revolution book was a best-seller, and Julia is now trying to self-publish her second book, with a focus on diet this time.
Julia has a kickstarter webpage trying to raise funds for it, and I’m happy to recommend her as a dedicated, experienced, friendly and honest fitness coach and writer.
I ended my 2009 Cuba trip in Santa Clara, before a nervous wait for a train to Havana, as detailed in my Cuba Go Nomad article. The article also confirms that I travelled to Trinidad and then Cienfuegos, which I was a little mixed up about while rushing the previous two blogs out. The two cities are close together.
Santa Clara, Cuba
My camera batteries had completely gone in Santa Clara, so there’s no photos. I visited Che Guevara’s mausoleum and memorial square, climbed a hill for a panoramic view of the city, sat in the colonial central square (Parque Vidal) and visited the railway museum scene of an ambush by Cuban revolutionaries on a government train.
It was one of Che’s most famous moments as a military leader, in an assault on the city he shared with Camilo Cienfuegos.
My camera batteries might have lasted until the end of the trip if I hadn’t filmed these three videos earlier in the trip, excited by walking along Havana’s Malecon seafront and the mogotes and vultures of Vinales. C’est la vie!
Havana and Vinales Videos
After a few hours in Oslo bus station there was a surprisingly scrambled boarding of the night bus to Stockholm. It was nearly full, so I ended up on the back seat. It therefore reminded me of my Istanbul – Munich bus journey on my first road trip in 1987/88; twenty-five years before.
I slept most of the night, not knowing when I left Norway and arrived in Sweden; my first border crossing outside the U.K. for fifteen years. I only remember that we stopped near a lake at first Swedish light.
We arrived in Stockholm at about 05.30. I thought I’d wait for the hostel to open in the station, but then got bored, and thought I’d make the most of the bright sunny morning.