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16 July 2005

standing within the shadow


tromso, yet another town next to a mountain or hill. what is the deviation? this time, a cable car; a quick ride to the top with zero satisfaction. nate and i would hike.

slow and gradual, finally steep, i was feeling much better today. we made it to the top cable car station, but not the top of the mountain. when i asked nate if he wanted to continue climbing, he replied 'yeah, why not?' exactly, why not? on and on, these mountains are so deceptive. what appears close is always far. we kept walking upwards until the path disappeared, through the ice, past the water falling, past the miniature dolmens. [flashback to ireland: please do not build miniature dolmens.] at the flat rocks we decided we had reached 'the top' and that the next higher peak actually belonged to an entirely different mountain. the clouds closed in around us, preparing to swallow nate. fifteen minutes of the top, alone, we began the descent. for all of the mounds of feces we avoided we saw not one of the beasts. the ground was spongy, cushioning each step, but after fifteen minutes of descent with quads and knees burning i needed a hill to even out my legs. just one incline, please. finally back to the hostel for more spaghetti. i wasn't entirely steady, but the swaying wasn't nearly as bad as yesterday. i had no idea it would take this long for four days of oversea transportation to wear off.

john repaid my internet lesson the night before with a great lesson in photography. thanks john.

after a shower, i ventured out again with nate and sjourd. sjourd had yet to see the town and nate and i wanted to see if we could glimpse the midnight sun on this first clear night. sjourd broke off to take the cablecar to the peak where nate and i had climbed earlier in the day. nearing the tromso bridge, i saw the southbound hurtigrute on the water and tried to reach the pinnacle of the bridge before it passed beneath. another deceptively long span; running full speed [nate must have thought i was crazy]; i missed it and had to settle for a picture as it pulled into port on the other side of the bridge. at the top of the bridge, i realized i should have accompanied sjourd; the top of the hill was one of the few places in town being hit by the midnight sunlight. for one standing within the shadow, the sun hung low on the horizon; a short rest before beginning its daily climb.

i've seen these flowers all over norway. purple, pink, white. very beautiful.

posted by paul on Sat 16 Jul 2005 at 00:00:00 est (-05:00)


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