As I’d hoped, I had a couple of hours free every day between visits to the two cable connection sites. Sometimes I took the scenic route back to the hotel to get a feel for the landscape. As you leapfrog from island to island, each one seems to have its own character.
One minute you could be up in the Pyrenees, the next on Dartmoor, and then on the Isle of Wight; it’s ever-changing.
There was something of the mythological about parts of the landscape – quite eerie in places.
This apple tree (the clue was windfalls) sported both foliose and fruiticose lichens. I learn also that lichens in general are excellent indicators of air quality. As they’re rootless, they draw all their nutrients from the air around them; if it’s polluted, they die or don’t grow in the first place.
So I took a few deep breaths next to this rock and felt a whole lot better for it. There are surprises around every corner.
I took a wrong turn – always fun – that turned out to be a 10km cul-de-sac, almost at the end of which was this little hamlet.
One of the hazards of going to work along these roads is meeting lorries – not just ordinary lorries, articulated ones as well. There are few passing places and going off the road will get you well and truly stuck in the oggin or in a ditch. Looking as far ahead as you can is your best insurance.
There are bonuses though. The landscape is truly remarkable…
… and never ceases to amaze and delight at every turn. Haugesund itself is full of charm, especially down on the waterfront where old and new wooden residences and boathouses line the dockside.
It has a lively arts culture….
… and, something the Norwegians are necessarily very good at, a fine bridge spanning the Smedasundet.
As I was on my way to the art gallery, I thought I’d do a bit of an arty shot, just to get in the mood. Nestling in the shadow of the bridge, I found what I was looking for; the statue of Marilyn Monroe, by Nils Aas.
The sun was in completely the wrong place to get the right picture and I found this side of the work slightly troublesome because of the shoe on the plinth. Once I realised that the shoe was just cast aside, it worked, but it tripped me up initially.
And on further examination, there was evidence that some wag had been at work.
My hotel is about 100m from the Karmsundet water’s edge. I’m on the fifth floor but, during the night I’m sometimes woken up by a very gentle but deep pulsing sound. If I look out, it’s a ship passing by….
… like the Havila Phoenix – the one I’m working with; she slipped past my hotel window a couple of days ago on her way to the cable site. She looked ‘in fine trum’ as Para Handy would say.