May: Aleppo, Syria 3

26 x 19.5 narrative

Our loquat tree, where we spent shady afternoons picking fruit to eat and digging for worms to fish with. It’s where our neighbourhood cats took their nap. It’s where my mom found my sister and me eating dirt as toddlers. It’s where happy memories were born and where I hope to one day be again, just one more time.

Dawn: Cape Town

180 x 100 narrative

Old stone walls with moss and cracks that allow life to seed itself in green-leaved clusters. Walls that are there for support and ambiance, not erected from fear. A gate that leads to neighbours and compost. A table to eat at with friends under the crown of a quiver tree silhouetted against a night sky. Where owls come in the early morning, sounding their low vowels, and witogies and robins drink nectar from hanging honeysuckle in daylight. Grapes ripen their tart-sweet fruit once a year on the vine above. A garden home to write, foraging for the right words that aim to say what wants to be said. A house that waited for me to arrive, rejecting other suitors. Neither too big, nor too small. Where I can be alone amidst a crazy paving of kind and creative neighbours.

Hin Wah: Cape Town

150 x 200 narrative

Growing up in New Zealand, I strived in every way to fit in, to be a New Zealander (or a Kiwi) – to sound like a Kiwi, to eat like a Kiwi, to act like a Kiwi. I did everything in my power to be non-Chinese. Yet undeniably I am Chinese, my sensibility is Chinese (with dashes of Western influence). The foods I love are Chinese (with sprinkles of French inspiration).

So this meal may not look like much. It is certainly no banquet, but it reminds me of how life doesn't have to be glamorous or complicated in order to evoke a feeling of wonder and of beauty. The simple things in life are beautiful. And simple things remind me of home.

Growing up in Auckland, New Zealand in the 90s, there were only two Chinese stores in the city and they were quite a way away from where we lived. The local supermarkets at that time did not stock Chinese vegetables, or tofu for that matter. So whenever we made a trip into town to go to these shops we’d always stock up on Chinese goodies and veggies – my favourite being the shanghai bok choy, also known as baby bok choy.

A good Chinese restaurant or a good Chinese dish is not simply about the quality of the ingredients, but lies in the dish’s ability to showcase the marriage between the ingredients – and, of course, the almighty wok. When you take a bite out of a nugget of tofu or an asparagus spear that has taken on the energy, or the “qi”, from the wok, the energy literally envelopes you. A feeling of being wrapped up in warmth; a feeling of being at home.

A bowl of rice also means so much more than it looks. Rice is the foundation and the essence of being Chinese. In fact, rice flour is used in the concoction that holds the building blocks in the Great Wall together. Growing up, rice featured at least two to three times on any given day. My favourite afternoon snack after arriving home from kindergarten was a bowl of rice with soy sauce – to this day, I still love a bowl of steamed rice with soy sauce.

And finally the chopsticks – the chopsticks have taught me so much – the arts of balance and perseverance – securing food between those two slivers of wood is no mean feat! The principles of discipline and respect – waiting for your turn to select the next morsel of wok-powered deliciousness.

The meal embodies so much more than the ingredients depicted. It is more than home. It is life in a picture.

Tom: Western Cape

151 x 102 narrative

I don’t even remember where this is exactly, just that it was on a road trip with my girlfriend (now my wife) and that it reminds me of the wonderful road trips my dad and I took soon after arriving in Cape Town. To me there is something as iconic about road trips through the South African landscape as the fabled Great American Road Trip: there’s heat, weird characters, deserts, mountains, epic distances and internal and external challenges to overcome. It’s probably true of road trips in general, but it seems especially so at the southern tip of Africa.

Tom: Toronto

102 x 151 narrative

My whole life I’ve been surrounded by water – in Toronto I grew up on an island, just a short ferry ride from the city, and in Cape Town I live on a peninsula, flanked by two different oceans. The irony, of course is that I’m a terrible swimmer and terrified of water. When I was a kid I watched a doccie about whales at Harbourfont with my parents, and when the whales (and the photography) went deep down into the murky oceanic depths, I slid down in my chair with anxiety. It was the same effect that watching Aliens in the cinema had on me as a teenager.

This image is pretty iconic to me: the boardwalk and its loooong concrete wall, which stretches all the way from just past my mom’s house on Ward’s Island to Centre Island in one long, unbroken, slightly rounded, slightly bumpy reassuring mass. And underfoot the uneven soft, warm and yielding boards of the boardwalk, making their still-familiar thunk-thunk-thunk when you run on them. Except not in this image, of course, because it’s covered in snow, which is also pretty iconic of Canada to me. And the lapping of the waves, gentle and insistent all summer long. In the winter ice forms across the beach and at the edges of the lake, but the water keeps on lapping.

Tom: Cape Town

300 x 203 narrative

It feels like I spent my formative years flying to places. My parents split early and I travelled back and forth between hemispheres for over a decade; they were very good about sharing time, despite the great distance. I was pretty travel-savvy by my late teens and enjoyed planes and airports with a familiarity probably unusual in someone my age. I enjoyed another ten years of solo adventuring and bouncing between continents before finally settling down in Cape Town. This image says that there is, literally, no place like home for me. Toronto is where I grew up and will always be familiar and safe-feeling; my big North American city that’ll never grow so big that it alienates me. But Cape Town is where my people are – the friends I came of age with – it’s the place that adventure brought me to, and I’ll never take that lightly. Living in South Africa feels a little like living in the Wild West, where the rules are fluid and you do what you have to do to get things done. That freedom is invigorating.

Shaista: Toronto

200 x 200 narrative

Living in Toronto, in Parkdale (long before it was “cool” and full of hipsters), we lived on the wrong side of the streetcar tracks of High Park. My parents would frequently take us to the Park to skate on Grenadier Pond, and play by the Great Maple Leaf, and visit the zoo. Those trips filled me with such joy, it became my dream to cross those tracks and become a resident of High Park. Though physically not so far away, it remained still a world away. As an adult with a husband and two young children in tow, after our return from South Africa we spent a brief time again in Parkdale, filling me with old horrible memories of violence and poverty. When we were financially able to live in High Park, right across the street from the park itself, it was as though all my dreams had finally come true. Nestled on one of the side streets in a townhouse, this photo was taken late one evening outside my doorstep, with my children soundly safe and asleep, and the streetlights along the wide paved roads, with the maple trees creating a huge canopy above them, the moon glowed, telling me I was finally home.

Shaista: San Francisco

200 x 200 narrative

I sometimes feel like when you enter a new place, it will tell you whether or not you are “home”. I felt it the first time I went to South Africa, when a border guard said to me merrily, “Are you coming home, love?” And I said “yes”, even though I’d never been there before, because the feeling of home was all around me. I quickly fell madly, irrevocably in love with South Africa; a place I’ve never lost the longing for. In the same way, after landing in L.A. for a work conference, as the driver drove away from LAX I felt like I was appraising my new home in California. Less than a year later we had moved to San Francisco. In this photo, my husband had just picked us up from the airport and as we drove across Golden Gate Bridge (which subsequently became a constant marker for me between “The City” and Marin County), I felt as though I was having a spiritual experience. And every time I’ve crossed it since, the same wonder and awe remains. It’s like crossing to the other side, where you pay the blind boatman with your coins and he takes you to paradise. It’s a sign that I’m going home to Marin County, where I always long to be, hiking alone on trails held upright by the beauty of my beloved redwoods.

Shaista: Rodeo Beach

200 x 200 narrative

Rodeo Beach. The beach is not sand, but is covered in tiny pebbles of every hue and colour. It’s impossible not to hold these pebbles in your hand and marvel at them. As an avid hiker I’ve hiked all the trails above the beach, encountered many a coyote and walked in the surf of the ocean numerous times. It feels like the end of the world lives there. And oddly I find it incredibly comforting. I feel like it somehow belongs to me and I to it. Yes, it does remind me of South Africa – it’s especially like “The Southern-Most Point”. But it’s not a weak echo, it is its own place. Stormy winters and “June gloom” often obscure the rocks and sand, but I find even more comfort there than in the sun. I feel like if I asked the beach to marry me, it would say “we already are, my darling”. There are few landscapes in the world that, when you embrace them with your eyes, embrace you back. I am lucky to count Rodeo Beach as one of my many lovers.

Niek: Hermanus

148 x 113 narrative

Old boats in the old harbour, Hermanus, South Africa, 2004. They've since washed away.

Niek: Cape Town

200 x 150 narrative

Crate. This crate has been to every place I've lived, it's a very useful crate. Currently empty and in my way, though.

Niek: ‘s-Hertogenbosch

113 x 148 narrative

De Sint Jan. Photo of a photo taken by an important, creative person deserving of more acknowledgment.

Nicolaas: Kinkole

252 x 189

Nic & Ann: Toronto

201 x 134 narrative

It was not until they travelled together to Manhattan that the significance of bridges came upon them. That first yellow cab taxi ride took them by surprise. And when they landed on the “other side” they were in a place all too different from anywhere else they had been together before. It seemed so much bigger a step than driving over the St Lawrence River to reach the island of Montreal.

She no doubt had had much more experiences with bridges than he had. She grew up in Bangkok, a city of millions, defined by the great and winding Chao Praya River. Bridges in Bangkok mean getting to the airport and getting to University. When he first saw the Chao Praya it reminded him of the Thames in London, and when he first came to Bangkok he stayed on the other side of the river from her parent’s house. So the daily bridge crossing was both a feeling of going home and a feeling of leaving. When he proposed to her, he wanted to be on the middle of a bridge, neither leaving nor going, always being at home.

Manuela: Split 1

202 x 152 narrative

The Adria - I was born in Split Croatia and moved to Berlin, Germany in 1989 when I was 12 years old – just before the war in ex-Yugoslavia started. I lived with my grandmother for three years while my mother was in Berlin paving the way for me to join her and start school there. Most of my school summer holidays were spent going back to visit my gran – we were very close.

During the war most of my friends left Croatia, so summer was the meeting point for all of us scattered to different parts of the world. I would spend all day outside with friends on the beaches and only come back home when I was hungry and had to sleep.

The Adria Sea and its incomparable beauty have spoiled me for life. No other sea can come close to being this beautiful; its calmness causes me to lose myself in it and the balmy temperature makes me want to swim in it forever. The colours of the most beautiful shades of blues, combined with the rough feel of the pebbles on the feet make me feel at home. My heart bursts every time I get in it - filled with love and gratitude, and I feel an instant reconnection to it whenever I come back. Especially now that I live in Cape Town, where the ocean is wild and cold. It makes me love and appreciate the Adria even more!

Manuela: Split 2

202 x 152 narrative

The Riva – the main promenade in Split – with the old town behind it makes the perfect picture! It looks so pristine and beautiful that one just wants to jump in to have a swim. But the irony is that the stretch of Riva where this image was taken is a disgustingly dirty sea because the sewage pipes from restaurants and houses in the old town lead into the sea right there.

In the past few years it has been redirected deeper into the sea, but the memory of the smell lingers. The rest of the Riva, however, has always been the place to be, filled with busy restaurants and cafés. It’s just beautiful to sit in the shade and watch people passing by and ferries and yachts gliding past.

Manuela: Split 3

152 x 152 narrative

Cobbled roads are called ‘kale’ in the Split dialect. They are narrow, shiny and slippery and usually filled with people. It’s a web of roads in the old town, inside the remains of Diocletian’s Palace. One walks in between monuments and ruins, past museums and shops with loads of restaurants and bars.
I just love walking around the old town – walking the hidden walkways and taking shortcuts from A to B makes me feel like a local again. And having a sneak peek into people’s day-to-day lives in the old ruins of the palace, listening to people talking, couples fighting, and inhaling the passing smells of whatever they are cooking. Their homes are tiny in these buildings and living there is very noisy due to the buzzy seasonal life.

Unfortunately I just missed a photo of the lady who was hanging up her clothes. It’s a clever washing line system that connects two apartments with two completely different family life stories.
Somehow I don’t have the same feeling I have for Split when I’m thinking of Berlin, although I lived there for 17 years and call it my second home. I made great friends there and know both the West and East part of the city very well, but due to it being a big cosmopolitan city I never feel melancholy about it in the way that I do because of my deep love for Split.

It’s not so much the people that I deeply connect with in Split, more the landscape and the old town where I grew up. In fact, I don’t actually like what Split has become after the war, so I don’t have many new friends there.

In Berlin it’s the exact opposite. Berlin shaped me and made me open-minded, taught me to be strong enough to go anywhere I wanted and do whatever I like. I arrived into a whole new culture there as a teenager, not speaking the language and amongst people with a different mentality, and made it my own.

Ma’tje: Zeedorp 1

254 x 190 narrative

In my childhood home was a small oil painting by Gust Masson—a wedding present to my parents from their theatre colleagues—of dark clouds over the River Scheldt; also a Jules Bovée pastel of a man with a lantern walking into a wintery scene with pollarded willows. Four fifths of these pictures were grey sky. In my early teens I hiked through the Flemish countryside and absorbed with all my senses the nuances of how it manifested. For every season I knew the flowers, the small creatures and the ditches; the cows behind the electric fences and the buttercups, the shrines along the way. When I sang, it was to the skies and the flat land. That felt like home. I have since emigrated to two other continents, but in spite of an adventurous adult life have not fused this intimately with a place again.

Ma’tje: Zeedorp 2

254 x 190 narrative

We walked here in early spring this year: my 93-year-old mother, my sister and her husband, and the cousin who was hosting us. We had separately travelled by boat, plane, train and automobile to be together. We tossed Thomas’ Feels like home challenge around: was home in a landscape? I felt a pang of belonging reading the slogans on the backs and sides of tractor-trailers powering down the highway: so many European languages and none of them unnerved me. Better still, four of us shared a mother tongue. Whether we walked on the dikes that keep the sea from eating the land or in the well-ordered fields and orchards, the feeling of home was in the being together, in the comfortable use of language. My brother-in-law speaks no Flemish yet how bravely he improvised. How brave are we all, when the feeling of home is not a given … which for most of my close family is a lot of the time.

Ken: Lake Kivu

152 x 202 narrative

Home is where the Keeper of your Heart meets the Makers of your Heart meets Inflection Point meets Mush. I love my girlfriend. I love my folks. My past, present and future selves have done nothing, but nothing, to deserve either. This image encapsulates the time when my loves met each other for the very first time. It’s a teeny bit disingenuous including it in a series that celebrates “home”. I am 99.999999% certain I will never see this deck again or ever take in this view of Lake Kivu again.

I humbly submit that it is admissible on account of past home(s) encountering, validating, celebrating, BEQUEATHING (dammit!) future home(s). That Water, agent of Change, features prominently is a trudat shout out to happenstance. Ha…HA!

Ken: Amsterdam

152 x 202 narrative

A lack of permanence has been a recurring theme in all my musings about “home”. I don’t recall being desperately unhappy anywhere. With that, however, I don’t remember ever feeling particularly legitimate. As my Mom was/is fond of declaring: “Your accent is so inoffensive!” There you have it. A dedicated denizen of neither-here-nor-there. Happy with that. Delirious in fact. But still, ever, ille-giti-mate on account of being never-quite-present.

This image captures a happy time of settling and finding comfort in discomfort. It’s the last little bit of my commute in the snow to my first Mon - Fri, 9 - 5 job in my new home, Amsterdam. Prior to this I had a career as a doctor on numerous ships in many, many warm places. On the back of a rushed move I found out I was not allowed to practice medicine in the Netherlands. As a result I spent the first seven months of my time here travelling to Sligo, Ireland, where my medical license is recognised, to work. Two weeks of each month there working, and the other two unsettled in Amsterdam. Cue September and a job (kinda medical) that let me STAY. I relished catching the same Metro at the same time every morning. Day after day walking past these impassive trees and into the -meh- office. Summer, Autumn, Winter took their best shots and still, the trees remained. So. Did. I. Ha!

Johan: Stockholm

196 x 200 narrative

In 2007 I was a lost boy. I quit my job, was searching for the meaning of life and was struggling to find somewhere to settle down. Gothenburg was not my city, neither was Barcelona. I ended up in Stockholm, the city I had earlier in my life put a huge line through and said “I´ll never ever move there, too hectic.” But then all my friends seemed to move there, so I did too. After a few weeks on a friend’s couch I met a guy in a bar who said he had an apartment he was giving up. I had zero-dot-zero ideas on the structure of the city but just said, hell yeah, I want it. I stayed there for four years and loved every moment, and that neighbourhood really got into my heart. After four years away from it we (Amy and our newborn Ben) decided to move back there. That was a great decision, and my heart belongs there. I took this photo on my very first day back in the hood, as the sun was rising between the buildings. My gaaawd, my obsession with shooting at sunrise and sunset will never disappear. And Hornstull will always be home in Stockholm.

Johan: Cape Town

200 x 183 narrative

Having a car has always given me a sense of freedom. For about 10 years I didn’t have one, so it was thrilling for me to be behind the steering wheel of a jeep again when I got it a few years ago. From my very first visit to Cape Town in 2011 I have a strong memory from when we passed over the neck at Lions Head, four boys in a rental car playing Adele’s (well, the radio did) “Rolling in the deep”. The beats were getting to me and in that moment it was the best song in the world. The sun was setting, we had a sweet night coming up and life as a single boy on the other side of the world was rocking.

Being back in Cape Town these days, with a South African girlfriend who´s also the mom of my child, brings out emotions and make me walk down memory lane a lot. For example, every time I pass that hill with the jeep I’m reminded of that special moment with my friends and how life after that changed completely, in a wonderful and very unexpected way.

Ingrid: Fredericton 1

152 x 202 narrative

I was born and raised in Taiwan, completed most of my schooling in South Africa and now living in Canada on a permanent basis. The vast Canadian landscape versus hustle and bustle of crowded Taipei; six months of freezing cold winter versus temperate and mild climate of Cape Town. After residing in three very different continents, "Home" is a vague concept to me. It is a lifelong lesson of adjusting and readjusting to new surroundings, while constantly embracing changes and dealing with culture shock. However, deep down, I am still Chinese. When our backyard is completely buried underneath the snow, that little Chinese ornament next to window reconnects me to my heritage, reminding me of my home.

Ingrid: Fredericton 2

152 x 202 narrative

Well, like westerners enjoying popcorns or chips, when I was young my mom and I used to devour chicken feet in front of the TV. It’s part of my childhood memories. I had a sudden craving for animal-part delicacies around Chinese new year, something I have not eaten for a long time and not available at local supermarkets. I searched and searched until I found a small bag of chicken feet at a Chinese store. The familiar taste is an emotional connection to the past and cures homesickness.
In terms of animal symbolism, chicken symbolises the phoenix in Chinese culture. Chicken feet are a type of delicacy and are referred to as "phoenix feet" in Chinese restaurants.

Jessye: Toronto

303 x 203

Jessye: Froebel Lake

102 x 151

Georgia: Karoo

202 x 152 narrative

This is the view from the passenger’s seat of my little Corsa, driving away from the farm. It is also the view from the driver’s seat on the way to the farm. Both viewpoints hold a lot of emotion for me, as I only get to visit my dad in the Karoo once a year at most. If I had to choose a home out of all the places and houses that I’ve lived in, one that means the most in terms of stored memories and a feeling of belonging, it would be the farm. I hope this is the view going toward the farm. It means there are only another twenty or thirty minutes to go along the dirt road until I get there.

Georgia: Kalk Bay

305 x 203 narrative

I go to the sea when I feel homesick, and I’m lucky that here in Halifax I’m never far from it. Last weekend my sister and I rented a car and drove 30 minutes to Conrad’s, my favourite beach in Nova Scotia. It was stormy, but folks were still out with their dogs and blankets and wetsuits. I can’t quite put my finger on why I like Conrad’s the best. Maybe it’s because it’s poorly sign posted, there’s no parking and you can’t see it from the road. It’s separate from everything, and more intimate. Maybe it’s just that it reminds me of my favourite beach back home, Danger Beach, which is also somewhat hidden. This is an image of Kalk Bay, looking out over the train station. If I were home now, I would find parking along this road, maybe stopping for an ice cream, and walking a few minutes on the hot pavement to Dangers.

Georgia: Cape Fold Mountains

305 x 203 narrative

I have part of this image in my wallet. A small bit of reddish earth, some tufts of dry bush, the curve of the road ahead, the arresting Cape Fold Mountains. It is midsummer, and it may be the middle of the day. I can tell it is scorching! I see this corner of home when I pay for anything in Canada. I see it each time I use my library card, or when I’m at the coffee shop and I get my loyalty card punched, or when I go to the pool for a swim. Typically, most of the year here is cold and dark. I find that really hard. Some winters are unbearable, and I get very tired and drawn. This image in my wallet is on the one hand hopeful: a bit of Karoo light, shining. On the other hand it’s a reminder of where I am not, and where I most often want to be.

Clifford: Durban

201 x 149 narrative

On a holiday alone with my mother — I think I was about 6 or 7 years old — at a farm near Dargle, a hundred kilometers or so from Durban, I rode a horse for the first time. In fact I didn’t just ride a horse, I insisted on remaining in the saddle the whole day. The next day my mother took me on a walk using the many paths one finds in hills carved by people and animals. When it was time for a midday snack my mother, a very accomplished Australian woman who grew up on a farm near Melbourne, picked a large wild mushroom and then kindled a fire with which to heat smooth, rounded rocks. She placed the mushroom on these now-hot rocks and we sat watching together as it sizzled in its juices. Its aroma has stayed with me. We broke the mushroom into pieces, as one might break bread, and had a truly scrumptious meal. When I make mushroom omelettes it is almost as if I am eating with my mother once again, around hot stones on a warm afternoon.

Clifford: Toronto

201 x 149 narrative

An awakening to move as a young adult, from what has been my home, a home where leaves remain green all year, to a new home where leaves form rainbows of colour each Fall. A colour-bow that crunched underfoot and was given voice by breezes. To a place where water can form musical icicles on leafless branches once Fall gives way to Winter. This path through woods, in an archipelago of islands surrounded by fresh clear lakes, in a vast wilderness that is my Canada, reminds me not only of beautifully quilted spaces, but of the eerie sounds of loons through the trees and I imagine them moving, with only the faintest wakes, across a still lake.

Clifford: Muizenberg

150 x 102 narrative

Some of my most iconic memories are of oceans. Feeling ocean breezes touch my face and tousle my hair, exploring rock pools with waving anemones touched by tides, tiny fish swimming through my fingers, sitting on rocks as waves crash around them, watching electrical storms light up dark seas, anchored ships from far away lands, feeling the power of the ocean directly on my body, surfing with dolphins, whales performing incredible acrobatics, feeling sand squeeze between my toes, and views, magnificent views of the watery beauty of my home, the tiny pale blue dot pictured by Voyager 1 on February 14th, Valentine’s Day, in 1990, from 6.4 billion kilometres away as it moved beyond the fringes of our solar system.

Alexandra: Cape Town

187 x 187 narrative

View from my balcony at 220 Loop Street. Whilst living in South Africa this was not just my base, but my home. It is in a painfully hipster part of town. Four floors up, I awoke every morning to the backdrop of the city bowl and the unfailingly changing skies. The soundscape was also unique. The call to prayer, the church bells, Bree Street’s drunken revellers and the frustratingly frequent passing of Ducati or Harley engines. Inside, behind this field of vision, is my apartment. One characterised by hosting dinners with truly amazing people, long brunches with my flatmate and working at my desk. It was a bubble, one like so many in Cape Town. I was fortunate to have such a wonderful place to stay, whilst outside so many struggled day to day. Cape Town remains home, a home from home.

Alexandra: Seyðisfjörður 1

200 x 200 narrative

This picture was taken during a writing residency at Skaftfell Visual Art Centre. Skaftfell, based in Seyðisfjörður, East Iceland, is a visual art centre and a meeting point for artists and locals. I have been working on a publication on the artist Dieter Roth, gathering anecdotes from the time Roth spent in the town. The resulting publication will present these stories – the book will be presented as a bilingual edition. The publication will pull together stories about the artist through an intense period of conversation and interviews with locals who knew of Roth during his time in Seyðisfjörður. Seyðisfjörður is a unique place, rich in both visual and olfactory offerings. There is a clean, ice-filled base note, but with the occasional waft of fish that cuts across the fjord and can fairly floor you. This is due to the fish smelting plant, which operates on certain days. The town settlement in the Seyðisfjörður was started in 1848 by Norwegian fishermen. These settlers also built some of the wooden buildings that still exist in the town. I’m thankful that due to the research for the book I will be returning again shortly to collect some more stories to complete the publication. Icelanders are incredibly hospitable, and the latitude places my conventional appreciation of time on hold. This image was in fact taken at almost midnight in June, 2016.

Alexandra: Seyðisfjörður 2

203 x 231 narrative

This photo was taken just before I took a dip in the 2ºC fjord as part of a women’s swimming group. A group that started up after an artist who was washing local wool in the fjord fell in and the other women of the town decided to follow in support, and to start a regular swimming group. This water was so life-affirmingly cold that one can only swim in it for a few minutes, but I have never felt more alive; blood thundering through my body and the clean, crisp water lapping around my ears. On exit one feels so alive, with the dramatic mountains nestling around the fjord looking down upon you. My heritage is Viking, so this peculiar activity felt somewhat natural. Alas, there was no sauna around to heat up in. Just a towel-down and run back to the house for a shower.