Did a lot of random stuff some nights ago. I was working the late shift for a week or two, and that’s probably when those weird jobs pop up. For example: a hundred somalis were celebrating their national holiday – I guess it’s their independence day or something. I had to cover that. At first, I was thinking; do they really have anything at all to celebrate? I mean, their country is basically non-existing! It is roughly divided in 2-3 parts, the country as a whole haven’t had a central government since 1991 – and that regime wasn’t something to brag about. They have had a civil war since 1991 – and before that (between 1977 and 1978), their country is in a constant state of upheaval and now millions of people are becoming refugees after a severe drought hit the country hard. They are also known for pirates, extremely militant islamists, female circumcision, poverty and violence. Wow. Well, these guys were happy for their country anyway, and showed no signs of what I just mentioned.
Møre og Romsdal county (fylke) is, in addition to an industry – and fishing-based economy, also heavily relying on tourism. Trollstigen and Geiranger are to major tourist attractions, and it is the scenery and nature that is the big treat for tourists. But the weather has been horrible the last couple of weeks. So horrible that the tourists are not coming. On a wednesday night I was told to go to Valldal to take pictures at a camping site that was struggling because the bad weather kept the tourists from coming. So I had to get in the car, drive 200 km just to get a picture of a guy in the sun. Fortunately, this camping site was placed so that the sun was still up when I arrived, despite being placed in a deep valley with tall mountains on both sides.
New hotels are being built everywhere, and the tourist industry will probably keep on booming in all countries. This also applies for Ålesund. As a major tourist city in Norwaym there are already quite a few hotels – even though the city isn’t really big. Now, another one is recently completed. Choice Waterfront Hotel Ålesund is the newest addition to “places where mostly business men and a few tourists hang out”. Sunnmørsposten decided not only to cover the event a week before opening, as this series shows:
This series, with text written by a journalist, was published as a 2-page spread the next day. In addition, Sunnmørsposten also wanted to cover the opening of the hotel – just a week later. And, since I made the first story, I was chosen to make the next one (to make sure there were different pictures this time). So I brought another journalist and met up at the same hotel and met the same people. yeah.
Herøyspelet – just like all the other “spel” in Norway, it’s something about Saint Olav, the Viking king. It’s some kind of outdoor theater, with a huge amount of actors. This play is also written in Nynorsk – the other official language in Norway – and it’s performed in a mixture of local dialect and nynorsk. It’s really cool, though. At first I thought it would be a boring thing, because nobody in the audience was below 30 years of age, well maybe one or two, but most people had seen a lot of summers and winters. But I caught myself not taking pictures because whatever happened on the “stage” was so exciting. It’s a story about lost love, vikings, money, power and magic. Gotta love it:
Malene Busengdal is one of two girls in the construction industry. Right now she’s heading the removal of two small mountains – a work necessary to build a huge area for new industrial zones outside of Ålesund. The usual square-shaped buildings will pop up in this area once it’s finished. The Mail Company, Norway’s second largest food retail chain, Rema 1000 among others will establish themselves in this area. The construction site is huge, and even though there is minimal activity there now, there is still some work being done and some big machines doing it.
Norwegian Tourist Association, or DNT in norwegian, are a great bunch of people. They have a lot of cabins up in the mountains, that hikers and others can use freely. Well, you’ll probably have to pay for it, but it’s not much really. Some of these cabins/cottages are manned during summer, and they have electricity connected as well as a large-scale kitchen for serving meals. But getting everything up into the mountain isn’t the easiest thing. It takes at least a 1 1/2 hour walk, and there is no road for vehicles. So how do you carry 30 tonnes of supplies to four different cabins in the mountain? You use a helicopter of course!
There is also a series in Sunnmørsposten: