At the beginning of December I will start in Tromsø. My plan is very simple: I’ll paddle two to three weeks in Norway on my SUP board to the North Cape on the waterway . On the trail of the northern lights, I will be challenged by the darkness, the cold and unknown waters in order to be able to see things with new eyes again. 500 kilometers, enough time and top material – what more do you need? Sparkling is good in the dark If it weren’t for darkness, we wouldn’t know anything about the stars, is a saying in Norway . My expedition should not take place during the warm summer months. I need to fight the elements again. So why not take on the challenges and experience Norway in the darkest season? The moments when my body slowly warms up after the first few strokes of the paddle are dances of joy for muscles and mind. The twilight that falls over the country for a few hours every day is a gift from the sun, which cheers me up every day. The tail wind that drives me along with the ebb tide is pure relaxation. Wind and peaks of waves After I was greeted by a snowstorm in Tromsø and the temperatures plummeted, I question this decision with every paddle stroke: Why am I doing this to myself? When the temperature is below zero, crawl out of the tent and then paddle through the darkness for up to ten hours. Lashing wind that piles up the water in waves and almost capsizes my SUP board. A fall would be the end of my expedition, because, as is well known, wet and cold become ice. But that’s exactly where the fascination of my trip lies. Finally northern lights! When the clouds lift after an exhausting week and I see the northern lights for the first time in my life, I am just happy. For me, life means that I face uncertain situations, challenge myself and grow or fail as a result. Don’t fear the end of life, rather fear that it never begins. According to this Norwegian idiom, I am not afraid of the uncertainty of my plan. I never take unnecessary risks. Already in the first week I decide against crossing fjords, always paddle near the shore and the last stage I do on foot because of the stormy winds. Often accompanied by the unearthly beautiful northern lights. z Home … Despite a dry suit, life jacket and emergency transmitter, I am looking for challenges in physical and mental combat and not in risky situations. It is the inner voice that screams, first softly and then louder, for freedom and adventure. On the way to the North Cape, this voice gets quieter and quieter. Another voice is getting louder and louder. It is the call for company and homecoming! I paddle not only towards my goal, but deeper and deeper into myself. A world which is my life and which I can create and shape myself.
A highway for UFO fans. A mini-state called Molossia. School buses buried in the desert sand and lots of nothing. In Nevada the slant is standard! No, he doesn’t need a crown. “I am a military dictator and not a king,” said Kevin Baugh. The outfit is perfect: green uniform, medals on the chest, a three-colored sash in the national colors, plus sunglasses. Only the big grin doesn’t really fit. The wind carries the smell of dust and sage into the 4,000 square meter Republic of Molossia near Dayton in the US state of Nevada. Ex-soldier Baugh, 55, founded his own state 19 years ago in the desolate nowhere. Complete with post office, own currency (Valora), state railroad (model train size), customs office (visitors have to hand in their change) and first lady (Adrianne, 38). “Molossia is my expression of freedom, imagination and personal sovereignty,” he explains. Wasn’t he just a strange weirdo? Baugh pretends to be genuinely indignant: “This is the first time I’ve heard such a question!” In Nevada, the slant is standard. The US state is a reservoir for out-of-the-way attractions and unusual people who would be referred to as strange, crazy, or interesting elsewhere. Crazy Las Vegas Now the tourism authority has discovered that the quirky attracts visitors. For the past two years she has been placing ads on websites frequented by fans of the fantastic or organizing her own tours under the motto “Weird Nevada”. Tourism director Bethany Drysdale: “This state has always inspired loners, bizarre people and people who think differently. They have settled here and are now living out their strange ideas. That attracts more people who are different from the mainstream. ” Already Las Vegas is basically madness turned into a city. An orgy of neon, music, show girls, stretch limousines and the plingpling of one-armed bandits. You can watch flamingos or tigers being fed, spend $ 10,000 on a single cocktail, or learn machine gun shooting. In the “Heart Attack Grill” fat people who weigh more than 160 kilograms eat for free, the largest burger has 10,000 calories. Best seller: coffins It gets even more strange in the country. And there is plenty of land. Nevada is larger than the UK and is home to just 2.9 million people, two-thirds of whom live in the greater Las Vegas area. The state offers loneliness and space a lot. Bryan and Dusty Schoening run their funeral home “Coffinwood” in the town of Pahrump. After his parents’ accidental death, Bryan decided to become a coffin carpenter. “It was disgusting how the undertakers treated me. I wanted to find a more personal way for people to say goodbye to loved ones. ”He has had a kind of coffin obsession ever since. On a tour of their dusty realm – a wooden bungalow with half a dozen sheds and corrugated iron huts – the two of them show me their collection of eleven hearses (“Unfortunately, only three drive”), black tulips and lilies that bloom on the beds, and the workshop, in which Bryan makes all coffins by hand.