By Corey Sandler
As Groucho Marx sang in “Animal Crackers”,
Hello, I must be going
I cannot stay, I came to say, “I must be going”
I’m glad I came but just the same I must be going
To me, that’s a natural turn of events. With the exception of the unwanted and unappreciated interruption of the Pandemic Years, I’ve been on the move most of my life.
It’s good to be going.
So, I’m interrupting the contemplative mood of the most recent set of blog entries to report on my most recent travels, from Stockholm across the Baltic and then up and around the corner to Norway.
And then from there northwestward ho, to the stubbornly iconoclastic Faroe Islands and a near-complete circumnavigation of the island nation of Iceland, which straddles the line that defines the European and American land masses.
We did this in great style, aboard Viking Jupiter, where I was guest lecturer for a month.
The old salt’s benediction used to go like this: “Fair winds and clear skies.” Fingers crossed, we can expand best wishes for travelers like this: “Fair winds, clear skies, and healthy air.”
As always, I travel with my camera and notebook.
Our first port of call from Stockholm was south across the Baltic to Gdansk, Poland, a place that has seen more than of its share of history. It was once a very prosperous trading port for all manner of local businesspeople, including the Vikings and the Hanseatic League.
And then it came under control of Germany, until the messy aftermath of World War I when it was partitioned off to a reconstructed Poland as Danzig. That act was one of the excuses for war for Hitler, and it was in Danzig that the first actual battle of World War II was fought.
Much of Gdansk–now once again part of Poland–was destroyed in the war, but it was rebuilt as it was before and is now a handsome port of call.
A few days later we were in Warnemunde, Germany. This has been a popular seaside resort for more than a century, enduring a strange, stagnant period when it was part of the German Democratic Republic, better known as mostly humorless East Germany.
I’ll be back next month with more photos from this series. In the meantime, I must be going…preparing for another voyage, this one from New York to a clockwise circle of Iceland.
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