Weekend in the Dalecarlian countryside for the Swedish Conference on Macromolecular Structure and Function, held for 20 years among the red barns and horse pastures of Tällberg on Lake Siljan.
Like most of Europe, we had a work holiday första maj (May 1st)—for Swedes, a time both to march in support of International Workers’ Day, and to recuperate from the annual Valborgsmässoafton (Walpurgis Night) bonfires. This year’s timing also made for a three-day weekend, so we took the opportunity to connect with our broader Scandinavian community, hopping the 50-minute flight to visit friends in Oslo, Norway.
After a long Scandinavian winter (like Stockholm, Oslo had snow just last week), the weekend brought a gratifying taste of spring. We joined many enthusiastic Norwegians in exploring the budding Østmarka wilderness on Oslo’s southeast border.
Norway’s Arbeiderpartiet, and a diverse crowd of related activists, turned out in force for the første mai demonstrations around Youngstorget—accompanied by Per Palle Storm’s labor monument Pioneren, as well as the looming Regjeringskvartalet, still marked by the 2011 Oslo Attacks. Nearby, Stinius Fredriksen’s 1950 memorial to FDR (top)—erected, in part, for his influential Look to Norway speech—looked on from a luminous forsythia bower.
Many thanks to our hosts, former San Francisco roommates Matt and Laura (plus effervescent daughter Evelis), for helping make even our quick trips instructive and nourishing.
Thanks in part to brother Julian’s hard work for the airline industry, we got to spend the last few days of 2016 on Maui, Hawaii’s second-largest island. Much as we have enjoyed the Swedish winter so far, it was an enormous privilege to celebrate a sole-warming holiday surrounded by family and inspiring landscapes.
Our erstwhile home on Kaanapali was crowded for Christmas, but we enjoyed the ready access to sunrise yoga and midday swims, as well as local produce and hot banana lumpia at Beachwalk Market. Other marvelous meals were had at Leilani’s, Maui Brewing Company, and Haliimaile General Store.
Our hired hybrid got a workout exploring the western and central island, from the Lahaina coast to Twin Falls rainforest. The Ohai Trail was a hidden hiking gem, with humbling ocean gales and stunning views of Nakalele Blowhole.
Ever in pursuit of adventurous spirits, we loved the unique glass stills churning local pineapple and cane into gin and rum at Haliimaile Distilling Co, and the inspired designs and demonstrations at Makai Glass Creations nextdoor. But little compared to a rare glimpse of over fifty sea turtles on Hookipa Beach during a spontaneous sunset pit stop along the Hana Highway.