The Last VIIC U-Boat

The type VII u-boat was by far the most widely used German attack submarine of the WWII era. It had several variations and improvements along the way, designated as types A, B, C, D, and F. The type VII version C, or “VIIC” was the workhorse of the German U-boat attack force. It was also the type of submarine that was depicted in the famous movie, “Das Boot”. The VIIC is very special to me as it was the model that was featured in the most excellent submarine simulator video game series, “Silent Hunter”.

The VIIC was further modified to go deeper than its predecessors, boasting an operational depth of 230m, a gain of 10m over the VIIC, and was designated as type VIIC/41. It is the VIIC/41 that is on display in Laboe, Germany, and that is the subject of this article. It is the world’s only surviving VIIC submarine.

So yes, we took the metro to the train depot in Stockholm where we boarded the train to Gothenburg where we took a cruise ship to Kiel where we took a ferry to Laboe to see a submarine dry docked on a beach! Phew! Sure, we could have taken a plane and been there in a couple of hours, but nowhere was the old adage “It’s not the destination, but the journey that matters” more true than on this trip. I mean, yes, the destination was fabulous and was the whole reason for the journey, but we decided to take the scenic route and enjoy the journey as much as possible.

I highly recommend the three hour train ride from Stockholm to Gothenburg. It is very relaxing and puts scenic Sweden countryside on full display. Not to mention Gothenburg it a fantastic town to visit. We have been there several times. In fact, The Travelin’ Man did write an article about one of the trips out there. You can review that article by clicking here.

The booze cruise left from Gothenburg for Kiel. It took about 15 hours (overnight trip). The amazing part of this leg was that you enter the water channel approaching Kiel on the exact same route as you used in the Silent Hunter. The other interesting aspect is that as you move down the waterway towards Kiel, you can see the VIIC from the ship. Due to some bad weather, I did not get a decent picture.

Once off the ship, we had a choice of a ferry boat or a bus, and each was a one hour ride. Naturally, we opted for the boat.

Getting access to the boat only cost €7. I took a long stern to bow video, and then went back and took pictures. The video can be viewed by clicking on this link. Note that in the video I commented that the first bathroom was no longer a bathroom. That was incorrect. The toilet was still there, it was just covered up with boxes. It was in fact used as a “spare” bathroom. Provided the main bathroom was operational, the spare was used for storage.

And below, a very brief picture tour:

The Forward torpedo room. One torpedo queued and one (bottom right) already loaded. The aft (rear) torpedo room consisted of one tube. The VIIC normally began a mission with 14 torpedoes.
Another view of the forward torpedo room that shows some of the bunk beds. The VIIC typically sailed with around 50 crew!
The main control room. This was the busiest and most important section of the sub. From here, the captain had direct access to the observation scope, dive plane crew, helmsman, navigator, and first officer. Just to the right of this picture is the ladder that goes up to the conning tower, which is where the attack periscope and exterior bridge is located. Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed access to that area.
This is the navigation station, which is positioned on the left side of the control room picture. This was a very important station not only from a navigational standpoint, but also because it is where known contacts were plotted and tracked. And most of the maps had underwater topography markings so the navigator could estimate the depth beneath the sub at any time.
This one was taken from the Captain’s bunk, which is very strategically located. That is the sonar room (left) and radio room on the right. Two highly critical stations. The control room is just to the right through the hatch. And the officer’s bunks are just to the left.
Well, all told, it was a great trip! Thanks for stopping by. I am sure I got some things wrong, but I know my friends at will help us out! Happy travels all! And as always, post any questions/comments here or email me directly (contact information on
Stavanger, Norway

Stavanger, Norway

Well hello! Remember me? The Covid pandemic certainly put a dent in our travel schedule. However, I must confess that I haven’t been completely loyal to you – we did a small amount of travel behind your back. We met some friends in Iceland (our third trip there and still love it). By the time we went to Iceland, most of the travel restrictions had been removed. All the other places we went were within Sweden and strictly followed pandemic protection measures and restrictions. The places we went were Dalarna (again), Öland, Gothenburg (again), and Gotland Island.

But now we have finally spread our wings and traveled back out into the world! We had previously gone to Norway and had such a great time that we decided to go back there. You can see the previous Norway destinations by going to and using the pull down menu titled “DESTINATIONS” and selecting Norway. You can also find my previous articles on Iceland and Gothenburg at that same place.

Stavanger is fairly easy to get to. Click here to see it on Google Maps, or checkout the picture below. Stavanger is where the blue dot is on the bottom left. The body of water to the left is the North Sea. We had a connecting flight from Stockholm to Oslo, then Oslo to Stavanger. Just under two hours of flight time, and it is in CEST time zone, same as Stockholm. From the local airport, we took an airport bus into the city. The bus ride was under half an hour and dropped us off at a spot that was convenient to our hotel.

The Fjord Cruise to Pulpit Rock (Preikestolen)

Recall that Pulpit Rock is that famous cliff that Tom Cruise was hanging off of in the movie Mission: Impossible – Fallout. The cruise boat takes you out into the Lyse fjord, which is where the famous cliff hanger is. You can see this location on your Google Maps by clicking here. This will allow you to see it from the bottom. Further down in the article, we will be climbing up to it see it from the top.

It’s a dramatic, scenic journey along the fjord with high mountains, waterfalls, and even a couple of goats.

On occasion, visitors have spotted seals as well, but we weren’t fortunate enough to see any on our trip.

There were several nice waterfalls. On this one (above), the captain pulled the boat in close for a good photo opp.

Once you arrive at the foot of the cliffs below Pulpit Rock, the captain stops the boat so everyone can get their photos of this magnificent cliff.

On the above, I have marked the spot that is the place from the movie. And it is also flat and reachable on the top. In fact, the boat makes a stop shortly after the photo opp where passengers can depart and make the hike up to the top. We didn’t do this, opting instead to take the bus out tomorrow and making the hike up from a different spot (further down in the article).

The Viking House

Viking House
+47 412 46 716
Google Map Link

This was a very short, but worthwhile stop. They take you into a room where there is a small viking ship set up. You get into the ship and sit on a bench, as if to be a crew member. Then you put on a pair of VR goggles and a headset. You are then presented with an amazing virtual tour through the history of how Harold Fairhair united all of Norway into one kingdom under one leader (him) around the year 880.

Although the graphics are a bit dated and the acting is not award winning, it is a fascinating and informative presentation. I highly recommend it. As you can see below, I managed to take over the ship, casting all naysayers over the side.

The Climb to Pulpit Rock (Preikestolen)

Pulpit Rock
Google Map Link

The relaxing fjord cruise took us to see the Pulpit Rock from the bottom. But unless you rent a helicopter (as I am sure Tom Cruise did), getting to the rock and seeing it first hand is an entirely different matter.

The bus dropped us off at the “base camp”. From there, it’s a two to two and half hour hike through predominantly inhospitable terrain with long, steep hills and rocky, sometimes near 45 degree climbs.

Was it worth the climb? Absolutely! Click the link below to see all of the amazing photos from the climb and then judge for yourself.

Click here for photo book

Restaurants and Shopping

I don’t think I have ever seen so many restaurants and pubs lining the sides of the road as I did on the walk from our bus to the hotel. Steak houses, seafood, hamburgers, cocktail bars, too much to take in!

But here’s the odd thing. There’re were no customers. They were all open, but it looked like a pandemic apocalypse. And not just the one in the picture, they were all like that.

The next morning, when we left our hotel, we noticed a mega-gigantic cruise ship had docked at the port. Now the city was humming with tourists! Later that night, the ship was gone, and we had the city to ourselves again. It really was the most astonishing thing. So unless you just like bumping into people and long queues for restaurants and bars, then this is a great place to visit!

Most of the pubs and wine bars were super cozy. No cookie-cutter layouts and, for the most part, no chains. Each one is unique in presentation and cuisine. Exploration fun!

And the city streets are just as cozy and inviting. The food, shopping, and pubs were excellent. The city is well organized and easy to move around in on foot.

The Petroleum Museum

Norwegian Petroleum Museum
+47 51 93 93 00
Google Map Link

We also went to the petroleum museum. I know what you’re thinking: what? But yeah, see Norway is actually a huge supplier of petroleum and they have a dramatic and sorted past on that. Sort of like the gold rush in the US. A lot of people got rich, and still are, and there were several catastrophic disasters where a lot people died. So it was quite an interesting presentation and I would recommend it. But watch yourself, there are dinosaurs there, so the kids will love it, too!

The End

And that was it, folks. We had a marvelous time and would go back and do it again. Well, except for that climb up to Pulpit Rock. Some things are better left to just the initial impression….

-Travelin’ Man

Läckö Slott


After our stay in Gothenburg, we rented a car and drove up to Läckö Slott. It is a medieval castle in Sweden, located on Kållandsö island on Lake Vänern, 25 kilometers north of Lidköping in Västergötland, Sweden.

Läckö Castle
531 99 Lidköping, Sweden
+46 510 48 46 60

It took us about two hours to drive there from Gothenburg.


Läckö castle has a long, sorted past with over 20 owners since 1298. It had really served as more of a trophy than a real battle castle. Kings would award the property to their most noble knights or generals. Each owner added a little more to the castle. Now it is owned by the Swedish government and is preserved and displayed for the public.



It is well presented and worthy of your time. They have restored some of the rooms with more recent 18th century furniture and art.


We stayed at the Naturum, which is conveniently located right on the castle grounds. It was a pretty good place. But book far in advance as there are only about 20 or so rooms. After our stay there, we headed towards Kebalvägen and the Strömstad Spa & Resort. But we made a couple of stops along the way.

Uddevalla Strandpromenaden (the Uddevalla beach walk)


Along the way, we decided to make a stop here to see for ourselves how spectacular this walk was. This is said to be one of the best walks in Sweden. It took us about an hour and a half to get there in the car.  It is worth a little detour if you’re in the area. But keep in mind, this is just a very small segment of a much larger trail.

The beach promenade is a total of 9.3 km long and can be divided into three parts: the forest part, the city part and the beach part. It starts at the more than 10,000-year-old seashell banks in Kuröd and then extends via central Uddevalla all the way to the bathing place at Lindesnäs. Along the way there are many interesting places and beautiful views to see.

Above, you can see, this part of the path is suspended above the water and held by anchors in the side of the cliff. Masterful engineering and construction. The other picture is the same part of the walkway from afar.

The path leads to the cute little town of Uddevalla. We had a nice, cozy lunch sitting outside at the Cafe Snäckan. It was very relaxing to just sit and watch the ocean while eating. Once we finished there, we retraced our steps back to the car.

Litsleby Rock Carvings

457 93 Tanumshede, Sweden
+46 10 441 43 10


After the trail, we stopped at Litselby. Here you can see some authentic rock carvings, some dating back to 3000 BC. The carvings were added to throughout time, with the newer ones being from the viking era, 0-900 AD. The red ink was added so that you could see the carvings better.

You can toodle around in that area and see a few other displays of the caveman’s Facebook.

Strömstad Spa and Resort

Kebalvägen 229, 452 40 Strömstad, Sweden
+46 526 303 00

Now this is the place you want to go towards the end of your vacation. You can rest and unwind in style and luxury. The bar and restaurant are top notch, and the service is probably the best in Sweden. It actually rained the day we were here, so we took advantage of the spa services and it was fantastic! Of course, all this glitz and and glamor is going to set you back a bit more than the other places, but it was within reason for what you get and we thoroughly enjoyed it.

And that was the end of this segment. After our stay at the Strömstad (two nights), we drove back to Gothenburg, then stayed one more night there before taking the train back to Stockholm.

If you missed out Gothenburg tour, you can see it by clicking here.

Thanks for tagging along. Be safe and, see you out there.

The Travelin’ Man




Gothenburg, Sweden



When I first started writing articles about Sweden over four years ago, I always felt obligated to include the Swedish notation on important words in the article. Gothenburg, for example, which is Göteborg in Swedish. And for some reason, this always felt a little pretentious.

But now we have been living in beautiful Sweden for over four years and we even own our flat and have learned a lot of the language. Now it feels wrong to use the English version of these words! Hell, I am even typing this on a Swedish keyboard! Anyway, I just thought I would share that tidbit of insightful trivia.

A word about the pandemic: There is no requirement to wear masks in Sweden (and generally, people don’t), but most of our activities were outside. Buildings like museums and aquariums were strictly controlled in terms of social distancing and how many people were allowed in the building at any given time. If there was a place inside of a building that required people to stand close together, that attraction was closed. Restaurants and bars adhered to the 3m distance guideline. This was not just in the Gothenburg area, but throughout Sweden. Everyone was offered free masks on the three hour train ride ( we had our own). The place where you are at the most risk is on the buses and trams, where social distancing isn’t feasible and there is no mask requirement. But taxis, Ubers, scooters, and bikes are always viable options.

I have one more thing to let you in on before we go. I have employed my programming prowess to make things a little simpler for you. This article is a little on the long side, so I have created some hyperlinks below that will instantly teleport you to that part of the article. So if you’re a traveler scanning through blogs for pertinent information about  the area, click on the links below. The rest of you, however, are required to read the article in full…..

  • The City Sites – Canal tours, Botanical Gardens, the Palm House, Universeum
  • The Food – notable restaurants we enjoyed while in Gothenburg
  • Accomodations – we stayed in two different hotels in Gothenburg
  • Vinga Island – I threw this in as a bonus trip, check it out!


THE RETURN OF The Travelin’ Man!!

Wow, it has been a quite a while since we did any significant travel. Since the pandemic, we have canceled our trip to Denmark and our trip to the US. We also had three of our friends scheduled to come see us, who also had to cancel.


But sitting around and comparing which sanitizer is best and trying to stockpile paper towels and toilet paper just isn’t in our DNA (although I do prefer the flat one, leak-proof, fits in any pocket – ugh). So while international travel is gridlocked with the virus, we decided to broaden our travel experience within Sweden. This time, we are making the jump out to the west coast.

We have done quite a bit of travel within Sweden, most of which is documented on my blog (see the links below). There was a trip to Skåne, in which the Travelin’ Man did not participate. We also did a small, three day weekend a few weeks ago in the archipelago, also not documented. I regret not telling you about those trips, they were both awesome!

You may recall these previous trips we did in Sweden that I did do articles for you (hyperlinks below):

We love the SJ train systems in Sweden, but this time we took a different line. We took the MTRX train from Stockholm to Gothenburg. It was around three hours, departing Stockholm at 11:47am and arriving in Gothenburg at 3:15pm. There were three stops along the way, and the scenery was, of course, beautiful. But otherwise an uneventful leg of the journey. The MTRX line was a tad cushier than the SJ line, but otherwise, they seemed the same to me. The tickets were 700 SEK each, round trip, which is around 80 USD. There isn’t much of a price difference between the two lines.

No matter where you stay in Gothenburg, it’s not likely that you will be able to get everywhere you want to go by shoe. Requiring the bus and/or tram is inevitable. You should download the app “västtrafik to go”. If you are reading this on an Apple device, try clicking here to download the app.  This will allow you to get an immediate ticket, or an extended one for a day or more. It will create a QR/barcode on your screen that their scanners can read.

Refer to the map, above. You can see the rough approximation of the train trip in red. I also circled Oslo, Norway and Copenhagen, Denmark, and Malmo, Sweden for your reference. Note that Oslo and Copenhagen are hyperlinked so you can go check out those articles in a separate page. Those blue markers you see on the map were all places that We went on this trip.

The City Sights

Gothenburg is the second largest city in Sweden, the first being Stockholm. But the two could not be further apart in culture and feel. Stockholm has a stately feel. Traditional, refined, and very cultural from a Swedish standpoint. Gothenburg, on the other hand, feels very European, but honestly, I didn’t even feel like I was in Sweden. It has more of a devil-may-care, laid-back, and independent aura about it. Even the architecture of the buildings and the city layout is different from Stockholm. So if you live in Stockholm and are looking for a “getaway “, this fits the bill quite nicely.

Gothenburg caters to shopping and eating, and both activities are well represented here. Nice restaurants with outdoor seating and cool taverns line both sides of the streets in the main area of town. It feels young, vibrant, and very friendly.



We came during the summer, at the end of July. The temperatures in Gothenburg was a warm 65-70 F (18-21 C). There was an occasional light, cooling wind. I wore a short sleeve shirt with an over shirt that I could take on and off to regulate and it worked out well. And of course, I never leave home without my trusty hat.

For each location that we visit, I will include a small header that has the street address, telephone number, and a google reference. When you click on the google reference, it will open the location in your google map and bring up a nice description of the location.


Södra Vägen 50, 412 54 Göteborg, Sweden
+46 31 335 64 00


This is a must see attraction for Gothenburg. From their website:“Explore Universeum. Animals, nature, chemistry, technology and fun experiments under one roof in the heart of Gothenburg.”

But sadly, we weren’t able to get in. Due to the pandemic, you have to book in advance on their website. But they only allow so many bookings per day and their quota was full the day we had planned to go. But on the bright site, this will give us a major attraction to see when we come back!

The Botanical Gardens

Carl Skottsbergs gata 22A, 413 19 Göteborg, Sweden
+46 10 473 77 77


When we weren’t able to get in the Universeum, we rode the tram back to the botanical gardens. The entry was free, and they have public restrooms. We spent around an hour and a half walking around here, and we still didn’t see quite everything.


This place is an example of the tenacious outdoor beauty that is Sweden in the summer. For a place with such long, cold and dark winters, you would never expect such thriving, vibrant flowers and shrubbery.

They had a separate area dedicated to food farming. You know, corn, lettuce, watermelon, etc. It was very well done and they had some amazing things growing in there. It was just interesting in an almost-apocalyptic/survival sort of way.

The Canal Tour

Kungsportsplatsen, 411 10 Göteborg, Sweden
+46 31 60 96 60


Sure, it’s an extremely touristy thing to do, but what can I say, we love a good boat ride! This one lasts about an hour. As you would expect, it comes with a tour guide that tells you what you’re looking at with historical perspective. The cost was 390 SEK ($44) for both of us.

It takes you entire length of the canal, crosses the harbor and back around the other side. You’ll get to see some of the city’s best sites, including the Opera house (above), the old shipyard, and the fish church (also pictured above).

The Palm House

Slussgatan 1, 411 06 Göteborg, Sweden
+46 31 365 58 58


This place is spectacular. The grounds are absolutely immaculate, and the flowers were glaring with color. The greenhouse, er uh, palm house, doesn’t open until 2p, and frankly, it was kinda ho-hum. But it’s right off the main road, so just step in and check it out if you’re in the area.

The food

Made in China

Tredje Långgatan 9, 413 03 Göteborg, Sweden
+46 31 309 52 10

The very first night, we went to a place called Made in China. Kind of like a Chinese tapas place. This turned out to be an outstanding choice. Very upbeat venue right on the Main Street. I strongly recommend it. The duck confit bun (pictured above) and the carmel pork were out of this world! But nothing in this place is going to disappoint including the wine and the cost. Many Chinese places fall short on wine selection, but this place had a wide assortment of really good ones. We liked it so much that we went there again on our last night. It is very close to the hotel Flora and has nice indoor and outdoor seating. It is extremely popular, so be sure to make a booking.

Heaven 23

Mässans gata 22, 412 51 Göteborg, Sweden
+46 31 750 88 05


This was located on the 23rd floor of the Gothia Tower, which is located right next to Universeum. Just go into the main building there and find the dedicated elevator for Heaven 23.


As you would expect, the views are fantastic. We were able to get a spot right by the window. But remember that’s why you’re going there, for the view. The food was a definite “OK”, but that’s all. I had the Wallenbergare, which was the lunch special for the day. But instead of veal, it was a mish-mash of salmon, crab, and cod. And for a fish lover, it was probably pretty good. I mean, I am not what you would call a fish lover and I ate it. But they could have at least told me when I ordered it how it was different from the traditional Wallenbergare. Jana got the vegetarian dish, and she agreed that it, too, was “OK”. The wine was a little on the high side, especially for Gothenburg, where it is normally a bit cheaper than in Stockholm.


So go spend an hour or so gazing out over the city. It is a lovely restaurant, cozy and quiet, and I don’t regret that we went there. It was fun.

Julia’s Restaurant

Vasagatan 32, 411 24 Göteborg, Sweden
+46 72 250 51 48

This is a Greek/Mediterranean venue. It was a five minute walk from the Flora Hotel. Cozy, warm and friendly, good food and great service. It has very nice indoor and outdoor seating. A good wine selection with good prices (we love that the wine in Gothenburg is generally cheaper than Stockholm). What else could you ask for?

I had the beef souvlaki with tzatziki, which was juicy and tasty. Jana had the lamb biftekia, also with the tzatziki sauce. The lamb was an interesting variation from the hamburger that we hadn’t seen before. And it was actually very good. I highly recommend this place.


We stayed in Gothenburg for the first three nights. Then we went off and did some other adventuring and came back to Gothenburg, which we then spent another night.

Hotel Flora

Grönsakstorget 2, 411 17 Göteborg, Sweden
+46 31 13 86 16

We stayed at the Hotel Flora for three nights (that last picture in the above collage I shot from the canal boat tour – pretty cool, eh?). It was 1000 SEK ($112) per night, which is really quite reasonable for this part of the world. Breakfast was included and was the usual hotel breakfast bar accommodation. There was a community coffee maker, where you took the coffee pods they gave you in your room down the hall to a community coffee maker. The bar was ok, if a bit cramped for pandemic social distancing. The room and the bathroom were spacious, especially by European standards. We were located very close to the tram, which we did use a couple of times, and overall the location was convenient for seeing the sights of the city including shopping at Haga and restaurants and pubs. All of these things considered, on a scale of 1 to 10, I would give it a 8.

Clarion Hotel Post

Drottningtorget 10, 411 03 Göteborg, Sweden
+46 31 61 90 00

The Clarion is one of those places that just gets everything right. The price was 1341 SEK ($152) per night. A little high, but if you want the larger room and all the goodies, it’s worth it. The usual breakfast bar was included.

We stayed here for one night after we came back from our road trip (click here to see that article). Perhaps the nicest thing about this one was that it is literally across the street from Central Station, so it only took us ten minutes to get to our train the next morning.

Vinga Island


Strömma Kanalbolaget
Lilla Bommens torg 2, 411 04 Göteborg, Sweden
+46 31 60 96 70

Firstly, note that the map link I gave you above is for the dock area where you board the boat, not the island itself. The Island is a one and a half hour boat ride within the archipelago, located here:


Vinga Island
475 42 Fotö, Sweden

The Boat and Cruise

The boat services were handled by Stromma, which is the same company that does most of the boats around Stockholm. We did the lunch cruise, which I recommend over the regular because, well, you get lunch, but also you get a much better seat and reserved seating. And as you can see, above, they were observing proper social distancing.

Lunch was a preassigned meal. We had the open-faced shrimp sandwich, which is a delicious shrimp salad served on dark bread (hidden underneath all the toppings) with sliced hard boiled eggs and loads of fresh greens and cucumbers. As with most Stromma cruises, they have wine, sodas, and coffee. They also had a decent selection of desserts. We opted for diet cokes (they were bottled and ice cold) on the way out. Coming back we had a nice glass of wine and some desserts. You keep your reserved seat for the return trip.

The open water was quite choppy both ways. It is a rather large boat, so we weren’t really tossed around much. If you are prone to getting seasick, you would probably be okay here.


The scenery during the boat ride was very different from the archipelago on the Stockholm side. It was rather barren and wind blown, reminding me more of Iceland than Sweden.

The Island


Aside from the barren landscape, the first thing you notice is the wind. And it has two speeds: really strong and gale force! I am not kidding on this, so be prepared. I would suggest, well, a good wind breaker for a jacket. Even though it was the middle of the summer, the wind and damp air made it a bit chilly.

I know I have used the word barren a couple of times, but don’t mistake that for uninteresting or unattractive. It is actually quite beautiful, especially once you have boots on the ground and are seeing it up close.


This island is located in one of the most dangerous areas of the archipelago in terms of ship passage. Back in the day, several families were permanently located here. Back then, there even enough children living here to warrant a small schoolhouse. The lighthouse required constant monitoring and maintenance, and the seas required constant scanning for ships, especially at night and during storms.


Even today, the lighthouse is still fully functional and there are several radar stations that use triangulation for redundancy and to pinpoint the exact course of any nearby ships. There are people still living here, but I don’t think they’re permanent, and even if they are, travel to and from the island is way more convenient than it was back then.

You would normally be able to climb to the top of the lighthouse and to explore some of the buildings, but they were all closed due to the pandemic. But that’s okay, there was a good bit of hiking, albeit treacherous at times, and other views to see on the island.


We stayed on the island for a couple of hours before returning back to the port in Gothenburg. It was an enjoyable escape and I would recommend it if you are looking to get out of the city for a bit.

And that concluded our events for the first three days. From here, we will be renting a car and driving through Kvantum and staying at the castle Läcko. It is located on Lake Vänern, which is the largest lake not only in Sweden, but in the entire European Union. So stay tuned to this channel for more about traveling in south western Sweden!

Free Book Reminder

Hi folks, just a quick, friendly reminder that today is the last chance for your FREE copy of “Primal Citizen”. Click here to download it directly into your Kindle app or device. If the link doesn’t work head out to Amazon, search for “Primal Citizen” or my name, “J.C. Marx”, and download your free copy.

And please don’t forget to leave me a review after you’re finished reading. That is all I ask in return for giving you the book for free.

To submit a review, go back to Amazon and click on the book like you did when you got it. On that page there will be a link to submit a review. You may have to scroll down a little bit to see the link. It usually shows up past all the reviews listed on the page. You can also go to your “Orders” page. It is a button on the browser bar that will say “Orders” or on some “Returns and Orders”. Click there and you will see a chance to write reviews for any orders you have placed.

Thank you all for your support. We will be traveling again soon, so stay tuned!

-The Travelin’ Man

Are we Primal Citizens?

Hello fellow travelers, bloggers, and Facebook friends. First and foremost, I hope you and your loved ones are keeping out of harms way during this trying time. Obviously, we have not been traveling much of late, other than to get toilet paper and hand sanitizer! Hopefully your supplies are good as well!

So what does the Travelin’ Man do during a viral apocalypse? Well he writes a book about it! Seriously, I did! But thankfully, our apocalypse will never be as bad as the one in my book. Mine is the result of a nuclear war, and I have actually worked on it for over a year.

And what better way to pass the time than read a great book about an IT geek turned hero in the badlands of a nuclear apocalypse!? So in support of all my friends out there looking for something to do during their stay-at-home time, I am offering you the book for FREE! But the offer is only good for this weekend. It starts on Saturday morning – that’s tomorrow!

I ask only one thing in return, please leave a review on Amazon.  All you need is a Kindle or the Kindle app on your phone, pad, or PC (the app is free, too). You should be able to get to the book by clicking here, but it might not work. If not head out to Amazon, search for “Primal Citizen” or my name, “J.C. Marx”, download your copy, then follow-up with a review after you have read it.

The free book sale only applies to this weekend!

For all my Facebook friends that already have it but have not submitted a review, PLEASE get out there and do it today! I really need the reviews people!

To submit a review, go back to Amazon and click on the book like you did when you got it. On that page there will be a link to submit a review. You may have to scroll down a little bit to see the link. It usually shows up past all the reviews listed on the page. You can also go to your “Orders” page. It is a button on the browser bar that will say “Orders” or on some “Returns and Orders”. Click there and you will see a chance to write reviews for any orders you have placed.

Free book from an author that you know, spend five minutes writing a review – that’s it!

Thank you and stay safe out there!!!


Thessaloniki, Greece

We took a quick hop down to Greece. We were there for four days. We stayed in a hotel in downtown Thessaloniki. We chose this area because we wanted to avoid the huge crowds of the more popular places such as the Greek archipelago and Athens. Thessaloniki did not disappoint. Great restaurants, pubs, and shopping. There was a lot to see and do in the town itself and, as we had hoped, it wasn’t too crowed.

On the above picture, I have circled where we live, in Stockholm, and also our destination in Thessaloniki, Greece. It was about a three and a half hour flight.

The picture above shows our primary areas of exploration. You can use this as reference as the article progresses. To give you an idea of distance, the drive from Thessaloniki to Nikiti was about a two hour drive with traffic. We chose not to rent a car this go around, using private tour companies to get us to and from our excursions outside Thessaloniki.

I will only use minimal pictures for the article, with a link to the photo gallery at the bottom that houses a lot more pictures. So if you’re the type that just likes to look at the pictures, don’t be embarrassed, just scroll down and click on the link. 🙂


This was our base of operations. Thessaloniki is a Greek port city on the Thermaic Gulf of the Aegean Sea. It was founded around 315 BC, so definitely one of the older places we have visited. And for my gaming friends out there, Greece is the locale for the Assassin’s Creed Odyssey title. Having visited the area and spoken with many of its inhabitants, I can say the game did an excellent job recreating the beauty and history of the area.

Apparently, Hades was in town for a visit while we were there, making it extremely hot and humid (at least by Stockholm standards). It was around 34 to 36 Celsius (mid to upper 90’s F). The hotel was wonderfully air conditioned, but the rest of the places we went were hit or miss on the AC, mostly miss. But of course we did not let this hinder our adventure!

Around Town

We travelled the city by shoe and we took the hop on hop off bus to a few locations that were further away.

It was very easy navigating and getting around in the city. Everyone we encountered was friendly, helpful, and spoke perfect English.

The Food

First of all, let me say right up front: the food in Greece is outstanding! They serve hamburger flat, with no bun, topped with caramelized onions. If you must have it as a sandwich, that is also available in some places. They also specialize in chicken, pork or lamb kabobs, which they call souvlakia. Very delicious, usually served with fries, veggies, and pita bread.

Pictured above, the pork neck with grilled pineapple and served atop pineapple salsa. Absolutely fantastic! I also tried some shrimp saganaki, which is pan fried in a thick, rich sauce. Gyros, kleftiko, feta cheese, Greek meatballs, the list just goes on and on. Seriously, the food alone is worth the trip.

The Archaeological Museum

I know what you’re thinking: museums, really, on a vacation? But seriously, when you think of how old this place is, I mean it may even be where ‘we’ began. They have some artifacts that are nearly 3,000 years old! So yes, you want to see some of these things while you are here.

The Archaeological Museum is right in the city. We were able to walk to it from our hotel. They had a lot of exhibits, and most of them were pretty interesting. We were there for about an hour.

Above, a gravestone from 300 BC.

And of course, Alexander the Great. This one was from around 200 AD. Cosmetic surgery was still in the experimental stages then, as you can see by the botched nose job. :/ Or should I say :?/

Pella and Vergina

We ventured out to these areas to see, you guessed it, museums! On the map at the top, these are located to the west of Thessaloniki. The map label for Pella didn’t show up at that zoom level, so I placed a yellow dot.

I’m going to be honest here, the museum in Pella was not that great, to me. Firstly, the AC wasn’t working and even at ten in the morning, it was sweltering inside the building.

But what was worse was that many of their exhibits were replicas, including the mosaic in the above pic. But check out the photo above the mosaic. That’s the dig site, and it IS worth seeing.

The dig site is right around the corner from the museum. It’s an archaeological dig site of what was part of the ancient city of Pella, which is where Alexander the Great was born.

Now the museum in Vergina was an entirely different story. It is called the Museum of the Royal Tombs of Aigai. This is the location of several significant tombs, including Philip II (359-336BC), who was Alexander the Great’s father. It is one of the best presented and most memorable archaeological museums in Greece. You can walk right down to the entrance of each tomb, which is mostly still intact. It’s an eerie experience.

Unfortunately, they don’t allow pictures inside, this (above) was the only one I got. Definitely a must-see. It’s about an hour west of Thessaloniki. You can schedule tour services that will drive you out to it. Also, be sure to sign up for the tour. It was very informative.


We hired a local driver to take us out to the center peninsula. If you look on the map I made at the top, you can see I circled Nikiti.

We drove around there a bit, absolutely gorgeous. After that, we went further south (also circled on the map) where we had an exquisite lunch and went swimming right off the coast.

Afytos and Wineries

On our way out to Afytos, we stopped at a couple of wineries.

On the map at the top, I circled the area for the wineries just south of Thessaloniki. I have to say, we really never considered that Greek wine would be all that. What with it being so hot and all, we kind of thought it might be overly sweet, like some of the Carolina wines. Boy were we wrong!

This was some of the finest wine we have ever tasted. And, like the French, it is specifically designed to naturally pair with their unique cuisine.

And like most wine producing territories across the globe, the wineries were beautiful to see.

After visiting the wineries, our guide took us further south along the first peninsula.

We drove around in the Afytos area and stopped for lunch at a magnificent venue (above).


We had an awesome time in Greece, despite the sweltering temps. We would consider going back, but would probably opt for a wintertime trip. I guess living amongst the Vikings for a few years has made us more sensitive to the hotter climates.

Here is a link to the photo library that has all the pictures from the trip. These are not hosted by my blog, but are stored externally in Google pictures. All you have to do is click on the link below. Just click on one picture to enlarge it, the you can scroll through them with your mouse or by using the right and left arrow keys. If a picture is a little blurry, just give it a second or two to finish loading from the cloud.

Gallery of Pictures from Greece

Norway in Pictures




We visited quite a few places while we were in Norway, and we took a ton of out-of-this-world pictures. To keep it all organized and make it easier to reference, I created this summary/index to pull it all together. If you aren’t a member of, then you may have missed some or all of these articles.

Article and pictures of visit to Oslo

Article and some pictures of scenic train ride

Article and some pictures of road trip from Bergen to Flåm

Article and some pictures of road trip from Flåm to Geiranger

Geiranger, Norway

Once we left our great little cabins in Flåm (click here for that article), we took the high road out and, as you can see, the scenery was epic.

So epic, that we started to feel ourselves becoming a little desensitized to all the beauty. Can you imagine that? But I just couldn’t stop taking pictures, just like I can’t stop showing them to you!

How about a change of venue?

Can you believe I saw this (above) on one of the (many) ferry’s we rode to hop across rivers? Unbelievable! Near mint condition! Even has the raised outline Uniroyal tires! I can only imagine what parts must cost for that thing in Norway! I bet he wishes there was an AutoZone nearby!

And speaking of cars, check out the roads we had to brave as we zipped along the mountain tops. Yes, that is a two-way road. Encountering cars from the opposite direction was always nerve racking. One of you would have to find a way to move over to let the other one pass.

We stopped at this really cool overlook that extended out over the mountain.

A little scary, but well worth the view.

By late afternoon, we arrived at our lodging for the evening in the small town of Olden. This time we decided on a really snazzy airBNB rental.

I know this is going to be hard to believe, but the views from this place were, um, well, breathtaking? Check it out:

And here, below, is the unrestricted view (from the following morning). Some interesting observations about this picture. This is definitely one of those times that a picture doesn’t do the view justice.

You see the lowest level, where all the greenery is. The next level up looks like just fog. What the camera can’t see that the human eye could was that whole layer was completely frozen. The light layer of fog frosted everything beneath it, but it just comes out as fog through the camera. Then the layer at the top is, of course, is snow. Amazing.

We hit the trail the next morning destined for Geiranger, which has famous hotel perched high atop a mountain valley overlooking a beautiful fjord. So spectacular is this view that the name of the hotel (translated) is…. The View. Seriously.

The problem is that as we continued climbing higher and higher into the mountains, the weather began to deteriorate. Seeing snowflakes in late April was fun at first, but then it began to get more treacherous. Welcome to the Norwegian Highlands!

Our original plan was to drive from Olden straight to Geiranger (The View). But seeing as the snow was continuing to get worse, we found a ferry close by that would take us almost right to the hotel.

See the map, above. You can see Geiranger on the upper right. But instead of driving directly to it, follow the blue line to the red thumbtack, which is Hellesylt. We drove onto the ferry there. The ferry followed the red line to Geiranger and our hotel, The View.

This turned out to be a great decision since now we could just sit back and enjoy the ride, and, of course, take more picture! But it was also a good idea because some of the roads on the original route had not even reopened from winter, they were still buried in snow!

The landscape from the ferry was substantial enough to warrant its own online photo gallery, which I created here:

Once you’re in the gallery, just click on the first picture to enlarge it, then scroll to see the rest. If the picture seems a little blurry, that means it is still getting data from the server. Just wait a second or two and it will come into sharp focus.

Ok, so we finally made it to “The View”. Was it really all that? I’ll let you decide. But first, check out these two pics below. Both pictures are from the same spot in the lobby of the hotel. The first one is when we first arrived while it was still snowing. The second was during a lapse in the snow.

And without further ado, here is the gallery for the views from The View:

Once you’re in the gallery, just click on the first picture to enlarge it, then scroll to see the rest. If the picture seems a little blurry, that means it is still getting data from the server. Just wait a second or two and it will come into sharp focus.

And that’s pretty much it. From The View, our journey took us to the small town of Førde, where spent the night before returning to Bergen. I have to say, this definitely one of those trips that you just know you are never going to forget. I put it up there in my top five! And it’s not always the location or the destination, but the company that can really make the difference.