Trip to Sweden: On the Höga Kusten trip


Hans Gasser

Old Swede – what a smell! When Tobias Andersson finally stabbed the can with the surstromming, after a half-hour talk about its cultural, sometimes family-dividing significance, which should not be underestimated, the odor of fermented herring was in the air like a flock of Nordic warriors. It must be said that the ceremony takes place outside, on the terrace of the Ulvö Hotel on the island of Ulvön, in the rather fresh, northern Swedish evening air at the end of September. The scent, most would call it stink, is somewhere between very ripe Gorgonzola and decay.


Schleswig-Holstein: The Elbe is a blessing and a curse for Lauenburg

EThe merchant carriages needed a day trip from Lüneburg to Lauenburg in the Middle Ages. Loaded with salt for Scandinavia and Russia, the carters followed the salt route, the ancient trade route to Lübeck.

In the evening the men came to Lauenburg. On the Elbe they found inns, changed horses and stayed the night before they set off early in the morning with the precious freight.

Those who turn from Bundesstraße 5 to the lower town 70 meters below are immersed in the past of the 700-year-old town. Red tile roofs on colorful half-timbered houses, built close together between the 16th and 19th centuries.

Every square meter on the narrow bank in front of the steep slope of the Geestrücken was used. Historic buildings crowd along Elbstrasse. The richly decorated facades with their rosette decorations are stone witnesses to the wealth of their builders: craftsmen, but above all Elbe boatmen, lived in the half-timbered buildings.

Source: WORLD infographic

Some houses were not only living space but also a workplace. Shoemakers and locksmiths had workshops there, shipping companies their offices. Breweries and schnapps distilleries produced barley juice and hard liquor. According to stories, there were around 30 breweries around 1700 – with only 1000 inhabitants.

History of shipping on the Elbe in the museum

Bicycle tourists roll over bumpy cobblestones, en route they are on the Elbe cycle path between the Czech Republic and the river mouth near Cuxhaven. Lauenburg is a popular stopover, also for visiting the Elbe Shipping Museum.

There, shipping history comes to life impressively, on interactive screens, with models and construction plans from ancient times to the present, from the dugout canoes to cargo sailors and the hard work of the hauliers, who pulled heavy barges upstream with muscle power. On a display board is noted: “They gasped, the sweat flowed like a stream down between the shoulder blades. He ate the shirts broken like a rodent. “

Lauenburg: The half-timbered houses along the Elbe were built between the 16th and 19th centuries

The half-timbered houses along the Elbe were built between the 16th and 19th centuries

Source: dpa-tmn

“The development of Lauenburg and shipping on the Elbe are closely linked to the social structure of the people and the work culture,” explains museum director Jörn Bohlmann. There are surprising things to discover in the museum.

Who knows today that from 1866 a 720 kilometer long chain from Hamburg lay upstream on the bottom of the Elbe? It was the time of rope chain shipping, which lasted until the 1920s.

37 chain steamers operated on the river. The tugs hung their barges against the current by a chain. They speak of a “rattling revolution” in the Elbe Shipping Museum.

From the 1850s onwards, passenger ships steamed in regular service on the river, and 30,000 travelers drove from Lauenburg via Geesthacht to Hamburg in 1866. Ship models from that time are on display. At the beginning of the last century, diesel engines gradually replaced steam engines as ship propulsion systems.

Historical specimens can be marveled at in the museum cellar, carefully restored by volunteers from the friends’ association. Museum director Bohlmann: “Our treasure trove for technology fans.”

Lauenburg is repeatedly threatened by floods

Even in the 1950s, the long tow trains coming upstream from Hamburg moored in Lauenburg overnight. The shops on Elbstrasse were open for the ship’s crew until midnight, some pubs for much longer. Harbor atmosphere inland.

Business was good in Lauenburg. “The Elbe is a blessing and a curse for the city,” says the city guide Claudia Tanck. This quickly becomes clear on your tour “Living with the Floods”. Devastating floods have repeatedly threatened the old town.

A board marks the high water levels.  2002, 2006, 2010/11 and most recently in June 2013 the Lauenburgers were up to their necks

A board marks the high water levels. 2002, 2006, 2010/11 and most recently in June 2013 the Lauenburgers were up to their necks

Source: dpa-tmn

Tanck leads visitors along the promenade to the level board with markings of the last high water levels. 2002, 2006, 2010/11 and most recently in June 2013 the Lauenburgers were literally up to their necks.

In the small town on the Elbe river, there are still shipping company offices today. About 30 Lauenburgers are on the move as captains, helmsmen and sailors on rivers and canals. The Hitzler shipyard, founded in 1885, manufactures harbor tugs, offshore utilities, icebreakers, ferries, coasters and inland vessels.

Trips with a paddle steamer planned

Although the heyday as a shipping town is over, they fondly remember the past there, for example with the paddle steamer “Kaiser Wilhelm”, built in 1900. The ship veteran was never on the Elbe, but sailed the Weser with passengers. It was supposed to be scrapped in 1970, but the Lauenburgers bought the steamer, saved it from the scrap press and brought it to the Elbe.

Lauenburg: The paddle steamer "Kaiser Willhelm" from 1900 is being restored by volunteers

The paddle steamer “Kaiser Wilhelm” from 1900 is being restored by volunteers

Source: dpa-tmn

“The ‘Kaiser Wilhelm’ is one of the last coal-fired paddle steamers in the world,” explains Wilhelm Bischoff from the Friends of the Elbe Shipping Museum. The ship is currently being extensively restored by the association’s members at the Hitzler shipyard. In the post-Corona period, they want to set off again for passenger trips on the Elbe with a volunteer crew.

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Lots of water: The Kiel Fjord stretches right into the city center

A few hundred meters further in the power station, Reinhard Lange and a half-dozen helpers maintain the old water wheels, turbines, diesel generators and control panels in their free time. “The water turbine went into operation in 1921, it supplied the Hitzler shipyard with electricity,” says Lange.

The palm lock next door, one of the oldest chamber locks in Europe, is much older. It was part of the historic Stecknitz Canal between Lübeck and Lauenburg. But that’s another story.


More tips for a vacation on your doorstep:


Denmark closes the ban on white marriages

The ban on unions of convenience has led to a fall in international marriages deemed “catastrophic” for players in the sector.

By Slim Allagui

Considered a mini-Las Vegas, Aeroe, a Danish island of 6,200 souls, celebrated a record number of unions between foreigners in 2018 (5,338).
Considered a mini-Las Vegas, Aeroe, a Danish island of 6,200 souls, celebrated a record number of unions between foreigners in 2018 (5,338). 198831835 / Viktar Vysotski –

Denmark is no longer the El Dorado attracting candidates for sham marriages in Europe after the practice has been banned since 1is January 2019. A government entity, Familieretshuset, responsible for examining with a magnifying glass all the files of international marriages, which were the responsibility of the municipalities, rejected 848 requests out of the 12,638 processed in 2019, including almost a quarter for suspected unions. of convenience and false documents between nationals, in particular from Eastern Europe and third countries.

In a 120-page evaluation report on the first year of this unit, the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Interior notes “Positive and encouraging effects”. So “The number of reports to the police concerning questionable marriages fell by 91% from 2018 to 2019”, can we read. “It is very likely that the creation of this specialized unit has made it less attractive for criminal networks and asylum seekers to use Denmark as a country

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Corona danger on vacation? There are so many cases in Croatia, Italy & Co.

In Summer vacation is in full swing in Germany – but the corona virus has mixed up vacation plans for many. A trend that should intensify: travel by car. “Where flights travel far away, the means of transport that are often chosen in any case could find further encouragement,” said the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis).

In 2019, the proportion of those who traveled abroad by car was 42 percent. Almost as many travelers chose the plane (41 percent) while only four percent took the train.

Even if some of them will spend their free time in Germany, European countries remain popular. But how are the Corona case numbers developing in the popular holiday destinations?

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vacation in Croatia

The numbers in Croatia have been low for several weeks – but recently the infections have increased significantly. According to the Federal Foreign Office, regional priorities have so far been the capital and the surrounding area of ​​Zagreb, Slavonia and the Split-Dalmatia County. So far, a total of 114 people have died from the virus.

Since the country relies on tourism, it accounts for around a quarter of its economic output, Nedo Pinezic, coordinator of the Glass Poduzetnika trade association, emphasizes the typical places to stay: private accommodation, small hotels or campsites. This would reduce contacts with other people to a minimum.

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holiday in Italy

Italy has been particularly hard hit by the Corona pandemic and has a total of around 35,000 deaths. The slight increase in new infections in numerous regions is causing concern across the country. However, the new infections are limited to smaller, local sources of fire. Masks are mandatory in shops, trains or other closed rooms. Distance rules must be adhered to on beaches – but this is sometimes not possible.

Vacation in France

In France, the number of new infections found is falling. According to the health authorities, it is 475 and is therefore significantly below the average of the past seven days of 573. In June, however, the average was lower at 435. The authorities also report 13 new deaths. The total number rises to 29,933.

Masks are mandatory on public transport. Shops and other facilities decide whether to wear a mask. Museums and sights have reopened in Paris – tickets usually have to be booked online beforehand. The beaches in the country are open again. Many restaurants in Paris, for example, have enlarged their terraces so that people can keep enough distance.

vacation in Spain

With almost 28,400 deaths and 250,000 infected, Spain is one of the countries most affected by the pandemic. Nationwide, however, the numbers have fallen sharply since mid-May. At worst, there were 950 deaths a day, recently there were only four.

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A dream: Finca near Llucmajor / Mallorca at the foot of the table mountain

Prices, increase in value, relaxation

Vacation in Portugal

Around 44,400 infected people and just over 1,600 fatalities have been registered in Portugal so far. However, as the Federal Foreign Office reports, the country is currently experiencing an increase in new infections. The regional focus is the greater Lisbon area. There are currently no restrictions on entry, but travelers must provide personal information about their destination, the reason for their journey and their accessibility upon arrival.

vacation in Austria

On Monday in Austria, for the first time since May, more than 1000 people were acutely infected with the coronavirus. 347 active cases were reported from the capital Vienna. The country reported 56 new infections on Tuesday. In most of Austria’s holiday regions there are hardly any corona-related restrictions. The minimum distance, not least when swimming and hiking, must be observed. In some places in Carinthia, a mask requirement applies from Friday evenings. The only federal state with a general mask requirement in public spaces is Upper Austria – due to an infection source in the Linz area.

Vacation in Switzerland

The number of infections reported has risen sharply in Switzerland recently. The “Tages-Anzeiger” compared the number of new infections in seven countries over the weekend to the previous week. Among the countries with the most striking increase, Switzerland was in fifth place behind Luxembourg, Paraguay, Australia and Serbia, with an increase of 134 percent.

For the first time since the onset of the Corona crisis, Switzerland has had to wear a mask in public transport nationwide since Monday. This also applies to Swiss flights. Until now, authorities and transport companies had only recommended wearing masks during peak times. Important for tourists: mouth-and-nose protection is also mandatory in cable cars, but not in shops.

Since Monday, immigrants from 29 high-risk countries in Switzerland have had to quarantine for ten days. These include, for example, Russia, Serbia, Sweden and the USA.

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Paragliding in the Allgäu: Suddenly there is a question mark even behind the domestic vacation

Vacation in the Netherlands

After months of the Corona crisis, the Netherlands has taken a big step towards normal everyday life: Since July 1st, there has been extensive relaxation for schools, transport, culture and leisure. On Thursday, the number of new infections was 52. There is a mask requirement in local public transport and on ferries, as well as the usual hygiene rules in Germany.

Vacation in Belgium

The neighboring country had 62,210 infections among 11 million inhabitants, more infections than Germany. The number of new cases has been declining for weeks. Mouth-nose protection must be worn in local public transport. Restaurants, cafes, hotels and museums are now open again. Additional rules sometimes apply on the North Sea coasts: holidaymakers and locals must register for visits to the beach at certain sections, such as in the popular Ostend.

Vacation in Sweden

So far, Sweden has had significantly more corona infections and deaths related to Covid 19 diseases than Germany or the rest of Scandinavia. More than 73,000 infections have been confirmed so far, and almost 5500 people with Covid 19 disease have died in the Scandinavian EU country.

Sweden has responded to the pandemic with less stringent measures than most other European countries. Shops, restaurants and schools, for example, remained permanently open. However, the number of deaths and serious Covid 19 diseases has recently decreased.

EU citizens can easily enter Sweden, but the Foreign Office’s travel warning still persists, as the country exceeds 50 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in one week. Conversely, Swedes are not allowed to travel so freely.

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Vacation in Norway

From July 15, Norway wants to allow people from the European Economic and Schengen area to enter again, provided the country’s corona numbers allow it. Until then, the Norwegian health authority should draw up a list of countries and regions. As the German numbers are stable and low, the route to the Norwegian fjord is likely to be open to German citizens soon without quarantine. However, this is not quite certain – which is why the Foreign Office’s travel warning currently still exists.

Vacation in Denmark

Anyone who can show a booking confirmation of at least six nights can enter Denmark. Exceptions to this apply, for example, to Germans who own a Danish summer house, want to visit their partners in the country or are residents of Schleswig-Holstein. There is no mask requirement in public spaces. So far, there have been just under 12,900 people infected with corona, and 609 people have died.

Vacation in Iceland

The island in the North Atlantic, which is heavily dependent on tourism, has been giving holidaymakers the opportunity to be tested directly on arrival in Corona since mid-June. With this, the Icelandic government wants to give international tourists an alternative to the 14-day quarantine after arrival, which has been mandatory since April, without the almost zero corona numbers rising again. In the country, nothing stands in the way of a vacation between glaciers and geysers: restaurants and hotels are open, masks are not mandatory.

Holidays in Greece

Travelers from Germany, Austria and Switzerland as well as most EU countries can freely enter Greece. However, everyone must register electronically at least 48 hours before arrival, indicating where they were before and where they will be in Greece. An algorithm then calculates whether and which travelers have to take a corona test after their arrival. If you test positive, you have to spend 14 days in specially designed isolation accommodations in hotels. Greece will cover the costs.

Greece has closed its borders to travelers from this Balkan country since Monday morning due to increased coronavirus infections in Serbia. 27 new infections were reported on Tuesday. Masks are mandatory in all public transport and hospitals. It is also advised everywhere to keep a distance of at least 1.5 meters from other people.

Vacation in Cyprus

The island has reported few corona infections from travelers or locals since tourism opened. Anyone traveling to Cyprus must register electronically before starting. If a person is tested positive, they have to spend 14 days in specially designed isolation accommodations in hotels. Cyprus will cover the costs. A mask requirement applies to all public transport and hospitals. The holiday island has a very low infection rate compared to other European countries.

holidays in Turkey

For Turkey and about 160 other countries, the travel warning currently applies until August 31. Turkey is particularly hard hit as the third most popular holiday destination for Germans after Spain and Italy. The Federal Government has also classified Turkey, along with 125 other countries, as a corona risk area. More than 1,000 new infections were reported on Tuesday.

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ANTALYA, TURKEY - JUNE 02: A view of sunbeds reduced in numbers from 350 to 140 to be prepared in accordance with the social distance rules in Kaputas beach as beaches reopened to public with the obligation of wearing mask after the government decided to ease restrictions related to the novel coronavirus, considering the country‚Äôs advances in fighting the pandemic on June 02, 2020, in Antalya, Turkey. Mustafa Ciftci / Anadolu Agency | Keine Weitergabe an Wiederverkäufer.


What Europe’s most modern library in Oslo has to offer

SScandinavia, you have it better: While Berlin pokes around in the further development of the cultural forum like a naughty child in the spinach soup, Northern European capitals show how it works. Not only Copenhagen and Helsinki have achieved a whole series of high-quality cultural buildings in recent years, Oslo is also working hard to develop into a cultural capital. With the Munch and the National Museum as well as the new Deichman library, three key buildings are currently being launched. The oil and gas abundance have made Oslo’s revaluation possible, but also ambition, taste and pragmatism.

The new main building of Deichman’s, Norway’s oldest and largest public library (and oldest cultural institution) sees itself as a “people’s library” with a stock of over 450,000 media. Since the opening of the opera in 2008, a regional metropolis has become “Dubai of the North”: new skyline, new airport, new subway? Here you go! In just one generation, the city has completely changed. The largest urban expansion project in its history, Fjord City, is a twelve-kilometer strip of new town along the fjord. Where roads and tracks previously blocked water access and a harbor formed a barrier between the city and the water, the construction of car tunnels underneath the city created space for thousands of new apartments and jobs. The proximity to the city center and the water make these new districts attractive. A free-to-use, spacious new library now completes this urban masterpiece.

Reflection on the inner values

Now it is not an easy task to build right next to an architectural masterpiece like the Oslo Opera. A new building cannot compete with Snøhetta’s opus, but just framing the opera would be too submissive for an important public cultural building. When designing the new Deichman library, the most modern in Europe, Lund Hagem Arkitekter (with Atelier Oslo) therefore found a compromise: The title of her successful competition entry from 2009 “Diagonal” already indicated that her library had a prominent top visitor leads diagonally to the opera along a shortcut from the city center and main station.

The children's floor offers play areas, music, film and comic departments, a mini cinema and a stage.

Large incisions in the facades mark the entrances on three sides to still attract visitors. The nearby Munch Museum, which is also inaugurated these days, tried somewhat to architecturally spark from the same dilemma, the proximity to a masterpiece, with bent upper floors (FAZ of April 14). The Deichman library, which opened on June 18, allows the opera to take precedence in terms of urban planning and reflects on inner values.

Cinema, auditorium and open-air library in the basement

The proportions of the new building and new pedestrian connections integrate the library completely calmly into the scale of the Bjørvika district. The facades of the Deichman library are a combination of transparent windows and white glass walls. The translucent building therefore looks milky and quite undefined during the day. It is only at dusk that the electric light provides interesting insights into the library’s rooms and activities.

The surprise about the spatial richness inside the new building is all the greater and more pleasant: three light wells run diagonally through the book house and form a large central room at their intersection, which extends over all floors to the origami-like ceiling with three skylights. From each entrance, visitors encounter one of these continuous, exciting caves. The third and fifth floors are mezzanines.


Scandinavia to keep partially closed borders on June 15

The swan, emblem of cooperation between the eight Nordic countries (1), has lead in the wing. Since its creation in 1952, long before the creation of the common market and the Schengen area, the Nordic Council has guaranteed the freedom of movement of citizens between each member country, without the need for a passport. The geographical and political entity even goes so far as to grant Nordic citizenship.

→ ANALYSIS. In Europe, the puzzle of the opening of internal borders

The coronavirus jeopardizes this unity, while the EU advocates a cordoned opening of the borders for this Monday, June 15.

Mini North Schengen

On the model of the first “Travel bubble”, Created on May 15 between the Baltic States (Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia), Denmark plans to reopen on June 15 only to Germans, Norwegians and Icelanders. At the end of the summer, it postponed access to its territory for all EU nationals and those from the United Kingdom.

As for Sweden, which has four times more deaths from the epidemic than all of its Scandinavian neighbors, it is a country plagued. This does not facilitate the task of the European Commissioner for Home Affairs, the Swedish Ylva Johansson. “We call on all member states to lift all internal border restrictions on Monday”, she said Thursday, June 11, urging the most resistant – implied Denmark – to “Open as soon as possible”.

Finland created its own Thursday, June 11 “Travel bubble” by announcing the opening of its borders with all the Baltic and Nordic countries, except Sweden, this June 15. Helsinki hopes for rapid reciprocity, while Norway and Denmark have promised to integrate Finland into their “bubble”. For everyone, Stockholm will wait.


The other regional capitals are standing up against the Swedish strategy of non-containment associated with simple recommendations. The Finnish Institute of Health and Welfare estimates that more than 2,500 people would have died in Finland (compared to 324 in fact, as of June 10), if the country had followed the example of its neighbor. No question of lifting border controls, therefore, while the neighboring cities with Sweden are those which have the highest contamination rate.

→ ANALYSIS. Sweden loses bet on non-containment

“Unfortunately, the epidemic situation in Sweden does not yet allow the restrictions to be lifted”, soberly said the Finnish Interior Minister, Maria Ohisalo, adding that the restrictions would be lifted “As soon as the situation allows”.

In Sweden, the government is fuming. For Stockholm, it is the northern space, one of the most interconnected on the planet, representing the 11e global economy, which is threatened in its integrity. “The situation is unworthy, especially in the border areas. Sweden has not closed its borders in the Nordic countries “, said a spokesperson for the Swedish Minister of the Interior, Mikael Damberg. The episode could cool relationships in the future.


Danger on vacation: when tourists leave their minds at home

Europe Tourists at risk

When vacationers leave their minds at home

Despite the Corona crisis, the first countries receive tourists again. Experience shows that this year too, some holidaymakers will endanger themselves. “Balconing” in Mallorca or selfies on the abyss – how do you protect people from their own stupidity? Some vacation countries come up with unusual things.

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Im suitcase is everything you need on the go – only the mind was left at home? If you watch other holidaymakers while traveling, you can get this impression. Locals shake their heads at reckless tourists who put themselves in danger and then have to be elaborately rescued. In some places, special things have been invented to prevent visitors from being stupid. We present some examples.

Shoe inspection in the Italian Cinque Terre

In spring 2019, a ban on slippers on hiking trails was introduced in the pretty towns on the Italian Riviera near Genoa. The penalties can range from 50 to 2500 euros. But the fine has never been imposed, says Luca Natale, spokesman for the National Park in Cinque Terre.

“The goal is not to impose and earn penalties. It is important to us that holidaymakers are safe and come well equipped: with the right shoes and water, ”explains Natale.

Some tourists said that because the hiking trails are by the sea, they are not demanding. Now Carabinieri are checking visitors’ footwear. With success, says Natale. The number of injuries has dropped dramatically.

With or without shoes, jumping down here wouldn’t be a good idea

Quelle: Getty Images/negatina

But there are also dangers for careless tourists on the beach. For example, if they do not attach the parasol correctly. In the wind, parasols flying away can turn into dangerous projectiles. People have been injured several times.

“In a lido, operators are obliged to close the umbrellas when there is wind,” says a spokesman for the Italian union of pool operators. “The same is naturally expected of a reasonable person who is on a freely accessible beach: to fix the umbrella well or to close it in the wind.”

Many bathers on the beach are too reckless and swim too far. “Only then do they realize that they have no strength to get to the shore.”

“Balconing” in Mallorca, crazy campaigns in Scandinavia

Greater caution would also be advisable in Mallorca. One trend there is called “balconing”. Jumps and falls of reckless tourists from balconies or from windows have been known on the Spanish island for years. Under the influence of alcohol and drugs, young vacationers shimmy or climb along hotel facades from balcony to balcony – or try to jump straight into the pool from one of the upper floors.

These “tests of courage” often have fatal consequences. The first fatal fall of the 2019 season occurred on the island in early June. The victim was a 20-year-old Brit who plunged from the second floor into the “British stronghold” Magaluf around three in the morning. There were at least eight deaths in the summer of 2018.

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Wiping with a mask in Mallorca: The employee of a hotel cleans the pool

Arrogance or the drive for the perfect selfie also tempt tourists in Scandinavia to go wild. In Norway, a few tourists walked past barriers to a glacier tongue. In the Faroe Islands, residents regularly report tourists kayaking on the bustling waters of the North Atlantic – and then having to be rescued by helicopter.

Vacationers in Iceland can take a vow

In Iceland, tourists sometimes have to be freed from rivers or mud with their rental cars. Among other things, this has led to the formation of a separate group on Facebook, in which users talk about foolish people who underestimate the dangers of glaciers, geysers and other natural spectacles when traveling. “Stupid things tourists do in Iceland” – stupid things that tourists do in Iceland – is the name of the group.

Iceland tourists have to flee from the tidal wave

If someone goes on a trip, he can tell something. This now also applies to these Iceland tourists. You were very close when a glacier calved – maybe a little too close.

Often you see people there who go beyond the limits of what is allowed for the perfect selfie: sometimes they step on slippery mountain paths behind barriers, sometimes they let their legs dangle over the cliff at huge waterfalls or they hold their shoes in boiling volcanic waters – all regardless clear signs.

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The fact that Justin Bieber was in Iceland did not help: In the video for his song “I’ll Show You”, the pop star walks along a narrow moss path, on the sides of which it goes steeply down into a canyon. Later you can see him sitting on a cliff with an almost endless view, rolling in the moss or jumping over various fences.

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The video caused so many tourists to flock to the canyon that the area had to be temporarily closed.

The Visit Iceland tourism agency has launched several mostly humorous campaigns to encourage Icelandic tourists to be more careful and respectful of nature. One of them is a kind of online oath that travelers can take on the agency’s website.

In it, visitors to Iceland promise to be responsible tourists. One of the eight requirements imposed is to be prepared for any weather and adventure. And not only that: “I will take beautiful photos to die without dying for them,” says rule number three.

The first version of this article was published in August 2019.

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The murder of Olof Palme, 34 years ago, A solution which is not a

The investigation into the murder of former heads of government have come to an end. But anyone who was hoping for solid evidence, you will be disappointed.

Olof Joachim Palme was on 28. February 1986 murdered after a visit to the cinema on the open road Photo: imago

TÄLLÄNG taz | 34 years is a long time. 40 per cent of the present Swedish population were born in 1986 yet. And that there was even a special Commission of the police, which dealt with the assassination of Olof Palme, probably the most completely unknown. But on Wednesday, the interest was suddenly there again: At the end of a fiasco with the chain of the police investigation should now be solved yet the mystery of who had murdered Sweden’s internationally best known and most respected politicians.

What grew in the course of the two-hour digital press conference of the head of the Palme investigation, it was not the voltage, but the disillusionment. Most of the viewers may have asked: What was meant to be chief Prosecutor Krister Petersson actually there when he announced a few weeks ago, we are now sure to have found the real killer? There is technical evidence with which he could be bound to the fact, he had given then known. Had to pull the trigger of the murder weapon with his finger or a trace of DNA to be?

No, Petersson presented neither evidence nor a conclusive evidence chains. He presented a theory which on this cold Friday evening, may 28. February 1986, could have played to 23.21 at the crossing Sveavägen/Tunnelgatan in Stockholm’s city centre. According to several journalists ‘ questions, he also admitted to self-enter: “this is the best we have. And we do not believe that you can find after all these years, even more.“

Taking into account all other traces of the office of the Prosecutor was in any case Convinced that the man who killed with a shot Olof Palme on the open road, and his wife had violated Lisbeth with a second, be Stig been Engström. To him, “do not pass”, he was undoubtedly in the immediate scene of the crime near. His Appearance had, at least, voted with the description of several witnesses about the man who was running away after the shots from the murder place.

A man holds up a weapon.

With such a weapon Pame should be shot and killed were: chief investigator in Stockholm in 1986 Photo: TT NEWS/EPA/dpa

A stone-cold player

Engström should really be the perpetrator, would have been the 52-year-old insurance employee, a stone-cold player. Hours after the fact, he volunteered on Saturday afternoon at the police station: He had heard a description on the Radio, which is true to him. Because he was not, however, to correct the police this quickly, otherwise the search will go in completely the wrong direction. With the same story Engström reported in the daily newspaper Svenska Dagbladetin your Sunday edition of a Text plus photo and published it as important Witnesses to the crime was presented, which was two minutes after the shooting on the spot.

A few weeks later, Engström demonstrated for the television channel SVT, a reconstruction of the Situation in the night of the murder. He complains about the police not take his statements seriously, and then make a run in the Outfit, the bag the night corresponded to semi – long dark coat, flat cap and on the wrist a hand – Sveavägen. Expo offender exposed really so? Even though he is running so that the highest risk that, in the scene of the crime, the Conviction of the witnesses could grow: “Yes, indeed, it was!”?

Psychologists think that is to imagine: There is a perpetrator, to be in need of this Kick, or actually transferred. The questions about the murder weapon and the motive for the Prosecutor’s office provided no explanation remained.

You could of course exclude anything, says the retired criminology Professor Leif GW Persson. But according to the evidence, which had presented the indictment, should look like the scenario is as follows, stated the criminologist: “Engström comes out of the office on the road, see Palme, thinks “I’ll fucking kill you now”, he has always seemed to be a weapon as large as a small piglets here, he shoots Palme, runs off and returns a few minutes later, quite cool to the scene of the crime.” How realistic this is?

Engström was long as a busybody dismissed

Although a witness had not actually depicted the scene of the crime, the man fleeing with a Engström appropriate description – about 180 large, spool cap, a men’s handbag came Engström for the police as the offender in question. Despite, or because of the constantly changing statements, he was as a busybody dismissed, the disturb of the investigation only. Family members and neighbors in the suburb where he lived for 20 years, to keep his guilt for not imagine. He can no longer be asked. He was found 20 years ago, dead in the bed next to him empty whisky bottles and empty packs of tablets Pain.

The Prosecutor’s office is Engström as a single offender. “We have found nothing, which could point to a conspiracy to close”, says the chief Prosecutor Petersson. It is the second single perpetrator, the prosecution authority presented in the 34-year-long investigation as a palm-killer. With the first she had little luck. In 1988, she filed charges against drug-addicted petty criminal Christer Pettersson. Lisbeth Palme believed him a criminal procedurally questionable to be able to position as a perpetrator identify. In the first instance sentenced, he was canonized in 1989 by the appellate court because of Doubts as to this identification. A recovery application against Pettersson, the Supreme court in 1997 rejected.

Of the numerous theories that suspected from the beginning, behind the Palme murder is no single culprit, but rather a political plot, are now still two left: The South Africa – and the police-track.

The South Africa track suspected the South African secret service of the fact, because no Western head of state criticised the apartheid policy as sharp as palm. A week before his murder he had compared them to Hitler and the mass murder in the KZ’s. Under Palme’s reign, Sweden was at the forefront of the countries that called for a steady expansion of UN sanctions against South Africa. Petersson to handle the track on Wednesday: The public Prosecutor’s office believe it is quite interesting, but this track was “more concrete”.

The dart Board in the party office wore a photo Palmes

For the police to track, the service and the military, posed by an Anti-palm conspiracy within the police and the secret, there could be possibly even Connections to Engström. As a member of a rifle club, he could handle weapons and was rates in Taby, a local politician of the conservative “Fashion”. A party in which the “Palme-hate”, as he was called at the time in the media, was widespread. The dartboard in the local party office in Täby was provided with a photo Palmes: A hit to the eyes gave the highest value.

The image Palmes as a “national traitor”, the Sweden wool to sell to the Soviet Union, was in military and police circles widely used. “We just had a police corps, the despised and the murder victim and struggling,” says the lawyer and author Thomas Engström. He speaks of a “complete coup”.

The Ex-members of the army Engström frequented regularly in circles of high officers. Also in such a conspiracy intentions? But a conspiracy would make use of, of all things, a man such as Engström? And what connection there may be with the fact that the Skandia insurance company, worked at Engström, the Headquarters of the Swedish section of the “Stay Behind” housed – the secret para-military underground organization of the CIA and NATO? 34 years is probably too long a time to such questions yet to be resolved.

Against the dead is not a process that can be led. Because for the Prosecutor’s office is now the identity of the perpetrators Engströms is against him but no charges more may be charged are at the same time all of the investigations in the murder of Palme completed. No court will deal with the Palme murder. At the end of a “solution” that is actually no, and especially confirm the suspected from the beginning, the true perpetrators should be found in order. “Better fodder for conspiracy theorists can’t simply not be possible”, says Leif GW Persson.


Norwegian will connect Scandinavia with Spain from the 1st of July

Good news for the tourism sector. The low-cost airline Norwegian announced on Wednesday that it will open 14 routes between Spain and the scandinavian countries for a total of 84 flights per week from 1 July. The airline announced in a press release that will fly from Oslo, Copenhagen and Stockholm to Alicante, Barcelona, Malaga and Palma de Mallorca from Oslo also Gran Canaria from Bergen to Alicante.

Tourists scandinavians are a big percentage of foreigners who come to Spain each year, although on this occasion the lack of connections after the shutdown of the airlines for the coronavirus complicated the situation. And not only with Spain, but the company announced that in total will operate 76 routes from the 1st day of July, for that added twelve aircraft to its fleet, to reach 20.

Thus, the archipelagos, the east coast of spain and the costa del Sol will benefit from the arrival of tourists from northern Europe. The company explained that the reopening of these routes respond to the the increase in demand among the passengers after that other airlines are resuming their flights in Europe. Until now Norwegian only operated 13 routes, all between airports norwegians.

Last year Norwegian was the main responsible of the traffic of passengers between Spain and Scandinavia, with 4,47 million tourists and a market share of 45,9%, according to its own figures.


Norwegian central bank cuts interest rates to record lows

The Norwegian Central Bank in Oslo

Oslo The Norwegian central bank has lowered its key interest rate to zero percent for the first time in its history. The Committee on Monetary Policy and Financial Stability decided to lower the rate from 0.25 to zero percent, the bank said on Thursday. Activities in the Norwegian economy had dropped abruptly in the wake of the Corona crisis. In addition, the oil price has dropped sharply, which has contributed to the weakening of the Norwegian krone exchange rate.
The view of future developments is therefore unusually uncertain, it said. Low interest rates could not prevent the serious consequences of the coronavirus pandemic on the Norwegian economy, but at least help to dampen the setbacks.

The key interest rate in the oil nation of Norway had already been reduced in two steps from 1.5 to 0.25 percent in March.

More: Central bank in London is keeping its feet still for the time being – key interest rates remain close to zero