Urnes Stave Church, Norway

A Rare Look Inside the 900-Year-Old

Urnes Stave Church, Norway

 

Do a Google Image Search for photos of Norway’s Urnes Stave Church and you’ll find hundreds of results. But if you scan through them, you’ll notice that 99.9% of these are exterior shots, and the few interior shots that do show up are actually from one of Norway’s 27 other stave churches.

 

There’s a reason for this: Fortidsminneforeningen, the Society for the Preservation of Norwegian Ancient Monuments (which owns 8 stave churches, 4 stone churches, and 28 other historically significant properties in  the country), strictly forbids photographs from being taken inside Urnes.

 

Knowing that we were journalists visiting Norway on assignment, our guide Marit Boen allowed us to take photos during our private tour. But we had to get special permission from Fortidsminneforenignen in order to publish them here on Green Global Travel, which they recognized as being similarly devoted to cultural preservation. So we’re delighted to offer our readers an incredibly rare glimpse inside this 900-year-old UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Baby Cheetahs in Kruger National Park, South Africa

Baby Cheetahs in Kruger National Park

 

If you’ve never been on a nighttime safari drive, it’s truly a spooky spectacle to behold. The darkness lends an added air of mystery to an experience already filled with awe and wonder. And, with your tracker’s flashlight usually the only source of illumination, it can be a little scary knowing that wild things wander unseen all around you.

 

My memories of our game drives through South Africa’s Kruger National Park are extraordinarily vivid. I remember the racing pulse of excitement the first night, when our Londolozi Game Reserve driver struggled to find pathways through the thick underbrush as we followed a female Leopard stalking her prey just after sunset. The thunderous noises of a massive Hippopotamus crashing through a thicket and running across the road behind us, faster than you’d ever imagine a creature so large could run. The incredible sight of 13 Lions stretching lazily in the road back to our camp, looking for all the world like sleepy, overgrown house cats. And the heart-pounding intensity as we watched a pack of cackling Hyenas chasing a herd of Gazelles, which leapt and bound gracefully across the road.

 

But one of my favorite nighttime wildlife sightings has to be this cute little trio of Baby Cheetahs, who we found hidden amongst the grass of the open savannah late at night, nursing contentedly on their mother. Cheetahs are my favorite of South Africa’s big cats– I admire their distinctive markings, their speed, their gracefulness– but until this night they were the only species (including the rare African Wild Dog) that we hadn’t seen. To stumble upon them in the dark, late at night, and see an entire family? It felt as if we hit the jackpot.

 

You can read elsewhere on GGT the story of how South Africa inspired our passion for ecotourism. But, for me, this photo captures one of those indelible little moments that makes Kruger National Park such a special place. In these adorable little faces, I saw the future of sustainable travel.  –text & photo by Bret Love

 

If you enjoyed our photo of Baby Cheetahs in South Africa, you might also like:

SOUTH AFRICA: Londolozi Game Reserve Safari

SOUTH AFRICA: Phinda Game Reserve Safari

SOUTH AFRICA: Zulu Memories From Kwa-Zulu Natal

INTERVIEW: South African Legend Johnny Clegg

INTERVIEW: Ladysmith Black Mambazo

INTERVIEW: Soweto Gospel Choir

 

 

 

 

Hiking the John Muir Trail - Yosemite Lake in distance

Yosemite Lake in distance

Hiking The John Muir Trail

 

(The following is a guest post from Brock Delinski of Our Favorite Adventure, who is also a gear consultant and coaches people preparing for adventures and long distance hikes. You can sign up for his free newsletter here If you’re a blogger interested in guest posting, please email Editor-In-Chief Bret Love at GreenGlobalTravel@gmail.com.)

 

 

Hiking the John Muir Trail is many things to many people, but just about everyone who has done it will agree that it is among the finest hikes in the USA. For nature lovers, the JMT has it all, from soaring mountain passes to quaint valleys that give you that last-person-on-Earth sort of feeling.  Hiking the JMT is one of those experiences that ultimately lingers with you long after you’ve hung up your hiking boots.

 

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North Atlantic Right Whale and Calf

North Atlantic Right Whale and Calf via public domain

Endangered Species Spotlight:

North Atlantic Right Whale Facts

 

SPECIES: North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis)

CURRENT RANGE: Along the east coast of North America, from Canada down to Georgia and Florida

CURRENT THREATS: Ship strikes, entanglement in commercial fishing lines

CONSERVATION STATUS: Endangered

WHERE CAN YOU SEE THEM: With just 400-450 left, chances of spotting them are slim, but your best bet is off the Georgia/Florida coast in winter.

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Bo Alexandersson, the "Moose Whisperer" of Wrågården Farm, Raises Moose in Sweden

Bo Alexandersson, the “Moose Whisperer” of Wrågården Farm

The Moose Whisperer &

The Coolest Moose in Sweden

 

“What does bloggers do?”

 

We’ve just arrived at Wrågården Farm, 15 minutes late for our appointed tour with Bo Alexandersson– the semi-retired father of fifth-generation owner Henrik– because our GPS couldn’t recognize their remote, rural address. In my flustered state (I despise being late), his question briefly throws me for a loop.

 

I’m not sure if it’s the off-kilter edginess of his personality, the twinkle of mischief in his eyes, or the Scandinavian cowboy look of his jeans and hat. But somehow the ruggedly handsome farmer reminds me of my late grandfather, who could tease like nobody’s business. Unsure whether he’s pulling my leg or not, I simply laugh and respond, “We write stories and share them on the Internet.” This answer seems to suffice.

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Co-Founded by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett, Green Global Travel is an ecotourism, nature / wildlife conservation & cultural preservation magazine. More about us.

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Green Travel Reviews
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Destinations We’ve Covered:

• AFRICA
Egypt- Top 5 Eco Attractions
South Africa- Londolozi Game Reserve Safari
South Africa- Kruger National Park
South Africa- South Africa- Zulu Memories
Tanzania- Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro

 
• ANTARCTICA
How To Get To Antarctica Without Doing the Drake
The Haunting Beauty of Icebergs
Penguins of Antarctica
Taking the Polar Plunge
Top 5 Eco Attractions in Antarctica
Whales of Antarctica
 
• ASIA
India- Ranthambhore National Park
Laos- The Pastoral Paradise of Muang Ngoi
Malaysia- Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Centre
Nepal- Hiking The Annapurna Circuit
Taiwan- Top 5 Eco Activities in Taipei
Thailand- Top 5 National Parks
 
• AUSTRALIA/OCEANIA
Australia- Top 5 Eco Attractions
Australia-Kangaroo Island
New Zealand- Kapiti Island
New Zealand- Tongariro National Park
New Zealand- Top 5 Ecotourism Attractions
Tahiti- First Impressions
Tahiti- Moorea 4x4 Safari Tour
Tahiti- Moorea, Tiki Village Theater
Tahiti- Pearl Diving in Bora Bora
Tahiti- Ruahatu Marine Sanctuary, Bora Bora
Tonga- Eua Island Eco Activities

 

• NORTH AMERICA
CANADA
Churchill- Into the Wild of Manitoba
Churchill- Polar Bear Fight
Churchill- Polar Bear Photo Gallery
Churchill- Tundra Wildlife

UNITED STATES
America’s Best Volcanoes
AK- Denali National Park
FL- Sanibel Island Eco Activities
FL- Crystal River, Swimming with Manatees
GA- Barnsley Gardens
GA- Top 5 Autumn Activities Around Atlanta
GA- Best Christmas Light Displays
GA- Top 20 Atlanta Christmas Events
GA- Jekyll Island Eco Activities
GA- Weekend in North GA Mountains
GA- Top 5 Eco Attractions in North GA
HI- Hawaii’s Big Island
HI- Hawaiian Mythology
MT- Hiking Glacier National Park
NC- Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge
NC- Asheville's Green Restaurants Scene
NC- Greensboro Travel Guide
NC- Great Smoky Mountains National Park
NC- Outer Banks Wild Horses
NM- Top 5 Eco Attractions
NY- Going Green in NYC
WV- Outdoor Adventures
Yellowstone- Mammoth Hot Springs
Yellowstone- Lamar Valley
Yellowstone- Grand Canyon & Hayden Valley
Yellowstone- Upper Geyser Basin
Yellowstone- Lower Geyser Basin

MEXICO
Cancun- Cancun Underwater Museum
Cancun- Mayan Museum of Archaeology
Riviera Maya- Monkeys, Pyramids & Pottery
Riviera Maya- Rio Secreto
Riviera Maya- Tulum & Coba
 
• CARIBBEAN