112 vehicules

  Here it is!   The picture I’m going to have printed on a big canvas and hang up on my bedroom wall when I get back to Norway    (whitout the black text box ofc).   
    This mosaic contains all the pictures of all the cars who drove me from Oslo to Beirut    112 cars, trucks and scooters in total.   It’s been an incredibly exciting and rewarding adventure. Thank you so much everyone who picked me up, hosted me, guided me and gave me a wonderful life lesson. From the bottom of my heart THANK YOU.   Pictures from the adventure are to be seen on the #OsloBeirut tag on my blog ( http://blog.sebastiandahl.com/tagged/OsloBeirut ) and soon in a book and in a video.

Here it is! The picture I’m going to have printed on a big canvas and hang up on my bedroom wall when I get back to Norway (whitout the black text box ofc).

This mosaic contains all the pictures of all the cars who drove me from Oslo to Beirut
112 cars, trucks and scooters in total.
It’s been an incredibly exciting and rewarding adventure. Thank you so much everyone who picked me up, hosted me, guided me and gave me a wonderful life lesson. From the bottom of my heart THANK YOU.

Pictures from the adventure are to be seen on the #OsloBeirut tag on my blog (http://blog.sebastiandahl.com/tagged/OsloBeirut) and soon in a book and in a video.

do what you want to do

 
 “Do what you want to 
 do 
 and you will be happy” 
 
 The day is  September 15th 2012  and I have just hitchhiked from Oslo, to Malmö, Sweden. I’ve been in 6 different cars (including a police car) and I’m so high on life I can’t get my pulse down. 
 I’ve left everything behind, made space for new impressions and encounters. Tomas, the first person to give me a lift told me about his job as a director of a book-factory, Valentin was on his way to a date and told me about when he moved from Romania to Sweden because his parents got bankrupt, and lost everything they owned because of the economical crisis. After only a few minutes in the Jureen sisters’s car, they were pouring red wine in my glass and bringing me to a psychedelic art exhibition. 
 I was only 560km away from the place I used to call home, had more than 9000km to hitchhike ahead of me. 
 I felt so alive. I barely slept. I snapped this picture. 
 And now I find myself back where I left off in 2012. Trying to edit this  Oslo Beirut book  that I want to publish. But I can’t think of anything else than the fact that I’ll soon be on the road again. 2015 will be the year where I continue this adventure. 
 I’m hitchhiking to Japan and will stay there for a year.

“Do what you want to

do

and you will be happy”

The day is September 15th 2012 and I have just hitchhiked from Oslo, to Malmö, Sweden. I’ve been in 6 different cars (including a police car) and I’m so high on life I can’t get my pulse down.

I’ve left everything behind, made space for new impressions and encounters. Tomas, the first person to give me a lift told me about his job as a director of a book-factory, Valentin was on his way to a date and told me about when he moved from Romania to Sweden because his parents got bankrupt, and lost everything they owned because of the economical crisis. After only a few minutes in the Jureen sisters’s car, they were pouring red wine in my glass and bringing me to a psychedelic art exhibition.

I was only 560km away from the place I used to call home, had more than 9000km to hitchhike ahead of me.

I felt so alive.
I barely slept.
I snapped this picture.

And now I find myself back where I left off in 2012. Trying to edit this Oslo Beirut book that I want to publish. But I can’t think of anything else than the fact that I’ll soon be on the road again. 2015 will be the year where I continue this adventure.

I’m hitchhiking to Japan and will stay there for a year.

  Beirut, December 2012

        In Beirut, go to the main street of Furn el Shebek, find About Moussad’s grocery store and make a right, after a 100m you will see a sign on the right side that says “Flight services”. There, press the bell “Nursery  Au Paradis des Anges”.
  This is where I live and this is maybe what you’d have to write on the postcard if you were to send me one. 
    

Thanks to GoPro featuring one of my #OsloBeirut projects on their Facebook page earlier this year I arrived in Beirut with a place to stay; a few weeks before arriving my soon-to-be-new-friends Elsy and Pauline contacted me and told me I could stay in their apartment the first days on my arrival. This allowed me get to know some really cool people and have a struggle-free apartment search.
 Even though there isn’t any proper apartment rental website in Lebanon, it took me only five days to find a place to rent. I started by walking in the streets giving my phone number to concierges, shop keepers, and random people that crossed my path. I also put an add on a Facebook group dedicated to helping people find places to rent, but the old school analog mouth to ear technique was the one that worked. My hosts introduced me to Hussam, a 31 year old environmental activist with a special interest in water. He wears a cool hat, is a vegetarian and is looking for a roommate. Pretty fucking good match. 
   

The flat is an old kindergarten with 3 large bedrooms, a spacious living rooms with a projector, a fully equipped kitchen, and a small guestroom. The standard is nothing to brag about, but we like it and with time we’re going to make it very cosy, specially the outdoor area is going to be very nice in the summer. 
It has normal (i.e. governmental) electricity 18hours a day and for the other 6 hours there is a generator. This is normal in Lebanon. Every once in a while you can hear the sounds of the electronic gear rebooting and the tic-tic from the fluorescent light on the ceiling; we’re going from government to generator powered electricity. The other day I was peeing when it happened and I just continued, whisteling through the darkness as if nothing. I guess I’m getting used to it :)
 
 
 
 
 
 
  “it’s funny because the things that surprise you are the contrary as the things that surprise us: we’d be surprised if there was electricity 24h in a row.”  
 
 
 
 
 
  
Beirut:  With only a million inhabitants, it has a good size and plenty of neighborhoods to discover. The other I was buying dried fruit in an Armenian very lively part of town, then I went to the shore to find some peace and rest. Being able to go from one atmosphere to another like this is pretty priceless. I really like the city and have already found some nice places where I like to hang out. There is a lot of traffic tho. All these people stuck in the traffic don’t seem to realize that they are traffic. But who’s to blame when there isn’t any proper public transportation system?
 
 I got myself a bike, chopped he handlebars shorter and am really enjoying biking around town when it’s not raining. They say people drive like crazy in Lebanon but IMAO because people don’t obey traffic rules, everyone has to be a bit more responsive and reactive in order to avoid accidents. That’s exactly the way I like to ride and I’ve always been defending my bike riding style as quite safe. (even when my school sent me to a psychiatrists when I was 16 because of my biking style). Otherwise it’s a bit hilly but I guess I’m used to that with Oslo. On several occasion drivers have let me hang on to their cars with one hand on the bikes’ handlebars and the other on the car like if it was perfectly normal. I love that. Maybe the most dangerous thing is just the pot-holes.          So life here is pretty sweet, I feel safe and I’m starting to get to know the city and can navigate without a map more and more. I’ve made some good friends already and have been on the set of a music video as a backstage photographer. In a week I’m gonna be on MTV Lebanon’s morning show to talk about my trip from Oslo to Beirut. I hope I will be able to talk about how good people rather than arguing against the idea that it’s crazy to hitchhike.    I have started looking for work, I want to find some journalists who want to do specs/reportages on the theme of water with me or maybe work for NGOs that work with water-related issues. But off course I will probably have to do less interesting “commercial” photography as well.
 For the first time ever I didn’t do anything for Christmas. I just had a beer and went out to buy popcorn. All my friends were busy celebrating with their families. I got several invitations but kindly declined. Instead I used time to continue working on my #OsloBeirut book. I’m ordering it through Blurb so it might take some time before I have it in my hands, but I’m really looking forward to having it.
 
 By the way, did you know Lebanon is considered third world? I had no idea before somebody told me. I guess the lack of postal + transportation systems and the electricity cuts are some visible clues. The contrast between third world and developed world can be quite funny: 
 
 
 
 
 Sometimes I use an app on my smartphone to check when the next electricity cut is :) 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 That’s it for now! thanks for reading.

Beirut, December 2012



    In Beirut, go to the main street of Furn el Shebek, find About Moussad’s grocery store and make a right, after a 100m you will see a sign on the right side that says “Flight services”. There, press the bell “Nursery  Au Paradis des Anges”.

This is where I live and this is maybe what you’d have to write on the postcard if you were to send me one.

   

Thanks to GoPro featuring one of my #OsloBeirut projects on their Facebook page earlier this year I arrived in Beirut with a place to stay; a few weeks before arriving my soon-to-be-new-friends Elsy and Pauline contacted me and told me I could stay in their apartment the first days on my arrival. This allowed me get to know some really cool people and have a struggle-free apartment search.

Even though there isn’t any proper apartment rental website in Lebanon, it took me only five days to find a place to rent. I started by walking in the streets giving my phone number to concierges, shop keepers, and random people that crossed my path. I also put an add on a Facebook group dedicated to helping people find places to rent, but the old school analog mouth to ear technique was the one that worked. My hosts introduced me to Hussam, a 31 year old environmental activist with a special interest in water. He wears a cool hat, is a vegetarian and is looking for a roommate. Pretty fucking good match.

image


The flat is an old kindergarten with 3 large bedrooms, a spacious living rooms with a projector, a fully equipped kitchen, and a small guestroom. The standard is nothing to brag about, but we like it and with time we’re going to make it very cosy, specially the outdoor area is going to be very nice in the summer. 
It has normal (i.e. governmental) electricity 18hours a day and for the other 6 hours there is a generator. This is normal in Lebanon. Every once in a while you can hear the sounds of the electronic gear rebooting and the tic-tic from the fluorescent light on the ceiling; we’re going from government to generator powered electricity. The other day I was peeing when it happened and I just continued, whisteling through the darkness as if nothing. I guess I’m getting used to it :)


“it’s funny because the things that surprise you are the contrary as the things that surprise us: we’d be surprised if there was electricity 24h in a row.”


Beirut: With only a million inhabitants, it has a good size and plenty of neighborhoods to discover. The other I was buying dried fruit in an Armenian very lively part of town, then I went to the shore to find some peace and rest. Being able to go from one atmosphere to another like this is pretty priceless. I really like the city and have already found some nice places where I like to hang out.
There is a lot of traffic tho. All these people stuck in the traffic don’t seem to realize that they are traffic. But who’s to blame when there isn’t any proper public transportation system?


I got myself a bike, chopped he handlebars shorter and am really enjoying biking around town when it’s not raining. They say people drive like crazy in Lebanon but IMAO because people don’t obey traffic rules, everyone has to be a bit more responsive and reactive in order to avoid accidents. That’s exactly the way I like to ride and I’ve always been defending my bike riding style as quite safe. (even when my school sent me to a psychiatrists when I was 16 because of my biking style).
Otherwise it’s a bit hilly but I guess I’m used to that with Oslo. On several occasion drivers have let me hang on to their cars with one hand on the bikes’ handlebars and the other on the car like if it was perfectly normal. I love that. Maybe the most dangerous thing is just the pot-holes.
    
    So life here is pretty sweet, I feel safe and I’m starting to get to know the city and can navigate without a map more and more. I’ve made some good friends already and have been on the set of a music video as a backstage photographer. In a week I’m gonna be on MTV Lebanon’s morning show to talk about my trip from Oslo to Beirut. I hope I will be able to talk about how good people rather than arguing against the idea that it’s crazy to hitchhike.
   I have started looking for work, I want to find some journalists who want to do specs/reportages on the theme of water with me or maybe work for NGOs that work with water-related issues. But off course I will probably have to do less interesting “commercial” photography as well.

For the first time ever I didn’t do anything for Christmas. I just had a beer and went out to buy popcorn. All my friends were busy celebrating with their families. I got several invitations but kindly declined. Instead I used time to continue working on my #OsloBeirut book. I’m ordering it through Blurb so it might take some time before I have it in my hands, but I’m really looking forward to having it.


By the way, did you know Lebanon is considered third world? I had no idea before somebody told me. I guess the lack of postal + transportation systems and the electricity cuts are some visible clues. The contrast between third world and developed world can be quite funny:

Sometimes I use an app on my smartphone to check when the next electricity cut is :)

That’s it for now! thanks for reading.

Cappadocia, Turkey

Cappadocia region in Turkey, November 2012

This is truly some of the most amazing landscapes I have ever seen.
Next blogpost: the cave I slept in.

More? ☞ #Portraitsfromtheroad and #OsloBeirut on “Angles

Volunteering for birds habitat in the Bulgarian countryside

Bulgaria, November 2012

I made a good friend who took me volunteering on the Bulgarian countryside. Together with some other nice people we removed cut reed and cattail material to create a habitat for rare Dragoman marsh dwellers. The biomass will be used for the production of (ecological) pellets for heating.

#whatsinmybag

  Here’s what I’m carrying around in my handbag these days.  
 Courrier International, presscard, passport, water, scarf, chocolate, plaster, microfiber cloth, marker and pens, go pro hero 2 + suction mount and spare battery, gloves, travel diary / notebook, Canon 5Dmk3 + memory cards + 2 batteries + 40mm lens + 28mm lens, AA batteries, bank thing, USB key, painkillers, car charger for cellphone, filters in a box, gaffer tape, sound recording device, earphones, coins, ballhead clamp for camera, map of Eastern Europe and Turkey. Wallet and cellphone are in jeans pockets.  (DOMKE F6) 
 #insidemybag by  Sébastian Dahl  on  Angles

Here’s what I’m carrying around in my handbag these days.

Courrier International, presscard, passport, water, scarf, chocolate, plaster, microfiber cloth, marker and pens, go pro hero 2 + suction mount and spare battery, gloves, travel diary / notebook, Canon 5Dmk3 + memory cards + 2 batteries + 40mm lens + 28mm lens, AA batteries, bank thing, USB key, painkillers, car charger for cellphone, filters in a box, gaffer tape, sound recording device, earphones, coins, ballhead clamp for camera, map of Eastern Europe and Turkey. Wallet and cellphone are in jeans pockets.  (DOMKE F6)

#insidemybag by Sébastian Dahl on Angles

A hitchhikers’ report from a “criminal” state: Kosovo.

A hitchhikers’ report from a “criminal” state: Kosovo.

    Kosovo is a country where peace is being kept by armed forces (KFOR+EU) and Western Europe’s general image of it is one of a very poor and war-struck country. Recently, I spent 6 days there hitchhiking, meeting people and my expectations were quite far from reality.

    Expectations: When I came to Bosnia, Slovenia and Montenegro I began asking people what they thought about me going to Kosovo. The idea was that Kosovo’s closest neighbors could provide me with useful information. After all I travel the way I travel because i find it to be the best way to learn about a region’s tradition and characteristics.
Practically no one I met in the Balkans thought it was a good idea, “criminals” was a word that often came to my ear and the only positive thing I heard about Kosovo was about the weed. Even if none of these people had actually been to Kosovo and their tales were probably more colored by the scars of the past than anything else, I thought there had to be some part of thruth in it: my expectations were a bit bad. It didn’t help that my mom called me to tell me not to go there. I was not confident but did not neither want to believe these stereotypes, it is not possible that a nation is filled with criminals. I did some research on internet, managed to find some encouraging information and decided to go for it.



    Reality: Hitchhiking is overall very easy even if people seem to have a hard time understanding that “this western guy” doesn’t want to take a bus or a taxi. The roads aren’t very fast, but excellent highways are being built and will be finished anytime soon.

   I experienced finding a place to stay to be quite easy: I was offered a place to stay in Pejë by my friends Haris and Zekaj, in Pristina and Prizen I found a place to stay in less than 30 minutes. 95% of Kosovo’s population is Albanian by tradition and Muslims by religion and hospitality has, as I have understood it, a central place in the Coran. Maybe it helped, maybe not. I usually say that when hitchhiking and sleep this way there is a natural selection: people who are nice stop for me, people who aren’t, simply don’t.


   The sad part of the story is that the inhabitants of Kosovo are really stuck. Getting a visa is very difficult and most of the people I met who had been abroad where abroad during the war, in refugee camps. The people I met were very interested in hearing stories about “the west” and from my trip, but I found it difficult to tell stories about my travels when they don’t have the same opportunities. It’s not fair.

Dijana in Podgorice

  Dijana, my host in Podgorice (Montenegro) // November 13th 2012   Finding a host in Montenegro was no easy task, for the first time ever while traveling this way I’ve had to stay in a hotel for one night. I spent a whole evening asking between 40 and 50 people to host me, in vain. I couldn’t believe it. Usually it’s so simple; I’ve never had to ask more than 10-15 people and usually I only have to get 4 or 5 five NO’s before someone agrees. Maybe it was just bad luck, or maybe I was at the bad place at the wrong time: a city center in the night time filled with young people who in Montenegro usually either live with their family or in very small flats.  Next day I gave it one more try and found a host within 30 minutes. And what a host it was! Thanks Dan for putting us in contact, and thanks a thousand times for you hospitality Dijana!

Dijana, my host in Podgorice (Montenegro) // November 13th 2012

Finding a host in Montenegro was no easy task, for the first time ever while traveling this way I’ve had to stay in a hotel for one night. I spent a whole evening asking between 40 and 50 people to host me, in vain. I couldn’t believe it. Usually it’s so simple; I’ve never had to ask more than 10-15 people and usually I only have to get 4 or 5 five NO’s before someone agrees. Maybe it was just bad luck, or maybe I was at the bad place at the wrong time: a city center in the night time filled with young people who in Montenegro usually either live with their family or in very small flats.

Next day I gave it one more try and found a host within 30 minutes. And what a host it was! Thanks Dan for putting us in contact, and thanks a thousand times for you hospitality Dijana!

Sasha

  Sasha // November 11th 2012 // Drove me from Trebinje, Bosnia to Podgorica, Montenegro.   This guy picked me up in the middle of nowhere in pitch-darkness. He drove me all the way to the town I had almost lost hope reaching that day. Thanks again man!

Sasha // November 11th 2012 // Drove me from Trebinje, Bosnia to Podgorica, Montenegro.

This guy picked me up in the middle of nowhere in pitch-darkness. He drove me all the way to the town I had almost lost hope reaching that day. Thanks again man!