Archive for Jotunheimen

Jotunheimen

Posted in Mountains, pictures, Travel with tags , , , , , , on June 10, 2012 by xi'an

I did not see any troll in this land of the giants. Presumably, we were flying too high…

LGM 2012, Trondheim

Posted in Mountains, pictures, Running, Statistics, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , on May 31, 2012 by xi'an

A break from the “snapshots from Guérande” that will be a relief for all ‘ Og readers, I am sure: I am now in Trondheim, Norway, for the second Latent Gaussian model meeting, organised by Håvard Rue and his collaborators. As in the earlier edition in Zürich, the main approach to those models (that is adopted in the talks) is the INLA methodology of Rue, Martino and Chopin. I nonetheless (given the theme) gave a presentation on Rao-Blackwellisation techniques for MCMC algorithms. As I had not printed the program of the meeting prior to my departure (blame Guérande!), I had not realised I had only 20 minutes for my talk and kept adding remarks and slides during the flight from Amsterdam to Trondheim [where the clouds prevented me from seeing Jotunheimen]. (So I had to cut the second half of the talk below on parallelisation. Even with this cut, the 20 minutes went awfully fast!) Apart from my talk, I am afraid I was not in a sufficient state of awareness [due to a really early start] to give a comprehensive of the afternoon talks….

Trondheim is a nice city that sometimes feels like a village despite its size. Walking up to the university along typical wooden houses, then going around the town and along the river tonight while running a 10k loop left me with the impression of a very pleasant place (at least in the summer months).

Troll hunter

Posted in Books, Mountains, Travel with tags , , , on February 18, 2012 by xi'an

(Warning! This post countains shocking facts about the true wildlife of Norway! Read at your own peril!)

When I started watching Troll Hunter, I was completely unaware that trolls roamed the higher plateaux of central Norway… This documentary made me realise, along with the three students who made the unedited film, of this unknown component of the Norwegian wildlife. The many races of trolls who managed to remain hidden for centuries, at least from cameras and general knowledge. With the help of the Troll Security Services (Trollsikkerhetstjenesten). If I ever hike again in Jotunheimen, or near Sogn og Fjordane (and I wish I will!), I will certainly pay attention to sunset times, in order to be indoor before the night!, and will be watching for weird tracks during the day. Even if you are not considering exploring Norway’s wildest areas in the future, you should watch the most amazing documentary ever! And learn how the Norwegian government slaughtered whole populations of trolls to make a new road… A wonder some are still left!