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Explore Fjord Norway - Waterfall Heaven Part 1

Fjord Norway is the actual source of most of the images you likely associate with “Norway” in general. The region runs along the country’s southwestern coast, comprising a dramatic landscape of fjords, mountains, cliffs, and islands, as well as some truly special cultural and culinary centers. For this exciting partnership, Matador dispatched a small crew of our most talented Ambassadors to traverse the region and do what they do best, be that kayaking world-class whitewater, trekking the regions epic trails, or simply photographing scenery that seemed be pushing to new levels just around that next curve in the road. Scroll down to see the stories and media they came back with. To see more articles, photos and videos from this epic destination go to http//:matadornetwork.com

abuelas-plaza-mayo

Members of the Grandmothers of Plaza del Mayo march in Buenos Aires.
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Editor’s note: Estela de Carlotto is president of the Grandmothers of Plaza del Mayo, a human rights group who searches for the children of mothers who were “disappeared” by the military dictatorship during Argentina’s Dirty War (1976-1983). Estella’s daughter Laura was abducted in 1977 while pregnant, and later killed after giving birth in a military hospital. Laura’s mutilated corpse was returned to the de Carlotto family, but her captors appropriated the baby, whose legal name was Guido, and for 36 years Estella never knew what happened to him.

TO FEEL HAPPINESS through another person. Is that not the definition of love? But what if that person is not known? Or rather, known but never met. Never touched. Never spoken to. Is it still possible then to define love this way?

Yes. On Tuesday August 5, 2014, that shared happiness went through all of Argentina. Our whole country swayed in an embrace. Falling tears, renewed hope: Estela de Carlotto, president of Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo, announced that, after 36 years of searching, she had found her grandson Guido.

Her eyes translated for us 36 years of struggle that would be impossible to put into words. The eyes of a mother who did not succumb to the pain of the loss of her daughter. Who invested her energy, love, and time finding answers. In creating possibilities. The spirit of a woman who never spoke of revenge but justice. To never let death win the tug of war with hope. All that was there, in the face of Estela Barnes de Carlotto, seconds before starting the press conference.

And then she spoke. And then it was true. “It’s a prize for everyone.” Guido had looked for her. The poetry enclosing that fact is immense: Guido looked for his grandmother. That grandmother who never lost hope of finding him. He found her. The circle was closed with an ending that’s really a start. “I didn’t want to die without hugging him,” confessed Estela. And all ran to embrace our loved ones. We sent messages, called. We shared that moment. And in some way — and thanks to Estela’s generosity — we belonged to everyone.

But why is this particular case so emotional? Each of the 113 grandchildren recovered and reunited with their families marked a path. What seemed impossible was repeated 113 times. Each was a step towards memory, truth, and justice, values ​​that for many years had been eradicated from our reality. Little by little, Estela became a symbol of that repair. A personification of the fight, the tenacity that so many women have carried forward. We all know the story of Laura, her daughter, kidnapped three months pregnant, murdered by the dictatorship shortly after giving birth to a boy. We all know the story of Estela, seeking untiringly that baby born in captivity in a clandestine concentration camp in 1978, snatched, stolen, ripped, not only from the arms of his mother, but also his family.

Each time she appeared with a recovered grandchild, we all felt so many emotions. She was the one responsible for giving the news in each of the 113 cases. Her face is the emblem, the flag always high.

During all these years, we were confounded by her perseverance, patience, love, strength. Where does she get the energy? How does she keep going?

The answer lived in Olavarría. Long in coming but finally here. And it left us all speechless in front of the television screen. Estela found Guido. Guido found Estela.

And then once we shook off the surprise, once, in slow motion, we managed to react, to fall, to try and measure what this means. The profundity it implies. Because Estela’s fight, the fight of the grandmothers, is everybody. Because there are 400 more Guidos or Victorias or Tatianas or Juanes that do not yet know their true identities. Because the identities of those 400 people were taken from us all. And yet each returned grandson returns us all a piece of history. Because the grandmothers’ relentlessness reminds us that it is impossible to build a future even if we haven’t solved the past.

Today, past, present, and future merge in Argentina, embracing Estela and Guido. After 36 years, the embrace is complete. From: Finding her grandson after 36 years // http://ift.tt/1skSlwd

Props to Matador reader @yuninthesky for getting through Romania’s Transfagarasan Highway without getting sick. #Travelstoke!
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#view #romania #transfagarasanhighway #roads #travel

  • 2 slices of thick, multigrain bread
  • 1 block of soft and creamy cheese, preferably double, or even triple, cream brie
  • 1 tomato, sliced thin
  • ½ avocado, guacamole’d
  • 2 mushrooms, sliced thin
  • ¼ onion, diced
  • 1 strip of bacon
  • Butter
  • Chives
  • Basil
  • 1 can of tomato soup
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ¼ cup water
  • salt/pepper
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil

What you’ll have:

  • 2 slices of supermarket dollar loaf. What’s the difference between wholegrain and multigrain?
  • 4 slices of cheese singles, the kind that lists “cheese” as one of the actual ingredients
  • 1 tomato, slightly crushed by that French dude who dropped his groceries on yours in the fridge. Thank God for GMO sturdiness.
  • 1 avocado, secretly and shamefully rung up as brown onions at the self-checkout.
  • 2 mushrooms, but you’ve got three and what the hell are you gonna do with one mushroom? So, 3 mushrooms.
  • ¼ onions, diced (there ya go!)
  • 1 strip of bacon (we’re on a roll!)
  • Butter (wait, what is that black stuff stuck in it?)
  • Chives (brownish because you never think to use your chives)
  • 1 can of tomato soup
  • ½ cup water
  • salt/pepper
  • I dunno, just dump some olive oil on it

Step 1: Go to the kitchen. This really shouldn’t warrant a step of its own, but hitting the kitchen at the perfect time in a hostel is an art. This is your third time checking already, and for once, it’s not completely crowded. There’s nobody there but you and that one couple in the corner, the one that looks so cute cooking a restaurant-quality meal together. Silently hate their happiness. Luckily, the dude using six pans and all of the counter space just to burn a single hamburger has finally left, so take his spot before the couple decides to spread out.

Step 2: Choose your utensils. For this exercise, we’ll need a chef’s knife, two skillets, a small pot, a spatula, wooden spoon, tongs, and a cutting board. You’ll find these easily enough, though none of them will be clean. You can wash them in the sink, but all the sponges and steel wool have — what is that, cheese and egg? — stuck to them. Wipe everything down as best you can.

Step 3: Drizzle the 1 tbsp. olive oil (read: just dump some) into one of the skillets and begin heating both on medium flames. There are several burners to choose from, but because everybody forgets to turn them off, only one of them works at any given time. It’s like whack-a-mole with potential gas explosions. Watch as the oil retreats to the sides of the badly warped pans, completely defeating the purpose of putting it in there.

Step 4: While the oil and skillet is heating, wash and cut the vegetables. You’ll be much less stressed later if all the prep work is done at the beginning. Of course, the hostel knife is so dull that you’ll end up smashing the tomato to mush without even breaking the skin, so maybe the stress is just part-and-parcel. Cut using the very back heel of the knife — it’s not ideal, but it will still be sharp there. Nobody knows how to really use knives. Remember, rocking motions.

Step 5: When the oil is hot, add the diced onion. Season lightly — you’ll be salting the rest of the vegetables as you add them and you don’t want to overdo it on the first layer. Add the bacon to the second skillet. While the onions start to caramelize and the bacon starts to sizzle, put the pot on another burner (if you can find one), and add the tomato soup. If you managed to find some milk, add ¼ cup of water to the soup. If not (probably not), add a full ½ cup of water. Keep it on a low flame.

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Whaaat! Here’s Matador reader @sara_not_sarah checking out an abandoned amusement park in #Berlin. Photo by @katiefrench23. Thanks for tagging #travelstoke!

#colors #abandoned #travel #adventure

Rampart Ridge, Mount Rainier National Park, Washington. Photo by @mrmoosefish while on an evening hike with his 11 year old daughter! Talk about #travelstoke!
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9 experiences on Easter Island

Rapa Nui (Easter Island) is a small volcanic island halfway between Oceania and South America. It’s mostly famous for the Moai, massive human figures carved from stone by the Rapa Nui people between 1250 and 1500 AD.

I’m lucky to have recently visited this tiny dot of an island in the middle of the vast Pacific Ocean. It was an immersion into an unexplored culture, where you can ride a horse all the way up a volcano and hear stories about the Birdman religion and sacred ceremonies. Among other things:

1. Land at the most isolated airport on Earth

Rapa Nui is located halfway between French Polynesia and Chile. It’s the most isolated inhabited land on the planet. Unless you own a boat, Mataveri International Airport is how you’ll arrive. Be sure to buy tickets for the national park as soon as you get off the plane (even before passing through immigration) to get a discount. Also, the airport runway crosses the entire island and is possibly the best place on Earth to see planes come and go…even if there’s only one aircraft per day.

2. Get the stamp!

rapa nui passport stamp

Photo by the author

Daily flights to Rapa Nui arrive from Santiago, meaning you get a Chilean stamp on that hard-worn passport of yours. But go to the downtown post office and they’ll be gracious enough to stamp your passport with their own Rapa Nui stamp.

3. Swim the clearest waters in the South Pacific

One characteristic that protects Rapa Nui from predatory tourism is the lack of postcard-ready white-sand beaches. There’s but one, Anakena, pristine as a Pacific paradise advertisement, complete with picnic tables, a line of very impressive Moai, carritos (shacks) selling unbelievably delicious empanadas de atun and, if you’re lucky, even a traditional marriage complete with all-white clothing, family members, and music (like when I was there).

The natural blue, cold, and cool waters are perfect for diving; sea turtles can be seen when snorkeling right off the beach.

4. Bump into ancient petroglyphs

rapa nui ancient petroglyphs

Photo by the author

I was roaming around some rocks by the sea, right in front a souvenir shop. There weren’t any signs — I just wanted to get closer to the sea and here looked as good as any. But then I saw a rock shaped like an animal — a frog, maybe? Right next to it there was something carved on a rock. Then more. And more.

Rapa Nui is an archeologist’s heaven — minus the curious visitor walking over ancient markings, of course. That’s why, 30 seconds later, the owner of the souvenir shop appeared on the road above the rocks yelling at me to get out of there immediately.

5. Check out the Moai

Ahu Akivi, Rapa Nui, July 2014 / @ Gaía Passarelli

Photo by the author

Moai translates loosely as “to whom” in the Rapa Nui language. Makes perfect sense once you understand what those enormous statues stands for — not gods or aliens, but ancestors watching over the land and sharing mana (vital energy) with their tribes. It also explains why the Moai were torn down when tribal wars devastated the island.

The best place to see them is…just about everywhere. I mean it — if not careful, you risk stepping on Moai remains near an ahu and getting mad stares from tour guides and park rangers. Two spots are remarkable: Rano Raraku, known as he “Moai factory” because that’s where the most figures were excavated; and Ahu Tahai, which is guaranteed to deliver the sunset of a lifetime and is walkable from the island’s downtown area.

See more photos