Danielle Moylan

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A hiker on Besseggen ridge. Koimages/iStock, via Getty Images Plus

The Besseggen ridge juts from the earth as a curved spine of sharp, dark-gray stone and carves its way between two blue lakes in Jotunheimen, one of Norway’s many spectacular, wild national parks. “Jotunheimen” translates as “home of the giants”, and everything here is oversize, including the lakes. They are separated only by a narrow slice of the ridge yet have very distinct colors: Gjende is a long sweep of aquamarine; Bessvatnet is a dark royal blue.

Besseggen, a worthy destination for its otherworldly beauty alone, is also immortalized in national lore. Norway’s tourism board claims that Thor, the ill-tempered Norse warrior king, forged it by slamming his hammer into the earth.…  Seguir leyendo »

Spring on the Afghan Front Lines

Spring becomes Babaji, a rural suburb of Lashkar Gah, the capital of the southern province of Helmand. Light-green wheat fields grow waist-high, and narrow irrigation canals run almost clear. “It’s beautiful”, I told Mohammad Sahi, 21, an officer in the Afghan national police, as we stood on a sagging thatched roof in the afternoon sun.

Mr. Sahi smiled, leaning on a sandbagged lookout. With his finger he drew a semicircle across the fields ahead. “No man’s land”, he said. Pointing to a cluster of abandoned houses a mile to the northwest, he said, “Taliban”. To another mass of houses north: “Taliban”.…  Seguir leyendo »