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Woozy with cider

About leifr

My name is Lawrence and I live in the beautiful medieval city of York in northern England. York has a long and eventful history and evidence of this can be found everywhere you look - even at the end of my street, where part of the old city wall runs its protective circuit. Growing up here was a lot of fun for a history nerd like me.

When people think of York they tend to think of the Vikings. From a young age I was fascinated by these Scandinavian pioneers and loved to meet the haords of people from the cold North who travelled to the Jorvik Viking Festival, held in my home city every February. Down by the River Ouse, watching a longboat race one cold festival day, I tasted my first ever 'fiskeboller', a Norwegian speciality sold at the Viking market. The strange language of the stall holders held me enthralled and ever since that moment I decided that I wanted to see and explore the cold, frozen North.

At the age of 15 my parents (somewhat reluctantly) allowed me to travel to the mystical Faroes, a collection of 18 windswept islands in the North Atlantic and an old Viking outpost, starting a near obsession with that land that lasts to this day. The following year I returned with a friend and as we island-hopped and traversed mountainsides my love for Scandinavia. Another reason for visiting the islands was to follow the national football team - minnows on the world stage but heroes to me. I have always loved an underdog.

A few years later I found myself at university studying the history and langauge of Scandinavia, which gave me an excellent excuse to explore the region to my heart's content. Happy summers were spent interailing through Norway and Sweden and hiking in Iceland, where I witnessed the devasting aftermath of the naughty volcano, Eyjafjallajokull. I also had the pleasure of living and studying in the Danish city of Aarhus, where my language skills improved dramatically. By learning another language you live another life, one full of new and exciting opportunities. It wasn't easy and I made a lot of mistakes, but it taught me that by taking risks you can gain so much more in life.

That was certainly true back in 2012, when I undertook a bizarre journey around the United Kingdom fulfilling a bet from a friend - to lick every Anglican cathedral in the country. Yes, it was very weird but the experiences I had, exploring every corner of the country and meeting some truly wonderful (and weird) people, will stay with me forever. Seeing and exploring 64 beautiful cathedrals was also a true joy and I am currently writing up my experiences in a book.

Today I am living in the heart of historic York, working for a heritage organisation and writing for a local online magazine. I am currently planning a return trip to Iceland to see more of the wilderness, somewhere I feel strangely at home. I like the sun but it doesn't like me much, turning me red at any available opportunity (even in Iceland), so I favour colder, harsher climates, where you can sit by a fire and listen to the wind howl outside.

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