Sunday, December 06, 2015

One Photo From Every Country #picture198countries

Me, on international territory, in Antarctica.

I visited every country in the world, and picked one photo from each and every one of them. 198 photos, in other words. You can see them all here, listed alphabetically per continent.

It all started as a competition on my Instagram profile, tagged with #picture198countries. I asked people to guess which country each photograph was from, and accumulated almost 4,000 answers and over 21,000 likes. Thanks for taking part!

Most of the photos were snapped by myself or by someone using my camera. Quite a few have also been photographed by others, in which case they should be credited (if I have forgotten, please let me know). I didn't plan to visit every country in the world until 2008, when I had been to about 85 countries, so the quality of the cameras I brought along has been rather questionable - and more often than not limited to mobile cameras. Some photos were also lost due to questionable storing strategies. And I am finally not much of a photographer, but this is what I've got. At least you will get a glimpse of every country in the world through these 198 photos (plus 2 bonus pictures from Antarctica). That's a bloody good start, and will hopefully trigger your wanderlust as well.

It might even inspire you to take part in The Country Challenge. Scroll down, or enter the photo gallery by clicking on one of the photos and click your way through.    

In either way, here you go. This is probably the first place where you can find a photo from every country all in one internet article. Some sort of a claim to fame, at last. And if that doesn't do it for you, feel free to check out my book "198: How I Ran Out of Countries" where I allegedly have deftly woven my experiences into a story that takes the reader on an emotive ride and establishes a connection with me and my quest (yeah, this was written by marketing people and is taken from the back cover of the book). Expect outrageous tales grouped in original themes, complete with own chapters for every country, it also says.

Europe (47 countries)

There are 47 countries in Europe. Two of them, Russia and Turkey, are also in Asia. I count Russia as European as Moscow, the capital and biggest city is located there. Most of Turkey is located in Asia, but the biggest city by far is primarily located in Europe, and I therefore count Turkey as European. Cyprus is geographically near Asia, but it is culturally relatively European and a member of
the EU. I count Cyprus as European.

ALBANIA: Øystein and I on our way up the mountain in a cable car just outside Tirana. Photo: Asbjørn Havnen.

ANDORRA: Bjarne, Andreas and I drank all the bubbles in Andorra. We started on the rum too, but lost.

AUSTRIA: I'll be back.

BELARUS: Standing on the hands on the doorstep of the KGB headquarters was in
hindsight not the best idea ever. Nor thought the agent who chased us away.
Photo: Øystein Garfors.

BELGIUM: I bet you didn't know that Antwerpen is one of the coolest cities in Europe.

BOSNIA AND HERCEGOVINA: The church police in Trebenje wasn't
impressed by my mountain climbing shortcut to get there. 

BULGARIA: Øystein Djupvik cleans the car after a wild night in Paradise Hotel.

CROATIA: Breakfast in boat is the best. Just bring your own sommelier and an oyster farmer.

CYPRUS: I had no choice but accepting the BBQ invitation in Cyprus. And I had no regrets. It tasted amazing.

CZECH REPUBLIC: My brother Øystein and Helge Fauskanger coincidentally visited Prague the same time as I did.

DENMARK: The other side of Denmark, aka. Faroe Islands, is picture perfect.

ESTONIA: I am sure that I deserved it. Photo: Nicole Salazar.

FINLAND: Where it takes the consumption of a bottle of vodka to bring out a smile.

FRANCE: I once counted the steps to the top.

GERMANY: Ich bin ein Hamburger.

GREECE: Chain smoking chess players are common in Athens.
I was once the only one out of 21 people not smoking in a restaurant.

HUNGARY: My brother Åsmund has since started building his biceps. 

ICELAND: My road. Photo: Asbjørn Havnen.

IRELAND: The West Coast here totally rocks. Photo: Nicole Salazar.

ITALY: When in Rome, chill out.

KOSOVO: The youngest country in Europe.

LATVIA: Roofing it.

LIECHTENSTEIN: The Interrail budget of Tor Egil Hovland and myself sort of limited our diet.

LITHUANIA: I don't normally hang out with Frank Zappa's head.
Photo: Nicole Salazar.

LUXEMBOURG: The country where we discovered that our passports were still in the Netherlands.
Interrail novices, surely.

MACEDONIA: Alexander was here.

MALTA: From a break during my quest to run around the island of Gozo. 

MOLDOVA: You'd be surprised how good wine they make here.

MONACO: Which in mine, the Rolls Royce or the yatch?

MONTENEGRO: A hidden gem on the south side of Lake Skadar.

THE NETHERLANDS: Where I prefer to stay in houseboats. Photo: Jørn Jensen.

NORWAY: The boat of my six siblings and me takes us across the fjord to the log cabin built by my brother
Håkon and myself. This is area is called Skjomen and is just south of Narvik in Northern Norway.  

POLAND: Walking around the old town can be rather romantic. And freezing cold.

PORTUGAL: A country surprisingly less visited.

ROMANIA: I want those wheels.

RUSSIA: I test drove a Maserati and a Lada Niva. Similarities? Well, they were both blue.
This beauty was far more enjoyable to drive.

SAN MARINO: Wow, I can see Italy from here. Photo: Bjarne Andre Myklebust.

SERBIA: Where cannons have cinema seats in front. Photo: Asbjørn Havnen.


SLOVENIA: Ljubljana is such a calm and pleasant city. Not really my cup of tea, though.
Which might explain why I stayed the night in a prison cell. 

SPAIN: Hercules And Julius Cesar dwarf Seville in Seville. 

SWEDEN: Steering the winner of Volvo Ocean Race was rather cool.
I dunno if the crew agreed, though. Photo: Ericsson.  

SWITZERLAND: Øystein Djupvik, Tay-young Pak and I broke the world record by visiting 19 countries in less than 24 hours. Switzerland was our 18th country to visit.

TURKEY: The breakfasts served here are to kill for.

UKRAINE: The arty side of Kiev.

UNTIED KINGDOM: When you have something to celebrate,
Bob Bob Ricard in Soho is the place. Bookings highly recommended. 

VATICAN: Loads of religious leaders, no bars, no women. Get me out of here.

Africa (55 countries)

There are 55 countries in Africa. No other continents can match that number.

ALGERIA: I could not resist tagging a number of my friends in this photo from a market in Alger.

ANGOLA: The communist style highrises can be seen across Luanda. 

BENIN: I am not sure if Barack Obama gets royalties from this particular beer manufacturer.

BOTSWANA: There was no female football team in Maun, so my sister Kjersti played for the men's.
And she did really well. I was a proud spectator on the side of the pitch.

BURKINA FASO: This rocking hippo beats any rocking horse I have ever seen.

BURUNDI: Bussing it in Burundi. The name of the bus? Yahoo!

CAMEROON: I was invited to an 80th birthday party in Douala. Beer o'clock was early that day.

CAPE VERDE: My 198th country called for a major celebration. Photo: Asbjørn Havnen.

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: Hanging by The Ubangi River in Bangui.

CHAD: Where I drank beer with a couple of friends; A police officer and a cassette salesman. 

COMOROS: I was severly beaten in this game by the locals is Moroni's harbour.

CONGO: A mother with her seven kids in Goma. Photo: Semiha Feyzioglu. 

CONGO BRAZZAVILLE: One of the battery charging stalls in Brazzaville.

DJIBOUTI: A mean looking flying machine in Djibouti, where France has a major military base.

EGYPT: Rock magic.

EQUATORIAL GUINEA: Snapping a photo of this armoured vehicle was not my wisest move, ever.
That rooftop gun pointed at me two seconds later. And I ran.

ERITREA: You'll find Art Deco to the extreme in Asmara.

ETHIOPIA: The chaos in Addis Ababa, you've gotta love it. Photo: Sam Effron, Creative Commons. 

GABON: I decided to leave the country by boat. That only took me 40 hours.

GAMBIA: How cars are typically started around here. Our friend Atle's car, at least.

GHANA: Enjoying the shade in Accra harbour.

GUINEA: This guy found the perfect spot to read, on the outskirts of Conakry.

GUINEA-BISSAU: He convinced me it wasn't his boat.

IVORY COAST: A 15 kilometer walk in the sun calls for refreshments in the shade.

KENYA: Zebra crossing

LESOTHO: I was proposed to here, by a mother on behalf of her daughter.
I politely declined, although I find these traditional houses - one of which could have been mine - rather stylish.  

LIBERIA: Who needs a printer, anyway? 

LUBYA: I was repeatedly asked to cover the war in favour of the "rebel's" side.
Gaddafi was still alive at the time of my visit.

MADAGASCAR: 2CVs are still going strong as taxis in Antananarivo.

MALAWI: Benedicte, my sister-in-law, paints the name of a new fishing boat in Nkhotakota.

MALI: It is just sad what is on offer in some of the market stalls in Bamako.
The animal heads are allegedly used for voodoo purposes.  

MAURITANIA: Goat meat and fat being prepared for breakfast. 

MAURITIUS: Yes, the water is as tempting as it looks.

MOROCCO: The world's tallest mosque in Casablanca is constantly battered by the sea.

MOZAMBIQUE: Kjersti and I pose outside a restaurant in Maputo.

NAMIBIA: Isn't (s)he cute? Well, it still smells awful. Or maybe I should blame the 300,000 relatives in Cape Cross.

NIGER: The trademark red sand is everywhere in Niamey. Photo: Dominik Schwarz, Creative Commons.

NIGERIA: I didn't know whether I qualified, so I snuck in. 

RWANDA: Champagne breakfast during sunset at Hotel des Mille Collines, aka. Hotel Rwanda,
comes highly recommened. You will have to bring your own bubbles, though.

SAO TOMÉ AND PRINCIPE: Local fishermen at work.

SENEGAL: Where umbrellas are used against anything but rain.
Øystein, Benedicte and I were taken on a guided trip in the backwaters of Ziguinchor. 

SEYCHELLES: From car to snorkel in 3 seconds.

SIERRA LEONE: Taxi, Freetown style.

SOMALIA: Having breakfast with the governor. He even insisted on paying.

SOUTH AFRICA: Good hopes at Cape of Good Hope. Photo: Jørn Jensen. 

SOUTH SUDAN: The world's longest river runs through it in Juba.

SUDAN: The green place where The Blue Nile and The White Nile meet and becomes The Nile.

SWAZILAND: Where Kjersti learnt to haggle.

TANZANIA: Stonetown in Zanzibar invites for some serious exploration in the many small alleys.
Photo: Neiljs, Creative Commons. 

TOGO: To go to Togo or not to go to Togo, that is the question. Photo: Nicole Salazar.

TUNISIA: I was being watched in Tunis.

UGANDA: Who would have guessed this is in the middle of Africa? I proudly present Lake Bunyonyi.

WESTERN SAHARA: How to create foam, in your tea.

ZAMBIA: Mr. Judge's hole-in-the-wall barber shop in Shesheke.

ZIMBABWE: The sporting goods shop in Bulawayo had one pair of football shoes for sale. Size 42.

Asia (47 countries) 

You will find 47 countries in Asia too. Note that I count Russia and Turkey as European, see above.

AFGHANISTAN: I had to try on a burqa to find the right size. Both Asbjørn (left) and Marius for some reason
decided to buy the garment as presents for their girlfriends. And I was allegedly the right size. Photo: Marius Arnesen.

ARMENIA: This run down ferris wheel felt awkwardly out of place in a tiny town nearby Lake Sevan. 

AZERBAIJAN: Our taxi driver's regular position throughout our drive to the desert. ¨
He still always managed to somehow restart the car.  

BAHRAIN: Just too hot to handle. Air conditioning was invented for a reason. The reason must have been Bahrain.

BANGLADESH: State of the art power lines everywhere.

BHUTAN: Dog's Rest over Tiger's Nest.

BRUNEI: This boy is patiently waiting for fish to get near enough so that he can through out his net. 

CAMBODIA: Only a very few of Pol Pot's victims. 

CHINA: My friend and I got in to Expo 2010 with borrowed ID cards. We even managed
to pass the extraordinarily long queue to the Norwegian pavillion, claiming to be
air condition repair workers.

EAST TIMOR: I watched an international football match in Dili, and overheard the Australian coach
severely slagging off his young players at half time: "You play like women. No, not women. You play like girls!
Like tiny kindergarten girls." They were down 1-3. Photo: Lofor (Creative Commons) 

GEORGIA: Øystein and I celebrated reaching a minor peak in Kazbegi, a mountaneous region to the north.

INDIA: Blessing by elephant. Photo: Kjersti Garfors. 

INDONESIA: A country visited by boat.

IRAN: Not everyone needs sun screen in skiers paradise.

IRAQ: I just couldn't decide which masterpiece to buy for my living room wall.

ISRAEL: My feet may be dirty, but at least I float.

JAPAN: How about that for some tuna? Photo: Jørn Jensen.

JORDAN: Indiana Jones was here. Allegedly.

KAZAKHSTAN: Where I was totally outdressed and outbearded.

KUWAIT: - You want fruits from me? Photo: Henrik Lied. 

KYRGYZSTAN: At 4,300 meters, as high as I have ever been on the ground. 

LAOS: Cruising around Vientiane.

LEBANON: The rocks outside Beirut.

MALAYSIA: The towers formerly known as the tallest building in the world.

MALDIVES: The only way to get to Malé is by boat. Unless you're a good swimmer.

MONGOLIA: I was invited on a small mountain hike in Ulaanbaatar
by a class of 5th graders who I spoke to about Norway.

MYANMAR/BURMA: Bhudda sure likes his gold.

NEPAL: Mount Everest towers above the clouds.

NORTH KOREA: Quite lively and cozy, hey?

OMAN: Locals fishing for their dinner in Muscat.

PAKISTAN: Joe and camel in Karachi.

PALESTINE: The eternal climber in Ramallah.

PHILIPPINES: Just another jeepney in Manila.

QATAR: Not exactly a showcase country for human rights.

SAUDI ARABIA: Exploring a museum in Ryadh isn't too bad, at night.
The temperatures during the day are killing. Photo: Ali Al Aligi.  

SINGAPORE: A city/country of strange laws. 

SOUTH KOREA: Cracking up the volume in Mokpo.

SRI LANKA: You are likely to be greeted by hospitality second to
none in Colombo and elsewhere in the country. Photo: Muhunthan Murugaiah (Creative Commons).     

SYRIA: What you could not find in the souq in Damascus was not worth having.

TAJIKISTAN: Bottoms up is pronounced "fifty fifty!" in this part of the world. Photo: Øystein Garfors.

TAIWAN: Mountain hiking is surprisingly common here. You'll find heaps of marked tracks.

THAILAND: No sleep for the wicked in Bangkok. Photo: Swaminathan (Creative Commons).

TURKMENISTAN: Door to Hell in the Karakum Desert is a must see.
You ought to stay the night in a tent as well. Just don't fall in. 

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: Hanging with cabin crew and driving Mustangs
between flights is not too bad. Photo: Dimi Koutraki.  

UZBEKISTAN: Our host in some godforsaken village was easy to ask for a
dance when a local tune started playing on the radio. 

VIETNAM: - Hang on, I am just gonna text the butcher.

YEMEN: You ought to start smoking shisha and chewing khat early if you're gonna be any good.

Oceania (14 countries)

There are 14 countries in Oceania. This is the smallest continent in terms of land area, but the island nations stretch across a vast area of the Pacific Ocean.

AUSTRALIA: Not the typical place to go on a one day trip from Europe.

FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA: It doesn't get more proper remote Pacific islandish than that.

FIJI: Just another room with a view.

KIRIBATI: The road may not be in perfect shape, but the view - on both sides - certainly is. 

MARSHALL ISLANDS: The fishiest country in the world with 1,059 fish species calling this home. 

NAURU: The world's least visited country. Which I once decided to run around.

NEW ZEALAND: Kjersti lived here for a year, as an exchange student.
She came back as a rugby player and made it to Norway's national team.

PALAU: Not diving here is a crime.

PAPUA NEW GUINEA: This beautiful country is hard to get around. There is
virtually no infrastructure outside Port Moresby, the capital of PNG.

SAMOA: Such a green island nation.

SOLOMON ISLANDS: I got a lot of super fresh sashimi at the fish market in Honiara.
You should too. 

TONGA: In front of the famous blowholes.
The waves pressure water through small tunnels, and create geyser effects ashore. 

TUVALU: These kids dared me to go swimming with them. Let's call it a draw.

VANUATU: The last country of cannibalism. Some claim to fame, at least.

North America (23 countries)

There are 23 countries on this particular continent. Not only the US of A, contrary to popular belief.

ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA: Do avoid the center of capital St John's at all costs.
Tourist hell on Earth, especially when the cruise ships are there.   

THE BAHAMAS: We visited the grave of one of the most famous people buried here: Anna Nicole Smith.
Photo: Ola Akselberg.
BARBADOS: Not exactly where to go if you are looking to party with people that do not have blue hair.

BELIZE: Just stay away from San Pedro, which is totally over-croweded by US tourists. Nice sunset, though.

CANADA: Do not underestimate the beauty of Banff.

COSTA RICA: Where I came across a small graveyard a few meters from a secluded beach. 

CUBA: Heaven for classic cars, big cigars and rum based drinks.
DOMINICA: This coconut man tried to overcharge me majorly.
My world-wide haggling experience finally paid off.   

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Adrian Butterworth celebrating our Guinness World Record:
Visiting 5 continents in just one day.

EL SALVADOR: Expect to find great surf spots. 

GRENADA: It doesn't get much more peaceful than in St Georges. Except when the cruise ship tourists take over.

GUATEMALA: These market ladies cooked me amazing meals. Then refused me to pay.
I was bad for business.

HAITI: The presidential palace took a hell of a beating in the earthquake in 2010.

HONDURAS: How real men open oysters.

JAMAICA: You will find magical spots here, as long as you venture off the beaten track.
Photo: Chris Ford, Creative Commons.

MEXICO: These allegedly protected Chetumal.

NICARAGUA: Colour coded houses in San Juan del Sur

PANAMA: There is more to this country than the canal.

SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS: Me on Saint Kitts, Nevis in the background.

SAINT LUCIA: Outside the best airport in the world.

SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES: Kingstown, a rather green capital that is best explored on foot. 

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO: Further south than parts of South America,
yet still geographically part of North America.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Being featured on Reuter's screen on Times Square was relatively cool.
Following the world record of Tay-young Pak, Øystein Djupvik and myself; we visited 22 states in 24 hours

South America (12 countries)

There are only 12 countries in South America. That makes it the continent with the fewest countries.

ARGENTINA: Colourful Ushuaia is the southermost city in the world.

BOLIVIA: The hillsides of La Paz are certainly worth to explore on foot.

BRAZIL: The competition for the most hardcore football fan in this country is fierce.
This bar owner in Curitiba is definitely among the leading contestants.

CHILE: Some of the boats in Puerto del Hambre have seen better days.

COLOMBIA: This bamboo forest was just too tempting to leave alone.
Wearing the Colombia football jersey I got from Miguel, the son of my brother
Øystein and his wife Benedicte. Photo: Øystein Garfors.

ECUADOR: Guinea pig is a delicacy here. It looks better than it tastes. 

GUYANA: What is allegedly the highest wooden church in the world can be found in Georgetown, the capital. 

PARAGUAY: This particular customer in Asuncion
seemed to be on the young side for drinks.

PERU: The train towards Machu Picchu is slow for a reason. You don't want to miss those views.

SURINAM: The wooden houses in Paramaribo might lack a little paint,
but they certainly make up for it when it comes to charm. 

URUGUAY: Montevideo is vastly underestimated and should definitely steal some visitors from Buenos Aires.

VENEZUELA: Where Adrian Butterworth and I completed our legendary Guinness World Record and celebrated
in style. Obviously. We were first to visit five continents in just one day. Our route took us through five
countries too, which more than doubled Adrian's country count.

Antarctica (0 countries)

The only uninhibitated continent does naturally not contain any countries. But it certainly deserves a photo. Let's call it a bonus.

Antarctica delivers.