Thor, once upon a saga, malta

A few years back, a Danish Red Cross ambassador decided to go on an ambitious mission, to journey far and wide, and set foot in all the countries in the world.  His name is Torbjørn C. Pederson, also known as Thor. Originally planned to be a 4-year trip, Thor has reached his 3rd and a half year, and has still 75 countries to untick from his list.

He started out this expedition with three objectives in mind – to journey from one country to another without boarding a plane, to spend more than 24 hours in each place and to not to return home before he crosses all the countries off the list. Sounds like a difficult feat, but in May, Thor managed to mark Malta as the 128th country he visited so far. We met with Thor a few days after he set foot on our islands and he was delighted to share some of the incredible stories he experienced throughout his transits.

Thor made his way to our sunny island from Egypt, aboard the Gunhilde Maersk; which marked his 3rd passage on a Maersk container ship. Thor expressed how “taking passengers on board such ships is mostly unheard of. Your chances are slim to none.” Maersk Line were delighted to provide Thor with special permission to travel aboard their vessels.

Listening to his stories describing life at sea aboard a Maersk vessel would make anyone go delirious with wanderlust. Amidst the crew’s hard-working daily routine, the days are filled with chit chat over coffee, watching movies after dinner and the occasional outdoor BBQ. Nothing can beat the view of the Mediterranean backdrop!

Container ships may look like metal giants floating across vast expanses of water, but they are the main living space for several seafarers, who spend the majority of their days aboard these vessels. These ships house various facilities which make the crew’s life more bearable, including a movie area and a gym. Some vessels are equipped with pools on deck. More often than not, these are filled with ice-cold ocean water, so unless turning into an ice block is on someone’s wish list, seafarers hold off from taking a dip.  Once the Gunhilde Maersk reached the port in Marsaxlokk, our Port Agency team escorted Thor to the gates, where his father was enthusiastically waving a Danish flag, ready to welcome his son to the Maltese Islands and meet him after a stretch of two years.

Thor was all praise about Malta and he relished about Valletta’s amazing views and architecture. He mentioned how pastizzi have become his new guilty pleasure, and how Malta will hold a special place in his heart following the encounter with his father.

There’s no denying that Thor is an adventurous soul and his lust for travelling will definitely motivate him to cross several items off his bucket list. He entertains willing listeners to a multitude of stories which hold the potential to produce an award-winning movie.

Want to follow Thor’s world expedition? He documents his journey on Once Upon a Saga and posts several updates on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.