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Sunday 14 April 2019

Odense and Langeland

First today, the beautiful town of Odense. We strolled around in the historical part of town, and explored Hans Christian Andersen's Odense.

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We had not eaten since breakfast, but were in hurry to get to Church on time (!!!), so we settled for an Easter treat....

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It is Sunday, it is Easter, and we are in the town where Thomas Kingo once was bishop. Between our hotel and downtown Odense, we had walked past Thomas Kingo's Church (not the one on the pictures, that must have been where he was bishop), and we had seen online that they had an Easter passion concert that included Bach, Brahms and a choir. We went there, and listened to some amazing music and some truly wonderful voices.

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There was more left of the day, and we wondered what to do. Bjørn went online, found a map, and said there was an island in the south connected to the Fyn mainland by a bridge, and that we could go there. He started driving while I googled to see what we should do and see on Langeland. And there was one thing that stood out: Langeland had wild horses! Now that is something neither of us thought we could find in Scandinavia, and of course that was what we wanted to see. So I guided us towards the nature reserve where they should be found.

On the way to Langeland, we drove past so many places with crazy names. Some of them crazy because they had funny meanings in Norwegian, like "Tullebølle" (Silly bully)

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Others because they meant the same crazy thing in Danish as in Norwegian. The most dubious one being "Ball of semen"

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Once we had parked, the first thing we noticed was the birdlife. Birds everywhere, and large flocks of them flying over our heads. After some minutes of searching, we found the entrance point to the reserve. As everything else in Denmark, it was flat. A huge field of grass, and at the far end, the sea. I had read that there was a hill you should walk up to have an overview and look for the horses. In a flat landscape, even the smallest of hills stand out, so it was easy to see where we should go. We walked up the hill, and from there we could indeed see the wild horses of Langeland. And then a huge flock of birds came and landed in the nearby trees. They were quite big to be sitting on branches, and I think it looked really cool. We walked down the hill towards the sea, and walked about for a bit. It is so cool how we sometimes find pearls like this - just by completely randomly going somewhere.

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We said goodbye to birds and horses, and planned on going back to the hotel. But google talked about a "Dovns klint", and signs pointed in that direction. Out of curiosity, we drove on. We came to a parking place with a path leading down to the sea. At first we said we were tired and that we did not want to do more walking just to see more sea. But then we thought that after all we are here now, and we should do as much as possible while we have the chance. We were glad we did. We walked down to a charming place where lots of people were fishing. A path to the right let us see a light house in the distance. And then walking down to the people fishing, we discovered w could continue along the shore on a path around the cliff. While walking there, the sun set, and it was all really beautiful.

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It was midnight before we were back at the hotel. We had not eaten much, so we grabbed some food from the local petrol station and had a snack before going to bed.

Monday 16 July 2018

Ridderspranget, Valdresflye, Hulderstigen

A day of sightseeing. We got up early, pack our rucksacks and drove to Ridderspranget

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From there we drove over Valdresflye, one of our 18 national scenic routes.

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We drove over the mountain passage and back. At the end of it, we stopped for a walk on "Hulderstigen".

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We would have been late back to the cottage as it were, and when we took a wrong turn and added 45 minutes to the drive, we returned back really late and soon went to bed.

Saturday 23 June 2018

The museum of forestry in Elverum

Today we got up early, had the hotels amazing breakfast, and then went to one of my favourite places on this earth; the museum of forestry in Elverum. It is huge, it has to big indoor museums and one big outdoor one. It has everything. It was really warm, and such a joy to wonder around among the old buildings in the outdoor part of the museum.

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We walked around in the part of the museum where they have stuffed wild animals. They do not kill animals for the sake of the museum, but when animals die for other reasons, they can be preserved and brought here.

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When we left the museum, there was still a lot of daytime left, so we decided to go for a drive. Always interesting to see more of the landscape. We returned in the evening and had dinner at the italian restaurant in Elverum that we often go to when we are there.

Sunday 20 May 2018

The Bohuslän coast

Today we drove west to what is said to be a wonderful part of Sweden, the Bohuslän coast. It was difficult to find roads that brought us down to the coastline, so we have seen a lot of the green Swedish country side!

But then we, a little by accident, drove down to a very charming place called Grundsund.

It was a little chilly and we had not eaten much, so we were happy to find a little restaurant hidden away on the docks, "Smultron and Tong.

It was open for one more hour, and it had the nicest staff you could imagine. The waitress was so friendly, and after a while the chef came out and joined us also, and he sat by our table for a while and told us which route we should take back home to Norway. We felt very welcome. And the food left nothing to be desired. My prawn sandwich:

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My dessert

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And Bjørn's

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A couple of hours here, looking at all the coastal charm, was more than enough to make up for a long drive. Well at east for me. It is poor Bjørn that does all the driving.

We drove on, and saw a lot of nice places along the way. But we did not stop to take many photos, it was late, and we were also ready to head home. But here are a couple...

We drove back to Ås, Bjørn got a short break and then he drove back home.

I am glad we did this trip. We had a good time, we saw and experienced a lot, and we really are at our best as a couple when we travel together.

Thursday 17 May 2018

A day with everything

We started the day by going up to Trollhättans cliff where you have a good view.

I was freezing, and decided that It was a little too chilly to do the planned canal walk in Trollhättan. So we decided to go somewhere by car. I looked at the map and picked a direction, and we headed towards Jönköping at the south end of Sweden's lake Vättern. We had not driven long before we stumbled upon something fantastic. I had no idea that Sweden's most fantastic rune stone was on our route, and was absolutely thrilled to find out. So of course we had to find it. I was not disappointed. What a wonderful piece of art, and what an amazing archaeological artefact! We spent such a long time there. Very special runes, a text that it is difficult to interpret, and some amazing pictures carved into the stone. I loved it.

We drove on and came to our destination; Jönköping. We drove into the city and looked around - it looked like a nice place. However, right before we came there, we had gotten the idea that we might just as well drive around Vättern. Some years ago we had driven around Vänern which is a very big lake, 25th place in the world, I think. Vättern is smaller, but also quite big. So, we just looked at Jönköping from the car and continued north along the East side of the lake. And I am so happy we did. The area around Vättern is one of the most charming, idyllic and interesting places I have seen. Around every corner there were signs pointing us on to stuff that was worth seeing. We soon decided that this time we would just need to drive around the lake and get an overview, but that we would need to come back and spend several days driving around the lake again, stopping everywhere.

One of the few stops we did this time was in Röttle. No signs even, but I saw a road that would take us down to the lake, and it just seemed nice to have a stop there.

Such a nice walk, the scenery was amazing. We went back to the car, drove on, and the next thing we knew, we witnessed a car accident. We had reached the small village "Gränna" and drove through a narrow street with shops and houses on both sides. There were also some cars parked along the road. The person in the car in front of us was driving with the same speed as us (about 40 km an hour), and there was nothing special to note. Then all of a sudden he turns his car sharply to the right and crashes right into one of the parked cars. He completely smashes the rear end of the parked car, and even though he did not drive fast, the sound was really loud and awful. His own car flipped over and lands with the driver's door down. It was a very strange thing to witness. Bjørn rushes out of the car to hear if the driver is OK, and he seems to be. The Swedes standing around the car all want to flip the car back, not really caring if the guy inside has broken anything. Bjørn tells them to let the car be until the ambulance comes, but the rest of them thinks it a better idea to give the driver yet another impact. The ambulance had been called of course, and thankfully it gets there before they manage to hurt the guy even more.

We continued our drive north. There were about a hundred places we could have stopped to take pictures, but we had to move forward also. But we did stop by the ruins of an old monastery. The Alvastra monastery was built in 1143 by French monks from the Cistercian order. It was quite a sight even today. It was such a special spot that we stayed here for quite a while.

By now it was getting a bit late and we had many hours to drive before we were back to the hotel, so we had no more stops. But it was so nice to watch from the car window, and I look forward to when we go back and can explore more. We drove north, rounded the lake and drove south till we were at Karlsborg. There we left the lake for this time and headed West back to Trollhättan. We were back past midnight and it had been a really great day. Could not have wanted a better way to spend the 17th of May.

Sunday 1 April 2018

Going back home

Got up very early and drove down to the ferry. It was less of a hassle to go on board this time, and there were a lot less cars. All good.

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We had only slept three, four hours since were back so late from Tampere. We found our cabin and went to sleep. Slept like a log for about 6 hours. That was soo good. Sweet Bjørn then got up, and bought us a salad that he brought back to the cabin while I slept some more.

We docked in Stockholm at around 6pm, and from there on we drove straight home with only one pit-stop to have a quick burger. While driving, the sun set.

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We were in Ørje at 12.30 am. Bjørn dropped me off at Anne's where my car was, she was awake, and said hello... and then I drove back to Ås. I was here at 1.45 am, feeling quite exhausted. But also in a good mood from a trip that had been excellent.

Who would have thought that we would enjoy Finland that much?

In Ås they are getting ready to move some of their stuff to their new home, since the house will be photographed in a few days. So this is what the basement living room looked like:

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Anja and Espen were up when I came home, and told me to go straight down to the basement since they did not want me to catch whatever it was that had made Vemund throw up all night....

Sunday 25 February 2018

A picture postcard

Our last day in Elverum for this time. We had a long breakfast, and then set out to explore the world a little. Starting in Elverum, we went for a long drive in a truly amazing winter landscape.

First pit stop for photography.

Driving on

Second pit stop, and the gangster leaves the car.

Third stop is a resting place for drivers with a WC cabin and some very inviting benches.... And of course - trees.

Driving on...

And stopping for pictures again!

A little later, and a short stop by a snow-covered lake where we saw a hare's prints in the snow.

We had driven North-Northwest for a while, had crossed a lake and was heading South-Southwest towards Elverum again when I wanted to take a last set of pictures. I saw a place that looked nice, so we took off on a side road. It turned out we had found a place with cross county trails for skiing, but also a road for walking, Bjørn parked the car and stayed in it while I went for half an hour's walk in a breathtakingly beautiful landscape. When I came back to the car I was so cold that it was just insane, I had no feeling in my skin. But it had been worth it, both for the photo opportunities and for the intense joy of walking inside such beauty.

It was good to be back in the car and have the heating on, and feel how I slowly thawed...

We drove back to Elverum, and spent some hours with the in-laws again. Driving back home, it only took about five minutes before we hit the traffic jam of those going home from their winter holidays. The stretch from Bjørn's father house and down to the first light crossng usually takes ten minutes. Now it took fourty five. Bjørn decided to take us home via the small and icy roads on the West side of Glomma. A very wise choice. We had to drive slowly and carefully, but there was no jam. However, the two hours we should have spent gettting back to Ås, became five. That is Norway for you...

Monday 15 January 2018

Halden revisited

Started the day at the doc's office. After half an hour there, I met up with Bjørn who had driven me, and we went to Bakergården for breakfast and a coffee. That is always nice, and food is always excellent. And then we drove to Halden a favoured destination. And in Halden, the fortress. We wanted to walk a little bit and to take pics. We found a throdden path we had not followed before, and a sign that said "The shielded path". So cool that there is still more to explore at the fortress! We went ahead, and were very much shielded by the thick fortress walls. But then the wall to the right was replaced by a great view over Halden town.

We walked on to more familiar parts of the fortress, and took some pictures along the way.

Then we drove downtown and parked. And just like on Thursday, Bjørn saw a woman he knew (not the same one), and we stopped to have a long and nice chat. Then - a new cafeteria, a new cup of coffee and a small lunch. On the way home we stopped at a place I wanted to explore. And what do you know, we found a perfect new forest path along a frozen, snowy lake. Now everything is just shades of white and grey, but it must look amazing in sping and summer. Benches everywhere, so no doubt we have not been the first to think that. We met a couple with two fantastic dogs and talked with them for a while. They told us the path would take us all the way to the hilltop on the other side of the lake. We have to do that, it looked like a perfect place to go. It will be 20 km or more, so needs to be warmer than today, or we need to be better dressed. I took some pictures along the way. most of them naturalistic ones, but a few just to be artsy :P

We drove home, Bjørn spent ten minutes inside, and then he drove back to Halden for a Red Cross meeting. I stayed at home, ticking things off my list.

Friday 20 October 2017

A get-away weekend

Tried to wrap things up as early as I could at work. Drove home, packed our bags, and drove to Vestfold county, Tønsberg town. Vestfold is Norway's smallest county, but it has so much to see and experience. It is only a couple of hours from here by car and ferry, but we seldom go there. We spent a weekend in a hotel in Horten, Vestfold last year, but that has been it. Vestfold has a rich and long history with lots of finds from th stone age. A lot of Viking history there also. Tønsberg is the oldest town in Norway, so that seemed like the place to live while there.

We arrived at our hotel at around 9pm. After we had put our stuff in our room, we went out to find a place a to eat. We walked along the Tønsberg harbour, and I was so charmed by the place. We found a restaurant that was more exclusive than the ones we usually go to, and our dinner was amazing and quite an experience in itself. Paparazzi on the Tønsberg harbour might see us again one day. Then a short walk before we went back to the hotel and had a night cap there. It already feels like a holiday!

Tønsberg Harbour: Picture from Wikipedia:

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Saturday 14 October 2017

Halden, Iddefjorden and Strømstad

We drove to Halden, went to an indoor market for used things and bought a few things. Had salad lunch at an American restaurant and continued on for some exploration. Drove across the old Svinesund Bridge to Sweden and along the Iddefjord. Along the way, we saw a strange little guy in the forest.

Driving on to the Swedish town Strømstad. Seing a nice church along the way. And autumn colours.

And me on some stairs...

Looking at more autumn colours, and At the sunset in windy Strømstad.

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The wind was chily, so we found a place to have coffee. I needed somewhere unpretentious, so we found a rundown little thing by the harbour. It had good espresso, a good carrot cake, according to Bjørn, two old Swedes by the neighbour table who seemed to want us dead, and hoped looks could kill, and according to some young people in another corner of the room it also had a mouse on the floor.

No place to stay for hours, so we went to the car and headed home, stopping by a grocery shop along the way.

Home at 9 pm, after what has been a very nice day.

Thursday 3 August 2017

Trollstigen revisited.

Weather forecast told us that Gålå would be cold and rainy, but that further North-West there would be sun. We wanted to drive up Trollstigen again in daylight, so this was the time to do it.

On the way we stopped by Slettafossen (The Sletta waterfalls).

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And before the waterfalls was secured and made safe for tourists, one could take a lot cooler pics....

We drove on, reached Trollstigen (The Troll ladder), and zig-zagged our way up the serpentine road to the top. If you welcome vertigo, it really is the place to be. A very cool drive, no wonder it is one of Norway's most visited attractions. One the way we learned that the road from Trollstigen to Geiranger also is one of the Natioan tourist roads, or national scenic roads as they have titled them in English. We decided not to stop at the top of Trollstigen for the renowned view, but to first drive on for a little bit, have a look at the road, and see the Gudbrand's Gorge, that should be some kilometers further down the road.

The road is indeed a scenic one. Almost pointless to stop for pictures, because there are stunning views everywhere, all the time. We made one stop before the gorge:

Gudbrand's gorge:

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When we had seen the gorge we turned and drove back, but we are determined to drive the entire Trollstigen - Geiranger route another time, hopefully already next summer. On the way back to Trollstigen, we first stopped here:

And then we had a pit stop here:

Before we finally drove to the top point of Trollstigen. There is a shop and a cafeteria there, as well as a built pathway and viewing points. And the architecture was so well thought through and so well done that it really was part of the experience. We have not done much shopping this summer, but at this centre we bought ourselves two very nice soft-shell jackets at an OK price. We had a much needed and very tasty lunch there also. Then we went out to the viewing platforms to look down in the valley we had come from.

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Enjoying the drive down, and then we headed back. But with a planned stop at Trollveggen this time. A very mighty sight.

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By the time we left Trollveggen, it was getting late, and we had clouds and rain. For a little while the world looked grey. But then, all of a sudden, it was anything but. The sun set on the mountain tops, painting them in a beautiful golden orange. And then, for about ten minutes, a rainbow rising from the same mountain top. Turning our back to the mountain, there were some beautifully coloured clouds in between the grey ones. We were at the right place at the right time, and experienced magic. Too dark and too special a light for an amateur photographer to take a photo to make this justice.

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We came to Dombås just in time to have something to eat before everything closed, so we stopped being hungry and drove back to the cottage. An hour of TV, and then bed.

Wednesday 2 August 2017

The Peer Gynt Road

After a long day of driving and sightseeing yesterday, we slept the morning away today. When we for up, we had breakfast and headed for a local attraction: The Peer Gynt Road. A beautiful stretch of road over the mountains.

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Having driven the mountain road and gone for a short walk there, we went to a grocery store and bought dinner. Went back to the cottage, looked at pictures, talked, ate and watched TV. Not the worst way to spend the 2nd.

Tuesday 1 August 2017

The Norwegian Atlantic Road

The starting point for this week's plan was my wish to see Atlanterhavsveien. We have 18 roads in Norway that classify as "National scenic Roads". These roads are not meant to be the fastest way from A to B, but are roads through spectacular parts of Norway. Atlanterhavsveien is relatively new and connects several islands in the North-Western part of Norway, in the county Møre-og-Romsdal. It has been called the most beautiful drive in the world in several national and international magazines. It seemed well worth a visit. Also we have driven one of the National tourist roads earlier - Valdresflye - and that was amazing. So today we got up early, had breakfast and started on the four and a half hour drive to Bud which is the starting point for the road. The way there was magical in itself, and was one long Kodak moment. The nature is so monumental, that pictures do not do it justice.

We had not been on the road for more than a couple of minutes before we saw the first sheep and lambs. They walk freely around in this part of the country.

Beautiful mountain area - all the way

Taken on the ferry we took to get to Molde.

View from where we parked our car in Bud. We had a short break to figure out where to drive from here, and to google something for Bjørn's brother who was in Berlin with no net access.

Atlanterhavsveien was a mighty sight to take in. One of the things that makes it beautiful is that you have this amazing nature all around you. No pictures even come close to showing what it is like to be there. It was a frustrating place to be with a camera in that way. But also good, because there was so much to photograph.

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We drove to the end of the road and back. On the way back we stopped at several places, like where they had made a walking path that made for a truly magnificent walking round.

Then we drove back to the ferry, and took some pics while we waited for it. It also turned out to be the wrong ferry, and as such it took us to the wrong place. But it was a detour of less than an hour :)

Soon after the ferry had taken us to the other side, the sun started to set, making some magical light fall on the mountaintops.

Though it was late, we decided to make a detour to drive up Trollstigen. It was too dark to take pictures, but what a spectacular place that is!

We did not get out of the car to do any viewing, but agreed we had to come back at daytime. The same went for Trollveggen (The Troll wall) which is the tallest vertical rock face in Europe, and which is a very impressive sight.

We were back at the cottage at around 1.30am, and hit the sack at around 2.30 pm.

Friday 21 April 2017

A perfect day

I took today off work. I have worked a lot lately, and most of it I have taken out as pay, but I also have a few hours that I can take as time off. Today I had to go to Sarpsborg to fetch a thing I can use for self-treatment at the state treatment central. Bjørn was my designated driver, and though I lead him astray at first, we eventually found the place we needed. Having had the thingy handed over, we were back in the car. It was noon, and since I had a day off, we wanted to do something with it. After a bit of pondering, we decided to go to Halden. It was Bjørn's idea, and it was a brilliant one. Halden is my favourite town in this county. I would not mind moving somewhere close to Halden.... Off we drove. We strolled around in Halden, and took some pictures. These are taken by Bjørn.

When weather went from sunny spring to hail-ridden winter, we found a place to have coffee - a very atmosphereic place with very good coffee: Bryggerihuset.

When we drove home from Halden, we chose the scenic route, which made for a very nice trip. And we stopped in Ski to go to the mall there. Bjørn who is now very active in Halden's Red Cross, and who will soon spend and outdoor training weekend with them, needed some equipment and some boots. I needed some clothes. So we did a bit of shopping, and we both found what we hoped to find.

On our way home we saw what we usually see: Wildlife. But this time Bjør had his zoom ready!

Home late, after what feels like a holiday!

Tuesday 21 February 2017

Road trip, driving home.

Got up, had breakfast and decided to make our drive home a road trip. When we left the hotel, we decided for a direction, and that we would follow it to see if something interesting turned up. Bjørn drove - I looked for interesting signs and googled them along the way. When we saw "Welcome to the whiskey-town", it seemed worth checking out. We found a strange-looking building in the forest.

We found an entrance also, but it was locked. It said "If locked, ring the bell", so that was what we did. A friendly woman opened the door. She told us that unfortunately they were only open for visitors on Saturdays. We chatted for a few minutes, and then she said "Know what - I am in a meeting now, but if you come back in a couple of hours, I will give you a private guided tour to our distillery!" We could not say no to that. In the meantime, we went to the nearby town Gävle.

We parked, and the first thing we saw was this goat (and a goat has cultural significance in this town)

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From there we walked along, and then crossed a bridge over the river that runs through the town.

On the other side of the town we soon came to the Gävle castle.

And an impressive gate with a text that made us curious. It says that the port has been bought by the people of the town in order to avoid a catastrophy like the one on 29th August 1671. Bjørn stopped the first person who came walking, and asked him if he was familiar enough with the town history to know what that was all about. And what luck - the man he stopped turned out to be working at the Gävle prison museum. He had even been crucial in starting the museum. And so we got a very interesting history lesson, And information about modern day Gävle. Very cool indeed. He invited us to the prison museum, because that was where he was headed. But we had to go since we needed to be at the distillery in not too long. Instead we got his card, and we promised to be back in summer. Such friendly people in this town.

We went to a cafeteria to have a quick lunch. When Bjørn was at the counter to order food, the person behind the desk asked if he was with the group of women who were also there. They had looked at him and said they'd be happy to have him. A friendly bunch indeed, the Gävle lot :D

After lunch we drove back to the distillery where we got the promised guided tour. It was interesting and funny, and because we were the only ones there, it was more personal than when we have visited distilleries in Scotland. The woman who showed us around was very friendly and sweet.

after the tour, we chatted a lot, and even though Swedish rules forbade her to let us taste the whiskey, we did a fair share of smelling it :) That is half the fun anyway.

We then headed westwards, and the next town we stopped in was Falun, known for wintersport. That was a very carming town as well, and the town was mapped out in a very different way than Gävle. We walked the streets, went inside the beautiful Falun Church, and then had dinner at yet another very friendly and charming place.

By now, darkness was beginning to fall, so we decided to head home. We made a couple of wrong turns on the way, and it was after midnight when we came home.

We both agreed it had been an excellent few days in Sweden.

Right before we went to bed, we both got quite ill, and we wonder if it might be food poisoning.

Sunday 4 September 2016

A break

Could not have another day like yesterday, so we ventured out. Of course the way down to the car was brightened by the madman next door coming, staring and waving his finger in the air, looking his normal, gloomy, angry Neanderthal self. It was good to drive away from here. We were out in the world until it got dark, because I was not quite ready for another round of mad neighbour. Bjørn had found a new route to drive. It took us into Sweden, and then to Halden. It was a very scenic route. We had a stop in Halden for food, and another stop for a walk in the park at Rød Manor. It was a good day. And when we came home, we did not see the madman. That was also good.

Monday 6 July 2015

The Coastal Highway, summer holidays day 10

Got up at around 8 after about 3 hours of sleep. Head ache and sleepy as hell. Had breakfast and drove another long stretch to Trondheim.

Saturday 27 June 2015

The Coastal Highway, summer holidays day 1

The day started in the most worrying way when the water that was not in the taps yesterday still was not in the taps today. We had to leave, our Hungarian friends were staying.... in a house with no water. We postponed our parting with almost three hours, phoned our friendly neighbour and at least made arrangements that Zoltan and Leila could go there to fetch water. It still seemed a horrible thing to leave them in such a sitution. In the last minute, right before we could not delay leaving any longer, tap water came back. Fingers crossed they will have no more problems.

At half past eleven am, we left home. I was driving Bjørn's car for the first time, and was happy the take-off was still relatively uneventful.

Our holidays will be spent along Kystriksveien (The Coastal Highway), and the only goal for the first day was to get to where it started. Having waited for as long as we did meant we could not have many breaks along the way. The one longer stop we made was at Bjørn's father. We were there for 50 nice minutes before we pretty much did the rest of the route in one go. From we left home till we arrived in Steinkjer, it took ten and a half hour. We have driven past so much beauty on the way; the whole drive was a Kodac moment. BUT no time to take pictures!

We came to our hotel one hour before they closed for the evening. Steinkjersannan hotel had used to be baracks for the military. As an hotel, hey had gone for the wood-theme :)

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The view from our room

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Friday 5 June 2015

Mini-holidays!

A kid free weekend, AND Mahnaz came home to take care of dog and house. Bjørn and I had a weekend all to ourselves., with NO meetings, no needing to take care of anything. After work I picked Mahnaz up at the railway station, we drove home and talked for a couple of hours, and then we drove the kid to his visiting home. And THEN we did not drive back home, because Mahnaz was keeping the fort. What we did do was to drive to Sweden.

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We had spent a bit of time figuring out what to do with this weekend, where to go and what to do. We wanted to have a good belated the 2nd celebration, we wanted to get away, we wanted to go somewhere we had not been before, we did not want to travel far since we only had the weekend, we wanted to relax... after a lot of googling, we decided to drive around Sweden's biggest lake: Vänern. Our first stop would be Läckö castle, which seemed like a charming and beautiful place. We arrived at 11pm, and we loved the scenery and the beautiful old castle.

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We had booked an hotel that should be right by the castle, but at first we did not see it. No wonder, it blended perfectly with the surroundings. What we did not know when we booked it, was that it had been called "One of the coolest hotels in Scandinavia" by The Times. Had we known it was as amazing as it was, we would have booked it for two days instead of one, and just have stayed right there for the entire weekend. It only had 15 rooms. It was SO quiet, with an amazing atmosphere. The nice Swede who came to greet us had waited up for us, though the hotel normally locked its doors in the evening. The hotel had so much charm, so much atmosphere. It had two floors, all the rooms were on the second floor. The walls had big pictures of wildlife, and there was bird song as you walked through the corridors. The room was so nice, and the moment you entered it, you just felt unstressed and at ease. What a marvellous place to be. We so much want to spend three-four days there some time. We went out, sat on the wooden veranda for a while and then walked down to the castle and out on the pier. Scandinavian midnight, seagulls, sound of waves. It was perfection.

Then we walked back to the hotel, "Naturum" (that looked like this in daylight)

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and fell asleep in these very comfortable beds

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Saturday 7 March 2015

The end of the world

This time, like last time we had lots of plans for our weekend, This time, like last time, we ended up crashing at home. I read, walked, exercised and did a little of this and a little of that. But no big and cool excursions. We needed the rest. We went for a drive though. Followed a road in Sweden which lead us to a very shabby, 1950s-kind-of-place. It felt as if we were in the middle of a very spooky movie.

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