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Archive for the ‘Outdoor life’ Category

A dream of a trip to Lisbon

We have just returned from an indescribable experience in Lisbon. The word and photos don’t do it justice but of course you know I will try to give you an impression none the less.

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Lisbon from the Park above our hotel

Situated on the north banks of the River Tagus, the charm of Lisbon exists in its strong links to the past as well as the preserved culture which is celebrated today. Its renovated palaces, magnificent churches and an impressive castle bring new life to the city’s rich cultural heritage. Its eclectic blend of neighborhoods, culture and architecture distinguish this capital city uniquely from the other European capitals and make it a truly fascinating city to visit.

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Lisbon from the Christo Rei statue across the river

We were hosted by our good friends and fellow blogger Lele Batita of Pèrole de Culture who visited us in August 2010 and now we are returning the favor. They were charming and wonderful hosts and really gave their best to share their beautiful city and culture with us. We really wish to thank Lele and Louis for their time and efforts and have had a truly amazing experience!

sunset_behind_Torre_de_Belèm

Sunset behind Torre de Belèm

A city set on seven hills, with its cobble-stoned pavements and narrow streets full of Art Nouveau cafés Lisbon offers a lot to discover. Five days were not nearly enough and our tourist activities took on a whirlwind tempo, but we have at least had a taste of Lisbon in all its richness and variety. Most popular spots in Lisbon are; located around Rossio and Praça do Comércio, Baixa; situated on the hill around St. George’s Castle, and the river area around Belém. We were able to visit all these districts, although some more than others and have had the highlights tour of the city.

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Lisbon Bridge from the Christo Reo statue

I will likely be making several posts about Lisbon, but this is just the introduction with some viewpoints from our trip. We will share with you the food and some of our special adventures in the weeks to come, so stay tuned both here and on RennyBA’s Terella.

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November Sunset Beauty

Fall is moving on to winter now in Scandinavia. This weekend was All Saints Day in the Scandinavian countries which in many places marks the beginning of winter the way Midsummer night marks the beginning of summer. Some hardy plants and flowers still have their bloom, like our lovely large geraniums which are helped to survive by the warmth and shelter of living on our balcony. Most of the leaves have fallen now and frankly I had planned on putting my camera away until we travel again. I think of Novermber as a dark and ugly month with little leaves on the trees and the snow not yet covering the ground and making it sparkle.

Dynamic Sunset dock

Dynamic Sunset over the dock

What is good about November? It’s the season when you can start lighting your fireplace and setting candles about the room. I went and bought new candles in cranberry colors to warm up and light up our home. It’s the season when you can take out your fuzzy wool socks and sweaters and enjoy the warm snuggly feeling of wool – something I learned to appreciate in Norway. Now when fall comes I actually look forward to breaking out my favorite hand made wool socks, mittens, hats and sweaters.

mittens and socks

Wool mittens and socks

And yes here in Scandinavia there is still an appreciation for hand knitted clothes. I remember my Grandmother produced large amounts of socks and mittens and some very creative hats in the 70s but it seems to me that in the US clothes are only valued if they are bought and brand new. There are many who have lost appreciation for that favorite old piece of clothing that looks feels and even smells like home…or the handmade socks and mittens that I have found a new love for today. I hope I am wrong here, I do hope that it was only the people around me who forgot how to love hand knitted accessories.

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Fall Sunset

My sweet and loving husband RennyBA showed me the beauty of nature again today. Just when I thought it was dark and depressing out there he invited me to a sunset picnic on the beach. We have a strong appreciation for sunsets and nature, and as you may have noticed from our photo archives we love the light you get when the sun has just gone down. I took up his invitation and prepared a little coffee and some cookies for us to nibble on and we went to the beach just as the sun was setting. The yellow, orange, and pink colors in the sky and reflected in the water were truly an amazing sight. I am so glad that my sweet hubby RennyBA is here to remind me that the world is indeed also beautiful in November. All photographs were taken with my fantastic NokiaX6 mobile phone! Good camera for a phone, huh!!

sunset silloutte

Sunset Sillouette

We will be traveling a bit in November as well. In 10 days we are going to Brussels and will be able to take some lovely photos there, then in about 2 weeks we are traveling to Portugal on a mini vacation and will be catching up with Perola de Cultura and her husband Luis to reminisce about the blog gathering and be shown around the fair city of Lisbon.

Fall foilage highlights from Norway

We are having a cold fall this year in the Oslo area, and it seems we are rapidly moving toward the winter season. The days are now getting noticeably shorter and the temperatures at night are below freezing just about every day now.

Beautiful fall colors on Sandvika shoreline

Beautiful fall colors on Sandvika shoreline

Still we have had some nice color and RennyBA and I have taken several weekend trips to capture the fall colors on our respective mobile phone cameras and digital cameras, so here are some highlights from this year’s fall color show in Norway!

Yellow birch lined path

Yellow birch lined path

I love the smell of fall and the crunching of leaves reminds me of my childhood. Walking home from school in the afternoon I loved to romp along in the crunchy new fallen leaves and kick them up into the air.

Crunch of fallen leaves under my feet

Crunch of fallen leaves under my feet

And on a sunny Sunday afternoon a fall picnic is every bit as enjoyable as a summer picnic, and without the wet bathing suits!

Fall lake side picnic with famous blogger husband RennyBA

Fall lake side picnic with famous blogger husband RennyBA

When planning this picnic photo hunt RennyBA said “I want fall colors and I want water!” Fortunately we found both, and traveling around with another avid photograph and blogger I am never lacking for someone interesting to photograph!

RennyBA took some very tempting photograpghs of my homemade lunch

RennyBA took some very tempting photograpghs of my homemade lunch

Water and changing leaves do make a truly magical combination, don’t you think!!

Color on the water, color on the trees

Color on the water, color on the trees

I know I have not been blogging as much lately, and not commenting much either. I apologize for that, if you are looking for me I usually check in on facebook but I have been spending less time online lately. I always feel more tired in the fall and my job is taking up a lot of my energy. I also have a few personal projects going on in my private life. But never fear I am still around and I am sure my blogging and visits will increase again when I adjust to the darker season!!

Fall photo hunting in Hole, Norway

It’s been a long time since I have been in and posted anything. Everything seems to be back in full swing in the fall and I have been busy both on the weekdays and on the weekends. This weekend we have been home however and used Sunday afternoon to do some fall photo hunting.

Fall colors on forest lake

Fall colors on forest lake

First we stopped at Solighøgda and went for a walk into the woods to find this rural lake. The colors were really beautiful and the water was still so we got excellent reflection. Here you can of course see a famous blogger, RennyBA, taking some photos I am sure you will be seeing quite soon.

Utvik in Nes

Utvik in Nes

Bit by the photography bug we decided to go back to the car and drive a bit further into Hole municipality since the colors were really at their peak right now. We have had a lot of wet weather and I was really afraid a lot of the leaves had fallen already but as you can see they are still hanging on.

Our fall break is over here and my son has had his last fall vacation. He will graduate this year so next year it will be work instead. Hope he enjoyed it! The days are also getting shorter and it won’t be long now before we are setting the clocks to winter time. To make sure we don’t get too cold and dark RennyBA and I have been working on some secret plans. We will be taking some trips in November, which of course will give us plenty to photograph and plenty to write about….if I only find the time 🙂

Cruising to the Islands in Oslo fjord

When you look at my blog you see lots and lots of lovely blue skies and nordic nature. It may then surprise you to know that if I am being truly honest the weather this summer has really sucked! It is statistically the 4th rainiest summer in the recorded database and the Oslo area didn’t have a single day over 30 C (85 F) this year. That said you can understand why we run out and make the most of summer anytime the sun shines.

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On board with incedibly large sunglasses

This is why I was so disappointed in myself when I slept away my day on Saturday. Because days like that have been few and far between. It was a relief then when I woke up on Sunday and found the sunshine was still there. We had a bit more clouds on Sunday but all in all a good enough summer day to get out and enjoy living by the fjord.

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Oslo Island Ferry Boat

The Ferry system to the local islands is part of the total public transportation in Oslo. In a land divided by fjords it is only natural that the boats are a part of the local transportation scheme. And since I need to have a montly pass to get back and forth to work it means my little boat trip out to the islands cost me nothing – nada – zilch – because my card works on the boat too.

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View of the Opera from the fjord

When sailing out from Oslo towards the islands I looked back and had a great view of the Oslo Opera House, which you can see is the white building right on the water. It looks like a glacier running out into the fjord. In the years to come all the traffic around it will be put into underground tunnels (the reason for the construction work you may see) and a renewed area of the city will appear.

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Family fun on the fjord

Private family boating is a popular recreational activity here. I would love to have a boat myself, having grown up with one in upstate NY, but in this area the cost of docking your boat is incredible, so I am quite happy to use the ferry and thrilled when friends who have a boat invite us to visit!

LushGreenIsland

Inviting green paths of Hovedøya

Hovedøya is a lovely green national park where all the plants and animals are protected. In addition it has a rich cultural heratige with monastery ruins from the 1100’s, the remains of a shipyard from 1640,and a bathing area from the beginning of 1914.

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Monestary ruins from the 1100's

Above the remains of the Hovedøya Monestery. In 1532 the monastery burned down and was demolished. Stone remaining from the Monestary was used to build Akershus Fortress – Castle. Fourteenth century recycling! Cool!

ExpertKiteFlying

Chinese kite flying on the beach

After crossing the island I came to the beach I was looking for. You didn’t think I forgot the beach did you? It wasn’t nearly as crowded as it is mid summer but as you can see there were people out enjoying the day. Like this chinese family who were really experts in flying a special kind of kite!

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Lunch break for the Kyak group

Or a group of (totally hot) Kyakers who stopped on the island to eat their lunch and take a break, and even a little swim.

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Romantic late summer swim

Not exacly the tropics, but romantic none the less!

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View across the fjord to Oslo City Hall

On the way back I just had to take this photo with Oslo City in the background. The town hall is directly in the middle and I thought, this photo will make my sweetie proud hehehe. The weather on the way back was if possible even better then on the way to the island but one learns the hard way. If you wait too long to leave Hovedøya you might wind up waiting for a ferry or three before you get room on board. The island wasn’t SO crowded this Sunday afternoon but I wasn’t taking any chances. Besides RennyBA was home from his adventures and I wanted to hear about his trip!

Memories of OsloBG, Vigeland Sculpture Park

Well now OsloBG is over and most of our guests have gone back to their homes. A couple are still wandering around Oslo but they are welcome to stay as long as they want of course! I was so tired Sunday night I went to bed at about 7 pm, and slept until 7 am. Then of course it was back to work, vacation over.

Vigeland Sculpture ParkI’m sorry but I can’t get the slide show to embed, please click on the link above to see the side show. Here is a sample photo from the set.

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Vigeland Sculpture Park

So now I am looking through all the lovely photos we took and remembering what fun we had! I hope you will enjoy a slide show from our first day, a trip to Vigeland Sculpture Park. The weather was a bit grey but the art work is beautiful just the same and our guests were happily shooting away with their cameras and learning a lot with the help of our excellent guide, Margaret!

Blogger friends exploring Oslo at OsloBG

The Oslo Blog Gathering is already half over!! Time goes by so quickly! We are really having a wonderful time meeting our blogger friends face to face, some for the first time, and others we have greeted before. It is truly an experience of a lifetime, and we feel like we are quickly becoming friends and we have so much in common. Even if we come from different cultures and struggle with the language from time to time everyone is so interesting, open and friendly. It really is a dream come true for Renny and I.

DianeCA

I don’t want to use very much time writing a post now so I will go into more detail later, but I know some friends who wish they could be here are following along around the world, so I want to give you an idea of what we have done so far! I am starting to realize that we really can’t manage everything in four days, so some of our friends will just have to come back and visit us again. But still we have managed to fit a lot into our schedule

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First Oslo Guideservice provided us with an excellent guide who took us through Vigeland Sculpture Park, Holmonkollen ski jump, and Bygdøy. Many thanks to Margaret for her excellent information and sunny personality!

RoyalTreatment-mayor

Then of course we were received at the City Hall by the Mayor of Oslo and served champagne and wonderful party food. We were treated as Royalty, and again provided with an excellent guide who could give us a lot of information about this very special building and its history.

Visiting_the_opera

We started our second day, after a good nights sleep and a nice breakfast at First Millenium Hotel with a visit to the new Oslo Opera House, and Renny and Lawrence were able to arrange for an incredible guided tour there as well. Only the best for our guests you know! We were given an explaination of the thoughts behind the architecture, as well as a peek in the main stage, and a peek behind the scenes where dancers and musicians are practicing, scenes and costumes are being made and art is being created long before it reaches our eyes and ears!

VisitCastle

In the afternoon it was time to visit the Royal Castle and of course all the tourists want to see the changing of the guards!

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And in the evening we took a boat ride on the fjord out to a little island where we were served the most delicous dinner.

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Many of us chose the fresh seafood of course, but if you are not a seafood lover there were very good choices of chicken or meats available as well.

I feel it is safe to say that everyone is well satisfied and enjoying the trip here in Oslo. And we are having fun playing host, getting to know people and acting like tourists in our own home town. We are even living at the hotel you know so we don’t miss any of the action!! Now it is really time for bed hahaha! Good night and see you all again soon!