Wednesday, 4 December 2013

17th of May...with flags and pølse

 I've seen this in Oslo, huge amounts of people parading along Karl Johans street and in front the Royal palace.

I've seen this in Bergen, the parades go all around the city, school kids drumming marches, all kind of clubs and companies ptass by on their floats and in their old cars and what not, that was far more impressive than Oslo too.

But this year, I spent the 17th of May in a far more special place...on the tiny island of Tarva. The parade probably contained 50 people, for an island where the population is ~15 (no K, no hundreds, just 15 people), this was an impressive number!

First let me tell you a bit about Tarva, it's actually an archipelago in Sør Trøndelag fylke, Bjugn kommune. There are two main islands: Husøya (or the house island) where all the houses and cabins are, this also houses a school (only in use for parties and gatherings these days), a little church (not in use at all these days) with it's small graveyard and a pub that is open only on weekends. And Været (nobody knows why it's called that) which is a touch bigger than Husøya and is a sanctuary (mostly birds). These two islands are surrounded by loads of tiny islets. There's one road running through Husøya that is ~3Km long. In general very beautiful and peaceful.

The parade started at the school behind a car that towed a little cart at the back with a loud player of some sort and space for people who get tired to sit :) followed by a military clad couple, the girl from the local farm and her boyfriend with big flags followed by the rest of the 50 people or so with the usual small flags. Patriotic songs sounded from the speakers and a lot of waving flags followed that car to the church shouting "Hipp Hipp Hurra!" every now and then. There we got ice cream and a break and people visited the graveyard (while eating their icecream!). The parade then walked back to the school, where sausages, cakes, coffee and soft drinks were served. A round of introduction went through the room, then the games began. People split in 5 teams and had a few tasks to do, like guessing distances and finding local flowers and so on. Have to mention here that my team won :)

All was good until the football match started, for me personally, this was one of the most embarrassing things I've ever seen but apparently it's been a "tradition" on Tarva to dress up silly (not to mention weird) and play football in those silly outfits, the teams could be any number of people, it's for the fun. But you look at all those people dressed up in the weirdest things ever and running around the field and you don't know if it's funny or just plain embarrassing.

But generally it was fun, and an experience to remember. Our choice to spend the 17th of May on Tarva was also highly appreciated by the locals, and generally who can resist some mommy cooking every now and then? :)

Monday, 5 August 2013

Animalia

I was just sitting at some point and thinking that I've taken quite a few photos of animals during my travels.
This is a post to showcase them.

They're not great. It's difficult to make great ones with creatures that don't get the point of posing, but some of those my lens captured I find quite special.

Of course, there's your usual farm animals...

Cows in Scotland

Sheep in Scotland

Horses in Norway

The famous black and white cow (probably in England)

And your usual birds...

Canada geese in Scotland

Ducks in Scotland

Ducklings also in Scotland

Toulouse geese in Switzerland

More ducks in Norway

Then animals and birds you've seen before...

Peacock in Scotland

Squirrel in England

The famous pink lizard (there was so many of those in Egypt) in the Maldives

Another lizard in Cyprus

Rabbit in England

Fish in Switzerland

And the slightly less usual ones:
Pheasant in Scotland (it's been a long journey in the countryside there :) )

Deer in Scotland
 
Colorful lizard in the Maldives

Deer in Norway

But my personal favorites are the next ones. I think they're a catch :) (and I don't really care if you think otherwise :p )

The White breasted water-hen in the Maldives (don't get too impressed, I had to google it to find its name)

The baby highland cow in Scotland (well, where else but in the highlands?)

The bat in the Maldives

And my all time favorite:
The owl in Scotland, that I think is a feat :)

 

I should have had seals too, but it seems I never carried by camera to take photos of those... Maybe next time I visit Tarva.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Cyrpus in the sky

 
 The next journey through Cyprus was inland.

We headed away from the shore into and up the Troodos mountains. You'd say: mountains on Cyprus?! Yup, you bet. Cyprus is really bigger than you think. And the scenery is breathtaking, we wound our way up small roads on the side of the mountain and through the most picturesque little villages and towns, they're the cutest I've ever seen, beautiful Mediterranean houses, small streets, flowers and colors and all that hugged by the mountains around. The village of Sykopetra is like something out of a story book, Chandria, Kyperounta, all really nice to look at and drive through, and the locals seem pretty happy to see you and smile at you as you drive by :)

Then you reach the top of Troodos at Platres, which apparently used to be the summer base for the British Empire army because the weather was too hot down in the cities for the high commanding Brits :) That part is not so special, but has a few nice cafes to take a break in.

The ride down the mountain side was even better, the sights remained as great as ever, we stopped at a waterfall buried in the mountains, passed a big lake where people where rowing, and saw a lot of nice houses scattered in the area and you can't help but thinking that you should come back sometime to Cyprus but live in the mountains not the beach, rent a place with a view and enjoy the peace, quiet, beauty and local cuisine, Greek food is good.

We also drove the coastal roads from Limassol in the direction of Larnaca, the drive was beautiful, but Larnaca is not worth the effort.

Took a couple of trips to downtown Limassol too, the areas around the Medieval castle is an old part of town with narrow alleys all over the place and they're all filled with restaurants and cafes, this is where the locals go out, and the atmosphere is really nice and relaxed, if you're ever there, dine there one evening... or two :)

The many faces of Cyprus


\Once again I do exactly the same as always: Laze out from writing what could have been a great post. I keep reminding myself that the best ones come when the impressions and feelings are still fresh, the more you wait, the blander your piece becomes. But then again, late is better than never, and this is one trip I seriously enjoyed.

No reason or occasion, just decided to join a friend and her family on a vacation with my husband to Cyprus. The way you always tend to think about Cyprus is: An island in the Med, looks Greek, small, nothing much but cute houses and warm beaches, but if you've never been there, you're in for a big surprise.

Let's start with the fact that it's bigger than it seems, even if all you do is study the maps on Google, but that's the least impressive. We stayed just outside Limassol, which turns to be the English name for it, (like they did with most of their empire), it's locally called Lemesos. In a very nice though old hotel, with indeed a very nice beach and a great restaurant on the Marina. Cyprus as advertised for sun and fun and cocktails on the beach didn't disappoint in the slightest.

We arrived late at night at the hotel on our rather battered rental Nissan Note (never heard of it before I got it :D ), into quite an impressive lobby and a rather cosy clean room to realize that although it's on the side of the hotel, it still got an amazing view of the sea and the nearby resorts/houses, in short, very pretty. The next day was slightly cold to be on the beach so we decided to go sightseeing.

It was still a beautiful sunny day, and we went driving along the south coast through Limassol into Akrotiri (which is still a British base), saw the flamingos on the salt lake :) (no, not the pink ones, they're white), then it was archeological tourism at its most: On the way out we passed by Kolossi castle, a small one, surrounded by houses all over the place,  it's like part of the neighborhood, I enjoyed that, it looked more like an ancient 3 story villa with some annexes outside, I bet it was a nice place to live back in the days :)

Next stop was Cyprus' most famous and biggest site: The ancient city of Kourion. Now this was actually a city, with normal houses, a temple, a bath house and all the works, according to historians it was a thriving little city and the rulers took great effort to make it a good place to work and live, it was destroyed by an earthquake in 365AD with a lot of families killed under the ruins, but the ruins lived until this day to tell the story, and give an insight of how people used to live back then. Now when you step into the little visitors' center near the entrance and parking lot, and look at the scale model of the area, don't get alarmed, it's not as huge as it looks, we walked by all the sights on that model in far less time than we expected to.

And you might hear or read a lot about the birth place of Aphrodite or Petra tou romiou (translated the rock of the roman), but it's just that: A rock. It's one of those you find on some shores standing high a bit off the shore, so it's a picturesque area, nice to sit at the beach there and take photos, but it is a rock. Apparently there's the temple of Aphrodite nearby that area but we haven't been there.

So Sightseeing in Cyprus: Very good! (but now the post is getting too long, and therefore more in later posts)

Friday, 5 April 2013

Office Job

That I've had since October. And therefore, not much traveling is happening to write about anymore.

So what should I write about? That's the question that I've been asking myself since my last travel in September, and still asking myself till now... Well, I'm not stopping to write about places I've been, it's just that it became far less frequent, and with my "frequency" with writing, you can imagine how often (or rather not) this blog will be populated.

I have to admit, I did think about what to do with my blog to make it highly readable and maybe make some money out of it, but in that case my options are: Clothes, celebrities, fashion, cooking or sex, which rules out the money making option for me, being not interested to write about any of the above.

So I decided to go random, write about whatever, whenever I feel like it. Why not? I do write for myself in the first place, other readers just come as a bonus.

And therefore...
Randomness here I come!