The fortress of Bohus

 Bohus Fortress can be found in the town of Kungälv, a twenty-minute drive from Gothenburg. The town holds a lot of history in the Nordic heritage site, has a cracker factory, and a lot of Pokémon stops (a fun fact we took use of).

This picture was taken in late July 2016, when we stopped at a nearby hotel for a night and got to see the fortress. We ended up stopping at a grocery store in town and had a picnic near the fortress.

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The hearts of Stavanger

Every year, one of the trees surrounding Breiavannet in the center of Stavanger are filled with hanging heart lights. And every year I see it and sigh as if things are right in the world. While other trees are also decorated, they are decorated with more common lights, making this tree extra special.

This picture was taken in mid-December 2009, but the lights are back this year as well, looking as heart-filled and -shaped as ever. I’ve posted pictures of the tree before, but it’s one of the things that gets me ready for the Holidays.

Be aware of the steps

Møns Klint can be found in the south-east of Denmark, and one can visit chalk cliffs previously mentioned here. To get from the centre and parking space, there are steps to get down to the beach.

But be warned, it’s mentioned at the top that it takes 15 min. In case you didn’t make the connection, that’s a lot of steps, so when you get back up the stairs, you might want to stop by the center to have some ice cream or a different treat.

When we visited in late June 2012, they sold ice cream made on the island of Møn, and it was truly delicious.  (I’m not sponsored by them, though I definitely wish I could have the ice cream again).

 

#Panther project

Street art covers a piece of a wall or a box and adds something to it, without it being in the way for the use of the thing. As with this box in Kristiansand, the code can still be read, but the box adds a bit color and charm to the place.

I took the picture in early May 2017, but by then the piece of art had been there a while. It seems to be part of something called Panther project and there are a few other places around in Kristiansand that also has some sort of street art by the same artist. What I’ve seen from the Panther project seems like a simple piece that adds something to a blank space, and it gives it something special.

 

“My” Disneyland castle

I’m born and raised in Europe, and that’s meant that for me, Disneyland Paris has been Disneyland. And since I was born in the month and year it opened (April 1992), I’ve always felt a bit close to it. My first visit was when I was 5 years old, and so was the park. The other visits have been when I was 8 and 18, so no real celebration. I wondered about going back when I was 20 or 25, but money and time got away. It would be fun going back as an adult, and spend the time around the park with no other obligations. Preferably in april, so I could celebrate my birthday and the park opening.  Maybe I’ll get to do it one day.

This picture was taken late June 2010. Have you been to Disneyland Paris, or any of the other parks?

Some parts frost, some parts wet leaves

One of the weird things about fall turning into winter is how the parts of nature that seem to have been dying the last few months suddenly are covered with frost and snow, and the world seems slightly more alive again. Gone are the brown leaves on the ground, and suddenly the world is colder yet cozier. I really like fall, with the trees going yellow and red, the wind blowing (more than usual), and the temperatures falling, but not enough for snow yet, just time to find scarves and a coat.

Even if I’m from Norway, I’m not used to the snow staying for longer periods of time around where I live, so the times it happens, I try to adapt to what’s happening around me. And I’m still trying to find a way that will keep me warm, but not have me looking as though I’m on my way to a kindergarten.

This picture is from Jegersberg, which is an area in Kristiansand where one can go for a walk or a hike, swim or bike, and it was taken at the end of November 2015. The strangest part of taking this photo was that on my side of the road it was frost and on the other side there was no frost at all.

The dark and gloomy places

Not all cemeteries are dark and gloomy, well… at least not all the time. Walking around in a cemetery in daylight with someone can be quite fun. Finding cool names, finding tombstones with descriptions like what they worked with or how they died. Making up a story in your head about someone who died as a salesman over 100 years ago.

When you visit a cemetery with both older and newer tombstones, you can compare both the design of the stone, as well as the differences in how the person (or family) is described for the rest of the world to know after their death.

This picture was taken on a cemetery in Stavanger on a not so gloomy day in early May 2010. There’s a lot of old and tall trees there so it can be pretty dark and gloomy at night.

Monkeys and Lions and Giraffes, oh my!

I’ve visited Denmark more times than I really know a number of. So it’s always felt a bit like home. In early June 2017, I went on yet another road trip with one of my sisters in Denmark. And it was a lot of fun, we went places that we apparently had visited as kids, but that I was too young to remember, such as the Lionpark, where this picture is from.

The Lionpark, or Givskudd Zoo as it’s officially known, started off with lions and expanded over the years with other animals, such as gorillas and monkeys. When we were there, they had started adding a dinosaur area to the park, which seemed kinda popular with younger boys. I’ve also written about the Zoo before here.

The Countryside of Skipton

I love traveling when you have great weather. Don’t get me wrong, a rainstorm can be relaxing and make a good story, but there’s nothing like nice weather that permits you to walk around and stop wherever you feel like.

When I went to Skipton in June 2013, we had great weather the days we were there, so getting on a train to go to Leeds, while fun, felt slightly wrong when the weather was great outside. But we got to see Leeds in a nice weather as well as getting a nice view of the Yorkshire countryside from the train.

There’s something about traveling with a possibility to stop and view places and things you never knew of or planned on seeing that I really like.

Flags, and not the Internet-kind

This picture is taken on the 17th of May 2016 in the city center of Stavanger. The 17th of May is the date Norway celebrates its constitution, and it’s one of the days when all public buildings and other places with a flagpole will put up the Norwegian flag.

It’s not common in Norway to hoist the flag every day. We have a set of days where one must hoist the flag (i.e. 17th of May, the birthdays of the royal family, some Christian holidays, and other days of historic importance for Norway – Wikipedia list), and otherwise it’s a bit more optional if you have a personal reason to put a flag up on the flagpole.

17th of May is always the day when you’ll find the most Norwegian flags around in the city. We’ll walk in parades and wave our flags, or watch others walk in a parade, and wave our flags at them. It’s a day we express our joy of the nation, the joy of being part of something bigger, and the joy of celebrating something together with family, friends, and total strangers that you’ll say hi or congratulations to at some point of the day.

The rest of the year, we’re mostly not that nationalistic. We’re not that celebratory. We won’t put our flag up for no reason. We know that as a nation and a people there is more to do to make the country a home for the people who live here, and the people who come to live here. We’ll criticise the government, and we’ll vote at the elections to earn the right to criticise it.

But every year on the 17th of May, without fail, we’ll put up our flags, sing our national anthem, and mostly criticise the weather or the woolen bunad-costumes we wear (that are heavy, and doesn’t really flatter anyone, yet looks good on pretty much everyone).

This post mainly comes from all the stuff that’s been going on lately, and me thinking about how flags are treated differently around the world. I’ll leave you with one last fun fact about the Norwegian flag: When the flag is getting worn or broken, one is to separate the flag into the different colored pieces, so it’s no longer recognizable as the Norwegian flag, and dispose of it or burn it.