More than three years of waiting to travel because loooong covid restrictions. It has felt too complicated and expensive to have certificates of various kinds and quick changes in restrictions to make it feel safe for a family of five, so we have chosen to wait. Although a couple of times we have had time to preliminarily book a trip but then regretted it. So far, travel is limited and more expensive than before covid.
Five in the morning, tired and expectant, we go to the airport. We have chosen to go with Tui as we had money in the company since lockdown. The trip is 6 hours and since we already know that the quality is a little worse with Tui, we had loaded up our laptops and ipads with film and work. The airplane was a little worse than expected compared to how it had been before, the gaps between the seats were extremely narrow. Everyone taller than me had to sit with their legs angled to make room. The fact that it had been a pandemic seemed to be completely forgotten. People were sneezing and coughing the whole trip. Not many more people than my family used mouth protection.
The moment we got out of the airplane I could smell the heat and everything became real with happiness and euphoria.
50 minutes to the hotel in bus, installation in a nice apartment with 2 bedrooms and living room in the corner of the hotel with the sea below us. The location of the hotel is among the best during my travels as it was so easily accessible to the sea. Negative about the hotel was that we could only choose breakfast, which means that foodcosts easily became a little more expensive with the whole family and there was no wi-fi. There were two stovetops and two pans so we could cook a simpler lunch ourselves during the day. There was a small bar that would sell smoothies but on the list of a bunch of various flavors, only two of them available. One evening when one of our youngsters was extra hungry and wanted to go down and order a toast, they didn't have time to take more orders. Positive was the hotel and the apartment's location, nice cleaning and reception staff and it was cheaper to buy water cans at the hotel than at the grocery store. The breakfast buffet was not very big but had the most important thing that you need and they made very good fried eggs.
Most days began with breakfast at 9 a.m. The young people took a second nap after breakfast, while Stefan and I took a 5-10 km walk. Can´t remember last time I enjoyed every second, every breath and I tried to memorize every single feeling, sound and smell. Back to the apartment, it was time to shake the youngsters to life and get them down to the beach where we took a swim. 21°C in the water, warm sun and nice heat on surface. It was unusually warm in the water for the season and a little cool in the air in the mornings until the sun had climbed over the mountains. It was bright until around 7pm in the evenings. We walked down towards Puerto Rico every sunset and had dinner.
During New Year's Eve we went to a Restaurant called Bolero. Stefan and I have eaten there in our previous trips, they have had high quality and tender meat. It was really nice and later in the evening we went down to the beach and saw fireworks. I have a hard time liking the noices from the fireworks as I'm worried about all the animals that suffer, go into shock, even dying. I also don't like the littering that becomes. However, we had a really nice time :)
A few evenings later we went back to Bolero because our Italian restaurant we normally visit had shut down and we couldn't decide what to eat. Guess it became too much to get by financially during covid. However, the experience was not as pleasant as all the staff had become ill. They had gotten a cold, they were all coughing, and you could hear it echoing from the kitchen. One waitress ran her hand over her nose and then handled the serving. With a little panic, we did not know what to do and completed the meal which unfortunately did not measure up this time. In hindsight, when we had time to think a bit, we should have walked away.
It is difficult to find good food as everything is something with fries and béarnaise. Next time we will try to find a larger grocery store so we can buy raw materials and cook more of our own food.
The last two days our friend Angela with the diving club Blue Water arranged diving for us in Amadores. It's been a while since we dived this lovely. We were below the surface for a little more than an hour each dive before giving up because of the cold. We saw crabs, octopuses, starfishes and much more :)
The happiness of living so close to the beach made the opportunity to walk down to the beach after breakfast on the day of departure. We took a nice walk along the beach and soaked in the last rays of sunshine before Sweden.
This time there was a little more normal distance between the seats in the airplane.
At home it was dark, snowing, plus degrees and two days later there was no snow and rainy.
Can't wait until the next time I get to see the sun :)
For many years I was doing special searches with two of my riesenschnauzers. It was incredibly fun and we went under the apprenticeship with Lennart Wetterholm at Hundcampus. We trained ID search to be able to find missing children and dogs, but we also started training on bed bugs. Me and my bearded girls practiced more orientations and when my last bearded friend past away, there was no more training for a long time.
About 10 months I have been searching with candles and lanterns to find the right little friend to be able to resume the training I once started, with the goal of getting out operationally.
Some months ago I got hold of a lovely breeder in Norway and I have followed all the way from maiting, puppying and finally my husband and I took the flight to Norway to meet the 6 week old Black Diamonds.
We went early in the morning with SAS from Arlanda, made a stopover in Oslo and then on to Vaernes Trondheim. We ate shrimp sandwich and shrimp salad in Oslo and found a bird that managed to end up inside the terminal. It had had to work up a technique of begging from people eating food in the waiting rooms. There was a little feeling from Tom Hanks' film "The Terminal" when I saw this bewinged friend.
We rented a car at the airport and headed off towards puppies and the hotel we were staying at. It was beautiful scenery on our 2 hour trip to our destination where the hotel has the nice name "Hotel Koselig".
The room was clean, bright and spacious and when we checked in we headed out into the village to eat some food. There was food at "Café Koselig" where I ate a half-grilled chicken with salad, fries and chili mayonnaise. And for Stefan, it was Fish and chips made from real fish fillet. It was really tasty, the chicken was successfully made with crunchy skin and juicy.
When it turned 5 p.m., we finally got to meet the little mini bearded puppies <3
Anita and her family were really nice and we felt very welcome. They have done a fantastic job of giving the puppies a varied and developing upbringing. We lay on the floor a large part of the time and left after about 3 hours.
The next day we started by eating the hotel's breakfast buffet, there was plenty to choose from. We packed up and went back to the puppies. Today it was sunny and warm so we were out on the terrace where the puppies were playing and we all enjoyed the sun.
Time flies when you have a good time and soon we had to go back to the airport, this time it was a direct flight to Arlanda. Now we have to wait another 2 weeks, then it's time to bring home our little bearded ice<3
This year to get some environmental change and do something nice with the family, we decided to stay in Sweden at Romme Alpin. Travel abroad has to wait a little longer, and instead we enjoy a little skiing.
Thursday morning and it's time to convince my husband that I'm the world champion in packing. I will get 4 dogs, 6 people, ski equipment, clothes, bags, fruit, sweets, packages, computers and a little more in our car. Since I have banned all interference in my presents, I´m not specially tall, so I start to clinging to the car and packing the roof box. Then get the rest in the car's inside, including dogs and humans. Everything got a perfect place and everything did fit :) After just over 3 hours, we see the lodge in Romme alpine with its ski slopes, and we all get that little nice happy feeling in the body. I would have like for my first impression in the Christmas lobby more light. It is quite dark and would have been much nicer with small light loops that had increased the Christmas mood. We check in, picked up the equipment that is missing for our teenagers and then some time to snuggle into the room with snacks, drinks and card games. Then it's time for the trip's first dinner buffet, which this evening had a Mexican theme. They had changed the placement of the serving tables since last time, which gives a feeling that the buffet is smaller than usual. But after trying a lot of different dishes, we can probably see that it is about as much as usual. The desserts were superb with small donuts with caramel filling, fruit salad, panacotta, pineapple mousse, cakes and more. The food could have been better, the peasant omelette was so salty and made me cough, the avocado was frozen, the chili pie was good but cold, the cold-cut meat was tough. Then there were the classic taco details like nacho chips, flatbread, sauces, vegetables, chicken mash, minced meat mash and a few other things that were perfectly okay. We look forward to tomorrow's Christmas table and hope for better performance.
Christmas Eve :) even though the teenagers are getting a little older, the traditional Christmas morning bag stands by their beds. On with clothes and down to the lobby to eat breakfast buffet. The buffet got most things you may need, even for those with food allergies. Satisfied, we happily go to our room and change into ski equipment. The dogs are waiting in the room where grandma is now sitting and crocheting while we go out on the slopes. It's -12 degrees outside, so it bites in the cheeks, the dogs are real couch potatoes in the cold and make their beds under the quilt. All 33 slopes are open and because it's Christmas Eve there are very few people. Sometimes we are completely alone on the slopes, which is really nice, with a quick feeling that humanity has suddenly disappeared. We go as long as we can until we freeze way too much, and take a break in the waffle house with hot chocolate, then we go again. Unfortunately, when it is close to the end of the day, and we take one of the black slopes, one of our teenagers falls and one of the skis does not come loose. I have to wave a scooter and down to the place infirmary. Elongated ligaments at the knee so no more skiing for a while which is really sad. After checking in the ski shop, it turns out that the guy in the rental had set up one ski incorrectly, so it was too tight on the boot. CRAP!!!
The evening offered a really nice Christmas buffet. Lots of food in all the varieties, lots of different herring pickles, cold cuts, the classic Christmas selection, quite simply a lot of food. And the dessert table was also really grand with a big mix of goodies. Ending the evening with some Christmas presents and family games. Merry Christmas to all multi-legged, four-legged, two-legged and zero-legged out there <3
The classic breakfast buffet and for those of us who could was skiing, today it is only -8 ;) We end the evening with an Italian buffet with many good dishes, and it is perfectly okay.
Breakfast and pack everything in the car again.
If we summarize the trip, Romme alpine is a really delightful place who got everything. The ski lodge with slopes just outside and with a pleasant atmosphere. However, there were a lot of young people and beginner staff this year who did not get the speed which is necessary in the service at restaurants (not including the dinner staff). Which means that there will be huge queues when the season really starts. I also would have liked to have the same security control like last year, when Romme had guards who checked that everyone who is going to eat takes hand alcohol before moving into the buffet room. Today, the nonchalance is great with children and adults who snore and sneeze without even thinking. There were a lot of people who came abroad from Asia, Russia and France, possibly more places.
A disappointment at the rental where we first got the wrong equipment, and after I tried to get it right and the guy didn’t understood. I gave up and went to the ski shop and found an old dog who could correct the mistake. But unfortunately, we missed that the ski and boot setting was wrong, which ruined a large part of the trip due to unnecessary damage. We are now awaiting information from those responsible at Romme Alpin and how they want to take care of the matter.
Besides that, we had a really nice time with two good rooms where we could open a door in between. A wonderful environmental change in a place we like a lot. A superb Christmas buffet, perfect winter weather and wonderful company of the family.
We had such a cozy weekend last time and felt we had to go with the kids as soon as possible back to Romme.
It’s not so easy to know how winter or activity level will be this year, so we take the opportunity now while it’s possible.
We were a bit nervous when we booked because the temp started to drop to plus degrees in Borlänge. We looked every day before the D day.
We left as soon as we could on Friday with the goal of collecting the youngsters' equipment before they closed the rental. It went very well and smoothly, we had pre-booked everything, so there was only a small correction in the boot sizes. It was snowing properly and was a bit too hot, but it felt like it was still okay to be carried on tomorrow.
We checked in and then sat down in a secluded part of the Lodge and took some snacks and drinks.
I think we sat there for a couple of hours talked, looked in mobiles and I had some work done. So incredibly relaxing.
17:15 it was time for dinner buffet. Since it's Friday, it became the American theme as last time. Maybe not the theme I think is most fun but there are some good things to find.
Now the authorities have introduced that you can only sit 4 people per table. Feels very silly when you are a family of 5 who also sleep in the same room. But it's not something we or they can do anything about. We had to sit on 2 tables and talk a little louder, so everyone could hear. But it doesn't matter, we are happy to finally do something properly together, so right now everything work.
Installation in a slightly larger room for 5 with the usual discussion about where everyone should sleep and who decide first and last on our last trip.
A quiet evening where we adults fell asleep early while the youngsters had to sit down in the lobby and talk further with their friends online. The new way to socialize almost 24 hours a day, it feels like.
Breakfast buffet in the morning, which is always appreciated.
Then it was snowboarding for 2 hours for one of our young people and the rest of the day skiing. We were so lucky with the weather, even if it was a bit warmer than desired for skiing, but it was still okay. After lunch, some slopes were a little bit sticky, but there were several that continued to be good.
We were skiing from the start to the end of the day, and then it was time to go home.
Now we have cravings for next trip.
We are happy and satisfied and plan the next trip and keep track of the weather.
It's a new year, and we leave a pretty tough year and hope that everything will start to come to something more normal this year. I sit and dream about our next trip, and we are constantly looking online about what is happening and what kind of rules we got at the moment. We sit with a long list of our future destinations and dream.
After many cancellations of travel in 2020 and no proper vacation, it creeps in the body who wants to do something fun and active. After many thoughts and trade-offs if we dare to go, we chose to take a trip to Romme alpin which is not so far away from Stockholm.
Afterwork, happy and excited, we jumped into a prepared car. One night doesn't require much packing 😉
We arrived 3 1/2 hours later, starving. The crew at Romme alpin was kind and let us book a table at the Lodge even if we should be 15 minutes late after last sitting. We had to sneak into the restaurant, and finally we could sit down and inhale the atmosphere.
We can see that there is a lot less with people. It feels like people do their best to keep distance to each other. And they had made a way out and a way into the buffet room, where they took hand liquor before the entrance.
I sat with horror and watched a small child who had a stuffed animal in the shape of an elephant in the same size as herself and which she ran around and dragged on the entire floor of the restaurant. I may be a little sensitive, but it wouldn't have come in to my house until it was washed.
When we were done, we sat down for a while in the Lobby, but it was not too long before everything was shut down at 8:30 pm.
We went to the room, watched tv and fell asleep pretty quickly after our work week.
Saturday morning, can't remember the last time I slept so well. Had to take a picture at the bed mattress brand, so I maybe can get a new one at home. Have woken up small moments during the night and heard that they worked hard out on the slopes with their machines and scooters.
Finally, we had the long-awaited buffet breakfast, fixed our rides, packed up our room and then out on the slopes. Aaa... we have longed for this a long time!
I quickly noticed that my feet were not happy. The toes numb away, got tingling, aches and it burned.
Disaster, but I knew I heard that you can custom fix ski boots, but I don't know how.
We went down to the ski shop and the first guy didn’t know anything about this but asked us to come back when a colleague was back who had more experience.
One hour later I came out with custom-made soles and now my feet were so happy again.
-9 °C, perfect snow, perfect amount of people, equipment fits perfect.
We went over and over again until the slopes closed, and we started driving home again.
A big smile on our faces, and we could not stop talking about what an amazing day we had.
The sturgeon is a fish I saw on a documentary, and I was very amazed by this ancient creature.
I was looking at internet and realized that there is very little information about it online.
The sturgeon is found in 26 different varieties and are today one of the world's most endangered species. The sturgeon has survived changes for millions of years and is very adaptable. The skin is thick, durable and is covered with protective snail-shaped bone plates. It is 250 million years old, which means that this fantastic prehistoric creature has survived both the dinosaurs and the ice age. It is bottom-dwelling and has 4 thick beard reins under its jaw, which they use when they search for food on the bottom.
Of freshwater fish, sturgeon have the longest average life expectancy of 50–60 years. Beluga sturgeon can be more than 100 years old and grows the hole life, therefore the sturgeon can be extremely large. There is a theory that the Loch Ness beast may be an ancient sturgeon.
Reproduction is very slow as they are not sexually mature until after 14–15 years.
The sturgeon is picky about where it puts its spawn and can swim 160 km to find the right place and returns to the same area every year. Maybe even on the exact same place it was hatched.
From the beginning, there were so many sturgeons, and they were considered as rubbish. The ones they fished up were thrown ashore, so they dried, and then they were used as fuel. It was also the food of the poor before the Europeans came with the knowledge of how to smoke the meat and use the spawn, and they started to overfish the sturgeon. Initially, the spawn was served without charge in pubs that made guests thirsty and bought more to drink.
Then the demand became huge, the 9 sturgeon species that existed in America were soon fished out, and the spawn became the rich man's food from royalty to the mafia, and today it can cost from 35000 dollars per kg and up. People didn’t think about the problem with overfishing should spoil the possibility to get new generations.
People quickly realized that they could sell expensively to the western world and the fishing in the Caspian Sea which is, 3600000km2 which makes it the world's largest lake where about 130 rivers flow out began to be overfished. During the last year of the Russian Empire, they wanted to modernize and began to build a lot of dams and factories (industrialization). The dams meant that the sturgeon could not get to its playgrounds and the factories released all kinds of pollutants into the lake and the biological diversity was and still is strongly affected. The sturgeon population has therefore decreased by 90%. Attempts have been made in different ways to control fishing and also ban fishing on sturgeon have been done. But that did not help, partly due to poaching, as it is for many the only source of income.
In collaboration with the Blue Marin Foundation, which aims to protect and restore marine environments around the world, they have managed to make a sanctuary in Southern Azerbajdzjan where they try to protect and rebuild an aquatic environment and hope that the sturgeon will want to spawn again and save the species.
In Wisconsin at Lake Winnebagdo, they have succeeded in a sanctuary and today got the largest population of sturgeons in the whole world. 10 days a year, the sturgeon has its spawning season and people come from different places to have the opportunity to see the fantastic ancient animal in their real habitat.
It is sad and frightening when you consider that the sturgeons has survived both dinosaurs and the ice age, and in only 150 years the human have almost been extincting the sturgeon.
Hope more can see the value in preserving this prehistoric fish and enjoy see this ugly beautiful creature also in the future :)
Today I teamed up with Åsa, Nina and Elina and put together the exhibition of art and photos that has been planned for a while in the City Hall and the library in Mullsjö.
When the clock strikes 4 in the morning, and it is pitch black, you first think that something is wrong, but then I come to my senses and I realize that it is time to speed up. Out and walk the dogs and then off to the train.
At 9, we arrive in Mullsjö and were picked up by Åsa and straight to the City Hall. I have been looking forward to getting everything ready, and we have chosen to do the exhibition in a few different parts.
It is partly my art and photos that will be shown, but I also want to spread curiosity among the young people who come to the library and increase the understanding of how fantastic creatures there are and how important it is to protect animals and nature. On one wall we have chosen to take pictures of a selection of our sea creatures and on the back put text about this particular animal. These pictures are laminated to our little ones and young people and they can take down and look a little closer and read. A selection of books is also picked by the staff of the library with team from the sea and sea animals.
During these 2 months, Åsa will be in place to be able to show and answer questions. The idea is also to be able to invite preschools and schools to receive guidance in the exhibition during this period.
Towards the afternoon we were ready and tomorrow the exhibition is up and running, which is great 😊.
Paintings will be changed / added during these months.
Please watch and enjoy!
A little weekend to Falun with the family.
We enter Scandic Hotell with a 20 minute walk into the center, overlooking the ski jumping tower. We chose Scandic because they are usually good, have breakfast and this particular Scandic also has a gym and pool, so we would have a little more to do this trip.
We enter the entrance happy and are met by a real energy killer. A grumpy guy who you can barely hear what he's saying should check us in. We have booked 2 rooms for us all five, he places us at 5 floor intervals. We stand at the elevator a little quiet and think and then I go back to the "cheerful" guy and ask if it really was the best thing that could be arranged? We want to be as close to each other as possible. A little sighing, he fiddled with the computer and suddenly we had 2 rooms next to each other. The rooms were clean, nice and had what we needed.
We went for a walk and went down to the center and bought snacks for the evening. Perfect weather 😊
Back in the room, we looked forward to going down to the pool and exercise. We changed and went down to the basement. Once down, we stood a little surprised and watched the pool, where a dad sat on a stool and watched while his 4-year-old bathed. The pool was just as big and deep as a children's pool usually is, a little snoopy we went up again.
We got ready and went to a Japanese restaurant called Tairyo where everyone who worked used a mouth guard, which I appreciate, and we sit outside.
We took all five different dishes to try some varied Japanese food. It was nice and carefully laid out. The sushi was very good, Yakisoban: one with shrimp and the other with chicken was good but there was to much of noodles for my taste, could have been a little more vegetables. The Zaru soba menu was okay but the chef's choice of two small dishes where one was seaweed according to the wishes of my daughter who likes it a lot (which was good), but the chef's choice nr. 2 was plain pickled ginger which was very boring. Our youngest who likes Japanese culture a lot and also wants to learn the language wanted to try Ramen. It was beautiful to look at, but was not quite as she thought. It was a little bubbly and felt overcooked. The bamboo shoots were really sloppy, there was a completely raw egg in it and when I tasted it tasted like shrimp powder. However, I do not know how the dishes should taste or be, so don’t know if it was unfamiliar or if it was not the best cooking. But we have to try again elsewhere, so we can compare 😊
When we were about to leave, our youngest thanked for the food in Japanese to one of the waiters with the result that he became very quiet, and we thought… oh maybe it was wrong in the pronunciation after all. But then he said, "I’m Chinese!"
The rest of the evening we snuck into the room, watched movies and ate snacks. At midnight we went down to the gym and did a workout. The gym was really good.
In the morning, the girls and I went to the gym again and then got ready for breakfast and departure to the Falukoppar mine.
Unfortunately, the breakfast was a failure, our happy check-in guy the day before had given us breakfast time 9:45. Due to the corona, only a certain number of people are allowed to eat at a time, which is good. But he had not informed the kitchen, but when we arrived most of the food had been removed and the pancakes were dry as shoe soles.
The Falu copper mine has existed since the Viking Age and was in use until 1992. Lots of different minerals have been mined there, such as gold, copper, iron and more. During the 1600s, 1700s and 1800s, Falun was a wealthy city but not so healthy as the smoke from the thousands of huts that extracted minerals from the rocks was thick all over the city. The average life expectancy at that time was 40 years, but for the miners it was 30.
The mine is about 600 meters deep, but the last 200 meters are filled with water. Life as a miner was hard and many died. 15-year-old boys had to start by pulling away chopped stone, where each stretcher with stone was carried by two boys and could weigh up to 100 kg. When the boys proved that they were strong and enduring, they became finished miners who could start to break stone. It was a difficult process, where one meter could take a month. It was dirty and there were barrels on display in some parts of the corridors with water to drink, but according to our guide, the barrels were not so nice after a while when the snuff from everyone who drank ended up in the water.
The climate down there in the mine means that things do not rot. In 1719, a dead man was found down in the mine, they exhibited him in the square to see if anyone recognized the man. A woman recognized him, and it turned out that she had been engaged to him 42 years before when he suddenly disappeared in 1677. He is still called Fet-Mats (Fat-Mats)and at that time Fet meant that you were big and strong.
It was interesting to go down there as part of the time it is low ceilings and tight and then enter halls with high ceilings. Water dripping from the roof and a special smell.
I find it fascinating that you can do these excavations and that it does not collapse more often, but I also feel sad about how human abuse the earth.
I could not help but think of Tolkien and his "The Lord of the Rings" and the "Hobbit" books when we was walking in certain places in the tunnels. Can we dig too deep?
Then it was off home with a break in Uppsala where the boys ate at Max and girls ate Chopchop 😊
A small day trip to beautiful Rindö which is an island near Vaxholm in Stockholm archipelago.
Sunny and a great mood, it fit well with a picnic basket.
Historically, Rindö has been important for the defense of Stockholm's inlet since Gustav Vasa's time. On the east side we have Byviksfortet and Oscar-Fredriksborg which protected the inlet at Oxdjupet. On the west side there is Rindö Redutt that was protecting the inlet at Kodjupet.
We had a bit of a hard time finding Byviksfortet, it was a bit hidden and anonymous. Once we saw a small sign, we parked on the small forest road and walked in. It is a bit overgrown, and we saw many closed doors and walled windows, we tried with a little imagination to come to what it might once have looked like inside the walls.
Rindö Redutt, the first thing you see when you drive in is that there are a lot of blasting stones around the fortress, it would make it more difficult in the event of a invasion during the active period of the fort. Today you have an artist's studio and craftsmen there.
Oscar-Fredriksborg, is so incredibly beautiful by the water. On such a sunny day, it was so cozy to walk around and look and be able to sit down and have a little picnic break.
The inlet is heavily trafficked at this time of year by boats of all varieties.It would have been exciting to go in and see what the corridors and rooms look like, I have read it should be long tunnels in the rock.
Today the whole family went to Nacka's Adventure Track.
The top for those who want a little height and lactic acid in the muscles 😊
We had chosen "Länken" which is about 11 meters up. A calm girl had a brief with all of us who were going to walk the track. What was good was that the course was made in loops, so you could choose how much you wanted / could do. The harness had two suspensions where you were constantly stuck with one hook while moving the other hook to the next station.
It was really fun, but for me who is not that tall had some problem at a station and had to hang like a monkey in the tree to manage to hook my ropes. Luckily, I’m used to climbing at most things, even in everyday life.
Unfortunately, I did not manage to complete the entire course as the lactic acid in especially my arms went completely crazy after a while. These muscles are not trained enough. Only our younger girls in the family managed to do everything.
We then finished everything with a zip line down to the ground.
Merry Christmas 2021
Gran Canaria - Arguineguin
Ghost net and plastic...
Romme Alpin- Borlänge