Trips in 2015: Scandinavia Part 3/4.

Our second and final day in Oslo started with a visit to the Holmenkollen ski jump, Oslo's main landmark. I can't say that I am particularly interested in winter sports, but visiting Holmenkollen is a must if you ever find yourself in Oslo. The view from the top is breathtaking. The day was rather cool so we warmed up with hot chocolate and waffles in the museum's cafe. Afterwards we stopped by the Vigeland sculpture park which was really pretty, even in the rain. Finally we went out to Bygdöy to visit the Kon-Tiki Museum. I watched the Kon-Tiki film a year or so ago and visiting the museum was really fascinating in light of that. Incredible that one man could accomplish so much. In the evening we said goodbye to Norway and went onboard the ferry that would take us to our next destination, Skagen in northwestern Denmark.

Trips in 2015: Scandinavia Part 2/4.

To pick up where I left off, the third day of my trip to Norway and Denmark in July was spent exploring central Oslo. We stayed at a hotel in the trendy Vulkan area where the Oslo Food Hall is. It was a great area to stay in, with the immediate city centre about a fifteen minute walk away. Our first day in Oslo turned out perfect weather-wise, just like the forecast had promised. We were able to spend the entire day outside walking around the city centre and checking off sights like the Opera House, Akershus, the City Hall and the Royal Castle as well as the entire seafront. We had expected that we would need to use public transport for a bit of the day but decided against it when we realized how easy it was to get around everywhere on foot. I didn't have a clear image of what Oslo was like beforehand, but I have to say I was surprised by how modern it was and also by how close to the water it was. It really is a unique city compared to other places I've been. By the late afternoon we'd grown pretty tired of walking so we went on a guided boat tour of the harbour and a bit of the Oslo fjord. It was a fun way to see more of the city. Once we got back to shore again it was time to walk back to the hotel for some much-needed rest. The next day was going to be cloudy with a bit of rain, so we'd intentionally saved the "indoor" sights until then.

Outings: Kurrebo.

An hour and a half's drive from where I live there's a place I've wanted to visit for years. Finally, a few weekends ago, I was able to go. The timing was great since Kurrebo is said to be at its most beautiful in September when thousands of dahlias are in bloom in the surrounding gardens. While I don't know what it's like during the rest of the year, I can't imagine that anything can top this. I'd never seen so many dahlias in one place before; in fact I had no idea they came in so many shapes and colours. It was truly breathtaking. The cozy little cafe in the gardens and the serenity of the place made it even better. I'm so glad I made it there at last.

Around here: 30th + 20th birthday party.

Here are some glimpses from yesterday's birthday party. Since my sister Fanny turns 20 on the 29th and I turned 30 last month we decided to organize a joint birthday party for our family and closest relatives. It turned out to be the perfect deal for me especially since Fanny is such a talent in the kitchen. I contributed with the decorations*, but the rest was all her work. All in all it was such a nice & memorable day, and I think we might just throw a joint party every decade from here on out since this one was such a success ;)

*Cake bunting from Yellow Bliss Road.

Project Life: How I scrapbooked 20 years in five months.

In the scrapbooking world having your entire life scrapbooked seems to be somewhat of a holy grail, something many aspire to but few people ever get close to reaching. This year, I've got very close to reaching that goal and today I thought I'd share how I did it in five steps.

Around here: A Sunday in August.

On the second last weekend of August I went back home to spend some time with my family. One evening my sisters and I took the opportunity to take some photos in the back garden to commemorate our last day together this side of Christmas. It's so rare these days that the four of us find ourselves in the same place at once, and it makes occasions like this that much more special.

Life lately: August 2015.

Watching | Most notably, Far from the Madding Crowd and Testament of Youth, both of which contain beautiful scenery and love stories. Watching them really made me want to go travelling on the English countryside. Also, this, which I claim is the best Swedish documentary series in a long time.

Listening to | Panflute music. I feel strangely drawn to the often melancholy sound.

Consuming | All the delicious chocolate I got for my birthday.

Reading | Augustiresan by Anna Fredriksson which I mostly read because it takes place in August in an area of the country that I love... I can't say I loved the book, nor did I expect to, but the way it was written managed to draw me in anyway.

Visiting | The parents several times, my friend E & various other places I went to during my summer vacation.

Enjoying | The perfect summer weather we had, being on vacation, fun busy days at work, excellent photo lighting, celebrating my birthday...

Making | Less progress with my photo projects than I would have liked, but I hope to make up for that in the autumn. When the weather is nice I obviously prefer to be out doing things and taking photos rather than staying inside, editing them.

Looking forward to | Going to Croatia in three weeks!

Trips in 2015: Scandinavia Part 1/4.

At long last I'm getting around to uploading my photos from our trip to Norway and Denmark in late July... Here's the first installment, which contains the first two days of the trip. On the first day we drove across the country to Gothenburg. It rained and rained all day and continued to do so in Gothenburg as well, unsurprisingly since the city is infamous for it's rainy weather. I had hoped that we'd get to see a bit of the city but we mostly ended up just hanging out at the hotel and the mall right next to it. We ventured out to the nearby Garden Society briefly but didn't stay long because we got soaked on the way there. The one thing I accomplished in Gothenburg was buy a pair of wellies because the weather forecast for the rest of the week didn't look very promising and I realized I wouldn't make it with my sandals and ballet flats.

Things felt rather bleak, and didn't get much better the next day when it continued to rain as we drove north from Gothenburg towards the border. We still decided to forgo the highway for a more scenic route and got to see the islands of Tjörn and Orust for the first time. They were beautiful, even in such terrible weather. We also skipped the traditional border crossing for a smaller one further inland. It was rather anticlimactic for a border crossing, just some signs and we found ourselves in Norway, all alone in the forest in the rain. Despite the rain we stopped right next to the border crossing to take a look at the Älgö waterfall. The border actually runs straight across it.

We continued on to the city of Halden, where, as you probably can guess by now, it still rained. Slowly we inched closer to the Norwegian capital on small winding roads. Eventually we decided to take the highway for the last bit and soon, with the help of our trustworthy GPS, we got to our hotel and checked in. As we explored our new surroundings it continued to rain, albeit not as heavily. In the evening I looked out the hotel room window and saw a sight I hadn't seen in a long time by then - sunshine! Fortunately, our bad luck weather-wise ended there and the rest of the trip was far more pleasant, with just the occasional showers. (My wellies did come in handy a couple more times though, especially at the beach in Denmark, so I did not have to regret buying them.)