Wednesday, 24 August 2011

The wedding

The reason we found ourselves in Halden was because of Solvi's wedding. As you know i've been looking forward to this for a very long time.
Solvi got married inside a 16th Century fortress and she was a stunning bride.
I felt very honoured to be chosen as one of her two bridesmaids. Her sister Tone being the other. A bit unusual was the amount of papparazzi that had assembled up there for the day trying to catch a photo of Solvi, her husband and all their known guests. The guests got driven up from Halden town in old Cadillac's, Pontiacs, Lincoln's from the 50's, 60's and 70's and of course Solvi's blue Rolls Royce so it was quite a spectacle.
I felt like sprinting up the road as I can honestly say big crowds is not my forte. Especially big crowds with their camera's in your face. Thank heavens I had Tone there right next to me who is much more capable of handling the press and seems to be born to do so with such ease.
I've known Solvi for a very, very long time now and even though we spend more time apart than we do together these days I think there is a bond between us that will never be broken. She has an uncanny ability to know exactly how I feel and what I am doing and can read me like an open book and vice versa. It is not unusual for us to pick up our phones at exactly the same time just to call each other.
It was a very touching day and the tears and laughter were never far apart. I also truly believe she was the most stunning bride I ever saw!
Also check out John in his first suit! Very impressive! The wedding day continued into the night and the food was absolutely awesome........... What went down inside the fortress at the party?..... All I can say is that we boogied down until four in the morning.

Halden

Halden is a small border town located on Iddefjord, the southernmost border crossing between Norway and Sweden.
The town is beautiful with Fredriksten fortress overlooking the whole town. The view from up here is breathtaking.
Halden is a town with much history, for more info click here. Def worth a visit.



Monday, 15 August 2011

The fairytale cabin


So, the hen night weekend is over.

Thanks to Tone, (Solvi's sister), who managed to borrow this absolutely stunning "cabin" in the mountains in Geilo.
It had 6 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 2 kitchens, a sauna and an unique entertainment area and a table that could easily hold 30 people.
The cabin was built in the "old" style with grass on the roof and wooden carvings. Everything
hand made in Hallingdal. I think it is the most beautiful cabin I have ever been in.
No need to say that the hen night was successful.

Geilo is halfway between Bergen and Oslo and in the winter time it is a very popular ski resort.
It is the perfect get away if you love skiing and snowboarding and even in the summer it offers great walks in the mountains.
The air was pretty fresh up there this time of year and it got pretty cold at night but no need to worry as we had 4 fireplaces to choose from.




Thursday, 11 August 2011

48 hours in Oslo

Just spent 48 hours in Oslo with my gorgeous girlfriend Solvi.
I don't get to see her that often which is really sad.
What she does know is that this weekend is her hen night.
What she doesn't know is where it'll be or what we'll do to her.
Next week is her big wedding day so I get to spend two weekends with her in a row.
What a treat!

Kaffemisjonen with Camilla

Just before I left Bergen to go to Oslo I managed to catch up with my good friend Camilla.
There are so many coffee bars in this down that has just popped up over the last few years and
it is great to get to see some of them,
and the coffee was good
but the company was better :-)

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Grandma


My beautiful grandmother turned 90 earlier this year.
Unfortunately I was not there to celebrate it with her so we hopped off the train when it stopped in Voss to spend some hours with her.
She is still remarkably fit and sharp.
She'd even made us pancakes and was offering strawberries as well.
This was hours well spent as she is a truly entertaining lady.


Monday, 8 August 2011

Cafe at Haugastol

We came back to Haugastol with an hour to spend.
Well planned by me as I had noticed their awesome cafe and the coffee machine out of the corner of my eye and figured there was no way I would leave this lovely place without sampling a taste of their Cappuchino.
After 1 week without coffee this tasted wonderful.
Anyone wanting to get away from their busy lives and to be reminded how truly beautiful the nature is here in Norway should check in at Haugastol for a quick weekend or a long leisurely week.
Recommended and I can guarantee that you will come back to your life with more energy than when you left.
For more info click here.


Haugastol, Day 2

After having an awesome sleep we were ready to take on Day 2.
We only had 24 hours up here and wanted to make the most of it.
It turned out to be a beautiful day,
no rain and so we took our time walking in to Stolen,
and even managed to climb halfway up to "Hulderdalen".
Have a look at that view.
We climbed back down again and had our lunch outside our beloved Stolen,
and even managed to sneak in some sun time
before walking back to Vegmannsbu and to the train station.
Next stop Voss.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Haugastol


We returned from our 12 km walk absolutely soaked right through and it felt like I had a swimming pool in my shoes.
The hot shower in the hotel was welcoming and so was our lunch pack, we were both starving.
Then it was dinner time and we had a glorious feast of chicken leg, veggie pie and an awesome green garden salad,
to be followed by an absolutely incredible cake
using some of the ingredients that is growing in these mountains.
We couldn't go straight to bed after that meal and decided to take another little walk down to the water to have a look at the non-existent sunset...
In the winter most of these lakes are frozen and you can easily cross country ski here, or kite....

Rallarvegen

So finally up in Haugastol we got off the train from Bergen to Oslo around 14.15, checked into the hotel and started walking.
My paradise is part of "Rallarvegen" which is a construction route that is 100 years old man-built transport road designed for the conveyance of men and materials during the building phase of the most mountainous sector of the Oslo-Bergen railway line.
In the early summer of 1974 it opened for cycling but this truly didn't take off until the early 80's and nowadays the road is full with cyclists.
On the road into "Stolen" you pass this beautiful cabin, called Nygaard Farm which used to be the only farm on this level still in function up until the middle of the 1900's.
"Our" little stone house Stolen was still fully functioning thanks to my grandmother being able to rent the little farm house off the people who owned Nygaard way into the beginning of the 90's.
It was wonderful being back up here again as I believe part of my soul will always hang around in these areas. The cabin itself is as you can see tiny, no electricity and I remember having to run down to the waterfall every morning for a wash-up.
We even met some of the local inhabitants.
It was raining hard here on the first day but with so many memories to go through it truly didn't matter.
The stones has interesting moss growing on them,
and the bluebells looked gorgeous in the rain.
Even the ruins of our old playhouse was still standing.


Haugastol

Haugastol is located on the mountain plateau in Norway called Hardangervidden.
Kinda halfway between Bergen and Oslo if you take the train.
It is situated 1000 meters above sea level and it is a beautiful place year round.
It has been 20 years since I was last up here, you see my grandmother used to run a summer farm up in these hills and as a child this was always where we used to travel for the summer holidays. To help out with the cows, sheeps etc. which was kinda not such a cool thing to do whilst everyone else went away to exotic holidays like Spain but in hindsight my parents gave me the best holidays I could ever imagine.
Haugastol is forever buried in my heart and is a true Paradise for me.
So, imagine my joy when I got to spend two days with mum up here to go wandering down childhood memory lane.
We checked in at Vegmannsbu, which way back then used to be where we would walk to to get our ice cream or chocolates.
The rooms are really well thought out, we had one with bunkbeds:
a self-contained kitchen unit:
and a little corner with a TV and couch. (Which can be turned into beds if you are 4 people sharing).
In the summer time they are really busy with "Rallarveien" which is a track from Haugastol to Finse that people love to pushbike, and in the winter time they offer snow-kiting.
If you are ever in Norway and want to experience some of the magical nature it has to offer I would warmly recommend a trip up to Haugastol.
For more info on the hotel click here.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Svartediket, Rundemannen og Floyen


With a big help from Vibeke I am slowly re-discovering my own city.
Bergen is as I mentioned the second biggest city in Norway, surrounded by 7 mountains.
A couple of days ago it was my turn to try and conquer mountain no. 2 on my list: Floyen/Rundemannen.
We started the trip from "Svartediket" and it is a good walk up to the top.
Plenty of forest
and beautiful old farmhouses on the way.
Perfect temperature and cloudy.
The trip took us roughly around 2 1/2 hours, including an ice cream break at the top.
A perfect warm up for the weekend.