Tag Archives: Vacation

Still here

9 May

Yep, I’m still here but I’ve lacked the blogging spirit lately. I blame the pesky thesis, because after spending hours on that each day, I just don’t have anything to say on here. Sometimes I get an idea of what to blog while I’m at uni and I draft it on my notepad but when I finally get to go home the moment’s kind of passed and I don’t feel like saying anything anymore.

Don’t worry, I still plan on writing those posts because they are not bad but need more brain activity than I’m currently willing to devote to them.

Today’s a holiday where I live and I thank the heavens for it because I could use the extra hours of sleep. I keep having weird dreams again, some of them I could really do without but we’ve already been over this. I’m so happy when it’s the 31st of May already and I am done with all of it.

The problem is that my mind is already planning my after thesis time, like, I already have my Facebook update drafted in my mind that I’ll be putting up as soon as I hand in my work. And then there are my various vacations I am so looking forward to that get more real with every hostel reservation and train ticket I book. Summer, here I come…or…you know…in 3 weeks.

There’s also a self-imposed curfew I’ve got until the end of May; no going out after midnight because otherwise it takes me like 2 days to recover and I don’t have that kind of time right now. Wow, this turned into a whiny post way too fast, sorry. Just wanted to say I’m still here and haven’t forgotten about this blog, just that I’m out of words at the moment. Take this snipped of a song instead. Unfortunately the whole song was never released but I still like the little piece we got from it.

How are you? What have you been up to?

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Fog and Queens – Abu Dhabi

25 Apr

This post is brought to you by me having travel feels. Is it June yet? No?? Ok, so I’ll have to tell you about an old trip then. Remember last week when I went on a cruise to Oman because my Mom was a huge fan of cruises? Well today’s destination stems from the same cruise, Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arabic Emirates and the second largest city in the UAE. The biggest city would be Dubai and maybe I’ll get around to telling why I didn’t like Dubai. Abu Dhabi on the other hand, I did like. It’s a bit more old fashioned, not as nouveaux-riche as Dubai and thus a little bit more to my liking. Not everything needs to be loud and expensive, sometimes modesty is key and knowing where you came from. And as far as the UAE go, Abu Dhabi is more modest than Dubai.

We started the day with visiting the great, big Sheikh Zayed Mosque but it was so foggy that I didn’t see it.

You seeing that huge-ass mosque behind my Mom? Me neither.

You seeing that huge-ass mosque behind my Mom? Me neither.

From there we went to some place I don’t even remember. It had all sorts of crap, and cars and whatnot of the current/former/idk Sheikh on display. Not much to see.

And you shall bow to me as I am your Queen (or something like that)

And you shall bow to me as I am your Queen (or something like that)

Afterwards we went to the National Heritage Village though, which was very nice and educational. I enjoy seeing other cultures on display and here we were able to see how beduins live and much, much more. Also, it is green and is covered by nature which I tend to miss in big cities especially if they are as smog filled as the Emirates.

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I like the differences on display here; the old boat in the foreground and the new skyscrapers in the back.

Crappy lighting is crappy but I still like the photo.

Crappy lighting is crappy but I still like the photo.

Obligatory camel and beduin.

Obligatory camel and beduin.

I'm pretty sure the A/C was not a default feature in the old days.

I’m pretty sure the A/C was not a default feature in the old days.

Ottawa – Where I became a Supreme Court Justice

14 Mar

Welcome to another instalment of Travelling Thursday on this little blog. Today I take you with me to Ottawa, Canada’s capital.

I was kind of glad to leave Québec City behind me, mostly for language reasons because being in Ottawa meant being in another province – Ontario – where most people speak English. Ottawa was specially picked to be the capitol because it’s right on the border of Québec, only separated through a river and thus as close to the French part of the country as possible while also being away from the US border. Canada has two official languages, English and French so everything in Ottawa is bilingual, kind of like Montréal only here, the english description is on top followed by a smaller french version. Leaving the province of Québec also meant leaving a cheap and tourist friendly public transport system behind. Ontario is not as gracious and a bit more expensive so we tried using the bus as seldom as possible whereas we used the hell out of our prepaid cards in QC.

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Ottawa is not big and full of government buildings and offices. Also museums. Only, we were slobs and didn’t manage to visit one single museum *facepalm* We did visit the Parliament and Supreme Court though. We got to Ottawa right before Labour Day and stayed until after Labour Day. I mention this because it changes a lot of things, like where to register for a tour of the Parliament or the fact that you actually have to register for a tour of the Supreme Court as Labour Day marks the end of tourist season or something like that.

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The tour of the Parliament was fantastic, free and we didn’t have to register for anything. We just showed up and waited a couple of minutes for the next tour. Our guide was probably a law student and she did her thing very well.

Rule Britannia!

Rule Britannia!

For the tour of the Supreme Court we had to register in advance which we didn’t actually do (see above) and it was also free. However we wrote the visitor’s centre an e-mail the day before we wanted to go there because after Labour Day, there are no scheduled regular tours. It was not a problem even though we didn’t end up being on a list, they still let us in. There wasn’t as much to see as in the Parliament but there was a nice photo-op where we were allowed to dress in judges robes and sit in their seats. Actually, this was my highlight for Ottawa.

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We also managed to see the last instalment of the Mosaika Sound and Light Show on Parliament Hill. So. Worth. Seeing! I only managed to take crappy pictures as I didn’t have a tripod and it was dark but the thing was amazing and I can only recommend seeing it, before Labour Day that is ;-)

Other than that, we spent one day by the outdoor pool of our hotel partly because the weather was nice, we were relaxing before getting to Toronto and we had to do laundry.

Yes, we were actually drying part of our clothes by the pool ad not everything is tumbler approved.

Yes, we were actually drying part of our clothes by the pool as not everything is tumbler approved.

There is also a fantastic and huge bookshop I could have spent days inside only I didn’t have the time to do so. There is a lot to see in Ottawa if you like museums which I don’t mind but just picking one out of the many was a hard thing to do. Also, one day it was too hot to walk there the other day it rained like crazy and we needed another bus pass to go there as they were technically in Québec or exact change in coins. I don’t know. It was just a bit too much logistics involved. I actually don’t mind that we didn’t go to a single museum. Sure, it would have been nice but museums are also much alike, at least the standard Natural History and what-are-their-name ones. It was nice to have some downtime as it was after all a holiday and we knew we would have a lot to see in Toronto.

At least we saw some museums from afar ;-)

At least we saw some museums from afar ;-)

My Sanctuary Under The Open Sky

14 Feb

If you expected consistency from me, then I’m sorry to disappoint but things don’t work like that over here. Sure, I will eventually get around to telling you more about Canada but for today’s Travelling Thursday I take you with me to one of the most special places there is – at least for me.

For as long as I can remember, I spent one holiday every year at the North Sea on one of those islands and most times I ended up on Amrum. It’s one of the bigger North Frisian Islands and the happy place I go to in my mind when I need a distraction from reality. My family spent so many vacations there, I know the island very well. I’ve been there for Easter, New Year’s, fall but only once during summer because then it’s overrun by tourists which is just not a pretty sight. I don’t like sharing my little sanctuary with thousands of other people, I prefer the solitude of off seasons.

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I love the ocean or really any big space of open water – probably because I grew up around it, water and sand beneath my feet and the ever blowing wind in my hair. The play of high and low tide, water that is always in motion, waves crashing down on the beach. I’ve never felt closer to nature than on a beach with the crashing waves and wind singing their infinite duet. It doesn’t get much better than this because it’s raw and uncensored but still so beautiful.

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The number of books I read while being on the beach of that island I cannot even count but it’s what my dreams are made of. Those simpler times, when it was just Mom, me and a book of my choice, together on the beach, forgetting all the troubles around me, reading till my eyes hurt.

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I’ve built sandcastles when I was younger or dug holes. Collected sea shells. Had my bare legs assaulted by sand storms. Landed in shallow waters in attempts to jump over puddles and ended with my shoes drenched in salt water. Walked miles on that beach in either direction without a destination just walking for walking’s sake. Cut my feet on broken sea shells.

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The sunsets on Amrum are some of the happiest moments stored away in my memory. Usually there are not a lot of people around in the evenings and those that are, are scattered far enough to no bother me much. When it wasn’t cold, I liked to sit on one of the benches that were up a little higher in the dunes. When I closed my eyes, it was like I was the only person on earth. Nature drowning out all noises. Just me and the sea. Winds tugging at my long hair but it’s secured in a ponytail. And then watching the colour of the sky change, seeing its reflection in the wet sand. Breathing in the salty air and I’m never more at peace than in that exact moment.

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I long to go back but I’m also dreading it because it will never be the same, knowing that Mom is not waiting back in the hotel room for me. It’s too early to go back to the place that is so filled with memories.

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While nurturing my dreams of becoming a writer I thought that if I ever managed to become one, I’d had to rent a small house on Amrum to write. Whenever I got stuck in my story, I could go out, take a walk on the beach and let the winds blow my mind back into perspective. I know it’s not too late for it and somewhere in the back of my mind, I’m not letting this dream starve completely. It’s just not yet the right time for it but when it is, I’ll have to return to my sanctuary that is an island in the North Sea.

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All of the above pictures were taken by me.

Local Food – Travel Edition

7 Feb

So far, I haven’t written about my big vacation last year. Those of you following me for long enough to know about my trip to Canada may also know what happened after I got home which is partly why I haven’t felt like sharing but I’m trying to give this blog at least ONE scheduled post per week or maybe semi-regularly instead of posting just whenever the hell I want. I’ll see how it goes. Also, I have this tab on my blog devoted to Travel and it’s the category I least post in so I’m trying to right that wrong. Y’all may take a guess but let me tell you, this will be Travelling Thursdays from now on or something similar. It doesn’t need a name as I’m probably abandoning this idea way to soon anyways.

Moving on. (Sorry for the long prologue.)

This week’s episode of How I Met Your Mother *may* have left me craving for Tim Hortons and Canada in general. I know, it’s the dead of winter there right now but still. I like winter and I loved Canada. People saying sorry after YOU accidentally stepped on THEIR feet, what’s not to like?

When it comes to food, Canada is not that different from my home country but then again it’s also bordering the Unites States so you know what that means?! – Burgers everywhere! Yay! During my three weeks touring the east I mostly ate burgers, maple glazed donuts and blueberry muffins from Tim Hortons. God, how I wish Tim Hortons would open a franchise over here, I’d end up in a sugar coma but it would be so worth it.

Still on the topic of burgers, sorry, this was not supposed to be entirely devoted to them but you have no idea how nice it is to have all these places aside from McDonalds and Burger King to eat a good burger and order it according to your taste. So, I ate a lot of hamburgers and I’m not even sorry. We walked a LOT so all the calories where ok to eat. At least, that’s what I’ve been telling myself.

When you’re visiting Québec though, there is a special dish you just have to try and you either like it or not. I am on the verge of not liking it but then again, I’m a purist when it comes to fries. What I’m talking about is Poutine.

What is Poutine? It’s THE traditional dish as far as I understood it and it consists of french fries with a special gravy and squeaky cheese. See, I was fine with the gravy on my fries but the cheese was not my thing. However, it was the exact other way around for one of my travel companions so it’s highly subjective.

My very first Poutine and also my last for the foreseeable future.

My very first Poutine and also my last for the foreseeable future.

We were very Québecois and tried to have the truest Poutine experience possible, so we ordered it only after arriving in Québec City (Ugh, who would have thought I’d regret forgetting all the French I learnt in school? – Not me, duh!), the very heart of the Province Québec. And we went to Chez Ashton, it didn’t look like a lot of tourists frequented the place and frankly, if it wouldn’t have been for the Poutine, I don’t think I’d have entered it either. But I did and lived to tell the tale.

It was good but not something I need to eat regularly. However if you’re a tourist visiting Canada and especially somewhere in the Québec Providence, try finding a Chez Ashton or other place that sells it and eat a Poutine. It’s like the Ice Hockey of foods, so-ho-ho Canadian.

Gotta Love the Post Goddesses

7 Aug

Half an hour ago I wanted to spent the time I have before I have to leave for theatre by ranting, putting all my rage in words but when I got home and checked the mailbox I saw an envelope I expected for some time now. Only it was so much better than anticipated.

A while ago a friend I made through blogging and me decided to send each other a card because we both like to get post cards from around the world. I sent her my very boring one and today I got an envelope full of SIX cards in return!! I can’t stop smiling because she is such a lovely person and I now have to find a place for them on my walls.

It’s as if the post goddesses knew how much I needed a pick-me-up today because my mom has been bad for two weeks now and it’s a real good thing I don’t own or know how to shoot a gun. She is such a handful at the moment and gets worse every day. She calls me in the middle of the night or when I have like two valuable hours of sleep left to tell me some nonsense stuff because she isn’t able to read the clocks anymore. In the last 10 days she fell down 3 times and I don’t get her up off the floor alone, so I have to call someone for help. It is so frustrating, having to explain her things over and over again.

As I am leaving in 15 days for Canada things are pretty hectic around here as it is. I have to somehow finish my project beforehand and I hope this will be easy after I get the missing drawing today (hopefully, still have my fingers crossed). Then we have to figure out what to do with my mom. Originally she was supposed to stay at home and my granny would come by once a day but as mom’s health is declining over the last weeks, this is not an option so we started to see if we can get her into short-term care centre. The only problem is, that she may need to go do her next round of chemo in the time I’m away. But I don’t see how, no one is around to driver her there and back and so on. I really hope they can postpone the treatment to after I get back because she is in no state to do really anything anymore.

The cherry on top of everything is the cold I have right now. It’s not too bad but it keeps me from running even though I desperately need to blow of some steam. Hopefully my nose is ok enough tomorrow so I can take a tour through the forest or else I might actually harm someone. I have THAT MUCH RAGE  bottled up inside of me.

On the plus side though, I booked my train ticket to get to the airport in 15 days, boy do I have to get up early that day :) And I got my International Student ID card today because the thing my university provides is a piece of paper that gets laughed at even in Germany. So, no going to Canada with that stupid thing in my wallet.

I SOOOO can’t wait to be finally leaving for 3 whole weeks. It’s been 1 1/2 years since I had even half of that time to myself without mom and I just can’t wait. Oh, I already said that I can’t wait, well, you get it I guess.

Is there anything you would recommend us to go check out in either Montreal, Quebec, Ottawa or Toronto? I’m  open to suggestions!!

Ok, enough rambling on for now. In two days. The next post will be on my blogiversary though I still have to come up with something fun to say since I only have a lot of crap on my mind. We will see :) Until then, take care everyone, write a card to a friend and make their days a little brighter through it. *grouphug*

A Swedish Reunion

3 Jul

Today was the day I finally got to see my swedish friend family again. They’re currently on a holiday tour through northern Germany and were so kind to stop by my town and watch me perform in Peter Pan. Thankfully the sun was shining warm all day and it was just a lovely day.

I actually got to see them before the play as it’s my duty to help the audience members to find their seats before the play starts. Since Björn acts himself and directs plays I was anxious if he would like it, but as fas as I could tell, he and Lotta enjoyed it very much.

There were no major mishaps today during the performance either. Most of them, the audience doesn’t even notice. Well, we had to rush the girl who plays little Jane into wardrobe and make-up because the girl who was scheduled to play the role today was not there and nobody noticed until well before the play starts. This is kinda bad because Jane and the old version of Wendy are the first to go on stage. But only we actors knew that and little Jane was ready immediately and rushed out on stage. Then young Wendy missed her first entrance and the others on stage had to improvise a bit. Maybe some people noticed this but they didn’t know anything for sure :D

I love this about theater, it’s the beauty of live performances, nothing goes perfectly there is always something happening behind the scenes that the audience isn’t even aware of most of the time. I love that. No two performances are alike, because the cast varies so it’s always different people acting together. Sometimes one of them misses a cue or forgets his lines or some of the equipment doesn’t work properly. Still I’m amazed that I’m never really nervous. I just enjoy every minute of it. Especially this year cause I like my part a lot.

Ok, maybe I wandered a bit off topic here again so I’ll try and get back to what this is actually about. After the play I showed Lotta and Björn around the stage and everything. And then we went out to dinner with my mom. I had picked a nice restaurant with the best view over my city and as the weather was so nice we could sit outside and enjoy it even more.

We spent a great evening eating and chatting in a mish-mash of German, Swedish and English. Sadly my Swedish is really bad mostly because I never use it. Thankfully their German was pretty good.

Have I mentioned how much I LOVED today? No? Well, I did!!! I kinda wish we had more time together as the two of them are so nice but they’re leaving tomorrow morning for another german town to visit and slowly make their way back to Sweden.

Unfortunately I can’t show you any pictures of this lovely reunion as Lotta took some pictures with her camera but I won’t get them until they’re back in Sweden. Instead I’ll leave you with this lovely version of  ‘Come Again’ by John Dowland performed by Sting.

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