I love Dutch bikes

While spending a week in the Netherlands, I saw a lot of bikes. When I say a lot, I really mean a lot. There is bikes everywhere! The bike paths are awesome and so different from what we have in Norway. In Oslo we barely have any bike paths at all. It’s a joke really, the bike paths we have here. I would not go biking in the city center of Oslo. I find it scary. In the Netherlands on the other hand, the bike paths are everywhere.

Biking in the Netherlands is nice. Not only because you have all these bike paths everywhere, but also because it’s so flat there. There are practically no hills, so biking gets easier than here in Norway. We have lots of hills that makes it harder to bike, at least for me who has no condition at all.

Bikes in the Netherlands are prettier than in Norway. We have lots of new, boring bikes, but it’s very different in the Netherlands. Lots of bikes get stolen, so lots of people have old bikes. Some people might not think they look very pretty, but I do. Anyone who has followed this blog for a while, knows that I love old bikes. Even though there are a lot of black/grey/dark-colored bikes in the Netherlands, I saw a lot of colorful bikes as well. I spotted brigh red, orange, lilac and light blue bikes. Oh, even a hot pink bike, that you can see at the bottom of this post.

Enjoy these photos. I think I like the green bike in the third last photo (in the diptych), just because of the awesome green color. Which one do you like?

 

a whole lot of animals and some lovely nature

During my six days stay in Alkmaar, I spent quite some time watching cute animals. We saw the at a visiting farm close to the city center. They were also spotted right outside the city limits. Chantie and I, we took a bike trip to see the tulip fields. On our bike trip we also saw a lot of cute animals. It was a great biketrip where I got to use my camera a lot. How can you not capture cute animals laying / standing on in a field?

Here are a variety of the animals spotted and the landscape around. Be aware of cuteness overload.

The road leading up to some horses. Small canals on both sides. Such a pretty landscape!

A horse, well tucked in. It looked a bit sad.

Another horse. Eating grass. Very lovely. It reminds me of Pippi Longstockings horse.

Awesome house located right beside the fields where the horses were walking around.

Cows haning around eating grass.

Pretty landscape! Sunny weather, blue skies. Lots of dandelions. And cows far, far away.You don’t just pass such a pretty view. You stop your bike and pull out your camera.

Two sheep eating together. So cute. They look like an old couple having dinner together. They could need a little trim. Look at all the wool!

Cute, cute, cute! Tiny little lambs. I wanted to take one with me home…

After all the eating and walking around, you need to rest as well. When you’re a baby, what is better than to lay with your head to your mum?

One of the oh so famouse canals.

A goat. Basking in the sun and greeting us.

Another one. This one from behind.

Cute baby goats. This is from the animal farm we visited. They were running around like crazy. Look like they had lots of fun.

Some birds. Not sure what kind. But cute none the less. And very furry.

“Hi! I’m Sniffles. I’m fine. How are you?”

Bird on a fence.

Baby goat. So tiny, but not less cute. Maybe more cute actually.

Animals on a row, eating that yummy grass.


Ready – set – GO!

Tomorrow I’m starting my Easter holiday. Plans are made. I’m going to see my friend Chantal in Alkmaar (the Netherlands). While packing, which was very hard because I never know what to bring, I thought of doing a ‘what’s-in-my-bag’ shot.  It’s been a while since I’ve done one.

So this is what I bring my bag when I travel tomorrow:

  1. Travel documents. OSlo – Amsterdam – Oslo
  2. Book by Henning Mankell. Awesome writer! I love him.
  3. Wallet.
  4. Sunglasses. Lets hope they will be used a lot :)
  5. Painkillers. Just in case.
  6. Blisters plasters. They can come in handy.
  7. Passport.
  8. Tiny wallet with some Euros and keys to my suitcase.
  9. Notebook.
  10. Keys.
  11. Green hair elastic.
  12. Pens.
  13. My phone.
  14. Brand new Creative mp3 player with music like Ulf Lundell, Lisa Ekdahl, Glasvegas,  Gaslight Anthem, Bruce springsteen etc.
  15. Crossword magazine from last year. If I’m not in the mood for reading, I can do some crosswords.

I will be away for six days. Six fun and awesome days! Not much is planned yet. So far I know we’re having a movie-night, going shopping, eating at Henry’s or Intermezzo (where we eat every time I’m there), maybe visit Chantie’s dad and mum & stepdad, going out one evening… and we’re def. going to do a lot of haning around.

Of course I’m brining my camera and I hope I will be able to take a lot of photos. I’ve packed an extra memory card, my 50 mm lens and the 18-125 mm lens.

Hopefully I will come back when Easter is over, with lots of cool photos in my suitcase.

Vacation in pictures – cat edition

There is no surprise that I love cats. Chantie happens to love cats too and she owns two cute cats; Kees and Tinus. I photographed them both.

I only got one picture of Kees. The reason for that is that she is unable to sit still for more than 4 seconds. She is usally walking around talking ( or whining as we said). In this picture she looks kinda bored. She has this ‘come-on-take-this-picture-already-look’.

Tinus on the other hand; he likes to lay in the sun and relax. Therefor an easy cat to take photos of.

Sleeping in the sun. Mmmmmm.

He looks angry here, but he’s really not. He’s just in the middle of a yawn.

Standing on the windowsill catching some sun.

This cat is living at the same floor as Chantie. He (I’m not sure, but I like to think it’s a he) was sitting in the windowsill watching us as we came walking. I could not resist taking photos of her. She has a beautiful face.

Posting all these cat pictures, makes me want a cat myself. I only have one at my parents house. It’s really their cat, but I like to think it’s sort of mine too.

But living like the way I do, then it’s not practical to have a cat. I live in an 50 m2 apartment at the 5th floor. It would have to have been an indoor cat. And I’m not fan of that. I want the cats to have the abillity to go out. There is cats living here that are outside in the street, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable with letting it out. I would worry my ass off.

So… I will have to wait until I live some place where it’s more suitable with cats. In the meantime, I’ll just enjoy Samson when I’m home visiting my parents or friends.

Vacation in pictures

I’m back from Alkmaar (Holland). I have to say, I didn’t take as many pictures as I thought I would / hoped for. Why? My camera and I, we weren’t connected. Another reason is that we spent a lot of time on the couch watching movies, standup comedy and funny things on youtube. No time to take pictures then.

Anyway, here is a some of the shots I took.

An awesome bike!

A tree in the park near Cisca’s apartment.

Another tree. In the same park.

This made me think of a face. I saw this on the way to Chantie’s old supermarket.

Yum! Chantie ate this at some cafe in Alkmaar. I ate strawberries. Nom, nom, nom.

Taken from the airplain (a small Cityhopper)

I do have more pictures, but I’ll save them for another post. I have pics of Chantie and Cisca and quite some cat shots. You’ll get them tomorrow or some other day.

Stay tuned.

Alkmaaaaaar!

It’s thursday and very late. Too late for me to be blogging, but do I care? Nope! It’s one of these thursdays; I-don’t-give-shit-about-the-clock-thursday. I got Robyn’s new song Fembot on loop. It’s just awesome!

I’m counting the days until I’m going to Alkmaar. 5 days left now! It’s not long ago it was a month away. Time flies.

The last days we (Chantie and I) have made plans for the 6 days I’m in Alkmaar. It seems like we’re going to be quite busy and that’s good.

My flight lands 21.25. Chanties stepdad is going to pick me up. He rocks! I’m pretty sure we’ll stay up a while chatting when we come home.

On thursday Cisca is coming. She’s a friend of Chantie and has become my friend too. Lucky me! We’re gonna stay in Alkmaar for a little while, before we go to her place and stay the night. Early friday morning we’re all driving to Amsterdam. Chantie has a 9 o’clock job interview.  I guess Cisca and I will hang around outside the office while she’s in there. What we do when Chantie’s done, I’m not sure of. Eventually we will go back to Cisca and stay one more night. I guess the evening will envolve great food, chocolate and Oprah on DVD.

On saturday we’re going back to Alkmaar. Not sure if Cisca is joining us. I have told Chantie I want to go out get some drinks and dance saturday night. So I’m pretty sure we’ll do that!

Sunday we’re going to Chanties mum for dinner! Let’s hope it will work out this time. I think the two last times we’ve planned dinner with her mum, we’ve ended up not doing it. I’m gonna borrow her bike, which is pretty cool. Then we can cruise around town on monday!

On tuesday we’re just going to slut around as we call it. Stay in pj’s for as long as possible; play rummycub, eat chocolate & tosties, watch a movie perhaps, listen to music, chat,  cuddle with the cats etc.  And of course, we’re gonna keep the tradition alive and eat at Burger King at the airport!

In between all these plans, I/we’re gonna also:

  • we’re gonna eat springrolls!
  • I’m gonna take lots of pictures of bikes and other cool stuff
  • I’m gonna help out with Chanti’s e-baying.
  • we’re gonna have lunch at Henry’s. They got the best omelette I’ve ever tasted.
  • we’re gonna, if I get Chantie along, try out Chat Roulette just for fun!

Even if it’s I-don’t-give-shit-about-the-clock-thursday, I can’t ignore my sleepy eyes or  swallow my yawns. So off to bed I am.

Alkmaar, here I come again :)

It’s no secret I visit Chantie and Alkmaar often. So far this year, I’ve seen her twice! I wish it was more. Chantie is a great friend and I would’ve loved to have her in a ‘come-over-for-dinner-tonight-distance’.  Sadly we live over 950 km apart (straight line distance). That means we have to travel a lot to see each other. Well, I don’t mind travelling, so that’s ok.

We’ve been talking / draming about seeing each other soon again.  For a long time it was only talk. Chantie wasn’t even sure she would afford having me over. Chantie naturally spend more money than she normally would when I’m there. We go out eating, we shop, we go to Amsterdam etc etc.

At one point she told me we might just stop dreaming about a near visit. I refused that and told her I didn’t need to spend money to have fun with her. So I came up with some ideas of what we could do without spending money.  Like:

  • stay inside and watch Oprah on DVD all day while eating candy.
  • Play lots of Rummy. Oh how we love that game!
  • Buy alcohol, drink at home and then go out dancing.
  • Watch movies on DVD.
  • visit a museum.
  • go around town photographing buildings, bikes, boats and other different things.
  • have photosessions with my camera (taking pics of each other and both together)
  • help Chantie with her e-baying

Things doesn’t have to cost much in order to have fun. Fun is what we create.

Not many days later, I get an e-mail from KLM saying they’re having a 5 days sale with low prices to some destinations in Europe. Amsterdam was one of them! How convenient!

After some talking, we decided that I couldn’t let this sale go by wihtout me buying a ticket. After talking to one of the leaders at my office (my boss was away that day) to get a day off, I ordered tickets for next Easter! I’ll be going the 31st of March and go home on the 6th of April. Almost a week! And I only paid 1032 NOK for the ticket. Sweet!

Good lord, I can’t wait to see her again! 112 days left!

We have also been talking about PinkPop (the festival south in Holland), but that is faaaar from a reality. We know Pink, Rammstein and John Mayer is coming. We both would love to see Pink. And Chantie wants to see Rammstein and I want to see John Mayer.

If we go, it depends on a lot of things. Do we have money? Is there enough interesting artists coming? Do we get the days off?

We have lots of time to decide if we’re gonna go or not. I’m not putting all my money on it – that we are going. If it happens, it will be fun. But if it doesn’t happen, I’ll live.

I got to see my baby at least once anyway :)

Recap: The Alkmaar trip.

Yes I know, I’ve been bad at blogging lately. Not sure why…  I feel I should tell about the great trip to see Chantie, but I’m not really in the mood to do a lot of typing. So… I’ll give you the highlights.

  • on wednesday we went shopping in Amsterdam. Visited Bershka. Didn’t buy anything there!! Saw a really great red leather jacket, but it was too expensive.  We went up in a Paris-wheel which was HIGH! I got a bit scared and Chantie laughed. I was such a wuzz.
  • thursday was Queens Day. Cisca came over, something Chantie had forgotten so we almost went to the town without here. haha. Queens Day was fun, nothing like anything I’ve experienced before. Alkmaar was crowded!! I drank a lot of cheap wine which tasted great! Got drunk, ate really good spring rolls and a sandwich at Subway, took some silly pictures, ate the most delish piece of chicken I’ve ever tasted on our way home at 18.30 ish.
  • Friday Cisca, me and Chantie went to look for the Tulips. Cisca had seen some on her way to Chantie. We met some cute sheeps on our way. The tulips were almost gone, but Cisca and I took some pics. After Cisca went home, Chantie and I went shopping in Alkmaar. Then we went home, made dinner and watched TV and looked at videos at youtube for a long time.
  • Saturday we went to Gent to see Per and his crew. Took the train to Haarlem where we met Cisca. Went to meet Martin, a friend of Cis and Chant. Drove to Gent, met some (crazy) fans outside the concert hall, waited forever, had a great concert and got my t-shirt signed by Per after the show. Woho. He were signing stuff and I wanted my T signed. Then we went back to Cisca’s place and crashed there for the night.
  • Sunday we took the train home to Alkmaar. We bought some groceries (dinner) on the way home, but still we managed to stop my Burger King for a fat, greasy XXL Burger. YUM! Sunday was the official slut-day. We slutted around, watching two movies; the Queen which was great and the Freedom Writers which was very interesting!
  • Monday I was heading home. I helped Chantie with a budget and got her ebaying kickstarted after A LOT OF hassle! Super-mega-big sigh! I bought cheese for mum and beer for dad. Again, we ate a greasy, fat XXL Burger, this time at the air-port. Took the 20.35 flight home.

Yeah…. I think that was it. I had a really fun time, like I always have around my sweet tulip!

Great vacation and Anne Frank

I visited Chantie last week. Had a one week vacation from Tuesday to Tuesday with my buttercup :) That was so much fun. We went shopping (bought a dress, a t-shirt, black pants, a jakcket, two rings), canal-boating, drinking (a glass of white wine cost less than 30 NOK – holy shit!), played rummy (34 games in one week!!), watched funny vidoe on youtube (Silence! I kill you!!) sent postcards to friends & family and went to museums. First Van Gogh and then Anne Frank museum.

We took lots of silly pictures. I managed to take some decent ones in between too. Some of them will be uploaded when I got the enegy to edit them. Not sure when that will be. Maybe Sunday or sometime next week?

Oh dear! Anne Frank was very interessting, but oh so depressing. I can’t imagine what the Jews must have gone through during the second world war.

We had been smart and purchased tickets online in advance. That meant we could pass the queue and just walk in for our tour. The whole tour / walk inside the museum took half an hour. We got to see the whole building where they hid for two years before they were found and deported to Auschwitz

It was quite an strange mood in the museum. You were allowed to talk loud and make noise, but everybody were silent and whispered when the spoke. It was not the right place to be loud.

The rooms were without furniture, but you could see a tiny replika of the rooms. That was really interessting to see. On the walls you could read quotes from her diary.

You could see a small interview with Anne’s father Otto, the only one in the family and the only one of the eight jews who hid in the building, that survived the war. You could also see a small interview with Miep Gies, one of their helpers, who still are alive today.

After the tour was over we went to the souvenier shop. They had Anne Frank’s diary there and in many languages. I looked for it in Norwegian and hoped they would have it. I think I’ve read some of the diary once, but not the whole thing. So I wanted to read it all. Luckily they had it in Norwegian too, so I bought that. Chantal bought it in Dutch.

On the way home from Amsterdam to Alkmaar we both started reading. A perfect oportunety while riding the train for more half an hour.

It’s Thursday now and I’ve read 180 pages. It’s a really interessting book. She writes so well, especially to have been only 13 years old when she started.

Last night I read a chapter so sad I had to stop reading, because I was crying so much. Read it here.

Read more at annefrank.org.

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