Tuesday, May 31

Last day of May 2011

On the last day of this month, only minutes before takeoff for a short "Harry-tripp" to Sweden for some wine and groceries, I use my time to once more cover the experiences from May 2011.
First the lovely days in Paris including visit to Versailles and the Hall of Mirrors.

Then our National Day "17. mai" with Champagne breakfast and video meeting with our family in Swansea, Wales. Through FaceTime they could also be present and join our traditional morning party.

After that the view from my sister´s cottage near Valldal at Sunnmøre where the cliffs are steep outside her terrace. I understand why they tie up the children and cattle in these areas.

The spectacular Trollstigen with is´s 19 hairpin turns cover even better the spectacular area in Møre og Romsdal. A harsh part of the country creating many persistent personalities. No need of mentioning names.

And at last the nice time together with Maja during the month. This photo is from Youngstorvet in Oslo, this Saturday covered with grass due to a farmer event from Telemark visiting the Capital of Norway.

Tomorrow it is June, and Trine, David, Helene, Henrik and Hedda will arrive in Oslo for their 6 weeks holiday in Norway. Welcome to you all, and looking forward to be together again.

Friday, May 27

Maja will have a sister

Sometimes it is time for the old generation to talk about the miracle of life to the girl that shall be a big sister in eight weeks. When we are waiting for the end of July this book is of great interest to Maja.
Maja is concentrated and very concerned when she opens the flaps showing what´s in the mother´s stomach, and what the new sister is doing through the pregnancy, birth and thereafter.
I don´t need to tell you that I am enjoying the situation myself.

Thursday, May 26

Coffee lovers love Nespresso

 Thursday evening. After a delicious pancake-dinner with Brunost (brown Norwegian Whey Cheese) and Blueberry, there is only one way to finish the table. An espresso by Nespresso. What else.
Nespresso offers 16 different coffee capsules. Each capsule makes one cup of coffee. A capsule contains an average 5.5 grams of coffee. My favorite selection among the 16 "Grands Crus" are

It is never too late to join the Nespresso family. Find your favorite. What else.

Tuesday, May 24

Sunday winter - Monday spring

Yesterday I gave you a journey on a road that only ten days ago was closed due to last winter volumes of snow. At the mountain pass the snow remains are still present, and the local game keeper told us that 7 wild reindeers have been observed in the valley behind my wife. Totally he estimated the herd to be 26 animals this year.
Hopefully is this the last winter photo this season. At least Tullen did not fancy the cold wind.
Another photo from the hairpin bends down the Trollstigen road has nothing to do with this blogpost, but I like the image of the spectacular journey, and added it as an inspiration for my son-in-law´s holiday this year..
Coming back to Oslo the spring has developed into the blooming season in our garden. The apple trees are pink and if the temperature could rise a few degrees, the insects would probably be more active in fertilizing and thus give us a great harvest in September. For now we only can enjoy the beauty of nature.

Monday, May 23

Trollstigen, an alternative return to Oslo

 Returning to Oslo from Ålesund by car may be very boring if going in and out of all the small fjords along E139 in Romsdalen. An alternative is to go to Valldal (and visit my sister´s new cottage at Fjørå) and take road 63;  Trollstigen over the mountain pass and down Isterdalen to Rauma (Åndalsnes). The road was opened May 13th this year, and the snow border is still high close to the road.
 Low gear is recommended on your way down, and maybe some of the "Giro de Italia" participants should practice in this area. We met at least two cyclists on their climbing exercise on our way down.
 The hairpin turns are counted to 19, and some of then are really spectacular if meeting a Polish tourist bus or a Dane with his Camping trailer.
 The road goes on both sides of the steep cliffs connected by a narrow bridge from which this photo is taken
 Further down you can get a better view of the waterfall and also look back to the bridge and the road from where you started on the top of the gorges.
Well down, but before you continue towards the eastern part of Norway, take a break and see if there are some mountaineers hanging in the Troll Wall. We did not discover anyone, but a rescue helicopter left the area when we started down Trollstigen behind the steep peaks you find above the wall.

Sunday, May 22

An ordinary day in Ålesund

Visiting Ålesund can result in spectacular weather condition.
Not like the catch made by RuneE, but an ordinary observation on an ordinary Saturday and documented by my iPhone 4.
To the East dark clouds and heavy rain in the mountains, but turning 180 degr to the west and the North Sea:
the sun has already split the clouds and the blue sky and warm sun are already drying the surface of the quay. 20 minutes later the rain was pouring once again.

Friday, May 20

Asbjørn buried

With high mountains around his last resting place we followed Asbjørn to his grave this afternoon.
His coffin and the church in Sykylven was covered with flowers. Our memories of a great friend will forever be a part of us all. Thanks, Asbjørn for what you have been for us all.

Tuesday, May 17

17. mai, Norwegian National Day

 With Maja on the balcony. A traditional photo in our family. In National costumes (bunader) everyone.
The day always started with breakfast buffet including prawns, salmon, herrings, roast beef, cured ham, Wiener-sausage,  Waldorf salad, eggs, strawberry, grapes, bread and coffee, cheese, plus Champagne and all the other accessories.
Then the party of the National Day has started.

Saturday, May 14

Asbjørn left us

Yesterday morning, Friday 13th 2011, Asbjørn died of Cancer.
We have all lost a very good friend.
After four months fighting this terrible disease, his body did not cope with the uncontrolled cell growth into multiple organs any longer. Yesterday morning he left us.

Our warmest thoughts and feelings go to Anne Katharina, Marius, Pernille, their spouses and children and other family members.

Although Asbjørn from now on, no longer will participate when the ”old bunch” gather for parties, nature tours or other friendship events, he allways will be present in our minds.

My last painting ”Leaving” became just as actual as felt when I worked it out last week.

Wednesday, May 11

Maja 2 years old today

In May, two years ago, Maja our third grandchild was born.  Now she is waiting for her sister to arrive late July and then we are up in total 5 grandchildren.
Children playgrounds are found many places along Akerselva, and Maja, her mother and I "played" together in Nydalen last Saturday. The ice-cream photo can be posted another time.

Maybe she already has adapted her father´s dream about a new motorbike.

Tuesday, May 10

One out of 85.237.38

Just before we left for France and Paris, one of the citizens in Ethiopia found my blog and made me a visit. Welcome, hope you will return.
Ethiopia is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 85.2 million people, and the tenth-largest by area, with its 1,100,000 km2. The capital is Addis Ababa. Ethiopia is bordered by Eritrea to the north, Sudan to the west, Djibouti and Somalia to the east, and Kenya to the south. It is also the most populous landlocked country in the world.

East Africa, and more specifically the general area of Ethiopia, is widely considered the site of the emergence of early Homo sapiens in the Middle Paleolithic 400,000 years ago. Homo sapiens idaltu, found at site Middle Awash in Ethiopia, lived about 160,000 years ago.
See more in the List of the Human evolution fossils dated back to about 7 millions years.

The present Flag of Ethiopia is from 8 December 2010. The three traditional colours (green, yellow and red) date back to Emperor Menelik (1889–1913) and were first used in a flag in 1897. Blue represents peace, the star represents diversity and unity, and the sun's rays symbolise prosperity. The green recalls the land, yellow stands for peace and hope, and red is symbolic of strength.

Sunday, May 8

Oslo - Royal Guard, QM 2 and Danish days at Aker Brygge

Back in Norway and time to present some more daily situations and photos from my life:

An ordinary day at the end of the week? Maybe not. In front of the Royal Palace the Kings Guard are exercising and presenting their program for this year Military Tattoo. Precision and spectacular formations accompanied with music, song and gun bangs. "Bravoes" and applause from people watching, and a lots of photos and videos taken by tourists and ordinary Oslo citizens.

Strolling further from the Royal Castle to Akershus Fortress
The great ocean liner RMS Queen Mary 2 has been visiting Oslo, and maybe some of the spectators at the Royal Castle came from this ship.
On the other side of Piperviken, Alfen at "Lektern summer Restaurant" is decorated with Dannebrog signalizing that it is Danish days at Aker Brygge.
Danish Salami, Red sausages and "Winerbrød" are examples of what is given to taste for free (well the Hot Dog costs ten Norwegian kroner, but that is almost free.)

Back home I went into my studio and the easel to finish my latest painting (acrylic on canvas 70x70).
It started up as a tribute to the spring outside my windows, but may end up as a farewell greeting from someone leaving.

Saturday, May 7

Paris - Montmartre

While Montparnasse on the left bank in the early 1900 became the central  "heart of intellectual and artistic life in Paris. From 1910 to the start of World War II, Paris' artistic circles migrated to Montparnasse, an alternative to the Montmartre district which had been the intellectual breeding ground for the previous generation of artists." was Montmartre the same  "heart of intellectual and artistic life in Paris" during the last part of 1800.
Today the fantastic Basilica du Sacre Cæur (here seen from Boulevard des Italiens down town) may be the most attractive goal for tourists at Montmartre

At Place Pigalle this famous entertainment house need no further comments from me.
At Place de Clichy you can recover your makeup in this mirroring apple, but I did not discover any Mac-Shop in the neighborhood.
If you take the western entrance (through the graveyard) to the top, an interesting hill-street can be Rue de Tholoze. At the end (Top) you see all the way to Dome Les Invalides close to the Eiffel Tower.
At the bottom of the street Cafe Nazir has decorated the wall including the songwriter Aristide Bruant which also Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec used as a model.
Just a few meter further up and you meet the artistic Montmartre. I can recommend a coffee break at Le Consulat.
We tried to visit this establishment, but it was too early for lunch and the cleaning process was ongoing when we looked inside. 5 tables so the food must be great.
At the top the famous artist marked gives both possibilities to be drawn and opportunities to get a real Parisian painting for some euros
This painting by Ramon (who I discussed the painting with) could be mine for 350 Euros.
This painting was a decoration (not for sale) in a Cafe up there.

On our way down; yes, we walked up and down again, to our hotel near the Opera, a better photo than the first in this blogpost could be taken. And if you don´t have seen the Opera, here is a photo: