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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Stormy sea

Hey, we didn't see any dolphins but we spotted some puffins and other lovely birdies. But the crazy thing was the way to Kirkenes! The boat couldn't go through the fjords in that area so it went on the open sea and I'm telling you it was some ride. The wind caused some mad waves and the boat was jumping as a kid on a trampoline. It was fun at first but after twenty minutes our bellies didn't think so. Luckily we didn't get sick but very nauseous, for the first time I had to take sea sick pills and stayed outside on the deck for as long as I could.


That evening we were served some amazing looking sea food, however it looked better than it tasted, unfortunately! There were some things that tasted lovely but the overall experience was a little disappointing. The best thing I ate from the buffet was a reindeer stew with mushrooms, lol. When we arrived in Kirkenes we took a tour around the town and to a Russian border, we could could only take some pics of the border and buy some souvenirs as we were not allowed to cross over to Russia, of course! Later we took a flight to Oslo. Get the party started!

Russian & Norwegian Flags

Me and Stefan

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Honningsvåg's seafood chowder

Honningsvåg city is apparently the northernmost city in Norway and they claim that even in the world. I'm not really sure about that but I'm sure it's freaking north and I will probably never step on a ground of more northerly place...I think. The "city" has a big harbour and you can find loads of beautiful and I would say trendy houses.


 We wanted to taste some fresh seafood so we went to a local restaurant where we ordered a delicious chowder and some of us had a seafood roll. I loved the chowder so much that I decided to try to cook it when I come back to Dublin. After the lunch we walked up to a view point and took some gorgeous pics. From the harbour we could see some magnificent reindeer and eagles. I'm really hoping to see some puffins and maybe even whales or dolphins. Fingers crossed. Next stop; Kirkenes.

Seafood Chowder


Seafood Roll

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Fresh prawns


Tromsø was really cosy. It's the second largest city above the arctic circle filled with a lot of wooden houses,some built in 1789. We strolled around the city for a bit and then we had a pint of beer in a pub that was decorated as a train.

Tromsø

We felt like having a fresh prawn sandwich so we went to one beautiful harbour restaurant. The prawns were just fabulous. In the evening,when we came back to the boat, we were served three course dinner. Starter - green peas soup, main - dried white fish with mashed potatoes and veggies, desert - cheese cake with berries. It's time to relax and enjoy the view now. Norway is simply beautiful!

Fresh prawns served with toast bread & aioli

Starter

Main

Desert




Next stop; Tromsø!

And so we departed from Harstad this morning. Just a few minutes after the boat left the harbour we could see beautiful and wild nature. Hurtigruten is definitely worth doing! I hope to see some animals during the two day cruise. Thank you Annica, Anders, Jan, Hillevi and Stefan for this wonderful experience!



Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Whale safari in Andenes

Past few days have been really special. The north of Sweden is absolutely marvelous and I would love to go back one day. After we took a train through the mountains to Norway I was shocked to see so much beauty. The scenery is just spectacular! We are staying in a cozy town called Harstad. We went to a whale safari in Andenes today and we were very lucky that we could see a family of pilot whales and a massive sperm whale. I could not complain a bit. The weather was amazing and we didn't have to look for the whales that much as they were hanging out just twenty minutes away from the harbour. We heard that people who came to the safari yesterday didn't see a single one. It was quite unusual that there were a few Czech tourists, and even one of the guides was Czech so I took a tour in the local museum in Czech language. What a day! Can't wait for tomorrow's cruise through the fjords. Look at some pics that Stefan took with his phone,I took about a million of them with my camera so I will post a few when I'm back in Dublin.

Sperm Whale

Pilot Whale

Monday, June 25, 2012

Midnight sun

I knew that it would be light all the time above the arctic circle but I had no idea how beautiful the midnight sun is. It is absolutely spectacular. We are in Abisko,which is a national park in the north of Sweden. We had the most amazing reindeer loin, loads of Swedish candy and plenty of Czech beer. This is one amazing holiday. Next stop; Norway.

Amazing loin of reindeer

Enjoying the midnight sun with Starobrno beer

National Park Abisko

Friday, June 22, 2012

Midnight sun here we come!

The long anticipated holiday has just begun. We woke up early in the morning to catch our bus to the airport. We are off to Stockholm where we are going to spend some quality time with our friends over the midsummer celebration,and then we are taking a train above the arctic circle. Later on we are continuing our journey by taking a boat through the fjords of Norway and all the way to the Russian border in the very north and then we are finishing off the holiday in Oslo with our dear friends. Get ready for some nice pics. Happy midsummer!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Antipasti night

Here it comes again. Another naughty evening filled with good wine and food. Antipasti in fact! A couple of weeks ago I got a bottle of red wine (Guerrieri Rizzardi, Munus, 2010) from my very generous friend Elsa. I promised myself that I wouldn’t drink it alone and that I would keep it for a special occasion. Our friend paid us a visit from the USA today and I thought it would be the perfect time to drink it. I prepared some tasty antipasti platter – Camembert cheese, goat’s cheese, and cottage cheese, chillies stuffed with Greek cheese, Parma ham, sausages, vine leaves, olives, grapes and crackers. Cheers to all of you who are having a lovely evening. Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Tea Garden and Korean


What a great day off. I started the day with a good workout at the gym, and then I went to work for a little while where I moved the whole floor and later in the afternoon I went to town to meet up with my lovely friends Natalia and Khadija. We used to work together some time ago and we were a great team. We still work in the same shopping centre but yet we have not been able to organize any proper get together, and we stopped working with each other nearly a year ago. Sad! But today was special. We went to a place called Tea Garden where we had very tasty Shisha (watermelon flavour) and tea. I have tasted amazing white tea for the first time in my life and I loved it. I think that Natalia won’t be able to sleep tonight as she drank super strong black tea with tons of caffeine. I hope Khadija enjoyed her weird looking green drink with a piece of some mysterious pineapple. After we sucked out the last bit of the Shisha thing, we went to a Korean restaurant. I ordered mixed vegetables with black bean sauce and chilli, Natalia had beautiful dumplings, and Khadija enjoyed her seafood & tofu dish with fried rice. I hope we will soon do something similar. I had a beautiful day with the two of you. Thank you!


My today's lunch that I made last night.

Shisha place :-)

The usual. Smoking and drinking at the same time

My dinner




Monday, June 11, 2012

What went wrong?

A few weeks ago I wrote about a swan nest and I was very excited about the little cygnet/s hatching soon. Stefan told me that when he passed by the other day the swans were gone and there was one abandoned egg in the nest. I am guessing the cygnet/s died and the couple left for a different place. Or what do you think could have happened? I feel really sad now. I remember when we moved over to Dublin nearly 4 years ago we saw a couple of swans who had some little ones in St. Stephen's Green Park. We watched them grow and I kinda thought it would be the same this time. I hope the couple is ok and will have some lovely babies next year!

One egg and some sneaky pigeons

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Girls

It took a couple of episodes but I must say that I have fallen in love with the HBO series “Girls”. It feels real, it’s raw and it’s vulgar. You should give it a chance and watch at least 3 episodes.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Princess of China

Weekend again, the time is flying so fast! And guess what, I am working. But I treated myself yesterday and went to a local pub with my boy and we had a couple of pints. Well maybe more than a couple. I drank Smithwick’s and Stefan enjoyed his Heineken. We didn’t stay long, but went to a shop where we got some more beers and Bulmers which we mixed with blackcurrant squash. So tasty! It was some night, we sang Karaoke, danced a bit and got kinda drunk.

 I stole Stefan's glasses for a sec!


Swedish crisp rolls (skorpor) with butter
 and tuna mayo


The plan for tonight is to stay in. I have a pie in the oven and then we are gonna watch a movie. If you haven’t seen the new video of Coldplay and Rihanna, check it out! I think it’s cool.


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Serenity Wexford


Sometimes we just need to switch off a little bit. Some of us work hard, some stress about everything or worry about nothing, and some of us do it all. Just like me. If you ever feel like you need a little bit of serenity, go somewhere nice. Somewhere where mobile phones are either switched off or work only for the purpose of uploading fabulous photos on facebook, where people are kind, where you feel the energizing connection to nature. Where you can eat plenty, walk in the forest, or somewhere where you can take a calming bath, sleep and do nothing else but spoil yourself. I went to place like this over the weekend. My friends Shawn and Glenn opened up their gorgeous B&B in Camolin Park a few years ago. Stefan and I haven’t seen the boys in ages and so we decided to visit them. We had a brilliant time with them and their dogs and cats. If you want to check their website, click here. PS: Boys, I hope we will meet soon again maybe in Dublin the next time!

Serenity in Camolin Park, Wexford

Relaxing area in their fab garden

This is the most comfortable bed ever!

This is one amazing bathroom