My Vision Of The Seas
August 30, 2011 1:08 AM



I will start off my Cruise Week Theme here with some photos of the ship I travelled with, Vision Of The Seas. Now I had only been on 2 night cruises before so this 4 night cruise was a new experience for me. And it became a very pleasant experience indeed!

But before I jump into the photo section, here is a short recap of what kind of cruise I was on. It was a 4 night cruise from Stockholm in Sweden with stops in Tallinn, Estonia and St. Petersburg, Russia. During the cruise I stayed in a normal cabin on third deck. No complaints about that one.

The food was also tasty and I ate way too much!!! But I guess that is to be expected when there is a buffet for every meal and snack, lol! All staff was friendly, service was good and there were always plenty of activities going on around the ship. A huge bonus on this cruise was the weather! I swear if I had not looked out the windows I would not have known we were at sea. That is how calm the ocean was. So all in all I did indeed have a wonderful time on this little trip!

And below are some of my captured cruise moments.

Vision Of The Seas
Vision Of The Seas in Tallinn harbour.

Aboard Vision Of The Seas
Aboard Vision Of The Seas.

Vision Of The Seas Vision Of The Seas
Lots of floors and two glass elevators.

Vision Of The Seas Food
Wonderful buffet food decorations!

Cruise foodCruise food
And tasty food! Especially the sushi and mushroom risotto (left) as well as the duck with blackcurrant sauce (right).

Vision Of The Seas Food
More food art. Cheese face.

Vision Of The Seas Pool
Fun by the pool. The guys by the pool participated in a "belly flop" competition.

Vision Of The Seas Pool
Where the one who made the biggest belly flop won.

Vision Of The SeasVision Of The Seas
Delicious evening drinks and showtime.

Vision Of The Seas Casino
Of course I had to inspect the casino aboard. :p

Vision Of The Seas CasinoVision Of The Seas Poker
Slot machines worked fine. As did the video poker machines. Which also inspired me to perhaps start to play some online poker again. Hehe.


Deck 3 where we had our cabin.

Cruise AnimalCruise Animal
And where we were greeted by these cute towel animals. When I saw the doggy to the left I instantly thought of my Lisen. Aww!

Cruise Sunset
Evening pleasure.

Sunset St. Petersburg
Peaceful.

Cruise Sunset
And beyond beautiful!

A perfect way to end my first cruise week post. Next post will be all about my visit in Tallinn, Estonia. :-)


/A.L


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Cruise Week Preview
August 28, 2011 11:17 PM



I'm back in Stockholm, Sweden, from a wonderful cruise with the ship Vision Of The Seas! And I took so many photos that I have decided to do several posts about the cruise. As well as one post all about Stockholm. But because I'm visiting with relatives right now here in Stockholm I have not had time to put together an entire cruise post yet. So I'll end this week with a preview of photos from upcoming posts I plan to publish next week, hence Cruise Week. :p

View of Tallinn, Estonia
View of Tallinn, Estonia.

Vision Of The Seas
The ship I travelled with, Vision Of The Seas, in Tallinn harbour.

Church on Spilled Blood in St. Petersburg, Russia
Church on Spilled Blood in St. Petersburg, Russia. This church was built exactly where Emperor Alexander II was assassinated in March 1881.

Sunset in St. Petersburg, Russia
Sunset seen from the ship in St. Petersburg, Russia.


/A.L


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I am going on a cruise tomorrow!
August 23, 2011 11:23 PM



Yay! So today I drove 500 kilometers from Karlskrona here in Sweden to my departure destination, and Swedens capital, Stockholm. The cruise I'm going on is a 5 day cruise with stops in Tallinn (Estonia) and St. Petersburg (Russia). And I'm so excited!!! Especially about St. Petersburg! A city I imagine to be very beautiful with grandiose buildings and a deeply historic atmosphere. Although I'm sure the entire cruise thing will be a fun experience too!

Of course I have brought my camera with me and I plan to take tons of photos! However I'm not sure how often I will be able to update my blog during this trip. Mainly due to limited internet access out at sea. But I will try to post something as soon as and as often as I can. The same goes for responding to comments, emails and other online connections.

But for now I will leave you with some photos from my drive to Stockholm today. :p

Lake in Sweden
Lake at a rest stop along highway E22 from Karlskrona to Norrköping in Sweden.

Rest Stop Stavsjo in Sweden
Another rest stop where we had lunch.

Lovely bird at rest stop in Sweden
And where this lovely little bird came by to say hello.


E4 Sweden
Highway E4 about 170 kilometers from Stockholm.


/A.L


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Dogs play
August 21, 2011 1:46 PM



I love to watch dogs play! And even though my doggy Lisen is 10 years old today she still loves to play! Both with dogs and people. One of Lisens best play mates is her 6 year old daughter Diva. Those two know each other inside out and know exactly which buttons to push to get the other one going.

Although Lisen prefer to play a bit more calmly nowadays she still has some pizzazz in her. So when Lisen and Diva met the other day they had a fun play session in my mums garden. And luckily I was outside with my camera so I managed to capture a few photos of them in action . :p

Dogs play
Diva left, Lisen right. Making eye contact.

Dogs play
And here we go!

Dogs play
Close encounter 1.

Dogs play
Diva: "Let's play mama!".

Dogs play
Lisen: "You got it daughter!"

Dogs play
Lisen (left) looking like she is having second thoughts...

Dogs play
Lisen: "I'm getting too old for this...".

Dogs play
Lisen: "Hey Diva, you gotta take it a bit easy with your old mama. I'm not as limber as I used to be babe.". Diva: "Ahhh! Nag, nag, nag! I knoooow! I'll just dig here a bit instead then.".

Dogs play
Lisen: "Kids...". Diva: "Hahaaa!!!".

Dogs play
Lisen: "Hm...". Diva: "Anyone else wanna play then!?".

Dogs play
Lisen still pondering. Diva: "I know you want to mama.".

Dogs play
Lisen: "Oook Diva. Follow me!". Diva: "Yaaay!".


/A.L


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Kalles Caviar - A Swedish classic
August 19, 2011 9:42 PM



Kalles Caviar, or in Swedish - Kalles Kaviar, is the name of a classic Swedish sandwich spread which has been sold in Sweden since 1954. It is a mildly smoked caviar mostly eaten on sandwiches but also with eggs. It mainly consist of sugar salted cod- and pollack roe, salt, potato flakes and tomato puree.

Kalles Caviar egg sandwich
Egg sandwich with Kalles Caviar.

According to Abba, the Swedish company that produces Kalles Caviar, 17 million tubes of Kalles Caviar were sold in Sweden in 2004 (Sweden has a population of about 9 million). In 2005 Swedes ate about 2.6 million kilos of Kalles Caviar, or about 173 million sandwiches with this spread. Some staggering figures considering that the original recipe for Kalles Caviar was sold to Abba in 1954 by a peddler for the sum of 1000 SEK or $157 USD.

At first Abba test sold a few unmarked tubes with the caviar in stores. These quickly became very popular, especially among young people. So on advice from their ad agency Abba decided to put a young boy with a popular Swedish name on the cover of the tube. The boy they chose was the son of Abbas director, Carl. Also known as Kalle. Hence the name "Kalles Kaviar" and the tubes final appearence.

Kalles Kaviar
Today a Kalles Kaviar 300 gram tube cost about 27 SEK or $4,25 USD in Swedish stores.


Source: Kalles.se (This is not a sponored post by the way...)


/A.L


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Funny looking caravan in Lyckeby, Sweden
August 18, 2011 1:23 PM



This morning my doggy Lisen and I bumped into this funny looking caravan in the parking lot here in Lyckeby, Sweden. Not the most common sight around here. Actually I have never seen a caravan looking like this one before. Hm...

Funny looking caravan in Lyckeby, Sweden
I wonder if this caravan is owned by Swedes, or foreigners who like Sweden? Hehe. :p


/A.L


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Pond Artistico
August 17, 2011 4:28 PM



I played around a bit with my camera at my mums garden pond in Rödeby, Sweden recently. Man how I bent, crawled and laid down on the ground to try and get some good photos. My leg muscles were so sore the day after! Yikes. But I'm so focused while I'm photographing that I don't even realize I'm straining my muscles in the process. Lol! Anyway, below are the top 4 photos I snapped.









By the way the camera I used here was a Canon EOS 450D. And although there are no Tuscany Villas in Rödeby, Sweden, this pond do remind me of Italy for some odd reason...


/A.L


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Backlink Mania! Link directory list
August 16, 2011 2:52 PM



Just thought I share some links to 20 free PageRank directories that I have used for this blog. 12 links are to Blog Directories and 8 to Website/Blog directories. The Google PageRank for these directories varies between 4-8 today. I have checked all PageRanks via PageRankMe.com.

Although I think I sort of understand what Google PageRank is and how it works, I'm not 100% sure. So I won't try to explain it myself. But in case you want to read a bit more about it I recommend this article: webworkshop.net/pagerank.

Moving on to my lists. In the "Info" column below I have listed whether or not each directory requires you to add a reciprocal link back to it and/or create an account with the directory. I have also listed if the directory has a particular niche, like only feed URLs or Search Engine Submissions. Simply click on the name or button in the left column to get to each directory. Links will open in a new window.

If anyone has any tips on where to get other great free PageRank backlinks please feel free to leave a comment with link in the comment section. And of course all feedback is appreciated! Thank you! :-)


Blog Directories PageRank Info
Technorati 8 Account + Verify blog
Blog-Directory 6  
Blogapedia 6 Account
Blogville.us 5  
5 Feed directory - Add blog feed
Top Personal blogs 5 Account + Reciprocal
Top Traveling Sites 5 Account + Reciprocal
Blogz 4  
4  
TopOfBlogs 4  
TopBlogDir.blogspot.com button 4 Account + Reciprocal
Personal blogs 4 Account + Reciprocal



Website/Blog Directories PageRank Info
FreeWebSubmission.com 6 Search Engine Submission
RSS Search 6 Reciprocal, Feed directory - Add your feed
ProLinkDirectory 5  
5 Reciprocal
Directory Storm 5 Account
OnTopList.com 5 Reciprocal + Account
Linkreferral 4  
The Living Link Web Directory 4  


/A.L


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Mega dog bone obsession
August 14, 2011 4:35 PM



My sister gave Lisen a mega bone this Thursday and doggy has been obsessed with it ever since. She gnawed on it non-stop for hours the first day. I even had to drag her out for her late night walk, a super quick walk because Lisen wanted to get back home to her precious bone. And because Lisen loves to hide things, especially bones, when she finally decided to take a break. Well first she then had to find a place to hide the bone before she could relax. Not the easiest thing either because of Lisens hiding procedure.

A procedure that starts with her walking around the entire apartment and balcony to search for appropriate hiding spots. She also test hides whatever she is about to hide in a few different places before she finally decides on a permanent hiding spot. And for some reason she loves to hide her yucky bones under my pillows... Not the nicest surprise to find when I go to bed at night. But I just laugh, I mean how can I possibly get mad at this doggy!? :p

Some photos of Lisen and her mega bone:


Mega.


Dog Bone.


Obsession!


Mission: Hide bone.


Test hide 1 completed.


Hey! Don't follow me while I'm scouting for hiding places!

Ok, I won't tell where she finally hid the bone. :-)


/A.L


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Photos of a cloudy Sail
August 12, 2011 7:44 PM



Yesterday was the kick off for our yearly Sail festival here in Karlskrona, Sweden. Yay! And it will last all weekend. Another yay! Originally the Sail festival was all about big boats. Lately however it has become more about live music, food stands and beer tent parties. But I don't mind. I visit it more because of the fun and happy atmosphere that surrounds it. Too bad the weather has not been very cooperative so far though. Oh well. Despite the slightly chilly weather conditions earlier today I had a nice visit along the harbour. :p

Some photos from Sail Karlskrona 2011:


Sail Karlskrona 2011
Sail winds.

Sail Karlskrona 2011
Flying high.

Sail Karlskrona 2011
Feeling lucky.

Sail Karlskrona 2011
Having fun.

Sail Karlskrona 2011
Off limits.

Sail Karlskrona 2011
Look out.

Sail Karlskrona 2011
Sail...

Sail Karlskrona 2011
without boats.

Sail Karlskrona 2011
Lost.

Sail Karlskrona 2011
Quiet before the storm.

Sail Karlskrona 2011
Sail clouds.


/A.L


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Food and gas prices in Sweden today
August 11, 2011 1:49 PM



I went to a local grocery store here in Sweden to check out what we actually pay for food in this country today. I also stopped by a local gas station to check out the current Swedish gas prices. Even though I don't really think too much about food and gas prices in Sweden on a daily basis, I do know that I always find it interesting to know what these things cost in other countries. So I took some photos and made some notes of how much food and gas costs in Sweden today.


Local grocery store in Karlskrona, Sweden. This is where I went to check out our current food prices.



Inside City Gross in Karlskrona, Sweden.

Below I have listed examples of prices for some common food items I found at City Gross. I chose to list food from well known Swedish and international brands. Prices are listed in Swedish Kronas, SEK, and US Dollars, USD.

Currency today: 1 USD = 6,5 SEK    

Explanations: kg = kilograms    g = grams    (Swe) = Swedish origin

Item Amount Price SEK Price USD
Milk 1 litre 9,50 1,51
Eggs 6 12,95 2,03
Flour 1 kg 8,95 1,41
Sugar 1 kg 6,95 1,09
Spaghetti 1 kg 13,95 2,19
Macaronis 1 kg 11,95 1,88
Coffee 500 g 40,95 6,43
Ketchup 1,320 kg 19,95 3,13
Fish sticks 400g 14,95 2,35
Whole chicken (Swe) 1 kg 19,95 3,13
Pork chops (Swe) 1 kg 64,95 10,20
Beef (Swe) 1 kg 89,95 14,12
Ground beef (Swe) 1 kg 69,95 10,98
Falukorv (Swe sausage) 800 g 20,95 3,29
Isterband (Swe sausage) 330 g 18,95 2,97
Tomatoes 1 kg 19,95 3,13
Cucumber 1 kg 29,95 4,70
Onions 1 kg 14,95 2,35
Apples 1 kg 19,95 3,13
Pears 1 kg 15,95 2,50
Bananas 1 kg 17,95 2,82
Coca Cola 0,33 litres 6,50 1,02
Chips 300 g 18.95 2,97



Local gas station in Lyckeby, Sweden. This is where I always get gas. :p

Currency today: 1 USD = 6,5 SEK

Type of gas Amount Price SEK Price USD
95 octane 1 litre 13,83 2,17
98 octane 1 litre 14,28 2,24
Diesel 1 litre 13,54 2,13
E85 1 litre 9,84 1,54

I personally think that food prices in Sweden are ok. Of course it always depends on what type of food you want to buy. I prefer to buy Swedish meat, organic if available. I also try to buy as much local and organic dairy, veggies and fruit as possible. But if you want to keep costs down, foreign meat and non-organic food is always cheaper. However there is not a whole lot one can do to find cheaper gas to buy... Not that I know of anyway. Hehe.


/A.L


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Gambling talk and poker flashback
August 9, 2011 1:06 PM



A few years ago I had a period when I played quite a bit of Texas Hold'em online. I actually managed to build up a bankroll on a few online poker sites by earning some dollars from freerolls. And I got all into to it. I read poker books, casino reviews and even played some video poker. All so I could become a better poker player. Even though it was fun and I did win some money. In the end it was a bit more time consuming than I had initially thought. So I came to the realization that poker was probably not the career for me.


But I still play it from time to time though.

And gambling can be fun indeed! Although I have also realized that when I gamble nowadays it's not because I think I'm actually going to win. It's more because I want to feel like I have a chance to win. Some fear is involved too. Lol! I actually think I continue to play my standing Lotto ticket because I believe that if I stop, my numbers will get drawn and I'll beat myself up over it for the rest of my life. But I'm a pretty cheap gambler. Somehow I think that's why I never win any large sums of money...

/A.L


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Living on the edge
August 7, 2011 4:09 PM



This is what Living On The Edge means to me:

Take chances - Small insect crossing big road
Take chances,

Living on the edge - Small insect retreats
but know when to retreat.

Living on the edge - Stand out
Stand out,

Living on the edge - never stand alone
but never stand alone.

Roll with the punches - Mosquito bite
Roll with the punches,

Never start a fight - Big dog, baby frog
but never start a fight.

Living on the edge - fly with dragons. Dragonfly.
And don't be afraid to fly with dragons,

Living on the edge - Love like birds
as long as you remember to love like birds.


/A.L


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Swedish traditions makeover
August 4, 2011 7:02 PM





Lately I have been working on expanding and implementing a makeover on my Swedish Traditions section on this blog. Before I only had one page with all traditions on it, now each tradition has its own page. In total I have created 12 new pages about different Swedish traditions. I have updated info, photos, layout and added some new traditions.

Even though it takes a lot of time to put together these pages I really enjoy it because I learn so much myself. Like how many of our traditions originates from Germany. Good thing I don't have to do any German Translation though. Not my forte, hehe. But it is indeed a fun and creative way to learn about traditions and Sweden for me.

Check out the new Swedish traditions pages at -->Swedish Traditions

I would love to hear what you think of them! :-)


/A.L


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August 2011
My Vision Of The Seas
Cruise Week Preview
I am going on a cruise tomorrow!
Dogs play
Kalles Caviar - A Swedish classic
Funny looking caravan in Lyckeby, Sweden
Pond Artistico
Backlink Mania! Link directory list
Mega dog bone obsession
Photos of a cloudy Sail
Food and gas prices in Sweden today
Gambling talk and poker flashback
Living on the edge
Swedish traditions makeover
 
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