It has not been easy these past few weeks to fully enjoy the few hours of daylight we have during this season here in Sweden, because almost every day has been embraced by a big hug of haze. I mean, I cannot even remember the last time I saw a blue sky or felt the warmth of the sun on my face... But, of course even hazy days have their charm. :-) So below are some photos of Hazy Days In Karlskrona.
Karlskrona today around noon, perhaps a bit more gloomy than hazy here though.
But the haze was lurking in the distance.
People (and dog) trying to keep up their energy levels.
As were these ducks.
Hm... Looking elegant.
But it sure was not easy to see out there today.
View over a hazy hugged Karlskrona around noon today.
There have been some predictions that we might actually get our first snow of this winter season this weekend here in Karlskrona, I hope so. At least if it is the kind of snow that stays and brighten up the days a bit. So - snow, snow please come on by and preform your show. I welcome you with open arms. ;p
Finding venues in Sweden, the UK or any other place in the world where one can hold parties, conferences or gatherings is not always easy. But I have recently learned that there are websites online which focus on finding a venue for you all around the world, like a Google search but only venues show up in the search results. So when I will need to find a space to hold an event in the future I now know that there are helpful tools I can use online, a relief indeed.
And rented venues can play a big part in ones life actually. I remember when I turned ten years old my parents rented a venue for me to have my birthday party in. I thought it was the coolest thing to be able to invite as many people as I wanted and to have my birthday party outside the home. I could play music as loud as I wanted and we could run around and play as much and noisy as we wanted as well. No neighbours to be concerned about at all. Needless to say, I had a very fun and successful tenth birthday party indeed. And the rented venue I had my birthday party in is forever a fond part of my memory. Which is why finding a great venue for ones event is important indeed.
Yummy food to serve in a venue.
Hm, perhaps I should check to see if I the particular venue I had my tenth birthday party in is for rent today as well? I mean, it is just a search away. :-)
I have been on quite a few cruises in my life and to board a cruise in Southampton one day is definitely something I would love to do. The cruises I have been on have taken me from Sweden to countries like Estonia, Russia, Poland, Finland and Norway for instance. But never the UK, which is another reason it would be very exciting to board a cruise there.
An evening stroll onboard a cruise ship.
Now there are many reasons for why I enjoy cruises so much, firstly there is always a lot of fun activities going on onboard the ships. Another reason is of course the food and drinks, most ships I have been on (if not all actually) have had amazing buffets - both for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Also, during summertime at least, an absolutely fabulous way to enjoy a cruise at sea is to devour the sun on deck in a sun chair with a delicious cool drink in one hand and a great book in the other.
And though there are many more reasons for why I continue to explore the world via cruises, it is most of all because it is such a fun, delicious and easy way to travel. In fact, writing this post makes me very eager to go on another cruise A.S.A.P! ;-)
I am talking about my first ever experience with eating and preparing oysters, which I had a few weeks ago. It became an exhausting, and rather emotional, event when I realized that in order to be able to eat the oysters - I would first have to kill them. Yikes! Certainly not my cup of tea. But I did it, though with a very guilty conscience...
The French oysters, still alive. We actually have oysters in Sweden too, but they are round in shape. And the Swedish oysters are more expensive than the French ones, which was why I chose the French.
I ate them raw with a squeeze of lemon because I wanted my first experience of eating oysters to be as natural and true to their original taste as possible. The oysters were fresh and nice, but just not entirely my kind of flavour or texture. They actually tasted like what I imagine a bite of the ocean would taste like (if you could take one), cold and salty. The texture was a bit slimy, but firm at the same time. And, though it was not gag warning, I would not say that they tasted that delicious either.
So, even if I cannot imagine myself sitting down and eating a bunch of oysters the same way I eat crawfish or shrimp for instance, if I was offered an oyster in the future I would not be completely against the idea of eating it. But I will most likely never buy and/or prepare oysters myself again. Mainly of course because they are in fact alive until they get cracked open, an emotional twist I am not prepared to add to my possible future oyster experiences.
Man, I had no idea trying some oysters for the first time in my life would turn into such an exhausting and emotionel event. P-h-e-w!
So I am back home in Lyckeby, Sweden, with my doggy Lisen again. Yay! :-) And though we have been on quite a few walks since I got back from Rome, our walk here in Lyckeby today included both horse drama and glove stealing. Incidents I coincidentally happen to capture a few shots of with my iphone. Therefore, below are some photos of the horse drama and glove stealing which took place earlier today on my walk with Lisen.
It was a rather quiet and nice day for a walk in Lyckeby today by the way.
But when we got to the horse pastures, quite a lot of drama was going on between some of the horses.
More specifically between these two horses, who kind of look like they are kissing here though...
Ops, we were spotted quite quickly by the curious and feisty horse pals.
"Hello there.", said the White Horse to Lisen.
Lisen, who is not very comfortable around horses, looked at them for a few seconds and then quickly replied with a loud "Wouff!".
So off they went.
And continued with their drama.
"Look now, I am going to show you something.", said the Brown Horse.
"Oh please.", said the White Horse.
Then they started to run around together.
And when we had left the horse drama behind us, Lisen suddenly remembered something.
"Give it to me."
"Come on, let go."
"Giiiiive meeee it."
"Now, was that so hard? Come on, let's go home Alex." And off we went, with one glove each. Hehe.
Lisen of course dropped her glove a bit further ahead. Lol! Sometimes she will carry my glove, her leash, a water bottle or something else all the way home or to the car. But mostly she just drops whatever she is carrying whenever she does not feel like carry it anymore... Therefore I always have to keep a close eye on her whenever she has nicked something from me to carry in her mouth.
Anyway, life is back to normal again here in Lyckeby. Which is rather nice, though Christmas is just around the corner with its many preparations, markets, Advent Sundays and so on. Which is why I am sure this somewhat calmness that is at the moment will soon transform into usual December madness. Or, maybe it won't? I guess I will just have to wait and see. Until then though, I am sure there will be plenty of daily "horse drama" and "glove stealing" going on here in Lyckeby. Hehe. Because there is always something happening in our little neighbourhood here in Sweden. ;p
On the last day of my weekend in Rome my sister and I walked around the streets of Rome without any particular goal. It was Sunday and the Roman streets were busy, both with Rome's inhabitants and sightseeing tourists. So below are photos from our Sunday Walk In Rome as well as some photos of the Italian food I tried in Rome. :-)
Sunday entertainment in Rome, Italy.
Now there were many ways to get around in Rome.
Like via a guided tour on Segways.
Horse and carriage.
Or of course via the many popular Open Roof Sightseeing Buses.
But no matter how you got around in Rome, there sure was a lot to see there. Like this stunning building for example, The Ministry Of Culture And Heritage.
My favourite statue on that building.
Behind The Ministry Of Culture And Heritage was this church.
With many steps.
Also nearby was another piazza with more fascinating statues and buildings. My sister pointed out that the men holding the horses in those statues in fact look bigger than the horses...hm.
When we got up to the piazza we arrived in the middle of an Italian wedding party - "Salute!". ;p
Another interesting statue.
A roundabout in Rome.
At the beginning of Via Del Corso, a busy shopping street in Rome.
A typical side street in Rome.
One of many markets we encountered this Sunday in Rome.
Hand bags were a common sight at the markets.
As were different type of paintings.
We also saw many various street performers, "Hello.".
Roasted chestnuts, another common item for sale along the streets of Rome.
Snack carts like this one were also a common sight in Rome.
As were pizza shops.
And of course Gelato shops - Italian ice cream.
All I can say is Y-U-M-M-Y!!
My Gelato with melted chocolate and forest berry flavour. It was so good, not as cold as "normal" ice cream though and I thought it had a lot more depth in flavour as well.
Shopping in Rome, still at Via Del Corso.
The Italian river the Tiber which run through Rome, in fact the Tiber is the third-longest river in Italy.
You could canoe along the Tiber.
Or, why not live there?
We, however, chose to just walk along the river on this very narrow pavement.
Along the river we saw this beautiful church.
The Supreme Court of Cassation, impressive building indeed.
Then it suddenly started to rain...
After the rain we arrived at Castel Sant'Angelo, or in English - Castle of the Holy Angel.
Which was opposite this bridge.
Castel Sant'Angelo from the other side of the river, almost.
Fooooood! There were many small Italian restaurants like this one in Rome.
This is a Burschetta
I had at one of them, I absolutely loved (love) that "ham".
Pasta Carbonara, tasted alright.
Seafood Risotto. This one was so and so, mainly because of all those mini/baby squid - not what I had in mind when I ordered it...
Pizza! My last dinner in Italy. This pizza tasted alright as well.
Now I had pizza slices for lunch every day in Italy, which actually all tasted a bit different. The best pizza slice I had though was one with fresh herbs, mushrooms, cheese and tomato -which I of course I did not take a photo of... Hehe. I was too hungry! But I found that the pizza dough in Italy was more salty compared to what we have in Sweden. They were also quite sparse with the pizza toppings, and there were usually not that many toppings to choose from either. The same goes for pasta, which usually was served in pesto or tomato sauce. So quite a lot of carbs in Italian food in Italy, at least where we ate. :p
In reality, considering I took over 2000 photos as well as some videos in Rome, I do of course have much more to share from my weekend in Rome. But I will save that for another time, or perhaps even another blog... Because I am currently working on starting up a travel blog called TheTravelingSoul.com, however due to a massive lack of time at the moment it is taking a bit longer than I had anticipated to get it up and running. Having said that, my plan is though to have a blog all about my travels in the near future. But I will be back with more info about that as soon as I get it going.
Anyway, Rome. I know have said it before, but I cannot say it enough - I did indeed have a great time in Rome. It is such a lovely historic city with so much to see, do and eat. In fact, Rome is an excellent example of why I think traveling is the best way to learn about the world, people, culture, our past and have a good time while doing so. In other words, my birthday weekend in Rome was a wonderful, educational, fun and exhausting weekend which I am very grateful I had the chance to experience with my beloved sister. So thanks for an unforgettable weekend sis! :-)
Next time I will be back with updates from Sweden, and I would not be surprised if my pretty little Lisen pops up in that post as well. So see ya'll then. :p
We spent the second half of my birthday at the amazing Vatican Museums in Rome, Italy. I had heard of it of course, but I had no idea of how big it was or of how much stunning art was actually in there. And even though the most famous part of the Vatican Museums undoubtedly is the Sistine Chapel with Michelangelo's beautiful ceiling artwork and the “Last Judgment”, the Vatican Museums also contained numerous masterpieces of paintings, sculptures and other works of art collected by popes through centuries. So I basically went "ooo" and "aaa" all my way through there. Also, because of this, it was not at all easy to pick out which photos to include in this post. But below are the ones I finally decided to go with, Photos From The Amazing Vatican Museums In Rome.
The Vatican Museums were located about one kilometer from the St. Peter's Basilica.
To get there we had to walk along the Vatican Wall which surround the Vatican City.
Quite a big wall by the way.
Before we got to the main part of the Vatican Museums we passed through this courtyard.
Where we could read about the artwork in the Vatican Museums on boards before we entered.
The tour begins. There were a lot of sculptures in the Vatican Museums.
This one is of Laocoön and His Sons. Laocoön was a priest who advised against letting the wooden horse inside Troy, but not only was his warning ignored the Gods also sent serpents to kill him and his sons. Which is what this sculpture is of, so quite sad actually.
Now I am not sure if this is a God dog? But it was a dog, so of course I had to take a photo of him. ;-)
But what really struck me were all these long halls packed with amazing art from top to bottom!
Stunning ceiling in the Gallery of Maps.
Another fantastic hall filled with art.
And all of these fantastic roofs!
Of course most of the artwork in the Vatican Museums are related to the Bible. And although I could not place all paintings, when I could recognize one it was very interesting to see the artist's interpretation.
Not quite sure which scene this is for example, but I have a few in mind.
This looks like when Jesus got baptized?
War. A mega painting by the way.
The infamous Sistine Chapel with Michelangelo’s artwork on the roof and his "Last Judgment" on the wall straight ahead. The walls on the side were also filled with art by other well known artists, but it is of course Michelangelo’s that is most famous here. And while we were in there the guards kept saying "schh" every other minute, because it is after all a chapel.
Now this was something, huge carpets of art!
This is the Tapestry of the Resurrection of Christ based on a cartoon by Raphael's school. Very vivid.
Looks like a highly interesting conversation indeed.
I found this painting quite intriguing for some reason, I think it is of Moses?
Now I wish I could have remebered what all the paintings were of, but I just don't have that good of a memory... I researched some, but could not find information about all of the ones I have posted here. But I think they kind of speak for themselves anyway. :-) Either way, I can say that I was very tired after this day of non-stop walking and climbing stairs. And having just become one year older, well it felt like my body ached just a tiny bit extra that night. Lol! Naw, it was actually not that bad to turn 30. Now I just won't ever mention my age again! ;p But seriously, I can honestly say that I will never forget this birthday because it was a truly amazing and unforgettable day in many ways.
Moving on, next post will be my last one from Rome and it will include photos from the streets of Rome as well as my experiences with some of the Italian cuisine. A rather yummy post in other words. :-)
On my birthday we decided to spend the day visiting the stunning St. Peter's Basilica in Rome and the Vatican Museum (Sistine Chapel). Now I had heard that you should be prepared to stand in line for about two hours to get into the St. Peter's Basilica, wow! Though, I must admit that I was a bit skeptical when I heard that - I mean really, two hours to get into a church? But, the rumors were true! Although, we ended up "only" having to queue for about 1,5 hours to get in. Even so, the waiting time was definitely worth it!! And it did not feel like it took that long either because the queue moved pretty much all the time. It was also quite fun to see how newly arrived people became just as stunned as I was when I realized where the queue started. Lol! But finally we got to go through the security check (which was what the queuing was for) and proceed into the very beautiful St. Peter's Basilica, where I of course managed to take a crazy amount of photos (as usual)...
So, initially my plan was that this post would be with photos from both the St. Peter's Basilica and the Sistine Chapel. But because I really want to share enough photos to be able to convey my experience properly from these places, I have decided to divide my birthday visits into two posts. Therefore this post will be all about the St. Peter's Basilica and the next post all about the Sistine Chapel. So below are photos from my birthday at The Stunning St. Peter's Basilica In Rome. :-)
My sister and I were not the only ones on our way to the St. Peter's Basilica...
The St. Peter's Basilica seen from down the road of the St. Peter's Square.
Now in Roman Catholic tradition the St. Peter's Basilica is the burial site of its namesake Saint Peter, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus. It is also said that Saint Peter's tomb is directly below the altar of the basilica. The St. Peter's Basilica is the most renowned work of Renaissance architecture and it remains one of the largest churches in the world. Some of its architects are; Michelangelo, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Raphael, Donato Bramante and Carlo Maderno. The St. Peter's Basilica is located in the Vatican City, the smallest independent state in the world. Each year nearly 4 million people visit St Peter's Basilica.
And this is where the queue to St. Peter's Basilica started, in the middle of St. Peter's Square...
... and it continued all around the square.
After 1,5 hours we finally got to go into the St. Peter's Basilica.
View over the St. Peter's Square from the entrance to the church.
Beautiful art we saw on our way to the elevator to get closer to the top of the tallest dome in the world.
And I am very glad we paid 7 Euros to take the elevator by the way! Because, although it says 320 stairs to the top of the dome AFTER taking the elevator, it felt like a lot more!!!
Halfway to the top of the dome we stopped in here to check out the view.
A very glowing roof.
With many, sacred I am sure, men.
The walls were also filled with beautiful art.
And now we are on our way up to the top of the dome via the very narrow 320 stairs...
N-A-R-R-O-W I tell ya!
But, once we made it up all the stairs and after I caught my breath and drank a ton of water (maybe I am not in very good shape...lol) this is the view we were greeted by. So climbing those narrow steps up all the way there was worth it indeed! And this is the classic view over the St. Peter's Square, where you can also see the never ending queue...
View over the Vatican Museum.
Of course my sister and I were not the only ones up there.
Here we have gone back down those 320 very narrow steps to the halfway point again.
And here I am looking up at the dome we just came down from.
We were aaall the way up there.
At the halfway point I also took a closer look at these fellows, namely Jesus and his disciples.
Who look like this from the ground.
Finally we entered the main part of the St. Peter's Basilica, where it naturally was very crowded.
But I can certainly see why it was, and always seem to be, so many people there - it is filled with stunning art!
And all so vivid.
The biggest altar I have ever seen! More specifically this is Bernini's first work at St. Peter's - The Baldacchino. The Baldacchino is a pavilion-like structure 30 meters (98 ft) tall and claimed to be the largest piece of bronze in the world, which stands beneath the dome and above the altar.
The light was even artistic in there.
But finally we had to leave, I think that is the pope's balcony by the way.
St. Peter's Basilica's Guards...
The Vatican City, with its less than 1000 citizens, actually has its own post office.
We finished off our visit at the St. Peter's Basilica with some birthday lunch at the St. Peter's Square.
Which we shared with this very unafraid birdie. Hehe.
Say: "Aaaa.". :-)
All in all I had a very pleasant, though quite exhausting, first half of my birthday at the St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. Now I knew churches could be beautiful, but this was really breathtaking. So much spectacular art and masterpieces in one place, not to mention all the wonderful views we got to enjoy over the city. And my birthday became even more lovely as we made our way to the Sistine Chapel to enjoy all the amazing art there, but more about that in my next post. :-)
I think there is quite a big difference between Property In Turkey and property here in Sweden, something I am sure has a lot to do with the big differences in climate between these two countries. For example, in Sweden the most common type of property among families are wooden houses and brick houses. In Turkey however, houses seem to be built more out of stone - a material I do believe result in a nice comfortable cool temperature inside on those hot Turkish days. An occurrence we seldom experience in Sweden, hence there are not so many stone houses here.
A typical Swedish wooden house.
But whatever type of property one lives in, the most important thing is of course that it is a safe and long lasting one. I live in an apartment in a brick house building, which I feel quite safe in - more so than if it was a wooden building. Because I do prefer brick houses or stone houses, which is the type of property I would love to buy and move into in the future. And who knows, maybe I might even buy some property in Turkey one day? ;-)