Up until 1879 each city in Sweden had its own local time. But as the use of the railway became more and more popular in Sweden, the use of time also became more important. And it was difficult for train companies to write and keep an accurate time table due to all the different time zones. Which was why the Swedish Standard Time was introduced on January 1st in 1879. Actually Sweden was the first country in the world that legislated the introduction of Standard Time.
And in 1895 the first attempt was made to also introduce Summer Time in Sweden. The reason for this suggestion was that it would help to better utilize the light part of day during summer in Sweden. But it was not until 1980 we officially started to use this time zone as well. So now every year at the end of March we turn our clocks forward one hour. We stay in this time zone until the end of October, when we turn our clocks back to Standard Time.
What time is it? (Lyckeby, Sweden.)
Now I have always found this change of clocks a bit confusing. In fact I would prefer that we always go by Standard Time in Sweden. Mainly because I feel more tired during Summer Time and I feel like the days go by much faster then. So I was indeed very happy that we finally got to turn our clocks back one hour this night/morning. In fact, I feel more rested already. Yay! :-)
These photos represent why I LOVE fall! Now I pass these trees several times every day here in Lyckeby in Sweden. But today it struck me that they all look like they have been infected by a serious dose of sunshine. So beautiful!!! :-)
And even though we turn back the clock one hour this Sunday in Sweden so we can maximize our use of daylight during this time of the year. These types of radiating natural resources definitely also help to brighten up these darker days. Lovely, lovely! :-)
Today I turned 29 years old. A day that has pretty much felt like any other day though. Except for a family birthday dinner and reflection over the past year in my life. The conclusion I made through my little reflection was that I am happy with where I am in my life right now, and I look forward with great anticipation to the rest of it. And my birthday dinner was awesome, so of course I ate way too much! Lol!
Below are some photos of the reasons why I am so stuffed right now. :-)
Fried salmon with boiled potatoes and lemon sauce. Simple and so tasty!!!
Fabulous New York Cheesecake my amazing sister made for me. Thanks sis! :p
My piece. Yuuummy!!!
Now I do not even want to think about how many calories I have eaten today. Yikes! But hey, it is my birthday. I mean, if that is not a great excuse to over indulge then I do not know what is? :p
Even though my dog Lisen is 10 years old I still do some obedience training with her from time to time. Mainly just to see if she remember all the tricks my sister and I have taught her through the years. But like I have mentioned before, Lisen does what she is told - IF she feels like it. Lol! In other words, she is very stubborn. Although the one thing that usually does win her over are bribes. Edible bribes that is. So she can be very good at doing what she is told. Nevertheless, I have never really been a candidate for any training your dog awards. Not that I care about that anyway. I am just glad to have Lisen in my life, stubborn and all. :-)
Below are some photos from our training session in the summer rain a few months ago.
Me: "Come on Lisen, look at me.".
Me: "In the eyes please.".
Me: "Good Dog!". Lisen: "So, do I get a treat or what?".
Me: "Give me your paw.". Lisen: "Yeye, here you go.".
Our After Training Talk. Me: "What a good girl you were today Lisen.". Lisen: "Hm, I think gave in way too easy this time...".
There are a lot of ways to create cheap holiday deals for oneself. And because I have traveled quite a bit through the years I have learned that I prefer to make my reservations online. In fact, I pretty much always book my flights and hotels separately nowadays. Especially for long trips, like from Sweden to the US or Australia. Because this way I can see for myself what I am booking and with what company.
Although this does not mean that I always choose the cheapest alternative. Actually I prefer to spend a little bit of extra money on those companies I feel safe with and have had good experiences with in the past. So cheap creative travelling to me does not always mean the cheapest alternatives, but the best alternatives for the best prices.
Another cheap, creative and great way to travel through a country is with a car and tent.
Which is how my sister and I spent five weeks of our three months in Australia. And it was the best five weeks ever! I felt so free and in touch with nature, as well as with myself. I actually prefer to travel simple because that is how I feel I get to experience the culture and surroundings of a country in the best way. Something I wish and hope everyone get the opportunity to do some day.
I love these photos of this lurking male lion my sister and I saw when we were at Dubbo Zoo in Australia. We were there in 2006 and when we stopped by the lions they were just about to get fed. Now the female lions were very eager and hungry indeed, however the big beautiful male lion just hid behind a tree... Something I thought was very weird. But the animal keepers explained that in the wild only the female lions hunt. The male lions stay behind and wait for the female lions to bring them food. Which was why this male lion stayed in the background during feeding time.
Hmm. I wonder what they catch today?
Come on! Do not keep us waiting people!
Mmm. Looks like the ladies got some goodies now. I guess I can walk over there, slooowlyyy...
Such magnificent animals! And I must say, even though I wish that all animals could live freely in their natural habitats instead of in captivity. The Zoos I visited in Australia were among the best ones I have ever been to. Especially this one, Dubbo Zoo. Because this Zoo and its animal keepers genuinely seemed to care for and about the animals here.
I also really appreciated that the animal keepers held information sessions every day about the particular animal species they were responsible for. In these sessions they talked about how to act if you should ever encounter the specific animal species in the wild. They also shared a bit of history about the animal species and how they managed the animals at the Zoo. So I actually learned a lot about animals in Australia. Like the fact that male lions are lazy. Lol! ;-)
I love Sundays. Mainly because it feels like the most calm day of the week. But also because I think that Sunday is the best day to enjoy some different treats. Which for me means for instance;
An extra long walk in the wonderful weather with my dog Lisen. Where we today ran into these very unafraid hens and rooster! Who, instead of walking away from us when we approached them - walked right towards us with firm steps! Lol!
Sunday is also a great day for family visits I think. So after our walk today Lisen and I visited my sister, who treated us to coffee with home made banana cake. Yum!!!
These birds also had some Sunday treats on my sisters patio while we were there. :p
And because I did not let Lisen eat very much banana cake at my sisters, just a few crumbs. I instead gave her this little treat when we got home. Which she seemed pretty pleased with. :-)
Now Sunday is not over yet so I am sure I can squeeze in some more different treats during the evening here. Hehe. And I do wish you all a great Sunday too, filled with lots of different treats! :p
It is definitely fall here in Sweden right now. Which means magnificent colors, wind, rain and the occasional sunshine. Something my dog Lisen and I got a stunning glimpse and experience of a few days ago on our walk here in Lyckeby.
When it was a windy day with worried skies outside.
But also a beautiful day with a touch of sunshine.
And because we did manage to avoid the rain, the walk we had was indeed very nice. :-)
In 1999 when I was 16 years old I went on a completely unplanned three week interrail trip through Europe. The reason for this was because I was dared into it. Now initially my family and I were just supposed to visit relatives in Stockholm for a few days. But when we got there it turned out that my 17 year old cousin had planned to go interrailing with three of her friends. However one of those friends had now become sick and was no longer able to tag along.
Due to this cancelation my aunt refused to let my cousin go on this trip. Because she wanted there to be two boys and two girls instead of one girl and two boys who traveled together. So during a heated discussion about whether or not I would dare to go with them, I said: "Of course I would!". But the truth was that I did not really think it was a serious question. I thought it was more of a typical tease question like: "Well why don't you come along instead Alexandra, ha, ha, ha!?". Which was why I said yes.
BUT, it turned out that my mum thought a trip like this would be a great experience for me. One she wished she had had the opportunity to go on at my age. Ehum, what mum!!!? Mum also said she would sponsor me if I really wanted to go. I guess interrailing was one of those more cheap holidays alternatives back then..? Anyway, after some quick last minute preparations - off we went. And just like that a few days of summer vacation in Stockholm turned into three weeks of interrailing through Europe for me.
Ahhh! What happened!? Feeling a bit crazy in a train station somewhere in Europe...
Left: Pondering in Paris, France. Right: Standing next to some gondolas in Venice, Italy.
Now even though this trip entailed some homesickness and teenage drama. It was indeed one of the most amazing experiences ever! Mostly because I learned so much from it, both about Europe and myself. For instance, it was during this trip that I realized that I am so much more strong and capable than I think I am. And that I should never ever let fear control me. I mean if I had listened to my fears back then I would had missed out on so much. Needless to say, I am very grateful that I dared to say yes to this trip!
Soon starts the season of many holidays in Sweden. As I am sure it does in many other parts of the world as well. However, I am also sure that the temperatures do not drop below 0°C everywhere in the world. Like it usually does in Sweden. Which is why I think it would be fun to take the opportunity to travel to a warmer climate for the holidays. Something more and more people actually tend to do these days. At least in Sweden. Like going on Jamaica holidays or Thailand for instance. Where sights like the one in the photo are nothing more than a distant memory.
Rödeby in Sweden in December of 2010.
So not only is the season of many holiday celebrations approaching quickly. The season for traveling on holidays is approaching right along with it. And I look forward to them both with great anticipation. Because I love the holidays! In all shapes and forms. :p
I wonder if my dog Lisen was house hunting on our morning walk today? Because when we passed some houses here in Lyckeby in Sweden she became suspiciously interested in one of them. Although the house she did decide to have a closer look at was more in the category of pet houses I would say. Small and cute. However, after having inspected the house, I do think Lisen quickly realized that she has it way more comfortable where she lives right now. Which is in a warm, cozy apartment with me. Plus, I would never ever let her move away from me anyway!
But these are the little houses Lisen and I passed by this morning here in Lyckeby, Sweden.
And Lisen was very curious about this little blue house.
But after a closer inspection she probably also realized that all her stuff would never fit in there. Lol!
Ever since 1955 the only chain of stores in Sweden where you can buy alcohol exceeding 3,5% in alcoholic strength is Systembolaget. And it is definitely important to plan ahead if you want to buy alcohol in Sweden. Because Systembolaget has quite limited open hours.
For instance here in Lyckeby, where I live, Systembolaget is usually only open between 10am - 6 or 7pm during weekdays and 10am - 3pm on Saturdays. Always closed on Sundays all over Sweden.
Also you must be at least 20 years old to be able to buy alcoholic beverages exceeding 3,5% at Systembolaget. Even though the legal drinking age in Sweden is 18. And you are allowed to drink and buy all sorts of alcohol at pubs and restaurants from the age of 18. So a bit conflicting age rules I think.
Anyway, the initial idea for monopolizing the sale of alcohol in Sweden came about in the mid 1800s. The goal was to try and decrease the extensive use of liquor at this time. Which was a common cause for health and social problems in Sweden in the 1800s. So really, the very first attempt of alcohol monopoly in Sweden started in the mid 1800s. And it was a successful attempt. But it was not until 1955 that local companies came together and created the national company Systembolaget. A company and concept that has survived to this day.
So this is why we have alcohol monopoly in Sweden today. However, if it still works as intended. Well, that is an entirely different question...
I love going on very cheap holidays! Especially free holidays! And I do get offers to go on free cruises from time to time in my mail box, email that is. Unfortunately these cruises always depart from Stockholm. Which means that I have to travel to Stockholm, about 600 kilometers from where I live in Karlskrona, to be able to use the ticket. Therefore I seldom use these opportunities.
Stockholm archipelago. Where the cruises depart from.
But if I had lived in Stockholm I am sure I would have taken advantage of these offers a bit more. I know my aunt and her husband sometimes go on cruises like these. As do my cousin. By the way these are usually 24 hour shopping cruises to Åbo or Mariehamn, both cities in Finland. Also both cities that I have actually never been to. Which is why I hope that one of these offers will coincide with an already planned trip to Stockholm someday. Because in that case I will surely use the ticket! :-)
It can be a bit tricky to wipe floors with a dog in the house. And by house I mean my apartment. So there is not a whole lot of places I can tell my dog Lisen to move to when I clean it. Which is also why I seldom get to enjoy my newly wiped floors for very long. But it is all good! Because Lisen always look so non understanding when she lies there in the middle of the wet floors. Like she is thinking:
Which means that mornings are now officially freezing cold here in Lyckeby in Sweden! At 9 AM today the temperature was about +3°C outside. Brrr I say! But at least it was a frosty, calm and sunny morning though. Instead of windy or rainy for example. So Lisen and I did manage to have a very nice, but chilly, morning walk. And I of course had to take some photos of the frost in Lyckeby. :p
Although I do wish I had had my other camera with me on this walk, the Canon one. So I could have used that one instead of my iphone to take these photos. But I really never think I will find much to photograph on routine walks. Even though it is usually on such walks I notice changes in nature, or other unusual things. So I must learn to remember this! Always have the Canon camera with you Alex!
Perhaps not the first thing one thinks of when going on holidays to Dubai. At least I thought it was funny and surprising when I came across these things during my visit there. But, despite being located in the middle of a desert, Dubai definitely felt like a modern Middle Eastern city to me. One I am sure has become even more modernized today compared to when I was there in August of 2007.
Starbucks inside Emirates Mall in Dubai
By the ski slopes inside Emirates Mall in Dubai.
But what reminded me of that I was in fact in the Middle East was definitely the clothing of many people there. And I really enjoyed the experience of this mix of cultures. Because it made my visit to Dubai very fascinating and refreshing. Which is why I hope for many more visits to Dubai in the future. :p
On our walk in Rödeby in Sweden today my dog Lisen and I had an encounter with some odd stuffed people by the road. Not sure why they were there? But I think it had something to do with somebody named Stig who works at an Ica food store and recently had his 50th birthday. Because beside the stuffed people was a sign that said something like: " This is your life. ICA Stig 50 years.".
Now the best part about this encounter was to see Lisens reaction. Which was a very, very suspicious one. So finally I had to drag her away from there. But I can imagine they must have seemed extremely strange to her. I mean, even I thought they looked super odd! Lol! :p
Lisen staring at the odd stuffed people earlier today.
While I was photographing at Kolboda camping in Kalmar the other day. All of a sudden I was very confidently approached by a swaggering cat. He/she wanted to be cuddled, and photographed too. I swear! And how on earth could I not take any photos of this cutie!!! So here they are, a few photos of the swaggering cat at Kolboda camping in Sweden.
Yesterday I went on an afternoon excursion to beautiful Kolboda Camping next to Kalmar strait here in Sweden. This lovely little picturesque place is located about 70 kilometers from Karlskrona and 25 kilometers south of Kalmar. And, although a bit confused with rain clouds in the skies, the weather was absolutely stunning there. Also a lot of birds had gathered to make their way to warmer destinations. At least that is where I think they were headed? So all that activity above sure made for a magnificent show among the clouds! In other words a perfect photo opportunity indeed. :p
Actually one of the largest harbor seal colonies in the Baltic Sea live near Kolboda. So in high season the owners of this boat arrange Seal safaris from Kolboda. Although I am not sure when high season is...
A cute little cottage on its very own little island opposite Kolboda camping.
I love sushi! Although it took some time before I attempted to make it on my own. Because for some reason I had gotten the idea that sushi would be complicated to make. But it turns out it does not have to be, in fact sushi can be pretty simple to make. Actually I think you can pretty much eat anything with sushi rice and call it sushi. :p
So when I made "My Simple Sushi" a few days ago I used sushi rice, rice vinegar, sugar, cold-smoked salmon, cucumber and soy sauce. (This photo was taken after I had eaten all cucumber, hence no cucumber in photo...)
I followed the quantity instructions on the sushi rice bag on to how measure and cook the sushi rice. Which was basically done in 4 steps.
1. Rinse rice in cold water.
2. Cover rice with cold water and let rice rest for about 20 minutes.
3. Bring to a boil then let simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes.
4. Rest again for about 10 minutes.
Once the cooking of rice procedure was completed I spread the rice on a tray to cool a bit. I then heated rice vinegar and sugar until sugar melted. After that I poured the mixture onto the rice and stirred gently. This is what gives the rice a bit of a sweet flavor. After that, to speed up the cooling process, I put the rice in the fridge. After about 45 minutes I started to assemble my sushi bits. I grabbed some rice, formed it into an (sort of) oval shape and put a bit of cold smoked salmon on it.
Voila! My simple sushi completed. With the sushi I had cucumber sticks and soy sauce. Not too complicated right?
My doggy Lisen (in the photo) and I had a lovely evening walk here in Lyckeby in Sweden today.
Lisen is in heat right now so she always becomes super happy whenever it is time for a walk. The reason being of course that she hopes to find a suitable male doggy for herself outside. Although, unfortunately for her, I never let her say hello to any male doggies when she is in heat. Hehe.
Also for some reason when she is in this particular phase of her heat period she gets very obsessed with her leash. Outside she wants to carry it by herself. Inside she walks around with it in her mouth and whines. I am sure she has her reasons, but this is one of her behaviors I have not been able to figure out...
Oh well, below are some more photos from our evening walk in Lyckeby today. :p
This is the path in Ekebacken nature reserve where Lisen and I started our evening walk.
We followed the path until we got to to these stairs.
Which lead us to this area in Lyckeby. Where Lisen always find a lot of smells to analyze.
When Lisen finally got her nose up from the ground again we continued to walk here.
Until we got back to the beginning of our walk. We live in the yellow building there. And the path next to it was the one we started our walk from.
But before we could finish our walk Lisen had to make sure not to miss any important smells. And in the right photo she probably thought I should stop to photograph her and get my behind in the elevator. Lol!
Which really only means that you can eat Cinnamon Buns all day and say you are doing it because it is Cinnamon Bun Day, works for me! :p
Now the Cinnamon Bun was first introduced in Swedish households in the 1920s. Because that was when the availability of ingredients increased after the First World War. The main ingredients in Cinnamon Buns are; wheat flour, milk, yeast, sugar and butter. The dough is also often seasoned with cardamom. The classic Cinnamon Bun filling consists of butter, sugar and cinnamon. Of course you can fill this sort of bun with other types of fillings as well.
But why on earth do we celebrate Cinnamon Bun Day in Sweden? Well, Cinnamon Bun Day was first instituted by the Council of Home Baking in Sweden on October 4th in 1999. The Council of Home Baking in turn was created in 1959 by some Swedish food companies with the intention to inform and inspire home baking in Sweden.(Although I suspect they also love to inspire people who bake to buy their products, hehe.)
Anyway, according to the website for the Council of Home Baking they started the Cinnamon Bun Day tradition to celebrate their 40th anniversary. As well as to celebrate the tradition of home baking in Sweden. They chose to highlight the Cinnamon Bun because it has become such a beloved and traditional pastry in Swedish households. Which is true.
Because I have a lot of lovely childhood memories of helping my mum bake Cinnamon Buns in the kitchen. And of course I also have memories of secretly eating as much delicious Cinnamon Bun filling as possible. Lol! Which is why any excuse to eat Cinnamon Buns sounds good to me! :p
No sun in sight today here in Karlskrona in Sweden. In fact, it has been hard to see anything outside on this foggy Sunday. But I like foggy days like these. Everything seems so mysterious and spooky to me. And what better way to turn up the spook factor than to head on into the forest!? Which Lisen and I of course did. But not only did we have to struggle to see in the forest today, we also had to watch out for thousands of wet spider webs! Yikes!
Foggy fog on the road to Rödeby forest.
And for some reason the forest was filled with spider webs today!
They were EVERYWHERE! (The white dots on the grass are spider webs.)
Even all over the trees.
Although all that most spider webs seemed to have caught were raindrops...
More wet spider webs.
And Lisen waiting patiently while I am photographing all these wet spider webs.
Now fortunately for me I do not have any spider phobias. Because I walked into many, many spider webs on this forest walk. Sticky indeed! But I survived, both the fog and wet spider webs. As did Lisen. :-)