Posts Tagged ‘Sweden’

Signal Lost

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

Readers discretion is advised. This post might contain a high amount of small-town-attitude.

So I try to leave early to avoid arriving in Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, during mid-rush hour. I figure, referring to experience from Göteborg, Swedens second largest village, that arriving around 14.30 would give me plenty of confidence to locate my hotel downtown - a place where I’ve hardly ever driven before.

9:00-14:40 All sunny and dry, singing out loud in the car.

14:45 I hit Söderleden, Stockholm.

14:46 My GPS starts to come alive after being all “in 289 km, keep left.” Yes, noted.

14:48 I enter a tunnel. A LONG tunnel. We all know what happens to GPS signals in a tunnel. I have absolutely no idea what so ever where I’m headed and the tunnel seems to last forever. Traffic is heavy and my mood begins to drop.

14:50 Sweaty and needing my signal I exit and end up in Hammarby Sjöstad.

14:55-15:30 Downhill from there. Not only is the rush hour traffic getting really crowded, I also end up driving in the puddle of the city where my GPS can’t keep up with all the supposed turns and I feel like I’m winning the most-wrong turns-in-30-minutes championship for out-of-towners.

15:33 Parked in garage at hotel. I swear to myself it’s the last time I’ll drive in Stockholm.

Maybe it’s just me? But I’ve driven in Seattle, Vancouver, Orlando and San Francisco during rush hour. Never a problem. But then again, US road system is a bliss.

Image: http://travel.latimes.com/daily-deal-blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/baybridge.jpg

35 mm Mjörn

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

Lately I’ve felt a bit uninspired on the photo side. Until I got to borrow my boss’ 35 mm lens this weekend. Oh do I need one! And Scandinavian Photo finally got them in stock.

Reindeer Spotting

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

Current location: favorite part of country

I’m not going to twaddle about my special connection to this northern hemisphere - I think I’ve done enough of that before.

Still, passing the Arctic Circle and entering Gällivare as the sun sets cannot be described as anything but special. I somehow love passing the road signs telling you to get off here if heading for Jokkmokk, Karesuando, Arvidsjaur, Koskullskulle, or Nattavaara. Dogding reindeer families slowly crossing the highway.

The vastness is spectacular. So spectacular you really didn’t expect the police sitting in a remote corner, doing…nothing, apparently. Very Laponian though, taking it easy. And not that my extremely tired Volvo V50 would ever know what speeding meant anyway. Volvo safety.

Speedy

Monday, July 20th, 2009

This guy was certainly not burning rubber on tarmac.

On my way out for an explore cruise I crossed paths with this fella’. I myself got a nice drive, got really scared and of course lost, all in just one hour.

What scared me? I saw this really cool, I thought at the time, abandoned house and pulled over at a construction site to explore. Unfortunately the house was well hidden until I made it to its front door. And I freaked out. I suddenly realized that this is not a home. It was a skeleton, burned out, torn, abandoned. Anyone could be inside. This former house had no owner, no family, no locks, no nothing.

I wanted to just run but since I made the effort I felt stupid if I left without doing what I came to do. So I put my gorillapod on some rummage (and with the wide angle you need to get as close as you dare) and kept my eyes shut until I left. Blll…Next time, if there is one, I will bring company.

Fresh Air

Friday, July 17th, 2009

After repeatedly reading tributes on how great the GTI goes in corners and how much fun it is to take is out for a spin on snaky roads it was finally time. Unfortunately I kept ending up behind Sunday drivers and it was only when I left the small isles and was back on the mainland the GTI could stretch properly.

I’m still trying to wipe of that grin that inevitably takes your face hostage. It IS a wonderful little car. But why isn’t there a good Swedish word for hothatch? I refuse to refer to my car as a …kombi. No matter what Transportstyrelsen says in their registration papers.

Waiting FOR the ferry. A longer wait than the actual 3 minute ride ON the ferry. Lucky I have a good view.

Stopping for g…no, wait. No, I was right, it’s just another beautyshot with an abandoned gas station.

iSpring In Göteborg

Saturday, April 18th, 2009

Saturday 18th April in Göteborg.

Fun & Falls

Saturday, February 14th, 2009

I’m so enjoying my skiing experience. I was out from 10 (when the lifts open) and had to stop myself at 3. 
The upside if skiing alone is that I can do everything in my pace. The downside is the long, boring lift ride to the top. Also after an entire day of not talking and just breathing -10C air my voice sound funny when finally using my croaking voice to return my skis. 

I did fall four times today. The antidote for a declining self-confidence however is getting back on the horse. So after lunch I rode up all the way to the top starting on a red piste. Challenging yourself and getting over obstacles give you the fuel, no doubt. After that it was shuttle service for me.

Learning The Basics

Friday, February 13th, 2009

After a beautiful drive from Sundsvall I’m in Sollefteå. I’m here to check off another item on my bucket list:

  • Learning how to ski 

It might not be pretty (and trust me, it’s not) but I try my best. I started with a private lesson here in Sollefteå. It’s small, sunny, freshly groomed and barely a soul around. After an hour my teacher was happy with my progressions and left me to practice. 

Oh how fun it was. I can’t wait to wake up tomorrow and put on my three layers. And practice, practice, practice.

Between Sundsvall and Sollefteå lies Viksjö. With picture perfect snow-on-roof.

Two x Breakfast

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

Blissed business flying continues, this time with SAS Göteborg-Sundsvall via Stockholm. The peaceful turning of newspaper pages and the soft humming of the rear MD engines are true sleep enhancers. I don’t usually regard anything before 7 “morning” but SAS actually serving anything at all (fresh bread, muesli and tea) put me in a more forgiving mood.  And from null to nothing I got the same breakfast treatment on my connecting flight to Sundsvall. Even if I slept throughout the flight I woke up with the breakfast pack next to me. And it’s nice to know that I’m not the only alien up here. The second the passengers exit the plane in Sundsvall into -23 we can start talking mass-coughing. Go figure. From plus 23 inside to -23 outside will do that to your lungs.

I’m in the wintery north again. First business, then pleasure. This weekend I will get the opportunity to perhaps check another thing on my TTDBID list -learning how to ski. More on that coming up.

Late afternoon in Sundsvall - 11th February.

Norrland - We Know Winter

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

How’s that for a county slogan? Sure beats most of these. And besides; it’s true and easily proved. Here’s another ode to my favorite part of the country, in writing and pixels.

The great, generous hospitality of the northeners never cease to surprise me. They always seem willing to go that extra mile for you. Whoever they are, be it strangers, hotel staff, clients or competitors.  I always said that going up north is like coming to the south of Europe. Relaxed, easy-going and friendly. And a bit chilly in winter ;)

Harder Faster Scooter

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

One more thing checked on my “things-to-do-before-I-die” list.

  • Ride a snow scooter

Thanks to the great northern hospitality I had the chance to fullfill a wish of mine. Riding a snow scooter through beautiful winter landscape. Since I don’t ski (but that’s also on my list) I have to make do with enjoying the snow by either taking pictures of it or just play in it.  Still I need a bit more adrenalin and speed and what better way than on a scooter? Thanks to B. Johansson and his son at Snofed for helping me check off my list. It was truly 22 km of sheer joy with the biggest smile under the helmet.

Putting the Sun in Sunday

Sunday, August 24th, 2008

Finally the weather gods got it straight. After all; it’s called SUNday. Swedes are not spoiled with beautiful sunny Sundays with perfect temperature, a light breeze, neat cloud formation that look good on camera and a salad lunch by the water. Oh yes, and some rhubarb sherbet to finish it off. Now that’s what I call battery charging with value.

Last Night Of Summer

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

Might as well have been Monday evening. Since then it has been pouring. Dacke is an old fella but he loves an unleashed walk by the water in the sunset just as much as me and miss K.

There’s something about those Swedish summer nights.

Umeå - en ny favvis?

Friday, November 30th, 2007

Kanske kan Umeå hamna högt upp på listan bland otippat trevliga städer. Tre starka motiveringar följer här:

Lottas krog. Invito. Scandic Plaza.

Lottas krog kan inredningsvis påminna något om ett upphottat Harrys, men maten och fullsatta bord varje kväll gör skillnaden mer än markant. Vet man inte bättre är servicen obefintlig, men läser man noga på menyn står det hur man ska gå till väga:

1. Bestäm mat.
2. Beställ maten i baren.
3. Beställ dryck därefter, i baren.
4. Betala i baren.
5. Sätt dig och vänta på maten.

Glad i magen och själen tror man givetvis inte att nästa middag i Umeå ska bräcka Lottas. Vi är sugna på italienskt och finner ett 30 meter från hotellet. Invito. Även det fullsatt, men vi kläms in och blir snabbt servade. Att första sidan i menyboken är en lista över champagnedrinkar gör mig tillräckligt nöjd för att bara dricka champagne faktiskt, men matsedeln lockar med grillad tonfisk, gnocchis, liguriska oliver och en grillade scampis. När vi är klara är jag redo att fria till kocken på studs, liksom mitt resesällskap, tills han hör att kocken är man. I vilket fall har jag ätit den godaste maten so far i Sverige, i just Umeå.

Och så Scandic Plaza som istället för 80 cm sängar kör med Kingsize och badkar. Och nygräddade våfflor till frukost. Need I say more?

16 timmar

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007

tog det att sträckköra till Luleå från Göteborg. För de som inte visste och alltid undrat. I det timantalet är pauser inte inräknat. Och bättre förutsättningar kunde vi inte haft, sommarväglag och gnistrande, snötung granskog längs vägkanten hela vägen. Inga köer, inga renar på vägbanan och ingen nederbörd. Det är väglycka det.

Luleå, och framför allt Boden bjöd på smärtsamt vackra naturscener i minus 15 grader där varje tunn gren blivit en vit, frostig motsvarighet. Ja, t.o.m. fartkamerorna smälte in. Till råga på allt var det enda jag glömde i packningen min kamera. Tusan. Nåja, Umeå som jag befinner mig i nu är inte så dumt det heller, godaste maten i stan intas på Lottas krog, sedan ett badkarsbad och ett glas Amarone. För det är jag banne mig värd :)