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Category: Norway

Looking back: March 2018

Looking back: March 2018

Early in March, we had a second viewing of the house in Arkel. After a weekend of brainstorming, we decided to buy it. We almost got it, we got very far in the negotiating process, but in the end the seller surprised everyone (including the estate agent) by selling it directly to someone else. It was so disappointing, it still makes me sad. We got so close! Oh well, chin up and we’ll keep looking!

That weekend I also went to a winter bird excursion to Ackerdijkse Plassen, a nearby nature reserve.

We spent the next weekend in Haarlem, but since Michiel had a work meeting in Leiden on Friday afternoon, I came with him and walked around Leiden for a couple of hours. I took a lot of photos and plan to spend them on my blog soon! Here’s one photo taken at the Burcht 🙂

We spent a great weekend in Haarlem, Michiel’s sister and her boyfriend joined as well. This is where I grew up, so I showed everyone around Haarlem on Saturday. The weather was a bit grey, but it was a really nice day.

A cat in front of the former prison in Haarlem, which we would visit on an excursion the next day!

Our actual reason for visiting Haarlem was my birthday present by Bart and Kaya: a dinner trip around the world in 5 courses. The menu was AMAZING and the evening was wonderful – what a great birthday present!!

On Sunday we went on an excursion to the former prison in Haarlem, it was housed in a round building. Our guide talked a LOT but finally we did reach the room that we came to see, and that was really impressive… More photos on my blog soon!

I then spent a busy week at work, where I started at 06:30 every day. That meant I didn’t do much else that week, although we did find time for a dinner with my parents and a visit to the theatre to see Fiddler on the Roof with Thomas Acda. Very nice!

On Saturday our friend Katharina and her boyfriend Joris came to visit us (from Brussels/Antwerp). We showed them around Rotterdam on a VERY cold day. The temperature was just below zero, but it was very windy which made it feel like -15!

We finished the afternoon with beer and cider in Fenix Food Factury 🙂 We went home early, because I had to pack for a two week holiday…

I spent the last two weeks of March in Norway. My friend Nicole, who lives in Seattle, always wanted to visit me while I lived in Tromsø. She never got the chance until now (only 3 years after I moved from Tromsø 😉 ), and I decided going back to Norway for holidays would be fun.

We had an amazing trip! Our first stop was Svalbard, the real Arctic, and as Nicole put it: the closest to the North Pole we’d ever get!

We had such a great time there. It was my third visit, but I’m still as amazed by this area every time I visit. We went dog sledding and we went on a long snow scooter trip to the east coast. So beautiful! I hope to publish a blog post about Svalbard soon 🙂

Our next stop was Tromsø, where we got to see the northern lights in all its glory already on our first night!

We also spent a few days on the island Senja, in a DNT cabin… there was so much snow, and it kept snowing all week.

Finally we had a day in Oslo before we both flew back home. Nicole visited her family-in-law, while I spent a wonderful day catching up with friends in the spring sunshine. The highlight of the day was sharing a wonderful sauna experience with Teresa – with this view!

And with that, March came to an end. What a wonderful month! 🙂

A sunny weekend in Oslo

A sunny weekend in Oslo

A week ago I had visitors: not only Michiel, but his mum, sister and sister’s boyfriend came to Oslo! The weather has been really sad and grey this winter, I was really getting fed up of all the grey low clouds. I was so excited when the weather forecast showed sun for this weekend: excellent!

Michiel and his mum arrived on Friday afternoon, and we went to visit the Viking Ship Museum that I hadn’t been to yet. I really enjoyed it, very impressive to see the big ships and I loved the way they made the museums – it’s almost like a church. And the shadows were the best…

The Viking Ship Museum - loved the shadows

Viking Ship Panorama

After we were done at the museum, we walked to Paradisbukta where we enjoyed the sunshine and did some people (and dog) watching…

Michiel and his mum at Paradisbukta

Michiel and his mum at Paradisbukta

We watched ferries go by, and people with dogs

We walked along the fields, I really love how you can feel like you’re taking a walk in the countryside at Bygdøy, while actually you’re in central Oslo. So pretty…

I love how you can feel like you're taking a walk in the countryside at Bygdøy, while you're actually in central Oslo

Jessica and Sander arrived later in the evening. On Saturday we got up early, as we had a lot planned for the day! We started at my favourite place: Vigelandsparken. Never fails to impress. I have been there so many times now, but I still discover new details and I never get bored. And it looks extra good with blue skies and sunshine!


Vigelandsparken - I have visited many time but I still discover new details and still get impressed

My favourite sculpture: the dancing girl with the wild hair

The most famous sculpture in the park, the angry baby

We then walked to the Royal Palace, and continued into the city centre.

In front of the Royal Palace

Of course we visit the Opera building, where you can walk on the roof. It’s such an amazing building, inside and outside.

Starting to climb the roof of the Opera

Jess and Sander on the roof of the Opera

View from the Opera - what a beautiful day!

There was still a thin layer of ice on the fjord… and a lot of cranes surrounding the Opera, as they’re building a new library and a new Munch museum next to the Opera.

The Opera - plus a lot of cranes as they are building a new library and a new Munch museum next to the Opera

Portrait in front of the Opera

Near the Opera there’s a new art project: wooden A-frames based on the structures they dry (stock)fish on in Northern Norway. Some of them had sounds of whales and dolphins coming out of them. Quite cool!

A frame art near the Opera

We continued to Akershus fortress…

Akershus Festning

And then the murals inside the City Hall, always impressive. And free to visit!

Michiel in front of one of the many murals inside Oslo city hall

Jess took a photo of us :)

More murals and more Michiel :D

Oslo City Hall

I love this mural, it continues even on the ceiling

We walked around Tjuvholmen, had a very nice lunch there, and then took a bus to visit the waterfall in Akerselva.

All of us in front of the waterfall at Akerselva

From there we followed the river to Mathallen where we had some drinks in Smelteverken, “the longest bar in Scandinavia”. Afterwards we walked back into town again, where we had dinner. And walked home. We walked almost 20 km that day!! And we managed to see everything that Michiel has seen on all his visits combined PLUS some places that he hadn’t seen yet (Akershus fortress, and the city hall murals). Not bad for one day!

They left the next morning, when the weather also decided to turn grey. Never mind, we had made the most of the sunshine!

Bygdøy Sunset

Bygdøy Sunset

Happy 2017! Here’s to lots of love, good health and fun adventures 🙂

I have a lot of photos waiting to be posted, but for now just a series of photos I took today. It was a grey and foggy day, but the clouds were supposed to clear in the afternoon. I took a gamble and cycled to Paradisbukta on Bygdøy in the hope of a nice sunset. I got so much more than I was hoping for – AMAZING colours, and such a beautiful place to watch it from. Enjoy 🙂

Sunset from Bygdøy - this is what it looked like when I arrived

Soon it started to look like this - wow!

I wasn't the only one admiring the sunset

Beautiful colours in all directions


I couldn't stop taking photos

And of course in Norway there is always someone having a campfire and grilling sausages!