7 years of blogging at RennyBA’s Terella

RennyBA celebrating 60 years with a look backHappy blogaversary to Terella.no! As many of you may remember from previous years, my adventure with blogging started out as an experiment. I was lecturing a class in “Technology Business and the Society” at the Norwegian School of Management and among the topics was a new phenomenon; Blogging. Considering myself a network evangelist, the concept fascinated me and I decided to try starting my own blog. After a short time I was addicted as it seems blogging filled several needs in my personal interests. It filled my need to be social and meet new people, it fulfilled my interest in networking, my passion for technology, and last but not least it enhanced my enthusiasm for photography providing a place to share my interests with people from all around the world.

Blogging connecting people:
Oslo Blog Gathering Logo 365-400Over the years I have experienced many new and interesting things because of my blog. I have met new people who over the years have become good friends to me. I now have friends all over the world, and have both visited other bloggers and had many visitors in my homeland because of our connection through blogging.
Oslo Blog Gathering in 2010 is a good example of how blogging has brought myself and others together. Not only did I get the opportunity to meet many of my readers face to face, but many of those who started reading my blog have become friends with each other have built new friendships and new networks out from people they met in Oslo.

Living the good life through blogging:
In recent years living a good life – or as the Italians say “La Dolce Vita” has become more and more important to me! When I came down with Parkinson’s disease a few years ago I had to learn to slow down and give more focus to enjoying life. I quickly experienced that blogging also enhanced my personal enjoyment and quality time with my wife DianeCA. Diane shares my interest in photography and social media, and together our quality time together grows when we share it with others.
7 years of blogging at RennyBA’s Terella #B
We both enjoy photo hunting and trying to capture the magic of the day, the season or the moment. We often enjoy what we are doing that much more while we are imprinting a memory that we will later share with others. We have also traveled around Europe over the last few years and met up with some of our blogging friends. Almost anywhere we wish to travel we already know someone we can contact in that land.

Expanding to other social media – a bonus not a replacement:
In the past couple of years some of the time I used to spend blogging has gone over to new forms for Social Media such as Twitter, Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn etc. I don’t see these things so much as a competition to my blog as an enhancement. I use them to keep in daily contact with friends from the blogsphere – and while I may blog less often than I did in the beginning, I like to keep my theme – Norway and the Nordic countries; our culture, traditions and habits while keeping the quality of my posts at a high level. I feel it is more important that the reader learn something interesting from my posts then that they follow my daily movements.

Blogging Connecting People to meet up in France

OsloBG The Mayor’s reception at the City Hall #1Social Media like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google+ and of course “Blogging Connecting People”, is one of my sayings. I mean it opens up new ways to learn about other cultures, traditions and habits and then breaks down barriers the same way. Even more; it creates opportunities to make friends around the world and as a network evangelist, of course I love that. After almost 7 years of blogging, I have plenty of examples: Hosting the Oslo Blog Gathering in 2010 with about 30 participants from all over the world was of course an experience of a life time (photo on top is from the grand opening at the town hall) and after that traveling to Lisbon to visit Helena at Lelé Batita and Luis , the Portugal’s representatives.
For me Connecting People and Meet Up adventures actually started even before that; in France when Claudie and Pierre invited not only my wife and I, but another blog couple from Norway and a couple from Sweden as well. We had a jolly good time and photos tell more than a thousand words; so here is a collage from that week:
Blog Meet Up in France 2009
The hosts gave us a taste of France cuisine every day – we was at a jazz concert in their local town and we visited the beach at Bandol, in Marseilles and Toulouse.
Her are my posts from this wonderful week in France 2009:

1: Building friendships at Blog Gathering in South France
2: Blog Gathering at Ollioules in Provence France
3: Blog Gathering in Provence France visits Le Castelle
4: Norwegians visiting Montreux by Lake Geneva in Switzerland

You might have guessed why I put up this post right now? Yea; Blogging is still Connecting and gives the opportunities to meet up: We are meeting up with Claudie and Pierre again this week and are so much looking forward to seeing them again. So stay tuned, I will of course post about it when I get home and in the mean time you can follow us daily on Facebook!

Blogger tourist in Milan in Lombardian region of Italy

Milan is the capital of Lombardia and best known as an economic and financial center. It’s the richest and most populous region of Italy and also the second largest in the country. Founded by the population of the Insubri in the 6th century BC, its original name was Medhelan, which means centre of perfection, then changed into Mediolanum and finally Milano. To me it’s a city full of charm, where the ancient and the modern perfectly coexist as you may say it also has a fair share of cultural and architectural attractions like Duomo, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Scala, Sforzesco Castle and many more.
I was in Milan last weekend when attending CEPIS Council Meeting and having my wife along, we had some time for exploring some of these attractions too. As always I love to share and suggest – to set the mood – that we start with Duomo di Milano, the magnificent Gothic Cathedral:
Milan Piazza Duomo

The Piazza del Duomo:
In 1859, when the cathedral was close to completion after a construction period of almost 500 years, the city of Milan decided it was time to create a large square at the foot of the cathedral. It launched a competition for the design which attracted 176 participants. The Italian architect Giuseppe Mengoni was selected as the winner.
Milan Piazza Duomo A
He designed a wide open square flanked by grand buildings to offset the dominance of the enormous Duomo. At the same time he also designed a monumental glass-covered arcade (top right pic in the collage) to connect the new square with the just completed Piazza della Scala: the square in front of Milan’s most famous theatre; the Teatro alla Scala.

Castello Sforzesco:
The Sforzesco Castle is one of Milan’s most important monuments. It long served as a symbol of power for local and foreign rulers. At the start of the early 20th century the castle was saved from demolition and now houses a number of civic museums.
Milan Castello Sforzesco A
In 1358 Galeazzo Il Visconti, the first duke of Milan, ordered the construction of a fortress. Completed in 1368, it had a basic layout with four walls, each 180 meters long (591 ft) and a square tower at each corner. His successors Gian Galeazzo and Filippo Maria expanded the fortress and converted it into a palatial residence. After Filippo Maria Visconti died without leaving an heir in 1447; the Milanese people proclaimed the Ambrosian Republic and razed the castle – seen as a symbol of the Visconti – to the ground.

World Wide Exhibition of 2015:
Milan Piazza MercantiDue to its strong international and economic nature, Milan will be hosting the Expo 2015, a very important international event taking place every some years in the most important world capitals.
It’s already visible in the city (see tower in the left pic) and I told you the city is where the ancient and the modern perfectly coexist. A typical example is Piazza Mercanti, a picturesque square, just a stone’s throw away from the Duomo. During the Middle Age, this was the commercial and governmental center of Milan. Today it is not as hectic anymore though the intimate pedestrian square does seem to throw you back to the Middle Ages thanks to its historic architecture. I don’t have a photo of the Piazza, but Via Mercanti might give you an idea:
Milan Via Mercanti

Navigli – Milan’s Venice:
I’ll end this little taste of what Milan has to offer with another Must Visit in Milan. You see, situated in a favorable area in north Italy, in the past Milan has been a city of waters, thanks to its numerous canals called Navigli, the majority of which is now covered. But if you walk along the banks of the few still open, in the area of Porta Ticinese, you will have the feeling of a little Venice. We had a guided tour there, full of impressions and photos – so much so I’ve made a whole post of it – to be seen here: Blogger tourist in Italy at Navigli in Milan.

So this is my second post from our stay in Milan, but stay tuned – there is one more to go as we had a gourmet adventure in a local restaurant with the Lombardian regional specialties!

Blogger tourist in Italy at Navigli in Milan

Navigli in Milan #1Milan in the Lombardian region of Italy was once a city of waters and in the past just as rich of canals as Venice. The majority of these canals are drained or covered today, while a few are left untouched and visible – mainly in the area of Porta Ticinese, where the two great Navigli start: the Great Naviglio and the Naviglio Pavese.
In its heyday, the canals formed a 150km long network that connected the city with the rivers and lakes in the region. The canals were used for irrigation; they provided the city with water and were ideal to transport people and goods to and from remote areas as far as the Alps and even the sea, reached via the river Po. The marble used for the construction of the Duomo was transported via these waterways from the Lago Maggiore near the Alps to the centre of the city.
I was there while attending CEPIS Council Meeting and our host AICA invited us to a walk and boat trip on this historical ground. I gladly take you along and let’s start with a collage to set the mood:
Navigli in Milan #A
Two long streets run along the Navigli and walking along the banks of the Navigli is certainly worth it, the visitor has the feeling of walking down the streets of Venice.

A bit of history:
Construction of the oldest canal – the Ticinello – started in 1179, quickly succeeded by a number of other canals. A series of locks were built to overcome the differences in elevation which at the time posed a serious technical challenge. It is said that Ludovico di Moro, Duke of Milan at the end of the 15th century requested the help of Leonardo da Vinci to design an innovative system of locks.
Thanks to this network of canals, Milan had one of the country’s largest inland ports, despite the absence of a main river. The canals were so much part of the urban fabric that some areas of the city resembled Venetian neighbourhoods. With the growing importance of road transportation, traffic on the canals dwindled quickly and many were filled in during late 19th and early 20th century until the activity came to a complete standstill in 1979.

Naviglio Grande:
The most interesting of the few remaining canals is where we were: the Naviglio Grande. Here you’ll find iron pedestrian bridges, a small church – the Santa Maria delle Grazie al Naviglio – and the picturesque Vicolo dei Lavandai. Here women washed their family’s clothes with water from the canal. Many women also took in laundry as a business while there husband worked mostly as sailors or fisherman and together they supported their families. The mostly pedestrian-friendly streets along the canal were once tow-paths, from which horses and oxen towed the barges. Again a collage to sum up:
Navigli in Milan #B

A boat trip along the canal:
While on the boat trip, I took the chance of filming with my mobile phone and if pictures say more than a thousand words, what do you think of this : -)

My wife and I had a four days stay in Milan when I took the advantage of combining business with pleasure. This town has of course much more to offer and we have more to share. So stay tuned for a historical roundtrip as well as a gourmet adventure in a local restaurant with the Lombardian regional specialties!

RennyBA’s Blog Friends meet up in Mariestad Sweden

Mariestad The Osean City #1My motto is Blogging connecting people and meeting blog friends in person is always special after you’ve gotten to know them through their posts over the years. As many of you know we have our vacation home in Mariestad, the pearl of Lake Vänern, and this year we had the privilege of inviting our good friends TorAa and wife Anna from Norway as well as Mr. & Mrs. Lifecruiser from Sweden to a Scandinavian blog gathering there last weekend. Like other bloggers, these folks love to travel and are always looking for adventures and are eager to go photo hunting in new places – so I was looking forward to showing them around in Mariestad with its slogan: “The Sea City” (goes well with the photo – don’t you think).
Mariestad Harbor in Sweden #1
Mariestad Harbor Summer 2011

Some may think that Mariestad, popular in the summer time with its beaches and islands, might be kind of dull in the winter time. It’s true that there are fewer tourists and fairs, festivals or exhibitions, however there is still a lot to see and experience in this charming town all year round. Let me give a few examples:

The Cathedral and The Old Town:
Mariestad was founded in 1583 by Duke Karl (later become King Karl IX), who named the city after his wife, Duchess Maria av Pfalz. The hidden jewel at the heart of the city is the beautiful wooden buildings of the Old Town, which were erected in the 18th and 19th centuries and are still almost perfectly intact. The city of Mariestad suffered a great fire in 1895 so this old section is the only one not destroyed by the raging flames.
Cultural pearls in medieval surroundings #2 Wandering through time in old Mariestad #8
Mariestad Cathedral is built (1593–1625) upon antagonism between the two brothers Duke Karl and Johan III. Duke Karl copied his brother’s drawings over the church in the capital city, Stockholm (St. Klara Church), drawn by the Dutchman Wilhelm Boy. As you can see, it’s close by the old town and of course with its tower which is a landmark of Mariestad.

Exhibition: MC – Adventure – Freedom:
Mariestad had more to offer then its own charm this weekend – , in the library of all places we found a MC Exhibition. Taurus MC club, founded 20 years ago, held their annual MC show with about 100 enthusiastic members who enjoy displaying some of their treasures. Every spring they do a long weekend trip, one was even to Norway! Their favorite destination is south Europe where riding on the scenic Alps are the top of the cream : -)
The exhibition’s main attraction was this beauty of a bike model 1993, build in India. Royal Enfield MC have been continuously built for more than 100 years – the longest in the world:
Exhibition: MC – Adventure – Freedom #1
Royal Enfield 500 Bullitt
Exhibition: MC – Adventure – Freedom #2 Exhibition: MC – Adventure – Freedom #3
A mini model display and some club photos

The bloggers meet up:
Camp base was our vacation home just outside of the city. Whenever we get together – even if it was two years since we met the Lifecruisers – it always feels like we met just yesterday. I guess it’s because we have so much in common. Traveling and photo shooting are well documented in this post, and of course good food and beverages was part of the fun too, which can be documented this way:
Blog Meet Up #1
Computers, Sangria and champagne on the table : -)
Blog Meet Up #2 Blog Meet Up #3
Left: Spanish Tapas – Right: Lifecruiser’s shrimp cocktail with Champagne onion
Blog Meet Up #5 Blog Meet Up #6
Left: Anna is cooking -> Right: An authentic old fashioned slow cooked meat dinner

We had a lot to talk about at this little Scandinavian blog gathering. Of course there is all we have in common but we also have a secret plan – a common dream – or rather a common goal. We will all meet again a bit south for Scandinavia. Keep watching and maybe you will catch a glimpse of us all together again this summer – in Provence, South of France at our good friend Claudie & Pierre’s home! The days are getting longer and the sun is higher in the sky, and we are looking forward to more exploring with good blog friends real soon.