Cool winter beach best place to chill

Cool winter beach best place to chill #1All four seasons have their charm and their significant change in Norway makes them even more fascinating. One place to experience the differences during the year is the beach: Hot and inviting to swimming in the water in the summer time – crisp, fresh air and inviting to skiing or skating in the winter time – as well as the golden beauty of fall and the nature waking up from hibernation in spring time. You can’t have it all at one time, but since I have been living for a while and been blogging over the years about the four seasons has made me even more aware and fascinated by this phenomena.
When my wife and I take a long weekend at our vacation home in Sweden, we often go to the beach at sunset for a photo hunt. I gladly take you along and when thinking of sharing it with you, I came up with the idea for the title of this post:

Cool winter beach best place to chill”:
Cool winter beach best place to chill #2 Cool winter beach best place to chill #3
Let me show you what I mean about the significance change in the seasons with a couple of pics from the same beach at the summer time (click the pics to bigify and enjoy!):
Hot Scandinavian Beach #2 Hot Scandinavian Beach #3
Like I said, the golden beauty of nature is proven in the fall and of course I have a couple of pics from the same beach illustrating – or what do you think?:
Fall at Lake Vänern in Sweden #2 Fall at Lake Vänern in Sweden #1
To sum it up, I made a collage with photos from the Cool beach best place to chill:
Cool winter beach best place to chill #A

I hope you all can understand why I feel lucky to be able to experience all four seasons, enjoying the beauty of the nature in each one. Outdoor recreation for me is the best way to get in contact with the world around me and recharge my batteries. What about you?

Celebrating New Year with Seafood and Fireworks

Happy New Year 2013It’s time to open a new book with blank pages. The book – or blog in my case – I will call it “Opportunity”, and the first chapter is devoted to a Happy New Year Greeting. I could write about New Year’s Resolutions, New Year Greeting Cards, New Year’s Day Messages etc., but have decided to concentrate on a look at our New Year’s Eve traditions.
Still at the darkest and often coldest time of the year this sets the scene for enthusiasm and cheer so the celebrations are traditionally a blast of a feast. These traditions are all based on folklore and myths since the return of the sun has an important influence on our daily life and calls for special celebrations. In this post I’ll concentrate on our seafood delight dinner and the fact that we send up our own fireworks:

New Year’s Eve Dinner:
New Years Seafood delight dinner #AWe have followed the same procedure as for many years this Holiday – the best season of the year – Christmas Eve dinner with our children and visiting family the 1st day of Christmas (for the Yule Smorgasbord, click to read my post about the feast of traditional food: Norwegian Christmas Day Smorgasbord). Next stop is our vacation home in Sweden to celebrate New Year’s Eve. There are three important ingredients in this celebration; a week off, seafood dinner with champagne and of course setting off our own fireworks. Let’s start with the dinner:
My regular readers know we love seafood and no wonder since we have such a long coastline and Norwegians are known as fishermen. Only the best is on the table this evening: lobster, crab, crawfish and shrimp – all naturel – and the whole topped with a bottle of champagne. To make it short: click the photo to bigify, sit in and enjoy!

Setting off our own fireworks:
Happy New Year 2013Ever since my childhood, I remember we were allowed to stay up until pass midnight to see the fireworks. I also remember passing this tradition on to my children and the day before we would build a big ramp to shoot them off with snow and ice holding bottles for the rockets. These days for convenience and safety, I’ve changed from rockets to a box of fireworks with only one fuse.
Part of the anticipation is to buy it the day before. They demonstrate all the kinds they have on a video and we bought one which lasted for a bit more than a minute. Everyone goes out to see and the children have fun with sparklers : -). How we buy it and do it is to be read in my post: .

Happy New Year:
A new year has just begun and from all of me to all of you dear readers I wish you all the best and:
Happy New Year – Godt Nytt År – Gelukkig nieuwjaar – Bonne année – Gutes Neues Jahr – Buon Capo d’Anno – Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu – Szczesliwego Nowego roku – Feliz ano novo – Feliz Año Nuevo !

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.