Equinox and Fall season in Norway

Hosting a blog about the significant four seasons in Norway and the Nordic countries, it would have been a disregard not to mention todays calendar milestone. We share something that only happens twice a year as all my blogger friends around the world has the same length of day and night. For some its the start of the fall season, for others spring time. For more facts, your welcome to read my equinox spring post here! Some of you have asked for a typical fall type of food in Norway too. Here is the Lamb in cabbage served and we had it today.
Since its Sunday, my wife and I shared another quality time in the forest to get the right season chance mood. We where seeking the natures fall golden collars and found some, but also some very typical Norwegian:

Equinox: Fall In Norway #1 Equinox: Fall In Norway #2

By a lake there was a family gathering. A first grade class children and their parents had a cook out to enjoy the nature and get to know each other. If you look closely at the left picture, you’ll see smoke from a bone fire where they cook sausage stacked on a branch. Read more about this special Norwegian recipe from my last years post: ‘Bonfire at the Easter Egg hunt‘.

I told you this was a typical Norwegian weekend habit. We just love to be out in the nature – whatever season or weather. Today it was misty and 10C (50F) and I took a lot of pics. Some of them prove my saying: ‘There is no such as bad weather – only bad cloths!‘:

There was one episode that really caught our attention: A family going on a Robinson expedition. I thought the story was so cute, so I had to share it with you. At first the children got a bit of help to land safely on the island:
Equinox: Fall In Norway #4

Then they opened their back bag with sandwich for lunch. There was a duck couple swimming by and of course the children wanted them closer so they feed them:
Equinox: Fall In Norway #3

A Challenge to my readers:
On the right side of that picture, you see a stick with a direction sign on top. Can anyone imagine why this sign is there out in the water?!? (maybe Norwegians should be excluded in this contest LoL). I’ll make an update in a couple of days to give you the answer – so stay tuned!

Autumns golden bounty in Norway

Every season has its charm and in Norway they’re significantly different and all four are beautiful. During my post the last month, I have kind of built up an expectation and promised to give you the proof. The report from Kings Mountain City gave you a peek, but it was quite to foggy to certify the colours. Of course I won’t let my readers down though, and my mobile phone camera has been kept ready all day, so this post will be a summary of what I’ve seen during the last weeks. Let me start with yesterday’s hunt:

Akershus Fortress
All pics taken with my Nokia mobile phone – click to enlarge!

I took a walk around in Oslo city on my way from the office to catch the bus. The first beautiful view that caught my eye was Akershus Fortress. Click here to see my ‘Fortress on fire’ post last December.

The Royal Castle and Garden

Next was The Royal Castle and The Royal Garden. Some people were standing guard while others were just rushing home for dinner. It was just after 4PM where most of the offices close in Norway. I was lucky to be there when the gate was opened to show you the tree painted in golden colour of fall. Click here if you like to see my ‘The Royal Garden in spring’ post last year.

Yesterday I had a meeting at The Norwegian Department of Education and Research. The area close to my office is a Government centre in Oslo, and in the middle you find the governmental main office. I take it you can see the colourful view from their windows:-)

I end my proof of fall report from Norway with another quality time with my wife last Sunday. She was baking rolls in the morning and was tempting with some nice treat in her back bag for a nice walk on a nearby island. It was foggy last Sunday too, but I do hope you have a feeling of what beauty the nature provided us. If you like to see more of this Island, I had a post called ‘Frozen Paradise’ in January this year.

I do hope you excuse me, but I could not resist the last picture to the right. It’s defiantly fall season and the light clothing of summer season is over. You’ll have to wait for next year to see how the sun is warming up the Norwegian Vikings again. So stay tuned and in the mean time enjoy the fall seasons everyone!

Wondering about Norway?
For those who haven’t read and commented my last post, please scroll down and tell me what more you would like to know about the winter wonder land with the midnight sun and through all significant four seasons – Carpe Diem :-)

Harvest festival in Mariestad

Fall is in the air and it’s time for celebrations and gratitude for what Mother Nature has provided during the summer. There are different traditions throughout the world regarding this phenomenon. Most known I guess is Thanksgiving in America. My blogger friend Mother of Invention has provided me with the following information: The origins of Canadian Thanksgiving are more closely connected to the traditions of Europe than of the United States. Long before Europeans settled in North America, festivals of thanks and celebrations of harvest took place in Europe in the month of October. The very first Thanksgiving celebration in North America took place in Canada when Martin Frobisher, an explorer from England, arrived in Newfoundland in 1578. He wanted to give thanks for his safe arrival to the New World. That means the first Thanksgiving in Canada was celebrated 43 years before the pilgrims landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts!

October festivals are perhaps more known in the mid Europe and maybe in Germany. The grains were harvested and it was time to make beer. Similar in other countries as grapes were made into wine. Grapes don’t grow so well in Norway, but the Vikings made their grains into beer thousands of years ago.

What I would like to tell you about today, is the harvest festival in Mariestad, Sweden. My regular readers know we have a vacation home there and visit quite often. So the 22th of September the whole community was in a festive mood. They call it the Harvest and culture Festival (see the logo above). The atmosphere was great, the audience was thrilled and excited and I went crazy with my Nokia mobile phone camera. I hope you enjoy this experience shown trough my eyes as much as my wife and I did!

On the town square they set up a stage and The Black Benny’s Band was playing New Orleans Jazz. The Circus Carling was juggling and The Black Brother’s gave a thrilling performance. I also find it interesting that the decorations in front of the stage contain pumpkins. I think it’s influenced by the Halloween tradition which is defiantly not Nordic, but of course it’s an apparent sign of the harvest season. The colour is typical fall as well of course:-)

One of the Black Brother’s acrobatic tricks fascinated me and I just had to try capturing it live and in motion. My Nokia can take video too you know, so here you go:

My regular readers know I like to provide you with details and fact about my stories. This time Mariestad Tourist bureau and Culture and have provide me with detailed information. Visit their homepage and learn more about Mariestad – Vänern’s Pearl (Click for the British flag for information in English!).

Some of regular readers, especially Sidney and Expat Travels, have asked to see the fall collars in Norway. So far the fall has been rather mild, but soon there will be frost nights and then you know! So stay tuned:-)

Carnival in MaRIOstad, Sweden

Sometimes your dream comes true earlier than expected. One of mine has been participating in carnival. I’ve seen it on films and TV and have imagined myself in the middle of folklore with happy people dancing in glamorous, tiny costumes to samba rhythms. Of course you all know it’s supposed to be a public celebration or parade combining some elements of a circus and a public street party. I’ve also read that the Carnival Season is a holiday period during the two weeks before the traditional Christian fasting of Lent. In my mind it also contains hot, sensual movements with belly dancing girls and partying all night long. In my mind until now, it also takes place in a warm climate and countries like Brazil, Colombia or Honduras.

Last weekend, my dream came true! We had a couple friends over in our vacation house in Sweden and were looking up “what’s on this weekend” on the net. It says: “Karneval in MaRIOstad”! Typically referring to Rio de Janeiro and setting people in the right mood. We where so exited and could hardly wait until Saturday evening as the parade would take place at 7PM. I charged my mobile phone to the fullest and was ready to soak in the spectacular scenery. So I went crazy, shot 50 pictures and two videos and for me it’s great to declare that carnival can take place in cool Scandinavia, the best place to chill:-)

Bear with my excitements – I’ve also seen better photos – but I’m true to my profile of showing my daily life documented with my mobile phone shots. Some of my post is about ordinary things and some from special occasions. For me, this was a thrill money can’t buy.

Some performers were of a more local kind, but they all had a great time and participated with heart and soul. They where singing and dancing and gave the audience a jolly good time. Some were even very enthusiastic and eager to be photographed and for all I know, was hoping to be a star or the winner of the best costume or performance trophies.

One truck, full of children, caught my eye more than others though. When I saw them, I was thinking a new star is born. Maybe a new Agnetha Fältskog, as in Abba. They became famous after winning the European Song Contest in 1974 singing Waterloo. This girl and her fellow friends could have started her career at this very Carnival in MaRIOstad – who knows:-) At least they did their best and as you can see had great fun doing it. That’s the right carnival attitude, don’t you think? Off course I had to try the video function on my mobile phone and this is how it came out:

If you like to see more pics, please see my Flickr account. For those who want more information about this town, click here and have a look around. It’s a charming town and maybe you will party with us at the next carnival in September 2007? We have plenty of room in our vacation house:-)

City on Fire – Oslo, Norway at dawn.

I had some more quality time with my wife the other day. Living in a suburb we took the express buss to work. We do not talk that much during the ride as we are waking up together. Besides, I usually read the news paper and she got her peek on the headlines too. We started at 7:30 AM and the morning broke in a lovely, colourful way. Approaching the Oslo city, the sky was on fire. We both agreed this was a wonderful view and of course as easy as always, I captured some of the fascinating scenery with my mobile phone camera. Conveniently, I used my wife as a tripod to have the very best result:

Isn’t this beautiful, powerful and electrically fascinating. Again I was thinking of Luis Armstrong: “Oh what a beautiful morning, oh what a beautiful day”. The marked places in front are quiet and people are walking behind us rushing to work and not noticing anything but the time and getting in the office at the right time. On the left side you see Oslo Dome Church, at least the tower. The Dome was built in 1697 and the most spectacular ceremony happened last, was when our Crown Prince Håkon Marius, married the coming Queen. You find more information about the church by clicking here.

My wife and I went our separate ways, but I could not let go the wonderful view and shot some more which I gladly share with you:

Tomorrow it’s Thanksgiving, which means nothing for an ordinary Norwegian. But I married to an American, and we will have turkey on a family gathering. Stay tuned, I might share the celebration later!