TagEvents

Family Outdoor Recreation Day in Norway

Family Outdoor Recreation Day in Norway #2This weekend is the big “Get Outdoors Day” in Norway; the Norwegian Tourist Association’s national Outdoors Recreation Sunday – time to get up off the couch! In Oslo, the main event takes place at Sognsvann – a lake up in the mountain/forest 15 minutes from downtown by the tube. The whole idea and main goal is of course to motivate everyone to be more physically active and explore nature in your own neighborhood. The camp at Sognsvann has been held 20 years in a row – I was there with my wife and a friend and gladly invite you along to motivate you too:
Family Outdoor Recreation Day in Norway
This grand event gives everyone in Oslo a good opportunity to use nature in a healthy way. Outdoor activity is good for both physical and mental health. This annual outdoor camp is also of course an important carrier of the tradition of Norwegian leisure culture.
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Sunday was the chance – for children all age – to try climbing, rowing, canoeing, fishing, orienteering, jumping – even skiing – and much, much more – free of charge!
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Skiing and Fishing
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Kiting and Swimming
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Canoeing and Climbing

Quality time with my wife:
I was there, all thanks to my wife. Struggling with my Parkinson – the uninvited guest in my body makes me stiff and hard to get going – it’s always easy to sit back in the couch and feel sorry for myself. However, to head out in the nature and get out of the patient role is the best way to charge my batteries – actually the best medicine too! So my dear Diane; Thanks for inviting me out and to share this nature in a quality time with me!
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The clean, fresh air – the scenery: is there any more recreational?

The summer in Norway is coming to an end but that isn’t the end of outdoor family fun. There are plenty of outdoor activities to do here all year round, and the Norwegian Outdoor Recreation Union does a great job of giving families plenty of inspiration for the seasons to come!

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!

Norway Family touring Medieval Siena in Tuscany

Medieval Siena in Tuscany Italy #1Siena is a classic walled city and one of Italy’s prettiest medieval hill towns located in the heart of Tuscany with ca. 55 thousand inhabitants. It’s also the best preserved medieval city in Italy and I’ve read that the people of Siena speak the purest Italian in Italy – actually Italian language students often go there to learn the correct pronunciation. Its peak was about 1260-1348 when it was one of Europe’s wealthiest cities and many of its buildings and art works originate from that time.
While on a family trip to Italy recently, it was on the top of our list to explore of course. So if you like to join us, I’ll gladly give you taste of this magical, beautiful and culturally rich Tuscan town. It is world famous for its renaissance architecture, a stunning view of the landscape, famously fantastic cuisine, wine and the big event: Palio di Siena – a horse race festival – taking place at the large fan-shaped Piazza Del Campo in the heart of the city:
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Twice a year, this famed Palio delle Contrade takes place on the jam-packed piazza. The city’s three districts, di Citta, di Camollia and di San Martino, were once divided into 59 sub-districts (or contrades) of which 17 still exist and make the competing teams. It’s a horse race like nowhere else (only ten can compete at any time for safety reasons) and runs on July 2 and August 16. All Sienese are affiliated with one of the contrade, to which a typical Sienese feels loyal with a strength perhaps surpassed only by their loyalty to their family.
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Since the 11th century, the Sienese have conducted festivals every year where the contrade compete for renown (and in times gone by, actual political power) through contests such as flag throwing, horse racing and even fist fights. The race itself is in late evening but the whole day of the race is taken up with processions through the streets of the various contrade competing in the particular race.

The Duomo in Siena:
A magnificent black and white Italian Romanesque cathedral including the Libreria Piccolomini, Baptistery, and an attached Museo dell’Opera del Duomo. The construction of the cathedral began in the 12th century, but it was not finished until the 14th.
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Its bands of dark and light marble make it an unusually beautiful cathedral, and its western façade is richly decorated with statues. Inside, the floor of the cathedral is covered with 56 marble panels with figures from mythology and the Old Testament.
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Walking in the Medieval Renaissance City:
The center of Siena is accessible only on foot. Cars (other than taxis, police, etc.) are strictly prohibited, but motorcycles and scooters are OK – and there were plenty of them : -). Of course it’s like a fairytale to walk in this best preserved medieval city and maybe it is the warm colour of its buildings that also made it very special. After all, it is clay from surrounding district – terra di Siena – that gives us the colour in our crayon boxes; “Burnt Sienna
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Talking about the horse race and that all Sienese feels loyal with strength: Each contrade has a public fountain bearing its emblem, such as a panther, a fish or an eagle. While strolling through the city, we saw them on the corners of the houses too (top left in this photo):
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This is the third post from our big family trip; my wife (DianeCA) and I, our children + SO and even my grandchild met up with Diane’s brothers and spouse from the USA. 14 people in all gathering in Pisa at the Park Hotel California, and having the time of our lives enjoying each other’s company, getting better acquainted and exploring this wonderful part of Italy. From my first post: Family from Norway touring Tuscany in Italy, you’ll get an introduction and then you will know that I’ll do more posts from this trip, so stay tuned – Pisa and the leaning tower is next!

Taste of Florence in Italy to a Family from Norway

A taste of Florence #1Nestled in the valley of the Arno River, Florence “The Cradle of Renaissance” is squeezed between the hills that made it famous. Its center is full of works of art and buildings of great historical and architectural value, covering a period of time ranging from the early Middle Ages to the late twentieth century and the surrounding area is no different. The beauty of the landscape is characterized by villas, churches, monasteries and picturesque small towns and of course the food! There’s something about the fact that you can picture many of their dishes being cooked in medieval-style terracotta pots; indeed, many still are.

Part of the Tuscany region, it’s cuisine is appreciated around the world for its fine natural and flavorful ingredients; a typical expression of the Mediterranean diet, considered among others, the most wholesome and tasty, olive oil, pasta, fish and first choice meats. With these few basic ingredients the Tuscan local chefs can create exceptional dishes. Among the most important produce is white truffles, a much appreciated variety. Other ingredients such as wild asparagus and herbs also contribute to the rediscovery of simple flavorful dishes (pappa al pancotto, ribollita, hearty vegetable soups), where olive oil is the star ingredient, strictly bought from the local olive press.

A taste of Florence #9While on a family trip to Italy last week we all fell in love with its history, landscapes, art and architecture, but as important part of the culture, we also wanted to explore its FOOD! I mean even those who have never been there know Italian food in some shape, taste and form – who has never eaten pizza or spaghetti? However we had an idea of that the easygoing Italian way of life most visitors find so alluring and desirable – La Dolce Vita – is indisputably linked to the Italians’ instinctive knowledge of how to eat and drink well.

A taste of Florence:
A challenge however, was that we had only one day to spend in Florence and how do you get it all in? The answer is “A taste of Florence“: a five hours tour that created a lifetime of memories, complete with hands on cooking, tasting, sipping, and sightseeing! With our host Cristina Cappulletti, we really learned that Tuscany and Florence drinks and food is by all means historical. Cristina, a local, experienced and knowledgeable guide enthusiastically gave life to all the stories there was to tell about how Tuscan cuisine reflects the age of the region and city’s traditions. It’s almost impossible express all we experienced and learned in a post, but since pictures tells more than a thousand word, I will try to cover the most – or give you A Taste – by presenting a few from my photo hunt during the trip:
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Starting with a delicacy, we had a taste of e.g. Bollito di Manzo (Boiled Beef Biscket) with salsa verde and salsa picante – delicious!

Bakeries and Café:
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An introduction to the art of Italian Coffee while tasting Sfogliatella, Budine di Riso and Sfoglia

At the Market:
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A journey in fresh Tuscan servings: Balsamics: Condiments & Traditional Certified – Tuscany Olive Oil – Crostini Toppings – Cheeses: Pecorino & Parm Reggiano – Salumi: Prosciutto & Finocchiona.
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At the Enoteca – wine cellar:
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The very best taste of Tuscan winery : -)
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At the Gelateria or Cioccolateria:
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We wanted to explore the food delights of Tuscany and Cristina from A Taste of Florence literary gave us it all! We had the cheeses, olive oils, and salamis right where they are made! She gave a wonderful lecture and taste of the origins of Tuscan and Italian wines and we really enjoyed a hands-on cooking class, and lunch with wine tasting in the best of wine cellars. I have never been as sure in my recommendation: Next time you visit Florence – whether the first time or a return visit – don’t miss this adventurous guided tour. Go visit their web site and start planning right now!

This is the second post from the big family trip we had last week; my wife (DianeCA) and I, our children + SO and even my grandchild met up with Diane’s brothers and spouse from the USA. 14 people in all gathering in Pisa at the Park Hotel California, and having the time of our lives enjoying each other’s company, getting better acquainted and exploring this wonderful part of Italy. From my first post: Family from Norway touring Tuscany in Italy, you’ll get an introduction and then you will know that I’ll do more posts from this trip, so stay tuned!

A guide of Oslo Norway Tourists Attractions

RennyBAs Terella Oslo GuideOslo’s History is peppered with Royal characters beginning in 1048 when King Harald Hardråde founded Oslo and settled in the area. Thus, you can expect a lot of tourist attractions that are in one way or another related to Oslo’s Royalty. The location of Norway’s capital city at Oslo Fjord is a tourist attraction in itself. The city however offers a diverse mix of cultural and modern tourist attractions like the Viking Ship Museum, the Holocaust Center and the Nobel Peace Center.

As a blogger for almost 7 years, writing about Norway; our culture, traditions and habits – including attractions in Oslo – I have posted from a lot of these sights. To give you some ideas from my own experience, I have collected some in the map below. Click the blue point to read more!

Oslo’s architecture is a sight to behold. The old manor houses provide a glimpse of Oslo’s colorful heritage. If this is your cup of tea then go visit Bogstad Manor (the furnishings of which goes back as far as 1750) and the Tøyen Manor House (given as a peerage estate to Chancellor Jens Bjelke in 1640).

Oslo’s Bygdøy island museums present; The Kon-Tiki Museum showing the legendary expeditions of Thor Heyerdahl; the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History; the Viking Ship Museum; the Norwegian Maritime Museum and the ship Fram, used by Roald Amundsen on his polar expeditions. Bygdøy is one of Norway’s oldest cultural landscapes with a rich history.

The Holmenkollen Ski Jump is also a famous Oslo attraction that tourists should not miss. It’s the home of our national ski museum and site of the 2011 Nordic Worlds Ski Championship.


Vis RennyBA’s Terella Oslo Guide i et større kart
Have a jolly good time exploring Oslo and I would love to get feedback and reports from your experience. If you’re planning a trip to Oslo, give me a hint in the comments and I will gladly guide you around.

We are now leaving for a trip to Tuscany with the entire family, 13 people – 3 generations – yes including my granddaughter – and we are so excited. So stay tuned for some Italian posts later on!