Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

As I was driving home this evening in the dark with the full moon high in the sky, it triggered a memory from this summer.

Lying on a sun lounger late at night, next to the dark pool, looking up at the stars in the clear night sky. No light pollution, just a sky full of stars and then suddenly seeing the first shooting star. It was the first shooting star I’d seen in almost 10 years. Feeling like a giddy kid. Simply amazing.

It was a fabulous holiday. The beers might have helped with the giddiness but for me… not much beats a beautiful night sky.

I am back to work now the last two weeks. Easing Stumbling back into everyday life… – funny how that happens so fast again even after almost three weeks off.

I had a lovely two weeks in Sweden visiting family. We have a few new family members this year and it was fun meeting everyone though I am not 100% sure of what they thought about meeting their “great-aunt”… lord, am I really a great-aunt!? Scary!

The two weeks were pretty hectic, seems like there were 50 people around most of the time. Not to mention several dogs, horses and cats. Even with all the visiting and seeing everyone; it was great. So much laughter and catching up.

I started in Copenhagen in Denmark and then went up the east coast of Sweden to my parents for a few days. I could only stay for a few days as they have a smaller apartment and with three adults, two cats and one dog it does get crowded. Not to mention that although I love my parents to bits; I can only take that many days before I go slightly mad. We then drove to my brother’s place which is inland. Well, I drove. I persuaded my Dad to let me drive his car. He was notably nervous as I mainly drive on the left hand side these days (he frequently reminded me every time we came to a roundabout…). Well let’s face it, I was not going to travel 200km at 60km/hour due to my Dad’s regrettably slightly diminished eyesight.

I stayed a good few days at my brother’s place. They live in the middle of nowhere. It is fab. So quiet at night. Surrounded by forest, horses, big dogs and seemingly a constant stream of people. Most days there were at least eight of us. I helped out a bit on the farm and loved it. Though I was less fond of those blasted horse flies and mosquitoes that took a liking to me. I did not understand why they were biting me like never before until I realized that they seemed to like the body-butter I used. So hint, hint… Body Shop’s Body Butter is great but avoid in the vicinity of horse flies. Though everyone else was grateful…

My sister and her partner (or maybe I should say boyfriend.. though can you really say boyfriend if someone is over 45?? Haven’t figured it out) arrived on her birthday so we had a great birthday celebration. I laughed until my belly hurt.

Then I left with my sister to go and see my nephew who lives in the most gorgeous idyllic place, in a place that is the essence of the county where I am from; Småland. He and his family live in this gorgeous red wooden house with white corners built in the 1600’s. They are surrounded by lakes, cows and more dogs and cats (seems to be an ongoing theme in my family).

Then as my last stop I stayed with my sister on the west coast of Sweden. Shopping, a bit of sunbathing (when the sun decided to actually make an appearance), a round of mini-golf (which I suck at ), lots of chats and laughter and meeting everyone else (and again some more dogs and cats).

The weather was not great unfortunately during my two weeks but I had so many laughs that it did no matter. Not to mention all the absolutely fantastic food. I normally do not have a second helping but during these two weeks I ate until I was stuffed til bursting point. Best food ever! Oh a few beers, cocktails and wine found its way to me as well…

Then it was back to Dublin for a few days of chilling. I rounded off my holiday with a long (20km) walk along the coast of Dublin with a good friend. The sun was shining (for once) and it was fabulous.

I’ll leave you with a few pictures. Hope you all had a lovely July as well!!

All quiet in the hood:

Småland:

Then there was a bit of time for just pure chilling as well:

This Easter weekend was great. I spend it with a friend, going to the west coast of Ireland. Staying in a lovely B&B in Salthill, within walking distance of Galway.

Getting away from Dublin was so nice. Sometimes it is exactly what is needed. The scenery on the west coast is fantastic, even though the roads were often so narrow that there was no place to stop and take a picture. A useful advice to visitors… don’t get a big car when visiting. Trust me.

Galway is a really nice city with nice restaurants, cosy streets and a good nightlife without the sleaze factor. It is not a big city at all, all is within walking distance. Perfect.

The days were spend driving around Connemara and enjoying the views. I clocked over 500 miles in the car and could probably done much more if we had a few more days. One thing to keep in mind though is that the maps and sign postings not necessarily always concur… I still cannot explain how following one road (the only road!) to lead us south ended up with us going north-west on the wrong side of the lake… It is a mystery to stay unsolved as we could not find any logical reason to what happened. It was a good laugh though so who cares really.

Oh and one important thing to remember… forget mobile phone coverage or an internet connection when out and about in Connemara. “No service” was a frequent message on my phone. It took some getting used to but after a while it was strangely relaxing (yes, I know how desperate this sounds…).

I did manage to take a few pictures this weekend.

Kylemore Abbey. A home for the Henry family and later for nuns from the Benedictine Order and it also used to be a girls boarding school… can you imagine going to school there? It was really in the middle of no-where. No sneaking out there…

The mist never quite lifted.

Killary Fjord. Ireland’s only fjord.

Connemara

The Cliffs of Moher. It was windy, chilly and drizzling with rain… as usual when visiting the cliffs.

 

The weekend just flew. I wish I could have had a few more days. I loved it!

Happy Easter!

The last two weeks have passed really, really fast and I am once again back in Dublin. I have had a great time in Sweden and could write a long detailed account about all the good times, hysterical laughs, great conversations, lively discussions, divine wines drunk and fabulous food eaten… but… I decided not to. Instead I will focus on what tickled my senses and share a few photos with you.

Because it is easy to just write down a point by point description of what I did but this was a holiday that I tried to experience with all my senses. In a way that really relaxed me and did what it was supposed to do – recharge me. So I will try to do my best to convey this to you. If I fail, well then at least you will know one thing… it still was a fabulous holiday!

Laughs with my brother. The smell of paint in the summer air. The sun warming in my back as I work away. Muscles aching in the evening. Feeling relaxed.

The scent of freshly cut grass. The adrenaline when I nearly keeled over – lawn mover go-kart…

That first taste of a cold beer after a day outside. The divine smell from the BBQ.

The sense of calm in the forest. Seeing the light filtering through the trees. The peace all around.

The amazing scent of fir trees after a warm summer shower.

The sweet taste of wild strawberries.

The belly aching laughs when playing Kinect with my sister and brother. The groans of embarrassed despair when seeing the recordings of said gameplay.. (and forget it, NOT sharing those.. ).

The beauty of all the many small lakes dotted between the trees. Sinking into warm still water as the sun sets. The faint sound of buzzing insects.

The smell of the salty ocean. The laughter from children running into the water. Sand between my toes. The sun warming my tummy. The intoxicating scent of sun-kissed skin. Feeling the world slowly tuning out as my eyes get heavy and I snooze in the sun.

The smooth taste from a 10yr old Tullamore Dew single malt. Feeling thoughtful, happy and content in the evening sun.

Calm sea. Not even a breeze to be felt. Distant cries from seagulls echo across the water.

Walking through Ale forest along the coast. A bird sanctuary can be found in a small swamp. The green colours are amazing. The buzzing and blood sucking mosquitoes are not as amazing. The itching bites are annoying but still… part of summer.

The food… oh the fabulous food. Every bite to be savored. Taste bud heaven.

The stormy spray of sea mist. The wind blowing through my hair. Giggles as we try to get at least one pic we both can live with.

Dublin Airport

Image via Wikipedia

It is finally that time again. Holiday time! I started my holiday today by going to the hairdresser and my hair is a vibrant red again. All cut and styled and looks good. The red will hopefully last a while but it does have a tendency to wash out quickly and get stuck everywhere else; my sheets, my towels, down the drain… Whoever invents a nice red hair colourant that doesn’t wash out so fast is onto a winner. As long as it isn’t a carroty red – cos that is maybe not THAT great…

In less than two days I will head to Dublin airport and then off to Sweden I go. Bag will be packed with shorts and tops, flip-flops and oh maybe a pair of jeans (this is where I am challenging the weather gods to behave and let it stay sunny and warm for the next two weeks).

As per usual I will forget something semi-important and pack too much stuff that I won’t use. I will get dazzled in the airport shop and ignore the sorry state of my credit card and happily find more stuff I do not really need. The obligatory shopping spree in the booze section is not to be forgotten. Why does everyone I know like whiskey so much?

As I am no longer capable of being totally off-line I will spend a substantial part of my holidays checking-in on FB at various locations, just so that all can keep tabs on me. Why you might ask… well ‘cos I can. It gives me a weird and something a shrink would find fascinating freaky sense of achievement doing so (yes I know, we could derive many issues out of that statement but lets not).  This blog will suffer a bit unfortunately as I will not have much time to spend blogging but I will follow-up when I am back. As I will be staying with family the whole time I am away my internet access will suffer somewhat. Thank god for smartphones and this is where I once again will ignore financial drawbacks – in this case my forthcoming phonebill.

I will spend the beginning of my holidays at my parents. Will definitely not have much internet access there. Am pretty sure they have not even heard of WIFI. They do have a PC and internet but trying to explain why I need to go on that “facebook thing” as my Dad calls it will just be too much work. As per usual procedure when I am visiting my parents I will regress back to a 14 year old, which always happens after a day in their presence. I just have to accept the fact that I will start coming out with heavy sighs, go all “ahhh but Muuuuum”, demand my favorite foods and argue with my Dad about the remote control. I might go insane…

After those “rejuvenating” days I will stay with my brother and his family and then with my sister after that. I am looking forward to meeting all, have many laughs, lots of outdoorsy days and evenings, nice food, lots of a few drinks and just a good time.

Tomorrow I have to bring my cats to the cattery. They will stay in this really nice place on the country side with a dedicated little hut and their own enclosed outdoor space… it is like a cool luxury cat hotel. Still… I will miss the little buggers and I have a funny feeling they know what is coming considering the major sucking up that is happening this evening. As the drive to this place will be a little under an hour I will be treated to howling cats in the car. They are not too fond of driving… anywhere.

Once I am back I will hopefully have lots of pictures that I can share with you (note to self – remember to bring camera). No dreadful bikini shots will be included.

So adios for now and hope you all will have a great few weeks of summer ahead wherever you are!

 

 

Just got back from Enniskerry after having walked the first part of the Wicklow Way with a friend … even though we also somehow deviated from the Wicklow Way and ended up on the Dublin Way at the end. Still no idea how that happened but let me put it this way… the sign-posting for the paths is not exactly great. It did cause us to pass the Johnnie Fox’s Pub – which some might say was a sign. That beer was divine after 5 hours of walking.

Either way it was a lovely day. The sun was shining the entire day (hence the sunburn), the company great fun and the views were fabulous. It was a great hike. As I have not done anything like this in a long time and because my boots still are pretty new… I am paying for it today. Sore legs and very blistered feet. But still… I’d do it again.

As usual I did not take as many pictures as I intended to but here are a few.

There was a Fairy Tree in Marley Park… enter.

Dublin in a sunny haze.

Boulders and peaks.

Up we went.

On the path.

Rolling hills wherever you looked.

Down through the forest. I love forest walks.

A great pit-stop.

Sore feet… I will spare you the view of my blisters. It was worth it though.

 

 

I have taken the afternoon off. As in I am not on the slopes right now. Seriously need to give my bruised and sore legs a rest… I have had a good few face plants, full body plants and anything in between. So here I am in the hotel bar, having a latte and updating my blog.

The flight was ridiculous early… but even after just 3 hours of sleep…it is holiday! The sun was shining when we arrived and hasn’t stopped since. This week has been pretty fabulous. The sun has shone every day and I am now sporting a very red nose… I knew I didn’t have enough sunblock.

Getting down the slopes has been paced with several sun stops at various mountain huts/restaurants. Some beer or hot chocolate with rum and some time in the sun loungers is perfect between runs. This is the way to live life. The perfect way to de-stress.

Now tomorrow is our last full day on the slopes so the plan is to get up early and hit the newly groomed pistes straight away. Then I will end the day with a 75min long aromatherapy massage. Oh yeah!

I promised to update with some pics… so here they are.

View from top of mountain:

Hitting the slopes:

Oh yeah…very stylish helmet:

After a few brush up lessons it felt great:

Anders comes bearing gifts:

Mmmmmmmm beer 🙂

Drink of choice:

Nibble of choice:

Oh the Austrian cafes were also very nice…scrumptious cakes! Puts a smile on my face:

The views on the mountain were fabulous and no picture gets even close.

Tomorrow is another day of sunshine, snowboarding and a few beers perhaps. Are you with me?