Girona is a city in the northeast of Catalonia, Spain about 30 minutes drive from the coast of Costa Brava. Girona is an old Roman city that has been through some hard times during the last centuries. The city has been under 25 sieges and has been captured 7 times (Wikipedia). A 7 month besiege by an Napoleonic army in 1809 had catastrophic consequences for the population of Girona. Girona was surrounded by a city wall for centuries, originally built by the Romans, but after the French siege the wall was partly demolished to make room for new development and progress. In recent years, the missing parts of the city walls on the eastern side of the city have been reconstructed. Called the Passeig de la Muralla it now forms a tourist route around the old city. Pictures are found here.
This weekend Jon and I went for a hike to Fløyen which was covered in clouds. At the top of the mountain, heavy snow started falling and in a short time everything was covered in white. We hiked around Fløyen and then down Knatten which gives an excellent view of Svartediket (drinking water) as well as Ulriken. Along the hike I took some pictures which you can see here.
This year Liz and I celebrated Christmas in Skien with the family. It was really cold (-22ºC) with snow and frost characterizing the landscape. We often take a walk that goes through old fields and small forests. With the snow everything looked very photogenic. We went for a couple of those walks and took these pictures.
This autumn I went with my family to our cabin, which is located in a town named Birtedalen in the southern Norwegian county ofTelemark. We spent several days at the cabin enjoying both sun and rain. The big undertaking this summer was replacing the soil on the cabin roof, which my brother-in-law Geir and my dad managed to do in two days. The grass on the roof has now grown tall and green. Another of our annual autumn events is the hunt for the cloudberries, which is one of my dad’s favorite things to do. You have to commit to some long hikes and have a lot of patience in the search for these berries. But once you find a field of them, the sight of orange cloudberries everywhere is very rewarding. I have added some pictures from our trip to the cabin and also some pictures from one of the cloudberry hikes we did.
We have finally had a couple of weeks where Liz and I were both in Bergen. My parents came visit one weekend and we did a day trip to Sotra, a major island outside of Bergen. Last weekend the weather was fantastic and we took a bus 1 hour north of Bergen to hike a mountain called Eldsfjellet. Although the mountain was steep to climb, the view from the top was spectacular. See some pictures from our last couple of weekends here.
Lars and I went for a long weekend trip to Bruges in Belgium last week. Belgium is famous for beer and chocolate, and to be honest we did not really know much else about Belgium. We also did not know much about Bruges, except being inspired to go there after watching the movie “In Bruges” and a second-hand recommendation from Liz through her friend Susan. Bruges is situated in northwest Belgium, not far from the North Sea, between France and the Netherlands. It is connected to the ocean through canals, which were also the reason why the town blossomed from 900 to 1500 AD. After the 15th century, the canals clogged up and the town went into an economic depression that lasted hundreds of years and is part of the reason the town is a well-preserved medieval city. The city is now a magnet for tourists who want to enjoy the beautiful old buildings and streets, often by riding in a horse and carriage. Lars and I had a great time walking through the city and stopping at the excellent beer brasseries scattered everywhere in town such as Bierbrasserie Cambrinus. Pictures from Bruges are found here.
Spring has definitely come to Bergen so one week ago I decided to go for a hike to enjoy the nice, warm weather. I first went to Fløyen using the funicular, and then I started hiking towards Skomakerdiket. Hikes around Fløyfjellet in Bergen are popular and you are not alone at the mountain. However, around Skomakerdiket i chose to go to Søre Midtfjellet (Southern mid-mountain), which turned out to be a path less hiked. I found myself in a beautiful forest with lots of green moss, pine trees, and once in a while, an overview of the city. I walked higher and higher up the mountain until I reached a desolate cabin called Fjellhytten. I enjoyed the sun in peace and quiet while sitting outside the cabin with a perfect view over Bergen. This trip was very enjoyable and I hope you like the pictures I took.
I looked through some pictures from last autumn and decided that I liked some of them enough to put them online. Most of the pictures are from day hikes that Liz and I have done during the weekends. Follow this link to see the pictures.
One of the really nice day hikes we love to do in Bergen is to hike from mountain Fløyen to mountain Ulrikken across Vidden. The trail takes you into some really beautiful scenery and even though you are just a short trip from Bergen city you feel as though you entered a national park. A map of the trip is available from Bergen Turlag here (PDF). Liz and I decided to do this trip last September on a sunny day, starting at Nygårdsgaten, hiking to up to Fløyen, and from there across Vidden to Ulrikken where we took the funicular down the mountain. The trip was amazing and exhausting and we did it in 7 hours. Pictures available here.
I have uploaded some more pictures from our trip to Praha last week. The last two days of our stay we spent exploring the Old Town Square and the Jewish Quarter (Josefov). I think that one of the highlights we saw was the beautiful Old New Synagogue (wikipedia), built around 1270. There is so much to see and enjoy in this fantastic old town. Enjoy the pictures!
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