måndag 31 mars 2008

Spring weekend

Finally some spring feeling!! Yesterday it was the first real spring day; warm and sunny and really realy nice! On Friday Handan and I went for a beer with 2 colleagues from our German course; one from Romania and one from Estonia. We had nice discussion about how it is to move and work in other countries and how different we are met in different situations, different companies and countries. Handan and I tried to "sell" Sweden as a good place to live in.
Saturday evening Cyril (the French friend from our company) celebrated his birthday in a rented bar in Altona. He knows many international people, and our "dream team" from work also contribued with some nationalities so it was a nice mix.
I somehow ended up close to the laptop with music, and have been announced a qualified DJ ;-)
Here you can see some of the purjolök pie and chocolate cake that Cyril made. Yummi!
We made a common present for Cyril: many different kind of cheese, a bottle of good wine, Hamburg T-shirt and Jennifer made a calender. Very nice! Cyril was happy!

We had fun as well!

Sunday was a really relaxing day. Fika with Handan and sitting in the sun. Also cleaning my apartment, trying to fix network connection for Alex (via phone), making some order in the closet in the hall (I managed!).
A new week has started and tomorrow is the 1st April. Wow...time is just flying by....

måndag 24 mars 2008

Easter holidays

On Tuesday I went with Tania and Dan to Corsica. We decided we needed some sun and warmth and it turned to be a good place. I met Dan at CDG airport in Paris and together we went to Orly. The margin got really narrow but we were lucky and managed to meet Tania at the check in at Orly. Last minute! Puh....
We landed in Ajaccio, sun and +19. Not bad!!!!
It was our starting and ending point. We rented our little VW Polo and went to the hotel. We were super hungry and got some Corsican penne (pasta with Corsican ham and olives). Afterwards we went to the harbor and later on to the main square where we watched people gathering before a procession (religious day in Ajaccio). Few things of our early observations: people over there are small (due to climate? ;-), they are rich (according to the brand clothes), every 3rd person had an Italian jacket with Norwegian flag on, and Birkenstocks. Anyway, we followed the crowd and went to see the cathedral and later on the procession. When they started to go, we decided to take some nice aperitif and beer in one café. We sat near some of the most influential people in Ajaccio (Tania took care of the conversation) and we got some tip what to see, where to eat (well, one place had 100euro dishes; we didn't want to test...). Our dinner was in a very original restaurant in Ajaccio - food and customs like 100 years ago.... The dishes were huge!! Mostly meat, good but it was too late to really enjoy the food. The wine was too cold :-p
Next day we went to Tour de la Parata. Really nice! Sunny and warm!! It felt like we were really on vacations.

Then we took off towards Bonifacio - South of Corsica. The distance is not that long but the trip took long time due to the mountain crooked roads, and several stops on the way. Namely, stop for Corsican lunch (2 plates, one with chark and one with cheese. Yummi!), stop at some warm natural baths, wine testing (and buying).

Bonifacio is really beautiful! Right at the coast. See the pictures:

We spent one day over there and afterwards drove to Porto Vecchio. However, we missed some beaches close to Bonifacio and went back the day after. It was really worth it!

After laying in the sun we went up North from Porto Vecchio to see one waterfall in the mountains. The weather changed dramatically!! The wind was 110km/h, it was raining, mixed with snow. But we were tough and went for 1 hr walk anyway. The pics from this trip will be updated later, when I get them from Dan.

It continued raining the rest of the day and the whole night. Plus the wind. It felt like we were back in the North Europe ;-)
Anyway, we enjoyed nice dinner, nice to see some people out (which wasn't so common during the whole trip).
In the morning we had to drive back to Ajaccio. We drove through the mountains and saw many small, and kind of abandoned villages. It felt like time has just stopped there. What do people do there for living? These villages are probably alive during summer time; now it was different...

Here you can see Corsica's symbol - the head of the Moor.

Back in Ajaccio we managed to have some intensive walk in the city hill. We needed that after 5 hrs driving.... Back to the hotel and a nice (actually he best) dinner out. We went also to one bar and saw Corsican youth partying. The noticed difference - young guys drank white wine. Not beer which seems more popular up North in Europe.

The trip was very nice! Thanks to Dan and Tania!!!
We missed though few things: "svingris", that is wild pigs, and black donkeys. And Easter eggs...
Oh well.... we have to go back some day!

We saw plenty of rosmarin and lavendel :-D
People were super nice and friendly. Gave many tips about places to see. Nice!

söndag 16 mars 2008

Brunch tradition

I must say that sometimes it feels perfect to stay at "home" for the weekend. I mean, as much as I love to travel, I really needed to spend these 2 days in Hamburg. Finally I could clean the apartment (no comments how dusty it was), do laundry, you know that stuff that usually we don't like doing although it is a MUST... Anyway, it wasn't only this. Yesterday, Handan and I met with another Swedish friend Roseline who works at Airbus. We had lunch together, did some shopping and had dinner and watched DVD together. Nice and quite relaxing day. Today, we had brunch at Miguel's&Melody's place. As usual a big bunch of friends was there. Lots of food as well.

After eating the guys (and Jennifer) went to play American football. Good idea, although it was raining and the grass was very slippery. But you can see some pictures how good they were :-)

After the brunch I decided finally to wash the car and clean inside. With Handan's help the whole thing took 30 min. And now the Beetle is shiny and nice! :-) I also put the sticker finally! Göteborg!! Check it out!

måndag 10 mars 2008

Weekend home

On Friday evening I flew home to Göteborg. Landed late but the trip went amazingly smoothly and without problems. Hami picked up Handan and me so i was at Tania's place half an hour after I landed. Saturday I went to Majorna, checked my post at my "sambo"'s place, got a letter back from Migrationsverket (I'm not gonna write here anything about it....too annoying). Afterwards Tania and I met with the Willquist's and had a very nice fika. Ååååhhhh...so nice to be at home!! Theo is a big boy now! After fika Tania and I went little bit shopping. Not so dangerous ;-) We didn't have so much time cause we were supposed to go to Fredrik's (Komannen) surprise party. The party was great (there will be some pics eventually..), it was cool to meet all friends after a long time. We had a very nice dinner, drinks and danced a lot. Well, depending who was trying to be a DJ of course ;-)
On Sunday, the only "MUST" I had was to pick up my laptop at Dan's place. Later on, lunch with Tania and leaving back to Hamburg. As usually, such a weekend was too short!
The trip back wasn't so fantastic. Handan and I had to wait at Kastrup for 2 hours (delayed plane). Thanks to that I bought a new Swatch ;-)
Late at home in Hamburg. Short sleep. Sooooo tried on Monday. Looking forward the coming weekend, this time in HH. Skönt!

tisdag 4 mars 2008

Long weekend skiing in Czech

We finally went skiing!!! On Friday we left work around noon. We took 2 cars and the Beetle team consisted of Handan, Dennis and Karolina. The traffic jam started already with Elbetunnel. Great! We "forgot" it was Friday, and people usually leave work really early. But then we managed to join to the rest of the gang (Melody, Miguel and Katja, Paula and Pedro) close to Magdeburg. After some stops, stau, thick fog in Polish/Czech mountains we arrived to Vrchlabi (if someone tells me that Polish language has only consonants in the words, check the Czech language) and there we met with Lisa and Ales. After checking in we took one beer in the hotel. The weather forecasts were quite bad - and as soon as we woke up there was heavy rain...Great!
Anyway, we packed the stuff and went to our next hotel. We could hardly see any snow on the slopes, the wind was strong and it was raining like hell. We had already plans to go to Prague instead. But at the end, after driving around Strazne and nearby villages, we found one slope Herlikovice which had 2 lifts opened. Yuppi!!! The weather got better and we had a really great skiing.

You can see how tired we were after skiing on the pictre below.

Afterwards we went to the village Spinderluv Mlyn and found some nice pension to stay over night. We were all very hungry and decided to get some proper Czech meal. Although at one moment, it seemed like we wouldn't get much food cause the power went off in the whole village. Thanks God only for a short time.

We were all very tired so 21.30 we were already in beds. We had to get up early on Sunday! And what we saw when we woke up??? SNOWING. A lot! It was beautiful but unfortunately little bit too wet snow and also very very windy.
After packing and some snowball fights we decided to go to another slope to ski.

Unfortunately the conditions were really bad. As soon as we got on the top, there was storm and heavy snow/hail. People who had gogles could ski. But not me. I had ice on my glasses!!! And also the skis which I rented this time were crap, so this time it wasn't so much fun....
Anyway, they closed the lifts around noon due to the storm.
We decided to pack and leave to Dresden (to split the trip this time). After saying Bye to Lisa and Ales, we left to Dresden. It was funny to drive for a while in Poland, especially that last time I was in this part of the country, was loooooong time ago. We arrived to Dresden, dropped Paula and Pedro at the train, and we went out to see downtown and to have a dinner.
Dresden is beautiful!!! The old town is really nice, and somehow there is so much space. Nice promenade at Elbe. Unfortunately we didn't see the inside of Frauenkirche...

Monday morning we (Dennis, Handan and I) had to leave early to be able to be at work around 13. Yeah right! As soon as we left Dresden, we took a wrong autobahn. So we almost went to Poland again.... So we made extra 200 km or so. But my "bubbla" - that is my Beetle was so good. We were at work around 15. Anyway, this was a short day for all people, since there was a strike in the plant.
The weekend was really nice, great company and fun! Driving ca 1800 km in order to ski maybe 100 km may seem crazy but we enjoyed!!! Looking forward maybe 1 week skiing next year!