Norway in the Olympics so far

As many of you may know, from following my blog, I like to watch winter sports on TV. And as you may have noticed it’s now time for the winter Olympics in Peyongchang in South-Korea. Norway went in to the games with a goal of getting as many as 28 medals. This seems like an extreme amount for a country with only around 5 million people, but even if it is very ambitious we are quite good at winter sports here up north.

This first week we have proven that our goal might not have been too unrealistic. After a week we now have 20 medals, 7 gold, 8 silver and 5 bronze. And there is still a lot of chances left.

Norway’s best day in the Olympics ever came Thursday 15th of February with 6 medals in one day. Our alpine boys Aksel Lund Svindal and Kjetil Jansrud started by taking gold and silver medals in the downhill. The alpine women proved that they are good to by Ragnhild Mowinkel taking silver in the giant slalom. In cross country skiing the Swedish favorite had a bad day, but our largest hope Marit Bjørgen only managed a shared bronze. But Norway has more good skiers and the to and coming Ragnhild Haga got the gold. After that the biathlon boys were tasked with trying to fix a bad start to the competition. And Johannes Tingnes Bø got his gold medal and touched the nation when he hugged his brother who didn’t do so well as him after the race.

Maren Lundby took Norway’s first god medal in ski jumping for women in the Olympics and she became the 100th Norwegian to get a gold medal in the Olympics.

Today was the Norwegian women’s relay. Last Olympics our ski prepping team was very unlucky with their prepping and the Norwegian’s, that was the favorites for the gold ended up without a medal at all. This year they where favorites together with the Swedish and as always there was a lot of discussion in Norway over who got a spot on the team. Our girl on the 2nd round had a terrible day and was so stiff and tired we all just hoped she would manage to get to the next girl and send her off. She used all her last powers to try to not loose to many seconds and the girl she sent off was none other than gold winner Ragnhild Haga, who took us so close to the Swedish team that Marit Bjørgen managed to get the gold for Norway!

In addition to this we started of the Olympics by getting gold, silver and bronze in the first cross country competition for men. We also have gotten medals in ski jump for men, Super-G for men, biathlon for women, cross country sprint for men and women and 5000 meter ice skating for men.

The Olympics brings out all the feelings, from extreme happiness to huge disappointments. The outsiders that surpasses everyone’s expectations, the favorites who finally get their medals, or fail. Watching how happy or disappointed the athletes are after their performances and listening the interviews with them is just wonderful. Here, they really engage the nation.

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Snow Chaos

In parts of Norway there has been more snow than there usually is, the last week. People who has had their winter holiday has ended up spending quite a lot of it shoveling snow of the roofs of their cabin.

I experienced the snow and the trouble it can bring first handed on my way home from the National Brass Band Championship. When I was on my way to the airport it suddenly started snowing very heavily and they had to close the runway for about over an hour. This meant quite a lot of delays and sadly cancellations.  I was one of those who’s flight got cancelled, after a few hours delay. I spent a few hours at the airport quite confused, because there was not much information given. There was no room on any of the later flights so after a lot of queuing I finally got my luggage and a hotel room for the night. This was not the end to the weekend that I had hoped for. We where told that the airline would re-book us on a new flight and that we’d get a text with our new flight.

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When we got to the hotel  we got a nice meal and then headed for bed after a long day, and in my case a long weekend. A little while after I fell asleep the fire alarm was triggered and as I had not received the promised text I had my alarm set really early to make sure I would make the first flight if I should be so lucky to get a seat. This meant that I did not get much sleep that night. I got up early and had a quick breakfast before heading over to the airport, my text still had not arrived and the service phone did not open until 07.00. There was a few angels at work in the service desk at the airport. They managed the growing queue expertly and helped everyone as best and fast as they could. They got me a seat on the first morning flight and I was just hoping that the flight would be going, as the snow still had not stopped falling. By now they had managed the snow and it was not falling as heavily as the day before, so after only a slight delay with de-icing, were on our way back to Stavanger. I had a little sleep on the 35 minutes plane ride, now thinking that I would make it home at a decent time. I think I relaxed too soon because when we where almost over Stavanger airport, the pilot announced that that morning it was Stavanger’s turn to get unexpected snow and that the runway was closed for half an hour. We made it down eventually and I was very relieved to finally be able to come home.

And the winner is….

On thursday I jumped on a plane to go up to Bergen to participate in the Norwegian Brass Band Championship. First off I went to meet up with a good friend of mine who lives in Bergen and her two lovely daughters. We had a great time catching up on eachothers lives. After this I met up with people from my band to have a good night out.

Friday I listend to a few bands, spent time with the people I play with and then we had rehersals, food and an early night to prepare for Saturday’s competition.

Saturday started off with a new rehersal to warm up before we entered the stage to try and show the adjudicators what we are good for. Everybody was quite pleased with our preformance and I went off to a friends child’ s 5th birthday party. She always celeberate her birthday the same weekend as the Championship so that I have a chance to come. After this it was time for eating again. This time my band went to a place called Matbørsen, to eat and drink. I had never been there before, but it was a lovely place to eat. But even if we had booked a table it took quite some time before we got to order.

When we where eating the time came for the results to be read. We listened on the live stream on our phones and as they where reading our section our tables was quite quiet. And then what we had not even dared to hope for happened, we won! So I am now a 4th section Norwegian Champion. We got a few looks from the other guests as our tables exploded in cheers.

After this it was party time. And today have been spent watching some olympics on tv and doing some walking around Bergen, even if the weather has been quite poor.

#tbt Kaffekanna (The coffee pot)

One of the posts I found in my drafts was this post about a nice cafe and wine bar. It is quite fitting that I started this post and never published it, because this is one of those places that I really wanted to go visit when they first opened, but it took me quite some time before I actually went.

Nice Blueberry pancakes

I first read about Kaffekanna, in the local newspapers. When times got a bit bad in the oil business and quite a few people in the town I live in lost their jobs in that industry, there were quite a few businesses that started up. Kaffekanna was one of those, it was started by a father and daughter. They are a cafe by day and serves good coffee and light meals, and by night time they serve more wine and arranges quizzes and the likes.

The front of their counter/bar is covered in bottles

The cafe is located outside the center of the city, in the eastern part of Stavanger. This is an area that has had a great development in the last years and I find it a very enjoyable part of town. They have events there like The edible town party and it’s where the Food Hall In Stavanger was opened. The last one was closed but has now become the home of a place called Fermenten instead.

When they made the floor they put in quite a few coffee cups

I enjoyed the coffee, pancakes and the atmosphere at Kaffekanna, but sadly I have not been to good at going back. When I found this draft when I started tidying and we went back there with some friends. They are still going strong and we had a good time.

Almost time for National Championship again

It is almost time for me to pack my bags and hop on a plane to the lovely city of Bergen. Every year in February I go there with my band to participate in the National Brass Band Championship. And I try to meet up with some friends when I am there. This time I’m leaving at Thursday morning and I’m very much looking forward to it. I have already made arrangements to be a part of some really nice things in my extended weekend.

Morning, sun coming out and all quiet

So this weekend has mostly been spent rehearsing for the competition next weekend. Rehearsals took care of Friday evening, most of Saturday and today. After rehearsals on Saturday I went out to watch the rugby match between Ireland and France, as a friend of mine had her birthday we went out for some pizza and beers and luckily I ended the evening early enough to not suffer lack of sleep today. As I have a busy week ahead the last thing I wanted to was to start the week very tired and wiped out.

Out to watch rugby it the pub

Today there is a concert after the rehearsals, with four other bands that are also getting ready for next weekend. Among these is my old band and it will be nice to hear them play and to talk to the nice people there. And then I have been so lucky that I have been invited to my mother for Sunday dinner, and she has said she might be serving komla (potato balls) and I’m very much looking forward to it. And as a bonus we don’t start to early today, so I got some time to enjoy working on my blog and reading others.

The weather this weekend has been wonderful and it has not been the best weekend to spend indoors. The sun has been out and it has been quite crisp and cold. I hope this weather will continue for some time, because the bright winter sun is very good for getting energy.

Hope you’re all doing great!