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.

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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 Vilnius part 5: Tower

This year I decided it was time to have a look at all the drafts I have kept. There seems to be a lot of posts that I have started writing and never finished. With a bit of work some of these are publishable, but most of them I have deleted. Those I kept and that I still want to publish I will finish and share with you. I decided that most of them will be good for Throwback Thursday. Here is a post I never finished from my trip to Vilnius August 2017.

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The flag at the top of the tower was put up in 1988 during Lithuania’s independence movement

Even if it was quite warm in Vilnius when we visited it was still nice to have a little look around the town. There is a tower up on a hill that looked like it would be a good place to view the town from above and the tower itself also looked like it was worth a visit. The walk up the hill is a bit steep, but nothing too bad. There is a funicular cart going up, but it was not running the day we decided to go up and have a look. But with all the good food we had on the trip there was some movement required.

My knight in shiny armour

The tower is called Gedimina’s tower and it is what remains of the Upper Castle in Vilnius. The first brick castle was built here in 1409, but this three story tower is a rebuild from 1933. Some of the old structures can still be seen up there today as they have been restored by archaeologists.

The tower has a legend:

Long ago, the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas was hunting in the woods of Šventaragis valley. The hunting was a success, but very tiring. The duke stayed there and spent a night. Gediminas had a dream that on top of the hill, where he had hunted down a taurus that day: a large iron wolf was standing and howling hard and loud, like a hundred wolves.

The Duke asked the mage Lizdeika to explain the dream. He explained that this was an omen indicating that he should build a city in this place, which would later become known around the world and would become the magnificent capital city of Lithuania.

Gediminas, obeying the will of the gods, began to build the future capital city, and a castle in the center of it. The city was named Vilnius after the nearby river Vilnia. Gediminas’ Tower is one part of the castle, which was built by Gediminas.

Source: Wikipedia

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A great view over the river and new part of the Vilnius where we stayed the first few days.

The view from the top turned out to be as good, or maybe even better, than we thought to begin with. from up there you got a really good view around both the new part of Vilnius and the old.

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Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania

The Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania is just at the base of the hill where Gediminas’ tower is. The palace was originally built in the 1500’s, destroyed around 1800 and they started rebuilding it in 2002.

View of the three crosses

We decided not to go up to the hill with the three crosses, when we visited as we had to prioritize. But we had a view of them from the city and from the tower. According to the legend seven Fransiscan friars we’re beheaded on top of this hill. Wooden crosses were built here in this location since the late 17th century. But the three crosses that are there now was put up in 1989.

Dublin in winter

Library of Trinity College

After we visited Galway we brought my mother to Dublin and got to be “first time tourists” with her. This included a visit to Trinity College to have a look at the book of Kells and the library where they filmed some scenes from the Harry Potter movies.

Library of Trinity College

Trinity College campus

Trinity College

It was quite cold and I didn’t take a lot of photos, but we walked around to see a lot and had a very enjoyable time.

St.Stephen’s Green shopping centre ready for Christmas

Mandatory beer in Temple Bar

Galway in winter

Two people kayaking in Galway bay

Earlier this month we took a trip to Ireland with my mother to show her the country and introduce her to my man’s family. The country decided to show itself from a very good side for some of the time, but as it was the start of November it was a bit of wind, rain and hail along the sunshine.

River Corrib

We spent a few days in the west of the country and enjoyed the lovely town of Galway and surrounding areas. We did a bit of looking around, ate good food and went to quite a few good pubs.

One of the nice pubs we visited in Galway.

We had a very good time and enjoyed ourself a lot. 

Beef and Guinness stew