Sunday, 29 July 2012

Winding trails and blue skies

Apparently it has been a terrible summer here this year. Or so I've been told, but on the evidence of this last week, I can't really complain :). I managed to head out almost every day after getting back from work. A couple of days in the middle, it even got almost warm! And this place can look so great when the weather's nice.

Yesterday was the exception. It rained all day. Which seemed to make it a perfect opportunity to go watch the last of Nolan's Batman movies. I was impressed. But I suppose Colorado's kinda hard to forget. Such insanity :(.

This morning, though, the weather was more or less back to perfect! The trouble with running is that there isn't much opportunity for clicking photos. So I decided to head out on the borrowed bicycle to explore the environs of Asker I have hitherto been a stranger to.

Surprisingly enough, even after heading in and out of here for the last several years, there quite a bit I'd never seen. For instance, there are several lakes within a 10 kilometre radius of the town centre, but I'd only been to one. That was something I figured should be rectified before I disappear again for who knows how long.

It was a really great day to be out on a bike :). Add to that the memories that came flooding back of a time when I was well nigh inseparable from my two wheeler of choice in school! A couple of hours of twisting unfamiliar paths and fresh views later I swear I was almost regretting the fact that I'm heading off at the end of the week.

The thing with using Google Earth as the tool of choice when planning runs and bike rides in an unfamiliar place is that I hardly ever pay attention to the gradient. Makes a greater difference here than almost everywhere else, I'd say. But all in all I've done okay :). Hopefully it'll stay sunny the rest of the evenings this week, or at least not rain. Then it is off to Lisbon, but this time for a whole week, and nothing to do with crew change!

Feeling: rather pleased with myself :)
Listening to: John Mayer - Born and raised

Monday, 23 July 2012

Surprises, nice and otherwise

Oh! Here's a fun fact! Somehow in the seemingly brief span of four months I've managed to render myself quite incredibly, stupefyingly unfit!! Now, to the discerning observer this might not come as any surprise, seeing how I've been less than indulgent in any activity that could even vaguely contribute to maintaining fitness. Still!

I suppose there's a couple of things I've skipped over since my last post. I wasn't on the boat for long, but the two weeks on there went by in a blur! I am beginning to truly detest port calls. All over again, seeing how nothing in these last seven years has given me much reason to feel otherwise. Except for the extremely rare gem such as Malta last year. Anyway, I left the Pride rather battered and bruised.

The good thing was, the port being Bergen, I got to hang out with Bolli a couple of times in the bargain. There was also the fact that we were parked right across the water from the cruise terminal. And guess what? The Queen Mary 2 showed up! Only, I was too busy freezing in the rain to manage a photo. By the time shift was over and I'd thawed sufficiently, she was gone. At least I did get a snap of the MSC Poesia, a slightly smaller version of none other than the truly humongous MSC Fantasia we'd encountered in Malta.

In the middle of the utter chaos that was the trip, I somehow ended up getting myself an overnight train ticket to Asker. This time, I took a sleeper berth and was utterly oblivious to the fascinating views racing past the window. Or maybe it just rained all the way. Asker train station looked much the same as it had when I'd left a year and a half ago, windswept, desolate and wet. Alas, there was no snow this time.

The good thing though, was that my luggage was right where I'd left it! Well, not exactly, the furniture had been re-arranged somewhat. But still, at least they were in the same room :). Of course, it was also great to catch up with some of the old faces still hanging around this part of the world ;).

Despite fears of a washed out weekend, Saturday worked out quite beautifully, with clear blue skies. A friend had recently acquired a couple of bicycles, so we took them out for a spin around the nearby fjords. That was when I got the first hints to the state of my fitness. Fortunately, geared bikes do wonders to cover for you, and the five hour adventure left me feeling quite happy.

Since then though, the weather's been more of the sad dingy greyness and less of the bright golden happiness. I was wondering how I should use the coming two weeks to my advantage, when I rather suddenly noticed the wider than usual midsection. Since it wasn't actually raining, I dragged myself out for a bit of a run. I wasn't exactly expecting miracles, but the ensuing quarter of an hour was ridiculously distressing! In more ways than one. So I suppose I do have something to do with the long hours of daylight for the next few days.

Currently: horrified!
Listening to: Joshua Radin - Road to ride on

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Nameless birds over cloudy water

Right, so here we go again :). It's been raining in Bergen. Not as much as it is infamous for, but enough. And when it's not raining, the hilltops are smothered in low clouds. Not exactly the cheeriest of scenarios, I admit. Nonetheless, the new boat experience hasn't been altogether terrible  thus far :P.

The day I got in was gorgeous though! Bright sunshine, blue sky, a Friday afternoon full of people visiting this and that. I did the unthinkable and actually walked into a restaurant all by myself and proceeded to occupy a huge table for six :D. (Well, there was no one waiting, so I didn't feel too bad about it.)

Since joining the Pride, although we are a mere 20 minute walk from down-town, I haven't ventured out yet. It's been a little crazy. Can it be any other way?

And as appears to be the norm, the immediate future appears mired in fog, rather like the barely-there hours of darkness. Or what would be darkness but for the twilight. Yup, a year and a half away, and summer nights are just as annoying and everything still pretty much costs an arm and a leg.

Currently: assimilating
Listening to: John Mayer - Something like Olivia

Thursday, 5 July 2012

I must have left a thousand times...

This is turning out to be a bit of a strange year :-<. Half of it is gone and for the most part I never knew what to expect next. Another break that I expected to last about a week turned into a month. And now I'm headed back to Norway a year and a half after leaving rather abruptly.

And another new boat. Well, new for me anyway. That boat's about as old as I am, I think.

It's been raining a fair bit these last few days. Good thing too, it's been a long, hot and dry summer. I wonder how much it's been raining in Bergen. I guess I'll find out tomorrow.

Currently: lost in translation
Listening to: Regina Spektor - Small town moon