Friday, 31 May 2013

Suddenly, summer!

Having started with the whole making weekends count business, I figured, why stop? So last weekend ended up being a bit of a biking and hiking extravaganza :).

The couple of weeks I spent here last summer had opened my eyes a little to the stunning landscape that the areas surrounding Asker turn into, given the right weather. This was further proof of the same. Except for the mud. Of course. Seeing how when the weather isn't all beautifully sunny and what not, it rains. A lot.

Getting lost in the woods around here does have its benefits. When you do make your way out into the open, more often than not, there's some fantastic fjord view staring you in the face. It also helps to follow someone who always carries a map. (Smart phones do have their limitations. Unless you have maps pre-loaded, you might end up knowing exactly where you stand, using the GPS, but lacking cell reception and consequently terrain data, that's pretty much useless.)

Having biked on both Friday and Saturday, on Sunday we decided to go hiking instead :D. The target was the top of the hill closest to Asker, and one I'd first thought of climbing in the winter of '05. Yes, yes, procrastination level: epic. I know. But better late than never, right?! I have to say, the weather and the views made the trip well worth the effort :).

Since then, the weather's been iffy at best. But my mind has been on other things. Having signed the dotted line, I now officially own a house. One part of me is all like, "Wow, look at you, all grown up and what not!" while another part of me looks on quietly aghast, going, "WTF are you doing?! Do you even know what you're doing?!".

Oh well. What is it they say? Life is for living?

Currently: ???!!!@@!!!???
Listening to: Daft Punk - Instant crush (ft. Julian Casablancas)

Monday, 27 May 2013

The great escape!

I figure that's the way to go, make the weekends count. When possible that is. That way I feel a little less like I'm fading into a routine :). Last weekend worked quite spectacularly well in that respect! It was a four day break, and we spent most of it in Stavanger! (Actually, that's the weekend before last, now that I've snoozed on this post all through this last weekend :P.)

Although I'd travelled through Stavanger a few years ago on a trip to Preikestolen, I'd never actually acquainted myself properly with the place. I can honestly say that is no longer the case :).

The overnight train dropped us off in the tunnel that is Stavanger Sentralstasjon. Thankfully a helpful lady informed us that there was indeed light at the end of the tunnel and we should get off and walk! And that pretty much sums up what followed for the next four days, we walked, everywhere :).

The Norwegian National Day, which was why we had the long weekend, is quite the event! All over the country, in every city and town, there are parades celebrating the day. The coming of spring, or summer, depending on how long the previous winter stretched, seems to bolster the celebrations. So it was quite the festive mood we found ourselves engulfed in :).

The plan was to hike to Preikestolen on the Saturday, and the weather really turned out to be gorgeous! Unlike my last hike to Pulpit Rock, as it is also known, we weren't on quite as tight a schedule. Once at the top, we decided to just laze about on the rocks for a while. That gave a couple of us enough time to hunt for a better vantage point higher up, which in turn provided the most spectacular view of the entire outcrop jutting out over the fjord!

Just to round off the views, we decided to take a trip around the fjord on a boat. The sky was overcast and it was pouring down with cold rain, so in fact, quite the perfect time to stick to the cosy confines of the boat as it wound its way between the towering cliffs and precarious settlements which lined the unfathomably deep waters, here perfectly still, there a bit ruffled by the wind driving the raindrops.

And lo and behold, before long, we were staring up at this seemingly innocuous ledge projecting out of the wall of rock, hundreds of feet above! Preikestolen does look rather tiny from the water. But then again, so do the boats on the fjord from up there :). I'm glad I've had the chance to see it from both sides now.

Between the two and a half days that we did spent quartering the old town and the downtown area, we didn't leave much unexplored. From ethnic restaurants to museums, from chocolateries to parks, we saw a little bit of everything. And then there were the swords! Sverd i fjell, or 'swords in mountain' are actually a bit outside Stavanger, but do you think we allowed that to stop us?

Of course not! It took us a while, and the weather constantly threatened to bring our endeavour to a damp and shivering end, but we prevailed :). So it was a very content, if somewhat stiff, group that disembarked from the overnight train that dropped us off back in Asker on a very rainy Tuesday morning.

Boy, was that a hard day to get through without yawning my head off! It was heartening to see I wasn't the only bleary eyed one at work though. People here do really believe in making the utmost of any opportunities that the weather and work schedules allow :).

Currently: holding on to memories of sunny afternoons
Listening to: The National - Demons

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Anchors or roots?

Moving in and out of days like there are doors in-between. Is that the feeling? I think that's the best way I can describe it. It's ironic, there are these things that take me years to get around to. And other things, a few moments.

Some choices we make have nothing to do with the things we choose. I do quite like the apartment though! And I remember thinking, as I walked down to the door, rain hanging heavy in the air but suspended for the moment, that it looked like a place I wouldn't mind living in at all. Then there was that red door :).

On another note, I'd signed up for this relay race thing a few weeks back. Turns out, it's the largest relay race in the world! The Holmenkollstafetten. It was also my first attempt at competitive running in over eight years, but I was on the 'fun' team, so it went quite well :D.

In the mean time, I've taken to riding the bike to work most days. Does allow for a little extra sleep in the mornings :). Oh, and I got a snowboard! A little early for next season, I know. But it had that dragon on it!

Currently: still impressed by the PoI season finale :D
Listening to: Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse (feat. The Flaming Lips) - Revenge

Monday, 6 May 2013

Putting together the pieces

This past week's been a bit busy. Who knew living in one place is such a hectic business? However, it is more of a one time thing, I am told. For one thing, finding a permanent place takes a little more than just wishing.

Anyway, in between that, the bank and work, the mid-week day off almost disappeared unnoticed. I did manage to finally visit Drammen though. Close as it is to Asker, you'd have thought I've have made it sooner. Seemed like quite a nice place. One that needs to be explored some more.

Yesterday I finally managed to get my hands on that bike I'd been looking for! Took it out for a spin this afternoon, and from the early signs, I am extremely happy to once again own one of these. My third bike, but the first with gears. And disk brakes :D. I imagine hope this one will see a bit more action than my last one did, back in college :P.

Currently: feeling the after effects of a 6k run and a 20k ride :(
Listening to: this