First swim of the year

What an incredible day! As usual, the California sky fools you in the morning with clouds as far as the eye can see but around noon it clears up and is as beautiful and amazing as always.

We started the day by taking an extreme detour on the freeway, haha! Me and the two Elins (we are staying together in La Habra at some friends to Miriam’s sister) met up with Miriam at a Starbucks and because of the detour (if it hadn’t been for the closed exit off the I5 carpool lane) we didn’t get to the beach until 11am. We got up at 7 just because we wanted to be out early, haha! But that’s okay it was almost a little bit chilly in the morning but out of nowhere, while we were playing, the sun was just there, being totally in the way. But also amazing!

We managed to get 2h and 2 full rounds of Queen (everyone plays with everyone and the one with most wins, win) before Miriam had to go and pick up her sister at work to hang out with her and her family in the afternoon and evening. But me and the Elins had fun anyway. We had delicious fish tacos for lunch and then hung out at the beach, listening to music and even went into the water. It was cold, but so worth it once you were all in. I just love the ocean! We all got burned, some more, me a little bit less.

The day at Huntington Beach ended with the three of us doing some side out, but a girl came up to us and asked if we wanted a fourth. We did, so she joined us for another round of queen. It didn’t go too well for me in the morning, but tonight was my 2 hours. I was on fire. So much fun!

We had dinner on our way back; Panda Express. Another hole in my Americn heart has been filled. We went grocery shopping for our roadtrip tomorrow and then back home. It got too late for the jacuzzi. Perhaps another day.

Such a fun day! And tomorrow will be as well! Stay tuned for updates on our small roadtrip.

Platja de la Nova Icaria

I don’t know any Spanish, but that is not to my disadvantage since everyone here speaks Catalan. It took me several days to realize that. It all sounds the same, but at the same time no. The spellning is definitely weird. May for example is a word I know in Spanish: Mayo (Cinco de Mayo). But here it says Maig everywhere. These people here are not proud Spaniards, they are proud Catalans. And very proud ones at that. I think I have seen perhaps one or two Spanish flags on balconies, the rest 99% have Catalan flags. Yellow ribbons are everywhere as well having something to do with freeing political prisoners. The people here do not want to be a part of Spain. I am not too involved but even to the ignorant me, it is clearly visible.

The word Platja, I assume means beach (the Spanish word is playa, right?).

Most of today was spent at the beach. Mom and I left around noon and just walked straight east from the apartment until we eventually came to the beach. It was around 5 000 steps one way. So 10 000 in total after just laying there for many hours relaxing, getting foot massages and reading. Pretty decent.

It was warm today, not enough to want to go in the water, but still enough to lie on the beach for several hours. The wind was present so it didn’t get too warm either. It was perfect. But I am unused to being in the sun, and therefore forgot to use sunlotion on every inch of my body, so the closest tw centimeters around my bikin got decently red. It hurts a little, but I have been through worse. Nothing else got burned though. Sun protection works!! Use it!

After a quick shower back at the apartment mom and I went back out (Helena wasn’t feeling to well and used the day for resting for tomorrows trip to Parc Güell). We took the Metro to Hard Rock Cafe where mom bought me a late birthday dinner. Very nice and good. Number 19 in the order.

We then walked to Parc de Montjuïc, or the beginning of it, where the Font Màgica de Montjuïc (The Magic Fountain of Montjuïc) was. Tons of people pilgrimaged along with us and it took a little while for us to understand why. Everyone was going to the fountain. It wasn’t even that crazy in Las Vegas or Dubai! It was crazy bananas.

It played both popular music but also some classical. We thought it was about to end three or four times. It kept going for an hour! Crazy! But it was beautiful. Light was incorporated into the fountain and made really awesome effects. With the spray it almost looked like the water was boiling lava when it was red/orange or ice when it was blue. It was really beautiful! But it was long. So mom and I went up the stairs toward the castle behind it to take a photo of the rainbow fountain up there. But literally two seconds before had the chance to pull the photo trigger on both of our cameras, all the fountain lights in the area turned off and we stood there, with our cameras held high in darkness. WHAT?! Now I feel I have to go back just to take that picture, I was robbed of that opportunity, haha! I think it would have been a pretty cool 360 picture from up there as well. With the pretty castle, the rainbow and the columns further down and then the dancing fountain. Too bad.

It got really late today, the fountain didn’t start until 9pm. Tomorrow will be a  day in the park with sunny weather.

 

UPDATE 2018-10-07!

26

Back in Sweden after a very long week. But it still was over so fast. I am now older than when I left (which I could have said even if it wasn’t my birthday today, but it is a cliché, and sometimes clichés are fun), but I don’t feel too much different.

The day started with a nice surprise at breakfast at the hotel in Rome. The personnel gave me a pastry with a candle in it and wished me a happy birthday! That was so sweet of them. The green juice is green apple juice, really tasty.

We packed, and then drove out to the beach in Ostia, we just picked the closest one, Mamma Mia Beach. It was not as warm today, only around 19C, and a bit windy, so no swimming in the ocean for me. But I felt the water, it was cold (it wouldn’t have been impossible to go in, but I preferred to sit in the warm sand and enjoying the sun rather than shivering in the wind). We were there for about 45 minutes and then we had to leave for the airport which was only 15 minutes away. We had lunch, did a little shopping, boarded the plane and flew home to cold Gothenburg.

It is nice to be home, but I miss the sun and the warmth. You would think that it would be warmer than 6C here now in April…

Mom picked us up at the airport, drove us home and we went shopping. Late dinner in front of the movie Trolls, consisting of entrecote, potato gratin and pepper sauce. No cake for dessert since they didn’t have any at the store, but some Easter candy and a Budapest pastry.

It honestly didn’t really feel like my birthday today, but it really hasn’t the past few ones either. Downsides of getting older, eh?

Desert Safari and kitten

This post used to contain pictures, but due to new storage limitations from WordPress, I had to fix the problem and decided to create a new blog that works as an archive for all the posts from my travels. This full post can be found here.

Our last day in Dubai was amazing and was over so fast. We started the day at Kite Beach. It was a beautiful and warm day, we spent some time in the water and it was just awesome! We got back to the hotel at 1pm and we actually had time to take a taxi to Deira City Center and crossed our fingers that that Max hadn’t closed down as well. And it hadn’t. We ordered a normal Frisco meal with fries. They said they had Crispy Fries but it was not the same as in Sweden. The Burger wasn’t the same either. But it was still worth it.

We got back to the hotel and had time to pack everything before we got picked up for the desert safari. A humongous Toyota Land Cruiser. It was the two of us and another Indian family of four. The first stop was at a Dune Buggy place, it wasn’t included in the package and none of us went. Then we went straight out in the desert, the road just ended and there were so many cars! We all went in a long line and it was a bumpy ride. I guess I should have known, but I was surprised at how bumpy it was, I felt sick. We then stopped for some pictures in the desert, the sun was setting and it was beautiful. It was windy and we had sand everywhere, but it was nice. We then took normal roads (and at the end in the dunes) to reach a camp that was set up in the desert. It looked like a small small circular city where there were small stalls where we could pick up starters, coffe, tea, sodas and then later a buffet table. The food was okay and I guess the closest to the Arabian culture. We sat on pillows on the ground and in the middle of the whole camp was a stage where people danced. Right outside of the camp there were two camels that we could ride as well. That was scary, especially when it rose and lied down.

We got back to the hotel at around 9:30 pm and the taxi came and picked us up at 11pm to go to the airport. The flight would take off at 2 am, but it was delayed and we didn’t take off until 3am. And also because of winds the plane had to take a detour over Poland and make a landing to refuel. And that meant that we lost a lot of time and therefore missed our connection flight in Stockholm. We landed when it took off at 8:30am. The next Norwegian flight that we didn’t have to pay anything for was at 5:45 pm. We could book with SAS, but that would have been expensive, so we stayed at the airport the whole day instead of being home with Cleo and chilling. In total we stayed up for 40 hours with a few hours of bad sleep in the plane from Dubai to Stockholm. It was brutal. I am still tired, even if I got a good amount of sleep last night. I guess it can also be because I spent two hours this morning playing beach volleyball. We were only 4 people there so it was a lot of practice time. I was dead afterward.

I am still not 100% recovered, but I have a full day of just doing nothing at home tomorrow which is good, but then on Monday, school starts again.

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Today was a big day. After practice I met up with Jesper downtown and we picked up the scratch map we left for framing before we left, we then bought a frame for the pictures we bought in Dubai, and our last stop was Webhallen where I bought a new eReader. My old one was drenched when my water bottle leaked last Thursday on my way to practice. Too bad, that was a good eReader and they are not sold anymore. So instead of a Sony, I now have a Kobo Glo HD which has light in the screen which is a huge plus! It actually seems like a really cool eReader and much more complex than my old one. I think I will like it.

And then we made an even bigger purchase, we got Cleo a Friend! He looks almost exactly like her, but he is fluffier and a boy and 1.5 months younger. He is adorable, and didn’t complain at all when we drove him home. He was curious and then fell asleep. When we got home Cleo was super curious about this new little guy. But she is very rough with him, playing all the time, refusing to leave him alone and he is much smaller than she and can’t defend himself. I guess she is making sure that he knows that she is in charge here, but she is kinda overdoing it. I know that she is very playful, but I hope she will calm down and not be so rough with him, he is just a baby! But I guess in a month or so he will be as big and will be able to hit her back. They have slept together twice, but as soon as nap time is over they are fighting again. I really hope this will calm down soon and that Cleo won’t hate us because we brought a smaller cat here. All of last week she was with mom and her two cats and apparently she was all over them there. She would never leave the two oldies alone so we thought a friend for her at home would be nice too. But I don’t think she realizes that the cat she played with most at mom’s was 8kg, while she was only 1.7kg and this new one can’t be more than 1.2kg. We will let the small one sleep with us tonight with a closed door and Cleo on her climbing tree and hope she will behave better tomorrow.

We don’t have a name yet, so if you have any suggestions for a fluffy red boy, let me know.

IMG_20160123_084335 It is so beautiful in Gothenburg right now! It is kinda sad that we missed this last week when it was this much snow. Unfortunately tomorrow it will be above freezing and therefore everything will melt…IMG_20160123_202715 IMG_20160123_154332 On our way to Orust through Winter Wonderland to get our new family member.20160123_160720 And here he is!IMG_20160123_161427 20160123_171819 IMG_20160123_172848 At first she followed him around like an extra tail.IMG_20160123_173506 IMG_20160123_182218 IMG_20160123_182238 IMG_20160123_182938 And then she started to get rough and play with him.IMG_20160123_192222 IMG_20160123_204006 IMG_20160123_200624 One nap was okay and they were like siblings lying there. And then there was some more fighting…IMG_20160123_212153 And another nap, closer this time! And then some more fighting.20160123_224346And lastly before they went their seperate ways to sleep in different locations, Cleo washed him. Cute! I think this will work out, we just have to give them time (especially for him to grow more).

Kite Beach and a bad taxi driver

This post used to contain pictures, but due to new storage limitations from WordPress, I had to fix the problem and decided to create a new blog that works as an archive for all the posts from my travels. This full post can be found here.

Today was exactly yesterday, except that we stayed on the beach until sunset. It was warmer than yesterday, and not as windy. A really nice day. I also finished the 9th book in the Tales from Shadowhunter Academy series.

We then tried to find a cab, and the one we found turned out to be ridiculously expensive. We were going to Oasis Center because a few days ago it said that there was a Max Hamburger restaurant there, but when we got there it had closed down. Bummer. We spent 50 AED to go to a stupid shopping mall where they didn’t even have the thing we were looking for. So we bought some candy and donuts to have while watching a movie tonight. We got a taxi quickly at the mall, but that was a mistake. First of all, this guy was young, had an extreme lisp and we could not understand what he said with his accent. Then he didn’t know where we were going, had to put it in his phone GPS (no one here so far has used the GPS), and then he insulted me asking me if I was Jesper’s mom! And then he said it was a joke. Why would a taxi driver make a joke like that? And also I don’t think he was joking because later he asked if he had permission to speak something, and then said that he suggested me to dress in black to look younger. What an asshole!! Then he was in a car accident while we were in the car and had to stop right on the freeway. He drove into the car in front of us, nothing really happened but he told us he talked his way out of calling the police, and then he explained why. I think it was something about that he had to pay a huge fine because he was a taxi driver and also pay out of his own pocket if the car got damaged. He said we would get the ride for free because of this delay and that money wasn’t everything. After that he drove extremely recklessly, he was driving fast and very carelessly. He said he was 21 but his passport said 37 because you can’t be a taxi driver here unless you are 25. We left the taxi when we finally got to the hotel, he honked at us and asked us to pay. I was so angry at that point that I gave him a 20 instead of 30, and then borrowed the phone at the hotel to file a complaint. It took a while, but they took me seriously and I will learn what they did about it before January 31. Worst taxi experience ever.

Good thing we have another day tomorrow, I think I would hate this place if I left after tonight. Stupid fuckface!

Tomorrow anyway is our last day here and we are spending half the day at the beach and the other half on a desert safari. That will be fun. Too bad we won’t have time for Max before we leave. We might have time tomorrow  between the beach and the safari, but we will have to see.

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Kite Beach and Hard Rock Cafe #17

This post used to contain pictures, but due to new storage limitations from WordPress, I had to fix the problem and decided to create a new blog that works as an archive for all the posts from my travels. This full post can be found here.

There is not much to say about today, we spent most of the day at the beach. Kite Beach was a big beach kinda close to our hotel. It was very few people, a big white beach, and there were real serious beach volleyball courts and a Jamba Juice. I feel proud every time I see one since the founder of it went to Cal Poly.

The water felt cold, but that could have been because the sun was burning today, even if it was a bit windy. We went in several times though, even if not all the way. It was just nice to stand in the blue water.

When it got a little too cold, we started looking for a taxi to get to Festival City Mall, which is mostly under development. IKEA is there and also Hard Rock Café. This was number 17, haha! We bought some more painkillers for Jesper. It is still pretty swollen, but I think it might be getting better, but it is hard for me to tell.

Tomorrow a similar day awaits us!

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First day in Dubai

This post used to contain pictures, but due to new storage limitations from WordPress, I had to fix the problem and decided to create a new blog that works as an archive for all the posts from my travels. This full post can be found here.

Being away from cold, work and stress in school is great. Today was supposed to be the coldest day this week with about 22 C. It will be a great week!

Yesterday we left Gothenburg at 7 am, spent 7 hours at the airport in Stockholm and then another (almost) seven hours on a pretty uncomfortable plane. I think the length of this flight is too short to require comfortableness. It was not very nice. But we had three seats all to ourselves so we could kinda lie down. We landed at 1 am local time, our taxi took us to the wrong Holiday Inn Express so we didn’t go to bed until 3am. Up again at 9 so we wouldn’t miss breakfast and then we got fooled by the hotel that gave us a taxi which took the long way to the beach so we had to pay about twice as much as it would have costed. Whatever!

We spent a few hours at the JBR beach, we both got burned. It was a nice beach, the water was warm, probably 23 C or something. But it was a bit windy so we only got in the water once and left around 4pm to have early dinner at Panda Express. I have to say, that Dubai is very international, all the fast food chains from California is here, and it doesn’t feel at all like an Arabic country (except for the Arabic letters everywhere). It feels like my second home, I like it. After dinner we walked around on JBR at the Walk which is a strip right next to the beach where tons of stores and restaurants. This place was pretty far away from where we live, definitely the touristy place of Dubai. We walked around a lot, bought some food to snack on tonight and then  we found a nice taxi who took us to the hotel up north, kinda close to Burj Khalifa.

We are so tired, long day of traveling yesterday, and a lot of walking today, so now we will chill with a movie, fall asleep and prepare for a day at Dubai Mall tomorrow with Burj Khalifa afterwards.

20160116_023323 PANO_20160116_181911 20160116_121542 20160116_133843 20160116_133848 20160116_135712 You know you are in an Arabic country when camels are walking on the beach.20160116_154215 JBR The Walk.20160116_163602 Jumeirah.20160116_175101 JBR The Beach.IMG_20160116_164857 IMG_20160116_172308 IMG_20160116_172314 IMG_20160116_173012 IMG_20160116_174247 It’s too bad they are building so much out in the water, it ruins the sunset…IMG_20160116_174636 IMG_20160116_180223 A chrome Lamborghini. All the cars here are extremely fancy pancy, but this one was a little bit better.IMG_20160116_180641IMG_20160116_181907 IMG_20160116_183708 IMG_20160116_183758 PANO_20160116_163328 PANO_20160116_164340 PANO_20160116_172655 PANO_20160116_172741 PANO_20160116_174657 PANO_20160116_175014 PANO_20160116_175513 12583606_1059748967380445_1723920627_n IMG_20160116_204548This is a very international city, so why not try stuff from other countries? This basil seed drink is from Thailand.