Inwangsan, Gyeongbokgung, Bukchon Hanok Village, Insa-Dong

Wow, another great day! More steps than ever, 25 000. But I am not surprised as we did a hike this morning. Then went on to walking around the biggest palace in this city, and then to the traditional Korean housing village and later to the traditional shopping-district of Insadong and a temple.

Inwangsan

Today started with a bus adventure. Going ten minutes too far into unknown territory was exciting. But not too hard to just get on the other side of the road and go back. We followed a blog’s direction to this “extremely easy” hike up the summit of Inwangsan. But it started with the wrong name of the bus stop. It turned out fine eventually, many extra steps. The hike was mostly stairs, but it was steep and went a long way up (okay, only 322m, but still). The smog was worse today so the view wasn’t great (you can see it here), but it felt good to move around a bit again! I am so glad that it didn’t start burning in my legs during the hike, not at all. I think I finally have gotten some muscles, woho!


The hike followed the city wall all the way to the top and down the other side.
There was a military base on the mountain which had an air strike gun.

Gyeongbokgung Palace

Once we got down, we took the Metro to the main palace of Seoul: Gyeongbokgung. It was huge, but looked basically the same as the other one we went to. We saw changing of the guard in the first courtyard, right after the big gate, which was uneccessarily big, but I guess the King during that time had money and wanted to show off or something. It was an impressive sight and the area was enormous with many buildings. I am a bit dissapointed that all the cultural places look so brand new. Probably because they are brand new since they all burned down one year or another. It is fun to see what they looked like back in the day, but it also doesn’t give the feeling of oldness like a lot of things do in Europe. It was very pretty still, I really find this type of architecture interesting and very beautiful so it was well worth 3 000 won (25 SEK something).

This 360 is in the main courtyard in front of the actual palace. All other buildings behind were living quarters and such. Here is a picture of what it looked like behind the palace.


One of the three big city gates.
Walking over water before entering the palace (and also temple) to cleanse the body.

Bukchon Hanok Village

There is a neighborhood in Seoul with traditional Korean buildings, called, Hanok, where regular people live today. Of course we had to go there to check it out. It was real pretty and right next to it were super modern and fancy houses. I wonder what that would cost. To live in a Hanok with a small inner garden would be so cute!

Insa-Dong and Jogyesa Temple

The last stop for the day was in Insa-Dong, on the way back to the hotel. They sold tourist-y stuff, but more traditional Korean stuff. I didn’t get anything, but they had really cute things like a metal wallet with incredible motives on.

While we were there, we went to Jogyesa Temple where you can go do a temple stay. Sleep there, meditate, relax, but get awoken at 4:30am… It was really pretty at night, many lights, so many flowers, all lit up.

A week full of stuff

Whoa, last time I updated was a week ago. Embarrassing! Sweden is definitely keeping me busy. I have been working like crazy the past 6 days, and when I haven’t been working I have spent time with Jesper. Lots have happened, for example I have been at Balderado two days last week and actually enjoyed it and realized that it isn’t too bad that every now and then. On Thursday I was there and finally got Balder! The week before they called me and asked if I wanted to work 1.5h earlier on Thursday so I could get an intro there. I had the intro in the morning before the park opened and climbed up to the top of it. The view was amazing, but it was high up and I was a bit scared. But I survived and got a cool selfie up there. The rest of that 9.5h day I had Balder for most of it. Only 30 minutes were spent at another attraction. But during that long day I got the intro, the check-up and the test. So now I have 9 attractions that I can work at. Cool! Most people only have 5.

Liseberg from Balder Balder is the big wooden rollercoaster.Selfie on top of BalderThe traditional selfie from the top of Balder.

The day after I was at Balderado again with the most chill day ever! But during that day, my boss called me while I was working and asked me if I wanted to work over time the day after, Saturday. So instead of working 11am-8pm, I would work 11am-11pm. I felt like I needed the extra money so I said yes. 12 hours was tough. I was up on Berget and it was an okay day. Very long, I was there from the opening of the park until closing. Crazy! But I survived. Those 3 extra hours gave me 100% OB (Uncomfortable Hours), so instead of 107 kr/h, I got 214.That’s more than 600kr for those 3 hours. Totally worth it!

Both my Sunday and Monday were both only 7-hour days, but I was so tired after 6 days and a week of 43 hours. I am still tired. But today has been busy with laundry and gift shopping for my second cousin’s babyshower on Saturday. The things I bought were so ridiculously cute that I honestly considered buying them for my future kids, haha! I also visited Jesper at work while he was on a break. We had ice cream together down in the harbor in the kinda nice weather.

Right, my Saturday was a very crazy day at work. The first crazy thing that happened was that one of the trains on Helix collided with a bird. The girl in the front seat was very upset when she came back to the station after the ride. There was a big splatter mark right next to her face and half the train had bird gore on it. We had to rinse the train off and it was super gross. I hope the bird died right away. It feel down  from the train, so no bird on the train.

The second thing was during my very last hour of the day when I was once again working at Helix (we move around and change attraction once every 30 or 60 minutes). This is actually very scary but from what I have heard, the boy is stable, even if he was seriously injured. So what happens is that I was working like normal and then I hear the operator say that we have to stop the attraction because someone is on the attraction area which is an extremely dangerous place to be. At first we thought it was a kid who jumped in there to pick something up that he dropped, but it turned out that he fell from a fence and fell 7-8m (23-26 feet) and landed in the area. So it was not an attraction-related injury. Very scary incident, and so real when I was there when it happened. I hope the 15-year old boy recovers soon and that other people will learn from this, do not climb on the fences around the attractions! This accident brought forth some evacuation practice for me though which was actually a good thing. I have never been part of an evacuation at Helix, so I am glad that I have experienced it and will now be more comfortable and confident next time it happens.

I have big plans for tomorrow as well. First I will sleep until I wake up, then I will do chill stuff for a while until I’m going to mom’s work to meet her there so we can go and buy a new phone for me. I love this one and don’t really want to buy another one, but the last week it has been a disaster. It discharges three times a day, and I haven’t been able to connect it to my computer. It is getting old so I guess it is time to say goodbye to the best phone I ever had, my Google Nexus 5. I hope HTC One M9 will be as good! I guess I could just pay 600kr and change the battery, but I would still buy a new phone within 6 months because it is getting closer to its 2-year birthday, and everyone knows phones don’t last much longer than that. I will sleep on it. It is a lot of money for an already old phone. But on the other hand, it is my beloved Nexus 5. But I love new phones… Aargh, dilemmas!

Chip and Stuff My fluffy cats! ❤Rainy at Liseberg This is how fun it is to work at Uppswinget when it is raining a lot!Änggårdsbergen Today I went for a walk with Axel up in Änggårdsbergen. It was beautiful!Änggårdsbergen ÄnggårdsbergenThis was such a beautiful scenery, but I got wrong focus. It was almost 9pm, the sun on its way down and it was so green beneath it. Sweden is very beautiful!

Short novel, drive-in, Valencia Peak

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 two years in California. This full post can be found here.

The weekend is not over yet and it has already been an eventful one. So tomorrow I won’t do anything special except for studying for my midterm. Yay!

Yesterday during the day I worked on the group project we are doing now where we are analyzing intersections in downtown. I worked on it until I got picked up. First stop of the evening was at Firestone where I had the amazing pulled pork sandwich. The next stop was the drive-in movie theatre. Tons of people compared to last time I was there. Can be because last night they were showing the new Avengers movie. It was really good like all the other Marvel movies. The second movie was Cinderella and I have to say that that was a good movie too.

The second movie started after 11pm so I didn’t get home until 1:30am and was too tired to continue to write on my short novel I started two days ago. I used to write a lot of short stories when I was younger. I have always had a vivid imagination but I took a 10-year long break from writing because of other things. Two days ago I got a really good idea though and started writing again. I only have a paragraph so far, but it is a pretty good start.

Today I slept until noon. Did some studying and then got picked up and went to Montaña de Oro to hike Valencia Peak. It was a 2-mile hike to the top, it was a “lagom” distance and a very pretty hike. The view from up there was incredible. The peak is about 1300 feet.

Valencia Peak Valencia Peak Valencia Peak Valencia Peak Valencia Peak Valencia Peak

We then walked along the cliffs of Montaña de Oro, where I have never been before, but clearly was the most beautiful place in all of the park. The rock formations are so cool and I have no idea how they came to be. The waves were crashing on the rocks, and it was just a beautiful day!

Montaña de Oro Montaña de Oro Montaña de Oro Montaña de Oro Montaña de Oro Montaña de Oro Montaña de Oro Montaña de Oro Montaña de Oro Montaña de Oro Montaña de Oro Montaña de Oro

It ended with dinner at Sylvester’s Hamburger place. As good as last time!

Back home and I did get some studying done after the hot shower. But I was so tired tonight that I couldn’t go through more than one powerpoint. Instead I read some of my old stories. They all definitely follow a theme, sadness. But they are still very good. I also realized that I had one story from end of 2013 which I completely had forgotten about. I wrote one part of it and I remember telling myself to finish it when I was in that special state of mind. Which I am now, so I guess I should finish it.

German midterm and hike

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 two years in California. This full post can be found here.

So yesterday I had my first midterm of this quarter, the German one, and I have to say that it felt really good. I answered everything and that’s all I can do.

In the evening I went to a presentation given by an immigration attorney from LA who talked about the H-1B visa and permanent residency. It was interesting, and now it feels pretty hopeless to ever be able to move here in the future. Even if I would find a job, there is not even sure that I would get the visa since only 65,000 get it every year and more than 200,000 apply for it. Maybe I should just try to see myself living in Sweden now. Why should it be so hard to move here?

After that meeting I went to Farmer’s Market with David, walked around for a bit and then went for dinner at wunderbar Firestone. The rest of the evening I was just at home, not doing anything special.

Today I was supposed to go surfing in Morro Bay at 8am, but my surf partner lost his car keys so that didn’t happen. Instead, I went back to bed and then skyped with mom. It was her birthday today! Happy birthday once again :).

Then I made an adventure of going grocery shopping. No one was home and I needed food pretty bad, so I picked up my new headphones at the post office (they are amazing! My old ones broke a couple of days ago, but at least 3 years for a pair of in-ear is not bad at all, go Sennheiser), picked up my bike on campus and rode to Haggen (former Albertson’s) on Foothill. As a second breakfast I got a donut from Slodoco and then a bunch of baking ingredients. Since I am all alone (Rachel’s at Stagecoach and Lauren was home in Solvang, but she came back tonight) I knew I would be bored so I decided to bake, or rather make, rocky road fudge.

Right after I came home from the bad bike ride home from the grocery store David texted me and asked if I wanted to hike Serenity Swing and Architecture Graveyard. I never say nay to a beautiful hike, so off we went. First to the swing. As beautiful as always up there. The hills are getting browner and browner. It is sad. Why can’t Sweden send some of its rain here to California? I wonder if I would win the Nobel Prize if I invented something that would transfer the rain from there to here. Maybe that’s what I am destined to do instead of something else that I don’t know yet?

We explored around the different constructions at Architecture Graveyard for a while, took some cool photos, didn’t see any horses (bummer), and then went back where we started making the rocky road fudge. He left at 8 to watch the end of the Cal Poly baseball game but was back at 9:30 and I cooked dinner for the three of us, because he brought Alex with him. Then we just hung out until after midnight. It was a nice and relaxed evening.

Now for some reason, the time is already past 2 in the morning. I am really tired, but still have to make my bed after doing laundry tonight. It will be so nice laying down in newly washed sheets!

PANO_20150424_165850 IMG_20150424_183942 IMG_20150424_180042 IMG_20150424_175229 IMG_20150424_175144 IMG_20150424_180739 IMG_20150424_181532 IMG_20150424_181619

The P

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 two years in California. This full post can be found here.

Another ”I finally did it” happened today. I finally hiked the P, one of the closest hikes to where I live. On the hillside facing campus (and the rest of the city), there is a big concrete P. I hiked up to it today and then up all the way to the top of the ridge. I sat up there for a long while just looking out over campus, the hills, and the whole City of San Luis Obispo. I can’t get enough of beautiful views!

I didn’t stay until sunset, I got too hungry. It was a pretty short hike and I was up all the way to the top on, I would guess 30 minutes and down in less. A “lagom” hike. But it was very steep and lots of loose rocks.

I had dinner, took a shower and am now doing laundry and thinking if I should be a good student and do Thursday’s reading and quiz. I did Tuesday’s this afternoon. I probably won’t. A movie, some ice cream and then bed sounds like a good Easter Sunday evening.

IMG_20150405_173127  Someone repainted the P recently to the colors of the rainbow.IMG_20150405_173939 IMG_20150405_175254 PCV, the village where I live.PANO_20150405_175305Cal Poly SLO has a very big campus!PANO_20150405_175039 Behind the ridge.PANO_20150405_175150 SLO side of the ridge.PANO_20150405_175055 360 degree panorama.IMG_20150405_184659

Bishop’s Peak sunrise hike

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 two years in California. This full post can be found here.

I have finally done it, I have hiked the tallest peak in SLO and it wasn’t as bad as I was afraid it would be. And I wanted it to be special because I am not sure I am gonna do this hike again. So for this special occasion I woke up at 5 am with Kelsey and her three friends from Iowa. 30 min later we were on our way to the bottom of Bishop’s Peak and the hike started soon before 6am. It was pitch dark, but no clouds so all the stars were out and it was so pretty. But it was not enough to light up the trail so we all walked with our phone lamps on. I have to admit that it was a little bit scary not seeing anything except a little bit ahead of our feet, but we didn’t hear any snarls from mountain lions. A relief. The first part was the worst part, it was just uphill on a trail. My calves did not like that. The rest was zig-zagging up the mountain side and wasn’t bad at all. We took a wrong turn once but realized after two minutes that it was wrong and was on the right path the rest of the way. It was not very warm but perfect hiking weather, we didn’t get super sweaty or tired.

We got to the top early after hiking for almost an hour. It was only 1.2 miles to the top which was not too bad actually, a pretty lagom hike. But we were early, and that meant that we had to sit up there for half an hour before the sun came up over the hills. It was windy like crazy and very cold. And we were also 34 people up there at that unearthly hour watching the sunrise with us.

It was amazing, so beautiful! I had kinda hoped for clouds so we would be over them, but this was beautiful too. You could see all of SLO and all the hills and tons of birds of prey sailing with the winds. It was a wow-experience. I might do it again for a sunset hike, but I will prioritize the other hikes first.

The way down was scary. Ever since my fall down the Potato Chip Rock in San Diego I am scared like an old lady going downhill. But we all survived and after the hike was done we bought breakfast at Slodoco. Yummy! I watched half of the pilot episode of iZombie on The CW and then took a two-hour nap before my hair appointment. iZombie seems like a fun TV show that I will start following now too. So many of the shows I watch right now are on The CW, a good TV channel, simply. It is about a girl who becomes a zombie, but she can control herself and tries to hide it from everyone, including her very attractive fiancé with whom she broke up when she became undead.

At 12.30 I rode my bike all the way to the train station and a little more to the hair salon I had an appointment at, Salon Glo. Rakesha took care of me today and she did an amazing job! It took 2.5 hours and now the worst of my split ends are gone, and my growth is pretty much invisible and looking more natural and beachy now. I love it! I can totally recommend her. And the prize was very nice too. $135 for all of that, and I even got a nice scalp massage and hair mask and tips on how to keep my hair in better shape. After schampooing my hair, I will towel dry it, then put in conditioner in the bottom half of my hair, rinse, and then be done. If there is water in between the conditioner and hair, it doesn’t work. It makes sense, and I will do this from now on so my hair can start getting healthier. Because now, half my hair is with split ends, but I wanna keep the length, so this will help. She was also very friendly. I am happy and feel like a new person.

I rode my bike back and was so tired the last 10 minutes when I reached the south entrance to campus. My butt and thighs hurt. It was no fun, so I chilled for a bit at home, took a shower, and then went with everyone downtown to Farmers Market. It was very nice, we got dinner and I bought some Olallieberry jam. I have never heard of it before, but apparently a ollallieberry is a mix between a blackberry and raspberry. It was good one and now I can mix it up with my normal strawberry I have at home for my pancakes in the morning. Which I am gonna stop with next quarter since I’ve told myself to be more healthy. Whatever.

I stayed at home after that. I was planning on going downtown again with Julianne for some partying, but wasn’t in the mood, and of course not in the mood for line dancing either. So I stayed at home, packed and prepared for tomorrow’s roadtrip up to San Francisco. I am excited!

The girls came home early from line dancing, a couple of them being so very drunk. I don’t handle drunk people very well when I am sober, but I feel sorry for Kelsey who has to drive them down to LA and take care of them on her own when she leaves here at 2:30am. I wish her last night here could have ended better than being kicked out of a line dancing event.

I had a great time with her here this week. I have been a little bit of a party pooper, but I have my reasons for that. It’s been a rough quarter and I am just starting to drop everything and start over with my last quarter in ten days. Today, my first day of spring break was great, it couldn’t have been better (except maybe for the late night’s events); a sunrise hike (which is so unlike me since I hate mornings), a new haircut, and a very pleasant Farmer’s Market. I have a good feeling about this first and last spring break of mine!

Bishop's Peak sunrise hike Pitch-dark start of the hike.Bishop's Peak SLO in the dark.Bishop's Peak It is not a very big city.Bishop's Peak The birds were floating everywhere.Bishop's Peak Bishop's Peak Bishop's Peak  Bishop's Peak A 360 degree photo from the top of the tallest peak in SLO.Bishop's Peak Bishop's PeakBishop's Peak It looked like nothing.before-afterIt’s not a huge difference, but the growth is gone, it’s more even and looks so much more healthy. I love it!

Montaña de Oro

Another eventful weekend is over and I can’t really say that I am ready for this week to start. It will be a busy week again, with the Public Transportation project, tests at the Health Center, maybe more hikes and a party.

Today I went on a second hike in Montana de Oro which is a little north of here. The beach area was beautiful, rocky, sandy, and cool cliff formations. A seal was lying there, and we saw one starfish and lots of anemones. I thought it was gonna be cold since it rained this morning, but it was actually pretty nice out there with the sky turning more and more blue. Then we ended up on the Nose Trail hike which was 3.6miles, I was not really prepared for that in my boots and I got a big blister that popped right away. It hurts, but it was worth it, it was a pretty hike! And it felt better to eat the big burger at Sylvester’s afterwards, haha!

I actually didn’t take any pictures, but I will probably go back and take pictures on a more beautiful day.

When I came home I took a long nap, and then I have been chilling. Met the new Swedish guy in the building for the first time which was cool.

Now I think I will head to bed and watch Interstellar. Then up early tomorrow for the B12 tests. Goodnight!