All the roads lead to Rome

I wouldn’t say that I am out of shape, but I am definitely out of shape when it comes to walking and standing up. It is out of season for Liseberg, so I am not used to this much walking. Today we reached 20,600 steps, crazy amount of steps!

So it wasn’t a bump free ride to go to Rome. Six hours before our flight took off last night, Jesper realized that his passport had expired a month earlier. He paid a huge amount of money to get a provisional passport (it is extremely pink!). The flight was more than half empty, I don’t think I have ever flown with that few people on board. It only took 2.5 hours, I finished Harry Potter and the Deahtly Hallows (amazing ending to the story, the review was not that well-written, I apolgize, I might change it someday when I am not as tired as I am now), slept a little bit and watched a thunderstorm over the Alps somewhere, really cool to see lightning from above the clouds.

Our second bump arose at the airport in Rome at 11pm when our pre-booked taxi driver didn’t show up. There was a miscommunication we learned this morning, they needed a reconfirmation from us that the price would change since our apartment was outside the city limits, but at the end of our confirmation email it also said that they were happy to have confirmed this with us. So we got to the apartment a little bit later than we planned, but it worked out very well anyway. There was a shuttle service at the airport with fixed prices 20 euro per person. Very friendly and helpful people.

The apartment is a little bit outside the city limits and very nice. There are two big balconies. One much bigger than the other one and the “small” one is bigger than most standard balconies in Sweden. Pretty great. Unfortunately, there are only singles bed, and I was afraid of falling down between them during the night.

Today we slept until 10am, went out to the grocery store (crazy store where the aisles wouldn’t fit more than one person, and there were also a ton of easter eggs, we couldn’t resist and bought one, it was basically just a big Kinder Egg, delicious and with a super big Star Wars toy inside) to buy breakfast, then had breakfast in the sun on the balcony. The whole day has been around 20C and a little bit cloudy. Perfect for walking around a big city. We left the apartment at 1pm approx, bought a week pass for the metro and buses and went to the city where our promenade started. We didn’t have any plans for today, just walk around, look at things, and plan for tomorrow, tonight instead. So we walked, and walked, and walked, and took lots of pictures. I actually only took 65. Jesper borrowed his dad’s professional camera and has taken most of the pictures.

I am honestly not sure what we photographed today, there are so many old and special buildings. I might write descriptions other days.

So here comes a bunch of pictures from today.

Ramses crawled inside one of our bags before leaving yesterday.

A quarter century!

So, 25 years ago I was born. Twenty-five years! It is a big number and definitely a milestone. It’s crazy, but I can’t do anything about it than thank everyone for their happy-birthday-wishes today. I had a wonderful day, it was the most beautiful spring day ever! Not a single cloud anywhere to be seen and it was warm in the sun. Sure, I guess it could have been any other day than a Monday and a school day, but it was still okay. I didn’t do much, went to class, went grocery shopping, cleaned the apartment, played a little on my new Wii U (that Jesper gave me yesterday) and waited for Jesper to come home from work. Soon after that mom came over and we made dinner; tacos. And for dessert; princess cake! Doesn’t matter how old I am, there should always be a princess cake, haha!

It’s been a long time ago since I updated, and not because not many fun things have happened, I just kinda lost my will to write. So here comes a bunch of photos from the last three months instead (sorry, but many of them are of the cats).

Snapchat-5707624776733512754 RamsesSnapchat-5810324255267391196 There was a period when the cats pooped shapes, here was a cat!Snapchat-5971708935792197947 Snapchat-6281412214506013341 Snapchat-6625471852755381294 Cleo is sit-sleeping. Snapchat-8367736236117518819 You can’t go to the bathroom alone.Snapchat-311050361588944317 They removed the soles from my shoes not once, but twice!! Snapchat-778843254324361477 They got a new active toy which they love, blinking balls on a rollercoaster.Snapchat-1863879408636719822 This is the cutest picture ever. I did not put them like this,they fell asleep like it!Snapchat-2467392393892331450 They always sleep along my legs or on them when I am sitting on the couch!Snapchat-2755412171376574423 Never alone.Snapchat-3008962028462712662 Even if they fight a lot, they still seem to like each other.Snapchat-4619855813923631677 Ramses is very chill!Screenshot_2016-02-27-12-34-03 20160229_174001 We had some very pretty sunset the past months.IMG_20160203_223705 IMG_20160209_195354 Semla mudpieIMG_20160217_143337 IMG_20160320_183418 20160303_213048 Ramses the chill.IMG_20160317_144645 IMG_20160317_205648 St. Patricks Day.Screenshot_2016-03-17-13-36-33 IMG_20160325_132959 PANO_20160329_160817 IMG_20160401_192251Jesper and I went up to my cousins in Nynäshamn a week ago. We had a great time up there, played a lot of cards, walked around in the harbor, enjoyed their new hot tub with an ocean view and just hung out.IMG_20160402_122203 IMG_20160403_11243520160409_203531 I got new toys for the cats, and it did not take long before one of them was in its natural habitat. Now it is completely gone!20160411_140139 Cleo is such a beautiful cat! IMG_20160409_134334 Rachel (for those who don’t know, to the right, and my former roommate in California) came here with her friend Elyse to visit for a few days.  We went out to the archipelago and enjoyed the amazing Swedish spring on the west coast.IMG_20160409_142730 IMG_20160409_155340 IMG_20160409_161016 IMG_20160409_142128

Here is a link to google maps where I uploaded a sphere picture taken at Öckerö after my 17-year old cousin told me about it, haha! (I am getting old):

 

Other than what I have taken pictures of, I am doing well in school. I am almost done with my first year in grad school, one more to go. Last quarter I took a class called Leadership & Communication and the home exam I wrote with another girl was super interesting: Why do people follow destructive leaders? We brought up Hitler and Trump as examples and it was the easiest finals week ever. I haven’t gotten the grade for it yet, but it should arrive very soon.Then we had three days in school and then two weeks off. I needed it, just relax for a bit. Today was the first day back after the break and on Wednesday we have a presentation. A few more weeks and then the summer is here and lots of work at Liseberg (where I actually start in two weeks already, but not full time until the last week of May).

I have also been reading, but haven’t finished anything new in a while since I am reading The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and it is long. The new ereader (Kobo GLO) is working perfectly!

I have also played a lot of beach volleyball and have already have many ups and downs. I hope I will have time to play this summer as well, even with lots of work at Liseberg (or maybe SKANSKA if they will contact me about my application I sent in a month ago).

I should probably go to bed now, I am not as young as I was yesterday and I have a lecture tomorrow at 9am. I can’t make any promises about more frequent posts, but I can almost say that the next one won’t take three months.

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.

IMG_20160120_092940 IMG_20160120_172542 12557759_1061842490504426_1841349881_o IMG_20160120_174547 IMG_20160120_173933

Dubai Mall, Burj Khalifa

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.

Ten hours at a mall, not sure if I want to do that again, but it was a fun day! We didn’t do too much shopping, but we bought a few things, a cork globe where we can pin where in the world we’ve been, a box of cool Arabic postcards, a shot glass from the top of Burj Khalifa, a thermos I can bring to school, a deck of cards all in gold, a fridge magnet, flip flops to Jesper, and a new shirt for me and I will get to why later.

We also got a couple of birthday presents for Jesper’s younger sister. We walked around for hours and hours, it is ridonculously big!! But I think we manage to at least go everywhere, even if we didn’t go into many stores. We had lunch in one of the food courts, Johnny Rockets, haha! When it comes to food, this trip is more American than Arabic.

At 6pm we had booked to go up to the top of Burj Khalifa. We got a briefing beforehand with tea and some snacks, went through security and then took the elevator up to the 125th floor in only 60 seconds. That is pretty fast!! Then we took another elevator up to the highest floor people go to, 148, the floors up until 160 is only for telecommunication and maintenance and something. The whole tower is 828 meters high, but less at where we stood. I can honestly say that I didn’t feel any difference between the Eiffel Tower and Burj Khalifa, both are so high up that it feels unreal and that everything below is photoshoped. It was pretty cool up there though and we saw a little from the first fountain show of the day at 6pm (we got up to the top a little earlier than our reservation). We then saw the whole 6:30 show on the 125th floor where we stopped for a bit.

After that we decided to watch the fountain from the ground so we watched the 7:30pm one after some restroom brakes and some of the shopping. We got a great spot, I filmed and took pictures and it was kinda exactly like the Bellagio Fountain in Las Vegas. I didn’t see it coming, but in the end of it, the water came right at us, there were no warning signs that we would get wet, so I wasn’t expecting it at all and was watching somewhere else when the shower hit me. Jesper saw it coming, backed away but didn’t tell me. I got soaked through! It was worse than SeaWorld… When we walked back to the mall I heard some Swedish people behind me say something about me being soaked, haha! We got the new shirt at Holister and then went to Cheesecake Factory to have dinner. It tasted kinda the same, but not really, or maybe my memory is piedestaling the food, or it’s different because this is Dubai, not California. I think I was too tired to eat as well, but we got the leftovers boxed up so we have dinner for another evening as well, yay. It was good!

Then we saw some really fancy pancy cars outside the mall, took a taxi and came back to the hotel at around 10pm. Tomorrow we have to get up a little bit earlier since we are going to Atlantis The Palm tomorrow and it opens at 10am and since we don’t want to waste spending time outside on the warmest day of the week (it will be around 27C tomorrow) and because we were inside all day today, we want to be there as early as possible.

PANO_20160117_114115 PANO_20160117_120521 IMG_20160117_122201 IMG_20160117_122715 IMG_20160117_123248 IMG_20160117_125226 IMG_20160117_135544 IMG_20160117_143900 IMG_20160117_145250 IMG_20160117_155629 PANO_20160117_171137 IMG_20160117_171955 hdr_00002_0 hdr_00001_0 IMG_20160117_180933 IMG_20160117_180140 IMG_20160117_180255 IMG_20160117_180630 IMG_20160117_180810 This is Dubai Mall, crazy big!!IMG_20160117_182122 IMG_20160117_182245 In the lounge at the top we got served snacks and drinks.IMG_20160117_182327 IMG_20160117_183108 Level 125.IMG_20160117_183325 IMG_20160117_184322 IMG_20160117_184526IMG_20160117_184541 PANO_20160117_181602 PANO_20160117_181638 IMG_20160117_192133 IMG_20160117_192156 A gold car.IMG_20160117_192304 PANO_20160117_192719IMG_20160117_193010 IMG_20160117_193110 IMG_20160117_193520 IMG_20160117_195946 IMG_20160117_203147IMG_20160117_200140  12545797_1060388483983160_1629833500_o A Tesla!!12556959_1060388520649823_1927103004_o A matte black Lamborghini.12544663_1060388460649829_191403_o

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.

First day in Paris and a big surprise

Our first day in Paris is over and we are all tired. But since I am traveling again, I feel like I need to update. The weather hasn’t impressed me at all sadly. It rained when we arrived at 9 this morning and it kept raining most of the afternoon. It wasn’t until later it stopped and it was actually kinda nice. Jeans were still needed and I had my big sweater and a jacket, but it wasn’t cold.

This morning Jesper and I woke up at 4:30am to catch a flight at 7am. The flight was only 2 hours and it was a nice one. I am pretty sure the company’s why. We had ordered a shuttle but it was late and didn’t pick us up until 10:30, and we didn’t arrive at the apartment until almost noon. The company mom works for has vacation apartments spread out over the world and this week she got the one in Paris, she has been here since Friday. It is a great deal, all the apartments are extremely well located and are nice. Last year we stayed in the one in London for a week.

Today we just walked around and looked at stuff. We went to Notre Dame, Saint-Chapelle, the bird market, St Jacques, a cool modern museum and just around that area. I have to admit that I couldn’t really enjoy today since I once again have a UTI. I get them all the time and it really sucks to have it while I am on vacation! I bought some medicine and hope it will work, otherwise I will have to make a makeshift heat-pillow. We had lunch at a small restaurant, the portion size was perfect and I had a pasta dish with a creamy mushroom sauce. It was delicious. For dinner mom, Jesper and I (there is also Helena, but she is allergic so she couldn’t come with us) went to a Creperie and had crepes for dinner. Mom a savory one and Jesper and I each a Nutella crepe. Yummy in my tummy! We discussed what’s on tomorrow’s agenda and now we are all in bed. But as the blog nerd I am, I am probably the only one awake right now.

 

And then to the big surprise! On Friday morning I got a phone call from Chalmers, it didn’t go through so I just heard the message, and it was a guy asking me if I wanted to take a reserve spot on a master program I had applied for, International Project Management. I was number 22 on the list so I didn’t expect to get in, but I did, and it took a little consultation with mom before I decided that I might as well. Even if I would have loved to go back to California, I have realized that it would be too hard to get Jesper to come as well. And since I don’t have much going on right now I felt like it was the right choice. Then there is the problem that I already missed the first two weeks (but I later that day found out that those two weeks mainly were introduction to the program and Chalmers (for new students) and team building. It is a bit of a problem that I am away this week, but it is project-based classes (no exams), so I should be able to catch up pretty easily. I am really excited about this opportunity and the program seems so interesting. And the coolest part is that I will get a dual degree, one from Chalmers and one from Northumbria University in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in England. The third semester is studied abroad at that university, and it is possible to stay for another semester to do the thesis there. Such a fantastic master program! Like I said, I am really excited for this.

 

Now I should get to bed, A long day ahead tomorrow again, can’t wait to explore more of Paris with the love of my life!

 

(The wifi just decided to not work as fast as it did earlier today, so the pictures from today will be posted tomorrow morning instead. Goodnight, readers!)

Churches, the ocean, Hard Rock Cafe

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.

This day was very touristy, we started the day bying a ticket for a “hop on, hop off” bus and it was a great thing to do. We could sit outside in the sun, we could get off wherever we wanted and go in it as many times today as we wanted. So first we went to Basilique (I call it basilisque) Notre Dame de la Garde which is the big church on the mountain in the city. We have a great view over it from the apartment we are staying in. It was really cool! And the view over Marseille from up there was amazing. But it is a rather boring city. All the buildings look exactly the same, a beige color and brick roofs. It looks very boring. Our next stop was Cathedrale de la Major. It was a cool church too, but not as cool inside. Before the church we had dinner at a place right under it and it was really good. I had a meat plate with lots of cold cuts. We then walked to the museum at the end of that pier. But it was 8 euro admission fee so we skipped that and walked around Fort Saint Jean. On the way back we walked through the market that had opened up in the Old Port and bought several nice things. Not gonna write what, since people actually read my blog, haha!

We also bought tickets for the Parc National des Calanques tomorrow afternoon. I am so excited for that trip. 29 euros for 3.5h of boat trip to beautiful nature scenery. In the morning I am actually going there as well, but to dive. I am really really excited for that too! And it will be an adventure going there in the morning. I am gonna take the bus and switch bus one time. Haha, wish me luck everyone!

We took the bus home to the apartment, changed into swimwear and walked to the beach close by to go for a swim. It was so nice, 24C/75F. Amazing! But we didn’t stay in the water too long, we were paranoid over the stuff we left on the beach. It was very cloudy today, still very warm (and it would have been unbearable if it was sunny), so we didn’t stay at the beach but walked back home and took showers. There is a shower in the bedroom. And the toilet is in a small and very tiny room, the sink in another one with another shower. French people are weird. They also refuse to speak English and all the text and information around here is in French. It is an adventure.

Anyway, this afternoon I got an offer on an apartment in Kvillebäcken on Hisingen. I got super excited, called mom and asked if she could go to the viewing of it with Jesper on Wednesday when I am on the airplane on my way back. It is a perfect apartment, 57 square meters, 7115 KR/month, balcony, dishwasher, place for a washing machine and it is very close to downtown. I want it!! I told both mom and Jesper to tell the lady that I want it. I really really hope I get it. If I do, then I think my brother will stop hating me for wanting my student apartment back. The move-in date for this one is September 1st, so very very soon! And I am so very very excited!!

After we were done with showering we went down to Old Port again to have dinner at Hard Rock Café, but first I bought breakfast and lunch for tomorrow, two bagels. I wasn’t very hungry so I had a salad for dinner, but it was really good. Arugula with grilled chicken, orange, dried cranberries, pecans, feta cheese, and a lemon dressing. I also had a pina colada. I love pina coladas!

Then we walked back home and I should probably go to bed now, the bus leaves at 7:24 tomorrow morning. Tomorrow will be so much fun! I hope the sun is out so I will get a little tanner again, I am honestly getting pale…IMG_20150810_101728Ponnykarusellen 2.0IMG_20150810_101824 IMG_20150810_115644 On the bus to Notre Dame.IMG_20150810_120346 Extremly narrow roads to the church.IMG_20150810_121242 Basilique Notre Dame de la Garde.IMG_20150810_121933 It was very pretty inside.IMG_20150810_122503 PANO_20150810_122252 PANO_20150810_122318 The harbor. And the tower by the water to the left of the harbor is where we live.PANO_20150810_123647 IMG_20150810_131442IMG_20150810_143830 Cathedrale de la Major.IMG_20150810_144101 Not as fancy as Notre Dame.IMG_20150810_144235 IMG_20150810_145014 IMG_20150810_145358 Yes, he has a pigeon on his head.IMG_20150810_150124 Palais de Pharo.PANO_20150810_150102 Modern museum.IMG_20150810_150935 IMG_20150810_151159 Fort Saint Nicholas and Notre Dame from Fort Saint-Jean.IMG_20150810_154740 The market.IMG_20150810_192136 A narrow street with lots of restaurants.IMG_20150810_194151Hard Rock Cafe #15.