16 April 2013

The Beautiful Northern Lights & Not So Beautiful House Makeovers Start

Look Here....
Northern Lights.

Found Here...

On a less beautiful note.
Week five....
And this is the progress..
So Far...

Big bathroom is soon..
fingers crossed.
To be made into Laundry/Utility Room.
With a small Shower room and toilet.

I must not moan.
After all his day job pays for all these projects.
But I hate mess that spills into the rest of the house.
I like instant results.
But we do not get them much now.

So I wait patiently and just look for nice things that will fill these two rooms.
And thought maybe a before and after photos would be good.
Let us wait and see how long it takes for the next major
improvement to this room.

Sorry for the uninspiring images.
But this is real life after all.
Hope to be back soon with something nicer.

27 February 2013

Norway & The Snow Hotel

Might be worth putting the kettle on for this post...

 These are the last of the images of Norway that I want 
to show you. 

We we wowed by the stunning,
quiet beauty of this wonderful country.

In awe of the ever changing skies.

I wanted to just stand still to take it all in.
It cleared my mind.
Made me think that nothing is forever.
This world.
It changes.
We adapt to these changes.
We are only small in the grand scheme of things.


 The folk who live here are strong.
The extreme weather does not stop 
it seemed to us, anything.

 We found everyone to be polite and helpful.
They really want you to enjoy
every moment.


 The Reindeer People

The Sami's live in the north of Norway.
They have a different language.
Their own traditional clothing, handicrafts, and music.
This is a Lavvu which along with Turf Huts, was
the traditional home of the Sami who were
a nomadic group.
They travelled around with their herds of Rein Deer.
I so wanted to meet some Sami people, probably did with out
realising !

On this holiday there was time to relax if you wished.
But mostly we were up, out and active,
 both daytime
and nighttime.
Another trip we had planned was 
The Husky Dog Sledding.
In a Traditional Dog Sled.

This Kennel where we were to have out Husky Dog Ride
preferred to use Alaskan Huskies.
The dogs were beautiful and so friendly.
They wanted to be fussed.
The howled that spooky howl.
Just because they wanted to run....

So we got into our Sled, I grabbed a lady who was travelling alone
and let her share with us.
I am in the middle and Hub at the back.
I am not silly !
No really, I would have been happy to be at the front.
The ride was magnificent.
I want to do it again and again...

Breath taking countryside.
I could not talk much I just had to take it all in.
The driver of our Sled was Aussie, he was great.
Very knowledgeable, which added to the fun of the ride.

He preferred a team of twelve dogs as opposed to

As always the skies were ever changing.

I was glad to leave behind in England 
our solid sheets of Grey Sky!

Twilight was approaching
the time around 4.30pm.
I think.
And we were going back to our Ship.
For another night of 
Sky Watch.

The buildings are typical of Scandinavia.

There were on wooden stilts built on the waters edge.

Quite a few are metal.
We were told that after the bombing of the
Second World War
the Swedish gave the Norwegians
pre-fabricated houses to help with housing shortage.
Rather like the us after the War.
My Mum & Dad lived in a prefab !
With a proper fitted kitchen and fridge.
Very posh!

The place is so clean.
It amazed us.
You can sit outside this Cafe and enjoy
just watching people kick sled by...

Snow & Ice
does not bother anyone.
High heels and cycles just the norm.

Solid ice on these roads.
No salt just sand, which freezes into the ice and give traction
for the tyres.
The bonus is the roads are clean not slushy and black stained.
Even the very busy roads with big lorries were white.

Grey & White

Our last night was to be spent in 
the Snow Hotel.
Then we would travel back to England.
You are taken to a Hotel in the town
for a briefing and to leave all of your luggage overnight.
Only your toothbrush is needed for night in the Snow Hotel.
You get to spend some time exploring the town of Kirkenes
and then of you go in a mini bus to
a night of.....

It was exciting.
It was amazing.
It was freezing.

Into the walls are the most brilliant

The Ice Bar.
Where you get a local tipple.

Ice chairs.

We were all given a room number and told to go off explore the
To leave you overnight bags in your room.
Then to report to the warm room.
So we had room number 20.

This was the corridor leading to our room of delight.

A little fireplace, just outside pour room.

Here we go.

And this is it.
The Honeymoon Suite.
Ice bed and two mattresses.

Our carvings on the wall one side of the bed.

On the other  side a Rose.

This is the warm room for those who just cannot
cope with the cold during the night.
Here there is also tea and coffee making facilities.
Shower, sauna and toilets.

And in a wooden tent style building
with huge log fire in the centre,
is where you go for your evening meal and breakfast.
This was a great place.
Tables all around the edges.
Candles and twinkle lights.

So after our last night of chasing the lights.
Our first night on land with lots of falling snow,
there was no chance of seeing them tonight.
But it mattered not, we had been so very lucky
this week seeing them every night whilst on the ship.
So to bed...

Hub was ok.
I did not enjoy it at all.
Claustrophobic feelings came over me.
Being wrapped up in layers and a sheet beg and Arctic Sleeping Bag zippered all around me 
was more than I could bare.
But I made it until 6am.
Then I was up and out and into that warm room
for hot tea....yeah

The day before our trip to the Snow Hotel we
had a day to explore a very pretty little town.
It was a Sunday.
Everything closed.
The town was still and silent.
We climbed to the top of the ridge for the view.

Picnic benches await.

And then back down and to the boat.

Which was waiting with hot drinks and lovely food.

Goodbye Norway 
The North Cape.

It was a dream holiday.
We looked forward to this for a year.
It was over all too quickly.
So what is next ?
Love from