Waffles – the Norwegian way!

I love waffles! That is, I love the Norwegian type, with sour cream and jam. Some people might think that when you go vegan, you have to give up all the things you love. Fortunately, that’s not the case, and yesterday I made some traditional, Norwegian waffles. 100 % dairy, egg, and cruelty free!

I used the recipe by one of my favourite bloggers, Veganmisjonen. Served with iMat Fraiche and strawberry jam, it pushes all the right waffle buttons, that’s for sure!

Vegan waffles.
Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2018

One happy Norwegian with waffles.
Om nom – one happy vegan!
Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2018

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Harry Potter’s magical world at the British Library – or London for a weekend in February

The first weekend of February we went to London to visit the exhibition Harry Potter: A History of Magic at the British Library. The decition of going was made in January, and we booked the trip before checking if there were aviable tickets. When checking the website it turned out it was all sold out. Needless to say, we were disappointed, but decided that a weekend in London would be nice even without visiting the exhibition.

We arrived in London Friday night, and stayed at a hotel near the British Library called Pullman St Pancras, that I got a really good deal on. When we got there, we got upgraded to a DeLuxe room, which was really good. The view from the room was great, and at the end of the hall on our floor, we could see The British Library. The location was great, and the room brilliant!

Photo of hotel room.
Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2018

Saturday morning we met up with a friend of mine for breakfast. I had been given the suggestion of a place called Vx, which is a shop that prouds itself to be a vegan junk food shop. It was a really small place, but they had a good selection of food and cakes. I went for the Marinara Meatballs Sub, and it was really very good! I also had a chocolate doughnut for dessert.

Marinara Meatballs Sub
Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2018

After breakfast we headed to the Bristish Library to tey our luck. Going to London for the exhibition and not asking if there were any free tickets would be silly, we thought. And we were in luck! There were tickets, and we could enter the exhibition pretty much straight away.

It was a fantastic exhibition! There were rare books, manuscripts and magical objects from the British Library’s collection, as well as original drafts and drawings by J.K. Rowling and illustrator Jim Kay, and objects from The Museum of Witchcraft and Magic in Boscastle, Cornwall.

Exhebition poster on the wall of the British Library.

On Sunday we went to have breakfast at one of my favourite vegetarian restaurants in London: mildreds Kings Cross. On weekends they serve brunch in the mornings, and we went for the scrambled tofu, slow roasted tomato, oak smoked house beans, roasted mushroom, sausage and toasted sourdough. Now, that’s what I call a breakfast! Or brunch, if you prefer… It was a perfect way to start the Sunday.

The big brunch at mildreds.
Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2018

After breakfast we went back to Vx, to end our weekend in London with cake! This time I had a piece of the Unicorn cake. It was delicious, but very sweet, so I didn’t manage to eat the whole thing. However, I would love to go back and try more items from their menu at some point. Anyhow, a great way to end a great weekend!

Unicorn cake
Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2018

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Let our wolves live!

When I grew up, I lived in what’s called the “wolf zone” in Norway. I spent quite a lot of time in the woods, either playing with friends or walking on my own. I saw a lot of animals, like foxes, elks, mice, hedgehogs, and others. Did I ever see wolves? No, never. Have I ever felt afraid in the woods? Nope, nor that.

The Norwegian government have decided that a total 42 wolves can be shot this winter, which is 75 percent of the wolves residing in Norway. The wolves, who are called Arctic Wolves or Grey Wolves, are on the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species. This is problematic for so many reasons, and yesterday about 3000 people met up in front of the government building to show that we disagree with their decision. The Norwegian government claim that killing wolves and destroying nature helps to reduce conflict in society. This is absurd, as there is no evidence to support this claim, as far as I know. What they’re doing is ignoring any recommendations from researchers, as well as the majority opinion of the Norwegian people.

There were several speakers at the demonstration, like Mads Andenæs, professor of law at the University of Oslo, who explained how these killings are against Norwegian law, as well as Berne Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats. Other speakers were Tore Hauge, who lives in the wolf zone, Lise Myhre, creator of the comic Nemi, Harald Kryvi, professor of biology, and several others.

I hope the killings of the wolves stop soon. Because this madness just can’t continue!


Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2018
Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2018

Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2018
Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2018
Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2018
Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2018
Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2018
Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2018

Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2018
Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2018

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Winter is for poetry

One of my favourite poems is “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost. I discovered Frost’s poetry as a teenager, when I read the book The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton (which actually was my favourite book at the time). In that book there’s a poem called “Nothing Gold Can Stay”, and I fell in love with it.

Since it’s winter here in Norway, I thought sharing this beautiful poem. There’s a lot you can read in to it, but if all you want to do is to enjoy the imagery it gives you, that’s okay too…

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
by Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2018
Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2018
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Bali, part 5: Last days in Paradise

Unfortunately, my little PC that I had brought with me to Bali decided to act up, so I wasn’t able to blog anymore. A bit annoying, I admit, but not everything is fine again (though I’m writing this on another PC). As you also can see, I have moved. I’m not going into details here, but my blog moved. For various reasons.

So, I celebrated New Year’s Eve at Bali Friendship Café in Seminyak. I was fortunately to be invited to two different places. After attending a CouchSurfing meetup in Seminyak, I got to know some people, which was great. One of the people there worked in a café across from where I was staying, so I went there to celebrate the coming of 2018. It was really nice! Friendly people, good laughs, live music and fireworks! It was great!

Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2017
Live music at Bali Friendships Café on NYE.
Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2017

My original plan was to stay in Seminyak the whole time, but after a bit I realised that I really wanted to see ubud as well. So I booked two nights at a villa there, and organised my travel. And I’m so glad I did! Ubud was such a nice town, and i really wish I had more time there. Two days just isn’t enough! However, I did get to finally see some Balinese dance, which I found fascinating. It was so fun to see, and I disagree with those who claim it to be tedious. I suspect those people for not paying attention.

When I had to say goodbye to Bali, I sure hoped I could go back some day! I think I’m in love with the place…


Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2018
My villa in Ubud.
Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2018

Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2018
The swimming pool at my villa in ubud.
Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2018

Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2018
Balinese dance.
Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2018

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Bali, part 4: A visit to Seminyak beach

If you google “Seminyak beach” you find pictures of beautiful beaches with golden sand, amazing sunsets, and a lot of praise. Needless to say, I was quite looking forward to my visit to the beach.

The first thing I noticed was: This beach doesn’t look as tidy as I thought it would. Was it last night’s party, I wondered. I stepped into the water, and it didn’t take long before I was “attacked” by a plastic bag that was floating around in the waves. No, the visit to the beach wasn’t at all nice. There was plastic waste all over the place. In the water, and in the sand.

I must admit that though I was well aware of the problems we have with plastic in our oceans, this was in some ways an eye opener for me. To literally feel the problem on my own skin made it just more real. I know that from now on, I will strive to use less plastic, and I hope you will too.

Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2017
Seminyak beach: Take a close look…
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2017

Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2017
Plastic all over!
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2017

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Bali, part 3: Visiting Tanah Lot

I had been recommended that Pura Tanah Lot was a “must see” while visiting Bali, so I decided that was something I wanted to do. Via someone I know, I got in touch with a private driver, Dodi (he asked me to mention him on my blog!), who drove me there. Dodi was a funny guy, who had been to Norway and described it a freezingly cold country. Which is understandable, knowing how warm Bali is.

Pura Tahah Lot is a temple built on a rock formation in the sea, and is one of seven sea temples around the Balinese coast. On the coast before it there’s a sort of village, and you have to pay to get into this village. You then have to go through a market before finally arriving at the temple.

The temple is fascinating and beautiful, and I’m really glad I went!

Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2017
The entrance of Tanah Lot.
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2017

Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2017
Inside Tanah Lot.
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2017
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2017
Entrance to the temple site.
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2017
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2017
Pura Tanah Lot.
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2017
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2017
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2017
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2017
Temple stairs…
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2017

Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2017
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2017

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Bali, part 2: Culture, religion and well being

Something I have learnt from travelling so much is that I honestly prefer not to stress too much, and Bali just invites you to unwind and take it easy. You have warm days, even when the rain pours down, so running around really isn’t very tempting.

I love going to cafés, restaurants, and look around. Talking to locals is also fascinating, to get their input on things. You learn so much from it! And Indonesians are so friendly and helpful. I think I might have fallen in love with this island, to be sure!

A visit to Bali and not trying out Balinese massage just doesn’t seem right. Though you can get good deals at the massage studios around the city, I picked the hotel spa. They had a promotion, and it was very convenient to go somewhere so close. The massage was relaxing and nice, and did wonders to my body. It all ended with a small cup of strong sweet ginger tea after I was done.

Religion and belief is very present in Bali. All over the place you find house altars, temples (both public and private ones), statues, and small offerings. The Balinese people are also well known for celebrating a lot of festival, something my taxi driver from the airport could confirm. “We celebrate festivals all the time!” he told me.

The main religion in Bali is a form of Hinduism, and they have a strong belief in spirits and demons as well. The taxi driver told me that like the Hindus in India they believed in different gods, however they thought it was the same god. So there was only the one god, but the god had different names depending on where you were and the situation. Balinese religion is definitively something I would love to learn more about.

When I visited the Nyaman Gallery (more about that later), I had a lovely chat with one of the Indonesian women working there. Of course I had to ask about the little offerings I saw outside every house, and if it was for protection. It was for giving thanks, she told me then. Thanking the spirits, the gods, and pretty much the universe. I thought that was such a beautiful thought.

Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2017
One of the many statues you can see around Seminyak.
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2017

Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2017
You find offerings like this in front of all houses.
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2017

Even before I left Norway, I had decided on that I wanted to visit Nyaman Gallery, located centrally in Seminyak. When I arrived, I was greeted by one of the women working there. An exhibition of the street artists Quint was just put up. Quint is an Indonesian artist originally from Jakarta, but he now lives in Bali, and is now seen as one of the most important street artists of Indonesia.

I was given a guided tour around the gallery, with an explanation on who the different artists were, their background and art. The knowledge of my guide, as well as the diversity of the art, really made a good impression, and should you ever visit Seminyak, you really should visit this gallery.

Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2017
You can find one of Quint’s pieces outside the gallery.
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2017

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