We went to Bergen, and had the most beautiful train journey!

We had planned on going to Ireland for the summer of 2020, but due to the situation, we decided to go to Bergen instead. As we were not comfortable flying, we decided to take the train both ways.

The train journey between Oslo and Bergen might very well be one of the most beautiful train journeys in the world, and I highly recommend giving it a go if you ever get the chance!

The piece of music used in this video is «Flowing», composed and played by Øystein Holmen, who’s a friend of mine. Read more about the story behind the song in the blogpost «The greatest gift».

The music is used in the video with permission.

A night at Fuglemyrhytta

Quite a while ago, a friend and colleague asked if I wanted to spend one night at Fuglemyrhytta, a self service cabin in Oslomarka. Of course I wanted to go, and we decided that Sunday to Monday almost at the very end of September would be a good date for both of us. So, we booked beds and arranged to go.

We met up Sunday afternoon at Frognerseteren, which is a tube ride away from where I live. From there we walked to Fuglemyrhytta. I think the hike is supposed to take about 30 minutes, but we didn’t hurry, and had more of a stroll. And we stopped to look at things. It was an absolutely georgeous day, as we were hit by a bit of Indian summer. The sun was shining, and the thermometer told us it was 20°C.

Signs telling you where to go. Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2019
Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2019

A water in the woods. Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2019
Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2019

There was no one else at the cabin when we arrived, but we knew there were three others who were supposed to stay the night there. That being said, Fuglemyrhytta seems to be a popular destination for many hikers, just to stop outside, sit down and maybe eat some packed food. And I can totally understand why: The view is spectacular. Especially on a day like that.

View over Oslo. Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2019
You could see Oslo from the cabin.
Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2019

The cabin is equipped so that you can cook, but you have to bring your own drinking water. There’s a stream nearby the cabin, that can be used for cleaning. The water in the stream comes from a nearby marsh, so drinking it may make you pretty ill. Besides, it’s kind of brown, so not even nice after boiling it.

I had made dinner at home to reheat, and my company had brought rice and dessert. For being at a cabin with no other electricity than the solar panel lamps (i.e. you’re not able to charge your phone or anything), it felt pretty cool to have a really nice dinner. And with that view!

View from the cabin window. Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2019
View from the cabin’s window.
Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2019

The other three people arrived later on, but spent most of the evening outside the cabin, where they had their meal. We had a cup of tea outside, watching the beautiful view, before heading inside to have a round of none competitive TP questions, which was fun.

I must admit I didn’t sleep very well. I think it was because it was so utterly QUIET, and we were pretty much in the middle of nowhere. Not that I was afraid of animals, more for strange humans that might be lurking around the walls. (There was none, of course…)

Fortunately we were in no hurry the next morning, and the other three had left when we got up. We had breakfast, packed, tidies and cleaned after ourselves, before heading to the tube. We walked down to Vettakollen tube station this time, and it took about 40 minutes of strolling.

One of the things that makes Fuglemyrhytta interesting to visit, is the fact that it was designed by Snøhetta. The Norwegian architects are known for designing the Library of Alexandria in Egypt, and the Opera House in Oslo, to mention a couple.

Fuglemyrhytta. Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2019
Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2019

Fuglemyrhytta and the view. Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2019
Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2019

It was a couple of nice days, and I would love to go back one day.

Winter Days

January means winter. There’s snow on the ground, and it’s mostly below freezing. I can’t say I’m a winter person, and I long for summer.

It’s now over a year since I visited Bali, and I really long back. If I hade the time and money, I would have loved to go somewhere warmer. And lighter. Bali was magical, and I hope to go back some day.

Winter morning in Oslo. Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2019
Winter morning in Oslo.
Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2019

My next trip will not be somewhere warm, though, as I will just be visiting another part of Norway. In two weeks I will head to the southwestern part of Norway. I will be travelling my train. Though it’s often a bit warmer there than here in Oslo, I think they’ve had snow lately.

Can’t wait for spring to roll on!

The Juicery Pop Up Café at Eger

I had some time to kill before heading to dance class, and decided to swing by Eger just to look around. To my surprise, I found a new branch of The Juicery. Or rather, their pop up café. After chatting to the staff, it turns out they’re there at least until summer.

The café is super cozy, the staff is very friendly, and everything are plant based. What’s not to like about that?

I will be coming back, for sure!

The counter. Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2018
Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2018

Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2018

Inside the café. Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2018
Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2018

Details of decoration. Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2018
Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2018

Beautiful Ålesund

I visited Ålesund, a town and municipality in Møre og Romsdal county at the west coast of Norway, in April. The reason for my visit was work related, so I didn’t have much time to look around, unfortunately. However, I did find it to be a beautiful city, and I wanted to share some photos i took while I was there.

I hope to visit again in a not too distant future!

Houses by the sea. Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2018
Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2018

View over Ålesund. Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2018
View over Ålesund.
Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2018
Ålesund Churc.h Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2018
Ålesund Church.
Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2018

View over the ocean. Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2018
Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2018

Talor & Jørgen

One thing I love about Oslo is all the great places to get awesome coffee. Talor & Jørgen is a new discovery for me, and their coffee is great. Not much space for sitting down, unfortunately, but the staff is very friendly, and you might find a seat if you’re lucky!

Talor & Jørgen shop front. Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2018
Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2018

Talor and Jørgen are the people behind the coffee. Talor Brown has come all the way from Australia, and Jørgen is a Norwegian. Together they have tons of experiense with. The coffee beans are roasted in the shop every Tuesday, which give them a high quality and keep them fresh.

Making coffee. Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2018
Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2018

One thing I noticed sitting enjoying my coffee, was that their doughnuts seemed to be very popular. Unfortunately, none of them are vegan (I asked, their kitchen is too small). Which was a shame, otherwise I would have loved to try them.

Doughnuts. Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2018
Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2018

Even thogh it was very busy at times, the atmosphere was good, with some good music playing in the background. Not too noisy, fortunately.

Talor & Jørgen can be found centrally in Oslo, in one of the corners of Youngstorget (address is Youngs gate 9, 0181 Oslo).

Spa day at The Thief in Oslo

After having some busy weeks (months, actually) behind me, I decided I wanted to treat myself to a spa day. After searching around on Google, I came across a site, where I could buy different experiences online called TrueStory. They offer many different things, but I went for the wellness option, and picked Spa day at The Thief, as it seemed to be exactly what I was looking for. The package included a 50 minutes classical massage, entrance to the spa, fruits and tea, and a lunch at The Thief Foodbar. My reason for picking the spa at The Thief was both that it’s supposed to be good, as well as the fact it’s very easy for me to get there from where I live.

Buying the experiense went fine, and I got an e-mail with confirmation, codes and instructions. I’m not a person who likes to phone people, so I e-mailed The Thief, and told which day I wished for and referred to the information I had gotten from TrueStory. Fortunately, they e-mailed me back shortly after, and the day was booked. I made sure to tell them I was vegan, and had a couple of allergies. I had looked at their menu, and didn’t find anything vegan. From experience, many restaurants are willing to make something vegan for you, if you ask on beforehand.

When I found out that the spa, which is actually located in another building behind the hotel, opens fairly early on Sundays, I decided to head there early in the morning. This, I found out, was a great decision. I had my appointment for the classical massage at 10, and had over an hour to enjoy the spa. And the best thing was: I had it all to myself!

The Thief Spa. Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2018
Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2018

At arrival, I was handed a bathrobe and a big, fluffy towel. I went down to change into my swimsuit, and when I got back upstairs for the spa, the receptionist had made ready some tea and a fruit platter for me. That was very nice!

The spa was slightly smaller than I expected. I don’t know why I had expected it to be larger, but for some reason I had. However, it had what a spa needs. A steam bath, a Finnish sauna, a swimming pool, and tropical showers. It was very relaxing, and I got tea, coffee, and fruits. Water was aviable from a tap.

Unfortunately, but understandable, no cameras were allowed into the spa, so I have no photos from inside the spa itself. There was an area right outside the wardrobes, though, where they do misc. treatsments, like manicures and facials. It looked very nice and fresh to me, even though I wasn’t having any such appointment.

Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2018
The treatment area.
Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2018

The classical massage was really nice, and just what my aching body needed! Getting there, I was handed one of this “neat” single use knickers to use. I can’t say I thought they were neither nice looking nor comfortable to wear, but they did their job. The massage therapist really knew what they were doing. I was asked how I preffered my massage, and the preassure was really perfect. The 50 minutes just flew by.

I was given a new robe and towel after the massage, as wel as a scrub to be used in the steam bath. The spa still wasn’t too crowded, and I relaxed with a cup of coffee and the free to borrow newspaper, as well as enjoying the spa facilities, before heading to the hotel for my included lunch.

The restaurant was situated on the roof on floor 9, and had a really nice view over the fjord. It looked nice too, and the staff friendly. I had to repeat that I was a vegan, and I was, needless to say, excited to see what the chef would come up with. The Thief restaurant is said to be a good high end restaurant, but unfortunately, for me it just didn’t deliver.

The view from my table at the restaurant. Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2018
View from my table.
Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2018

Being served a salad at lunch I find a but boring and uninventive, to be honest. In addition, it was mainly beets. People who know me well enough, know that I really dislike beets (they taste of dirt to me). In adition, it was not vegan when it was served. The cheese itself was a visible and given non-vegan item. I sent it back, but I think they just picked it out and gave me the same plate. This is not something I expect from a high end restaurant. I also suspect some othe other stuff on the plate was non-vegan, and though I tried to avoid the more creamy things, it wasn’t easy. I normally don’t mention my “other” food intolerances/allergies when I ask for vegan food, as they’re non-vegan foods (like cow’s milk). I actually ended up getting ill shortly after leaving the restaurant. I skipped dessert, to be honest, I don’t think they would have anything I could eat, and I was staring to feel unwell.

Would I recommend people to use TrueStory? I would. You can get good deals by using their package solution. They have a ølot more to offer than their “Wellness” category. If I had a wish, it would be that I could have a spa package where there was no meal included.

Would I reccomend people to visit The Thief? The spa, and absolute yes for from me. It was such a nice and relaxing day I had there. As for the restaurant, I would say no. I wasn’t pleased at all by how they treated a vegan guest, and I’m not likely to visit ever again.

This is in no way a sponsored entry, I payed for everything and did all research etc. myself.

September Challenge – how did it go?

As I wrote earlier, I set myself a challenge to read more books in Norwegian. So, how did my challenge go? How many books in Norwegian did I manage to read?

1. Hålke, written by Helene Uri

I was fortunate enough to win a ARC of Helene Uri’s new book, Hålke. It was published early in September, and is a book on an elderly couple who early in January don’t get to leave their flat due to it being icy outside. With only a little food to get by on, and the coffee running out, we get to know this elderly people. What’s their marriage built on? Why do they still keep together after over 40 years, in spite of unfaithfulness (her) and violence (him)? It was a really interesting read, and I really enjoyed it.

2. Odinsbarn, written by Siri Pettersen

This was actually a reread. I first read Odinsbarn (meaning Odin’s Child in English) shortly after it came out, and it’s the first book in the Ravneringene (meaning “The Raven Rings”) trilogy. I love this trilogy, and thought Odinsbarn was even better the second time around.

3. Et norsk hus, written by Vigdis Hjorth

This was my first book Vigdis Hjorth, and I borrowed it from the library’s ebook app. I enjoyed reading about this middle aged textile artist who rented out a part of her house to a Polish family and the conflict between them. And even though this lady is a weird woman with many faults, I grew to love her… I am definitely going to read more books by her!

4. Forbannet, written by Tonje Tornes

This was the second book in the Kire series, and it has been a while since I read hulder, the first book in the series. I am loving this series, and I liked the second book even more than the first – it’s darker and there’s more magic! I can’t wait for the third book, even though I have no idea when it will be published.

So, I ended up with four Norwegian books in September, which wasn’t so bad. I also read On Writing by Stephen King, which is also a very good read. I think my conclusion is that this challenge was good for me, even though one of the books was a reread. I will try to read even more Norwegian books, and am hoping to get some more read this year.

Did you succeed with your September challenge?

Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2016
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2016