Friday, 17 May 2019

Happy birthday to all my fellow Norwegians out there:

Greetings to all you lovely ladies and gentlemen here on the great world wide web. Today I have to say that this week has just passed by like one big supersonic missile. I have been so unbelievably busy at work and on updating pages on my blog that I have hardly noticed that 4 days have passed me by. Not even joking about this my friend. So I hope you guys have had an amazing week and that you are ready for the two days long break from everyday life. This is one break that I for once wish I could have, but I have no real reason to complain. Life is good and that is all one can demand, right? At the same time, I do love living a busy life in general. So that's the life I guess.
From a children parade in Snarøya, Bærum ( photo credit:Jan Fredrik Breivik )
Today is one very special day for us Norwegians. 17th of May is the day when we celebrate our constitution and independence from the forced union with Sweden. As I see it, a liberation from Swedish occupation, but this is part of our long history now. The thing is that Norway isn't like other nations around the world. While most celebrate with fireworks and huge military parades we don't do it like this. Instead, we let our kids do the talking on a day like this. With talking I am thinking about our unique children parade in the early hours of the day, the graduating students at mid-day and everyone else around dinner time. This is actually a day that is celebrated by Norwegians all over the world.
The Nowegian royal guard regiment ( photo credit: Kjetilbjornsrud )
To be completely honest, I love this day and for me, this is a day that even rank days like Christmas and New years eve, not to forget my own birthday. Not that this has anything to do with any nationalistic feelings, but more because of the traditions that follow. For me this day means that the family are gathered, we spend the entire day together and are focused on having nothing but fun all day. Not to forget to eat a lot of good food and whatever else that comes to mind. The first thing that comes to mind when I think of this day is hotdogs, balloons and happy kids everywhere, but rarely any decent weather. At least not where I am from back home in Norway.
From a children parade in Trondheim ( photo credit: Municipal Archives of Trondheim )
The sad part is that I haven't been able to celebrate this day in the way it should be this year, this is for many reasons. The most important one is that I am not in Norway and it's kind of natural right, but I did make some of the Norwegian dishes that I love so much. One of the was a typical milk soup and I have to say it was amazing, but I had to eat it all by myself. My family doesn't like it, but they had something else instead. At the same time, there isn't any Norwegians that I know of living in the area, but we have had an amazing day together and I am hoping that by next year we are spending it together back home in Norway. It's allowed to hope and dream right?
Anyway, all I really wanted with this post was to say congrats on this day to all Norwegians all over the world. For me, it meant as a way to end the day and mark the tradition in my own way. I do hope that you have enjoyed reading my post and a little bit about Norwegian traditions. Not that I went into super details about it, but that wasn't the idea either. So before I wrap this post up and publish it, I want to apologize for my silence on all fronts this week. The truth is as I mentioned earlier that I have been swamped and the week has just passed me by in supersonic speed. Hopefully, I will be back on track this Monday, even with a brand new about page as well. So have great weekend guys and girls.

Friday, 10 May 2019

It is Friday and I have to say what a week it has been:

Greetings to all you ladies and gentlemen of the world wide web. Think about it, its already Friday again and I have to ask, where did this week go? Because if I am going to be completely honest, I have no clue where it has gone. The fact is that the days have just flown away from me, but then again this week has kinda been crazy or out of the ordinary for me. So tell me guys and girls, how has your week been treating you? At some points, better then mine has been. I am not saying that my week has been that bad, but so many things have happened that has kinda flipped things upside down for me. I guess that the reality is that some weeks are just like what I have had or still having.
So before I continue on the main topic fo this post I wish to step off the track and tell you guys a little bit about the story behind these photos that I have included in this post. I took these once a few years back while I was living in Spain and the city of Malaga. There reason for me moving to Spain is simple, a Scandinavian company offered me a job and I accepted. Well, it didn't turn out as I had hoped in getting paid what I was offered, but then again you learn through experience right? Not that, I enjoyed living in Malaga and to this daydreaming about going back at some point in time. Anyway, all these photos are from the area where I ended up renting an apartment.
So I guess its about time for me to get started on the main topic for the day! As mentioned previous, it has so far been a crazy week on so many levels, some of it has been negative and some has been positive. Okay, I might have oversold the part that the craziness in the week, cause both Monday and Tuesday has been pretty good, but the bad part came for a visit on Wednesday. Lets put it like this, it is going to cost me a pretty penny. It all started with my sink and kitchen faucet falling apart while trying to find the emergency switch for the water I managed to do so the wall pretty much came tumbling down over me. On top of this, I went on breaking my girlfriend's favourite full-figure mirror just a short while after.
So you can say that this day was the perfect storm of bad luck or whatever you want to call it, but there is one thing that bothers me. This thing is the wall, or it wasn't the entire wall that came down but the tiles on the wall. The entire wall with tiles came tumbling down over me and I can tell you that it was painful. Another weird thing is that we couldn't find any emergency switch for the water either, but luckily we managed to get the attention of our landlord, at midnight. At least we managed to get the sink and faucet fixed, but the kitchen wall will be fixed tomorrow. There has been some arguing about who is going to cover the damages that have been done to the apartment.
Yes, our landlord tried to be smart and wanted us to pay for the damages, but as I stated the tiles were faulty or put up by someone who did a crap job. After a lot of back and forth, we came to the agreement that I pay for the material and they pay for the labour. I know that it might seem unfair since the damage most likely has happened before we moved in, but at the same time, it's not that big of a deal. We are talking about a few hundred and its history. As I see it, it's not worth ruining a good and productive relationship with them over it. Maybe I am too nice when it comes to these things but it's not worth to become hostile over such small things like this. How would you have handled this?
Now we have arrived at the amazing day of Friday and I am positive that we have left the period of bad luck behind us for now. I can't possibly imagine that we have more of this in store for us at the moment. The truth is that I have been a bit worried about touching things here in our apartment in the last couple of days, worried about breaking more things. Maybe not so strange since so much has broken in such a short period of time. Might sound a bit weird, but I don't want to have to replace more things or stuff in the apartment at the moment and if something like this happened again it would be overly embarrassing for me. Anyway, its time for me to wrap this post up and I for sure hope you guys will have an amazing weekend.

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

This is the top of my travel and exploration bucket list:

Nazi and Soviet controled Europe by May/June 1941 ( photo credit: MaGioZal
Greetings ladies and gentlemen of the greater world wide web. We have today, once again arrived at the mid-week and that means at the same time that we have worked ourself half way through our work week or at least that's the situation for the most of us. For me, it is, as usual, 7 days with all work and no play. It doesn't look like I am in any way able to break this habit, at all. I might be a workaholic. So my friends, how has the week been treating you so far? All good and as stress-free as possible I hope? When it comes to me, all I really can say is that life is good and things are moving forward, on all fronts. It seems like I even managed to fight off the flu before it got the chance to get a foothold.
German soldiers on the eastern front, at Stalingrad ( photo credit: German Federal Archive )
Citizens of Leningrad leaving their houses destroyed by German bombing ( photo credit: RIA Novosti )
So guys, today I want to talk about a topic that has been a huge dream of mine for as long as I can remember. Yes, I am talking about travel and adventures, but maybe I should start by telling you guys the story behind this dream first? The truth is that I am a history geek of dimensions and I have been like this since my childhood and especially world war 2. For some reason, the second world war has always fascinated me greatly. It has nothing to do with political views, but more with where I grew up, I think. I grew up among bunkers and fortresses built during the German occupation of Norway. My hometown was part of the famous Festung Norwegen, an extension of Festung Europa.
German soldiers on the eastern front ( photo credit: German Federal Archive )
Soldiers of Soviet Union, but backstory unknown
With this kind of luggage its not strange or weird that I have developed this huge fascination with all that has to do with the topic. So after I had explored everything from museums to bunker sites all over Norway I started to build on this idea to do the same on the European continent. Or at least exploring what once was the eastern front. From the bunker in Berlin to the gates of Moscow and everything in between. I know that this is a huge undertaking since Europe is littered with thousands of sites like this. Everything from German command bunkers to more typical battlefields and camps, but it has to be worth it as I see it. Just think about all the amazing videos and blog posts that would come out of it?
German tanks on the eastern front, battle for Kursk ( photo credit: German Federal Archive )
Soldiers of the Soviet Union on the 1st Baltic front.
As previously mentioned, I am fully aware of the scale of this adventure and that is why I want to spend “enough” time planning it. Because this is not something you just throw yourself into on a whim, not me anyway. I can be an impulsive person, but not when it comes to things like this. The more I think about this the bigger the plans get. Right now I see myself completing this adventure and then set out on a similar one for the Pacific theatre of war. Not only will I make a dream come true, but I will also visit many new countries as I explore. Because I have never been to Russia, Poland and Romania just to mention a few. Maybe you think this idea is crazy? Not that it would surprise me, cause it is kinda crazy.
Soldiers of the Soviet union celebrating VE day ( photo credit: German Federal Archive )
German advances on the eastern front ( photo credit: Gdr )
Anyway, this is something I really want to do, but two things have to fall into place before it can happen or become realistic. The first thing is better cameras and the second one is an improved financial situation because this will be one extremely expensive adventure. In theory, I think such an adventure would be in the price range of my second trip to Peru or it might get even more expensive than that since I need hotels and such. The second trip to Peru I spent 3 months here but stayed at the house of her aunt instead of a hotel. How I think is that I want this to be crossed out of my bucket list before I turn 50, so with other words I have about 6,5 years to complete this one. It should be possible, do you disagree?

P.S: I found these photos on Wikipedia, I thought that today's topic had to have some relevant photos. Anyway, if there are any companies that want to support an adventure like this, feel free to contact me. You can also support my blog through Ko-fi (Jack Bowler Sr). All donations would go towards improving the blog.