The most interesting thing about making of the video was that I did not feel guilty about sitting and trying out all of it. I was excited to try something new – that’s what people do when they visit new places. Did I think about this testing as “something bad for my figure”? Nope, not a second. If you’ve seen my video on running in Norway, you know that I managed to run out my Norwegian sweets calories!
Finally, I have a time to reflect on another interesting experience I had while staying in Norway. As I mentioned before in my previous posts here and here, and also on my YouTube video here, I was living in a small town called Lysekloster. It might seem that small towns don’t have anything to offer, well, you are wrong – Norways’ nature makes every corner of the country enjoyable. So this time I’d love to tell you more about Lysekloster a.k.a. Lyse Abbey and Lyshornet climb me and Vitaly did on one rainy day.
Some history – actually not boring at all
For starters I will enlighten you with some historic facts. Lysekloster or Lyse Abbey is located in south-western part of Norway. What does the name means? The part “Lyse” as far as I am informed in Norwegian means something like “light” and is derived form Lysefjorden, “the fjord of light”. The second part “kloster” means “abbey” and there is a historic reason for that. The town started from a Cistercian monastery. Lysekloster is actually very old – it is founded in 1146 by Bishop of Bergen. The monks here arrived from Yorkshire, England. The monastery grew big and powerful, and was one of the most important property owners in the country at the Reformation time. The Abbey was destroyed in 16th century and some of its stones were taken and included in buildings like the Rosenkrantz Tower in Bergen, and Kronborg Castle in Helsingør in Denmark. Some stones were shipped as far as Germany.
The amazing thing about this Abbey is that some of the ruins have survived up until nowadays and everyone can actually go and see them. No working hours (open 24/7) and no entrance fee.
I was lucky to have this sight around 4 km. I measured the distance on the second day when I was in Lysekloster and decided to go for a run in the surrounding area. Vitaly had already told me that the sight is “somewhere around” and “far to walk”, but I did not know that I will accidentally find it during my run! 😀 I did not go and see it closely, because I wanted to save it for later, like, for a dessert, and go there together with Vitaly one day.
Why does it always rain on me? 😀
So one rainy Sunday we waited for the rain to stop and went out for a walk.
The area of Lysekloster and around Bergen is known for its rains. When the summer ends (and it lasts exactly 3 months from June to August), the rain is something you get almost every day.
There was this tiny shop in the town (I guess the only one) and we went there to buys some things now and then and it appeared that the woman there whom I was greeting there in English for so many times was actually from Latvia. She’s been living here (not sure if in Lysekloster, but might be somewhere close) for 2 years with her family. We had a chat whenever we met and it felt great to hear my native language, as Norwegian sounded too alien for me, except when they used borrowed words from English and some words are actually similar to German!
So she told me that some of her friends actually could not stand living in the area because of the rain and grayness, so they moved to Oslo where it is dryer. Also, one of the teammates of Vitaly told him that there was a year when people counted 100 rainy days in a row! Crazy!!!! I am not a fan of rain, but, oh, well, there are things you just have to accept, like the constant wind in my home town in Latvia, Ventspils.
So we went out when the rain stopped and at about 10th minute of our walk the rain started again…We did not go back – we decided to go at least to the ruins.
Lyshornet it is…
The director of Vitaly’s team told us once that there is a mountain by the ruins and that you can actually climb it. We actually did not expect that climbing Lyshornet will be so tempting.
We strolled around the ruins, took some pictures. The rainy weather and autumn…ish colors actually added to the old abbey atmosphere a lot and I loved it! I truly want to apologise, because I think I might have broken some rules of visiting the ruins. I stepped to take the photo below and only after I read that it is not allowed to step on the ruins. I truly truly apologise and from now on I will pay more attention to the signs around.
I was actually surprised to see some photographers and other visitors on the site. The weather actually wasn’t an obstacle. This is a common thing for Norwegians. For them I guess every weather is fine to go out and do something. On our way to the Lysekloster ruins we met several runners, couple walkers, dog owners walking dogs etc. (and it was raining!!) Here in Latvia I don’t think you would see so many people doing activities in rain (especially on Sunday when everyone is just chilling).
Then we noticed a trail going further out from the ruins and it was leading to the mountain. It was the moment when we decided “to do as Norwegians do” and go up despite the rain. Besides, we have already walked so far… Ha, we did not know then that this mountain hike will actually be very demanding and tricky. You see, because of the rain, everything was very slippery and there was a high possibility to step in mud and get your feet wet. But it was fun, oh, it was fun!
I thought that there will be some specially made tracks like wood boards that will help you to move around easier. No, this was all by ourselves – climb how and where you want, just get to the top. There were, if might say so, natural trails, real mud, real stones (rocks) and you just have to decide by yourself how to move around. Once we went inside the woods it was like a fairy tale – large straight trees all grown with moss, everything around was so lush and there was this heavy, earthy, humid and raw aroma around…I remember thinking to myself that this is how a real and alive nature should smell!
Some of the places we walked were very steep and we had to be careful not to fall or slip on the rocks and tree roots that were everywhere. We met so many people during our climb, even families with really small children and this helped me not to whine and show my weakness to Vitaly. It appeared to me that I could have worn better boots for climbing. There were moments when I got stuck in the mud like up to the ankle. First, of course, I was angry, but I bursted in laughter, because it was and adventure and actually it was fun. This is how memories are made! I don’t know why but I decided to wear my white free time boots and they looked nothing like white in the middle of the climb already (but all respect to FILA, the boots were not damaged, just needed to be washed properly).
But once we were up there…. Friends, I cannot describe it. Just me, my beloved person, silence, nature, view and this feeling of pride about myself that I reached the top (I was tired by the end, I must admit). The funny thing is that I was worn out by the climb, but the time on the top actually recharged my inner batteries, so I was full of energy to go back all the long way to home.
I will just leave this photo below. I think no comments needed…
I highly suggest climbing and walking everywhere it is possible, once in Norway. If you are not near Lyshornet, climb other mountains…Just do it… This is one of the most amazing things about Norway…The realness and greatness of mother nature!
Oh, and we did another Norwegian thing on the top of the mountain, but I am not revealing it here…You have to watch my latest You Tube video for that! (see below)
I hope to receive lots of likes and comments, and also subscriptions to my YouTube channel after this blog post! You know how much I appreciate these things – it motivates me to create more!
Have a great day and sending lots of hugs!
So, as promised – there is more about my Bergen experience. I have also FINALLY finished one of my videos on YouTube for you to watch. There you’ll everything I told you about in my previous article here and also a little bit about our ride up to Fløyen. Make sure you watch the video and let me know how you liked it – I would appreciate you subscribing to my channel in order not to miss my future Norway videos and lots of other interesting stuff. An, of course, you are welcome to discuss and like things here in my blog under my articles, too!
So, Fløyen… It’s a mountain in the city of Bergen. Its location and no doubt the view from above to the city definitely makes it very popular among tourists and also locals. Norwegians are very active people, so you will definitely see many of them running or walking up and/or down the Fløyen. That being said, you can actually choose how you want “to conquer” the mountain. You can choose the “lazy” option or the active one. The active one would be the running/walking thing.
If this is your first time in Bergen, I would suggest to try the “lazy” option, because in a way it is also exciting. This option is – Fløibanen funicular. The funicular is carrying passengers since 1918. Of course, nowadays people are not using the same funicular as in 1918. Today it is a modern vehicle with windows all around, so you can actually see how the views change with every meter you are moving upwards.
Another wonderful thing about this funicular is that it is very easy to find the station. It is very close to the famous Bryggen houses I told you about in my previous article. You can actually plan your sightseeing day by adding Fløyen after or before visiting Bryggen.
Once you get to the top, there is a big watching platform where you can enjoy the views over Bergen.
You can see the port, the houses, the rushing people. Seems like the life up there on the mountain stops for a while and you can breathe easier. People were chilling, sitting on the steps or in the restaurants and cafes (they have it up there)… Imagine how cool it is to sit, sip a cup of coffee and look down to the city and the mountains at the horizon line!
There is more than just the view. When you are finally ready to say goodbye to the scenery, there is more to discover. You see, the mountain is also like a amusement park, offering different activities. There is a sports field, children park, troll park, zipline (the season for it was finished already when we were there), lake and BBQ places, so people can actually come and have fun time together!
Oh, and during summer time there are some cute inhabitants that are ready to make selfies with tourists! They bring here goats! It’s not like a zoo – these goats are actually walking around and enjoying their life, eating the grass and are very friendly. At the end of August they take these goats to a farm, so that they can live there when it is cold and come back next summer. I think these goats have a talent, just look how this cutie is smiling for my selfie!
We chose to go down the mountain by foot. If you go straight down without doing any activities, it’s around 3 km walk, but I highly suggest you walk around and see the places before you go downwards. The trails taking you up and down are very nice – there are woods, brooks and huge stones (might be trolls sleeping) all around. There is moss on everything which makes you feel like you are in some kind of fairy tale world.
Suggestion – wear comfy clothes and shoes for this, because the trail is bumpy and if it had been raining the previous day or the same morning (like it was with us), then there might be mud and puddles. Girls, leave your heels home! 😛
I hope the story about Fløyen got you more excited about visiting Bergen, Norway! Enjoy more by watching my YouTube video.
Sending lots of love to everyone reading/watching this!
Before I start, just wanted to say that people (where I come from) usually somehow associate Norway with harsh and cold weather and very distant people. The people were actually very kind to me and I did not have any problems communicating with the locals, especially because they all speak English very well! My visit was during the summer and it was almost like in my hometown in Latvia where the weather changes quite often during the day and you never know when it will start to rain and when it will be very hot. After talking to the locals, I was informed that in this part of the Norway the weather is actually changing like every 10 minutes and be prepared for everything, so take a waterproof coat, sunglasses and preferably shoes that keep your feet dry. The winters in Bergen area are not like in the Norway memes here. The harsh “Game of Thrones” winters you can “enjoy” more in the other parts of Norway, but still I suspect that if I visit Bergen in winter I will have to wear tons of clothes, because I am always cold! A good idea would probably be to buy a lusekofte (traditional Norwegian sweater)!
And now lets get back to the most exciting part of this review. My first impressions about Bergen and its Old City.
I was really looking forward to seeing Bergen. It is the second largest city in Norway and is located on a peninsula along the southwest coast of Norway. It is situated in the center of the fjord region of Norway, so it is surrounded by picturesque views thanks to The Seven Mountains (De syv fjell). From there you can take a ferry and go fjord sightseeing. This time I did not do that, so I guess I will leave it for the next time. One of the main sightseeing places in Bergen is called Bryggen which quite often is referred to as “the heart of Bergen”. It’ s an ancient port that has maintained its original looks until nowadays – the red, white and yellow wooden houses are included in UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1979. Some of the houses date back to 12-15th centuries and despite numerous fires it has suffered throughout the centuries, they have survived. Every time the houses were renovated according to original patterns and building methods, so you can surely say they are authentic.
Apart from its history, I must say that Bryggen is a very nice place to walk and enjoy. The narrow yards you can stroll, small shops and cafes you can sit and chill… Everything has this ancient atmosphere, as if times stops once you are there. When you just sit there, with the view to the port, you can actually try to imagine how during the Hanseatic times men were working here, carrying boxes with fish, bringing them to the wooden houses for storing and trading.
On the opposite coast of the port you can actually see and, of course, visit the famous fish market. If you are a seafood lover just like me, then hold on! But you also must be ready to spend money there, because the prices are quite high, at least for a average European citizen from the Baltic States. However, once on a vacay, you don’t count money, right?! 😛
I actually, literally, fell in love with the Old City and the tiny houses there. Like in some kind of constructor, the houses are put one beside another and look so pretty, as if I was in a fairy tale that takes place in an elf city. The houses are mainly red, yellow, white and blue. They are spread around and up the hills.
If you travel around the Norway, you will notice that the dominant colors of the houses in the country are red, yellow and white. Is there a reason for that or Norwegians just have the same taste in house colors? Actually, there is a reason for that and it is historical. Back in the days the color of the house was an important indicator of the owners wealth and profession. Red was the cheapest color – it was made by blood and oil from fish and other animals. So, if you lived by the coast and were a fisherman, you probably didn’t have a lot of money, so this is what you can afford to color the house. A little bit richer owner was that of a yellow house – this color was slightly more expensive and made from oil and ochre. The richest could afford to paint their houses in white. Well, that is the legend about the coloring, but surely nowadays people do not think about this when they choose the color of their house. You can see dark and light wood and also blue houses, but, yes, you will notice that these three (red, yellow and white) are still popular and maintain the Norwegian traditional scenery so authentic and likable.
From Bryggen we went to another nice place that is called Fløyen or Fløyfjellet. It’s a mountain in the city of Bergen and it has splendid views and activity options. The starting point that leads up to hill is close to the Old City… But I will tell more about it next time.
Meanwhile, I am off to editing my video material. Stay tuned for this and other Norway videos on my YouTube channel. If you haven’t subscribed to my channel…Well, why?! Do it RIGHT NOW here.
Wishing you a day full of smiles and positive people!
P.S. Oh, and please let me know how you like this article and my blog by commenting and liking! Thank you! 🙂
Yasssss….I am finally here. Despite my worries about not getting in because Corona changes things unexpectedly lately, I have finally reached my destination. I must say that I would not worry so much if it wasn’t a matter of meeting my goalie. All is fine, all is well now. I arrived in Bergen, Norway and at the moment I am residing in a place called Lysekloster which is near Bergen.
I arrived just yesterday and I must say that I started to fell in love with Bergen since the moment I first saw it from my plane from above. You know how crazy I am about places that have mountains, well, this is THE PLACE!
I was so happy to finally see my goalies face at the airport and I was so emotionally lifted that I just could not stop talking. That’s the thing I do when I get worried usually! So Vitaly’s team is based in a small town called Lysekloster which is very near Bergen. It is calm and full of beautiful views. Basically, for me this is what doctor prescribed for my vacation. You know how much I love calm, silent and nature rich places. I will definitely go and see Bergen, too.
My goalie had to hurry to his training with the team, so we did not have much time to hang after meeting each other – we went straight to the stadium. I must add that everyone in the team are so kind and welcoming, besides they have a very good sense of humour – this is something I value very very high in any person I meet. I felt obliged to say thanks to the people in charge of the team, because during these months these people were the ones that assisted Vitaly with almost everything. It did not take much time for me to understand that the best present from Latvia can be the famous Latvian Balsam. I hope they will like it once they try it.
While my goalie had his training, I had around 2 hours of free time and you know me- I am not the kind of person that sits on one place, especially when I see mountains and know the fact that Norway is a place that is very very outdoor-activity-friendly (this means, hiking, enjoying nature, biking, running etc.).
There were some trails in the wood near the stadium that I went through and, since I had so much time, I decided just to go where eyes show me and, yassss, I discovered my first Lysekloster views. I met two elderly men during my walk and they were so friendly – they came up to me and asked where I am heading off, because they wanted to show me the way to the mountain where they both were heading off to. They were so kind and really open to help, because, I guess, I looked like a stranger in this place.
Actually, I wanted to add that although everywhere it is said that Norwegians are distant and avoid communicating with strangers, here in Lysekloster I got a completely different impression. Maybe that’s a small town thing!
Anyway, tomorrow will be my first full day here and I already have many plans – I want to go for a run and also to see one of the top places to see – THE Lysekloster or in English it would be Lyse Abbey or St. Mary’s Abbey. Basically up to nowadays there are only ruins left, but they look quite spectacular and also this place is the actual place around which the town has evolved during the centuries.
Anyway, friends, just wanted to share the news that I am OK and already in the place where I wanted to be around this time!
Sending lots of love from Lysekloster!
I know my previous posts were quite stressful, you must miss my full-of-positiveness articles about movies, country life and, of course, sports! So, here it is! I just posted a new You Tube video that tells the story of me running in Salzburg, Austria. I challenged myself and tried to run as many days as possible during my stay in Salzburg.
Just wanted to say that I was in Salzburg for 2 weeks, because I had to work. You can read about it here and there is even a video on my You Tube channel here, in case you missed it. So how did I managed to find motivation and time to run and do the challenge? Watch the video!
If you liked the video and maybe found it motivating and inspiring enough, please like it on my You Tube channel. Also, make my day by subscribing to the channel, as it really really inspires me to continue my work on my channel.
Have a great days, my friends, and stay active!
So if you have read my post here, then you know what is going on with my travel plans to Bergen, Norway. Today it was officially announced that flights to Amsterdam, the Netherlands, from Riga have been cancelled, so I got the green light to start reorganizing my flight plans. By the way, my self-isolation ends in 2 days and I am happy to be and act like any other normal human being. Otherwise, when I visited supermarket to get some food that could last as long as possible, I felt like everyone is watching me. The mask comes with a lot of attention, because here in Latvia we don’t have to wear masks in supermarkets, so when I come in all, eyes on me! And most importantly, I feel great and healthy!
Actually, I must say that all my problems I managed to solve quite smoothly. I decided to call to AirBaltic – there is a special free phone number that helps with cancellations. Of course, I knew I will not be able to get through to the operator quickly, because I am not the only one with problems like this. At the beginning, the call stopped without any signal, it was impossible to reach the operator. It was a sign that the line is very very busy. This made me a little bit nervous, however I did not give up and after few attempts I heard the signal and the voice said “all the operators are busy, please, hold on”. Of course, I waited and listened to the (we all know how irritating it can be) music! It was around 15th minute when finally the sounds of music switched to a very kind voice of the operator. I don’t know why, but I expected some kind of rude woman fed up with dealing with different clients, but here I heard this very polite and calm lady voice which automatically calmed me down and made me think “all is going to be well with my travel plans”. It appears that I have connecting flights, so all problems could be solved with this one call and not with treating RIX-AMS and AMS-BGO separately. After a conversation with the operator it became clear that I have 2 options:
- Refund which could take up to 90 days;
- Receiving a voucher that is wort the amount of money I have already spent on my tickets with a 20 EUR bonus from the airlines. I can use the voucher for buying any flights up to the end of December.
Obviously, I happily chose the voucher, because I could receive it 10 minutes after my call and also I liked the bonus thing. I already knew how to use the voucher, so I bought my tickets to Oslo. Everything went very smoothly, because I found that Norwegian offers flights that suite my further need to go from Oslo to Bergen. Well, the only drawback in this situation is that I had to spend additional Y EUR for my flight to Bergen. The mathematics is quite simple, bear with me:
- I bought ticket Riga-Amsterdam-Bergen for X EUR;
- When the rumors that all flights to the Netherlands will be cancelled due to Covid-19 started, I noticed that suddenly the prices for flights from Riga to Oslo (which is alternative way how to get to Bergen) started to rise, but I could not do anything, because my tickets through Amsterdam were still valid and I still hoped nothing will be cancelled.
- When it was officially announced that flights to/from the Netherlands are cancelled, I received my voucher that was worth X EUR as it must be. However, even with the additional 20 EUR bonus (which was given to me as a present), I could not cover the price of the flight from Riga to Oslo (I had to add additional 10 EUR). Can you imagine how inadequately high was now the price for this destination?! I know what I am talking, because I have seen the prices from Riga to Oslo when there was no Covid 19. They were double cheaper!
- As you know my final destination had to be Bergen, so it appears that I bought half way to my destination for the price I previously bought all the route from Riga to Bergen! And I still had to add extra Y EUR to get from Oslo to Bergen!
Just think about it! Because of Covid 19 people are simply obliged to pay more than they normally would if the world was not as cray cray as it is now.
Nevertheless, with my wallet more emptier than usual, I have now solved my flight ticket problems. Now all is set. I will arrive in Norway 1 day later than I planned before, but it does not change anything. Now I am just crossing my fingers and hoping Covid-19 will not change these already changed plans for me!
I feel very good now and my stress level has reduced significantly and I will definitely have a better sleep tonight! Now it is time to make a list of stuff I have to take with me on the trip!
Oh,and lets hope there are no bad surprises at the airport! But I will leave these thoughts for tomorrow – today I am happy to have valid tickets again.
Can’t wait to see Norway!
I hope your day was also very successful!
Although just recently it seemed like we have survived the pandemic and life will get back to its usual flow… Well, IN YOUR FACE, everything gets cray cray again! I just wanted to tell you my experience of traveling after the first wave (do they call it like that?). I am not bragging that I was traveling and not staying home, but obviously there are circumstances that do not allow people to sit home 24/7 even though their health is on the stake. Well, traveling now is very nerve wracking. Before you get to your destination, you have to undergo so many obstacles, do so much research… Well, read my experiences below and think twice (maybe more) before going somewhere…
After the 1st wave ended I had to travel for work to Austria. I did not mind, I agreed because I wanted and I love my job and by no means it was dangerous, besides the country was completely safe according to the numbers at that time. So I was in Austria, doing my work with full dedication, enjoying the city and what it can offer (read more about it here) when – da-daaa – our government announces that Austria is now in “yellow” group, which means that once I return I will have to sit in 14 day self isolation in my home country. This changed everything – after my return I would have to work from home which meant headache for my colleagues. Now they had to plan how to move my computer to my home and most importantly how to “move me” from the airport to my home. I live 200 km from the airport, so I planned to stay in a hotel near the airport and go home in the morning as the flight arrived quite late. Well, the hotel did not allow me to stay, so my colleagues had to plan a taxi for me that could actually bring me home (those 200 km) during the night.
I was 100% sure there is no need in my self isolation, because I was living in Salzburg, which is very very safe and we had all these safety rules including masks, washing hands, disinfecting everything that is possible to disinfect. But, as a serious citizen, I was ready to self-isolate. The only problem was that I did not have time to think about it – I was taking care about my kids and doing my job, I did not have time to plan taxis, cancel hotels that did not want to accept me for 7 h sleep, oh, and my fridge was completely empty, so I actually have to figure out how to eat and where to buy food when I am back at home. If it wasn’t for my lovely colleagues and my Mom – I think I would go crazy planning all of this. Mind***king!
Oh, and do you remember that “feeling of coming home”, like, when you arrive at the airport, breathe the air of your home country and someone is waiting you with warm hugs on the arrivals? NONE OF THAT 😀 I was so stressed on the day of arrival that I actually forget to enjoy my coming back.
Also, I was counting days….Because I had bought flight tickets to Norway. I had to work for two weeks after my arrival and then I had a 2 week vacation. I was planing finally to meet Vitaly. I WAS SOOO LUCKY! My self-quarantine ended just in time to be able to travel to Norway as planned.
And this is only the beginning… So I am sitting here in my room, doing my self-quarantined work from home and receiving this e-mail that the Netherlands is now “red” (meaning you cannot travel there). AND I BOUGHT MY FLIGHT TO BERGEN VIA AMSTERDAM! Now the e-mail said that flights had been cancelled for a week and on Friday they will announce if there are any changes. But my flight is one day after this announcement! How cool is that? There is a slight possibility that the Netherlands will change from “red” to at least “yellow”, but, well, stressed again!!!! What if not? What then?
After crying for a couple of hours in the mood of “I will not see Vitaly”, “it is not fair”, “this cannot be true”, I stopped panicking for a while and started to plan the options in case the flight is actually cancelled. The facts are that I have a flight to Amsterdam and from there a connecting flight to Bergen. So, my options were like this:
- hope the airlines can quickly change my cancelled flight to Amsterdam to a flight to Oslo (I can get to Bergen through there)
- If I manage to solve the problem with the first flight, then the next step is to deal with the connecting flight. I have to get back the money for the lost Amsterdam-Bergen flight which hopefully will also be cancelled or else I just lose my money.
- Next step I have to figure out is the flight or other (train, bus) opportunities from Oslo to Bergen.
- Oh, and I must do all of the above as fast as possible and preferably in one day to get the earliest flight to Oslo and from there to Bergen! EASY! 😀
And there is another thing – airports all over the world have their own rules for arrivals. Some ask to do tons of paperwork you have to show upon arrival, some ask to have a QR code, some…I don’t know… Well, there are lots of stuff. Once I got through the shock that I will have to act sharp and maybe plan my flights completely differently on the last moment, I started to panic, because I had to find out if there are any specific requirements for my arrivals in Norway. Be prepared to do information digging when you plan a flight! So look for the requirements your airport has. The official site for Norway said that I actually do not have any specific requirements, except, I have to have some kind of document that confirms my registered address. The fun thing is I don’t know if it is my address in Latvia or Norway (wasn’t specified), because in Norway I will obviously be a guest and living with my fiancee. Anyhow, I printed out official paper declaring my dress in Latvia and in Norway… After digging information on the internet and asking some questions in “Latvians in Norway” online communities I fund out that my fiance has to have some kind of D number that I should have with me (it has his address and some other important information). Also, some of the people suggested to have some other paperwork proving Vitaly works there. Headache, I know (I actually had one that day)! What actually calmed me was that most of the people told me that the only thing they asked for them upon arrival at the airport was ID or passport, so I guess it will be like that. But for safety I will have all of this paperwork prepared,too! I have heard too many stories about people being sent back… Don’t want to risk!
I truly hope that when you will be reading this everything will already be fine. I hope my next post here will be from Bergen with love. Fingers crossed! I just wanted to say -I am determined to meet Vitaly whatever it takes!
AND REALLY, GUYS, BE PREPARED TO STRESS IF YOU PLAN YOUR TRIPS DURING THIS COMPLICATED TIME! By the way, here you can read the unpleasant experience of my friend in Greece https://www.instagram.com/p/CDx-tZSjwJb/
HERE COMES A LOONG P.S.
I want to justify some people who still decide to travel during this crazy time. I think there are three categories of them. First- the pandemic actually separated and most probably damaged relationship between so many families and lovers. Of course, the strongest ones survived, but anyway I know from my own experience that the feeling of not being sure ” when we’ re going to meet again” can kill from the inside. I haven’t seen my man since he left in July I guess. It is OK, I have waited for him for longer periods, but this is different. Then I knew the day and time when we meet again, but now… You never know. It is wrong that I don’t actually know if the next day is going to bring closed airports, lock downs and even the planned Christmas holiday could not be spent together because of this. Thinking about making the traditional ginger cookies and decorating Christmas tree alone just simply makes me sick. So why do people like me try to find some corridors to still travel? They love, they miss and they don’ t want to stay alone in some place while their significant others are somewhere else in the world also alone. I am lucky we have such a strong bond and relationship, but still I am missing real life touches and hugs.
Second- the ones who understand that traveling can be a danger to their health nowadays but staying home and not working is also not an option. You see, you can stay and as suggested protect your family, but from sitting home you cannot make money to feed your family (or yourself if you live alone). So, you go and work and try not to think about the things mass media are telling us constantly like ” stay home” bla-bla-bla… People want to live and to live they need food and pay bills, and to get food and pay bills they need to work. And some people simply must travel for their work, so they just do that and it is a fact. It’s not that they do not care about their health, they just don’t have any other options.
The third ones – they simply don’t believe the Corona exists. I must point out that I cannot fully agree with them, because I do believe it exists, but not in such a large scale and danger as it is being sold for everyone in the world. So this category of people completely ignore everything, because they ” know” all of this is some kind of conspiracy. They travel whenever possible and when airports are open. Some of them don’t even want to wear masks and do all the precautionary measures. I’m like, I want to be careful just in case, because I believe that these people, too, have their own truth. I hate how mass media manipulates with people – they’re posting all of these articles every day so that people are constantly afraid, they make these sites where everyone can see the new cases, they divide countries in colors according to deaths and new cases… I am very much sure that we had bigger numbers with other diseases before, just nobody was counting…
Anyway, stay safe, calm and pray for better times to come!
You must be thinking, how I managed to do this? Well, to be honest, I was surprised, too! The thing is I was offered a job for two weeks abroad and, as it later appeared, it was in one of the most charming cities I have ever been before – Salzburg, Austria. I wasn’t doubting I can do the job (although it involved a lot of responsibility), I was just overexcited and felt quite challenged doing it during these for travelling complicated times. So, make yourself comfy and get ready to read my Austria story.
Basically I was offered to be a group leader for 9 wonderful kids who were going to Salzburg for 2 weeks. Their plan was to participate in summer camp which includes improving English, have fun and meet new friends from other countries that will also be there for the same reasons. Wondering why English in Austria (obviously Austria equals German)? The summer program was taking place in American International School Salzburg – boarding school operating on American High School curriculum, so, yes, English is a big deal there and quite many teachers are Americans.
Speaking about the 9 kids – I am calling them “Fantastic nine” now, but the truth is that I did not even know them before the trip. I was very very lucky to have them with me. They were simply amazing – funny, smart and friendly towards me, which is good, considering the fact that I was babysitting them in a way and usually teenagers don’t like being babysited. My main goal there was to participate and make sure they are happy and they do not have any problems. In case something comes up, I must help. So this would be a short intro to how I got to Salzburg and what was I doing there.
Although it sounds like fun, it is actually very serious job. Imagine being responsible for 9 kids! But I think I nailed it, at least this is what everyone said afterwards.
So I had a wonderful opportunity to participate in all the activities my kids were doing like excursions, hikes and sightseeing. I fell in love with the nature there. My home country Latvia is flat, but in Salzburg wherever I went there were mountains. Mountains…. That is the part that got caught in my heart and mind forever. I hadn’t been in country where there are constantly mountains around me. Like, seriously, wherever you go, you can see mountains. Well, I was hiking once in Ireland, but it was like a special ride to the mountain. Here it was different – mountains all the time and I felt so inspired and alive seeing them constantly. Not sure why I felt so energised and inspired by them! The only free hours I had during the day I spent doing my morning run and discovering places nearby and afterwards I could do all of the hiking and walking with kids. I wasn’t tired! Whats in the air of Salzburg? Remains a secret for me 😛
When I came back to Latvia I discovered that felt different – and I am not talking about being sad to return or something (which to a certain extent was also true), but that is not the point here. I will try and explain it in simple words – the air “was consisting of something else” here in my home country. The first day after my return running felt harder, like breathing was more difficult. Well, the only explanation I guess is that Latvia is by the sea and this means that we have higher humidity in the air, so this is why for me (maybe) it feels heavier than in Salzburg. I will tell you more about my running experiences in Austria in one of my future blog posts – I have some material filmed, so I guess there will be a YouTube video, too!
Now, let talk sightseeing and activities… I had this chance to go the most amazing places in Salzburg like old city and fortress with amazing views to the whole city, lakes, hiking places etc. Anyways, guys, I guess I am too impressed to write it down in words, so I will just let the video show you everything.
Someone from the school once said too me that Salzburg is actually a unique place, because wherever you go, you discover something new to be surprised for. This is 100% true and I will repeat myself again – mountains make everything look so epic and breathtaking! I think I made the most beautiful photos of myself here! If you want to pump up your Insta or other social media profiles with beautiful travel photos, you don’t even have to go to Bali or Thailand, because here you can make equally good ones, too!
One of the most enjoyable things here is the opportunity to literally always go up somewhere -there are view platforms, hiking trails. It’s like you can constantly find a new viewpoint from which you can see the city!
I also made some wonderful friendships during my stay in the school, because there was this wonderful staff and I like to believe that we are now friends. Some of them became very close to me – we could talk like we knew each other for ages already! I think I might see them again some time, I have this feeling… You know, life is unpredictable and when the Corona-stuff will end there is even bigger opportunity to meet!
And just as a finisher, I wanted to post a wonderful photo with me and my ” Fantastic Nine” here… Thank you, my loves! :*
Don’ t forget to watch my You Tube video, because you can see all the beauty of Salzburg there! Like, subscribe and press the notification bell!
Have a nice day!
P.S. I am in the middle of self-isolation now. Once it is over, my vacation starts and FINALLY I AM MEETING MY GOALIE AND GOING TO NORWAY!
Hello, my friends! I have some great news, but I will keep the suspense for my future posts. All I will tell for now is that I just returned from a 2 week journey and have thousands of great stories, photos and memories (including some material for the YouTube channel). Meanwhile, just reminding you to stay fit and healthy, so here comes my new YouTube video with (hopefully) your next workout.
Now lets talk about the workout. I made it in a quite interesting format, so you really don’ t get bored. You will have a circuit with upper body where exercises smoothly merge one into another. The next circuit is cardio and the last one is dedicated to core – you will do the usual routine and finish killing the abs with AMRAP (as many repetitions as possible) within 45 seconds.
I hope you will find this challenging enough for you! Please leave your comments below about the video, give me some love with thumbs up and subscriptions to the channel.
Have a great and positive day!
So you’ve read the title and you think “OMG, Goalies Girlfriend is so shallow! She likes Eurovision!” LOL I like to celebrate life and I guess this is what this crazy, unusual, pompous, sometimes exaggerating and colorful show is about! It’s not that I am sick crazy about it, I just think it is fun to watch. Maybe that is because I have some great memories related to this show and these memories come from the time when I was still a teenager! Anyways, guys, this movie, starring one of the craziest comedians with the most hilarious face expressions and the actress that has won my heart forever with Allie from “Notebook”, really managed to bring back that old joy I had when I was watching Eurovision contests with my mom in my teens. This post will be a story about how I absolutely don’t think it is crazy to be Eurovision fan and how I enjoyed this wonderful, silly and light comedy that is now available on Netflix.
Do you like Eurovision Song Contest? I know, there are three types of people – ones who say “bullshit” and really mean it, ones who say “bullshit” and secretly watch the show anyway and the ones who don’t hide they enjoy the show, the songs and the competition of sometimes too cheesy, but very catchy songs.
Me? I like Eurovision. It’s like a parade of costumes and bright characters on the stage. For me it is not about competition (well, a little bit) between countries, it’s more like a show.
Eurovision for me brigs up memories from my teens -this is when my country (Latvia) was officially allowed to participate and shook the Europe with Brainstorm’s “My Star” and later managed to win the contest in 2002 by bringing it to my small country. I remember Eurovision being a big deal for me and my mom. We studied all the participants before the final show -and it was during the times when I did not have a PC at home, not talking about Internet access. We saw them on our national TV in between commercials and whenever there was a new song presented, we just sat there and watched, analysed and exchanged opinions. Then on the final night we prepared a table with a list of all countries, wrote down points and tried to guess who will win. These were amazing moments, because we had that special thing with my mom and I could officially stay up very late! Although I wasn’t a part of all of this, I still was cheering for my favorites, laughed together with winners and cried if my favorites did not make it.
Later in my life I actually managed to be a small part of this Eurovision craziness! For several years the national competition took place in my hometown Ventspils. All the artists fighting for their chance to represent Latvia on the big stage of Eurovision came to my town and there was this big event with all the local Latvian performers. At that time I was working on regional TV as a reporter and journalist and I actually got the chance to be backstage with all the artists, take interviews… Oh, I remember how excited I was to be there. My dream was to get to the big Eurovision’s Green Room one day. I think this dream is impossible now, but, hey, life is crazy, who knows?!
So why am I suggesting this movie? Because this can be enjoyed both by Eurovision lovers and haters. Lovers will definitely appreciate the songs, the atmosphere, the appearance of real Eurovision stars in the movie and haters will appreciate the movie from their own perspective, because the plot if you look form the other side of the story can also be translated as making fun about all of the fuss around the show. I think this makes it a masterpiece of the genre. This is definitely not a blockbuster and will not receive Oscars, however I am sure this is one of those movies that stays in peoples memories and in a playlist called “Movies to watch when you feel down”.
Oh, and the movie has some great songs in it. I get goosebumps from the leading song called “Husavik”. In the movie Sigrit (Rachel McAdams) sings this as a final song. It is so beautiful and Eurovison-like. Just listen to it.
Not to mention the “Sing-A-Long” and “Lion of Love” that you will hear in the movie.
Some fun facts:
- Husavik is an actual a town in Iceland and from what I have read native Icelanders were welcoming about the movie.
- Dan Stevens whom we know from Downton Abbey and Beauty and the Beast plays a very extraordinary role of a singer representing Russia. His character, in my opinion, is somewhat a mixture of real Russian singers Filip Kirkorov and Nikolay Baskov (just Google them after watching the movie).
- Pierce Brosnan plays father of Will Ferrel’s characters (Lars) father in the movie.
- Famous singer Demi Lovato appears in the movie as a singer that had to go and represent Iceland in the competition, but she dies, therefore Sigrit and Lars can go.
- Graham Norton form the famous The Graham Norton Show appears in the movie as Eurovision commentator.
- You will spot some real Eurovision stars in the movie – winners and contestants from different years.
- Rachel and Will put on an Icelandic accent for the film and they trained with dialect coached for that. Rachel studied the accent also by watching videos with the famous singer from Iceland – Bjork.
I hope you enjoyed the review and it was fun to read it. Let me know your thoughts about the movie and also what are your thoughts about the Eurovision Song Contest.
Stay happy and smile!
P.S. Can’t wait to share my impressions of Austria! Stay tuned.