Category Archives: Holiday

Paris

Although I find everything quite hard at the moment I am really trying to live life anyway. In Paris I managed to escape my problems for a while thanks to M’s hospitality. We ate, slept and YouTubed silly things from our childhood.

Christmas street lights close to where I lived.

The weird but wonderful Centre Pompidou was also close by.

The back of Centre Pompidou, much funnier then the front.

A bad picture of some of the Macaroons I ate.

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The Berlin Marathon

Berlin Marathon Map

Berlin Marathon day!

Berlin Running Outfit We went up early to be able to digest the breakfast properly, and the hotel served breakfast 30 minutes earlier then normal for all us runners. After we had eaten we had a little half hour snooze and then we got ready. My maraton outfit is not the most stylish but it is damn practical, although I do really like the turqouise black top I bought 🙂

We got to the start well in time but even though I went to the toilet before we left the hotel the nervousity made me need them again. Unfortunately there were to few portable loos and the queue were enormous and people pushed past (I thought Germans were good at orderly queues) so I was 15 minutes late to the start. However the time does not start until you and the chip in your shoe pass the start line and with that amount of people I would not have been able to get to the start line quicker anyway.

Talked to a nice Dane called Jette whilst waiting in the loo queue and then in the queue to pass the start line, checked her number up and saw that she finished, so happy she managed to finish her first marathon.

And then of we went. The Berlin marathon really is a fast track, I have heard that a lot of people break their personal best including Haile Gebrselassie’s world record last year, and it is so true. The course is very flat and the surface is even, at the half way stage I realised I was on my way to beat my PB with 20-30 minutes and I was thrilled. Despite my worries about my training I felt great, muscles where OK, no trace of any stitch, plenty of energy my feet felt very light 🙂

Then it happened, not exactly sure when but it was around 28-30 km (the km sign post at the marathon were rubbish missed most and my Ipod measures incorrectly), I felt pain in my hip and knee and the muscle and tendon/band in between, it got gradually worse until finally might right leg couldn’t take the weight of my body any longer as I landed on it whilst running. I should probably have stepped of at that stage but I am way too stubborn for that and pressed on until I reached the finishing line. I hobbled and walked as fast as I could and finished on 5:04:56 which I think is ok considering the injury but gutted I missed what would have been a PB 😦 Might publish the horrible finishing line photos of me pulling ugly painful faces…but nah probably not 😛

Sweetie did fantastically well and finished on 3:50:06, I am so proud over him.

In Swedish
Vi gick upp tidigt för att äta frukost så vi skulle kunna smälta den ordentligt innan loppet, hotellet hade snällt öppnat en halvtimma tidigare än normalt för frukost till alla löpare. Sen vilade vi lite och gjorde oss iordning. Min spring outfit är väl inte världens finaste men ack så praktisk, fast jag gillar min nya springtop ordentligt.

Vi kom till starten en halvtimma innan 9.00, jag hann inte säga lycka till till min sötnos innan loppet för jag hade fullt upp med att köa till toaletten, 40 minuters kö så jag kom 15 min försent till starten men eftersom min startgrupp inte hunnit över startlinjen så gjorde det inte så mycket. Tiden tas ju inte heller för än mitt chip kommit över startlinjen.

När jag väl börjat springa så gick allt jättebra, musklerna kändes bra, inget håll, tillräkligt med energi, bra flås och lätta fötter. Hade redan hört från flera håll att Berlins bana är snabb, Haile har ju sprungit på världsrekord tid där och flera andra har visst gjort sina person bästa där. När jag tittade på min klocka vi halvägs punkten så inså jag att jag skulle slå mitt PB med 20-30 minuter. Jag var jätteglad 🙂

Men så plötsligt så händer det, vid 28 eller 30 km (vet inte riktigt för Berlins km märken syntes väldigt dåligt och min Ipod mäter fel), jag får ont i höger höft, knä och muskeln och leden/bandet mellan höften och knät. Envis som jag är så fortsätter jag för “Jag ska i mål” trots att jag nog borde klivit av där, till slut så klarar inte mitt höger ben att ta vikten av min kropp när jag landar i steget. Jag haltade och gick snabbt den biten som var kvar, ganska nöjd att komma i mål på 5:04:56 trots skada men riktigt ledsen för jag var så nära att slå mitt PB rejält 😦

Sötnos var helt suverän och sprang i mål på 3:50:06, är så stolt 🙂

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Berlin Weekend Break

Landed really early in Berlin on Friday morning, way to tired for the brain to work properly. Went by Ryanair which further caused my brain to go into meltdown…How much worse can they actually get until people (yes me included) start boycotting they??? I am starting to think they are some sort of evil social experience to see how much shit and frustration people are willing to put up with for a cheap ticket…Oups went a bit of topic there.

Dilbert

To get from Berlin Schönefeld airport to central Berlin was very easy, just a short walk to the train station and €2.80 and 30-45 minutes later I stepped of the train in Zoologischer Garten, right where I wanted to end up. The hotel was within walking distance and with the help of the map in my Top 10 Berlin guide book I found it alright. I can really recommend the Top 10 Berlin book, really good size so easy to take around town or you can detach the map and travel even lighter. It picks out the classics and a few other top spots and it is not over bearing, and it gives you choices between budget, medium and luxury. The only bad point with the book is that it has a few sights have double or triple entries, they could either be removed and make the book lighter and cheaper or replaced by more information. Really missed a map of where the Berlin Wall cut through Berlin and a bit more info about the wall.

Sorat Ambassador The hotel was the three star Sorat Ambassador I must say a very typical German hotel. With typical I do not mean bad, but like most buildings they are either built in the 50s and 60s or the early 90s everything looks a bit the same and often a bit dated decor. But everything works, everything is clean and the staff were superb. Would I recommend Sorat Ambassador to others? Absolutely! The hotel is easy to get to from the airport, very central and within walking distance of many sights and close to the shopping streets if that is what you like. But most important the staff were really nice, helpful and friendly.

Hotel1 The room was comfortable and clean, the bed was comfortable apart from the insanely large pillows. As my brain did not work properly from lack of sleep I seemed to have forgotten how to use a key I then realised I needed an afternoon nap.

Hollow Tooth Church
I went sight seeing a bit whilst waiting for Sweetie to arrive I went to the Europa centre and then to “Hollow Tooth”. Hollow tooth is a church that was bombed severly during the second world war but instead of tearing it down the Berliners wanted to keep it as a reminder of the horror of war.

At eight Sweetie finally arrived, I was so happy to see him again, we have never been apart for this long before. I didn’t want to stop hugging him and looking at him 🙂 We ate a quick meal of pasta on or way to the hotel. Yes Carbo-loading it is before a marathon, so funny all the resturants and hotels seemed to have special marathon pasta menus. In Berlin you really notice the marathon runners whilst in London they really blend in. After dinner we went back to the hotel, we talked and hugged for a few hours and then slept.

Tempelhof We went up early in the morning to go to the marathon expo at Flughafen Tempelhof, a building that made me say “It looks like a Nazi building” and loo and behold my guide book describes it as a facist building from 1939…looks really oppressing doesn’t it? Although a fantastic exhibition venue I must admit. The expo was great, we got our numbers and chips alright and they had plenty of running gear for sale. I bought a new Skins long sleeve running top and a sort of bandana to protect my head from the sun.

Needed to repair my sweded outfit so I had to get hold of a tailor. Luckily German is not to disimilar from Swedish so I could guess that “änderungen” meant changes, and what do you change if not clothes. At the tailor I just said “Problem, morgen maraton, kaputt” and showed him the pocket for my Carbogels (yes more Carbs guess you can see the pattern). So Sweedes can get by in German, even though this tired Sweede brought her Spanish phrasebook and not the German one 😀

Then we went back to the hotel for a quick pasta lunch and a nap, you need to rest a lot the day before a maraton and stay of your feet. We then walk to the marathon start to check that we could find it properly and to time the distance there. After that we meet up with one of Sweeties friends who is also running and ate som more pasta, tired of pasta wanted meat or pizza 😦 Then a taxi ride home and early night. To be prepared for the Berlin marathon the next day.

In Swedish
Landade tidigt på fredagen i Berlin, flög tyvärr med Ryanair, lovar mig varje gång att sluta eftersom de suger, tror definitivt att de egentligen är ett elakt socialt experiment för att testa människors gränser.

Vårat tre stjärniga hotell Sorat Ambassador var helt ok (jag är närking så läs ok som bra), bra område, nära till allt och trevlig personal. Visst hotellet ser daterat ut men det har varje hotell som jag bott på i Tyskland gjort, huvudsaken är ju att de är rena fräscha och funktionella samt har trevlig personal. Hotell ambassador tickar alla boxar så jag kan rekommendera det om du ska till Berlin.

Medn jag väntade på sötnos skulle anlända så sov jag, behövdes när jag inte kom på hur en nyckel till rummet fungerade…hmm vrid åt ena hållet tills dörren öppnas kanske??? Sen lite sight seeing på Europa center och “Ihåliga Tanden” kyrkan som bombades under andra världskriget. När sötnos kom så ville jag bara krama ihjäl honom, har ju inte sett honom på länge. Vi Kolhyrdats laddade med pasta innan vi gick till hotellet for att prata, kramas och sova tidigt.

Nästa dag så hämtade vi upp våra nummer och chips för maratonen på Flughafen Tempelhof, den byggdes 1939 och hela byggnaden ser verkligen nasistisk ut, den riktigt tornar upp sig över en och man kände sig lite plattare. De hade mycket grejer på expon och jag köpte en ny Skins långärmad springtop och en sorts bandana att skydda huvudet från solen med.

Klantade mig och tog med min spanska frasbok istället för min tyska, men klarade mig ganska galant ändå eftersom tyska inte är så olikt svenska. Hos skräddaren blev det “Problem, morgen maraton, kaputt” och han lagade snabbt min swedade ficka för mina Kolhydratsgeleer, jupp kolhydrater är ett återkommande tema 🙂

Sen en åt vi en snabb pasta lunch och tog en tupplur, man ska vila och inte knata runt dagen innan ett maraton. Sen gick vi till starten så vi visste var den var och hur lång tid det skulle ta att gå dit. Efter det träffade vi en av sötnos vänner som också skulle springa och åt lite mer pasta, trött på pasta ville egentligen äta kött eller pizza. Sen taxi till hotellet och tidig kväll inför söndagens maraton.

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We are going to have casulties…

Berlin Marathon Weather

…but it won’t be me 😀

Yes this is the weather forecast for Berlin, Germany, the marathon is on Sunday. Most runners find sunny weather the most difficult marathon weather and many runners complained at the heat during London marathon in April. My nightmare weather would be cold or cold AND rainy. Everyone that knows me have heard about me complaining about being cold so running in sunshine does not bother me too much. But I think I will buy something to cover my head as I do not wish to burn my scalp. Just hope my Sweetie will cope well with the heat.

In Swedish
Det verkar bli fint väder i Berlin i helgen 😀 Jag kommer inte att lida men det kommer nog de flesta andra som springer göra, hoppas bara att sötnos klarar värmen bra. Jag hatar kyla och kallt regn så jag är bara glad om vädret stämmer.

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Camping

Tarpaulin Shelter Yes this is were I spent the night.

Camping was so much fun 🙂 but completely exhausted now. Had to go up 6.30 to go to Victoria Station to catch the train to East Grinstead, already on the train I spotted I girl I assumed was going to the same thing, jupp I was right Spanish girl doing the same thing. We chatted all the way down to East Grinstead.

So yes I went camping with a bunch of people I ‘ve never seen in my life 🙂 As I did not want to sit alone throughout the weekend missing Sweetie I had decide to camp and learn some new skills. We were about 24 people and we got divided inot three groups, my group was Whiskey. We learnt map and compass skills, using radios for communication, setting up a tarpaulin shelter and plan how to best make a good shelter, kitchen and long drop. Got a bit suspicious when we were told to leave the tarpaulin up. We dug ditches and search for food which we later cooked on Trianga stoves and setting up tents to camp out in, then we relaxed around the campfire for a while…until!

Yes you guessed it we were told to break camp in the dark, trek to a checkpoint and receive further instructions. At checkpoint we were told to find another place and search for a food drop containing our breakfast, once we had found the food we were given another set of coordinates to find a safe shelter and guess what…? It was the tarpaulin shelter we built earlier, this was our shelter for the night. It was a bit nippy so I did not sleep well and it did not help that the girl next to me wouldn’t stop moving around. After about an hours sleep it was time to get up and break camp to get back to field base. We cooked porridge on our Trianga stove and I became popular when I took out Cappucino for everyone in the camp, yes Nescafe can be a moral booster…who would have thought 🙂 My bag was sooo perfectly packed, smallest and lightest of them all but only with useful stuff, like first aid and cappucino 😀

Room mate After the breakfast meeting we were supposed to do a bit of Orientering but they again threw a suprise at us and it turned in to a medical evacuation situation with two injured people, one with a broken leg and one with a broken arm and chock symptoms, so we got to practise radio in a medivac, splinting a leg and carrying an injured person back to field base on a stretcher. Brilliant weekend though I am really tired after a weekend full of learning, exercise, sleep and food depravation…. Must be mad would like to camp soon again 🙂

In Swedish
Lamp and Hanger Campade i helgen och hade jättekul, lärde mig att använda radio, läsa karta och kompass bättre, bygga vindskydd av pressening samt öva lite på första hjälpen genom att spjäla brutet ben och arm men även bära tillbaks den ena skadade på en bår. Vi fick leta efter maten vi skulle äta med karta och kompass samt tillaga den på Trianga kök. När vi hade satt upp alla tält och var redo för att sova så var vi tvungna att bryta camp och ta oss så snabbt och säkert som möjligt till en checkpoint, efter ytterligare en checkpoint fick vi koordinater till ett nödläger där vi skulle övernatta och gissa vad? Jo det var pressenings vindskyddet vi byggt tidigare under dagen 🙂 Det var lite kyligt och tjejen bredvid rörde väldigt mycket på sig så jag sov lite drygt en timme innan vi var tvungna att gå upp. Jag fick upp moralen genom att bjuda på pulver Cappucino till frukosten, hade ju super duper packat min ryggsäck, hade minst och lättast ryggsäck men med mest praktiska saker av oss alla 😀 Vill campa igen snart 🙂

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Outdoor & Camping Shops in London

I’m going camping in the weekend, I have not done that for years so excited used to love to camp. But this means I had nothing that is needed for camping, luckily I live close to High Street Kensington which has several good shops for camping and outdoor things. It took about 15 minutes of slow walking from my place to the shops, which was nice in todays beautiful weather.

SDC10008 High Street Kensington is one of the best streets if you like sports and outdoor hobbies, on the picture from left to right there is Blacks, Snow Rock, Cycle Surgery and Ellis Brigham

SDC10007 But it does not stop there no as you can see it continues with a Millets, and a Columbia Sportswear Company store just about to open and finally Mountain Warehouse. The only thing missing is a good running store of some sort, yes there is a JD Sports opposite these shops but they are more into sports fashion then sports performance.

SDC10014 I bought a sleeping bag, sleeping mat, torch, travel cutlery, mess tin and a first aid kit as you can see. I got it all really cheaply as I could walk between the shops and get the best thing to the best price, and most of them had sale going on… perfect 😀

In Swedish
Ska campa i helgen, det har jag inte gjort på många år och ser fram emot det så. Men det betyde ju att jag var tvungen att skaffa camping grejer. Så var bättre än High Street Kensington, som bilderna ovan visar så finns det sex affärer och en sjunde på vägalldeles bredvid varandra som säljer camping grejer och andra sportsaker. Det var bara att gå emellan dem och välja ut det bästa till billigaste priset, de flesta hade rea också 😀

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Brief update from Sweden

Still on holiday in Sweden as you probably noticed. Have visited my parents in Närke, Sweeties parents also in Närke and then back to the west coast again for Martin and Leo’s wedding in Gothenburg. Today I have just arrived back in Halmstad pheew too much travelling. Still not looking forward to going home to London on my own on Tuesday 😦

The wedding was fab, going to update more on that with pictures later. Have to develope the pictures first as Sweetie forgot to check the battery in his digital camera and left the charger in Halmstad so we bought a disposable camera instead 🙂 It was so funny as everyone was laughing at the noise my camera made…come on we all used to do this just a few years ago, remember? 😀

Note to self; “Will buy digital camera on Wednesday and not rely on others!”

Have thought up two pet projects to keep me occupied in the evenings and weekends when I am alone;

1. Will pimp my PC, way to slow and noisy at the moment. New memory, fix the fan and get rid of shit on the hard drive…nope have not done this before but come on how hard can it be??? I think easy peasy. Will also download Skype to call Sweetie in Sweden cheaper or for free 🙂

2. This one you will see when I get my camera if you keep reading my blog 🙂

In Swedish
Uppdaterar inte så mycket eftersom jag fortfarande är på semester i Sverige, vi har haft mycket att göra, Halmstad 3 dagar, mina föräldrar i Närke 2 dagar, sötnos föräldrar i Närke 1 dag. Sedan ner till Göteborg för bröllop i 2 dagar…Grattis Martin och Leo. Och nu idag tillbaka till Halmstad. Pust har åkt lite för mycket fram och tillbaka. På tisdag åker jag hem till London själv 😦 ser inte fram emot det.

Ska skriva mer om bröllopet och uppdatera med bilder, men det får vänta eftersom sötnos inte ladda batteriet i sin digital kamera. Måste därför framkalla filmen först, alla fnissade åt min kameras ljud när jag drog upp filmen i kyrkan…men hallå ni har ju också ägt en sådan kamera bara några år tillbaka 😡

Men ska köpa egen digital kamera på onsdag så jag inte behöver vara beroende av andras kameror.

Har två hobbyprojekt på gångs för att fylla min tid på kvällar och helger;

1. Ska fixa datorn, fläkten låter för mycket och minnet är för dåligt så den är superseg. Ska därför köpa mer minne, rensa bort skit från hårddisken och fixa fläkten. Samt ladda ner bättre program och Skype så jag kan prata med sötnos i Sverige billigare… Lär inte vara så svårt.

2. Om ni fortsätter läsa efter att jag skaffat en kamera så kommer denna att märkas 🙂

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