Monday, October 27, 2008

Paragliding at the coast

After all the travelling I’ve done lately, I have lots of things to do – write a number of stories and produce the next issue of Hypoxia to mention a few.

But looking out today, I realized the weather is to good to stay indoors. And when the forecasts were predicting good winds for paragliding at Wijk aan Zee, nothing could hold me back.

So I took the train and bus out the coast. The sun was shining and the wind was westerly. But there were lots of it. Up to 40 km/h in the gusts. I did manage to make two very short flights, but most of the time I was just waiting for the wind to drop a bit (which it didn’t).

Yet, it was a lovely day by the sea with lots of fresh air. And I had fun, listening to downloaded Swedish radio programs, “Sommar I P1”.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Heron action in de Pijp

What a nice Sunday. We took a long stroll in the fresh weather, all the way to de Pijp. After a few hours, we got hungry and sat down at the terrace of the Paardje Bar (the little horse it means).
While sipping a glass of red, we were surprised by a huge heron landing on the roof of a car just next to us. Only in Amsterdam! The photos is taken with my mobile, apologies for the low quality.

BTW, the food was really good, which surprised us – the bar looked more bary than restaruanty. I also met three Swedish guys in the bar, that live here in Amsterdam. Nice to hear some skånska again!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Four years of love

This is a special day for Femke and me. Four years ago, we met as election observers in Kosovo. It’s been a wonderful time, and the best part of it is that this is just the beginning!

The photos are from when we met.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Yara in Amsterdam!

Today, we were in for a real surprise. Our dear friend Yara from Bir Zeit in Palestine came to visit us with a mutual friend. Yara was Femke’s closest college at ANERA, they even shared the same room at the office, so it was really nice to see her and Amer. We went out for a few beers here in Amsterdam, enjoying each-others company.

With a bit of luck, we can meet them again in Belgium in a few weeks, Amer has an exhibition of his work there.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Pintxos-munching in San Sebastian

San Sebastian is an old world beach resort of the more posh kind. Or it used to be. It is still a very pleasant place though, and foremost, it is the epicentre of the pintxos culture.
Naturally, we did our very best to taste our way through the maze of pintxos bars in the old city, something that one should probably not do everyday, desirable as it is.

We also visited a private gastronomical club, and of course the local market.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Northern coast

Today, we picked up a rental car and drove East along the coast. But first, I wanted to take a look at a very odd bridge in the mouth of the Bilbao estuary. Fascinating stuff.

Stopping in small fishing villages for pintxos lunch, we finally arrived to our little design hotel (called, Erba, newly opened) just outside the fishing port of Mutriku. A really cool place.

For dinner, we drove to the next village, where we feasted on angler’s fish (also know as monk fish, marulk in Swedish and zeeduivel in Dutch).

Then, we fell asleep to the soothing sound of Atlantic waves.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Food and design in Bilbao

Still in Bilbao, strolling around in summer weather and having a good time. Today, we visited the Guggenheim Museum, which is as gorgeous on the inside as it is externally. The exhibitions are not as cool (with some exceptions, like the huge plates of steel, shaped in to curvy figures), it is the house that’s the masterpiece here.

In the evening, we dined at the Michelin-starred Etxanobe Restaurant, a fascinating experience. Most odd was the “potato cloud”.

We polished off the evening with some more bars, for my cocktail story of course. What else?