Sunday, 16 November 2014

Speed Drawing Sophie Elise!

Chaplin Tour!

So after all these tours...Harry Potter, Jack the Ripper...I was really happy to hear from a Norwegian friend of mine that he and his wife was coming for a short trip to London, and particularly to check our Charlie Chaplin sights. I'm a huge fan of Chaplin, so he invited me to come along. He had organized the whole route we should take and the sights and had it all under control, but we still had to find the places that to us Norwegian, seemed to look so much alike. All the houses have the same colour and sometimes it's difficult to separate one street from the other. Good thing he had a map. He had also printed out some photos of Chaplin when he visited there places himself at an old age. He wanted to re-create First place was where Charlie saw his father for the last time. Then we continued to the other locations which were a place he used to live and where his mother used to work when they were really poor. We had some trouble figuring out where this factory was. Now it seems, there's a film museum in the building, and in November there a Chaplin festival there. I might have to check that out. We then went to another house, where his father used to live, and where Charlie used to stand outside in the evenings looking at the street entertainers. We went to yet ANOTHER home after that. This one had some signs mentioning him, as well as a little garden plant dedicated to him. Strange. But kinda cute. We ended the tour with checking out the apartment where he was born (yes, they moved around a lot!), before heading towards the center for some shopping and a bite to eat. It was a really nice experience!

Monday, 10 November 2014

A walk down memory lane...

On Saturday, we went to Paddington station and Notting Hill. We went to what used to be The Hempel Hotel, where we met Michael Jackson in 2006. It was nice to be there, although it was under renovation, and we don't really know if it will have it's same look when it's done. It would have been nice to go inside the lobby, where we met him. We continued on towards the center, through Kensington Gardens first, to check out the Peter Pan statue and such. While stopping in Hyde Park for a snack, we saw a blonde woman on roller ski's. Hege and I spoke in Norwegian, and true enough, the woman HAD to be Norwegian too! No other people are crazy enough to ski all year around! We walked around the center for a while. Visited the Disney store, a horrible Chinese restaurant, and ended up trying something called "Bubble Tea". I've heard people talking about if ever since I came here, and so felt the need to test it out. I went for a simple flavour; mint chocolate. I absolutely HATED it. There is nothing I enjoy about it, and least of all the disgusting little balls of whatever it is inside, that makes you feel like your sucking up bunny poo through a straw. No thanks.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Visits from Norway!

So last week my friend Hege came over from Norway to visit me. I always love to get company and she is a good one! She came on Wednesday evening so late that in reality, we didn't expect to be able to much that day. The day after Hege went in to the center of London while I went to school. We met up after school, went to the the chineese restaurant I like for dinner and walked around the town until we were pretty tired. We walked for a long time actually, before going back home and relax. On Friday our class had a gallery trip. I asked the teacher if Hege could come as well which was no problem. I actually really liked that gallery round, some galleries more than others of course, but found a new painter that I really like now: Jonas Burgert. After the gallery trip, we had an appointment to go on a Jack the Ripper tour that I had arranged since it was Halloween. We went to the Tower of London where we were supposed to meet, but we couldn't find our group. After a long time, trying to find out where they were we gave up and decided to do our own sightseeing. Then they called me and told me where they were! I'm super happy about that, 'cause it was really a lot of fun! We had a really good guide that was quite theatrical, who brought the Halloween spirit to us. We walked around the street and places that Jack the Ripper roamed, and at one point we even sat on a bench that was placed on top of where his 3rd known victim was found. Spooky! The dark alleyways was probably the places where I could imagine the time and era best. The above photo is one of these alleyways, where I'm posing like how the ladies of that time would do for the men passing by. After the tour, we decided to walk around the neighbourhood a bit more, before going home to watch a scary film...which we never did.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Artist vlog #1!

I have Instagram!

OK, so admit it: I have Instagram now. And I'm all right with it. Search for gegauff.

London Comic Con!

Last weekend was a blast! I met the Rebel Legion UK and the UK Garrison for the London Comic Con! I met some of them the weekend before, when they had a troop at Heathrow hotel for some ill children, but this would be the first time I would troop myself. I had to get up really early 5:30 to be exact, and head towards the centre. I met up with another trooper at Waterloo train station, which was good, so that I could make sure I would find the place. We got to the ExCel event area and changed pretty fast so that we could be out in costume for the people in the line, getting in. I had my Padme Arena Battle outfit, as it is the one that takes the least space...go There was some really cool costumes from the UK Garrison an Rebel Legion UK! I spend the whole weekend at Comic Con, and even bought some really cool Rebel head phones! I was a bit disappointed when I heard that Daniel Radcliffe had passed our changing room on Friday and met the RL and 501st members that were there. I would have LOVED to be there then! Just to get a better idea of the great costumes and the SIZE of the con, I share this video with you! I'm at ca. 5:00

Harry Potter Muggles Tour!

Monday two weeks ago (yes, it's tough to get time to updates sometimes), I went on the last Fresher's event which was also the one I had been waiting for! I went to the city center with some friends from my class to join the Harry Potter Muggles Tour. We all met up by the tube station London Bridge. From there we went in between some really cool alleys and small streets to find some hidden locations where part of the Harry Potter series had been filmed. Prisoner of Azkaban and The Order of the Phoenix was two of the films in question. Also the place where Bridget Jones lived was on the way. I don't actually have a lot of pics from this event, because it was so dark. It was part of the fun though, and made the tour mysterious and interesting. If you ever have the chance to go, I can definitely recommend it!

Friday, 17 October 2014

School projects are finally happening!

I think the first week has been a bit exhausting for all students. Lots of information and no creativity. This week we finally got our first project. It's quite elaborate, and being an artist who doesn't do a lot of sketching before starting on the piece, this will be a big learning experience. We have spent a couple of days "drifting" around London to take in the city and make it inspire us. Now for some research on psychogeography, which is the theme of the project. It's very interesting, but something new to me, so I find myself reading the brief over and over again to make sure I got it right. I think also the freedom we have, might actually confuse me a little, as I know it has done with other classmates as well. But tomorrow it's time for sketching!

Freshers week!

Freshers week is the first week of University, where we have a lot of social things going on and get to meet other students. It was a really cool week, although I didn't participate in all the events as they are all optional. I think some of my favourite things to attend was the "Make your own perfume" event and the "Global Day". For the first, I went to a UAL college in the center to be part of this, where we would learn about perfume and try out some typical scents before making our own. Naturally, being the perfume fan that I am, I had to be there. It was really cool. The teacher managed to make it interesting, eventhough there was quite a bit of history involved. In the very end, we got a lot of small bottles with typical pre-blended bases to mix together. I ended up with a pretty sweet but fresh summer scent. The Global Day was actually on Monday this week. It was organized by the Student Union and was supposed to be sort of a small get together/festival celebrating the diversity of the students of the University. There was a Caribbean Society booth, a Indian booth, an Islamic Society booth and some fun things your could to. I was a bit disappointed by how small it was, I had hoped it would have more countries represented and be bigger in general. There was some cool food and drink from the different countries though, and the pizza served at the end made it all worth it. But the best part of the evening was that I made a bunch of new friends! After the event we were group of 2 Japanese, 2 South Korean, 1 Russian student and myself heading for the pub to hang out. Lots of fun, and totally worth checking out the social events only for that!

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Merry Christmas!

I think I write a blog entry about this every year. THIS year Christmas has really started too early. Again. But I mean...TOO EARLY! I started noticing some Christmas cards, small stuff creeping into the stores in late August already. I thought "can't be" and sort of ignored it, like a nagging child. Doesn't deserve my attention I thought. But oh boy did that release the fury! Christmas is now everywhere! Advent calendars, chocolate, gift wrapping paper, tree decorations and signs saying "make sure you get it all in time"! I've even seen a TV commercial already! IT'S THE BEGINNING OF OCTOBER! The funny part is that I've talked to some people working in the stores here about it, and all of them are really disgusted by it. Everyone is, even those who love Christmas. It's funny how the big businesses are shoving Christmas down your throat, and we buy it, grabbing on to ANYTHING that will give us that warm Christmas feeling and spirit we crave for. Ironic. They are the ones who are taking it away from us. Only to sell it back for profit.

Finally enrolled to University!

Last week, after a lot of fixing papers and such details, I got enrolled to the University of the Arts London! But not without new problems. Simo and I showed up at the Chelsea College of Arts in the morning, and I went for enrollment. There were a lot of students there naturally, and all seemed a bit unsure and lonely in the moment. As soon as it was my turn the bad news came. I needed a paper (that I didn't have) to prove that I had applied for scholarship. They were already dismissing me, asking me to come back the week after. After so many minor things going slow during this long process, I really pushed. In the end the guy that was enrolling me was really nice and took the (over)time to go a bit of a different route to get it all done. I am now happy to say that I'm a student again!

Kew Gardens!

So Simo and I decided to check out one last garden, a little bit outside the center of London. We didn't really know much about it, only that we had to take the train there. When we arrived to the area it was super cozy; small shop and sort of calm compared to the city. The only weird thing was that it was so close to the airport that the planes were landing nearby and making a racket every 10 minutes or so. We had a drink before we went to the gardens. To our (especially mine) huge disappointment you had to pay to get in, and not a small price either; 16 pounds! I almost didn't want to go in then, but Simo sort of "made" me by paying for me. I guess I can be a bit cheap that way. And I'm really glad he did. It was really nice. We went for a walk all around the garden, which is huge, before we went to a high walk way over the trees where you could see all over the park. After that we went to the palace, that I didn' know was there! That was a really nice surprise as I love history, art and all that kind of things! We went inside and checked out all the rooms, the kitchen and servants quarter. Although this is a really small palace from royal standards, that was part of the charm really. The garden was also really nice, with interesting details like a statue of the devil. After a long day already, and no food, we went to the cafe/restaurant in the park. I have to say that that was a really big disappoinment. Really cold service, too expensive, noisy and dirty inside. Didn't impress me much. We headed to our last stop before leaving the park; the huge greenhouse holding rare and exotic plants as well as a small aquarium on the lower floor. All in all it was really worth the trip. And maybe even the price.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Museums and walks.

On the 23rd we went to the Natural History Museum. It's one of those type of museums I always like to visit wherever I go. This place looked like it was taken out of Harry Potter and it was so cool! There was lots of interesting things to check out from dinosaurs, weird marine animals to how the body work. It was a really awesome place and I highly recommend it, especially if you have a children with you. After the museum we did some more sightseeing around the place and passed Royal Albert Hall amongst some places. We ended up around Kensington Gardens again and decided to grab something to eat before going home. Another successful day.

Arrived in London!

Again the blog hasn't exactly been a priority to be for the last few weeks as I have been moving to London. I will try to write some blog posts about the different things I've done so far here. So on the Sunday 21st of September Simo and I arrived in London pretty early. We took the day to check out the neighbourhood around my school and just relax and take it easy. Since Simo hasn't been here in many years we decided to spent the time he's here on some sightseeing. As I'm kind of a Peter Pan fan and Simo loves gardens and parks, we spent the Monday in Kensington Gardens. We first saw the Kensington Palace, which is a place the royalty still likes to hang out in, especially Kate I hear (oh yeah, I'm SO into the royalty...not). It was very nice with a museum inside. But the garden of course is the thing. We worked ouselves down to the Peter Pan statue. It's beautiful, with faeries and things going on everywhere, and of course Wendy and Tinkerbell. I can really see this garden being inspirational for J.M Barrie, the writer of Peter Pan. After checking out the statue, we continued down to Hyde Park aad beyond. A whole day on nature on a very noisy and busy city. Lovely.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Robin Williams speed painting video... finally up on YouTube. But you can watch it here.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Robin Williams painting is finished!

I am finally able to show you my new Robin Williams painting here. I'm very proud of this one, and I will definitely do more stuff in this style in the future! Enjoy! Video will be up soon!

Thursday, 11 September 2014

My poor sick puppy...OK, computer!

And right now, when I had so many interesting updates - finally, to share with and all! No, truths, my computer has been acting kinda badly for a while. It's been shutting off all of a sudden by itself, overheating and in general prved to be a pain in the ass. It's not old either, not even two years, but for some reason it's suicidal. So i had a 3 year deal with the place I bought it from that I can deliver it there to get it cleaned. I also bought an external hard drive that I will move most of my stuff to soon. So Simo and I delivered the computer to Gigantti last week for a little health check. Luckily, I must say, both of us got sick right after, so the seperation anxiety hasn't been too bad...whenever I wanted to surf I've been using my iPad which i rarely so, since I "only" use it as my art portfolio and tool. So anyway, that is the reason why the last few updates is without any pictures. I haven't firgured out how to add them here with my iPad yet Tomorrow i will pick up my computer, and then I have some nice things toshare with you.

IELTS test.

So the big day of the IELTS test had arrived! I am normally so nervous to get too late to things like thiso I got up early and arrived at the school it was helt at in good time. Of course then you have to wait for a while too, but that's worth it. The test started at 10.00 and there were lots of nervous people waiting. We had to leave all our belongings (they were super strict) in a locked room before waiting to go in to the class rooms. We were then plit into two groups and let it where the test was held. Very formal. First was the listening test. Easy at first, but to the end of it quite difficult. I heard later on that many people had trouvle with this one. We had to listen to a conversation and answer questions about it. They were speaking so fast that it was difficult to keep up. Let's see how that went. That's the one I'm most worried about. Then was the reading test. Kinda the same; we read a text and had to answer questionns. Some of them felt like trick questions, but I think that one went well. At the end was the writing test. We got two topics that we needed tl write about. The topics in itself sas not really things I knew about, but since that's not really the point, but the spelling, I rambled on. I think that went well. I've practised rambling on in here. ;)

IELTS Speaking Test.

The day after I came back from London I had a English test that all International students have to go through if they get into a University in England. I was lucky to find out that the part of the test that was speaking sas on a different day as the rest as I didn't know that before just a few days before going to London. So I went to the Finnbrit office in Helsinki to take the test. Since I've spoken English as my main language for the last 11 years now, I wasn't very nervous, but I got a little surprised by the questions the interviewer asked me. She opened the interview with just normal questions about me and asked me if there was something that I do ib life that is good for me, like a hobby or something. I said the gym, and she asked ne a buch of questions about health, health in politics, what shoes I wear etc. It was a bit odd, but actually also really fun! I felt like the speaking test went really well. Let's see about the rest the day after...

I got an idea...

...of the eare of while I'll live in in London for 3 years now. I'm very happy (and lucky) with the appartment, and I just love the area! We spent the last day here with walking it a bit more, checking out some stores and things. Found a really nice organic restaurant and some cool galleries, as well aswhat will be my local gym and cinema just around the corner. I feel a bit more ready to start my new studies here now.

Strolling around my new town.

I hoped to be able to check out my school while we were in London, but alas - there was no time for the people there as it's in the end of the year for the Masters students. So we decided to use our days sightseeing instrad, which I don't really mind. Mammy and I went to the British Museum, something I have always dreamt of as I am a huge museum geek! I was a bit disappointed though, because they were saying that they had 8 mummies on display. I am also a huge ancient Egypt geek and was of course thriller to see some dead corpsesn display. To my great sadness though, they were all wrapped and I couldn't see their beautiful faces. Wedidn't stay so long as we were both really hungry. We went on a restaurant hunt around the area and ended up in a really noisy place that was supposed to be Spanish, but served mostly pasta. Mammy was unfortunate to get a glimpse of the disgusting kitchen while going to the barhroom (yes it was directly and smelly on the other side of it) and OFF WE WENT, to search for another place. After a bit of searching we found a really nice Chinese restaurant that was clean and inviting. And lots of Asian people! That must be a good sign! Full and content, we decided to go wherever the road would take us and ended inside another museum: The National Portrait Museum. Really cool. When it closed we took in the architecture and art all around us and found...BIG BEN! I didn't care about the huge blister I had on my foot (the other side of the SAME foot that had a broken toe), I just had to take some pictures and walk around the area a bit. After realizing it was time to get back home we hit the metro and ended a nice evening with some indian left overs.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Hello London!

So last Monday Mammy (my granmother) and I went to London to check out a potential appartment for my year of studying art. I have only been in London once before - in 2006 when Hege and I went to see The World Music Awards and gor do lucky as to meet Michael Jackson twice! We arrived at Gatwick airport, me, limping on one crutch...getting all the benefitsof being...well, severely injured. The customs and all wnet quick and I was delighted to have the chance to explain to my granmother what they were doing to her luggage after watching hours of airport security reality shows while painting. We arrived to the appartment after a trainride from the airport that wasn't too complicated at all. The appartment was perfect; 12 minutes from the school and on the other side of a big grocery store, cinema and gym. Lots of nice restaurants too, like Indian which we got to experience that evening. And although it's expenisive to live in London, the food is pretty cheap. At least for a Norwegian.

I've been holding a secret... I'm not pregnant! Which it seems like is the only secret a woman can hold sometimes. No, this one is about education. I have been accepted in to the University of the Arts London for their Bachelor of Fine Arts programme in Painting. I haven't written about my applyind and planning for school in this blog, because I somehow would like to keep that kinda thing to a select few until I get in. I applied to 5 schools this year and this one was the one I was really hoping to get in to, so I'm very happy about that. So I will be moving to London for at least 3 years for my BA and the get the Masters when I'm done - God knows where. I realized that i order to do the kind of art and be the artist I would like to be, I needed education. At least in Scandinavia that kind of thing is very black and white unfortunately. But you can never learn enough anyway.

Friday, 5 September 2014

"Hook" movie night.

Last Sunday I had arranged to have a movie night showing "Hook", the movie that made me a "fan" of Robin Williams. Our movie club started early, since Hege had to leave in the early afternoon. Although she had seen it before, I thought it was nice to show it while she was still here. So the girls came around 12, and we managed to start the movie around 13.00 with the help of some dark sheets over the bright light through the windows. As expected, there were a few tears at the end of the movie, but I have to say that it was a perfect end to a really nice weekend with friends.

More celebration!

So last Saturday was another day of celebration Michael Jackson, as Hege and I headed to the center to meet up the other MJ fans for the annual birthday picnic at Suomenlinna island. We went to have a little Chinese food (SO back to the 80's!) before frantically limping our way to the harbour just in time to make the boat over to the island. We met old and some new fans, some very young, which I think is always nice. It's also really refreshing as an old fan to see the sparkle in their eyes when they talk about Michael. Ah, those were the days. After hanging or at the island for a while, Hege and I had to do some shopping before the stores closed so we headed back to shore, before meeting our friends again later for a drink and a good time. As always a wonderful day to celebrate the King of Pop!

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Broken and repaired!

OK, so lots of things has happened lately and I haven't even told you about it! Last weekend, on Friday, my friend Hege ccame to visit me from Norway. I was pretty much cleaning the whole day, and probably half an hour before she arrived I kicked my living room table so hard that I broke my little toe! We have all kicked a corner of something and can relate to the pain - but this was so painful that I couldn't stop crying. As soon as Hege arrived, we decided that I should go to the emergency to check it out. So it seemed that my toe was really broken and they gave me a pair of crutches to use for a while. They also told me that it shouldn't take more than 3 weeks to get well as the bones are so small and easily repaired. If this would be all, and I could be home and rest there would be no problem really, but that day (and the reason why Hege came over) was Michael Jackson's birthday, and Hard Rock Cafe in Helsinki had organized a party that evening. Not going there was not really an option as we had been looking forward to this for a long time. So we limped our way over to Hard Rock Cafe to meet our fellow MJ friends. So we ate a dinner at the restaurant which was a little disappointing to be honest. Really high prices and very mediocre food. The good thing though was that the Coca-Cola was refill as any times as you wanted. I really took advantage of that for real. They played a lot of MJ music videos on the screens and even had a band playing his music in one part of the restaurant. When we finished our meal, there was a look-alike competition over at the stage and bar area which was really fun to watch. During the evening there were several bands and singers doing some Michael songs, and I don't know if it was the way the sound was rigged or what, but it seemed like they were all singing a bit off key. There was one band called Lee Angel that were absolutely amazing though! I remember saying to a friend "they have long hair. They GOTTA be good!" And I was right. They sang "Ain't No Sunshine" from Michael was little and it blew my mind. When the musical entertainment was over it was time to end the night with watching the Dangerous Tour in Bucharest on the big screen there. A really cool celebration, that I hope they would do next year as well.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Nicki Minaj - the prostitute of pop.

I just saw the new music video by Nicki Minaj "Anaconda". I rarely talk about music and things like that on my blog, but of course, this one was rather difficult not to notice. And not in a good way either, because although she has good perfumes, I will never buy one again as a gift. Shocking video and behaviour? Not so much - I'm a child of the 80's. Disgusting? Yes. I'm just really thinking why they don't just use those bananas for their obvious purpose - as dildo's and get it over with. That is where it's heading anyway, isn't it? Her main audience is 10+ year old girls. Great. (I'm not even gonna post the video here - my blog is not a trashcan.)

Autumn Exhibition 2014!

So I have been accepted by an art jury to be part of the "Autumn Exhibition" in Gjøvik, Norway from 6th to 28th of September. This is my 3rd year in a row, and of course very good for my CV and reputation as a local artist there, especially since it's juried. The painting they accepted is one of my personal favourites: "Free Lunch for Musketeers".

Painting and visits!

So ever since my last blog entry, I have been painting on the Robin Williams painting. It should be done this weekend, and I will of course share it with you. This past week I've had my little brother Henrik on a visit. It's been a long time since last time I've seen him - last time I was in Norway I think, so it was nice. We went out to eat (a bit more than I would like) and tried to enjoy the weather as much as possible. Board games has been another favourite too. We also went to see the film "Lucy" by Luc Besson. I have to say that that was the most interesting and refreshing film I've seen in a long time, and I highly recommend it to any sci-fi or fantasy lover!

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

R.I.P. Robin Williams.

I've been a huge fan of Robin Williams since I was a child, and can safely say that he is one of my all time favourite actors. Needless to say that I was shocked when I learned that he died this morning. The day has been surreal. I have cried, called people, watched "Hook", and the done what is the best therapy for me; started a painting of him. I was planning to take a late summer holiday now, and not paint for while, but these are the times when emotion and inspiration demands attention. So here we are. R.I.P. Robin. We will miss you. Thank you for the laughter.

Speed Painting "The Dance"

Here you have my newest painting as a speed painting video. I have gotten permission from the well known photographer Peter Lindbergh to use one of his photos of Natalie Portman taken for Vogue as a reference photo for this piece. I added some butterflies and changed her face a little. Enjoy!

How to paint butterflies.

A little video of how to paint butterflies, taken from the bigger painting called "The Dance". Enjoy!

A doggone day!

Last Friday Simo and I did what we do every year - go to the annual dog show in Helsinki. This year was a bit different though, because it's usually in the winter. We found out that this is not the annual Finnish dog show, but the main dog show for all Europe, so we were of course exited about that. We decided to go on Friday, even though the expo was the whole weekend, because Simo's favourite dog; Kangal dog was going to be showed that day. It's a pretty rare breed, and the fact that there was only 2 of them at the whole show says it all. After the dog show Simo went to work and I went home to prepare for my MJ movie club friends to come over and watch a film. This time it was "Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf" with Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor showing. The girls liked it, although it is a very intense film to watch. Truly some of Elizabeth Taylor's best acting! I highly recommend it, especially for film and theatre lovers.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Monday, 14 July 2014

Speed Painting Viking Chief.

Here is my new painting! I'm very happy with it!

Stevie Wonder concert!

When Hege, Laura and I went to the Aerosmith concert, we saw that Stevie Wonder was gonna come to Helsinki in July for a festival. I was sad that I couldn't afford it at that time, and Hege gave me the wonderful birthday gift of a ticket! I was so happy as he is one of the very few artist that I have on a very short list of who I want to see live in concert. And I wasn't disappointed... As you might see on the picture, we were pretty far in front and saw very well. We were lucky enough that be able to get that spot, when people moved around a lot during the shows - it was a festival. Of course the other bands where more like warming up bands for Stevie Wonder. The area had lots of food and stuff and it was pretty nice actually. I haven't stood at a concert for years (because I'm so short), but this was no problem. I think also the crowd was mellow although very excited also. Stevie was in a really good mood, cracking lots of jokes and messing with us. It was fun how he made us his "Stevie Wonder Choir of Helsinki" and a lot of the concert was sing a long. That made it very personal and he had a great way to connect with his audience. It was very interesting to see him move and how he gets around on stage without help. A few times he needed it, but his whole face changed when he had to get from A to B and you saw his concentration. He did all his big hits of course, and even some other songs not of him, which I think is really cool. It was definitely a night that I will never forget!

Bye bye Nice!

The last day in Nice was a day of panic shopping for friends and family as well as trying to relax (after shopping). We pretty much walked around in the old town looking for suitable gifts and things - I bought a table cloth, since Simo is always embarrassed by the state of our dining table which I use as my painting table...I also ended up with a nice antique ring after hanging out in an antique store. We decided to go to bed kinda early, as we've had some trouble sleeping with all the crazy football people hollering in the streets and things. Also we had to get up at 6.00 in the morning to make our flights the next day. So long Nice - for now.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Meeting friends in Nice!

The day after we came back from Monaco we planned to meet a friend of mine, Dennis. When I wrote on Facebook that I was going to Nice, he was like "me too" and we had hung out together at Legoland just the weekend before. Fun! So we met him by the beach and showed him around a bit, since he had never been to Nice. His family were also there as his brother was going to run the Ironman triathon type of thing...incredible! So we walked around the main sights by the old town, up to the Chateau and checking out the narrow streets. We were all a bit disappointed that after the hot and steep walk "up the mountain" to the Chateau, it was nothing more than the smallers of ruins, barely visible. Ah well, we cooled down by the waterfall on the way down. We ended up in the Old Town again, walking around before we decided to get some goodies from a chinese take away place. We bough a bunch of goodies and headed home to relax and eat before Dennis had to go back home. All in all a really nice and relaxing day.

Daytrip to Monaco!

We decided early on that we would take the bus ride costing 1.50 Euro to Monaco. You can't miss that can you? We got up early on the 25th of June and went towards the bus station, grabbing breakfast nearby and on the go. The bus station was PACKED. We actually didn't get on the first bus and so we waited for the next. When we were in the line and almost entering the bus, some rude guy came sneaked in front of us. I said to him to move and kinda made a deal about it (all people were irritated by it) and he completely ignored it. When he was going to get on the bus, there were travel guides of some sort there for questions and such, and I told them he was sneaking. It because a big deal and they stood arguing with him for quite a while until he got to the back of the line. We sat down and as the people got on and we looked outside, we saw that the he did the same thing again. Of course nobody did anything, and this time he got on. Oh, and sat down next to us. Aaaaakward... So the trip to Monaco was really nice. Lots of nice scenery and nature. It was a little bit difficult to know when to get off so we went a bit too far and had to walk a bit back by the road and the beach, something I didn't mind as I like to walk and see things. After checking the water temperature on this small beach, we continued walking and found a much bigger one where there were restaurants and small shops. We had a tasty luch there - chevre salad, and got the first shock of the prices. But then again - not worse than Norway really. We continued on our journey, and the closer we got to the center of Monte Carlo, the more shocked we were by it's appearance. It was messy - buildings being build everywhere, and not it it's right place it seemed. Lots of expensive designer stores everywhere, and ugly dirty high buildings in the mix of it. The ghetto meets Dior. Everywhere. The only place that looks nice was the royal palace on the hill and that's where we headed. Up there it was green and flowery...and clean. We checked out the palace and the "old town" that was similar to the one in Nice, but MUCH more touristy, with t-shirts and fridge magnets. We headed to the Oceanographic Museum. It cost 14 Euros to get in. It was pretty cool to see, but I wasn't very impressed with the small space the animals seemed to have. In Monaco, I expected more. Don't know why really. We decided to head home. We found the bus stop, and again the bus was so full that we didn't get a spot on it, so we had a drink at the cafe next to it before getting a place on the next one. All in all an interesting day, and don't regret it, but I don't think I will go to Monte Carlo again. Not impressive.