Sunday, 28 August 2016

NORWAY.... NO WAY!



 Hi folks, I'm back! 
I haven't posted anything over the last few weeks as I've been away on a respite trip to Norway with Hubby, Daughter Number Two and The Hungry boy. Wow! What a country!  
I visited Stavanger many years ago when I was around 13 (athletics exchange trip) and I remember it being a beautiful country from back then, but I have never been back.... until now.... and had forgotten how spectacular a place it really is!

Below you can check out our travel itinerary and some pics from our trip as we flew in to Stavanger  and made our way up to Bergen..... driving, hiking, exploring the fjords and Airbnb(ing) in between. But first this week, however, I felt that I wanted to address the idea of "tunnels" again......
 It's quite ironic actually... given that one of the last post I wrote here on the blog was all about tunnels and my utter dislike/ fear/ anxiety of them. I kind of hadn't prepared my self for the sheer number (and extreme nature of them) as you drive around the fjords in Norway. Doing a driving trip there, you really can't avoid them... unless you go everywhere by boat.
Two of the worst tunnels were as we made our way to Alvadsnes (to a viking village).....one was around 6 km long and the other around 7km.... and you have to drive under the sea for both!
Driving on the roads by the side of the fjords there are tunnel after tunnel..... otherwise there would be no way of getting any further if the road ended at each massive rock. It got me thinking of how tunnels are a necessary, if not extremely useful part of the Norwegian road infrastructure.They get you from A to B the most direct and quickest way. In fact if there were no tunnel and you had to take the "long way" it would be a huge inconvenience for everyone.
After the analogy of tunnels in the previous post,  I had the realization that our tunnels/ trials are actually the quickest .... (may I even say easiest way?) to our destination! Now that may sound odd.... trials being easy? 
NO WAY! 
Trials are hard.... hence the word trial.... we are tried and tested and hopefully emerge stronger and better at the end of each one... more refined and a better human for it. But what if we had no trials/ no tunnels in our lives? We would then have to take the longer route.... maybe the less painful route and definitely the more scenic route....so what's wrong with that?  
Nothing. Sometimes that's exactly what we need... but sometimes it's not.

So when I say "easy", I am not negating the difficulty of "the way" through the tunnel, rather the fact that a tunnel is more practical, utilitarian and quicker..... sometimes you just have to get from A to B in the fastest way possible so you can go somewhere else and move on to the next place!
SO I would invite you to consider as you travel through your own personal tunnels/trials that you are actually going to get where you need to be in a more timely way in the long run! 

Anyhow.... I survived the tunnels...I'm still alive.... and in the end as I look back, they weren't as bad as they seemed while I was traveling though them.... and in the end the gift of "time saved" meant we could actually fit more in on the trip! 
                                                                 : )


If you have always dreamed about going to Norway, or have it on your bucket list of things to do and places to visit.... you may want to scroll below to see our itinerary....




Day 1 -  
Fly in to Stavanger airport, pick up rental car and  drive in to Stavanger town to find Airbnb number 1 (for two nights)
Walk to the harbour through the old town and explore....


Day 2 -  
From Stavanger drive on E39 and then along the Road number 13 (the scenic way) to Lauvik. 
Take the ferry from Lauvik to Oanes and continue on the 13 until signposted to Priekestollen (pulpit rock)
Climb pulpit rock, peer over edge, and drive/ferry back to Stavanger again for the second night! 







Day 3 -
Leave Stavanger and take E39 north. 
Take ferry from Mortavik to Arsvagen. 
Continue on E39  through the two under sea tunnels to Avaldsnes. 
Stop at viking village and Nordvengen History centre.....









.....Drive from Alvadsnes to Dreganesvengen to arrive at Airbnb number two in Dreganes for two nights








 Day 4 -
Drive from Draganes to Vikedal...
Check out waterfalls and climb Skomakarnibba (a less touristy version of Trolltunga)
Drive back to Dreganes for second night and enjoy sunset.






Day 5
Drive from Dreganes to Skanevik and take ferry to Utaker
Drive from Utaker to Rosendal to arrive at Airbnb number 3 for three nights
....stopping along the way for swimming and food.





Day 6 - 
Explore Rosendal 
Walk up to the waterfall and take a dip in one of the pools
Walk to Barony Rosendal and look around and eat at the Greenhouse 
Walk around the stein park (stone park)
Build a dam in the river for hours!





Day 7 - 
Hire sea canoes and mess around on the fjord for a few hours.
Drive to Sundal to walk up to the glacier...stopping off to see waterfalls along the way.
Drive back to Rosendal for third night.





Day 8 - 
Drive from Rosendal to Arsnes.
Take ferry from Arsnes to Gjerdmunshamn.


....Drive from Gjerdmunshamn to Venjaneset and take ferry to Hatvik.


 .....Drive from Hatvik to Bergen.



Take the Fløibanen funicular up to the view point on Mount Floyen and eat lunch taking in the view.
Walk back down the three kilometers to Bergen Harbour and look around the Old Town.
Drive to Bergen airport and fly back home. 








I just loved Norway...it's amazingly peaceful and around every turn of the road you see mountains, sea, fjords, lakes and waterfalls and it's  the perfect hikers paradise. The weather was even in our favour for most of our trip and we got the bug to go back and explore some more in the future.  
I hope the pictures have tempted you to go organise your next trip and I hope you get the opportunity to visit somewhere special real soon .....

Jx

Friday, 12 August 2016

Heni's sensory bags





This week I have been away with The Hungry Boy on a day, night, day trip while hubby is out of the country and daughter number two is on a youth camp (I'll tell you all about our adventures in a future Making Memories and traditions post) AND, I'm also trying to get ready to go away on an upcoming respite trip to Norway without Heni. So you could say I've been a bit busy and preoccupied..... which has left me with no time to do much else... including writing a post!
  So today is going to be a real quick  and easy one.....I am going to be showing you a few of the themed sensory/play bags that I made for Heni to be used in conjunction with her 21st "birthday mural". I thought the bird and flower theme from the mural could be carried on with some prop/toys. 

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Tunnels



  A few weeks ago we were away in Devon on a family holiday. Heni came with us (along with two carers).... and my son and daughter in law flew in from America to join us for a  part of it. It was lovely to escape the crowds, enjoy the beach and sea... spend some time as a family... and also celebrate Heni's 21st birthday. 

On one of Heni's "stay in" days we visited a really novel places called "Tunnels Beaches" in Ilfracombe....

Friday, 29 July 2016

Sanity Space - Heni's birthday mural (Part 2)




I'm so glad that you could join me this week for the second part of Heni's 21st birthday "surprise project". As you have probably guessed by now, it's an outside mural which is going to brighten up a dreary deck and be an area in which Heni can go explore some of her toys and sensory bits and pieces.
 Last week in part 1, I showed you how Hubby and I made the huge picture frame that was to become the canvas, and I  also gave you a sneak peak of the flamingo  below...




This week I am going to show you some of the various stages and changes to the project so that you can see how it progressed and took shape throughout the 7 afternoons that it took to complete! 

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

21 today!




 21 Today! 

I thought I would just quickly add a few pictures from the beach yesterday (of the birthday girl in her early birthday pressie hat) for you to take a peek at. 




Saturday, 16 July 2016

Sanity Space - Heni's 21st "Surprise" Birthday Project (Part 1)


It's  going to be Heni's 21st birthday next week..... a very special milestone in hers, and our lives...... AND it's  also a day that I never pictured or envisaged we would ever reach.  To celebrate and mark the occasion, one of the things I wanted to do was to give her a gift in to which had gone a little thought... something that required some sweat equity, some time and a lot of love.
 ......and so for the last few months I have been dreaming up ideas, planning away and working on a project that I thought she would really like

Last year we transformed an old trampoline in to a swinging teepee tent, and this year I had ambitions to make over another section of the garden that has been unloved and neglected.... a deck at the back of the house that hardly gets used and has a boring brick wall at the end of it (a by product of our neighbour's extension). In my minds eye, I had a plan to hide the ugly wall and in doing so make it a fun bright area for Heni to go outside and use and enjoy on nice weather days.

Hubby helped me with the first part of the project (today's blog post) and a friend of mine helped me on part 2 (coming real soon!)

I enlisted Hubby for his wood working skills (and of course his state of the art power tools and truck to collect materials!)

Friday, 8 July 2016

Maintenance






This week has been a busy one...I've not had the time to write a (proper) blog post as I have been occupied finishing a few projects I've had on the go..... but mainly my week seems like it's been spent on maintaining lots of things.

The paint has been peeling off the deck and so it got a new coat of paint.... 
The weeds are growing like.... well ...weeds.... and I've been trying to keep on top of them....
The shower sprung a leak upstairs and damaged Heni's bedroom ceiling below and we had the plumber round  trying to fix it....
...and I've also been striving to keep on top of exercise and health matters... hoping to maintain the ground I have managed to achieve and not go backwards (given the lack of energy I have had to put in to it).
It seems like this weeks lesson (for me) has been one of "continual upkeep".... so hence a few last minute ramblings about it!

It is a natural occurrence for things to start to decay and go backwards. It doesn't matter what subject you can think of...(homes, bodies, relationships etc).. without continual effort, conservation, nurturing, preservation of whatever we come across ... most things will begin to fall apart. 
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