If you come to Norway in May and you happen to be there on May 17th, you will notice that there is something special going on. There will be parades, there are people wearing strange outfits, teenagers running around in blue and red overalls etc. 17th of May if Norway’s Constitution Day and it is one of the most important holidays. The special outfits that people are wearing on this day is called Bunad and it is a traditional Norwegian dress and it comes in different versions depending on where in the country you are from. Stavanger Expats has written this article about May 17th and the “russ” – the “russ” are the kids running around in red and blue overalls and this marks the end of 13 years of schooling. You can also find an article here about the history, the outfits, the parades etc.
gardkarlsen.com – trip reports and pictures
Nikki and I went to Bologna in Italy this summer. We first spent a few days in the city itself and stayed at Hotel Touring (see the hotel review here) in the city center. After that we changed hotel to Savhotel located just a bit out of the city center and we rented a car and we had some road trips to places like Ferrara, Ravenna and Modena. I have now posted the trip report with photos, videos, maps etc. on this page. I hope that it can be of some use to others that are going to Bologna and the surrounding area.
If you want to have an idea about eating out in Bologna you can also check out this section of the trip report . As you will see, there are lots of good restaurants and LOTS of good food to be eaten in this city. I have also made this interactive Bologna Google map that shows the location of the restaurants and attractions that we went to.
Well, there it is…hope that you guys will enjoy it. As always, let me know if you see something that needs to be corrected or fixed in the trip report. Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions or comments and I’ll do my best to answer.
http://gardkarlsen.com – trip reports and pictures
News.com.au brings a story about the most stunning structures in the world. You can check out the photos in this article. I have been lucky enough to visit places like the Great wall of China (see the China trip report), Machu Picchu (see the Peru trip report), Angkor Wat (see the Siem Reap trip report), the Eiffel tower (see the Paris trip report), the Chrysler building (see the NYC trip report) but I still have structures like the pyramides and Taj Mahal to look forward to
As we are getting close to the end of 2009 it is time to make a bit of summary of the year. How was the travel year 2009? It has been a pretty exciting year for me as I have got to visit new places and I have also revisited places that I have been to before. It has also been an exciting year when it comes to just the flying bit – in total I had almost 50 flights and in total it was over 100.000 km (or 155 hours in the air).
I stopped by Amsterdam in March and I have been there on vacation before. But I have to admit that I had totally forgotten how charming this town really is. This time I did not get to see and do anything more or less but I have been tempted to re-visit this city on vacation in the future.
In April it was time for a brand new experience – a trip with the relative new Airbus A380. Yes, this is the plane with two floors and I had the pleasure of flying it from London to Dubai on Emirates Airlines. I have posted pictures and videos of the flight experience on http://gardkarlsen.com/blog/?p=31 . On this trip we ended up in Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam) (see trip report on http://gardkarlsen.com/Ho_Chi_Minh_City_Vietnam_trip_report.htm ) and Siem Reap / Phnom Penh in Cambodia (see trip report on http://gardkarlsen.com/Angkor_Wat_Cambodia_trip_report.htm ). Both Vietnam and Cambodia was countries that we had not been to before and it was great to experience a new culture, new food, new people. I would love to go back to Vietnam to explore more of the country in the future.
Due to a great offer from Lufthansa we ended up going to Dubai in May. Dubai can offer shopping, insane building projects and beaches but I’m stuck with mixed feelings after the visit. There are many other places that are more fun to visit in my opinion. Anyway – here is my trip report http://gardkarlsen.com/Dubai_UAE_trip_report.htm
In September I spent a long weekend in London and I have been there several times before. During visit in the past I have not had any great feelings towards the city but maybe I have changed because this time I was stuck with a WOW feeling when I went home. It is an amazing place when it comes to sightseeing, food, shopping, history etc. I have posted some info in the blog on http://gardkarlsen.com/blog/?tag=london-2009 and I’m also working on a trip report.
In September I spend a few frequent flyer points to fly on First Class to Hong Kong with Lufthansa and back again on First Class with Thai. It was a brand new experience for me and I wish that I could travel like that every time The service was incredible both at the airports and in the air. I have posted photos and videos on http://gardkarlsen.com/blog/?tag=first-class-experience-2009 . Feel free to visit the link and find out what life on first class is like
And to round the year of we took a trip to Thailand and Phuket. We have also been there before but we were tempted to re-visit as SAS had a good offer. We had a nice hotel on Kata beach but there is no doubt that Phuket is really busy with tourists. And you know that when you get the menu in both English and Swedish, there must be many Scandinavians in the area. I have posted some thoughts about Thailand on http://gardkarlsen.com/blog/?tag=thailand
That is a short summary of my year. What do you remember best from your 2009 travel year? And where are you going in 2010?
http://gardkarlsen.com – trip reports and pictures
There has been some talk about recognition of SAS Eurobonus gold card members on various forums. In the Norwegian way of being I guess there is not a lot of room for recognition of status – maybe due to the Jantelov? When I came to Stavanger airport yesterday I noticed that there was a flight from Stavanger to Oslo at 5.15 PM and I went to the SAS counter to see if I could change to this instead of my 6.30 PM flight. But it did not take long to get the answer…as I had a cheap ticket there was no room for changing this even if I suspect there were seats in economy on the earlier flight. So I went over to check in…back in the old days it was possible to just walk to the counter to check it but now you have to check in on a machine and then go to baggage drop. I did check in on the machine and I followed the sign saying Business class as this normally indicates the priority line for SAS Eurobonus goldcard members. But I guess not…the lady behind the counter told me that the business sign was just for Lufthansa business class check in and she asked me to read the monitor better…thanks for the great guest service lady. So she asked me to get behind the one person that was in the line for baggage drop. Great service indeed.
As I was not able to change the flight I had to wait and of course due to airline controller problems (I hope that you have started the job of fixing this Avinor) my flight to Oslo was 30 minutes late. I think the captain was also a bit pissed off about this as he blamed the delay on the airline controllers several times. So I got to Oslo about 30 minutes late but I did make the connection to London and I guess that’s what matters, But back to recognition for having a SAS Eurobonus goldcard. Don’t get me wrong…I love having the goldcard as it gives me access to the StarAlliance lounges and I can bring more luggage. BUT, I don’t really feel like an appreciated customer with SAS or any of the other StarAlliance members…maybe there is just too many with a gold card these days. But then again…even the ones with a SAS Pandion card complains about recognitions so maybe we are just too focused on treating everybody equally.
The landing in London was pretty exciting as there were strong winds and lots of rain.
Åsa Riton has won a trip trough ebookers/MrJet and now you can follow her adventure around the world. She is a Swedish girl but don’t worry…she covers all her experiences in English. Her trip will take her to places like LA, Hawaii, Thailand, Venice, Tokyo etc and I’m sure she will have a great time. Keep an eye on her travel blog as she is updating it with text, photos and videos. She is also on YouTube . Have fun Åsa and get in touch if you need some help with the travel planning
I like to get an idea of where I will be seated before I travel – maybe you have been assigned to a seat that is not ideal and maybe you can change it to a seat with better legroom. There is of course a website for this kind of information and it is called SeatGuru . On this website you can check out how the various planes for the various airlines are configured, which seats that are good or bad and get lots of useful information. There are also other websites with similar information and one of them is SeatExpert. Good luck with grabbing that perfect seat on your next flight
Hi and welcome to my brand new blog. This will be a site where I try to blog about travel related stuff….from experience with various airlines, hotel reviews, some photos from my travels etc. But for the good old trip report you should still check out my homepage http://gardkarlsen.com