getting nauti-cal in Oslo

Growing up in a city, I used to be a little envious of my friends who would visit their grandparents in the countryside during weekends. They had all these fun stories about gardens, dogs, hedgehogs, and apple-picking. When we finally moved to a province, I really missed the urban life. So it’s true, the grass really is greener on the other side. Now, however, I feel lucky to live in a quiet, but not remote part of a city, next to a river. The sunsets are beautiful, and the sunrises, however rare I experience them, cast a spectacular glow. I just love looking outside my window and seeing the Danube river. It makes me miss the Philippines and its seas a little less. That’s why any new destination with any kind of body of water really makes me happy.

I went to Oslo in late September and was so pleased with the cool, but sunny weather. Midsummer and its long days might have been over, but in the early evening the sun was still shining bright, like a diamond giving us so much more time to explore the city. As we walked past the Oslo City Hall, the refreshing view of the harbor said “hei” to us. And this view, well, it had me at “hei” *whispers* it had me at hei.

Oslo 1

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In other nautical news, we also went to the Viking Ship Museum, which, as a fan of the cartoon series Wickie und die starken Männer, fascinated me.

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This is the Oseberg ship, a burial ship for two wealthy ladies who died in the year 834. Yes, 834.

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If you’re a little lost, a trip to the self-help section could be beneficial.

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Cooling down with bamboo

One of my favorite moments of this summer was hanging out in the bamboo tower in Linz. From afar, it looked like it was made of wicker.

bamboo tower 1

Coming closer, it became apparent that it was bamboo, which instantly transported me to the Philippines.

While some of the other towers that were part of the Höhenrausch.3 – The Art of Towers were meant to be climbed, the Bamboo Tower was meant to be a “contemplative, inward-looking, light-flooded space.” The fact that we had to leave our shoes by the entrance of the tower already made me feel a little zen-like.

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Spot the shoehorn!

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Stepping in was magical. It was so much cooler inside the tower, which was so welcome after hours of walking in the 28-degree heat. People were either sitting or lying down, and just relaxing.

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You can see the Sacral Towers, still part of the exhibition, from inside the bamboo tower.

bamboo tower

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So here’s my new goal: build a bamboo tower and spend all my summer days in there. I’ll hang out there in the evenings with my friends while listening to this song by Bamboo:

From sober to drunk to hungover at the Museum of Spirits

Are you what you drink?

“Well, perhaps you shouldn’t judge
the drink by its umbrella,
but we all know
that’s what’s in the glass
says something about style and class?”

Warm cider or the vintage wine
nobody can pronounce properly anyway?
You drink like the one you want to be.


From the Vasa Museum on the way to Skansen, we happened to pass by the Spritmuseum, and because it seemed so fun, what with the words “vodka” and “Warhol”, we decided to go in. Besides, the entrance was free with the Stockholm Card!

I loved their display of pop art.


This gold dress was worn by Candace Bushnell for an Absolut vodka event, but apparently she was whisked to a date by the real Mr. Big, Ron Galotti. Carrie Candace sent the dress back on the next day.


Warhol is Absolut ❤


Aside from the art, the museum has great lessons in branding and product design.


Fun tip: go inside the Hangover Room!

The Day After

Alcohol attacks the body cells
like a commando force.
Water and salts are cast aside.
The stomach and bowel do their best
against the punch of alcohol.
Blood sugar bottoms out.
Pizza’s looking good.

As if the physical act of crisis management
weren’t enough, you now have to handle
the panic of not remembering what happened
at the party last night.
Or you may remember too much.

Djurgårdsvägen 38

Opening hours
Mondays, Wednesdays – Sundays: 10:00 – 17:00
Tuesdays: 10:00 – 20:00

Viva la Vasa!

(I know I’m blogging about Sweden, but the Spanish title sounds good, admit it)
Vasa 1

The Vasa Museum was definitely one of my favorite parts of Stockholm. I could use the usual words – amazing, awesome, a-mah-zing (any Happy Endings fan, out there?) – but they just wouldn’t be enough. Its history alone is impressive enough. Built as a battleship, it was one of the largest ships with powerful bronze cannons. On August 10, 1628  (we were lucky to visit on its anniversary!) the Vasa set sail for the first time, but because of its top-heaviness, the sails couldn’t handle the wind, and it ultimately sank after only a few minutes of sailing barely 1300 meters. Lying underwater as deep as 32 meters for 333, the Vasa ship was finally lifted in 1961. Excavation, reconstruction, and conservation followed, and up to now, its preservation still is one of the main concerns. The most awe-inspiring fact is that the ship has been restored to 95% of its original state. I mean, look at the result! It’s beyond glorious.

Vasa 4

Vasa Museet
Galärvarvsvägen 14

Opening hours:
Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays – Sundays: 10:00 – 17:00
Wednesdays: 10:00 – 20:00