Tag Archives: Travel

Canas Dulces with Angelica, hanging out with friends and watching the Hobbit at the cinema

This morning when I woke up Mami was already awake and she told me that one of our puppies had just died.  We went outside to check on it. There was no sign as to what might have happened to it, but a fair guess would be either a scorpion or a spider had bitten it. Poor thing. It was just lying there – stiff already. It’s mommy was visibly upset, checking on it constantly, trying to lick it back to life. It was sad.

Mami made us breakfast a bit later we had a very nice conversation. After that I had my shower and I prepared to go meet my friend Angelica and her daughter Mariangel. Angelica is a school teacher in Cañas Dulces  and she had an appointment with one of the parents today to hand over the school pictures and grades to one of the students and they had invited me to come along with them.

Cañas Dulces, In English: sweet canes, is known for its sugar production. Huge fields of sugar canes surround the city.

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Cañas Dulces

As we drove through the tiny city we saw these two horses parked outside the local pulperia. Horses are a common means of transportation in the Guanacaste region. Guanacaste is known as the agricultural region of Costa Rica.

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Horses parked outside a pulperia

We drove past the village and the school and we turned left and onto a small unpaved road which led to a beautiful old house and a gorgeous garden.

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Beautiful Bougainvillas in the garden

Back home in Norway each year for christmas we decorate with small Christmas Stars (Poinsettias) indoors to light up an otherwise dark season. In Costa Rica they grow in bushes that can become as tall as 5 meters. This one is only 3 meters tall :D

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Me

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Angelica y Mariangel

The owners of the house wanted to show us around on the farm and they took us for a walk. They have cattle. I always loved this species of cattle. They have huge rabbit like ears. I am also fascinated by the loose skin hanging down from its neck.

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Cows

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A beautiful calf. It looks like its skin is several sizes too big still.

Once we had crossed the fields where the cows were grassing, we came to the banana plant area and then we walked through the bean and rice fields. It was a gorgeous day and a beautifu walk.

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Banana Palms

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Angelica showing off the beans

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Angelica and the kids with the Espantapajaros

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Caterpillar

We returned back to the house after enjoying the view over the nearby valley and then we bought each our 5 kg farmbred chickens. They were frozen and plucked already, but at very good prices.

After our visit at the fam we went up to the Mirador restaurant to get a view over the Cañas Dulces area, before we got home.

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Panoramic view over Cañas Dulces

Around 3pm we were home and I had not had enough adventures for one day so I took off again in search of my friend Bryan to take him out for a walk. We walked around in the barrio where I used to live, we walked past my old house and into Barrio San Roque where we found a Musmanni bakery where we got some pastry. From there we went back to barrio Moracia and followed the streets behind the Hospital (Enrique Baltodano) and we went to visit our old school friend Marlen.

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Marlen and Bryan

When I finally was done roaming around my sister Roshy, her husband and the kids were on their way to go to the movies and they invited me to join them. Even if I had already seen the film I joined in. Going to the movies is never a bad thing and one can never watch The Hobbit too many times :D

Our new pet the dove, picking grapefruits in the garden and other adventures

This morning I found a baby dove hiding in between one of our dog’s legs.

It was so small that it’s feathers were not yet fully grown yet. It had probably fallen out of the nest in the Grapefruit tree in our garden and our dog, Laika, had decided to take care of it. She was so up for her task that she was growling at the white dog, Gemela. when se tried getting close to look at the bird. She also got angry with her puppies when they wanted her milk (probably cause they sat down on the bird) and that was my call to rescue the bird.

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The dove hiding between the dog’s tits

We put her in a cage and gave her a tiny blanket and Luis asked his mom if he could keep the dove as a pet. When she said yes, I went out to search for a veterinary to figure out what to feed her. I got 250 grams of chicken food for 25cents and instructions on how to feed her. When I got home we mixed the food with water and gave it to her and to our luck she ate. She is big enough to eat by herself, which will mean she has a chance at survival. We served her food in a tiny lid and made sure she was good in her cage.

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The dove in its box

While I was out walking and searching for the veterinary I passed by one of my best friend’s house and dropped by for a surprise visit. We haven’t seen each other since 2006/2007 when I was here for 3 months. Last time I came to visit Liberia, he was in out travelling and we didn’t get to meet however we have kept in touch through skype and email. It was really nice to meet up again we spent hours catching up and when I went home he gave me a huge bag of carambolas (star fruits) to bring home to Mami y Papi to make juice from them.

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Starfruit – Carambolas

Mami was happy to get the Carambolas and I had bought a Papaya, so when I got home it was my job to peel and cut the Papaya and a Pineapple to keep in the fridge, wash the Carambolas and then I helped Mami to pick Grapefruit from the tree in the garden.

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Mami and Luis catching Grapefruit

We picked a whole basket full,  but in the end we were both covered by ants that fell down during fruit picking. Thankfully we found most of them before they started biting…

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A basket full of Grapefruit

About 7:pm I headed downtown again to meet my friend Ana. We had scheduled a dinner date so I met her at her work so that we could leave together. We brought with us a cute 10 year old friend of hers, Eidi Luisa, and headed for a seafood place called Marisqueria Tierra Mar where we ordered lovely pasta with seafood and Ceviche. Great food and a great place.

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Ana’s husband, Jim, joined us later on and I told them about my adventures earlier in the day picking grapefruits. Both their mouths were watering as I told them about how juicy and sweet the grapefruits were and when they offered to drop me off at home I was happy to share from the bunch and give them a few. It was a lovely day and a lovely night. At home everyone were sound asleep and I went to sleep as well.

Puppy love, Swimming pool and the Beach

I woke up at 6:30 and had a lovely Tico breakfast with Mami. Papi was already working in the garden and when breakfast was over and I had had my shower I joined him out there to play with the puppies. We have 3 adorable puppies (what was left of both the litters). They are so cute!

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Deeply focused in what his sisters are playing with…

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And these tow are trying to bite each others ears off.

The one to the left Papi named her Kaiman and Mami named her Dulcita. Seems like there is no hope of them agreeing to the name either. Papi is set on the name Kaiman. They laugh and joke around with it though.

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Roxanas kid Luis’ joined me in the garden to play with the dogs.

At 10:30 I was ready to rumble and packed my bag for a day in the sun and headed out. I walked around enjoying the lovey weather for a while and then headed to the Best Western Hotel El Sitio. They have a lovely swimming pool that they let locals use for a small fee.

I changed and enjoyed the sun utterly. The sun kissing my body and the warmth radiating from it. I ordered a Papaya in Milk smoothie which tasted like from heaven. It was just wonderful.

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At 1:30 I ordered Chicken  Rice and Chips and just a few minutes after my lunch arrived Federico called and asked if I wanted to join them for the beach. Federico had a meeting to attend to with his work so instead of going alone, he brought the family with him so they could enjoy the beach.  Of course I wanted to join them so I ate as fast as I could and just a few minutes after they called again to ask me if I was ready. They were outside the hotel already. I changed and packed in 5 minutes and finished eating and ran outside. In the car I realized I had already gotten a sunburn. Dammit.

Anyways, we were soon on the road and the whole gang was rather cheerful. We stopped to get some water for the trip and then we continued on to Tamarindo. It takes about an hour and 20 minutes to drive to Tamarindo from Liberia. The kids were fed up by then, but when they finally got their way out of the car they were superhappy. Tamarindo is a beautiful beach, but it also has a beach village famous for tourist parties and not only that, it is also a small part of the National park Marino Las Baulas.

We enjoyed the village of Tamarindo and we walked around shopping. We found a store called Papaya con leche where they make custom made bikinis. I ordered one that they will make for me. It wasn’t cheap, but… its gonna be awesome :D

We continued shopping for a while before we went down to the beach where the kids played in the sand and went for a swim.

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Anita playing in the sand

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Isabella

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Noylin and Rebeka walking the beach

We watched the sun set over the Pacific ocean while listening to the waves hit the beach and the mild wind sweep through the palms … A dream come through.

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Sunset at the beach

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On our way back to meet Federico we walked past a few nice restaurants that were decorated for Christmas. I guess Santa will visit at the beach too

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Christmas at the beach.

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Federico was done in his meeting and soon we were on our way home. Not long before we arrived to Liberia

On our way back home we stopped to buy chicken and we had dinner back home at Federico’s place. I spent about an hour there before I went back home to Mami and Papi to spend the rest of the evening with them.

Holidays in Italy. Starting in Rome

So this morning I was up and out of bed early to get to the airport in time for my flight to Rome. At the airport was the longest checkin queue I have seen in Gardermoen ever. Fair enough, there were technical problems and electricity prolems that caused the luggage not being chartered of to the right airplanes, but still… However the security scan was over quickly.

The flight was uneventful and done in 3 hours and when I landed my friend Anni had sent me a text message saying she was waiting for me at the airport. Together we took the train to our respective stations and checked in to each our hotels nearby each other. The funny thing with Anni is that we met by chance in the beginning and once we started visiting each other, we suddenly realized that; Hey, we have met in so many countries… Actually one country per time we have met. We need to make it into a sport. So we continued and this is the 9th time we meet, and the 9th country (We have met at 2 airports as well outside of these 9 times, but they don’t count as they were in the international zone).

I was dead tired and Anni had a spa treatment so we each had a nice sleep before we were meant to meet up tonight, but I did have a afternoon walk first and found this amazing food store called Eataly where they sold only best quality products of everything. I haven’t seen so many cheeses gathered in one place before.. Oh so yummy.

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Fresh Pasta at Eataly, Piramide Train station

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Ham and Cheese department at Eataly. Yummy!

I met Anni at 8pm and we went downtown to have dinner at this lovely Restaurant close to via Veneto, called Lo Stil Novo. Just by giving us complimentary Prosecco when arriving I liked this place. The Prosecco was a Vettori from Valdobbiadene. Lovely.

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For a starter I had baked aubergine with Mozarella, Parmesan and Aubergine sauce. It was delicious.

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As a Primi Piatti I had seafood spagetti and with it we had a Corte Sant’Alda white from Valpolicella Ripasso, Campi Magri. Lovely combination.

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My main course was Duck on vegetables and it was really good. The wine to go with it was lovely, but I forgot the name of that one.

We took a cab home and by that time it was quite late already.

In a total today I walked over 17000 steps and had a very, very nice day!

Sightseeing Paris – Notre Dame – Tour Eiffel

We slept in this morning. We were far too exhausted from yesterday to even consider getting up early. Around 10 we left the hotel room and took the bus to (M) Cour St’Emilion where we took the metro to (M) Etienne Marcel where we started off our day. Our first mission was to find a street called; Rue Tiquetonne where I had singled out our shopping to start :D However, taking a wrong turn, we didn’t find that street, but a lovely little Brasserie where we decided to have our breakfast instead.

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Restaurant “Le Capitole”, located at 105, boulevard de Sebastopol, 75002 Paris
PS: These guys have WONDERFUL Service and very tasty Breakfast !!

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Enjoying Breakfast

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Looks like Linda is still enjoying being on her first trip without mom and dad :)

When we were done with our Breakfast we took a new look at the map and this time we had no problems finding Rue Tiquetonne and both the Pylones store and G Detou (A specialist store for bakers and chocolatiers) where I had scheduled my only must buys for the day :D Chocolate from the House of Callebaut for Chocolate Fountains. This filled up my sack for the day and had I been intelligent had I planned this for late afternoon, but well I didn’t – so I carried my “burden” with no complaints.

We continued walking down Rue Montmartre past Les Halles and Chatelet crossing the bridge to the “Isle de la Cite”. We stopped in bakery and baking equipment stores to see if they had any good ideas for things to make at home. We took pictures and we enjoyed our day very much. The sun peeked out from a clouded layer and despite temperatures around 6 Celcius, it was a beautiful day. Crossing the bridge to Isle de la Cite, we visited the beautiful flower market before we headed down to the Notre Dame Church.

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The Notre Dame

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Two Happy Sisters (Notice the sour-looking Japanese tourist in the back – hihi).

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InsideNotre Dame.

I have been to Notre Dame once before, when I was 10 myself, and I think Disney is to thank for Lindas Interest in the church. She took pictures and she asked questions and she wanted to go up to the towers and in the end she didn’t want to leave.

When I was there last time, both me and Ingrid (our middle sister – at the time 7) were totally fed up of visiting “grown up” tourist attractions, and churches – BORING. We had no interest of getting inside the Church, we wanted to stay outside in the sunny beautiful weather playing. Of course parents can’t leave their 10 and 7 year olds outside a church to play in a foreign city, so we had to go in and both of us made a scene (which we have been reminded of countless times throughout the years).

Once we were done at Notre Dame we went Lunch hunting. Originally I had set out for a Restaurant who specializes in Frogs and Snails called Roger La Grenouille, located in Rue des Grands Augustins. However, this restaurant was only open between 12:00 – 14:00 for lunch and they would not reopen until 19:00 which was too late for us to have lunch (and to stay in the area) so we started walking down a couple of nice streets where we window-shopped and at the end of the street we arrived at the Place St Andre des Arts where there were Brasseries and Restaurants on every corner.

Our choice fell on the Restaurant called Chez Clement, who had snails. Linda had expressed before our travel that she wished to taste both snails and frogs while we were there, and me in particular… wanted to have frogs for dinner.

So for starters we ordered Snails and Fois Gras de Canard. Linda was good and not only tasted, but liked and wanted more Snails. She tried the Fois Gras de Canard, but that was not to her taste. Good … More for me :D

For dinner I had a Rabbit Stew, which she also tasted (but the poor thing felt remorse for the poor rabbit the rest of the day!) and liked. She herself had ordered Beef with Mashed Potatoes.

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We decided for dessert and they had this lovely Chocolate – Pineapple Fondant Cake baked inside a Pinapple ring. Linda had Ice Cream, but we exchanged  for tasting :D This was a lovely meal and a waitors were nice and helpful! And … I think they had the best (and nicest and best smelling) bathrooms I have visitied in a long time.

After dinner we crossed the bridge and walked towards the Louvre. We had no idea to enter it until tomorrow, but we wanted to go shopping and looking. We entered the shopping mall Carousel du Louvre where we shopped for a while. However it was so full of tourists, bus loads of tourists from everywhere. In particular groups of teenage schoolkids. And they were pressuring and running around us and I must admit I got slightly scared of loosing Linda. As its my first time that I am taking a child with me on a travel my stress level rose a bit ;D

We continued on, our last stop of the day was to walk to the Eiffel Tower as we wanted to both see it and take pictures of it at night time.

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After we took pictures it was already so late it was about time to get back to the hotel. We left our stuff in the hotelroom and rushed to Carrefour to go shopping for eastereggs and easterbunny chocolates as well as baguettes and fruit and juice that we could have for our late night meal. Back in the hotel room we ate and packed our bags for tomorrow before we went to bed. After a wonderful, but long day, we were beaten.

Our Tour of the Day on the Map:

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EuroDisney – A day for Play and Fun

At 6 am the alarm rang, and everything inside me just struggled to be allowed to continue our sleep, but Linda and I had a very important day ahead of us and I needed to get up so I could get her up. Linda was sound asleep and even more reluctant to get up, but she jumped into her clothes and as we collected our stuff running out the door, she asked me; what about my hair? Should I not brush my hair? No time for that I told her and she looked confused for 2 minutes, but didn’t complaint any further.

We had to get the 6:24 bus to take us to Gare d’Lyon so we could catch the RER train to the Marne La Vallee station in Chessey where EuroDisney – Disneyland Paris is located. A good 35 -45 minutes outside of Paris.

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Because at 8 am this morning I had ordered a very special surprise to open up our big day in Disneyland; A Breakfast Buffet with the Disney Characters.

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Linda with Mickey

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Linda with Goofy

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Linda and me with Dale

I must admit, I had a lot of fun myself during this breakfast where we were joined by Mickey, Pluto, Goofy, Gepetto, Chip and Dale in the Mickey Cafe in the Disney Village. Breakfast was tasty as well!

Once Breakfast was over we headed towards the entrance of the 2 parks and … were thoroughly distracted by all the cool stores ! Since we had underdressed a bit, Linda got herself a new jacket to keep warm and then we got some candy before we headed off to the Walt Disney Studios park.

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Where we attended a movie show with the history of Cinema from Black/White movie to Colored movies with Sound at the CineMagique.

After that Linda spotted several of the Disney Characters walking around for Meet and Greet and we headed over there for pictures and autographs for the new Autograph book she had just bought (with rooms for the pictures with the Disney characters) and she got to meet both Mickey & Minnie Mouse as well as Lilo from Lilo & Stitch.

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Then we moved on to take the Studio Tram Tour: Behind the Magic. Lines were long and we had to wait a while for our turn, but both Linda and myself enjoyed the tour, watching studio sets and figures and cars used in movies. We even got to experience an “Earthquake” which was quite cool!

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And by the time we were done with our Studio Tour and had done some more shopping it was time for Lunch. We went to the Restaurant Des Stars for an amazing All-You-Can-Eat Buffet. Some of the food was awesome and some of it didn’t pass neither mine, nor Linda’s taste buds. The good thing with an all you can eat buffet… Leave your half eaten plate on a table someone just left and go pick up something new that you would rather eat! :D However Lunch was great and gave us renewed energy to keep going.

We decided that by now we needed to get our asses over to the Disneyland Park to start looking around there if we were to have enough time there.

We Entered into the Main Street and took pictures, shopped a bit more and walked towards the Princess Castle where we found a lovely little store that specialized in hand-making beautiful glass Disney figures. We also found birthday gifts for both mom and dad there :D

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After that we walked around a bit and Found more Disney figures and Linda got to meet Tigger as well!

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Then we stood in line for a long time to use the toilet, but now we were ready for some action filled fun and headed over to Adventure Land and the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, where we got to see drunken pirates and local merchants and we heard shooting, laughing, plundering and fun.

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As soon as we were out of there we headed over to The Adventure Isle where we found Mr. Captain Jack Sparrow!

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Once we had his autograph… we decided to move on to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril, but there was a 20 minutes line there and time was rapidly approaching 5 pm and the time for the parade, so we decided to go see the parade before we came back to Indiana Jones.

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The Parade was back at Main street and we were a bit late so we didn’t get the best spots, but we still had a good view. The parade gives you that special feeling of joy and Disney and I mean, just from watching the movie… I get all childish and keen on going back :D

After the Parade which both Linda and myself agreed was really nice, we went back to the Indiana Jones attraction which was soooo cool. Probably THE best attraction in Disneyland. Linda wanted to steal the coins displayed around the Indiana Jones Temple of Peril, claiming she was tougher than Indiana Jones, but I didn’t allow her. However just as soon as the ride was over we went back in line to take the ride one more time!!! It was so much fun.

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By now we were real tired and hungry again and we started looking for a restaurant. However Linda didn’t want to miss out on the fireworks inside the park by going out of it to find Restaurants so we bought some more candy and went shopping and taking pictures !

We bought gifts for our sisters at home and some souvenirs for ourselves and finally we found a place that sells cotton candy! So we got that too!

Then we gathered up at the Plaza in front of the Castle, waiting for the firework show to start :D

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Showtime

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Accompanied to music and a lovely movie display we got to see the water show and the fireworks were beautiful.

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Do also check out the YouTube video from the show

Then finally when the show was over we went away for the last shopping part, before we headed over to Rainforest Cafe where we had dinner.

We were exhausted, but we had had such a lovely day that we were still going strong. However, we were on our way down and we needed to get back to the hotel to sleep. We took the train back to Paris at 10:30 at night. We took a cab back to the hotel from  Gare de Lyon.

When we returned to the hotel room, we were both so awfully tired and happy with todays experiences that we were just giggling and the poor 11 year old girl fell into a hysterical laughter before she finally calmed down enough to fall asleep just before 1 am.

Eikenes – Oslo – Paris, France

Yesterday I drove down from Oslo to my Dad’s place in Telemark to pick up my 11 year old sister for our first trip together.

For easter I am taking her to EuroDisney in Paris, France and to do Sightseeing in Paris for a few days! I decided that I wanted to take her there once she got old enough to travel without mom and dad several years ago, but obviously had to wait for her to reach a good age.

Today we had breakfast with Dad and Ellen, our youngest sister whom is only 5 years old and a bit too small to travel without mom and dad yet (but her turn will come), before we started the 3 hour drive in to Oslo. Traffic was quite good and we arrived in good time to pick up the cat-sitter and go home to prepare us  all lunch.

Once lunch was consumed we headed to the airport, parked the car and got ourselves checked in. We were both quite exited at this point. Our journey was about to start. We have both looked forward for this trip for a long time. Me probably longer than her, as I have known about the trip for a longer time, but she has probably put a lot more of that childish excitement into it :)

We had a lot of fun, taking pictures with funny faces in the plane and playing cards. And we had some chocolate that Daddy had slipped into her bag for us :D

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We arrived quite late to Paris, Orly and were told that the best option for us was to take a cab as our hotel was quite close to the airport and public transportation would include up to 3 changes which neither of us were up for.

Once we arrived at the hotel, most of the nearby restaurants were closed, but in the same building as the hotel was there was a huge Carrefour supermarket and a McDonalds so we went shopping for fruit at Carrefour and then we bought a hamburger at McDonalds to bring back to the room. We we starving and despite McDonalds not normally being food I recommend to eat too often, just there and then – it was perfectly good for us !

After our late dinner, we packed our bags for the next morning and went to bed. We’ll have to wake up at 6 am…

Todays Journey:

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