New old hobby

It has been a year since my last post in this blog. After joining a couple of social networks, personal blogging became less of a priority, I guess. However, not to have a “dead blog”, I decided to update it with the recent significant hobby – fishing. It is not a new hobby, I have been 5 years old when my grandpa told me most of what I know about fishing. Last year, for the first time in Sweden, I tried pike fishing in the Baltic sea. Yes, many don’t believe that pikes, river fish, can live in the sea. But the Baltic sea is not that salty. And because pikes don’t need to share the small territory, there are lots of them in the archipelago near Karlskrona. Well, judge for yourself.

 

 

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Spanish winter

Some time in October or November, when it was already dark, wet and cold, I decided to book a flight to Barcelona and enjoy the sunny Spanish winter at least for 10 days. The end of the year was incredibly busy and since accumulated number of working over hours at the end of 2012 accounted 200, I thought that 10 days of rest are well deserved. The end of the year I spent in Riga, and the weather was… not very Christmasy. It was around 0 till +3, mostly wet, mostly rainy but with occasional snow that instantly turned into dirt. So, no white Christmas, no fun at all. Additionally, all through the holidays I couldn’t avoid at least part time work that I was happy to finish before the year ends, leaving all old ties behind. This made the desire to escape even stronger.

I have been to Barcelona several times (one of my favorite cities), and even in December-January once, but this time, in the middle of January, it was warmer and stranger than I expected. Strange because of the contrasts. Sunny warm days, around +13 degrees on average, people walking in light jackets, and some even without. Everyone wearing sun glasses (I bought a new pair too)… (Relatively) green grass, blossoming trees and simultaneously naked trees with dry leaves left from the last year as a reminder that there was an autumn before the winter came.

I travelled with my mother, who always craves for warmth and sun in the winter and kindly supported the whole idea. After long and painful search for a place to stay, we chose a beautiful B&B that was situated just 3 km from the seaside outside of the city with clear air and wonderful surroundings. It turned out to be better than a 5-star hotels we could stay at. Every morning we stayed on veranda facing the sea, to get the morning sunshine. We looked at the mimosa tree in the garden to see whether it burst into flowers. It did a little bit more and more, every day. The goal this time was not to see more of the unique city of Barcelona, but to enjoy the calm peaceful time off from routine and cold in the middle of winter. Unfortunately, the lazy mood made me push the plan of making a photo session to the next day, until it was too late…. One day I caught a flu and was chained to bed… Thanks to the enormous care and kindness of our B&B hosts we survived until the departure (which until the end we were mentally ready to postpone). I spare the details here, as the memory is very fresh and I don’t really want to return there. To make the story short: magically, after 48h the fever was gone. And although I am still recovering, at least my head is clear and I am able to post something about my unusual winter trip to Spain before returning to the duties of working life.

Winter in Scandinavia

Lisbon, as I saw it

Some cities look good on postcards, with tidy streets and well-preserved architectural heritage. You can walk and feel impressed with how beautiful and wonderful everything looks. Such city for me is, e.g. Madrid. But more *beautiful* to me are cities with an atmosphere. They may be shabby, with lots of old and forgotten places, cracked grey walls covered with the dust of time, large or small, sunny or wet… This summer I discovered Lisbon — one of the most *beautiful* cities I have ever seen!

I have never been to Lisbon before, and this is a short photo report of what and how I saw it.

Falu rödfärg

From time to time I think about Swedish architecture. It is very different from what I am used to in Riga/Latvia. Apart of living in one of the most beautiful Baroque style towns (Karlskrona is known as Sweden’s only baroque city), I am surrounded by the “usual Swedish architecture”, which is falu red wooden houses. I must admit that I find them very charming, but not when you see too many of them. When driving through Sweden, I always wonder, why every place looks so similar to each other…

Recently I decided to make a post with pictures from Karlskrona islands and finally I have gathered a representative collection that will hopefully explain what I mean. Let me know, whether you find the red houses charming or boring 🙂

Note from Wikipedia: Falu or Falun red (pronounced “FAH-loo”, in Swedish Falu rödfärg (Swedish pronunciation: [ˈfɑːlɵ ˈrøːfærj])) is the name of a Swedish, deep red paint well known for its use on wooden cottages and barns.

 

Week 18-19 — Hockey, Nothing Else Matters

For the past few weeks it was all about hockey. And yes, I am not fond of discussing the topic, when it comes to Latvians this year… They were climbing up the first three games, and dramatically falling down ever after. From the 6th place in the power ranking on May 8 they lost a series of games to the teams that have always been defeated, and finally were out before the quarter finals. I feel disappointed, but it does not stop me from watching more of hockey.

And true miracles do happen in ice hockey. Although not for Latvians this time.

They say “Hockey is Canada”. I have just finished watching the first game of the quarterfinals, and the all time favorite Canadians are out after a dramatic struggle for survival against Slovaks. Unbelievable. As the Slovaks sang their national anthem in glory, Canadians were completely paralyzed from the shock, an unexpected defeat, just about 2 min away from the end of the game…