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My face is glowing with heat and I feel like fainting. Surely it’s got to be at least 45 degrees centigrade in between the buildings and no cooling bath in sight. I stagger along trying to look happy while the sweat is pouring down my face making my eyes burn. I can see taxicabs with their air-conditioning on and it’s tempting to hop in and order a trip to the shower … but I keep running along the streets in the neighbourhood of Lindholmen.
Finally my fingers start stinging and I feel totally exhausted and, I’ve got to admit it, I have hit the infamous Wall … in the GöteborgsVarvet Half Marathon. I start walking instead of running, feeling utterly worthless since the chance of achieving a personal best in the run has disappeared. Having reached the Free Port area I recollect what my friend Anna said the day before:
- Remember having fun! But of course! It’s like life: if there is a serious setback, still after a while you have to come back having fun. I was filled with new strength and enjoyed the festival atmosphere along the Avenue, waving to my friends who were cheering me from a pavement café, and eventually crossed the finishing line.
That’s what I am like, and I’m intending to write about adventure and experiences here, a stubborn bloke who loves events and travelling.
My name is Magnus, but all my friends call me “Lengan”. I live in Enköping, “The Most Neighbouring City in Sweden”, and I am a construction worker. I am lucky to have a boss who is also fond of travelling, so generally it’s no problem having some time off for all my adventures. Sun and beach or events in a city, it doesn’t matter for me. As regards Sun and Beach my favourite is the Caribbean, and when it comes to events I choose the Olympic Games.
Occasionally we also go to various cities for concerts. Some of the highlights have been Bruce Springsteen in New Jersey and Kilkenny and likewise U2 in Athens.
My travels this year have been to London, the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Liverpool, the World Cup Brazil and Mallorca.
The trip to Mallorca took place the last week of July, and together with a friend I stayed in Palma Nova, a stone’s throw from my cousin who lives with his family in Puerto Portals.
A hundred meters from my cousin’s flat there is a huge marina with fantastic luxury yachts. I enjoy strolling around there watching the vessels and the fine restaurants/bars. The cars parked along the waterfront are really no old bangers …. That’s indeed is a place to spend a few hours of one’s holiday.
Another type of entertainment to experience is the shopping in Palma, of course me and my friend spent a whole afternoon in the malls of El Corte Inglés and Porto Pi. My total shopping that afternoon was a Coca Cola for 2.65 Euros :) Cheap and fine. It didn’t end up equally inexpensive for my friend..
A useful hint in the mall of El Corte Inglés is to present your ID card at the information desk to show that you are a tourist, and then the store will offer you free paella and a glass of wine in the top floor cafeteria :) and likewise a 10% discount on selected products.
The climax of this trip was visiting my cousin’s farm in the countryside. There they grow olives, peaches, tangerines, grapes, apples, plums, tomatoes, basil, paprika, oregano, mint etc. We were truly pampered with sangria and a steady lunch from the raw materials in the garden. After lunch we plunged into their swimming pool until our skin started to raise objections. Those are the days I will recollect next winter!
I will also remember the hours I spent on my inflatable mattress in the water chasing the perfect tan, the one that pleasantly rasps the back when you dry yourself after the evening shower …
After the evening showers we tested the restaurants along the waterfront street Paseo del Mar in Palma nova, and our ultimate favourites were My Thai and My Tapas. Worth mentioning is also the beach bar Il Chiringo where we enjoyed a 2½-hour lunch with views of the beach and the sea, being like me devoted to luxurious living :)
I even treated myself to renting a sun bed every day for 4.5 Euros, which is a bit extravagant when you might as well lie down on a towel at the beach and feel the sand between your toes while watching all the beautiful palm trees ….
Now I’m going to look into a few adventures for next winter. I have given my boss the promise to work all autumn since the Olympics and the World Cup demanded many weeks off. It’s tough to have to decline football trips and other fun events this autumn, but I will never regret giving priority to the greatest events this year, the Olympics and the World Cup. Those were two trips that contained absolutely all I long for. There were even palm trees and people swimming in the sea in Sochi during the Winter Olympics ….
See you again soon
(I have registered for GöteborgsVarvet Half Marathon 2015 ….. Revenge!)
Holidays! I like that!!
My favourite ocupation is to float around on an air mattress!
You can see the Cathedral from the Corte Ingles mall!
The beach in Palma Nova.
At my cousins country house I manage to find an air matress!
My favourite port – Puerto Portals!
Do you love skiing, too? Do you love the scent of newly fallen snow? Do you lie awake wondering how much snow has fallen during the night? Or do you, like me, live in Sweden having a rainy and windy winter ….. still dreaming away, though, to a genuine winter with snow and skiing, a fireplace and a cup of some warming beverage. Or maybe you have never gone skiing and are not longing to do so either …? But I can promise you that if you get the chance of testing skiing in Canada, you will not regret it. And if you don’t like winter, this will change your mind. …. Whistler is just a fantastic place.
Whistler is located in the province of British Columbia in Canada. It’s a two-hour drive from the beautiful city of Vancouver up to Whistler. Having snow tyre chains fitted to your car is something to be recommended. Vancouver is a remarkably nice city, the third most populous area in Canada. Vancouver has most advantages, e.g. a long-stretched lovely beach in the summer, and at wintertime you can take the opportunity of skiing. There are slopes closer at hand than Whistler (Grouse Mountain, for example), but I can assure you it’s worth the two hours of travelling there. Whistler was moreover honoured to host the 2010 Winter Olympics.
You get to Whistler by driving Highway 99 from Vancouver. The road to Whistler is winding and steep, and completely wonderful. You drive through the most beautiful landscape and wherever you watch little peaks appear, or calling them little is wrong, they are quite impressive. Make sure you don’t have to drive the car, so that you can wholeheartedly enjoy the gorgeous scenery around you.
Whistler and Blackcomb are two large mountain ranges close to each other. Connecting these mountains there is a cable car, PEAK 2 PEAK, carrying the skiers between the two. And this is not a gondola for those afraid of heights. It’s very far down to the valley. My favourite area was no doubt Cloud 9.
Here you’ll find everything for those who are fond of snow and winter, but likewise for those who favour trekking fine hiking trails are available at summertime. I for one, as you might understand, prefer winter. There are as many as 216 ski runs to choose among and the longest slope is more than 10 kilometres (6 miles). Amazing!
So to all of you skiing fans who have not yet discovered this resort, all I can do is warmly recommending Whistler. It’s worth every saved penny.
Popular hotels to book in Whistler:
Fairmont Chateau Whistler
Landmark hotel just a stone´s throw from the nearest ski lift.
Coast Whistler Hotel
In the heart of Whistler Village, steps away from all of the shops, restaurants and nightlife. Located across from the Whistler Golf Course.
Hilton Whistler Resort and Spa
Located in the heart of Whistler Village and mere steps from the chairlifts of the Whistler/Blackcomb resort, and world famous Whistler golf courses. 100% Nonsmoking hotel.
Listel Whistler Hotel
Located in the Whistler Village only 100 m from the ski lifts.
Delta Whistler Village Suites
4 star hotel close to the Blackcomb and Whistler Mountain gondolas.
Located in the middle of the Strait of Øresund, between Denmark and Sweden, a wonderful pearl is to be found. The island of Ven is often referred to as “The Pearl of Øresund”. This is an incredibly picturesque and fine island, and I love coming back here. You might have noticed that some people spell the name Ven with an H in the beginning, i.e. Hven. That is the Danish spelling and likewise the old Swedish spelling.
During the summer season the island is filled with tourists from all parts of the world. Personally I find it just as enjoyable, if not even more so, to go to Ven in late summer/autumn, when the island is not so crammed with tourists. Then it’s easier to get around, you’ll see more of the island, you can avoid the queues and just enjoy the situation.
The island of Ven and bicycles go hand in hand. Riding a bike is the easiest way of getting along. If you come from Sweden by boat (ferries depart from Landskrona and Råå) you just walk up the little slope that you encounter, and on the top of the hill you’ll find the bike rental. There are well over 1,200 bikes to rent here. You can book a bike from home, but only half the number of bikes can be reserved in advance. There are bikes of all shapes and sizes. Bikes with baskets, bikes with trailers, tandem bikes, children’s bikes, bikes with dog trailers, bikes with child seats and even electric bikes. By bike you will experience the best of Ven, and moreover it good for your health.
One of the cosiest cafés in Ven is the Pumpans café. Here you sit outdoors in the lush garden and at once sniff the aroma of freshly made coffee. The Pumpans café serves dishes made from organic raw materials. Their home-made apple juice is very tasty, so take the chance to bring one bottle home, or why not some coffee from their coffee roastery?
The island of Ven is 4.5 kilometres (2.8 mi) in length and at present it has 361 inhabitants. It’s so incredibly beautiful to ride a bike along the coastline of Ven. But it’s essential to stay on course, for sometimes it’s very narrow, and when meeting someone it is occasionally necessary to stop and wait. Certain passages have precipices close to the bicycle trail, going sheer down to the rocky beach. The precipitous coastline of Ven is called Backafall.
Being a whisky-fancier I certainly make a halt at the “Spirit of Hven Backafallsbyn”. Since the spring of 2008 whisky is produced on the island and you can easily grant yourself the pleasure of having a break to test the own-brand whisky. They have a wide assortment, and not only their own whisky brand is on sale here. If you feel like it, you can have a guided tour in the distillery, or why not join a whisky tasting? If you want to buy the whisky you have to fill in an order form and later collect it in one on the wine and liquor stores of the “Systembolaget” in Sweden. It’s a perfect gift to someone who is fond of whisky.
As from November 28 you can also go to Ven for the traditional Christmas buffet. You can combine it with walking around the island enjoying the lovely scenery. Afterwards in the evening you indulge in the Christmas buffet at the Backafallet Restaurant. I have visited Ven in spring, summer and autumn but never in winter. Maybe time has come to test it this year? So, who knows, we might meet at the Christmas buffet in the island of Ven.
Unfortunately there are not many lodging options in Ven and the few existing are rapidly booked up, so consequently one can book a hotel on the mainland, for example in Malmö. From there it’s easy to take an Oresundtrain to Landskrona and then the ferry to the marvellous island of Ven.
Popular hotels to book in Malmoe:
Mercure Hotel Malmo (ex Ibis)
It’s a reasonably priced hotel in a lovely park area located by the Malmö Stadium and The Baltic Hall, about 20 minutes walk to the centre.
Rica Hotel Malmo
Situated in the heart of Malmö City on Stortorget close to the Central Station.
Renaissance Malmo Hotel
Stylish full service hotel with great location at the popular and vibrant Lilla torg, in the heart of Malmö.
Radisson Blu Malmo Hotel
The hotel is located 1.5 km from Malmo Castle, 2 km from Malmo Concert Hall and 5 km from Oxie Golf Club.
First Jörgen Kock
Located 400m from the Malmo Central Station, 1.5 km from Malmo Castle and 800m from St. Peter’s church in Malmo.