Road trip along the Swedish south coast

The 9 June I had the great pleasure to guide my friends and colleagues Jinu and Shiva on a road trip along the south coast of Sweden. According to the calendar it was summer but unfortunately that was not the reality this day, 11 degrees and showers. 

  1. Starting at Hyllie train station and Emporia shopping center that offer a rooftop viewing platform from where you have great view over Hyllie, Öresund bridge and Malmö.
  2. Skanör and Falsterbo are twin towns. In the Middle Ages, these towns were significant centers of the herring trade, drawing merchants from across Europe. Skanör, known for its fortress and market, and Falsterbo, with its vibrant harbor, thrived due to the abundant herring in the surrounding waters. As the herring stocks dwindled in the late Middle Ages, the towns’ prominence declined. Today, Skanör and Falsterbo are renowned for their picturesque landscapes, historic buildings, and popular beaches, attracting visitors seeking a blend of history and natural beauty.
  3. Falsterbo beach
  4. Smygehuk is a harbour and fishing village located at Smygehamn. It is the southernmost point of Sweden and the entire Scandinavian Peninsula. The area features the Smygehuk Lighthouse, stony beaches, and during summer, it offers various activities including music, art, culture, and shopping. We had lunch at Sweden’s southernmost café, of course a prawn sandwich.
  5. Ystad Saltsjöbad, is a luxurious spa resort. It offers a charming and classic Newport-style experience with sea views, delicious food, and a relaxing spa. The resort has a rich history dating back to the 19th century and is situated just 20 meters from the sea, providing an excellent location for a getaway (sorry, no pictures)
  6. Kivik is a center for Swedish apple cultivation, thanks to its pleasant climate. The region is especially beautiful when the apple orchards bloom in May. Kivik is also known for its apple market, a harvest festival that celebrates Swedish apples and features unique apple art made from colorful apples. The market usually takes place in September and includes a variety of activities and displays.
    Kivik Musteri is a family-owned farm and production facility with a history dating back to 1888. It’s known for its extensive apple orchards with over 70 varieties of apples. You can enjoy the museum, guided tours of the orchard, learn about apple cultivation, and explore the production workshop. The farm also has a shop where you can buy locally produced juices, ciders, wines, and other preserves.
  7.  Vitemölla, is a tranquil seaside village. It is home to the Vitemölla Badhotell, a historic seaside hotel built in 1913.  
  8. Malmö Kalkbrott, also known as Limhamns kalkbrott, is a unique place in Malmö and one of the landmarks. It is a former industrial limestone quarry that has now become a nature reserve managed by the city of Malmö. The area is approximately 1300 meters long, 800 meters wide, and 65 meters deep. Rumor says that the cement in the foundation of the Jesus figure in Rio de Janeiro comes from Limhamn.
  9. Lernacken is a mostly artificial cape located in the Öresund, the sound between Denmark and Sweden. It is situated in the southwest of Malmö, between the suburbs Bunkeflostrand and Limhamn. The area is largely devoid of vegetation, with sparse areas of shrubs and small trees. It’s a notable spot for biking trips and offers great views of the Öresund Bridge starting point. Especially popular viewing point at sunset.

 

People of India

India is a diverse country with a population of 1.4 billion people (2022), that is close to 18% of the world population. The people are known for their rich culture, traditions, and hospitality.

India has a variety of religions, over 2 million temples, 22 official languages, many ethnic groups, each with its unique customs, traditions and cuisine. India is also known for its vibrant festivals, such as Diwali, Holi, and Durga Puja.

During my trip in the south west part of the country in October (2023), I was very fascinated by the characters, colors and scenery. Meet some of them here:

       

 

The Christmas Card

Wikipedia: “A Christmas card is a greeting card sent as part of the traditional celebration of Christmas in order to convey between people a range of sentiments related to Christmastide and the holiday season. Christmas cards are usually exchanged during the weeks preceding Christmas Day by many people (including some non-Christians) in Western society and in Asia. The traditional greeting reads “Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year“. 
The first commercially available card was commissioned by Sir Henry Cole and designed by John Callcott Horsley in London 1843. 

Heard that after 180 years of history, this year (2023) might be the last year people send Christmas cards by “snail mail”, since the postage is going to be very expensive in 2024, due to the decrease in letter correspondence and increase in costs.

Back in the 1980’s I designed and printed Christmas post cards and sent to family, friends and customers. Made by airbrush on paper (except one that is with ink) 

In 2011 I started designing digital season greeting cards, playing with Adobe Photoshop:

And Happy New Year cards:

 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 

Amsterdam 2023

Mickey and I visited Amsterdam 28 August to 1 September. This is some of the things we did… Enjoy 🙂 

The sights on Google Map
Google map of saved sigths in Amsterdam

Photo “heatmap’
Photo heatmap from Amsterdam

Day1:
Flight KLM to Schipol Airport. Sprinter train to Centraal Station. Smart that we could use our Visa card as travel pass on the public transport. Checked in at Eden Hotel. Nice hotel with good location. Small shop for snacks and drinks, bar and pool table (free).

Walkabout: Dam square, Anna Franks house/museum (did not go inside) and much more in the neighborhood, Dinner at De Nachtwacht 

Day 2:
Breakfast at the rooftop restaurant Blue with nice 360 degrees view over Amsterdam.
Walkabout: Cool gallery AbrahamArt GalleryMuseumplein with RijksMuseum, Van Gogh and Stedelijk Museum We didn’t enter any of the museums, viewed the exterior. Headed to the Heineken Experience for a tour, a visit at the bar and their rooftop bar with very nice view and beer cocktails.

Dinner at a small and very good Thai restaurant, NK Thai Noodles close by. We asked for the dishes made Thai mode – Quote from waitress: “are yo sure?” 🙂 – It was spicy and tasty. 

Finished the day with an evening stroll to the Skinny Bridge and play some pool.

 

Day 3:
Brunch at the The Lobby, nice restaurant at Hotel V. Looked around the nice Joordan district and walked towards Wester Park to visit Amaze, an audio and video “museum”. In groups of eight you walk through a maze of different audio and video installations to finish in a big warehouse style room sitting on “fat boys” (big pillows) watching a light show on the walls and on the pillars accompanied with (loud) electronic music. 

Took public transport back to the city and had a look at Red Light District – “no pictures please”.
Passed the Rembrandt museum, Had a good burrito at a small Mexican take away restaurant.

Day 4:
Great omelet brunch at Omelegg, very popular and good, recommend it. Expect to wait in line outside, no booking,

Theme of the day was rooftops. Started with a visit to Luminair, Fantastic view over Amsterdam. Continued to Nemo Science Museum that has a kind of park on roof, Crossed the harbour with  a small ferry (free). Walked pass Adams Tower and had a peek at the Eye film “museum”.  Visited De Ceuvel, an award-winning, sustainable planned workplace for creative and social enterprises on a former shipyard, The craft beer from the local brewery was good 🙂

Continued to Straat, a “museum” in a warehouse with some great street art. Amazed by the detail and size of some of the art work, fantastic! There was quite a heavy “scent” of spray paint.

Dinner at Ribs Factory, close to the hotel. Evening walkabout – the cocktail bar Luminair, night version, Great night view over the city. Next stop on the “cocktail rooftop bar crawl” was Malabar Cocktail bar also with great night view over the harbor and city.

   

Day 5:
Revisited Blue for a brunch with a view. Checked out the LEGO general store with some fantastic LEGO builds. Went on a Canal tour. Passed a French Fries shop with 3! security hosts to manage the line. Walked around Vondelpark where we saw the only people on bikes wearing helmet, 3 persons, the only ones during the whole stay! Very nice park with a brewery in the middle where we tasted the local brew.

On the way home we dropped by The Flying Dutchmen Coctail bar where some of the locals had their after work drink. Finished the day with dinner at Wagamama located across the street from the hotel. Then some backgammon at the hotel bar. 

Day 6:
Checking out, Breakfast at Omelegg. Short break at the Centraal Station that is “under construction” for the next many years before heading to Schipol… 

Juleløses Jul – Christmas 2022

This year I had the opportunity and pleasure to attend Juleløses Jul Christmas Eve together with Arun, colleague and friend from India. It is an event taking place every year since 1975 in the Grå Hal at Christiana, Copenhagen. Before 1975 Juleløses Jul took place at Copenhagen Town Hall. It’s a very old Christmas tradition in Copenhagen, started once upon a time by Socialdemokraterna, haven’t managed to find information about when.

Free food is served to more than 1.000 people. It was a very amusing and interesting experience and I was amazed by:

  • The amount and variety of people.
  • Decorations – ceiling filled with paper peace pigeons, a Santa dressed only with hat and underwear, a huge disco ball, light effects and much more.
  • Food – choice of vegetarian dish, sallad, beef and/or pork, Dessert was rice porridge with cinnamon sugar and/or cherry sauce. Beer, wine and soda is sold at the bar.
  • Entertainment – Storytelling by one of Santa’s elves about why there are summer, winter and Christmas. The priest had a sermon and a “choir” sang some hymns with the audience.  A DJ and different groups played a vast variety of music genre.  

Learned from Kirsten, at the Christiania Information Office Nyt Forum, that there are 100 volunteers that help out with the different tasks. There is no entrance fee and the food is free so the financial part is solved by applying for different funds and collecting money during the Christiania Christmas Market. They also get support from both Copenhagen Municipality and Her Majesty the Queen.

There are none or very little advertising and it is worth a visit. 
Door opens at 17:00 (next year).

 

Sightseeing Malmö – November 2022

Saturday 26 November a group of colleagues from India, Lebanon and Argentina visited Malmö. I had the pleasure of guiding them through the city.

We started the sightseeing at Triangeln Station. Walked along the pedestrian street, Södra Förstadsgatan, via Stadsbiblioteket, Slottsparken, Gustav Adolfs Torg to Lilla Torg for lunch at Viktor. After lunch we continued to Stortorget. We had a look inside the pharmacy Lejonet with a beautiful ceiling. Outside the pharmacy you find the statue Optimistorkestern. The group like to visit a “loppis” (flea market) so we visited Loppis Lounge. Then we had a look inside St Petri Church.  We the passed the Central Station and then the statue The Knotted Gun. We visited the Sky Bar at Malmö Live. Had a look at Kockums Shipyard and finished at Turning Torso, Västra Hamnen.

Earlier versions: Sightseeing in Malmö 2012 and Sightseeing in Malmö 2014.
Apart from added information on some of the places updated points of interest are:
25. Malmö Live
26. Triangeln Station
27. Kockums Shipyard (Varvsstaden)


Read more about the points of interest below

Porto Myrina, Limnos 2022

21-28 August Mickey and I visited the Greek island Limnos (Lemnos). The island is the 8th biggest in Greece, located in the center of the Northern Aegean sea.

We travelled with Apollo and stayed at Porto Myrina, Powered by Playitas. The hotel had a lot of different sport activities included in the price. At some activities you could just up show at the set time, others you should sign up for. We tried Yoga, Padel, Scuba diving, kajak, SUP and did a lot of laps in the pool.
   

Tuesday we did a 12 km hike to the “Antenna hill”. Beautiful 360 degree view over the landscape from the top:

Wednesday we experience “extreme weather conditions” where there came a SMS warning!
Spent the day playing backgammon and visit the fitness center:

Thursday we hiked up and around the Castle of Myrina, that could be considered as one of the most resistant and best fortresses in Greece:

Friday we rented a car (“jeep”) and drove around the island to see some of the sights – A dessert. Sand dunes (and a tank) at Gomati beach.

Extraordinary lava formations at Falacro and drove on some dirt roads – great fun! and might be the best sight of the day. A salt lake at Aliki, that was not white but muddy due to the rain storm.

Had lunch at the surf beach Keros. Should see some windmills at Kontias but probably also due to the storm, the path up to the windmills was closed. Many of the roads was very narrow, especially through the villages:


Saturday we did a 14 km hike to “The Church without roof” (Church of Panagia Kakaviotissa). This Greek Orthodox Church was built by refugee monks who fled to the mountain as early as around 1,416 AD and is one of its kind in the world.

The track towards the church we choose an alternative route that Google maps marked as a path. In reality there was not much of a path, only the ones the sheep and goats had made. We used Google maps as a compass to help us keep on the right track. An exciting adventure.
Hiking back from the church, it was more or less roads and “the beaten track” all the way back to the hotel.

Myrina is the capital and main port of Lemnos and counts on 4500 inhabitants. The settlement stretches around two beautiful bays and between stands the imposing Venetian castle surrounded by massive formations of volcanic rock.

Visitors are charmed by the old neoclassical mansions, Ottoman buildings and fountains, traditional houses, narrow streets and modern constructions that compose the setting of Myrina. Along the waterfront lie plenty of restaurants and traditional taverns.
 

Saalbach-Hinterglemm 2022

22-26 January 13 present and former colleagues from NNE spent at Saalbach-Hinterglem, Austria, for some days of skiing. The trip was planned for taking place last year but cancelled due to a virus.  We were all looking forward to the trip but there was some uncertainty and anxiety up to the days before departure. The Danes needed a negative PCR-test (max 42 hours old). It was enough with a third booster shoot for the Swede but needed proof, train ticket, that I just arrived from Malmö the same day.

We travelled with Northlander and stayed at Skinetworks Hotel Pinzgauerhof in Hinterglem. Perfectly located close to the lift Reiterkogelbahn, ski rent Heil’s and after ski Goaßstall.

Friday and Saturday before arrival it was snowing. Sunday it was a little bit cloudy, Monday-Wednesday it was Kaiserwetter!! 

Sunday 23: Hinterglemm – Saalbach

Monday 24: Fiberbrunn

Tuesday 25: Leogang Circuit

Wednesday 26: Zwølferkogel

Thanks Peter for tracking and the maps.

Apart from skiing we sang a lot and loud. The top four songs:
For evigt
Mama Laudaa
So ein shøner tag
Sweet Caroline (DJ Ötzi)

 

 

25 years intranet history at NNE

Today, Wednesday 19 January, I was invited by Mads at the Danish intranet network Intra2, to tell the story about 25 years of intranet at NNE

It has been an interesting and fun experience to dig deep into the archives to find material to the presentation.

This is the overview of the different frontpages throughout the years:

I started at NNE, in the Visualization department in 1997, as web designer working with the intranet. Back then we used the tool Microsoft Frontpage and worked directly in production – publish content and it was live. If something went wrong – try again… limited amount of testing and documentation 😉 

Since then ways of working, tools, software, design, content and functionalities has changed but many of the challenges are about the same. This slide is from 2002:

NNE Intranet challenges 2002

  • Information Management – Structuring unstructured data
  • Search engine
  • Personalization e.g. the role and job function of the employee
  • Integration with Oracle and Documentum (in 2022 it’s other applications)
  • Choice of Content Management System
  • Web statistics/analytics
  • Language choice – Danish or English

This is what was on the wish list in 2009 and it’s about the same 2022:

  • Access from the mobile phone
  • Virtual workrooms
  • Integration with social media applications
  • Web analytics
  • A great search engine

Many thanks to my former colleagues whom I worked with in the NNE web team, Carina and Rune, for the great input at the meeting. 

Crete 2021

14-21 of October, Mickey and I visited the small beach resort Agia Marina, Crete, not far from Chania. We travelled with TUI and stayed at Atlantica Caldera Village, room no. 212 with a great view from the balcony, overlooking the village, sea and the island Agioi Theodoroi, a nature reserve inhabited by the Kri-Kri goat.

Here follow some stories and pictures of what we did during our stay, enjoy.

Walkabouts:

Beach walk Agia Marina – Palatinas, 8 km.


Hill walk Agia Marina – Cave Nerospilia, 8 km. (the cave was closed)

 

Beach walk Agia Marina – Chania, 11 km.

Chania is the capital of the Chania regional unit. It lies along the north west coast and consists of the city itself and several nearby villages.

On the way we had a break at Iguana Beach and passed Abandoned Graffiti House,
In Chania we walked along the Venetian Port, where we had lunch. We took the bus back to Agia Marina.

   


Bus day to Elafonisi:

Monday we went on a bus trip to the beach Elafonisi. The trip went via the gorge Topolia and a stop at Cave Agia Sofia (Wisdom of God) before we reached Elefonisi.

Here we spent a couple of hours walking around, swimming and relax on the beach. Elafonisi is an island when the tide is high and famous for it’s pink “sand”, that actually is seashells. Since many tourists have taken the sand with them home, there isn’t much left. The authorities have strengthen the rules and set high penalty for removing the sand.

Many thanks to our guide Joanna, who told many good stories about the culture of Crete and the scenery we passed through.

Beach walk at Elafonisi, 2 km.


Rent-a-car day:

Wednesday we rented a VW Up from a local travel agency, Beyond Travel, on the main street in Agia Marina.

The journey: Agia Mariana – Gorge of Imbros – Hora Sfakion – Frangokastello – Giorgioupoli – Kourna Lake – Agia Marina.


Link to Google Maps

The gorge of Imbros is the second most popular gorge, after Samaria. for walkers on Crete. The gorge of Imbros was the main route through which Allied Forces evacuated Crete in late May 1941 after losing the Battle of Crete. Close to 20.000 troops (mainly New Zealanders, Australians and Brits) headed from the North of the island through the gorge of Imbros to Komitades and Hora Sfakion where they were due to be picked up by ships and taken to Egypt. About 13.000 made it onto ships. The rest were made prisoners by the Germans or escaped to the hills. There is a monument in Hora Sfakion commemorating these events.

Hora Sfakion is a small village with a main harbour front of tavernas, two minimarkets, a butcher, and a bakery. There is a quiet local beach immediately west of the village, and several pebbly beaches nearby. Hóra Sfakíon has a variety of tourist accommodations: rooms, studios, and apartments. The local economy is based on tourism, fishing, olive-oil production, and sheep and goat herding. 

28 May – 1 June, 1941, British and Australian forces was evacuated from this bay after passing the the gorge of Imbros.

Frangokastello is a castle and scattered settlement on the south coast of Crete. The castle was built by the Venetians in 1371–1374 as a garrison to impose order on the rebellious Sfakia region, to deter pirates, and to protect Venetian nobles and their properties. 

Returning to the north coast, Mickey found an alternative way on Google Maps. A small winding road with around 25 hairpin turns. I admit I was little nervous driving up this road. Very steep, narrow, no crash barrier, parts of the road broken and fallen off on one side, stones and rocks fallen on to the road on the other. Glad we didn’t meet any cars…
 

Due to the narrow road and suffering from a little bit anxiety, I “forgot” to take photos of the beautiful scenery. Found this picture on Google Maps. 

Credit: Wolfgang Johannes

Formerly a small fishing village, Georgioupolis is more  of tourist town now. The town square is surrounded by outdoor seating. The 9 km beach is the main attraction of the area with the church of Agios Nikolaos on the islet with the same name. Here you also find a small harbor at Turtle River, where you can rent different kind of boats to go up the river or out on the sea.
Nearby Kourna Lake is a popular excursion. 

Kourna Lake is the only natural freshwater lake on Crete. It covers an area of ​​579 acres and maximum depth reaches 22 meters. The lake is a protected area as an important wetland with many species like moorhens, ducks, eels, snakes and a rare two-color turtle and occasionally  herons.

            


Beach day:

A day spent at Gorgona Beach Club with sun, backgammon and bodysurfing in the quite big waves. Thanks to Director Alex and staff, for friendly and good service (and for use of your backgammon).



Restaurants Agia Marina:

These are the restaurants we tried. Dessert and raki served was the custom when paying the bill. “Raki is like Ouzo, but worse” – statement from a waitress.

  • Botonis – Grilled pork chops. The wood fired “globe grill” was standing in the restaurant 
  • Neraida – Mixed grill, more than enough for two (got doggie bag for lunch next day) 
  • Nostos – Ingo: Moussaka, Mickey: chicken gyros
  • Olivi – Both had very nice beef steaks with great “potato salad” (potato mixed with garlic, lemon and parsley)
  • Gorgona Beach Restaurant – Ingo: Pork gyros, Mickey: burger. Beautiful sunset
  • Meraki – Ingo: 3 kinds of meat in wrapped and cooked in paper, Mickey: steak.


Jamas!