Saturday, August 1, 2009


A lot of empty posts... we will fill them in later. Right now, though, we have just come back to Europe from Africa (yeah baby) after a rather stressfull day. We woke up at 8, an hour later than we should have, since I (Mr A) turned off the alarm at 7. We reached Tangier at 10, had a small argument about how full of gas the car should be upon returning the rental car, and finally made a run for the boat. Passports, forms (10 dirham solved this for us), and tickets (argh) checked - and we made it to Spain!! We are taking the bus to Malaga in 20 minutes, where we will chill out on the beach before returning home tomorrow night.

Gotta go!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Merzouga, Sahara


A hot spring - but where was it?

Somewhere about 30-45 minutes North of Er Rachidia, 30 minutes past the lake Barrage de Hassan Addakhil, where the road curves left along the North-East bank of the river (probably not far from Kerrandou), a lot of people (and goats) where gathered. Anders pulled over instantly and went to have a bath. Some old people (men only) where having a cure bath in a hot source next to the river.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Colonization... The British write souks, Fez, and Marrakesh. The French write souqs, Fes, and Marrakech.

Anyway... We have spent hot days and nights in hotels and car seats without air conditioning, and strolled through the busy alleys of the medinas of Fez and Marrakesh. We had a lunch break in Rabat, the capital, which is the cleanest city we have seen so far, and by far the one with most police in it.

We decided to spend another night in Marrakesh - partly because we needed some time off the road, and we checked into a hotel with cold air this time. We had a much needed nap - no sweat - and we are walking around in Ville Nouvelle right now - where there is a lot less hustle and no bargaining compared to the old town.

Tomorrow, we plan to drive to Sahara, or at least to the outskirts of the vast desert to see some sand dunes.

Monday, July 27, 2009


We left Fes in the morning, after a quick breakfast consisting of orange juice, coffee, and croissants downtown. Of course, we started out in the wrong direction, inched our way through some back-alleys with workshops, small markets, and poor and rich neighborhoods, but some helpful men pointed us in the right direction and we were off to Rabat, the capital.

We stopped in Rabat for lunch - it's funny how the main roads almost slow down to a halt when they enter a city (and they always do). The speed limits vary between 120 (toll road), 100 (highway), 80, 60 (getting closer to a city), 40 (in the city), and 20 (near a control post) km/h.

Rabat must have been the cleanest city we visited, and they had nice beaches, altough the beach was a good 100 m from the sea, with rocky cliffs in between.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Fes, Morocco

We arrived in Morocco yesterday night, a couple of hours behind schedule, and spent the night in Tanger. I guess the highlights of the day were the ferry and the bus ride through Costa del Sol. Costa del Sol must be its own shadow today, compared to the 80s. It looked relatively deserted (in retrospectiv, we found that it was not - A). Today we picked up a rental car and drove to Fez. Anders was pulled over for speeding, but talked about the hot weather (it was 49 C, according to the officer) and was forgiven. We have found a hostel in the Medina, and plan to spend the night wandering around in the souks :0

After posting this, we bought a spice mix (chili and bell pepper or something like that) from an old chap who was actually in a former version of Lonely Planet, and who claimed that the price was fixed (50 dirham per 100 grams) - so we only bought 50 grams (a few days later, we found that spice was about 80% cheaper at the supermarket). The spice was rendered useless by heat and humidity after a few days...

Later on, we tried a round of water pipe and mint tea. The tea was great, and the water pipe was... smokin'

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Not gonna miss this...

Oslo, Saturday @ 5:30 AM. We're clean. I've got hickups. Astrid is putting on makeup while sighing deeply. It's raining outside, and we're leaving Oslo's lows of 11 degrees C and highs of 22 for Marrakech' lows of 22 and highs of 44!

We've reserved a car through Avis - it should be 3500 dirham for a week including free mileage, theft protection and insurance, plus an eventual super collision damage waiver which sets the liability to zero. Kinda sounds nice.

We'll be in Malaga, Spain around noon, and try to make it to Tangier as soon as possible after that. The time difference is one or two hours from here. One. They're one hour behind us. Same as GMT, in other words.

Uuuhhh... my body is not ready for breakfast, or anything, really.

Friday, July 24, 2009

We're leaving Norway in 12 hours! Time to pack?

Astrid has got all of her stash ready and her backpack is ready to get stuffed. I have not. I'm going to, though. Just need to find something to pack in first. Well, since we need to get up at about 5 am on Saturday morning, I don't have any excuse for a nap right now, so I guess I don't have any excuse for not packing, either. Here we go...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Rerouting to... Morocco! (And that's final)

Well, it turns out we're not going to Barcelona with Olav and Mona this year, we'll take a rain check on that, and so, we started to do some thinking. Should we go back to the St. Petersburg plan? (We'd like to see it during summer, since we froze our butts off last time when we went there in February!) Or should we visit Italy? Or...? Or...?

Astrid came up with a very good idea, namely Morocco! We're going to make this trip on a tight schedule and a tight budget (of course, we don't really use a budget, because we're light years beyond budgeting). So here's the deal:

  • Fly as cheap and fast and early as possible (OK, not too early) to Malaga, Spain.
  • Go to Algerica by bus or train - it's about an hour from Malaga.
  • Take the ferry to Tangier, Morocco.

But first, maybe a visit to Gibraltar? We could stay at Emile Hostel, 30 minutes walk from the border and 100m from Casemates square, the heart of the town.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Up next: Barcelona!

Yahoo! (As in yahoo! and not search engine!) We're going to Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, Spain! This time, we'll be traveling together with Olav and Mona, and we've decided to make it a low budget trip. So, what are we going to do? Let's start planning...

Wiki Catalonia

Wiki Barcelona

La Sagrada Familia, a magnificent cathedral which has been in construction since since 1882

Montserrat, a Benedictine monastery built on a worn and torn limestone mountain, provides a view to the Pyrenees, Barcelona, and even Mallorca on a clear day

In vino veritas...
Cordorniu located in Sant Sadurni D’Noia (Penedes)
Caves Colomer
Freixenet cava bodega (near Sant Sadurni, there are more wineries in Sant Sadurni)

Train schedule
This is the official Renfe train company home page - which is crap, unfortunately
Better google it... Here's an example
Vilafranca del Penedès by train

Monday, January 19, 2009

Snow in Oslo

You'd have thought we'd be used to snow, but we're always taken by surprise when, over a few hours, everything outside is covered in a thick layer of white powder. It's a month since we left Oslo for Thailand now, and we've been back for two weeks. The warm air and dry streets feels like a distant memory. Here I am in a crowded, no, packed tram wagon which is inching it's way to the city center. Cars are stuck in big piles of snow along the road, their owners trying to free them without a shovel... Just like last year :-)

Monday, January 5, 2009

Oslo b(e)lows

Just when we thought Istanbul was cold with its snowfall, and had gotten used to wearing jackets in Alanya, we discovered that it was 15 C below in Oslo! I shivered my way to and from work and have (almost) decided to buy one of those daylight lamps which might save me from the darkness that eats most of the day... All is well, though. It was nice to be home in a warm apartment, spending Sunday mostly in the couch, and no crisis were waiting at work.

Turkey was a bit sleepy, by the way. Few tourists, although the planes where packed. We did have a fun new years eve, with champagne and raki, and some good rounds of Red Alert 3! We also had time to read some books and enjoyed a fantastic sea view from Olav's apartment.