Saturday, 31 July 2010


We crossed over the border of Norway to Sweden and stopped at Karlstadt overnight.

Once we got over the border to Sweden we passed lots of farms, and we saw lots of signs for Loppis. We assumed the word Loppis was for some sort of berry.  We had bought raspberries and cherries from roadside stands in Norway, and we were hoping to stop off near a farm and buy some Loppis.  We took guesses of what Loppis was, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, cherries....but the entire way to Karlstad, we saw lots of signs, but no produce.  When we got to the hotel in Karlstad we asked the lady at the desk to tell us what Loppis was.  A Flea Market!  She thought it was funny we thought that it was some type of berry.  Second Hand Markets are very popular on the weekends.

 Karlstad sits alongside Sweden's longest river, the Klarälven, which flows into Sweden's largest lake, Vänern.
After dropping off the bags into our hotel, we headed for a 5km walk around parts of the river.

We love the colour red in these Swedish homes (and we saw alot in Norway as well).  The red colour came from the copper mines in Falun.  The colour is called "Falu rödfärg" in Swedish, or Falu/Falun Red.
The walk along the river was great. Karlstad prides itself on having over 90 km of bike/rollerblading paths.  It was a pity we didn't have our bikes, the paths are fantastic.  Alongside the road, in street malls and parks there are free bike pumps, in case you have a flat tyre along the way. 
Cameron spent his time searching for grasshoppers, and was most disgusted when this one pooped on him!
We headed back to our hotel, through the shopping district.  Rea is Swedish for Sale, I am not sure what is on sale in this store!
We are lost for words on these velour jumpsuits.  It's a toss up whether you would be seen in one of these or a snuggie???  We saw them in windows in Norway as well, and we even saw a girl in a purple and white one.  These ones were for adult women, I am hoping they are not the new fashion craze, because I don't know anyone who would look remotely good in these!

Lillehammer to Karlstad

Along the road we stopped at Grue to stretch our legs.  June 1 -6th, 1995 Grue experienced a massive flood.  Villagers, military, volunteers and rescue squads all rallied together to fill sandbags, provide help, shelter and food where needed.  A year after the flood this memorial was errected with the height of the known floods engraved into the granite stone.
The highest mark on the stone is the floods of 1789
For lunch we stopped at a lake, and the kids watched 2 Norwegian kids play in the water, and where highly amused when the older boy rode his bike into the water.  He kept pedalling until the water was deep enough to stop the bell ringing, and then he fell off.
As they enjoyed their lake swim the previous day, the clothes came off again, and in they went.

Friday, 30 July 2010


An overnight stop in Lillehammer.  A quiet little town, but became well known as the home of the 1994 Winter Olympics.
Lillehammer souvenier shops still sell 1994 Olympic Postcards and memorabillia.
The symbol above the Olympic Rings is a symbol for the Aurora Borealis, or the Northern Lights.
This sculpture of a moose amused us all, especially what the moose has left behind on the ground
On one of our car journeys, Nicole had finished a couple of beanies. 
Cameron said, (out of the blue), "I would love a penguin suit."
We all laughed, and wondered where this idea had come from, and perhaps it was from the aquarium at Bergen.
Then we saw this knitted penguin suit in a knitting window (to Nicole's dismay, it was closed).
Cameron said he saw the same penguin suit knitted in the knitting shop in Bergen.  He has a great memory.  Nicole has no recollection of a penguin suit!
Much to our amusement, we saw our Russian motorcyclists with the stickers over their license plates in Lillehammer.  They were staying at the same hotel as us.  One has added an ice cream sticker on the top half since we last saw them at the ferry.

Lom to Lillehammer scenery

We stopped at this great lake in the mountain, the water was so still it was like glass.
Phil asked the kids not to throw rocks in, until he had taken some photos.
Once Phil had taken his photos, he told the kids they could throw in as many rocks in as they liked.  Cameron then proceeded to fall in sideways and get totally wet.  So off came almost all the clothes and in he went. 
The water was freezing (it comes straight from the glaciers), but he didn't care. Then Alexander decided he was joining in as well.
They had a great time!

Lunch in Lom

We arrived in Lom for lunch.  A pretty town Lom near the Jotunheimen Mountains and the Jotunheim National Park.
We found this troll.  It is still a debate whether the troll is Mum or Dad
It seems that Nicole is the troll of the family from the boys point of view (possibly Phil's thoughts as well, but he is keeping his mouth closed). Cameron tried to make her look better by sticking flowers in her teeth.

Lom is a beautiful small town, with wooden buildings.

The river that rushes through the town is the blue/green colour that we love, but the clouds were covering the sky, and the colour didn't show up on our photos.
The boys made their way to the bank of the river to throw stones in.

Loen to Lom Scenery

After checking out of the hotel we headed back up the winding mountain and through the mountain tunnel that we came through the previous day.
A few easier places to stop on the way up, and hidden waterfalls that we didn't see on the way down the mountain.
It's funny how things look different when you are in the driving in the other direction.
We stopped at this amazing part of the river, Breiddalsvatnet.
The blue of the water was remarkable.
We followed the river for quite some time, and it was this blue colour the entire way.
We headed to Lom for lunch

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Hotel in Loen

We arrived at our hotel after 10.30pm, it was a long driving day, and we were all tired.  The hotel was enormous, a place you would happily stay for a week and just relax.  The view from our room was beautiful.
The receptionist said if we hurried we could go outside and watch the bonfire they had made.  Cameron was too tired, so Nicole took Alexander down for a quick look.  It was placed about 25 metres from the kids playground, and there were live embers flying all over the place, while the kids happily played in the playground.  We stood back in the distance a bit and watched the embers fly everywhere and then headed upstairs to bed.
In the morning the kids were eager to have a swim in the pool.  So Phil and the kids headed to the pool area.  It was hard to get them back to the room to get ready for breakfast as the pool had a water slide that was 2 floors high, and was quite fast to slide down in.  The indoor pool also had an opening to swim outside as well.
Nicole stayed in the room and took photos from the balcony
The view of the lake in the morning was spectacular and we wished we were staying juat a few days longer.
But we packed the car again and moved on, there was still ots more fantastic scenery to be seen along the way.